Fisher Insert: Should I get it?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
Is this a decent buy? Pickings are slim where I live on used inserts. Most of the ones I see are in rough shape or are too big to fit my fireplace.
This seller has it listed for $475 OBO. I measured, and I'm sure it'll fit my fireplace in the house I just bought. I have a local chimney sweep company who will properly install and inspect whatever woodstove insert I buy for $3500. It does look like it needs some brushing and painting. I have a 2100 sq' home heated with a 90s electric heatpump. So this would be a backup/auxilliary heat to lower the heat bill in the cold months. My chimneys are in sorry shape, so the sweeps recommended an insert if we wanted to avoid a much larger repair job. (Other chimney has a propane ventless logs setup we are going to keep the way it is.)

221977735_3952552538203433_3640092073947980511_n.jpg 219028823_4058177550944235_7739540986318158519_n.jpg 218533797_4012846955500730_1417832995378991917_n.jpg 218472908_4291031014305886_5287740315591721432_n.jpg 243798044_4591492337637588_1470826737006328511_n.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,626
South Puget Sound, WA
Is this a particularly tall chimney? $3500 seems a bit high for installing an insulated liner. Make sure that includes the cost of the custom transition piece to connect the insert to the liner.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
Fishers don't need a custom boot or anything. A standard 8" appliance adapter can be notched around the damper rod and slid in. I find they work best on 7" liners. But still $3500 does seem high
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,483
SE North Carolina
I have a 2100 sq' home heated with a 90s electric heatpump
Two thoughts. New heatpump before stove and I would like to see the fire. Spend the stove money on a higher seer unit. 4000$ on a stove install with an electric heatpump in VA payback time is 5-10 years burning 2-4 cords a year if you get the wood for free? I doubt the current heatpump lasts that long. Just guessing but a new heatpump, say 19 seer would save you 4000$ in 10 years. All guesstimates but should be in the ballpark.

3rd point did I say I like to see the fire;). Serious now, if you get into burning and want to upgrade not many inserts will run in an 8” flue.

4th a point of reference. This is my new DIY install that all in with tax cost me 2000$. Costco Drolet 1800i trio.

I’m not a Fisher fan but don’t fault anyone who wants one I just want you to make an informed decision.

2F5DD9F0-A882-45D9-A4DC-33154D66AB85.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
I am confused by the 2 damper controls though
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,483
SE North Carolina
I am confused by the 2 damper controls though
Fireplace damper? If they didn’t flip the pics is not on the stove in the picture with it removed.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
Fireplace damper? If they didn’t flip the pics is not on the stove in the picture with it removed.
The one on the side is the standard location for fishers. The bar ontop in the middle isn't. That is where Alaska's had theirs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
636
Wildwood MO
Not sure if its still available or not
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,350
NE PA
Is this a decent buy? Pickings are slim where I live on used inserts. Most of the ones I see are in rough shape or are too big to fit my fireplace.
This seller has it listed for $475 OBO. I measured, and I'm sure it'll fit my fireplace in the house I just bought. I have a local chimney sweep company who will properly install and inspect whatever woodstove insert I buy for $3500. It does look like it needs some brushing and painting. I have a 2100 sq' home heated with a 90s electric heatpump. So this would be a backup/auxilliary heat to lower the heat bill in the cold months. My chimneys are in sorry shape, so the sweeps recommended an insert if we wanted to avoid a much larger repair job. (Other chimney has a propane ventless logs setup we are going to keep the way it is.)

View attachment 283339 View attachment 283340 View attachment 283341 View attachment 283342 View attachment 283343
This Insert is missing the diverter plate above Insert. This part prevents heat from rising up fireplace front under mantle. It is required for a legal installation. The fire screen for fire viewing may be missing as well. No mention of optional blower.

If the glass Insert posted from Facebook Marketplace is available, it is a much better deal. Make sure it has a UL label if required by the uniform building code adopted in your state. The blower could cost 200 alone. Notice in the second picture posted on Facebook from the “Wood Heater Leader” poster, the diverter is shown above the Insert.

It is advised to add a blower when installed in any hearth, but not necessary. Unlike modern flush mount Inserts, the Fisher uses radiant heat from the front half extending out of the hearth. This has the ability to cook on the exposed stove top and radiates into the room without the need for a blower during a power outage.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Lizzinator

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
Sooo, apparently my husband has been secretly watching videos on how to install a flexible steel liner into the chimney. Him and a buddy are plotting to find a way to do this themselves in order to save money. I had better prepare myself. lol. If this goes anything like our adventures in plumbing...

But in any case, the insert I was looking at is missing a part and not legal to install. Good to know. I will avoid that one then. Should I beware older stove inserts in general ? Look for something newer or forget used and buy new?

