Cast Iron Wood Stove for Fireplace installation

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bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
Hi all, in my previous thread I was looking for advice on a fireplace insert. Thanks to some suggestions made there, I've been swayed in the direction of a wood stove instead. It won't cover up the fireplace facing, and as a bonus could be a secondary cooking appliance. The aesthetic is important though, so for that reason I'm looking at cast iron stoves. I'm also primarily looking at those that qualify for the tax credit, but I'm open to those that don't as well. Since it will be piped up the existing fireplace chimney and the fireplace opening is 31.5x31.5, I believe the flue will have to be rear exit.

The stoves I'm looking at primarily are:
  • VC Encore
  • Hearthstone Shelburne
  • Jotul F500
  • BK Ashford 30.2 (may be slightly too tall)
  • PE Anderlea T5 or T6 (possible too tight a fit - no tax credit)
Reading around on the site here, it seems that the VC is a complicated stove and prone to expensive maintenance. The Hearthstone is lined in soapstone that seems to suck up heat that could otherwise be transferring into the space. The BK may be too tall to fit. The PE seems to be well liked in these parts, but is top flue only as far as I can tell, and would have to be recessed into the fireplace opening for that to work, which would leave only about 2 inches of clearance around the top and sides - probably too tight a fit even to get it installed.

What do you think of the stoves listed? Are there any that I'm missing that I should check out? Again, aesthetics are important which is why I'm not looking at steel stoves. Thanks for any feedback or advice.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
I don't know if it will fit, it's 32.625" tall, but add the Drolet Cape Town 1800 to the mix.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
I’d look at the Woodstock line too. Cooking on them is overrated and if you get an enamel stove you probably just won’t as you don’t want to damage the enamel with pans. I’m hesitant to stick a BK stove back in the opening with the thermostat. My feeling is that it is calibrated for heat loss in a normal install.

If I had a good dealer I’d be tempted to go with the F500 knowing it’s had issues. How how would a T5 insert look? Is it’s surround bigger than the opening? I could see installing a surround inside the opening for an insert if the opening is bigger than the surround. That would make the BK ashford insert an option too.

I spent a lot of time searching for mine only to find I didn’t have that many options. Add 2020 emissions and wanting the tax credit the list gets really short.

Evan
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
The BK is top vent only
 

bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
I’d look at the Woodstock line too. Cooking on them is overrated and if you get an enamel stove you probably just won’t as you don’t want to damage the enamel with pans. I’m hesitant to stick a BK stove back in the opening with the thermostat. My feeling is that it is calibrated for heat loss in a normal install.

If I had a good dealer I’d be tempted to go with the F500 knowing it’s had issues. How how would a T5 insert look? Is it’s surround bigger than the opening? I could see installing a surround inside the opening for an insert if the opening is bigger than the surround. That would make the BK ashford insert an option too.

I spent a lot of time searching for mine only to find I didn’t have that many options. Add 2020 emissions and wanting the tax credit the list gets really short.

Evan
I looked at the Woodstock stoves, but they look fit for a Victorian mansion which isn't what I have here. The ability to cook on them would just be for times of power outages and such - not something we'd do often but seems like a nice value add.

The T5 insert would fit pretty well width wise, but would leave a gap at the top that I'd have to fill in somehow.

Why would you go with the F500 over the others, if you had a good dealer?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
If you can read the manual and then operate your coffee machine, it won't really matter.

Yes, non-cat stoves are slightly simpler. But really - well, before I repeat myself, see above.

I'd choose the stove that fits, matches your situation with its requirements (heat output, chimney, etc), the one that is pleasing to your (wife's) eye, and buy an EPA stove. Do that (and operate it according to the manuals' instructions), and you'll be happy with it.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
I looked at the Woodstock stoves, but they look fit for a Victorian mansion which isn't what I have here. The ability to cook on them would just be for times of power outages and such - not something we'd do often but seems like a nice value add.

The T5 insert would fit pretty well width wise, but would leave a gap at the top that I'd have to fill in somehow.

Why would you go with the F500 over the others, if you had a good dealer?
The VC stoves just do not impress me. there are just better designed stoves out their from a functional point of view. Hearthstones Just seem to be more temperamental. (probably it’s just more particular about it draft.). no experience with either one. And you could be very happy with either.

T5 and T6 are good and I go with those in a heart beat but if you have less than an inch clearance that just too tight to get good air circulation off the top IMO.

I have a Jotul and love it. Rock solid. I’m just not ready to say that about the new F500. So if you have a good dealer that will have your back and work through any potential issues thats my choice for the tax credit. But depending on how far back in the fireplace it is set you won’t be able to read the cat temp. Easily solved by a digital cat probe. but Again 1.5” or so clearance on each side is pretty tight. I’m assuming the side ash lip is removable. Has the option to top vent if you want it really tucked in or rear vent to a T if you want it out in front.

as far as the couple inches for the T5 insert. I would be more concerned with covering up 5” of the tile on each side. 31.5”w is pretty narrow and most/ all surrounds will cover up the tile unless you get a trim able surround.

