Fireplace insert in a heatilator metal firebox? Options

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dirtyb15

New Member
Jun 6, 2015
5
Ohio
Hi all. I have a house that was built in 1980 (Bought last year), and we would really like to install a fireplace insert. I believe the original fireplace is a heatilator? It has 4 vents in the brick, two down low for intake, and two up high for the output. There are two blower motors in the low brick vents. When we bought the house there was a very old insert installed with no liner. I removed that last year and to my surprise found a masonry bottom with an ash door, but the rest of the firebox is metal? Also the top is metal rectangular which looks like maybe it was added for the fireplace insert? Above the metal everything goes to a normal clay type liner. We are looking at getting the osburn matrix. As is, i will have to get the projection kit as it is not quite deep enough. I was wondering if i could remove the metal surround which would give me quite a bit more space in there. Would there be any safety hazzards doing this? Attached is a picture of the firebox now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
fireplace.JPG
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,411
central pa
wondering if i could remove the metal surround which would give me quite a bit more space in there.
Probably not unless you are going to build a masonry firebox in there. But i cant tell without being there to investigate.

Would there be any safety hazzards doing this?
There may not be enough masonry there to have proper clearances with out that box. Also some times the box supports the liners above them
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,479
South Puget Sound, WA
Agreed, fit something to the heatilator and leave the metal in place. It would be hard to properly know how the masonry surround was constructed or the degree of protection it would afford. If the insert just projects a little then could some aluminum angle stock painted black and attached to the surround to fill the gap?
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
If you are set on the flush look you could check out the Pacific Energy Neo 2.5. That has slightly different dimensions and may be a better fit. Another option would be the Regency CI2600 but that gets some mixed reviews here. Or you go for a non-flush look which would give you plenty more options.

Be aware that any of those inserts needs dry wood to burn well and safely. How many cords of split firewood are already sitting in your yard to dry?
 
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