Best solution for a open sided fireplace

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
Hi Folks,

I recently purchased a new home with a fireplace. I'd like to install either a freestanding woodstove in it, or an insert, but I am not quite sure which solution is best. I'd be using this as supplemental heat for our main living area. The fireplace itself is a bit unique, with one side open. I have attached a picture to help you better see the situation. The fireplace already has a liner and some sort of block off plate installed. It measures 38.5 inches deep, and 29.5 inches in height (but can accept something larger as the area opens up more once inside the fireplace)

I am a bit worried about clearances as I would prefer not to have to make modifications to my floor in front of the fireplace. If an flush mount insert is installed, it would only leave about 13 inches to the edge of the hearth (which is about 12 inches off the ground). I could install a freestanding stove and have 16-20 inches of clearance in the front of the stove. I have had installers come and take a look and say both options are viable, but I am curious if anyone has experience particularly with installing a freestanding woodstove in a fireplace. Thank you for any and all info and guidance you may be able to provide.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
Pics didn't make it. Both options are viable. How large an area will the stove/insert be heating?
 

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
Sorry about the pics, hopefully this works. The primary area it is heating is 600-700 square feet (living, dining, and kitchen). The whole whose is 1600 square feet, but I am primarily looking at this to zone heat the mean living area. This is a split level home. Thanks again for any suggestions.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
For a classic look, see what you think about the Hampton H300. It would fit in there with the short leg kit option.
 

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
Thanks for the info. Looks like a real nice stove. There are two reputable dealers in my area. One sells Enerzone & Regency stoves (which I think H300 is made by, so I could probably get it there), the other sells primarily Lopi. The first dealer was steering me in the direction of the Enerzone Solution 1.8 if I went with a freestanding stove, or a Regency CI2600 if I went with the insert. I have been trying to research Enerzones but haven't been able to find much about them. I'll also ask them about the H300 you mentioned as well. The second was steering me in the direction of the Lopi 1250. Does anyone have experience with any of these stoves, specifically if you have put them in an existing fireplace?

My other concern is around clearances in the front of the stove. The depth of my hearth is 38.5 inches. If the stove I select is leaves less than 18 inches from the edge of the hearth, what modifications may need to be done to allow the stove to pass inspection by our town code officer?

Thanks again for any help!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the Hampton is sold by Regency dealers.

The Enerzone 1.8 is essentially the same as the Drolet 1800. Same manufacturer. It's a decent stove but mostly an E/W loader due to the shallow firebox. The Lopi 1750 Republic has a deeper firebox with can be loaded either E/W or N/S. It is the value version of their Endeavor stove. There are several happy owners of both stoves here. Are they proposing to install the insert models of these stoves or the freestanding stove without the base?

The hearth clearance will be 16" from the stove door to the edge of the hearth. You should be ok. At worse you may need to put a small hearth pad in front of the hearth. With your raised hearth this will only be for ember protection. A simple painted metal strip nailed down would suffice.
 

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
Thanks begreen, this is great info. I wasn't sure about what would need to happen in front of the stove if it was under 16 inches of hearth in front of the stove door. The ember protection makes sense.

As of now, the Lopi dealer is suggesting only a freestanding option, as they were worried about how closing off the side of the fireplace would look. The Regency/Enerzone dealer is giving options for both an insert, where they would close off the side of the stove with a custom steel plate, and a freestanding stove. For the insert option, the suggested the Regency CI2600, for the freestanding stove, they suggested the Enerzone Solution 1.8.

I am becoming a bit leery of the insert option, as I am not sure how a steel plate on the side of the fireplace would look. Your comments begreen that either a freestanding stove or an insert would work are helpful, as I was not sure a freestanding stove would work well or not in this scenario.

Now that you pointed out the Hampton H300 with short legs, I am also going to inquire with the Regency/Enerzone dealer about that stove. I think that could look great and also fit nicely. I appreciate you input on that stove begreen. Have you had experience with the H300?
 

MAD MARK

Feeling the Heat
Jan 31, 2016
436
Pittsburgh PA
I am becoming a bit leery of the insert option, as I am not sure how a steel plate on the side of the fireplace would look.
It could be steel plated and then stoned up if you could find some similar stone. It would make it like a normal 1 open side fireplace then.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
Now that you pointed out the Hampton H300 with short legs, I am also going to inquire with the Regency/Enerzone dealer about that stove. I think that could look great and also fit nicely. I appreciate you input on that stove begreen. Have you had experience with the H300?
I have a friend out on the peninsula that has one. They heat their whole, well-insulated house with it. It's a good little heater and looks great in enamel. The only downside is that it too is an E/W loader.
 

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
So I have an update on the status of hunt. Took my wife to a couple of stove shops and I think it helped narrow things down. My wife really does not want to modify our wood floor if at all possible. That helps narrow down the stoves available in our area to a Enerzone 1.8 solution freestanding stove and a Lopi 1250 freestanding stove. These stoves are short enough in depth to leave enough room for the front hearth clearance and not need a hearth extension on the floor. She also prefers the look of steel stoves which surprised me.

I have been reading the manuals on both to make sure I am within the clearances and I am 90% sure I am. However neither manual speaks to installing in an existing masonary fireplace. What are the clearances for the back and sides of a stove placed in an existing fireplace. Can I get it up close (1 inch) to the brick inside the fireplace? Want to make sure I am proceeding correctly.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,470
South Puget Sound, WA
Clearances are to combustibles only. The inside of the fireplace is non-combustible. The stove can touch the masonry if necessary.
 

morganp107

New Member
Oct 30, 2018
17
Peru, NY
Went today with my wife and decided on an Enerzone 1.8 Solution. The shop has to order it so hoping they are able to find one nearby as they sold the last floor model they had in stock.

I also am wondering what are typical tools of the trade folks folks have found to make life easier to bring wood inside, and tools in and around the stove etc. I do have split wood already, but any tools etc you have found to be helpful would be greatly appreciated.