First year with wood insert, not really helping . . . please help!

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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,388
Central Mass
You can use metal if you want and paint it black, anything not flammable. You might have some leftover roxul, two bundles is a lot, I bought one and have left overs.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
323
Southeastern CT
OK I'll bite.. what is the peak BTU/Hr of the insert you recommended.

How does that compare to to a WPH ( 12-73 k BTU/hr *)

For the possibly uninformed , the greater the BTU /hr, the hotter the house

For that matter, what is the efficiency ( again 81% for the WPH *)

Ignore these measures at your peril when choosing

Should these measures be the same for the insert, by all means go for the insert

*https://www.woodstove.com/progress-hybrid
If you're strictly a numbers guy, then my insert (74k BTU, 84.7% efficiency) outheats your free stander (73k BTU, 81% efficiency) :) So maybe inserts aren't too shabby after all?

However, I'm with Hogz - firebox size is going to give you a better indication of overall heating ability.

When I first started looking at stoves, many on hearth.com told me 1. Exterior chimneys are terrible, and 2. Inserts are terrible. I spent a few months exhausting every possible option for installing a freestander with an internal chimney. Eventually I concluded it would simply require too much work (would have had to take down walls to go with a free stander). I begrudgingly settled for what hearth.com had convinced me was a poor choice (insert with an exterior chimney), and I could not be happier with the results.

In my opinion, there are not many inserts above 2.5 cuft, and not many that are true N/S loaders (easier to fully take advantage of firebox size). Since many of the inserts out there are smaller, E/W loaders, many people get the impression that inserts in general won't put out as much heat.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,491
SEPA
I just reviewed almost all of those threads. Very informative. So I went to Lowe’s this evening and bought 2 bundles of roxul comfortbat R15 and try to friction fit it above the insert. That was a bad idea so Saturday I’ll be moving out the insert, doing the block off plate with sheet metal and stuffing roxul up the chimney. It seems a lot of people don’t insulate the back and sides. I plan to as I have a exterior brick chimney. Other than durarock what can I use to hold the roxul to the back and sides?
Well done, JMB, you are well on your way to a warmer house.

Behind my insert, I just stacked up a couple of pieces on edge, cut a little too long so they'd smoosh in. Took them back out and spray painted them black, then put em back. I'd probably just use some sheet metal if I do it over. The paint didn't work great.

Keep us updated, please.
 
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spudman99

Member
Jan 26, 2018
188
Yardley, PA
I agree that 2 bundles is too much. Cut the Roxul with a bread knife or serated knife, it is so easy and true. Like cutting cake. Take your time when you have the insert pulled so that you do it right the first time. Plan out some way of securing the sheet metal or whatever you chose that is between the roxul and your insert in the firebox to the rear walls. Some have used cement board as a divider between the unit and the insulation, frankly sheet metal is easier to cut and fit.
 
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danham

Member
Jan 12, 2012
93
Cape Cod, MA
Thanks for all the replies guys I appreciate it and learning a lot. That Osburn 2400 is a beast, huge firebox but at $2200, I think for now the CW2900 and Drolet 1800i would be in my price range. I will do research on all of them. Who knows, I'll start searching around for a used one. Great idea about the door rope for getting in between the gap of the block off plate 6" hole.

Here are pictures I took today of the pipe the installers did. I looked around, I think my block off plate will have to be slanted due to the bricks that were knocked out in the back. I have to be honest, first time looking at how they installed it. Seems to me like they didn't need to do THAT much damage to get the pipe down. It seems it'll now be harder for me to do a block off plate. Maybe I can do it higher up?? Anyways, can't do anything about it now.

Anyone selling a bigger fireplace insert in the Indiana/Ohio/Michigan area?!? lol. But seriously.
I found that with a similar leaky installation I was able to use Roxul to block off the chimney until I get around to creating a real plate. In fact, the Roxul is working so well that I plan to procrastinate a whole lot more. ;-)

-dan
 
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shortys7777

Member
Nov 15, 2017
147
Smithfield, RI
I heat 1500 sq ft ranch with a enviro insert I bought. I don't have a block off plate but have as much safe and sound as I could fit up in the chimney. My chimney is also exterior. The rear bedroom was sitting at 70 last night. I don't have ideal wood this winter and I am still satisfied with the insert. My gas bill last month was $70 cheaper than last January and I was only living in the house half the month last January. This month will be a good comparison. I plan on doing a block off plate at the end of next summer and Have a good stack of wood ready for next season.
 

JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
Okay, so I finally got around to doing the block off plate. Man it was a big and filthy job and took me about 7 hours from start to finish. I used 1 and a half bundles of Roxul Comfortbat R15, stuffed it as high as I could get it and packed it in tight. Lowes didn't have silicon high temp caulk so I ended up using the 3M fireblock cement type caulk. I wish I would have bought 2 as I ended up not having enough. Will fill the rest in when I sweep next fall.

