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Woodstove Insert Installation

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DSaulnier, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Hey All,
    My name's Dan and I'm new to this site as of Today. I'm anticipating a lot of questions from my end as my wife and I just purchased our Quadra-Fire Grand Voyager Wood Burning Fireplace insert over the weekend. It is scheduled to arrive this week and I plan on installing it with a friend of mine over the weekend. I was wondering if anyone on here has any tips for lifting a 400+ lb insert up and into position? Anyone use any nifty tricks or should I just plan on 100% pure muscle (and maybe 1 or 2 more friends?)

    A little background info on me. My wife and I purchased an abandoned farmhouse last July and have been doing the remodel ourselves. My plan is to be moving into this house this Christmas Vacation (come hell or high water it's happening!) The house was bank owned and whoever was in charge of winterizing the property forgot one thing....to bleed the radiators! Needless to say 25 cast iron radiators blew out. On top of that the boiler supplying them was a complete loss and my heat pump backup idea of a hot water coil turned to an electric coil in a pinch. So imagine a 2800 sq. foot farmhouse being heated by a heatpump with elec. backup ($400+ to keep the house at 50 deg!!!) So we've decided to supplement this system with a woodstove insert. I have PLENTY of wood on the property I can cut myself once I move in, for now i'm purchasing seasoned firewood until I can cut enough wood that becomes seasoned itself.

    I'm very excited about the stove, I've always wanted a woodstove, there's something intoxicating about sitting in the living room with the wifey with a cup of cocoa next to a hot burning fire in an old farmhouse. I'm just not looking forward to lifting this thing from my friends truck down the driveway, down a few porch steps, up into the house and onto the hearth. If it's what I have to do then so be it, but any tips would be greatly appreciated. I hope to be a part of this forum more often and share how awesome my woodstove is!

    Thanks in advance guys!

    Dan

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  2. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Hello Dan, welcome to the forum!

    For getting the insert into the house see if you can rent a powered hand truck for a day; something like this: http://www.lkgoodwin.com/more_info/...ftkar_powered_stair_climbing_hand_truck.shtml Another pair of hands may also help.

    How did you decide on the Grand Voyageur? Given the size of your house and since it is probably not that well insulated a larger insert with a firebox of 3 cu ft or more would have been good. Something like the Quadra 5100i, Pacific Energy Summit, Lopi Freedom, Regency I3100 to name a few. I suspect your insert will need to be supplemented by another heat source.

    For the install: Do you have an interior or exterior chimney? For an exterior you should really install an insulated 6-inch liner, for an interior an insulated liner is recommended but you could get away with an uninsulated one. However, a liner is essentially a must. Also make a block off plate to keep the heat inside: http://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/make-a-damper-sealing-block-off-plate/ and http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/poor-mans-block-off-plate-ii.73018/
    If the back of the fireplace goes to the outside and there is enough room you can also put Roxul around the insert to keep the heat in: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...-i2400-wood-insert.102314/page-2#post-1349256

    Your future wood supply sounds good although you will need to get that wood split and stacked soon or it will not be ready for next year. Be also aware that you can rarely buy truly seasoned wood. Ask the wood seller how long the wood has been split and stacked. Should be at least one year. Tell him you will check the wood during delivery and reject it when it is too wet. Be there during the delivery. Cut a few splits in half and check the fresh surface with a moisture meter along the grain. Under 20% is best but I would still accept it below 25%.
  3. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Thanks Gris! I may try the handtruck, I work at a factory and could possibly borrow something like that for the weekend.

    In Regards to the stove selection, I completely agree with you, however, my wife absolutely refuses to have a stove that isn't flush mounted...as they say Happy Wife = Happy Life. So we compromised knowing that this will not be a full on heat source, but it should still do a fairly good job. any supplement to help lower my heating bill will make me happy. Also, my wife likes it way warmer than me, So this insert will be in our living room where we will be most of the time, so I know that will be warm I can stand it to be a little cooler in the rest of the house.

    For the liner I am getting a 6" Stainless Steel liner kit along with the stove, the friend helping me this weekend just installed one himself a few weeks back so that will be part of the installation...I Didn't even know about a block off plate or Roxul, I will be sure to incorporate these in the install.

