Basement Reno - Convert Insert to Free Standing

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Hey Everyone-

I'm in the middle of planning a basement renovation and I would like to take the opportunity to redo the fireplace (currently has an insert in it). I would like to replace the insert with a free standing stove. I've only ever installed inserts in our home and not well versed in chimney systems for free standing stoves.

See attached pic for current setup. My current plan is to remove all of the brick and so some sort of corner install for the free standing stove. The existing flue has a 20+ ft insulated liner in it. I assume I need to install a thimble through the wall (at location marked in pic). Planning to an extend an existing wall all the way (or close to) the left side of the current surround - blue line in picture. So, here are my questions about this.

1. I assume I can get an insulated thimble to avoid any clearance to combustible issues but not sure. Current plan would be to keep drywall at thimble location. Behind that drywall is the chimney (exterior) - The existing wall there is 2x4 construction and insulated. I did some exploring and it appears that there is at least 2" between the backside of the wall and the start of the exterior chimney brick.
2. I will need to install a Tee connector on the other side of the thimble, I assume? Assuming I am ripping out all of the existing brick, and just replacing with a 2x4 wall, the tee connector would be behind a finished wall. Assuming I need to put an access door in the new wall to get at the tee connector?
3. 45s vs 90s. I've caught bits and pieces of conversations around which is better but not sure I understand current thinking. 2 - 45s better than a 90?

I'm not sure what to expect once I start ripping the brick out. As mentioned, there is an exterior chimney behind this fireplace. My assumption is I can take out all of the brick. Insulate any open space and then put a 2x4 wall up but maybe I'm missing something?

The depth of that wood storage area (right side of the fireplace) extends out past the exterior wall. I assume I can just insulate that and cover it with the 2x4 wall?

Finally - if anyone has any ideas (or where I can find design ideas, outside of Houzz) on how to design the corner, I'm all ears! Current thinking is that I would go with something like a PE Alderlea T6 LE for the stove, but I'm still working on that decision.

Appreciate all comments, questions and feedback!

Andy

fireplace_mod.jpg
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
329
SE North Carolina
I am in the first stages of a basement renovation as well. I am leaning towards an insert(cheaper and easier install) but I am curious as to why you are going for a freestanding stove? My first thought is why the new wall? I thought about hearth mounting a T5 but I don’t think I can make it fit. A gallon jug of Elmers can only mean one thing SLIME! Or your java small school in your basement.

Evan
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
I am in the first stages of a basement renovation as well. I am leaning towards an insert(cheaper and easier install) but I am curious as to why you are going for a freestanding stove? My first thought is why the new wall? I thought about hearth mounting a T5 but I don’t think I can make it fit. A gallon jug of Elmers can only mean one thing SLIME! Or your java small school in your basement.

Evan
Hey Evan-

Took me a few minutes to process the Elmers comment, heh. Yeah, definitely Slime - though, thankfully, the kids are starting to grow out of that now!

As for the free standing stove - in terms of heating efficiency, I think a free standing stove is better and doesn't necessarily require the use of a fan to make use of the heat. In addition, you are losing some amount of heat to the fireplace/chimney with an insert - especially if you don't properly install a block off plate and insulate the firebox area. Now, that said, the PE Summit insert has performed really well and I've been really happy with it. The only drawback being the fan noise. Al that said, if I didn't feel like ripping out the brick and reconfiguring the fireplace (I'm doing the demo work), I would be happy to stick with it.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,260
Northern Maine
Maybe it's just me but there's no way would I give up the floor space that the new stove is going to consume. If its a new look your after perhaps covering the brick with veneer field stone or some other substrate. Maybe upgrade the stove to something newer.
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Maybe it's just me but there's no way would I give up the floor space that the new stove is going to consume. If its a new look your after perhaps covering the brick with veneer field stone or some other substrate. Maybe upgrade the stove to something newer.
The space is pretty big - the picture is less than 1/2 of the entire space (room continues on to the right of the pic) so I'm not too concerned about giving up the space. Thanks for pointing that out though. After seeing your post, and looking at the pic, I could see where one would think that was the entire room (as I didn't explain otherwise in my OP)!

