Drolet Escape 1500 insert install advice

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Jerkzack

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
8
Canada
Hey all, long time lurker, but first time poster. Coming for some advice on esthetics installing a Drolet Escape 1500i.

My wife and I purchased this house this summer and have talked about renovating the two fireplaces. It was going to be a more distant project until I scored a brand new Drolet 1500 insert for $400 Canadian at a local auction.
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And here is our current masonry fireplace.
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For esthetic and code purposes, would it look weird if the insert is placed at floor level? I like the idea of raising it, but not quite sure how to go about that? Build brick hearth with some kind of stone or polished concrete for the finish? Weld a metal frame for the insert to sit on then construct hearth from brick/concrete? Or leave it at floor level and make the hearth wider? This picture of a polished concrete hearth for inspiration.

F9MSXYIIYV9PAKM.jpg
I think I would like to raise the insert off the floor about 4" and add a raised hearth. As per installation instructions, if the hearth is level with combustible floor, the hearth must be 22" minimum from the insert. If it's raised 4" from floor, then it only has to be 18". Currently, the marble hearth slab is 17.5" and the insert will stick out from the facing a few inches, making the hearth even smaller.

The current fireplace opening is 25"high. The insert is 21.25" so even if I wanted to, without demo-ing the current fireplace opening a bit, I can't raise the insert a full 4".

The mantle is definitely too close as well. Drolet says no less than 27" to any combustible materials above the fireplace at any depth, so I'll be looking to redo the entire mantle, pushing it higher.

Also, separate to this fireplace, we have another fireplace that needs a bit of a facelift. It's in a small room and won't be used to any capacity, but would like to "modernize" it to some degree. Any suggestions?
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,735
SE North Carolina
I don’t think floor level looks weird. The issue is making the hearth 2x” extension with R value. There are lots of examples on here. If I were to do it I would make it flush with the floor like the current one. I don’t care for the concrete look but if you were to go the route removing the lintel and replacing it a bigger job than I would care to take on. I could see going the polished route doing it flush to the floor. Just to make the job easier. The trim/mantle probably is going be removed? Check to see if you can reduce mantle clearance with a heat shield.

Second fireplace. Is that hearth extension floating? I really dig that if it is. Probably would figure out how to refinish/surface hearth extension. New mantle. I’m not a fan of painting stone but it’s an option. Probably would go all the way and paint mortar lines different color than stone.
 

Jerkzack

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
8
Canada
I don’t think floor level looks weird. The issue is making the hearth 2x” extension with R value. There are lots of examples on here. If I were to do it I would make it flush with the floor like the current one. I don’t care for the concrete look but if you were to go the route removing the lintel and replacing it a bigger job than I would care to take on. I could see going the polished route doing it flush to the floor. Just to make the job easier. The trim/mantle probably is going be removed? Check to see if you can reduce mantle clearance with a heat shield.

Second fireplace. Is that hearth extension floating? I really dig that if it is. Probably would figure out how to refinish/surface hearth extension. New mantle. I’m not a fan of painting stone but it’s an option. Probably would go all the way and paint mortar lines different color than stone.
It is indeed a floating hearth extension. Keeping it, just trying to figure out how to refinish it. I'd like to whitewash the brick I think.

Researching what type of product to use to bond tiles to the smooth marble, but definitely a project for much further down the road.

Got my woodshed started the other day. This will be storing wood I plan to burn in 1 years time. It will be a mix of various softwoods, a bit of maple and apple from trees on our property that are dead or dying. Probably wouldn't seek out softwood normally, but where the trees have to come down anyway, might as well put them up the chimney as free heat.
20211214_131036.jpg

For the chimney liner/cap situation. There are 3 flues exiting the same chimney (two fireplaces and an oil furnace that is no longer in use). Sorry for poor photo, scared of heights and thought I had a better way onto my roof.
20211214_123405.jpg
My plan is to make/have made a chimney cap that goes over the whole chimney, similar to this:
chimney-cap-installation-prices.png

Is there anything wrong for the time being on installing the liner with just the top plate and no cap other than the one that's already there?
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,735
SE North Carolina
It is indeed a floating hearth extension. Keeping it, just trying to figure out how to refinish it. I'd like to whitewash the brick I think.

