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Questions about Gold Marc placed in a Heatilator Fireplace

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by CrymDawg, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. CrymDawg

    CrymDawg New Member

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    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I just bought one of the Gold Marc Inserts that are pictured on this forum. I slid it into my late 1980's Heatilator type fireplace without any problem. My primary question(s) relate to the fire box. I have the bricks that came with the unit and they are put in the bottom of the unit. There is a second and less wide set of steel ledges above the angle iron where the top of the bricks are positioned. My unit came with some type of a sliding shelf that is inside the fire box. What is it for and where does it belong? The guy that I bought it from had it on top of the angle iron and said the guy that HE BOUGHT it from said that it was to help with smoke to not come into the home. This shelf was lying on top of the angle iron at the top of the bricks. With it there the burnable area is GREATLY reduced to at least half. That's why I'm wondering if it can go higher in the firebox and does it have to be used at all ??

    One of the pictures here showed a thermometer on the surround, Is that really an accurate way to measure the temperature.

    I have a terra cotta lined flue that is at least the 8 x 13 size.

    Where can I get the fireplace screen that goes infront when the door is open?

    My damper handle DOESNOT have the decorative brass ball like the photo, is that a special owner add on?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I moved your question into its own thread for more attention.

    Here is the picture that Crym mentions

    [​IMG]
  3. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    If that second set of angle iron supports is about level with the top of the door, then what has probably happened is the welds that should be supporting the top baffle have broken and the baffle is now loose. The only "moveable shelf" should be the damper at the top rear outside of the unit that is moved by pulling the handle at the top of the stove. Without that top baffle in place, most of the heat will go straight up the chimney, and wont really heat the firebox at all.

    FWIW, I sent mine to the scrapyard a month ago because just one of those welds had cracked. That, and the fact that the unit was 32 years old, environmentally unfriendly, and potentially deadly.

    TE
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Folks here are not going to have a lot of good things to say about installing that old stove. And that is because they are concerned with your safety. In the first place that old Heatilator fireplace was never designed to handle the heat that old bad boy is going to throw into it. And right off the bat that raises concerns about flammable house framing members hidden behind and to the sides of the fireplace firebox.

    Not things you want to hear but lessons that have been learned. Nobody is here for the purpose of criticizing but to help keep you safe.

    Get us a picture of your actual stove and the fireplace as a starting point.
  5. CrymDawg

    CrymDawg New Member

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    Thanks for the response guys !! My Heatilator type unit extends out from the wall a good three feet and is surrounded by brick. The chimney set up is part of a three pipe system. One for the fireplace , another for the oil furnace and the last for a unit in the basement.

    How do I post pictures here ??

    That "shelf" like thing surely could be a baffle and once I figure how to post pictures I'll take a picture of it, the fireplace and the inside of the unit.
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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  7. CrymDawg

    CrymDawg New Member

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    OK gang. Here are my pictures.

    #1 is of the shelt like item that was inside the unit. Upon further inspection the right & left edges do not look like they were cleanly made. It might have been cut with a torch from the small ledges that are in photos 2 & 3
    There is a lip about one inch tall that is facing upwards at the bottom of the photo.

    #2 & #3 are the metal ledge on the right and left side, there is also one on the back firebox wall as well.


    #4 is of the door. I'm questioning if the woven insulated rope gasket is suppossed to be compressed flat? If not and I'm going to keep the unit, how do I glue the replacement in place.

    #5 is the installation showing the exterior of unit and how the fureplace sits out from the wall at least 3 feet. You cannot see but there are passive vents on the bottom and top where the mortor is missing allowing for
    air exchange. The bottom area is about 1 foot above the floor and the top is about 4 foot high from the floor.

    Attached Files:

  8. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    That "shelf" is indeed the top baffle, which was welded in place at the top of the firebox. It should be all the way back to draw heat forward in the firebox, turning in front of the doors to pass back along the top of the stove. The lip points upwards. It's unlikely that anyone deliberately cut out that baffle, so I bet the unit was over-fired at some stage cracking all the welds, and may well have damaged other welds that you can't see.

    Several states prohibit the sale or re-installation of these stoves, and while Pennsylvania doesn't, you need to consider the risks to your house and family. I kept mine for several years after buying my house because it was clear that the unit had operated safely in that location for twenty years. I did however install a Carbon Monoxide detector in the same room, burned only seasoned wood, had the chimney swept regularly and then sent it to the scrapyard as soon as any damage was evident.

    Those heatilator vents will have no benefit when the insert is in place, the jacket of the insert keeps the heat away from the sides of the firebox. The top of the firebox, and the flue however are a different story, this insert will subject those to much more heat than they were ever designed for. This may or may not be a problem, but you won't know until its too late.

    There's a guy on this forum looking to replace his blower, perhaps you could sell the blower to him, send the stove to the scrapyard and break even on whatever you paid.

    TE
  9. CrymDawg

    CrymDawg New Member

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    Thanks TE for the info. When you say the lip goes up is it in the front or the back of the fire box?

    I couldn't find any other weld problems when I inspected the unit before I installed it.

    The only problem with the scrap yard issue is that I paid $255 for this unit and even if I sell the blower for $50 will I get anything close to the rest for scrap.

    Just wondering where in SE Pa are you located?
  10. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    The lip is to the front, not sure what the lip does, but without the baffle, most of the heat would go straight out the back without heating the stove. If you are going to use the insert, that shelf should probably be welded in place so that it can't move, you wouldn't want it to fall down during use. If I remember correctly, mine was welded to the bottom of the brackets, but it should be obvious if you look inside where everything matches up.

    Using the stove or not is up to you, I loved mine but got rid of it with even less damage than yours. These types of slammer inserts are more likely to cause chimney fires, house fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. They are less efficient than a modern unit, and will burn perhaps twice the amount of wood. I wish I'd got rid of mine sooner.

    TE
  11. CrymDawg

    CrymDawg New Member

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    I would think that the curveature at where the lip is located is to act as a natural way for the heat and or flame to roll past it and the up to the part that has the fan motor hooked up to it.

    Thanks for your concern TE but I'll use the unit sparringly till I can afford a modern unit. But from what you're saying even a modern unit still might be unsafe in my Heatilator housing.

    I already do have a CO detector, infact there are two in the house since there is an oil burner that acts as a back up for the heat pump.

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