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Thinking About Buying an Insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mudbug250, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Mississippi
    I have a large masonry open fireplace. As it has been getting closer to burning season, I have been thinking I have worked way to hard on my stacks to let the majority of the heat to go up the chimney. I mentioned this to my wife the other day and said we should get an insert and she said, "No my uncle used to have one and he had to get rid of it because of allergies". Our kids have allergies. He switched from wood burning to gas logs. Anyway, I will win this argument, because an insert is better sealed off than an open fireplace.

    Choices around these parts are slim. There are two places that are close. Between them they carry Jotul, High Valley, Buck, Pacific Energy, HearthStone inserts. I have pretty much ruled out the High Valley as it is a CAT. I could run it I am sure, but my mother in law is at our house during the day, keeping our twins, and the CAT would be to complicated for her. One of the places said she does not sale CAT stoves because no one in Mississippi has truely seasoned wood. I assured her that I do.

    Here are some prices that I have been quoted so far. These do not include installation and pipe.

    Jotul C350: $2645 + tax
    Jotul C450: $2888 + tax
    Jotul C550: $3131 + tax
    PE Super: $2600 +tax
    PE Vista: $2150 + tax
    PE Summit: $3145 + tax
    Buck 81: $2200 +tax + shipping

    One place recommended going ahead and putting flex pipe all the way up the chimey and the other recommeded to go to the first tile.

    Our house is 2800 sf single level. I would only hope to heat 2200 sf, as the new addition is a long way away from the fireplace.

    I know Jotul has a good reputation. What about PE and Buck? I don't see these as often on here.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I'd go with the first recommendation.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    +1 line the chimney. With a single story house in a mild climate, the biggest issue may be getting sufficient draft, especially if the chimney height is under 15ft.. How tall is the chimney?

    Jotul, PE and Buck are all good brands.
  4. rwm001

    rwm001 Member

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    Loc:
    Ohio
    There are many good inserts available. One thing to bear in mind is, that certain brands have an obtrusive fan.
    If it is in a room you where spend a good amount of time, a louder fan can be annoying.

    Good luck with your search.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good point. PE and Jotul's fans are pretty quiet unless the fan is run on high speed.
  6. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
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    I don't know the exact height of the chimney, but it is above 25 foot. I have 15 foot vaulted ceilings in the living room, and the chimney is at least 10 foot above that.
  7. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    I will have to get the dimensions of the firebox tonight to see what size insert it can handle, and get clearance distances to the mantle posts and mantle from the firebox. I think it can probably handle all the inserts without a problem. I know it is 36" wide and 26" tall in front. I think it tapers to about 24 inches wide in the back. Just have to get the depth. Hearth is 16" from the floor
  8. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    With the allergies thing, my son has allergies and hangs out in the stove alllllllll the time because this is where his Playstation is. He is not affected at all! Matter of fact other than the mess I make you could not tell we burn because there is no smell......

    As for which one you pick...I would pick the largest you can fit into the space. My box is 2.6cft and does pretty well but if I could have gotten bigger I would have.

    Line the chimney from insert to cap! My friend did not and it sucks to move the insert out to clean, it's a mess!
  9. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Dont rule out a CAT. I have the High valley 2500. I load the stove 2x a day. When i get up in the mourining about 6-7am and then when i go to sleep. It will burn that long to heat my 2500sqft home. On the cold days we have i may have to put wood in it when i get home, just a few sticks to get til 10pm for the night load. But it basically will burn 8 hours easy. There will be no need for the mother in law to touch it at all!
  10. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

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    Like others have said, get the full liner. Do it once, do it right. You will LOVE the heat the insert puts out. You will LOVE how much longer your wood lasts. You will wonder how you lived with an open fireplace for so long!
  11. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Central Mississippi
    Here are my fire box measurements. 36"w X 24.5"h X
    24" depth. I don't have a problem with those clearances. It is the clearance to the mantle posts which are 4.5" from the side of the box. The mantle starts about 11" above the top of the firebox with decorative trim that leads up to the mantle. Mantle top is 57" from the top of the hearth. Looking at all the books it is hard to determine exactly what he clearance should be. I have whittled it down to the pacific energy super, high valley 2500 and the jotul c550. Will either of those fit? I really don't want to modify the mantle piece because it is a customs handmade piece.
  12. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    Here is a photo of the fireplace/mantle.
    IMG_0164.jpg
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What is the width at the back of the fireplace?
  14. Hanko

