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Quadra-Fire QVI30S, Travis Industries (Avalon) DVS, and Valor Legend G3 Inserts

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Radiant123, Oct 4, 2009.

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  1. Radiant123

    Radiant123 New Member

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    Loc:
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm considering installing a gas insert into a ZC metal fireplace in my 936 s.f. ranch style home that is well insulated. After doing a bunch of research and visiting local dealerships, the 3 gas inserts in the Topic Title are of interest. I'd enjoy reading about people's experiences with these inserts.

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Check the install manuals before you decide.
    Some inserts are approved for ZC firebox installs. Others aren't.
    The Quad may be, as it's mfr'd by HHT. Their HnG gas inserts are
    approved for ZC installs,, but you hafta gut the ZC box first.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo New Member

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    Central NY
    Those are all quality gas inserts. If it was me, I'd buy the one the wife liked the most, providing I was comfortable with the dealer. I would have any of those three in my home knowing it was a great peice of equipment. Of course, making sure they are listed in a ZC firebox is important.
  4. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    i agree, these are all quality products, i've always liked dealing with Travis, so they get my vote.

    also agree, pick the unit you like the looks of, see them all burning, travis ember fire burner is awesome!!
  5. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    when you say "gut"
    do you mean removing items that will make the firebox bigger inside?
    no structural or insulating compenents can be removed, only items like dampers, rails smoke deflectors etc should be removed, never remove firebricks from the sides, back or floor!
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
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    Up until two weeks ago, I'd have agreed with you, Dave, but if you
    check the Heat n Glo installation manuals for the FB-Grand, Grand-XTS, FB-IN & the Supreme-XTS,
    they give specific instructions on the proper "gutting" of the ZC wood burners & performing approved
    installations of their inserts.
    We don't do these installs often, but we do them occasionally & the local BIs do not have any heartburn with em...
  7. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    good call, i must admit to not reading the most current hearthn home info, i only sell replacement parts for thier units.....

    i've always felt certain models would easily pass testing in std heatilator supperior type zc fireplaces with the interior lining being removed, but until now( i guess) no one had ever tested for it and gotten it approved....
  8. Radiant123

    Radiant123 New Member

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    Loc:
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks everyone for the posts.

    An installer has confirmed that the Quadra-fire will fit. The Avalon DVS looks like it will too. Less sure about whether the Valor will fit.

    Choosing between the QF and the Avalon is proving difficult. Both look nice in the dealer showrooms. The new Green Smart edition of the Avalon has some significant new features including wide flame turndown and remote control of the pilot.

    Efficiency ratings remain an important consideration in my purchase decision:


    Canadian P4 Test AFUE
    Fireplace Efficiency (FE)% %

    Quadra-Fire QVI30S 72.7 71.2
    Avalon DVS 63.7 72.1
    Valor Legend G3 66.4 65.7


    Note that the Avalon ratings are based on tests performed prior to the Green Smart edition. The new Green Smart has not been tested yet according to the manufacturer.

    So its not clear whether the Green Smart is really any more efficient than its forebear. That's troubling because it would be nice to install the most efficient insert possible (excepting the Empire Mantis for now). Also a minor concern is that even the older Avalon DVS is not in the Natural Resources Canada efficiency ratings despite having been around for a while. The manufacturer provided my local hearth retailer the FE% number at my request for which this poster is grateful and hopeful that it is accurate.

    One thing about the Quadra-fire that is a concern is that its BTU input range is narrow at 22k-32k btus. So one would think that it will cycle a lot in my 936 sf well insulated ranch style home. It also makes a bit of a "whoop" sound when it cycles on. Not loud in the dealer showroom but it might seem louder here at home. Both the Green Smart Avalon and the Valor are claimed to turn down to the 6500-7000 btu area. I'll need to return to their showrooms to check whether they are more quiet than the QF on ignition.

    I've been heating with Delonghi portable baseboards on an interim basis because the house HVAC ducts are in bad shape and even if they were perfect the furnace is noisy, cycles a lot, and just blows a lot of hot air around. The Delonghis are nice compared to built-in baseboards because they can be placed some distance away from exterior walls for less heat loss. Also they have 600 watt and 900 watt low and medium power settings so convective heat slowly rises all the way from the floor. That's got to be a lot more efficient than scorching hot 220v baseboards bolted to exterior walls directly beneath windows!

