Block Off Plate & Liner Question

gstowe Posted By gstowe, Aug 8, 2018 at 10:07 AM

  1. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Dec 8, 2017
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    I've gleaned a lot of good info here on the subject issue. Now coming back for more specific advice to see if my sweep's counsel is based on thermodynamics or ... not.

    Situation: Insert (good quality Regency unit) installed w/ masonry chimney on exterior wall. Chimney isn't lined. No insulation installed between insert and fireplace; i.e. insert just backs up into fireplace. Insert was installed with about an 18" length of 6" stainless pipe that extends through the old fireplace's damper "bracket" into the chimney, then a bunch of insulation shoved up around the cracks/crevices. My sense is this is NOT good, not if I want heat to heat the house.

    I know what I've read here but here's my sweep's advice: No need for a liner - it'll be a lot of money for no heat gains. No need for a separate block off plate - shoving the insulation around the damper bracket serves the same purpose. Putting some insulation between the insert and fireplace brick may make some difference.

    What I want to know: I'm obviously skeptical of the sweep's advice. He's the only game in a three-county area so please don't tell me to find another guy ... I'm rural enough where there aren't choices. I think maybe he's just trying to save me money. I think I want a different answer though. I'm thinking the liner & block off plate could make a BIG difference in the insert's performance. The block off plate is something I can do but the insert looks to be comparatively expensive; is the consensus that the liner isn't as important as the block-off plate? My chimney is 25' high coming through a steep-pitched roof ... can liners be installed from below - from inside the house - or do I need to rent a cherry-picker and install from above?

    Thanks folks; appreciate all the advice that's shared here.
     
  2. bholler

    bholler
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    Your sweeps advice is wrong. Does not meet minimum code and could be quite dangerous
     
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  3. bholler

    bholler
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    To install a liner (which should also be insulated) you will need to get to the top. In some cases it could be pulled up through but you would need to do that from the top.
     
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  4. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Roger. I figured it had to be secured up there anyway instead of just shoved up from the bottom.

    The flue itself is roughly 10" square. Once I get an insulated liner in there, is it important (or unnecessary) to insulate the remaining voids between liner and flue?

    Yep, I recognize the sweep is wrong, but he's rather insistent that what I have meets code ... maybe that's because the chimney itself is in pretty good shape? I also recognize that codes are minimum safe requirements ... never hurts to go above & beyond. I'm after two things here: safety and maximizing heat in my house.
     
  5. Ctwoodtick

    Ctwoodtick
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    Once you decide to get this install made to be proper, keep in mind the chimney will have to get cleaned really thouroghly. With the set up that’s been in there, the buildup of creosote could be really heavy and you’ll want that stuff out of there.
     
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  6. Bushels20

    Bushels20
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    May 20, 2018
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    Gstowe,

    If youre after safety and maximum heating efficiency, an insulated liner (all the way up the chimney) AND and a block off plate are a very good idea. Code aside, (which “bholler” is correct) your current setup is not safe.

    The insulated liner is going to keep the (ideally) minimal smoke going up the chimney hot all the way up not allowing it to cool and condense into creosote on the walls of the liner . Without said liner, it is more likely that said (minimal) smoke will condense back into a solid (creosote) and cling to the flue tiles. A liner is just a more safe way to burn. Yes, it’s an expensive purchase.

    The block plate is going to retain and maximize the heat your insert is producing by not allowing it to heat the brick of the exterior fireplace (first) prior to heating the interior of your home. I would insulate the top of the block plate and the side walls of the firebox itself.
     
  7. bholler

    bholler
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    Your type of install can meet minimum code. But to do that the stub of liner needs to be positively attached to the clay liner. The clay liner can be no more than 3 times the volume of the stove outlet. And you need a properly sealed block off plate. This is assuming your chimney meets minimum code which most do not.
     
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  8. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Roger that. Just cleaned today. This is the setup I inherited but it doesn't look too hard to do it right. Thanks.
     
  9. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Again - thanks for taking time to give me the assist & explanation. The stub of that existing extension was just stuck through the damper bracket ... the only attachment was to the collar of the insert. It was the sweep who did the original install; he remembered it. Maybe this was code in 1965 when he was learning the business? Who knows. Don't worry, I'll get it fixed ... will order the liner & rent a cherry picker to get on top of that chimney.
     
  10. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Excellent feedback; thanks for the thorough explanation. I'm convinced ... I'll do the insulated liner, insulated block plate, and insulate the firebox walls.

    Once I get an insulated 6" liner installed, is there a need to backfill around it to fill in the remaining void between liner and flue tiles? If yes, is there a slurry that's good for DIY, or could I just get vermiculite?

    Again, much appreciated for the assist.
     
  11. bholler

    bholler
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    No need to backfill
     
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  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Don't forget the block off pate.
     
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  13. gstowe

    gstowe
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    Roger that. Just getting in there today with my grinder to cut around the damper bracket ... this will make better room for 6" liner without having to ovalize. Then I'll fabricate the block off plate. Thanks Hogwildz.
     
  14. maple1

    maple1
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    I'm curious how he is getting the existing setup clean? Does the insert & stub get pulled out? Otherwise the loosened creosote would be piling up around the stub & on the insulation somehow.
     
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  15. bholler

    bholler
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    The proper way to clean that setup but most people dont
     
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  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    Don't be afraid to make the block off plate in 2 pcs for easier install if needed.
     
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  17. maple1

    maple1
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    Really curious how this goes. And what is found when stuff gets pulled out to do the liner install.

    Sounds like a slammer install if I read right?
     
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  18. bholler

    bholler
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    No it is a direct connect which meets code if done correctly
     
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  19. maple1

    maple1
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    Must be the way I'm interpreting & picturing it. Which is a stub shoved up thru a damper opening into a much larger masonry chimney with no direct connect.
     
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  20. bholler

    bholler
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    What you described is a direct connect. A slammer has no connection at all it is just slid into the fireplace
     
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  21. begreen

    begreen
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    Direct connect installation example
    Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 8.08.12 AM.png
     
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  22. maple1

    maple1
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    Yes it might be my interpretation. I was reading the stub was just stuck into the chimney with no plate or direct connection or adaptor. Only some insulation.
     
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  23. bholler

    bholler
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    And that is typical of most direct connect installations. It is not right but it is how most are done. A slammer has nothing at all just an insert sitting in the fireplace. No pipe at all.
     
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  24. begreen

    begreen
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    The technical description of that type of installation is - cheap, lazy hack.
     
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  25. bholler

    bholler
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    Yes but i would extend that to cover all direct connects even done correctly they are poor performing installs
     
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