I think you are making the right call with a stove Just makes finding the right one more difficult. Keep you eyes out for used F400 at 26”w it would fit will. Firebox is smallish though. Ah the trade offs.
 

skytow

Member
Jan 10, 2010
21
SE PA
I have a Jotul F500 installed in my fireplace. It works great but is is the older version. Dimensionally this should work Depending on the size of your hearth. No matter which you choose get their manual online first and check all the clearances. It was close with my Jotul. My particular set up makes it tough to clean the chimney but I hire it out. That is something else worth thinking about when you make your decisions.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
The T5 insert would fit pretty well width wise, but would leave a gap at the top that I'd have to fill in somehow.
The oversize surround for the T5 insert is 34 1/8" x 42 1/2".
 

bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
I have a Jotul F500 installed in my fireplace. It works great but is is the older version. Dimensionally this should work Depending on the size of your hearth. No matter which you choose get their manual online first and check all the clearances. It was close with my Jotul. My particular set up makes it tough to clean the chimney but I hire it out. That is something else worth thinking about when you make your decisions.
Would you mind sharing a picture? My fireplace is all masonry/tile so the only clearance I need to worry about is the hearth. I had a chimney sweep out last week who cleaned and inspected everything. He does stove/insert installs as well, and said I'd just need a heath pad/rug for spark/ember protection in front but otherwise was good to go. If I go with the F500 it would be a little tight for sweeping, but if I get the short leg kit that would allow a little more room.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
Would you mind sharing a picture? My fireplace is all masonry/tile so the only clearance I need to worry about is the hearth. I had a chimney sweep out last week who cleaned and inspected everything. He does stove/insert installs as well, and said I'd just need a heath pad/rug for spark/ember protection in front but otherwise was good to go. If I go with the F500 it would be a little tight for sweeping, but if I get the short leg kit that would allow a little more room.
Make sure there is room for the side door to open. The F500 is primarily a side-loading E/W burner.
 

bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
Make sure there is room for the side door to open. The F500 is primarily a side-loading E/W burner.
Yup! It's going to sit on the tile hearth with the back slightly set into the opening. The side door will be operable. Thanks for the reminder. I've read that the front door tends to dump ash everywhere.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
Would you mind sharing a picture? My fireplace is all masonry/tile so the only clearance I need to worry about is the hearth. I had a chimney sweep out last week who cleaned and inspected everything. He does stove/insert installs as well, and said I'd just need a heath pad/rug for spark/ember protection in front but otherwise was good to go. If I go with the F500 it would be a little tight for sweeping, but if I get the short leg kit that would allow a little more room.
So you will rear vent it? Pretty easy to clean the liner with a clean out T. Did you rule out a PE T5 or T6 tucked way back in? Personally not ever having to deal with a catalytic converter and the ease of sweeping bottom up I’d choose the PE.
 

bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
654
Utah, NJ
I have a Jotul f400 and am very happy with it. It would fit better in your fireplace.

8512704F-2DA3-4F52-A178-52B74F0A8CD3.jpeg
 
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bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
So you will rear vent it? Pretty easy to clean the liner with a clean out T. Did you rule out a PE T5 or T6 tucked way back in? Personally not ever having to deal with a catalytic converter and the ease of sweeping bottom up I’d choose the PE.
Yes, planning to rear vent the Jotul. I think the T5/T6 might be too tight a fit. Since they are top vent only, they would have to be set in there pretty deep. The T6 would only have about 1.5" if clearance top and sides. The T5 would have a little more on the sides. Probably too tight to even install, and I'd not be able to cook on it in case of need. So unfortunately the PEs are out.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,764
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, planning to rear vent the Jotul. I think the T5/T6 might be too tight a fit. Since they are top vent only, they would have to be set in there pretty deep. The T6 would only have about 1.5" if clearance top and sides. The T5 would have a little more on the sides. Probably too tight to even install, and I'd not be able to cook on it in case of need. So unfortunately the PEs are out.
Agreed. the benefit of the T5/6 design would be mostly lost by deep-setting it in the fireplace. Thus the recommendation for the T5 insert with the oversized surround.
 

bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
Agreed. the benefit of the T5/6 design would be mostly lost by deep-setting it in the fireplace. Thus the recommendation for the T5 insert with the oversized surround.
The main issue there becomes the surround covering up the fireplace tiles, which is what moved my toward stoves to begin with.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
The main issue there becomes the surround covering up the fireplace tiles, which is what moved my toward stoves to begin with
Well I wouldn’t really make a decision based on cooking on the top. In an emergency you can always cook on the inside. If you really want cast iron and tax credit I’m really not aware of anything other than the F500.
 
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bladeofanduril

New Member
Nov 5, 2021
33
PA, USA
Alright things are starting to come together. The chimney sweep quoted me $2035 to install it (including everything besides the stove itself). Does that sound reasonable? I have no context since I've never done this before. Thanks!
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
Alright things are starting to come together. The chimney sweep quoted me $2035 to install it (including everything besides the stove itself). Does that sound reasonable? I have no context since I've never done this before. Thanks!
Insulated?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
that's the brand name, not the "model". They do have insulated "models". Best to do that; helps your stove draft, helps with less creosote condensation.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,214
SE North Carolina
3 years ago I was charged 1100$ for 15’ of pre insulated forever flex and another 1000 to install my stove.