First post - white fireplace insert insulation

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New Member
Feb 5, 2024
Hi Folks,

New to the forum, but not to wood / pellet insert heating. I had a CB1200i installed two years ago, a replacement to an old Quaker Moravian insert. The Quaker was great, but starting to leak and hard to get an overnight burn. In any event, that stove had a 8 inch stainless liner running up the chimney. The CB1200i was installed, running a 4 inch liner inside the 8 inch.

When the Quaker was taken out, there were (and still are) quite a few white insulation type of batts to insulate the top area of the fireplace and what I assume to be a "duct seal" of the 8 inch stainless liner. I I say "insulation type batts " as I did not handle the original ones coming out, and have not attempted to pull the insert out to explore what is my my question and concern - are these batts/blankets possibly asbestos? I have searched the forums and did not find any matches (perhaps I did something wrong as a new user). My initial internet research suggests this is a ceramic fiber blanket, but the discoloration is what throws me for a loop. The discoloration could be just soot from the old leaking Quaker, or who knows.

I apologize the photos are not the best, again, mindful of not moving the stove - although the concern about the convection fan drawing air in to the back of the stove, in that obvious concern area is nerve rattling. In searching some of the posts on the forum, I appreciate the ultimate feedback of having it tested, but to date, I have not seen anything via Google that suggests white asbestos batts with such appearance, used in fireplace inserts - logic suggests ceramic fiber.

For context, the house was built 1979, but feel the brickwork and old Quaker was installed after the fact. If I recall, when the Quaker was being taken out of the house (super heavy), there was a product label on the back which may have been 1981, it was certainly not 1979. I wanted to share the dates in case it matters - given the asbestos phase out around that time.

I welcome the insights and feedback from everyone, much appreciated in advance! Again, apologies for not the best photos - the limited space and upside phone holding was tricky...


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Given the age of the old stove it's hard to say. Asbestos insulation was banned in 1975. They might be kaowool batts. Which is a ceramic wool.
Of course it's impossible to make a definitive determination from a few pictures but given the age of your house and the appearance in the pictures I think it is unlikely to contain asbestos. It looks more like Kaowool as begreen suggested.

Below the insulation, that whole area should ideally be closed off with some kind of "block off plate" to prevent heat loss up the chimney which would also isolate that "stuff" from the indoor air circulation.