    Hanko Minister of Fire

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    get rid of wife and especially mother in law, you'll be fine
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    My high Valley Trim kit is 46" wide and 32" tall. Thats just the surround, the stove is smaller than that. The dimenntions are on thier website, im pretty sure?
  16. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
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    30"
  17. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

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    I have found those numbers, just confused about the minimum clearances away from combustables. Mainly the side post and the decorative trim below the mantle. The clearance from firebox to side post is 4.5". Clearance from top of fire post to decorative trim is 11". I really don't think it will be a problem, but don't want to buy then the installer get there and say we have to modifiy the mantle. I guess I will wait till he comes Monday to sweep and get him to make a recommendation.
  18. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea your going to have to cut that mantle off the wall. Its to close. I have a mantle about mine is all, id say its 30-35"s maybe above the stove, just guessing? Even if you ignore the clearances (not recomend doing) you will have to have a custom trim made as there wider than the area you have. At least thats my opinion. I think the stove will fit from the visual looks of it, but when the trim is installed you wont be able to sit it flush in there cause it will hit that wood in my opinion?

    The think gets HOT! And will put out heat. If you put your face or something within a foot of the glass on the door with a fire it will almost be so hot you cant stand it. My couch sits say 7 feet from it and the table infront of that at say 3ft or so, and the table feels warm to the touch when you touch it as does the couch, the couch will feel sometimes like you had an electric blanket draped over it that you removed, it pushes so much heat out of the blower.

    With kids you will want to put a screen around it if there small cause they may want to pull up on it or something and if they touch that front they will get burns that will blister them selves. But im sure you figured that as its got a fire in it!!

    As for how clean they are, there way cleaner than the fireplace. I would constantly get smoke smell in the house if wood shifted foward or something. The stove, never, unless you dont open the bypass and then open the door with the draft down. The dirtiest part is ash removal as you have to pull the ashes out to put in a bucket and no matter how carefull you are they still kind of fly around.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you go for a fairly flush insert and you should be fine. Their side clearances are usually lower and the mantel appears to be far enough away. If not, a mantel shield on the surround or stove should take care of it. The real question is going to be, who sells stoves in your area and what make? Do you have any Lopi or Avalon dealers?
    ________

    I think you'll be ok with a medium sized insert. I just looked at the Pacific Energy Super insert installation requirements and you may be ok. Take a look and see how this works. http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/cpacsupins.htm If the mantel is the only issue it can be shielded at the surround.


    The Buck 74 has similar requirements. Buck 74.PNG

    And the Jotul C450 looks possilble. Your dealer should be able to work this out for you.

    Jotul C450.PNG
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I have allergies, asthma, and three stoves.
  21. Jeanfirebug

    Jeanfirebug New Member

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    Some ideas for you to ponder: 1. Look at the websites for other stoves/inserts. You may do better price having one shipped. Many items are shipped free (really rolled into price and still less money) 2. It has been my experience that an "open" fireplace, not only sucks heat up chimney when burning - it is sucking heat out all the time, even with draft closed. 3. Ask questions about CAT convertor models, and If it can be installed into existing set up. Ours was installed during the house build when space was completely open. 4. Uncle had allergies problem -- units have improved so much, you'd hardly know it's burning wood, except you've got to feed it. The wood itself may have dirt, dust, spores just like all outdoor stuff. 5. Depending on your areas building codes, you may have to go all the way up with continuous pipe. Ours required stainless. Don't cheap out on that part - chimney fires are real dangerous culprets.
    Hope my 2 cents helps.
  22. mudbug250

    mudbug250 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central Mississippi
    In a 50 mile radius I have the stoves listed, plus I found a place the sales Quadra-Fire. I would probably go with flush mount insert. I was leaning towards the Jotul C350 or Jotul C450. Both flush mount and non-cat. From side post to side post it is 45". That is 22.5" from center line. That is within the clearance requirements for the Jotul 350,450 and 550. From hearth level up to the first wood trim is 35.5". That measurement in the Jotul book says 39" for th 350 and N/A for the 450 and 550. So from those specifications, I think only the 450 for fit. 550 is too wide to fit within side posts.

    I will definitely check around and get the best price available once I figure out which one will fit.

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