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Single Mom needs helo...just a dumb girl

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kerimack, Mar 14, 2006.

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  1. kerimack

    kerimack New Member

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    I purchased my home two years ago. It was built in 1978. Through much research I have determined that I have a zero clearance wood burning fireplace insert. It is not pretty. It has Two large attached blowers that run up and down the side of the opening. Each blower is the same height as the insert about about 6 inches wide. So of course my unit in all is very long. Here is my problem. IT DOESN'T HAVE ANY DOORS. The previous owner broke the glass out of the doors and tossed the frames. We have one local fireplace "store" in town and they said that without knowing the manufacturer there is nothing they can do. They did of course offer to replace the whole unit (wasn't that nice of them?). The tag inside that shows the manufacture is totaly burned so you can't mek out any of the writing.

    Can anyone tell me if I have any options? Because the unit is all one with the blowers I can't just buy one of those new "covers" that would go along the outside.

    Any help would me much appreciated.

    Keri

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  2. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    talk to a local welder, make a drawing, including all dimensions and have some nice stainless (304 or 316) door frames made up, should cost less than $150, then get some ceramic glass for the inside, that will be expensive depeding on the size of the doors.

    If your not so good with things like that you have basically two other options; find the mfg. of the thing somehow and hope they still make the doors or replace the whole unit.

    Perhaps the pre fab fireplace can be burned with the doors open??
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    What's the goal of the fireplace. Just working or heat output? Is the chain spark screen intact? If so, forget the doors. The only point of doors is to keep some cold out when it's not in use. Fireplaces should not be burned with the glass closed anyway, unless you do get ceramic as suggested, but most isn't ceramic, it's tempered. Give me a little more info.
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Portland Willamate http://www.portwill.com/ makes custom fireplace doors. Do a dealer search and give them a call. Expect to spend $500 plus on a set of doors. This looks like the closest place. Be prepared to have the inside measurments when you call, and specifiy that you want the z fyre series.
    Midgley's
    1678 W 7th Ave (Map it!)
    Eugene, OR 97402
    PH: (541) 343-1131


    If it were me, i would save that $500 and put it towards a insert.

    -Ryan
  5. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    single mom,

    post a pic and maybe someone will recognize it.

    or, if you are lucky, it might be a Majestic and you can search the internet to try and find it properly identified. I know some websites sell replacement doors. I just tried to find a concise place for your to browse ont eh Vermont Castings website but don't see any links to their older Majestic line of products.
  6. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    single mom -

    Both my comments are off topic, but first, it is pretty clear from your post that you are no dumb girl, as such, your post title is undeserved. As per your avatar, c'mon, is it really the end of the world?
    You do have options. Lots of people have chucked their fireplace inserts for expensive woodburning stoves, and so there is a good chance you can find a heck of a deal on a used unit. Check craigslist
    or freecycle, you might even get lucky and find one for nothing.

    Do you use the fireplace occasionally? Or do you use it to heat? Or do you just want something which looks good?
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Post some pictures of it there are people here that have been in the fireplace industry for years. One of them is bound to recognize the fireplace and be able to atleast give you the manufacturer. Portland Wilamette or Thermo-Rite both make doors to retrofit onto ZC fireplaces. Don't just get any set of doors and install them you have to be careful what you put on a ZC as to not prevent it from cooling itself properly.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Those blowers make your unit sound like something that is not likely to be recognizable by anyone!

    In 1978 there were probably only a few manufacturers - Preway, long out of business, is a possibility....Majestic is also.

    A few things should be mentioned:

    1. Prefab fireplaces are built to last about 30 years - that is almost up. Investing money in this unit may not be a smart move.

    2. Safety - just installing any door, even "ZC" doors - can be dangerous. The "ZC" doors are made with specific units in mind, and might not be safe for a generic older unit like yours.

    3. Even installing an insert or liner might not be the best solution due to the limited size of most ZC's and also the age.

    In short, if it were mine I would probably find a screen and use it as an open fireplace. If I wanted some heat I'd dig around for a blower grate - something like: http://www.fireplaceradiator.com/ (without glass doors).

    My opinions only.....
  9. kerimack

    kerimack New Member

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    Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. I will post a picture when I get home. The Screen is not there. The stove is used to heat my home. I'm a lucky girl with radiant ceiling heat(who thought of that? doesn't heat rise?) ;-) So we use the fireplace for heating the home.