Researching what type of product to use to bond tiles to the smooth marble, but definitely a project for much further down the road.

Got my woodshed started the other day. This will be storing wood I plan to burn in 1 years time. It will be a mix of various softwoods, a bit of maple and apple from trees on our property that are dead or dying. Probably wouldn't seek out softwood normally, but where the trees have to come down anyway, might as well put them up the chimney as free heat.
View attachment 287701

For the chimney liner/cap situation. There are 3 flues exiting the same chimney (two fireplaces and an oil furnace that is no longer in use). Sorry for poor photo, scared of heights and thought I had a better way onto my roof.
View attachment 287702
My plan is to make/have made a chimney cap that goes over the whole chimney, similar to this:
View attachment 287703

Is there anything wrong for the time being on installing the liner with just the top plate and no cap other than the one that's already there?
As long as it keeps the rain out I think it would be ok. I might think about a screen to keep kritters out if you/someone is up there. My problem with the time being is that it could be two years it I get back to it. If someone is up there just do what needs to be done for the long term while you are working on it.
 

Jerkzack

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
8
Canada
I'm still in the planning phase with this house, but recently started researching an emergency wood heat replacement to our decommissioned oil boiler and hot water baseboards which have been removed.
This idea started as an "emergency" wood stove in the basement in case we lose power and has quickly snowballed into installing an add-on wood furnace to supplement our new heat pump.
So far we are happy with the heat from the heat pump, although it is not a warm heat, it's zero thought or maintenance. We've pretty much set the thermostat and forgotten about it.

On really cold days though, the temp does dip a couple degrees and you can tell the heat pump is really working, as well as the dollars are sucking out through the emergency heat grid in the handler.
It would be nice to supplement with an add-on furnace on the really cold days, and take some of the load off the HP (and our electric bill).
This is our basement layout.
received_1357559141350775.jpeg


We have 2500sqft on one level, plus 2500sqft of basement, half of which is finished. So far the temp on the main level has been a consistent 70 degrees, which we're happy with, although sometimes find a bit chilly. The bedrooms are at one end of the house, and we've found the two bedrooms at the very end of the ductwork stay quite cool, partially due to the ductwork, partially due to old windows in those two rooms and partially due to fact they are west facing and don't get much sunlight through the day.
The basement probably stays low-mid 60's, which is ok for now as the kids are little and aren't down there a ton.

I think I've made up my mind that I want an Englander 28-3500 to supplement our HP. Missed out on this one by a few weeks, although a bit rough looking.
Screenshot_20220107-120602_Facebook.jpg


One question. I'm wondering if it'll be a waste of time and money to install the insert in the living room now? It's at the complete opposite end of the house as the bedrooms and would really only heat the living room, dining room and the kitchen a bit. Below is our main level layout.
20200724_115137.jpg

Second question, I've been researching the Englander 28-3500 quite a bit and it seems like the main thing is to ensure using really dry wood. Any other issues/problems/defects I should know about this furnace?
 
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Jerkzack

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
8
Canada
As I'm uninstalling the old oil furnace, I'm looking at things and wondering how to go about installing a liner.

This will more than likely be something I hire out as I want to make absolutely certain it's done correctly, but any ideas/suggestions on flue setup?

There is a 6"x9" cleanout on a side adjacent to where the thimble will be. It is roughly 21" from the bottom of the cleanout to the bottom of the thimble opening.

Also, I poked around the bottom of the cleanout (it badly needs cleaned) and there doesn't seem to be a bottom to it right off. How does one accumulate this much junk burning oil???

Will I need a bigger cleanout installed more towards floor level?

What supports the liner if installed with the stainless cleanout not sitting or supported on anything? Does it just hang in the flue, supported by the thimble 't'?

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Jerkzack

New Member
Nov 22, 2021
8
Canada
Got the cleanout cleaned out today. Still not sure how a person can accumulate so much junk burning oil. But it's gone now.

Got a better measurement. Inside of flue liner is barely 6"x9". Is it even possible to put a 6" round liner in, or am I going to have to put an oval liner in?
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