Taking the insert out while my son watches TV and my daughter help with the vacuum:
IMG_3910.jpg

Stuff the roxul comfortbat R15 up as far as I could get it and packing it tight.
IMG_3918.jpg

Mocking up the block off plate. My chimney is not uniform so it took a lot of tweaking the cardboard.
IMG_3915.jpg

Transferring it on the 4x2 foot sheet metal.
IMG_3916.jpg

There she is:
IMG_3917.jpg

This is where I just started to get sick of everything and just wanted to get it done. This was about 6 hours after starting. The plan was to screw the block off plate to the bottom of the metal lintel but I kept breaking metal screws. I just said screw it and bent the metal and put it behind the lintel and filled the gap as tight as I could with Roxul and caulk. I figure it'll be good enough. Here's where I ran out of the caulk, you can see it between the lintel block off plate. I also wanted to create another piece of metal with a 6.25" circle hole but decided it was getting late and figured with all the roxul up there and packed around the liner it should be good. Thoughts?
IMG_3924.jpg

Roxul on back and sides, block off plate, chimney filled with Roxul, roxul stuffed around liner.
IMG_3919.jpg


I stuffed Roxul on back and sides of insert. Is this okay?
IMG_3925.jpg

And here she burns.
IMG_3926.jpg
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,258
NE Ohio
So where does the air come out on top of the stove? I see the side vents...but it almost looks like the roxul is blocking the hot air exit on the top? I dunno, my Drolet 1400i is a bit different...I wouldn't have the roxul sitting directly on the stove top...air jacket only
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
It’s not blocking the air coming out. The air comes out in the gap between the air control slider and top. With that said, you think I should remove it from above?
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,258
NE Ohio
The air comes out in the gap between the air control slider and top. With that said, you think I should remove it from above?
Ah, OK...so the roxul is only against the air jacket, not the actual stove top...you're good then.
I think you are gonna notice a huge difference now...
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
Ah, OK...so the roxul is only against the air jacket, not the actual stove top...you're good then.
I think you are gonna notice a huge difference now...
I guess I’m confused. The roxul is sitting on top of the fireplace insert. Is that the top of the air jacket like you’re referring?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,258
NE Ohio
I guess I’m confused. The roxul is sitting on top of the fireplace insert. Is that the top of the air jacket like you’re referring?
You said the air comes out between the air control slider and the top...so that means the roxul cant be sitting on the actual stove top, but on the air jacket that surrounds the stove body on insert style stoves
 

JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
We’re kind of getting a smell in here. I wonder if that’s the roxul next to the exhaust or the paint curing off. I painted it with high temp stove paint last fall. I wonder since adding the insulation the metal temp is getting hot enough now to finally create off gassing from the high temp stove paint? The top of the inserr is 245, door between 400-500 degrees, bottom plate 300, sides 250-300 degrees. Glass is 700 degrees. Interior firebox temp is 930. I’ve never registered temps that high since installing it in the fall.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,272
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
We’re kind of getting a smell in here. I wonder if that’s the roxul next to the exhaust or the paint curing off. I painted it with high temp stove paint last fall. I wonder since adding the insulation the metal temp is getting hot enough now to create off gassing? The top of the inserr is 245, door between 400-500 degrees, bottom plate 300, sides 250-300 degrees. Glass is 700 degrees. Interior firebox temp is 930.
I can tell you from experience that putting a butane torch on roxul and letting it run doesn't create much odor.

It does eat a little hole out of the roxul after an hour or two, but butane burns friggin hot (2600°F).

I wouldn't worry about 250.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,491
SEPA
We’re kind of getting a smell in here. I wonder if that’s the roxul next to the exhaust or the paint curing off. I painted it with high temp stove paint last fall. I wonder since adding the insulation the metal temp is getting hot enough now to finally create off gassing from the high temp stove paint? The top of the inserr is 245, door between 400-500 degrees, bottom plate 300, sides 250-300 degrees. Glass is 700 degrees. Interior firebox temp is 930. I’ve never registered temps that high since installing it in the fall.
I'm not sure I'd be comfortable packing insulation around and on top of the stove (it is outside the jacket), without getting the ok from the manufacturer. I'd probably want at least a little air gap. Might get too hot.

But, if the manufacturer says it's ok, it might really be great.

My insulation is touching the back, as there was no space for a gap.

Just don't want to melt the thing down, if you can help it.

This has been discussed before, I can't remember the specifics.
 
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ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
253
Nor Cal
You did good. Can deal with final touches later like you said. Do you notice any improvements in heating? Talk with SBI about packing around the stove and most importantly, what is the best way to monitor stove temps on their insert. And what temps is too hot, over firing. If you never over fire the stove, no worries.

