1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Pellet Insert: To Reline or Not To Reline, That Is the Question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by vgrund, Dec 8, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    I am considering adding a pellet insert into one of my masonry fireplaces. One problem is that I'm getting mixed messages from dealers about the worth of relining. It is not a technical necessity. My town (Amherst, NH) does not require relining if the chimney is sound, and the manufacturers I'm considering support configurations with and without a liner. My chimney is 5 years old and has only supported a rarely used LP gas log set.

    Why would I want to do it? I've heard ease of cleaning cited, as well as possibly improved draft. My local Quadrafire dealer suggested relining but wasn't particularly adamant about it. The Harman Accentra pellet stove insert, which I prefer, describes in its manual an "unlined" configuration (terminating above the start of the tile liner) as one of four venting options. There is no mention of it being an undesirable or poor installation. It has "US only" and "excellent draft" notations. My local Harman dealer said "9 out of 10" of their installations use this configuration. They really seemed reluctant to do a lining. I've chatted with folks on the web who cited safety in support of relining while still others rabidly deny any safety issue.

    Doing things right is my foremost concern but want to accomplish this without unnecessary expense. Thoughts?

    I'll probably chat with my local fire chief on Sunday, too.

    Victor

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. mhuot

    mhuot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10
    If you are from Amhurst NH, I am assuiming it was Stove Keepers who is the local Harman dealer. They told me the same thing, however other people told you should have it relined. I went it got it relined with 4 inch lining.

    Mike From Nashua
  3. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    You are correct! It was Stove Keepers in Amherst, NH. Did you buy your stove from them?
  4. RDTelep

    RDTelep New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    I installed a pellet insert this fall, Whitfield Advantage II T, and was asking the same question.

    A full reline kit, with a T fitting was $285.00 (one story). I decided to go for it and relined it. I installed it myself in about an hour and found it relativly easy. (with no snow on the roof, of course!)

    Good luck
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,873
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    With an interior chimney draft this may not be an issue. But with an exterior chimney, I would be a bit more concerned with reverse draft (cold air coming down the chimney) causing smoky startups and would reline.

    FWIW, I have an interior chimney and did the reline. 3" flex all the way to the top, even thought the Quad manual said it was optional. It was pretty easy (also done in August, so no snow). My thinking was it would be easier to run a brush down the full length of pipe that way.
  6. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    I have two masonry chimneys, one interior and one stuck on the side of the house. The insert is under consideration for the interior chimney.

    I am leaning towards doing a 4" reline. I currently have a large chimney cap that covers the two flues (#1 is for an LP gas water heater). I had it installed when I moved in just last December, before an insert entered into my plans. Unfortunately, it is my understanding it must be replaced with an integral cap that connects directly to the liner. Silly me for not checking into that.
  7. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    69
    Not that I am any code expert in NH, but you might want to check that it's acceptable to have two applicances in the same chimney, even though you seem to be leaning toward having two pipes running all the way to the top. It should be the same a sahving two vents in the same chase, but who knows?

    I like the comment lining the whole way to avoid the down draft in a cold chimney. Kind of interesting that Canada doesn't allow a stub off above the old damper. It gerts pretty cold in Canada.

    There will be some fly as accumulation in the chimney above the stub. That's another reason I like a full reline
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    If doing things right is your priority than you already know the answeres to your questions Harman stressed the prefered way to install your stove. You are going to spend a fair amount of money for your stove Harman, why Half a** the install? With pellet prices over $300 why not get your money worth? If it takes too much energy to heat your clay liners to draft guess what the pellet cost just went up the chimney or through the roof.

    I cannot believe Harman even suggest that configuration. Have they not read the codes the past 15 years? Last time I checked pellets are considered solid fuel burning appliances. Have they missed the NFPA Solid Flue burning appliance cross-sectional vent area codes. I mean the area could be 9 times greater venting into a 12/12. Ask your retailer how he explains that code and how the deirct vent setup will work. Better yet ask him if he has heard of NFPA 211
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,101
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I too am surprised that you are getting mixed messages on this!
    With a Pellet Stove, lining to the top is really the only way to go. In your climate, I thing it is a technical necessity....and, as Elk says, probably the only way to do it up to code.