    As for the wood, I get it from my father in Law's Butcher...they've been friends for 40+ years and he is trustworthy. The wood is the same wood my father in law uses and it is definitely seasoned well, I just had a delivery yesterday and it looks and feels great. Dried for two years and light as a feather. Also I plan to probably get this wood from him for at least this season and probably next until the wood I split has at least dried 1 year. There's a ton of wood to split around the house and a few trees that need taken down so im hoping to eventually get into a two year cycle so I know for sure the wood is nice and dry. However to be sure, where can i get a moisture meter?

    I plan to post some pics of my install after this weekend...as I said i'm real excited and I can't wait to get burning!
  4. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Mine weighs near 400 pounds, I carried it inside with a friend of mine, but, we took off the door and took out all the firebrick walls, it made it just light enough for the both of us to get it in.... Good luck
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Bummer about the radiators that is a serious and foolish loss. Hope the bank compensated for this. What are your backup fuel options? Nat gas?

    If you are going to heat without backup I would add a second stove. In this region maybe consider a coal burner for long steady heat? Or a nice, wood kitchen cookstove if this is a large kitchen. Or, probably the most practical would be a modern wood furnace or boiler if there is good access to the basement.
  6. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    DSaulnier likes this.
  7. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    So, your wife likes it warmer than you but wants the smaller stove. Those mysteries called women. ;)

    It sounds like you have a fireplace backing to the outside. (If not don't put the Roxul around the insert; use the masonry as thermal mass to even out the temp swings.) If you don't want to get an insulated liner think about pouring vermiculate down the sides or at least stuff some Roxul around the liner under the chimney cap. That way the air between the liner and the chimney will act as insulator. Btw. Did you get the chimney professionally swept and inspected?

    Sounds like a great wood supply. I would get 3 cords for this winter if it is not too expensive. Maybe 4 for the next when you will burn more.

    We love pics. I will be looking forward to it. Good luck!
  8. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Our main heat source now is a heat pump with the electric backup...Heat pump isn't too bad however on days like today (26 Degrees out of nowhere) the electric backup is on and that's when it gets pricey. No natural gas to the house, and the boiler was a complete loss and the oil tank that was there was in really bad shape.

    Already talking with the wife about getting a second woodstove in our basement and lining the existing chimney that was used for the boiler. As for the radiators, we did get the house DIRT Cheap...however, the tab is still open and running on renovation costs...good thing i'm a fairly handy guy and my dad raised me with the mindset to always do your own work on your own house, you get it done your way for a lot less!
  9. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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  10. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Can't live with em but can't live without em!


    [/quote]It sounds like you have a fireplace backing to the outside. (If not don't put the Roxul around the insert; use the masonry as thermal mass to even out the temp swings.) If you don't want to get an insulated liner think about pouring vermiculate down the sides or at least stuff some Roxul around the liner under the chimney cap. That way the air between the liner and the chimney will act as insulator. Btw. Did you get the chimney professionally swept and inspected?[/quote]

    The fireplace does back to the outside, the chimney was cleaned and inspected last year and I've only had 2 small fires in it since then...is that ok?? And where can i get this Roxul? Your saying to shove it around the top under where I'm going to fold the liner over the terra cotta chimney top? I think I'm understanding that also, definitley going to be using that blocker plate idea. And how hard is this vermiculate to work with...any extra heat I can save I'm willing to give it a shot!


    Thanks again everyone! You're all awesome and very helpful!
  11. Paul L

    Paul L Member

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    A couple weeks ago my wife and I used a hand truck to get our new Grand Voyageur (still on the pallet) into the house. I was able to pick up the stove with my trailer that has a drop down gate so we did not have to lift it. Got it staged in front of the fireplace with the hand truck. We live in a very rural area so we contacted the local hs football coach and lined up a couple players to lift and place. They weren't huge kids and lifted it with no problem.
  12. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I doubt you will have much stuff in there but I would still clean it again. You don't want to ignite some creosote between your liner and the chimney. Roxul can be found at Lowe's. For the insulation look at this thread: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...ner-in-a-masonry-chimney.104525/#post-1354481 or get an insulated liner kit right away. Btw. That will be less to keep the heat in but your insert will draft better and you will accumulate less creosote - makes for better sleep at night.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  13. Sons924

