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Woodstove piped into a possible zc heatilator fireplace?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by diyrye, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    Hello all! I have some quesions for you guys with knowledge out there. I believe what I have is a heatilator fireplace once with circulator water pipes engineered as a grate in the bottom for hotwater. The previous owner cut out all the pipework so his pellet stove would fit. He removed the stove prior to sale. My first question is, can Anyone tell me if this is a zc heatilator. I read lots of articles here and I know zero clearance is complicated.

    I want to place a top vent stove in front, and preferably (if room allows)put a 45 (or 90) to a pipe to another 45 (or 90) and tee with a cleanout hooked to a stainless liner. I just want to make sure I can do the install before buying everything and having the professional installers come to give a quote (for insurance reasons) and Say sorry bud, the heatilator and everything needs torn out! I have several pictures here which really helps.

    The entire corner of the room and surrounds of the fireplace is awesome stonework with a natural artesian well fed pond built in the corner. The fireplace is metal with a firebrick bottom and brick from inside the damper up into the ceramic tile flue.

    Here are some pictures of the setup on photobucket since Im on my iPhone. I can cut all the waterpipes flush and weld a plate over the holes also if that is an issue. Keep in mind I just want to run my chimney pipe into it and cut some of the damper frame lip 1/2" to fit the liner up without crushing it. The idiot who cut the water pipe grate out sure didnt help. Thanks for any help!

    Fireplace area:
    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...908CFE3A_zpsad833473.jpg&evt=user_media_share

    Fireplace closeup:
    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...6E6B2036_zpsf2de969e.jpg&evt=user_media_share

    Damper, smoke chamber, and tile flue:
    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...27E974C0_zpsab815eaa.jpg&evt=user_media_share

    Cut pipe closeup:
    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...3B9FC0EE_zpsb214ee9f.jpg&evt=user_media_share

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's quite the grotto. Check dimensions of the stoves you are interested in to be sure 45's would work. If not I would recommend a rear exit stove and one 90 connecting to the liner.

    What is the additional rectangular port entering the flue above the damper?
  3. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum. That is a grotto. I'm curious of what you do with that.
  4. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    Begreen: ah a grotto? The rectangular port i think you're talking about is the start of the actual chimney. All the bricks you see covered in creosote are forming the smoke box which allows for a 45 degree turn to align the fireplace with the chimney since the fireplace sits at an angle off the wall. I know, the smoke box can use some good cleaning!

    Dafattkid: a grotto, I never heard of a fireplace refered to as a grotto. And right now I use it to collect dust mostly.. I just bought the house in the spring. The pipes are cut, it was once plumbed in with solar water panels that were removed from our roof before we bought it (by the previous owner). Can a grotto safely have a stove piped into it? There is a cut out built unto the hearth already for a stove to sit close to the fireplace opening.

    I'm curious though a grotto is mostly the area surrounding the fireplace right? I'm just wondering if the fireplace itself, being metal, is ok/legal to pipe into. it seems to be heavy plate steel almost custom made. The house was built in 76 by a builder for himself to live in so I would assume he did everything right?
  5. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    A grotto is just a cave. We're just saying that is a unique and cool looking fireplace.
  6. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    Thanks, yeah its really awesome, that's why I'm hoping to do an install leaving it as is. There is a wet bar in the opposite corner, why is the rest of the house even necessary?!
  7. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    A basic answer is yes you can. It may take some interesting connection elbows, or as stated above aa rear vent stove to a tee then to the stainless liner. The liners are an easy do it yourself type job. Look into doing a block off plate as well. Very near looking hearth you have there Hope your able to fit a nice looking stove there as well.

    Good luck, and welcome to the place.