The stove is a pretty new - 2013 PE Summit. Like I said, it's been a good heater as far as inserts go but having to run the fans all the time is somewhat annoying. The space will become an entertainment room, of sorts, with a TV watching area so the fan noise is a factor.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,265
South Puget Sound, WA
The space is pretty big - the picture is less than 1/2 of the entire space (room continues on to the right of the pic) so I'm not too concerned about giving up the space. Thanks for pointing that out though. After seeing your post, and looking at the pic, I could see where one would think that was the entire room (as I didn't explain otherwise in my OP)!

The stove is a pretty new - 2013 PE Summit. Like I said, it's been a good heater as far as inserts go but having to run the fans all the time is somewhat annoying. The space will become an entertainment room, of sorts, with a TV watching area so the fan noise is a factor.
Do you run the fan on high? On low to medium speed it should be fairly quiet.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,265
South Puget Sound, WA
Yep, usually run it on high to maximize heat output. On low/medium it is fairly quiet.
I would try it like that for a bit. The reduction in heat output is not that huge. Also, is there an insulated block-off plate in the damper area? If not, that can improve heat output.
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
I would try it like that for a bit. The reduction in heat output is not that huge. Also, is there an insulated block-off plate in the damper area? If not, that can improve heat output.
The noise is only one factor in the decision. I'm renovating the entire space and I've always wanted to have a free standing stove down there. I have the space for it and I don't mind the work. We always wanted to change the appearance of the hearth as well. So, it all adds up to this being the time to make the switch. Unless, I am missing something that should make me reconsider, in terms of the existing hearth/chimney set up.
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Update:

After a lot of searching and reading, I think I've answered my Tee connector behind the wall question. As I understand it, I don't need an access panel/door to the area behind the wall because I can clean out the Tee connector by removing the section of stove pipe that runs through the Thimble. I can then either reach in and scoop out debris or vacuum. I'm also assuming that I can clean the SS liner by removing the stove pipe, that runs through the thimble, and then running my brush up through Tee connector. Am I thinking about this correctly?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,265
South Puget Sound, WA
I'm also assuming that I can clean the SS liner by removing the stove pipe, that runs through the thimble, and then running my brush up through Tee connector. Am I thinking about this correctly?
Yes.

A proper wall thimble establishes the clearances to combustibles. The tee snout passes through the thimble and a few inches into the room to connect with the stove pipe.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Nelson

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
^^Thanks Begreen. I've been talking to Rockford Chimney and they have an insulated Thimble which sounds great.

I'm starting to think about the existing liner in the flue. Obviously, I won't need as long of a liner as i have in there right now. Is it safe to just cut the existing liner (assuming I can even get at it to cut it) to the appropriately length to tie into the tee connector? I assume the tee connector can accept the cut end of a standard 6" SS liner.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,265
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, a tee adapter should be able to clamp on to your liner. Just remove the appliance adapter, then carefully pull out the liner and put the tee with cap on it. Then, with an assistant, lower the liner, tee first, down the chimney until the hole in the liner aligns with the thimble. Make sure that Rockford sends you a thimble that will allow their tee snout to pass through it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nelson

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Thanks! Next question - Is there any benefit from using double-wall stove pipe for the short run between the stove and the thimble? Through my searching, it appears that I could go either way given the short run. Just curious if there are other advantages to either approach outside of the potential to gain extra heat from a single wall pipe.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,265
South Puget Sound, WA
The more insulated the entire flue path is, the hotter the flue gases stay. This improves draft and reduces creosote buildup.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nelson

Supersurvey

Burning Hunk
Jan 25, 2015
200
New Jersey
How about installing a free standing stove in the fireplace?
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
How about installing a free standing stove in the fireplace?
The thought had crossed my mind - however, we are renovating the entire space so this is the opportunity to update the fireplace area. Neither my wife nor I are attached to the fireplace (we have another one upstairs that we updated) so it felt like the right time to change it up - though, i'd be lying if I wasn't a little concerned about what surprises lie in wait in terms of taking the brick out. It's on the lower lower of the home so I don't think there is anything structural about them.
 

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
329
SE North Carolina
Looking good. Was skeptical that putting the new wall in was a good choice but that corner install really looks great. You totally made the right choice.
Evan
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
237
Mount Horeb, WI
Looking good. Was skeptical that putting the new wall in was a good choice but that corner install really looks great. You totally made the right choice.
Evan
Thanks! I will post a wider pic once I get everything hooked up. Stove pipe is scheduled to be here today so fingers crossed I can light the first fire this evening.

I had originally intended to build a raised hearth with tile/slate/or stone but I got renovation fatigue and opted to go with the steel hearth pad.