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Posted By ekwiatek,
Dec 26, 2005 at 7:54 PM
Hey Mo No post left behind. Here is a stab at your situation. From your description that metal shield is in fact a heat shield.
Need for proper protection and opperation for your pre fab fireplace to function safely. I do not have your insert instruction
manual to made a qualified decesion whether it is still needed. I would assume it was there to protect combustiable framing
members above it. That pre fab was designed for an open fire, where most of the heat exited up the chimney. Now considerable heat will be stored and kept in your insert. I would be real concerned with the potential of having 800 degrees constant or even 650 present. depending upon your insert manufactures specs, whether the heat shield can be removed, or for that matter be installed safely in your current pre fab. Is it zc unit, than chances are you will be ok removing that heat shield. My advice to you is to download the installation manual, read it and apply it to your situation. Then if un sure post up following questions
Does your fireplace look like the one attached below? That's a picture of mine. It is a Zero Clearance pre-fab. You can see the heat/smoke shield on the upper front and back.
The big problem with the prefabs is the size of the existing firebox. Alot of them are really small and you'll have a hard time finding one that fits.
Can you draw an arrow to exactly what you want ot cut out? If it's just a smoke guard then your fine if you want to cut into the shell of the firebox you cannot safely do it. It appears to be a radiant model maybe even an old Thulman. Give me all info off the tag. Maybe I can get majestic to be a little more helpful as I am a dealer.
Can you remove the quarter inch screws and take a picture of whats behind the metal plate?
If the smoke guard has already been removed and you're not removing any more than your fine. I thought you were trying to remove more of the fireplace.
It looks like you are missing the ceramic heat shields for the sides...? Are you installing an insert into this?
What are the "Ceramic Heat sheilds" ??? Are they required?
I don't recall anything made of a ceramic material being on the sides.....
The top piece is just a "smoke guard" and not required for heat shielding?
.... and yes I would like to install an insert....
I have a Majestic prefab and there is a 1/2" sheet of this ceramic type material along the sides and back wall. It is to minimize the heat transfer to those surfaces. Maybe your model does not use it. Mine is a 1987 era model, I see yours is older. Yours looks gutted though which is why I asked.
Do you use yours with a wood insert?
If so, Do you have a piece of metal that hangs down from the top of the opening, like a heat/smoke shield?
Yes to both.
My understanding is that you are not allowed to modify the fireplace in ANY way other than removal of the doors. The ceramic material that looks like fake bricks in the first picture needs to be re-installed. That said, my insert doesn't get very hot on the sides or bottom. It does get hot on top, and some heat does come out of the vents on my majestic. Not much, but a little. My majestic is a very large one. It's a 42" unit, so my clearances to my stove a quite large. That's why I think you need those heat shields reinstalled.
You cant cut into convection chambers etc. but you may remove a smoke guard. His heat shields are in there. Alot of ZC's use metal on the sides and refractory on the floor and back.
I looked at all your pictures What I see does not look safe enough to install an insert ( my opinion) I see too many areas where black residue indicates your unit is leaking exhaust. If it cannot be contained by the fire box then where it it going? Not only Co and co/2's but the heat. It looks to me there exist passages that high heat could be getting to your combustible framing members. Here is an explanation of real concern.
A long-held theory is that when wood is exposed to high temperatures for an extended period, a char forms on the surface of the wood, which reduces the temperature at which the wood will ignite. The charring is often referred to as pyrophoric carbon, which in plain English means self-heating.
The normal ignition temperature of virgin wood is around 480 degrees, but it was theorized that when wood was exposed to hot steam pipes in some early 20th-century homes, the ignition temperature was reduced to 170 degrees or about 90 degrees above normal room temperature.
You could very well have this situation without knowing it. In the neighboring town a masonry chimney had a void between the angle iron and the next row of bricks. Mind you it was 8 years old before ignition.
I showed your post to the fireplace pro that I hired..... he said you are full of beans (well, I edited his response)....