    But, code aside, this is asking for problems..condensation, etc. etc. - giant ice chunks in your chimney are not the way to go!
  10. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    I suspect local building codes do not require a full relining. When I ask any local pellet stove dealer about adding a liner, the first question they ask is always "In what town do you live?" followed by a "not required" comment when I offer my reply. I'm not saying it is impossible, but t would be quite a conspiracy if they are all distorting this particular truth... We're talking about New Hampshire here, "Live Free or Die". Or was it, "Live free and Die". :)

    For the record, the Harman Accentra Insert manual lists the unlined configuration as venting option #3 on page 24 (http://www.harmanstoves.com/doc/accentrainsertm.pdf).

    Code requirement or not, I am convinced that adding a liner is the way to go. It just makes sense based on my independent research and helpful responses at forums like this one. If I buy a Harman, I may not have the dealer do the liner...

    Thanks, all.
  11. mhuot

    mhuot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    10
    Yep Bought a Harman advanced free standing in early sept from stove keepers, works great keeps both floors warm.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I checked with the state of NH questioned whether permits are required Rurral districts come under the jusisdiction of the rural district fire Dept
    ceinfo.unh.edu/Pubs/ForPubs/asftsr11.pdf says Compliance to NFPA 211 which means exactly the cross-sectional code. Some comunities may not be equiped or do not care about code compliance or enforcement. Your state does mention compliance of wood stove installations according to NFPA 211. The direct conect would never comply wto NFPA 211 cross-sectional code.

    Asside from never being able to draft correctly, it will never run effeciently. You are wasting your money and fuel. If its the money issue, then you would be better off with a full liner and a cheaper stove, Like englanders from HomeDepot or Cheap Charlies.
    You came to this forum because you felt you needed good advice Free advice where no one here is profiting from a sale or an installation, well you now have it Your own manual told you the prefered method. Believe them If you do not believe me
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,873
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I totally agree with your decision vgrund. You will have peace of mind if you go with the full liner and that is priceless in my book. Let us know what stove you get and how it works out.
  14. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    Thanks, all. I'll let you know how things work out. It may be a while because I'm shopping for next season (Spring / Summer 2006 installation). My decision to get a stove was largely driven by the economies of LP central heating, even before the recent price spikes... I thought it wise to give myself plenty of research time and forgo this heating season, which turned out to be a wise one because fuel and stove availability are quite poor in NH (and probably everywhere else). Spring / Summer seems to be the time to buy stoves and fuel.

    elkimmeg, understand I'm planning to do a full reline so this question is purely hypothetical. Are you certain a pellet stove falls into the same category as a wood stove for code compliance? It has a lot more flexibility in venting, supposedly "safer" exhaust, etc.
  15. ggww

    ggww New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    I'm on the "list" at Stovekeepers for a Harman insert (not due in until 2/06), but a friend down the street in Tyngsborough, MA put one in and ran the liner 7ft. He says the stove works quite well that way. Also, I saw an infomercial for a pellet sove (don't remember the brand) and they said most manufacturers suggest 7ft is enough. Some towns still want to whole chimney lined.


    Guy
  16. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    Guy, FWIW I'm pretty sure all of Massachusetts requires a full liner for both wood and pellet stoves.
  17. ggww

    ggww New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    6

    Thanks for the info.
    Stovekeepers said they thought Pepperell was the only one who allowed the 7ft and like you say, all the rest require the full liner.

    I've wanted a pellet insert for a while and I waited to order mine right when things got crazy. Knowing the owner of the building Stovekeepers are in, didn't help. ;)

    Guy
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    It's not MA or NH NFPA is a national code Reconised by all manufactures of wood and Pellet stoves.

