1940s Heatilator with wood stove insert. Are vents needed?

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annapingy

New Member
Jan 4, 2020
4
Fredonia, NY
Hello. New home owner here with a question. The previous owners put a wood stove insert (answer-lopi) with its own blower fan into an old heatilator fireplace with side vents. The insert appears to completely close off the side vents and when we use the stove no heat seems to come from them. Is it safe to cover them when we refinish the fireplace?
 

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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,284
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
The first question is, "was it safe to put an insert into that heatilator in the first place?", and that's not an easy question if you don't know any details about the construction or how the chimney is lined, and what condition it's in.

My guess to your question is that it probably wouldn't hurt to close off the vents, but that's not an endorsement that the existing setup is safe.
 
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annapingy

New Member
Jan 4, 2020
4
Fredonia, NY
The first question is, "was it safe to put an insert into that heatilator in the first place?", and that's not an easy question if you don't know any details about the construction or how the chimney is lined, and what condition it's in.

My guess to your question is that it probably wouldn't hurt to close off the vents, but that's not an endorsement that the existing setup is safe.

We did have it cleaned and looked at at the beginning of winter (october) and we were told it was in good shape and he didn't see any issues. I did not think to ask about a liner but i would hopehe would have mentioned it if it looke wrong. We had not asked about the vents when he was here because we thought there would be more time before we refinished it.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,441
Long Island, NY
Welcome to the Forums !!

I, also, would be more concerned of the insert being really able to be put into that FP.

Here's a shot of my 50's heatalator FP for reference. My PE resides there.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,212
central pa
I would close off the vents they now serve no purpose. Does it meet required clearances? They look pretty tight to me
 
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annapingy

New Member
Jan 4, 2020
4
Fredonia, NY
I would close off the vents they now serve no purpose. Does it meet required clearances? They look pretty tight to me
I am not sure? I measured from a few areas to give you an idea but I dont really know where my starting point is to make sure that I am meeting the requirements. (sorry for poor quality phone picture)
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,212
central pa
I am not sure? I measured from a few areas to give you an idea but I dont really know where my starting point is to make sure that I am meeting the requirements. (sorry for poor quality phone picture)
Look up the stove manual
 

annapingy

New Member
Jan 4, 2020
4
Fredonia, NY
Look up the stove manual
I think we are good. Assuming I found the right stove onine. I did find info for a stainless steel chimney insert too (in a stack of manuals they left us- no stove one though). So I think previous owners did it right.

 

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