cold air coming from circulating vents in Pacific Energy FP30 B

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Chefebell

New Member
Jan 7, 2022
1
Indiana
I have to apologize in advance for the length of this post. Our home is 1600 square feet on main level and 1600 square feet on lower level (basement walkout) all finished construction.. We originally had Superior Energizer circulating heat model SHC-43. Glass doors, circulating fans, vents, etc. Top of the line in the '80's when the house was built. LOVED them. March 4, 2018, our house burned to the ground (started in the garage).
The rebuild company, in my opinion, failed to follow the installation requirements sent by the manufacturers of our new Pacific Energy FP 30 B wood stove for the downstairs heating unit. The recommendations are that the chase be insulated and sealed (drywall and taped), which did not happen.
I now have difficulty trying to control the flow of cold air from the circulating vents in the stove. The installer says that it is a construction issue with the chase not being properly constructed/sealed, the construction owner says that it "passed inspection" . I have been back and forth over this issue for 3 years, both with the installer and the construction company. They both blame each other.
I do know that the chase seems to be somewhat insulated. The walls seem to have 2" unfaced insulation, (from pictures prior to closing) the ceiling and fire stops seem to be non-existent. I have cold air streaming in the lower and upper circulation vents in the Pacific Energy FP 30 B unit that we had installed in the basement. Even with a full firebox, I still have cold air coming in the room return vent at the bottom of the stove.
Is this a Chase issue?
Is this a Unit or manufacturer issue?
The installer is non-responsive as of the past six months.
The construction company owner says it passed local code inspection. Therefore, not his problem.
But it doesn't produce any heat except what i can feel at the door.
Is this a manufacturer issue, installer issue, or a chase issue, PLEASE HELP me....... I have spent hundreds of hours trying to fix this......
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
The lack of firestops is a code violation. It's not to code if they are not present.
An exterior chase can be cold when the fireplace is not running. There is no heat in it. If they are treated as an outside wall with full insulation and air sealing and not insulated on the interior wall, the chase will be a bit warmer, but it is still physically cut off from the room ambient heat. The firestops may help slow down sinking cold air within the chase and keep it in the upper sections. Are the circulation vent ducts insulated? That should help a bit.
 
Oct 13, 2020
167
Quebec, Canada
Personally my experience with contractors is that they have extremely poor knowledge when it comes to this. A qualified installer should normally be knowledgeable and experienced with such installations, but unfortunately not always the case. Have you called in a 3rd party with the necessary experience to obtain his opinion and recommendations.