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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. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah - mine sure is, but the summary is the same as the original post.

    Given a factory-built (also called zero-clearance or pre-fab) open fireplace, only listed and approved inserts can be installed..and in the vast majority of cases, a full liner is required.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    So that's three votes that the need for reverse approval is redundant. From the inspectors pov what do you say Elk is reverse approval needed from the fireplace manufacturer? This should be split into a two part question.
    A fireplace with a tag like Craig posted specifically stating that an insert should not be installed into it.
    A fireplace that doesn't say one way or another.
    In both instances assume some one is installing a ZC approved insert w/ the Homesaver liner.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Make it stop!
    :-S

    ----------------------
    In my opinion, the reverse approval is the call of the inspector and most would accept the stove owners manual instructions. The lack of a tag means that the unit would be assumed to be (at best) a standard pre-fab fireplace, and - I can assure you that before the tag fell off it said the same as those with the tag!

    However, if your inspector is approving completely unlisted situation as MSG said, it may be a moot point. In the end, I think your company (and it's insurance) would be liable for any big problems.

    In either case, a reline and approved insert should pass......as mentioned, you always have fit and/or clearance problems, even with the approved inserts. We have cursed at many a pre-fab as we installed the old Avalon 700's into them!
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    This is a typical occurance an insert installed in a 1988 ZC wood fireplace. The scary part is not knowing what is going on behind the walls. Not being able to see what combustiables that might present a compromise condition or clearance issues. I am going to post pictures of a 1988 ZC fireplace Heatolator type that was pulled out today. I did not have my digital camera with me. The owner is a mason that bought the house and was unsure of the existing Zc fireplace so he ripped it out and is replacing the setup in masonry.
    The unit looked of decent gage metal but for the 3 rustouts holes. Remember many of ZC are open to the outside chimney flue cold air desends contacts warmer metal heated from the living space and condensates to water. Naturally if fired all the time the moisture would be burnt off. Ever feel that cold draft walking by one of these units?.

    Lots of times I'm in a no win situation. The permit is pulled after the install. The correct way is to have all listings in chimney inspections done before the permit is issued and the stove installed. In the real world it does not work out this way. I have very limited office time and permits are issued by my superiors. I am paid per inspection. The office time is on me. I don't get paid for it. I do not get paid to review permits or applications. If the applicant happens in when I'm there, then a fruitfull discussion can occure. Fortunately 90% of inserts are installed in masonry chimney I did throat inspections. Only 3 inserts had to be removed in 10 years as an inspector in ZC fireplaces. The reason it was missed, is when the permit was issued, it was not disclosed that they were going in ZC. What saves me is the right to make field corrections. Even for permitted applications. Refusal usually creates a very unpleasent situation both the homeowner the retailer and installer get a bit pissed at me. It is then I hear never had a problem before and that I must be wrong. Proof of compliance is up to the retailer homeowner or installer who ever name is on the permit. I have the right to require documentation. Why I'm trying to figure out if it is safe enough. Aufull hard to pass something, which I can not see
  5. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    It can get scary behind the walls. Last year I got contracted to clean about 200 ZC's in apartment buildings around town. I did the full inspect on them and had to condemn about 90% of them. No firestops, chimney right against combustible framing, no clearance where the chimney passed through the roof, standoffs smashed down and headers right on top of the units. Combustibles trim covering the facing of the fireplace. Masonry fireplace doors installed blocking convection chambers. It goes on & on.
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