1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Should I install chimney liner myself?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Tom Wallace, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    Once the steel is cut away then there is not that much fire brick that needs to be cut for a 6 inch liner. from what I see.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It looks like you might be able to just raise the left end (away from the lever) of the damper, and thereby get enough clearance to get the lever end out of its hole in the frame so the damper can drop out. Both damper and frame appear to be cast iron, and they certainly weren't cast as a complete assembly. They have to come apart somehow.

    With appropriate blade changes an angle grinder can cut both the cast iron and the brick. A diamond blade will go through brick almost like butter, but I don't envy you the job; cutting brick makes an enormous amount of dust. You'll have to tent the area and wear goggles and an excellent dust mask or respirator, and you'll still end up with some dust escaping into the room.
  3. claybe

    claybe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    224
    Loc:
    Colorado
    When I removed mine I had to use a long blade on my reciprocating saw. It looks like you should be able to get at it pretty easy. Just cut the pin on one side and push it up and pull it out. Maybe I can't see what you see, but it looks like it will fit with minimal brick cutting. Like what was stated, the grinder will cut the brick easily.
  4. claybe

    claybe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    224
    Loc:
    Colorado
    Oh and that fireplace is dirty! Make sure you clean that before you run the liner down.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,004
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Are you sure this is a masonry fireplace? The fireback look more like a prefab ZC fireplace backing, but I could be wrong.

    Have you decided on the insert? Some have their flue collar more forward than others.
  6. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    Thanks all. I'm confident that an angle grinder will go through the bricks easily enough now. Should I be worried about what's behind those bricks, though? I will be installing a block off plate, likely made from 22 or 24 gauge steel. I assume that as long as the block off plate covers the whole I carve through the bricks, it should be safe, right?
  7. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    Yes, I'll be having it professionally cleaned and inspected before I do the install.
  8. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    I am not sure that it is masonry. What's a good way to tell? If it is ZC, does that present problems?

    I have not decided on the insert yet. I originally was leaning towards the Osburn 2400, but was told that it's probably too much heat for my home and climate. Now I'm thinking possibly the Osburn 2000. I'd like to be able to order it online, as most places offer free shipping, and I could likely avoid sales tax that way (if the vendor is out of state), which is a pretty big savings in Washington where the sales tax is around 9%. So I've been looking at DynamiteBuys and EFirePlaceStore. Are there other good online vendors I should be checking? I know about ChimneyLinerDepot already for the liner, they have great deals.
  9. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,004
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Wrong terminology on my part. I'm wondering if you have a metal firebox by heatilator.
  11. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    It feels like solid brick to me when I bang on it. I've got a fire going right now, so I can't poke around too much. I bought the house a little over a year ago. It was built in 1964. I'm pretty sure the fireplace has been there since the house was built.

    If it is a heatilator, does that mean I'll have trouble carving a hole through the top/back for the liner?
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,004
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    You could be totally right Tom. I am just going by the pictures. To find out you could drill a pilot hole in the area that you expect to cut. If it is metal, you will know pretty quickly.
  13. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,324
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Removing bricks would probably make covering with a block-off plate more difficult than it would be if you limited the demo to the damper area.


    A flex liner will make a 90° curve, but I doubt that you will need to do anything like this. I did it to reach the rear flue of my stove out on the hearth. An insert's flue is in the top of the unit; looks to me like your liner may have to make a shallow "S" to reach the flue of an insert, but that's about it. No reason to remove a bunch of bricks.

    +1
  15. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    My insert is installed in an old Heatilator, and I don't think you have one. Mine was welded out of plate steel, which yours can't be because you've got obvious mortar lines visible around the firebox interior. I think it's masonry.
  16. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Maybe you said upthread and I missed it, but what are the interior dimensions of the chimney? In the shot with the yellow cutaway area drawn in, it looks pretty tight side-to-side above the damper.

    Attached Files:

  17. Excavator

    Excavator Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    201
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    I had too chip out a few inches of fire brick for a 8 inch liner after cutting damper frame but it was easy to seal up tight with the white fire insulation and my home made block off plate. Look at the third pic and you see that I had same sloped firebrick problem and I installed 8 inch easily
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    jaychino415 likes this.
  18. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    I think that photo makes it look smaller than it is. I have not measured the interior dimensions. The exterior at top is 11.5" x 11.5" and the tiles are only maybe 0.5" thick at most. I'm guessing it's at least 9" wide throughout. I'll be using a 6" liner with 0.5" insulation. It may have some trouble navigating the part in the middle where it turns to one side, but I think with liner pulling cone I can get it through pretty easily.
  19. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    begreen, I know you recommended I stay away from the Osburn 2400 since it's too much stove for my house and climate combined. However, what are the downsides of getting a stove that's too big? Can I burn less wood at a time and/or choke down the air flow to run it cooler? I've never operated a wood stove or insert before, so I apologize if those are stupid questions. I like that the 2400 model sticks out of the fireplace several inches and has a cooktop. My belief is that because it sticks out further than the Osburn 2000, it would more effectively heat the room. Of course it is a bigger stove, so it's bound to heat more than the 2000 anyway, even if it didn't stick out further.
  20. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,292
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm almost as green at woodburning as you are, but I'll take a crack at this. It's certainly possible to have a small fire in a big stove, but I think doing so regularly is likely to have several downsides. As wood heats up, it spews a lot of combustible gasses and smoke, but if the surrounding environment is cool enough, these gasses and smoke particles never get ignited. Instead, they just go up the chimney unburned. While this is happening, it's like having a leaky gas tank in a car; you're wasting fuel, contributing to environmental problems, flirting with safety problems (smoke tends to condense on cool chimney walls as creosote) and increasing the need for maintenance (chimney cleaning). So you really don't want the stove to spend a lot of time below that smoke-ignition temperature threshold. If your stove is too big for your needs and you compensate by building smaller fires, then it will take longer to reach the operating temperature sweet spot and all those problems will be amplified. Then, once the stove does reach operating temperature, it may produce too much heat for comfort, so you may find yourself letting the stove cool off between burns, leading to wider indoor temperature swings and more frequent cold starts with all their attendant downsides.

    Osburn says the 2400 weighs 122 pounds more than the 2000. That's 122 extra pounds of steel and glass and brick that your little fire has to warm up before it starts working the way it's supposed to.

    Do you think you'd actually use the cooking surface a lot, given that it won't be nearly so convenient as a modern kitchen range, or might it become superfluous after the novelty wears off?
  21. Tom Wallace

    Tom Wallace Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Shoreline, WA
    Thanks for the info regarding small fires in big stoves. I doubt I'd use the cooktop much, but I like having it as an option in case of power outage. We sometimes get wind/ice storms in this part of the country, and due to the massive amount of large Douglas-Fir, cedar and spruce trees in the area, this can cause widespread power outages for days or weeks at a time. There was one about 3-4 years ago where much of Seattle and surrounding areas were without power for over a week, and the temperature was in the 30s.

Share This Page