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pre fab replacement???

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by nacho, Aug 23, 2006.

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  1. nacho

    nacho New Member

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    Hey guys! New to the board and have a question about trying to replace a pre fab heatalator with a more efficient insert. I have called a couple of different places locally and they all say that you can't do it and need a zero clearance to install inside the heatalator. I don't want this. I have an 8" flue creekstone hearth, 3000 sqft. A frame style house with 25ft ceilings. I have looked at the buck model 81. Also the quadra fire but they seem to be quite pricey. Any suggestions????

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Heatilator can be a lot of things.

    I assume you are speaking of a pre-fab (metal) fireplace with a round metal flue? If so, you are very limited in possible fireplace inserts that you can install into it.

    Are you thinking of ripping the entire unit and chimney out and replacing it with another built in?

    Please give some more info so we can head you in the right direction.

    Again, if it is a metal fireplace and chimney, ONLY certain small and medium units approved for this use can be installed.
  3. nacho

    nacho New Member

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    Yes it is the metal insert that appears to be a box within a box. Yes was planning on tearing it out and replacing the whole thing. But not the chimney and flue. The creekstone is about 50 feet high with 2 caps /1 for the basement and one for the living room aprox 6 ft wide. if the info states that an insert is pre fab aproved does it mean that it will work in this situation?
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    You will have to take the flue out with it, if you dont it wont be a leagle installation. Every manufacture tests and lists certains brands of pipe to be installed on there EPA fireplace. An example of this is quadrafire. The 7100 can be installed with only 2 types of pipe , Heatilator brand, sl300 or simpson duravent Dura Plus, the listing is so specific that you cant use Simpson Duratech. The testings are very specific, and you have to follow the manufactures instructions. So in that reguard , the dealer was correct. As metioned above, you can install a insert in that fireplace, but the choices are limited.
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    What about something like a Hearthstone Homestead Hearthmount. This would keep you from needing to put a stove inside an inappropriate box, but increase the efficiency of the fireplace. They're beautiful, and can heat a fairly large area.

    Also, going down Craig's thinking...What's the chimney situation? Give us a bit more to grind into here. Be glad to help.
  6. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Yea, more info. And possibly some pics. I like Warren's idea. You may be able to get a hearthmount stove that would work well.

    But if you want to maintain the "Fireplace" look, take a look the FPX44

    http://www.fireplacextrordinair.com/product.asp?dept_id=3&pf_id=2

    I had a prefab that I was looking at replacing. I only needed the FPX36. They're both very nice and put out a ton of heat.

    Just thinkin outloud.

    -Also, any stove/fireplace you get to heat your size home is gonna be on the upper end of the price range.
  7. nacho

    nacho New Member

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    I am trying to post some pic's to help with explaining what I have. Sorry they aren't the best but will try to post some more when time permits.

    Attached Files:

  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Nice looking house!!! Where (roughly) is it located?
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Nacho, if this is a metal fireplace with a metal flue, it is what is called a pre-fab or factory-built fireplace.....

    This limits your options.

    If you want a built-in stove ....also called a high efficiency fireplace, then you usually have to rip everything out and replace the fireplace AND chimney pipe. This is because your metal chimney is not "generic" and only works in combo with your fireplace.

    If you want a retrofit - you can install certain "slip-in" fireplace inserts into it - those that will both fit and are listed for installation into pre-fabs.

    Hearth stoves are NOT an option if this is a pre-fab - unless you rip 100% out, install and generic class A chimney, etc.

    Funny, but the flues almost look like they are masonry from the picture... but you claim they are metal, and so I am figuring that in on this advice.
  10. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Craig,
    Why is the hearthstone NOT an option?
    Hearth Stone Makes a Hearth Mounted Stove. THE HOMESTED that Sits on the hearth and NOT INTO the firplace.
    This will work fine for a Zero as long and he has a hearth large enough and high enough R factor.

    We tare out Zeros all the time and replace them with EPA fireplaces or remove the Zero and the framing and put a free standing stove in.

    the only problem is MOST PEOPLE have a hard time wanting to take out the rock work inside the house that most likely cost more that the original Zero fireplace to begine with.
  11. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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  12. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I think the confusion here is that stoves take generic pipe, and fireplaces dont. If he wanted to rip out the fireplace and use the old pipe for a stove, that should be ok (i dont know how you would trim that out and make the connector pipe look nice) but is should be possible. We have sold homesteads that sit in front of ZC's, didnt look that great but it was entirly possible. It would not be possible to install a epa fireplace and use the existing pipe that he has.
  13. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    If it is a Zero Clearance with that crap of 2 wall or 3 wall Zero clearance pipe THAT IS MADE FOR EACH BRAND OF FIREPLACE you can not use it. He would have to replace it with the Pipe that is made/listed for the Zero he replaces it with or Class A if the fireplace calls for Class A. Like Kozyheat, RSF ect.
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    So reguardless, he will be taking out the entire system.
  15. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    Yeah, they really do. Or whoever built it did a heck of a job disguising it. I think we need to see a pic of whats inside to really determine the best options.