    The code is 2003 NFPA 211
    Chapter 9 Solid Fuel burning Appliances
    Cross- sectional area
    The miniun size of the flue or liner must be at least th cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar.
    The cross-sectional area of the flue of the chimney with no wall exposed to the outside below the roof line shall
    not be more than, the cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar
    The cross- sectional area of the flue of the chimney with one or more wall exposed to the outside below the roof linee, shall not be more than 2 times the cross-sectional area of the appliance collar

    With that said, your chimney could be a 12/12 clay flue and be as much as 9 times the cross-sectional area. Have your dealer explain how that's going to work out? It is true that pellet stoves are not completely a natural draft system, to an extent it is induced But not that powerfull to over come reversing the cold and properly heating the flue to produce a positive draft. Would not be enough in an 8/12 fliue either and I believe there is a length issue add it all up not rocket science here. One guy claims his work but compared to what. bearly functioning or effecient functioning with a liner? Lot of miss information out there? At least now you have the code to refference.
    As for Stovekeepers in Pepperell: IT's been a while since they picked up a code book. They are doing a diss service to their customers. I guess they tell the customers this is a cheap installation sell the produce and ignorance is Bliss
  19. ggww

    ggww New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Ekimmeg,

    As you stated earlier, if we are spending a fair amount of $$ for a stove, no sense skimping on the liner and I want this to be as efficient as possible too. It sounds like mixed messages coming out of Stove Keepers, however, they did tell me if they did the install, it would be a full liner.
    Now if my Harman would just come in before February.

    Guy
  20. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    Elk, where would I be without this great forum? Thanks for citing the code, I looked for it online but didn't find it. What I find confusing, beyond mixed messages from dealers, is that the manufacturer in this case specifically cites a non-compliant venting option in their manual (see my earlier post in this thread).

    I share Guy's opininon. There is NO point in skimping on the installation.

    Code aside, it doesn't make a lot of sense for a dealer to push a "cheap" installation in this market. Stove availability is extremely limited and inventory is backordered for months. This is exactly the time to push "better", more labor intensive installations.

    Victor
  21. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I find this odd: I read the qudra fire's manual and stamped on the bottom of the page is 2002. It's practically 2006. NFPA 211 2003 codes have been in existance almost 3 years and manufactures have not addressed them. A while back I discovered Jotul has not updated its manuals to reflect the cross-sectional code. Am I the only one out there that reads code and tries to stay current?
    Supose I fail that direct connect according to the current code? What I did was to allow installations to go forward under the older code till Dec.1. Back in Oct, I faxed the actual code to all the local retailers to inform them not to sell any direct connects that will not comply with the revised code. I gave them 2 months to prepare. I also faxed a copy to all the installers I had on record. That's right I keep a record of who is installing what. If I see a tendency I'm not that happy with, I drop a dime to the installers owners. Most of the time the excuse is I hired new workers. M ost of the time the owners thank me. It works in their favor, when a home owner ask if I know an installer. I position the list as such, the best installer is the first name. No I do not tell anyone this, but human nature will call the first person listed more often than not. ITs a two way street you do good work you should get more work. Some may not be all that complementary to me at times.I been called a few names, but If I ever needed something the top 5 on that list would take care of me. I have also gone the extra step for them when an inspector in another town is giving them a hard time.I have called that inspector and got things resolved Like a mediator
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,101
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Think about the airplane accident that just happened at midway airport. The runways are too short, and there is already a new "code" that requires them to be made longer ( or stopping devices installed) BUT, the airports have until 2015 to do this.

    When codes for cars change, the manufacturers often have from 4-10 years to implement them.

    I would look at NFPA and others the same way. It was safe in 2003 and therefore it is safe now. If it was a real danger, then the CSPC would get involved - recall, etc. etc....

    So, now consider that you are a manufacturer and it takes more than a year to design, build, test and write manuals for a stove. A maker like Jotul might have 10-20 models, CFM might have 40 or more! Then there is the test lab that checks the manuals and specifies what is in there. These labs also have a backlog.

    Given the above, it is not uncommon for a manual to be 5 or more years behind current codes...keep in mind that the manual was approved by UL, Warnock Hersey, etc.

    So I would suggest that cars built in 2001 were safe, and perhaps cars built today are a LITTLE BIT safer. The same might apply here...millions of installations have proven generally safe and workable. However, there can always be improvements (sometimes code actually do the opposite, but it is rare these days).

    I think of it as a work in progress. As Elk himself said, that's why the manuals say check the current codes. That's also why dealers and inspectors should keep up to date. There will NEVER be a final code. Therefore, the manuals will never catch up.
  23. FireJumper

    FireJumper New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    121
    I believe relining your chimney depends on your location. I know new england really looks down hard on solid fuel products in general. Most inspectors want the chimney lined all the way. However places in the south such as Virgnia they could care less how you vent the unit.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page