    As I said, I will post a picture tonight, but it sounds like I should replace the whole unit.

    P.S. the person that posted the information about Midgley's.....they are the ones that I have been trying to get to help me. I even offered to pay for a "house call" but they said that wouldn't do that.

    THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!
  10. kerimack

    kerimack New Member

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    Loc:
    Eugene, Oregon
    I tried to post the picture but the file is to big and I don't know how to reduce the size. If anyone is interested in seeing a picture of my disaster of an insert please e-mail me at keri_mack@yahoo.com

    Thanks again for taking the time to read my post ;-)
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Electric radiant is awful, I have a friend with that in a home that has 25' ceilings.

    Craig has a good point on the age. time takes it's toll on the firebox of those units. You might look into something like this:
    Napoleon fireplace
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I am having problems re sizing her e-mail attachment to post here Got about 5 minutes before I go to my seminars I forwarded them to B green hoping he would post them. It appears to be some sort of prefab heatalator fire place, with vents in the wall next to it on each side. Looks like one of those ultra modern 70" setups. The fire box looks too small for insert possibilities.

    Keri Please e-mail your picture to Warren or Mo heat so that they can re size it to be posted here
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe she's crying about the state of the world (remember that commercial with the native American looking out over the landscape and crying? Powerfull)....

    Proof that we each interpret things based on the state of our own minds.

    BTW, I'll take a stab at the pic resize if it's emailed to me - webmaster@hearth.com
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Here's the image:

    Attached Files:

  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Looks like a custom door would fit just fine, strange that the company thats listed on PW's site didnt mention that they had a option. Good luck with whatever you decide.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you can bet that unit is not sold today! I think the large side vents would kill the deal....

    Here are my comments:
    1. Is that wood baseboard molding right under the unit? I might be wary of that.

    2. I'm still thinking "Preway" as the possible brand.

    3. Since this is an "air cooled" fireplace, notice it has a vent on the bottom - but NONE on the top. So how does the top cool itself? In my limited experience, there might actually be vents INSIDE the firebox near the top that allow the convection air from the bottom back into the firebox and up the chimney.

    Another possibility- or even a probability - is that it uses triple wall pipe as opposed to double wall and the bottom vent might feed into the outside wall of that pipe.

    Again this is what worries me about glass doors, especially tight fitting ones.

    My suggestion, if possible, is to find a good chimney sweep who can inspect the pipe both at the top and bottom and verify the way this thing works. The same sweep then might be able to get doors or a screen made up

    Even with a glass door and blowers, this thing can't be more than 20-30% efficient (if that), so other than the romance factor I would not suggest using it to heat your house. If it turns out to be in perfect condition after inspection, then you surely could use it on occasion.

    If you really want to get serious about wood heat (multiple cords a year), then I'd suggest replacing it with a modern high efficiency built in unit.
  17. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    would it be cheaper to pull that unit out sheetrock the hole and setup a woodstove with a glass door and a screen if that chimney is still good?
  18. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    I like that last idea, Fbelec,

    OTOH, she could take this unit out and replace it with a Lopi Declaration, that is also a flush unit.

    The question is the condition of the chimney; if it is good, she can do the above. If it is bad, she might have to relign or insert a SS liner, and go with the wood stove option. Much more efficient too. And there are plenty of good ones used for sale.

    Carpniels
  19. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    She won't be putting a Declaration in that or any other ZC. And she'll probably have to replace or reline the current chimney to use it for a wood stove because the majority of ZC fireplace chimneys are only tested to 1700. It does look like a Preway to me as well. Do you have a picture of the chimney? Sometimes it's easier to tell from teh chimney
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The chimney is good for nothing except with that unit. If unit is pulled, a new chimney AND firebox must be installed.
  21. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I'd have it removed and replaced, and wouldn't consider investing any money into it... for reasons mentioned by those above.

    Oh, and the Avatar...I'd remove and replace that too. Sniff sniff cry cry and all, but its a bit on the "poor me, depressing" side.

    -- Mike
  22. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    OT but relevent. Sorry Single MoM if you got a few repetative PM form me, a wing nut at work was using my user name accidently, and answerd many of the questions on here through PM's. And that goes for other threads too. Ohh and i dont mind your avatar :D
  23. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    LOL, that's kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.
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