Curious, how are you measuring inside stove temp?
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,491
SEPA
You did good. Can deal with final touches later like you said. Do you notice any improvements in heating? Talk with SBI about packing around the stove and most importantly, what is the best way to monitor stove temps on their insert. And what temps is too hot, over firing. If you never over fire the stove, no worries.

Curious, how are you measuring inside stove temp?
Found 840°f is overfire in an old manual. They don't publish the number anymore, to my knowledge. Measured on the stove top right in front of the jacket, in the middle.

I didn't install the surround, so it's easy access with a laser thermometer. With the surround on, I'd measure as far back on the top middle as possible before hitting the surround. At that spot, its considerably cooler than further back, so I'd leave a margin of error well below 840. I'd probably try to keep it below 700.
 

Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,003
St.Louis
Sounds like your finally getting good temps on the stove so your getting some smell from curing. I still get it from mine if I forget to close it down soon enough and I hit a new high temp.
 

HomeinPA

Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
510
Central PA
I don't think it's a big problem but you are aware that all you had to really do with the insulation was wedge enough around the liner and damper frame at the top of the firebox to firmly stay in place....right? Stuffing it up the chimney and packing around the firebox is a bit of overkill but not necessarily bad though. I would definitely suggest checking with the stove mfg. to make sure that isn't an issue though.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
You can use regular silicone around the perimeter of the block off plate. I myself would install a 2pc plate with the circle cut out to cover the square hole left around the liner penetration.

From what I have seen, unless I am missing something, your insert does not have a outer casing shell. If that is the case, packing Roxul against it on top side & back while will raise fire box temps, will also insulate & limit heat dispersion from the insert to the room/home. You want heat from the insert to heat the air around it to convect into the home. With a block off plate installed, there is no real reason to insulate the top of the insert at all. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and in your case I think you are going to limit heat from being transferred from the insert.

You may want to consider removing the second inner layer of the roxul all around the insert, at least the top and sides. You want it against the old firebox, but not against the insert .
 
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ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
253
Nor Cal

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,153
Michigan
You can use regular silicone around the perimeter of the block off plate. I myself would install a 2pc plate with the circle cut out to cover the square hole left around the liner penetration.

From what I have seen, unless I am missing something, your insert does not have a outer casing shell. If that is the case, packing Roxul against it on top side & back while will raise fire box temps, will also insulate & limit heat dispersion from the insert to the room/home. You want heat from the insert to heat the air around it to convect into the home. With a block off plate installed, there is no real reason to insulate the top of the insert at all. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and in your case I think you are going to limit heat from being transferred from the insert.

You may want to consider removing the second inner layer of the roxul all around the insert, at least the top and sides. You want it against the old firebox, but not against the insert .
Personally I think you'll notice a huge difference in heat output now that your not putting all your heat up the chimney. I've owned two inserts in my life a Lopi Liberty and a Quadrafire 5100, both of them would run us out of a 3000 sf house. Much of it has to do with house design. Best of luck.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Personally I think you'll notice a huge difference in heat output now that your not putting all your heat up the chimney. I've owned two inserts in my life a Lopi Liberty and a Quadrafire 5100, both of them would run us out of a 3000 sf house. Much of it has to do with house design. Best of luck.
Block off plate is always a must in my opinion. His manual even advises on a block off plate. And surprisingly, they do advise you can just basically stuff Roxul up there, but it does note that a plate is more superior. Kudos to them for giving good info.
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
I have a laser thermometer so that’s where I’m getting the temps. I just open the door and point it at the logs.

Overall, It’s quite a difference for sure. It’s 23 here right now and with my thermostat on the other side of the house it’s currently at 66 degrees. The room that the fireplace is in is rather hot and walking towards the room you definitely feel the temp rise considerably. Better than before. I may get a fan and blow the cold air from the other side of the house into the fireplace room. I hear these stories of people get 75+ degree temps in their whole house when it’s -0 outside. I’m still not there yet so a little disappointed. I just think I need a bigger insert??? 1.5 cu ft is tiny. A guy buy me was selling a CW2900 but I was too late. 2.4 cu ft fire box is huge compared to what I have now!

Anyways. I removed the insulation from directly around the insert based on your comments so thank you all for the replies. When I removed it it was very hot to the touch (fire was going) so hopefully the heat absorbed by the insulation will now come out past the shroud into the room? Hopefully get some extra heat.
 
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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
The exterior chimney is worth insulating given insulation is cheap, he is already their working on it and trying to get better insert stove performance.

Here is the diagram specs, albiet the Century specs, as CFM is now Century SBI. It looks jacketed.

http://sbiweb.blob.core.windows.net/media/1465/cb00019_cw2500.pdf
Different design than what I am used to seeing. Looks like the jacket is part of the insert, rather than a separate shell attached but removable. Also looks like limited space between the jacket & the firebox, with some venting holes on each side.

I like the way the Summit is set up as the outer casing has a few inches between it and the firebox, and with the vented corner plates on each side, additional heated air can convect from those.
 
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