    Nacho, a prefab will have a manufacturer and model # on it. If you could supply that also it would really help the folks here guide you in the right direction. Usually its located just within the the fireplace on the front facia in the area between the firebrick and the edge of the fireplace (black area that would be behind the doors if you have them) or in the front upper area of the inside of the firebox (just above the firebrick up toward the flue).
  16. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The prefab chimney's allow for a re-line. He can put the Hearthstone in and connect it to a liner. No?
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    The only time you would have to replace the entire chimney would be with the install of a new ZC fireplace. If you install a insert, or a freestand in front, as long as you maintain you clearacnes you can reline and hook up to the stove. Some places, might allow a direct connect, where i live they wont, but i have heard of people slapping a 6-8 increaser on there and hooking up that way too. I dont know if thats leagle. I do now that it is illeagle to hook up a new fireplace on generic pipe unless the manual states that you can, the ones i sell dont work with generic pipe, but some might.
  18. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    The only reason why I didn't do a reline of my ZC chimney system is I wanted the doublewall for clearances. My chase system was quite tight. Plus I think it drafts better. I had the money for it, plus I didn't have to do 100% stainless which kept costs down. The only stainless doublewall is on the top 2'.

    If his existing chimney is like mine, it's gonna be tough. We would really need to see it to make an informed decision. As you can see, this was the 8" flue with the 13" jacket. The only hard part of the reline would have been dealing with the spacers in the pipe....

    Attached Files:

  19. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    The liner would have went inside the inner pipe, taking the spacers out of the equation... unless i didnt understand your statement, after 12 hours of work, thats entierly possible.
  20. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    I know what you're saying. Run a 6" liner inside the 8" pipe. If they did that it would work. How would the connection be done to the fireplace/stove?
  21. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    And thats the problem with prefab pipe, there arent any finishing pieces, the only way i could see doing it would be to make a metal cap for the 13" pipe, cut a 6" hole in it, shove a union in it, then a slip connector. Im not recommeding anyone do this, its the only way i see it happing though... it would be hard not to make it look homemade
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, MSG, maybe I'm behind the times, but can you show me any documentation from any ZC manufacturer...or anywhere else that says it is OK to install a hearth stove into the pre-fab fireplace? My understanding is that only stoves/inserts listing for such application can be used - lining or not.
  23. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Our inspectors pass it. Doesnt make it right. As long as i have been in the hearth business, open ZC fireplaces have been illeagle here. So i have zero experence with them. Some people have bought hearthstone homstead stoves, sat them on the hearth. and lined the prefab chimney and made the connection in the firebox, and they got passed. Im not supporting this installation, but i dont have any documentation that states otherwise. I know the quad 2700I is approved as a insert in a ZC box, and when used with a liner would be installed by manufacture specs, so i look at that install much the same as a stove...
  24. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Surely true.

    I never did this, although I have seen it done...usually dangerously.

    I would love to be proven wrong, but I think this is 100% not allowed. Inspectors pass all kinds of dangerous stuff every day.

    Elk, your opinion?

    Mine is this:

    1. The manufacturers of said pre-fabs make it clear that they are only to be used as per the manual and listing.
    2. The makers of stoves give the applications for the stove - and I've never seen this one in a manual (perhaps I am wrong) except where the insert fits IN the prefab and is listed for such.
    3. Chimney lining manufacturers nor UL do not address this installation.
    (note_ doing without liner is even more dangerous since chimney is NOT tested with closed stove, only open fireplace with lots of excess air)

    AND my two cents

    4. Since prefabs are typically very low in height, getting a stove pipe to go back into them is difficult - and having this pipe be the required distance from wood framing in the walls above the fireplace almost impossible
    5. Same with the hearth and other clearances. By the time you build the hearth up enough the pipe will usually be too high, and also the stove must be a foot or more in front of the fireplace...(depends on heat shield, etc.)

    All in all, asking for trouble, IMHO.
  25. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Im one who is typically on cautious side, i think people here get that. The altitude plays havoic with draft, and our inspectors over regulate. Its not a installation i push, but i dont know if its illeagle. If a insert can fit in the box, then why cant a stove be outside the box? I would think the stove outside the box would be a safer install then a insert. Doesnt seem logical to me. If you back up a stove, to the point that the flue collar is inside the firebox, i dont see any pipe combustable issues there, but i do see issues with the stove being to close to combustable framing of the ZC fireplace. So lets say you pull the stove out and treat the ZC like a combustable, and run double wall back to a T and up? It would seem that would be ok. I will agree with you craig, on your .02. And i would like to add, that not one hearthstone appliance manual states that in can be installed in a ZC firebox. I think i will call them.
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