    Anyway prior winters have shown that the house needs about 1800-2400 watts of Delonghi power in the main living area of about 700 square feet to hold 72F inside when outside its 32F. And few are the days here in Portland where it stays below freezing for a 24 hr period. If my calculations are correct, most of the time much less than 12,000 input btus will be needed from the prospective Gas Insert assuming 70% efficiency.

    So one would think the QF will cycle quite a bit. On the other hand 60-something percent FE ratings are troubling. Of interest was my trial run of the Valor. The display was set up so one could peek around the side and see the back of the unit. One could also touch the twin 3" coaxial vent tubes. The exhaust tube was scorching hot to the touch. That experience combined with the published efficiency ratings of the Valor only reinforced an interest in maximum efficiency. So perhaps I'll go with the QF rather than take chances with the Green Smart.

    Thoughts?
  9. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    You've done some great research! I like it.

    Couple things to think about from an insider. In the industry there is a lot of controversy about Canadian P4 since the set up is designed to show the absolute minimum efficiency of the unit. Sounds great, but only if you are going to run the unit on high for a few hours (4 to 8 hours depending on the unit) at a time until flue temps reach equilibrium and with the blowers off.

    I was never a big fan of the gia-normous turn down ratios until I got one in my house. Burning a unit on a really low input with blowers on a low to medium setting is great and more steady-state. The other thing I can say as an insider is pay no attention to the efficiency ratings listed in a brochure or manual - Its totally unregulated, meaning that unlike cars, dishwashers, furnaces, AC units, etc no agency confirms or checks what a mfg is claiming. Best bet is to check the Canadian P4 website and digest the construction.

    One thing I can say about a IPI system in my home (Similar to Travis's Green Smart) is that a pilot burns about 2,000 BTU's a hour and not having that pilot burn 24-7 when the burner isn't on save a good $15 a month with cheap NG in the winter and $20 plus in the summer.
  10. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    New here, but I am an industry insider. Gutting those ZC boxes scares me. Not necessarily from a safety standpoint with the insert installed. More from the standpoint of someone buying the house and pulling the insert and building a nice cozy wood fire. Currently the only lab in the USA that allows it is OMNI. Warnock-hershey does not allow it in their labs.
  11. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    I talked to Paul Tiegs(sp?) the owner of Omni about that a few years back since we've gotten a lot of Q's from our dealer network and he said a "sticker" had to be added to the firebox of the fireplace saying something to the effect (don't remember exactly what) that the fireplace has been modified and cannot be cannot be put back in service. I wondered how a sticker could stick to the firebox of a used wood fireplace, but perhaps it can be screwed into place. Who knows, but I think that's why its so important to get a qualified installer for any of your projects.
  12. Inside Guy

    Inside Guy New Member

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    Nov 14, 2008
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    I have a QVI30-S installed in my home and love it, I have no complaints. The flame appearance and heat output exceeded my expections.

    Here's what the QVI30-S manual states in regards to removing parts from an exsisting ZC fireplace:

    1. The fi rebrick (refractory), glass doors, screen rails, screen
    mesh and log grates can be removed from a factory
    built fi rebox in order to gain minimum gas insert opening
    requirements.

    2. Any smoke shelves, shields and baffl es may be removed
    from the factory built fi rebox if attached with mechanical
    fasteners.

    3. The metal fl oor of the solid fuel fi rebox may be removed to
    facilitate the installation of the insert. The appliance may
    not be placed directly on the base of the outer wrap, a 1/4
    inch airspace must be provided between the insert and
    the fl oor of the outer wrap. Use the levelling legs to raise
    the insert a minimum of 1/4 inch. The original fi replace
    may never be returned to solid fuel in this condition.
    The sidewalls and top structure of the fi rebox may not
    be altered with the exception of removable baffl es and
    dampers.

    4. Cutting of any sheet metal parts of the fi replace in which
    the gas fi replace insert is to be installed is prohibited,
    except the fl oor as tested for and as noted above.
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