Convert ZC framed chase to alcove for stove?

Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
So I've decided against sticking an insert into my Heatilator and would rather rip out the old ZC and have a small free standing stove installed. The chase is build off an exterior wall and is completely outside, not counting chase in the attic which the chimney is visible . Looking at the old heatilator manual, it shows the Zc framed from 42". The small stoves I am looking at are the Regency CS1200 or the Kuma Aspen, both alcove approved. I want to rip out the zc but I'm not sure how far apart the framing is . Since the chase is exterior, can the framing be changed so I can get the needed 50" width I need for the alcove for the regency? The blue tape on the crappy tile is the 48" I need for width for the Aspen. Thinking is should be no more than reframing out to a larger opening and moving the header up towards the ceiling? 84" is needed for ceiling height, I have 8 foot (96" ceiling).

Anything else about the alcove to think about? It will be professionally installed. I'm ok with the stove face coming out of the alcove a little bit too. I'm hoping the door will be flush with the existing walls if possible.

Picture attached of what I'm dealing with. Is it pretty easy to remove the old ZC fireplace? I'm pretty handy so that could save me $500 just to rip it out myself.

Also would it be overkill to use type A chimney for the whole run? What about black double wall pipe in the alcove and then type a from the ceiling out? I am getting that right?
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,620
South Puget Sound, WA
I think you may be able to go with a larger stove. Are you set on just the Regency or Aspen? If not, I would look into many stoves that have naturally close clearances and also those that allow clearance reduction with NFPA 211 wall shielding in an alcove.
 

Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
I think you may be able to go with a larger stove. Are you set on just the Regency or Aspen? If not, I would look into many stoves that have naturally close clearances and also those that allow clearance reduction with NFPA 211 wall shielding in an alcove.
Thanks. The local dealer has Regency and Kuma. Some of the traditional looking stoves brands (Vermont Castings, Hampton) didn't pass the wife test.
Just looking to add a little warmth to the 1st floor. The location is in a 1st floor family room with nothing but attic over it. The main living room is down the hallway and the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor over thay. Gonna be hard to move the air out of the end of the family room to the rest of the house and i'm trying not to cook myself out of the family room where i hope to have a warm fire and pass out with a beer in hand during winter.

Thinking the Kuma Ashford could fit, with a little of the stove face protruding into the room and the rest of the body in the old chase that will be framed out. Right now we are thinking the side walls will be drywall and the rear wall cement board with a devorative tile.
Thoughts?
 

OtterH

New Member
Aug 23, 2016
4
Fort Collins, CO
So I've decided against sticking an insert into my Heatilator and would rather rip out the old ZC and have a small free standing stove installed. The chase is build off an exterior wall and is completely outside,
I'm in N. Colorado and have a very similar situation and interest: i.e. to replace an inefficient, old-style manufactured fireplace that sits in a framed exterior chase. I'm considering either a newer high-efficiency wood-burning fireplace (such as RSF Onyx or Hearthstone Montgomery) or by converting the chase to an alcove and installing a high-efficiency ZC woodstove. I'm informed that the existing 8" triple-wall chimney will have to be removed/replaced in any case. An area shop/installer suggests I can do that part myself.

I'm leaning to the 2nd of those two options (creating an alcove from the chase) and found an idea in the 2nd set of before & after images on the following page:
http://woodensun.com/what-we-do/before-after-photos/ . I like this idea in part because I can choose an even more efficient woodstove (and more options to choose from) than if selecting just from manufactured fireplaces.

I'll have to compare costs and pros & cons of each approach; but would be interested in comparing notes on what you found!
Have you decided on the best approach?
 

OtterH

New Member
Aug 23, 2016
4
Fort Collins, CO
That seems like a good choice. A few q's: 1) How did you determine the height of the alcove (i.e. where to put the alcove ceiling? 2) Is it necessary to choose/mount the chimney adapter (not sure what it's called, but the transition between the stove's chimney pipe and the pipe above that alcove ceiling) before placing the ceiling? 3) With what will you finish the alcove ...and will you do any of that before the stove is installed/hooked up?
Am looking forward to seeing any other pictures showing the work done... and thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,620
South Puget Sound, WA
Often the stove spec for ceiling height over the stove is at 84", but some are less. Always check whether the stove model is alcove approved and what all clearance requirements are, including ceiling height.
 

Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
That seems like a good choice. A few q's: 1) How did you determine the height of the alcove (i.e. where to put the alcove ceiling? 2) Is it necessary to choose/mount the chimney adapter (not sure what it's called, but the transition between the stove's chimney pipe and the pipe above that alcove ceiling) before placing the ceiling? 3) With what will you finish the alcove ...and will you do any of that before the stove is installed/hooked up?
Am looking forward to seeing any other pictures showing the work done... and thanks!
1) The stove determined the alcove height. The cs1200 needs 84" ceiling height, that is the height to the header in the picture. Inside the alcove the ceiling height is 93" because we wanted the alcove ceiling to not be visible.
2) The support box was placed before the ceiling. This way the ceiling fit tight up against the support box. I guess it can be done either way but you need to know all your clearance for setting the support box.
3)The sides of alcove are getting sheetrock. The are outside of the combustible clearance for the CS1200. The rear and ceiling of the alcove are cement board. The rear cement board is going to get tiled for looks (wife's design). Everything will be done before the stove is installed. Seems like last steps are place stove and connector pipe and hook up outside air kit for the stove.
Still need to get the floor tiled and back wall tiled.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Looking good.
 

OtterH

New Member
Aug 23, 2016
4
Fort Collins, CO
Looking good!
What's the width of your alcove now? I think you said there's enough to meet min. stove side clearances. Do you know if those specified clearances can be reduced if you use non-combustible facings? That's a question I need to answer as my chase doesn't appear to have enough clearance-to-combustibles width for most stoves I've looked at.
 

Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
Looking good!
What's the width of your alcove now? I think you said there's enough to meet min. stove side clearances. Do you know if those specified clearances can be reduced if you use non-combustible facings? That's a question I need to answer as my chase doesn't appear to have enough clearance-to-combustibles width for most stoves I've looked at.
Alcove is now 59" wide. Was 60" but now minus 1/2" each side for drywalll. Some stoves & local building code will allow air shields, some don't. The cs1200 needs 11" side clearance. Most stoves i looked at had a minimum alcove width of around 48" give or take a couple inches depending on the stove.
 

Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
That's a question I need to answer as my chase doesn't appear to have enough clearance-to-combustibles width for most stoves I've looked at.
Easy thing to do it's go outside and measure your chase width and subtract about 8". That'll give you an idea about how wide it is on the inside.

What model zc fireplace is in there right now? You can look up the manual and see how it is framed in, that'll give you an idea how wide it may be in the chase.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,386
07462
Keep in mind clearances to smoke pipe, single wall pipe is 18" dvl is 6" Everything looks good (you sure are not wasting any time) Just the rear wall with cement board needs to be treated as a combustible wall.
 

OtterH

New Member
Aug 23, 2016
4
Fort Collins, CO
Easy thing to do it's go outside and measure your chase width and subtract about 8". That'll give you an idea about how wide it is on the inside.

What model zc fireplace is in there right now? You can look up the manual and see how it is framed in, that'll give you an idea how wide it may be in the chase.
The current model is Majestic MBC36; it's 42" W ; but I think the chase was built around that unit; I had measured it at 51" on the exterior; and figured there might be 44" of space. That eliminates a lot of stoves, but I found one (QuadraFire Explorer II) that looks like it'll fit (only 6.5" side clearance).
 

RSNovi

Feeling the Heat
May 12, 2010
386
Michigan
Tile set. Next step is grout.
That looks really nice. I have a BR42 with an insert which I have been yearning to tear out for a stove.


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stoveguy2esw

Minister of Fire
one question sorry I'm late to the party, what form of class A flue system is going to vent this? many ZC fireplaces use a UL-103 air cooled system, due to the very high amount of waste heat with a ZC. the woodstove you are installing needs a UL-103HT flue system which is an insulated pipe not an air cooled. this is extremely important so I figured I would bring it up didn't see anything on it in the thread yet unless I missed it
 
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Capt_phun

New Member
Jul 19, 2016
14
Colorado
one question sorry I'm late to the party, what form of class A flue system is going to vent this? many ZC fireplaces use a UL-103 air cooled system, due to the very high amount of waste heat with a ZC. the woodstove you are installing needs a UL-103HT flue system which is an insulated pipe not an air cooled. this is extremely important so I figured I would bring it up didn't see anything on it in the thread yet unless I missed it
The old ZC was ripped out and so the ZC flue. A new 6" 103HT Metal Fab Temp Guard flue was installed.
Thanks for looking out though!
 
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stoveguy2esw

Minister of Fire
The old ZC was ripped out and so the ZC flue. A new 6" 103HT Metal Fab Temp Guard flue was installed.
Thanks for looking out though!
OK good deal! its important enough to make sure, the method of preventing heat conduction to the house is exactly opposite between the two, the air cooled flue would have just killed performance in the stove as well as made it possible for rapid creosote formation. didn't mean to sound like a mother hen, glad you have a solid class a system installed.
 

RSNovi

Feeling the Heat
May 12, 2010
386
Michigan
Looks incredible!


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