    Edit i forgot to mention, i have a rear vent stove to a tee then a liner in an old heat alator style fire place.
  8. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    I wish I could do the install myself or was allowed to I should say. My insurance requires everything be Installed by a professional. Kinda a waste of money but I guess will buy peace of mind. The fireplace sits high enough to use a top vent with 90's as long as it won't be a draft issue. Im definetally not trying to put a thimble in through the stone!
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Coming off the top of the stove directly into a 90 elbow is not generally recommended. Unless there is super strong draft it could lead to a poorly functioning stove and smoke spillage when opening the stove door.
  10. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    What about coming off right into a 45? I have about 8" of possible rise to play with so it could be more like a 45 than a 90 elbow with lots of playing around. Or I could put a 8" piece of pipe before a 90 elbow right off the top of stove if that would help at all? It would be a lot easier if the stove I want was offered in rear vent style. Any suggestions on a good rear vent stove in the $1200 price range? I'm looking at a us stove model 3000 for up to 3000 sq ft at home depot for about $1200 but it's only offered in a top vent.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A 45 elbow might work if there is sufficient draft. How long will the liner be in this chimney? How large an area will the stove be heating?
  12. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    The liner will be 25' long and I want to heat my entire house. It's 2500 sq ft total with the garage that I would like to be able to heat occasionally. The finished area without garage is right around 2,000 square feet. I want a larger stove to make sure I have enough heat.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That should draw pretty nicely. Are you in a colder climate zone? Heating will depend on how open is the stove area to the rest of the house. If it's a very open floorplan and the wood supply is nicely seasoned then it should work out well.
  14. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    I live in central PA so it's doesn't get too brutal in the winter. The basement is very open and upstairs too except for the bedrooms are down a hall. I have an existing rough vent cut through the floor that i want to enlarge, fit two duct booster fans in (possibly on a thermostat) and cover with a grate. If needed I could add a few more vents like this in kitchen and dining room. As for wood, I got split oak, cherry, and poplar all under roof for over a year. I figure use the poplar during the day and when I'm home, and switch to the oak and cherry while at work and overnight. I'm going to look for a rear venting stove if I can now to try to avoid the draft issue.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good rear vent stoves in this price range and stove size will only be found used. But if you do find a nice used Jotul F600 or Quadrafire Isle Royale, that would work.Otherwise I am wondering if you couldn't run the flex long, right to the 45 on top of the stove? Or just install an insert?

    Before cutting more holes remember that heat circulation needs a supply and return. And before cutting holes try this trick. Put a table or box fan at the top of the basement stairway, on the floor, pointing down toward the woodstove area. Run it on low speed. It will blow the cooler air down low, toward the woodstove. The denser cool air will be replaced with lighter warm air from the stove room. You will feel a strong current of hot air flowing from downstairs at the top of the cellar doorway.
  16. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    Good thinking before cuttin more holes. I would do an insert but I dont want to rely on a blower needing power to keep the heat flowing in case of an electrical outtage. I was thinking of a deep cycle battery or uninterrupted power supply but that seems like a hastle. Also a woodstove generally is more efficient and will have a longer burn time right?

    Running the flex long would allow for a smoother bend with less restriction I would think too.
  17. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Inserts are fantastic. I don't think you're giving them enough credit. Standalones are slightly more efficient, but those of us who have inserts love them, because they are great heaters when installed properly. If you don't like the look of an insert then that's one thing, but don't be deterred from getting an insert because standalones have a slight edge.

    Many inserts protrude significantly into the room allowing for tons of heat to pour into the room even without a fan. Of course they put out more heat with the fan on. I hope that's helpful. I'm just saying if an insert is a better fit here you won't be disappointed.
  18. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    I like the idea of an insert and fiting nicely in my existing fireplace and eventually want to get one for my dining room fireplace for supplemental heat in the spring/fall. I haven't seen any inserts that would easily heat 2,000+ sq ft without having it really cranking all the time? I'm not saying they don't make them, I simply have yet to see one. Maybe I'm over estimating my heating needs but I dont want to end up nearly over firing my unit trying to keep the entire house warm. I would like to avoid using any oil for heat.
  19. diyrye

    diyrye New Member

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    I got the water circulator pipes cut and ground smooth that the previous owner half hacked off.

    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...501-0000041274B51A3F.jpg&evt=user_media_share

    Welded some 1/4" plate steel over the holes

    http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/...501-0000041284982F97.jpg&evt=user_media_share

    Notice all the junk I found on the smoke shelf. I did find the damper up there laying too which is a plus. My smoke chamber seems abnormally huge, it's about 2'x3' by 2' high with flue starting probably 3' up from the damper? Hopefully I get this all done before it gets cold! I guess I should add that the clay liner junk I believe is all from the top when whoever cut part of the top flue liner down when the chimney cap was put on for whatever reason.

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