    Sons924 Member

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    You want to put the roxul in the damper opening above the block off plate and right under the top plate around the liner. The grand voyager says up to 2800 sq feet heating space.
  14. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Yep I saw 2800 on the stove specs, do you think Id actually be able to achieve that in PA though on a really cold winter day?
  15. Paul L

    Paul L Member

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    I'm guessing your place doesn't have great windows and/or insulation so that spec isn't really referring to your circumstance but that stove can throw out some serious heat. I haven't pushed mine anywhere near the max yet. It's been 10 to 15 degrees in the mornings. My space is smaller than yours though by quite a bit.
  16. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Probably not. There is no standard for the sqft ratings the stove manufacturers assign to their models. That is the reason people here go by the firebox size with the simple equation: more wood = more heat. The 2800 sqft are probably a very well insulated house with winter temps just below freezing. In any case, I am sure you will see a significant reduction in your heating bills even when the insert is not quite enough when it gets really cold. Just be mindful to not push it too hard. How open is your living room btw.? Will the hot air easily move around the house?
  17. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    You'll keep more heat in if the house is tight, insulation, windows, doors etc... I have a newer home about the same size and my insert does about 75% of the heating, on the colder days it can't keep up and the furnace has to help. My stove is the BK Princess under 3cf box.
  18. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's a lot of house and if it's an old farmhouse, it's probably poorly insulated and maybe drafty as well, I don't know. But it definitely sounds like a two-stove situation. A few members here have three.

    The best thing you can do is make sure the house is well sealed and insulated.
  19. pgmr

    pgmr Feeling the Heat

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    If you have a raised hearth, you can use a floor jack or a motorcycle jack to lift it. I've used both. You'll need to lift the stove manually up onto blocking to get the jack underneath. That can be done one side at a time. Sheet metal can be used to protect the hearth and a piece of pipe or two can be used to roll the insert into position.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A pallet jack lifts around six inches which works perfect for putting them in and out of my raised hearth fireplace. And makes the trip from the front door to the fireplace easy.
  21. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    The house isn't super tight. Whoever owned the house previously had some serious blown in insulation put in throughout the house and the windows were updated around 2003 or 2004 I believe. However it still is an old farmhouse and drafts do find their way in there. The doors however are a different story You can stand at the top of the steps and look through the openings on the sides of the closed front door and actually see the road.....We're having a door guy come to the house Wednesday to go over some options/new doors. I'm also seriously considering this second stove in the basement. Also would be nice to have an actual woodstove to cook on in the event of a power outage::-)
  22. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    Also another question regarding the block off plate, I've been
    Doing some searching online for different plans and what have you for a block off plate and my question is can I just modify my existing fireplaces damper to act as the blocking plate? And just shove my roxul on top of that? And basically cut an opening in the damper such that when its closed it will allow the liner through it?? Or is this a no no?
  23. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Depends how high up your damper is, most block off plates are put lower. Sounds like more work to modify the existing damper than it would be to just build a block off plate. It is a very simple thing to fabricate and would take less time than trying to cut your damper door to close around the liner.
  24. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    That's basically how I made my blockoff plate (I didn't actually use the damper plate -- it wouldn't be as easy to cut as readily available thinner gauge metal of about the same size). Cut two pieces of 20 some gauge steel curved to fit around the liner on each side and attached with toggles in the damper opening. (there is an older thread with photos on hearth describing how that type block-off plate is done). Also figured I'd keep the damper parts around and if someone ever wanted to weld them and put them back, they might be able to easier than if I cut a 6" hole out of the damper plate.

    Edit: Rereading your message and M's reply, maybe I'm not completely understanding what you had in mind. Just to clarify, I did cut out my damper plate so that the liner fit through the opening. But it just fits, and if I were doing it again, I think I'd cut some of the damper frame out also to make the liner fit through a little easier. Also my damper opening is not that far above the lintel (iirc maybe about a foot above).
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
  25. DSaulnier

    DSaulnier New Member

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    The living room area where the fireplace will be is an addition to the existing house but onto an existing room the living room itself is huge, not sure how well it's going to move air just yet, but to be sure, I've installed a ceiling fan in the back end of the living room opposite where the insert will be, as well as cut open above some of the doorways and I'm installing room to room fans on a switch to help circulate the air around the house...I'm also putting another ceiling fan at the top of the stairway hoping that will help with heat circulation upstairs as well...keeping my fingers crossed!

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