Would something like this be better?
00J0J_g7sftWbZ6OTz_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

I was also told we could buy a woodstove, cut the legs off, and install it inside a fireplace...though it would be less efficient. Like this one they said would fit.
245617270_4350494505063646_6291455382757185836_n.jpg

But that seems like a lot of extra work. Extra work is not my thing. I'm sorry if I'm floundering here. I was excited about this project, but now I'm less so.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
Sooo, apparently my husband has been secretly watching videos on how to install a flexible steel liner into the chimney. Him and a buddy are plotting to find a way to do this themselves in order to save money. I had better prepare myself. lol. If this goes anything like our adventures in plumbing...

But in any case, the insert I was looking at is missing a part and not legal to install. Good to know. I will avoid that one then. Should I beware older stove inserts in general ? Look for something newer or forget used and buy new?

Would something like this be better?
00J0J_g7sftWbZ6OTz_0CI0t2_1200x900.jpg

I was also told we could buy a woodstove, cut the legs off, and install it inside a fireplace...though it would be less efficient. Like this one they said would fit.
245617270_4350494505063646_6291455382757185836_n.jpg

But that seems like a lot of extra work. Extra work is not my thing. I'm sorry if I'm floundering here. I was excited about this project, but now I'm less so.
Out of all of those the Fisher is by far the best option. I wouldn't get it myself I would want something more modern and efficient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lizzinator

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,483
SE North Carolina
Him and a buddy are plotting to find a way to do this themselves in order to save money.
As a DIY project the skill and level and previous experience required I think is less than plumbing. But and it’s a BIG BUT you are literally playing with fire i so your home. This requires reading and understanding and adherence to code down to the smallest detail. Like does your current chimney meet 2” clearance to combustibles? If not you must have an insulated liner. There are other thing like cutting legs off a stove will probably void the UL listing. (Altering the stove in any way would do this).

It’s a really bad time to be looking for stove/inserts. Supply chain as cut supply while the tax credit has increased demand. This will be reflected in used stoves too.

If you are unsure about any part of the process stop and ask. If you choice comes down to budget know that the best price I could find on a 25’ insulated liner alone was about 750$. So for me it just made sense to wait until a had $1200 more to spend a get a brand new stove that fit perfectly and was more efficient.

My two cents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lizzinator

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
636
Wildwood MO
I was also told we could buy a woodstove, cut the legs off, and install it inside a fireplace...though it would be less efficient. Like this one they said would fit.
I am pretty sure that is against code. Some stoves like modern Buck stoves the legs can be removed to use as an insert. If you goal is actually heating the house and I assume it is if you are looking at solid door stoves, I would highly recommend a modern stove. Heating around the clock feeding a several times a day is a lot of work. My father in law uses an Beckwood pre epa insert he goes therough a large wheel barrel load a day. I average about 3 milk crates a day which is on average 24 to 30 splits. I like the nostalgia of the old stoves especially the fishers, as a kid much of my family in rural Missouri had Fishers stoves and similar stoves along with Warm Mornings but none of the heat with wood any more. Even thought they have an abundance of wood they all say its too much work and it requires way too much wood they never upgraded to modern stoves.

As far as cutting legs of maybe Bholler will chime in.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lizzinator

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
I am pretty sure that is against code. Some stoves like modern Buck stoves the legs can be removed to use as an insert. If you goal is actually heating the house and I assume it is if you are looking at solid door stoves, I would highly recommend a modern stove. Heating around the clock feeding a several times a day is a lot of work. My father in law uses an Beckwood pre epa insert he goes therough a large wheel barrel load a day. I average about 3 milk crates a day which is on average 24 to 30 splits. I like the nostalgia of the old stoves especially the fishers, as a kid much of my family in rural Missouri had Fishers stoves and similar stoves along with Warm Mornings but none of the heat with wood any more. Even thought they have an abundance of wood they all say its too much work and it requires way too much wood they never upgraded to modern stoves.

As far as cutting legs of maybe Bholler will chime in.
If it is an unlisted stove it doesn't matter at all. Cutting the legs just makes it a shorter unlisted stove. But if it is listed yes cutting the legs voids the listing which is against code. But if it is going in a proper woodburning fireplace it would be safe. The problem is it isn't an insert and doesn't have the convective jacket that helps get the heat out into the room.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lizzinator

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
Thanks so much. I'm learning a lot from you guys!

So, there is another Fisher insert stove, identical to the one I posted that is post 1980 with the UL stamp on it, in better condition with new firebrick and freshly painted with all the pieces for $200, blower compatible. I think we are gonna get it. The hubs is very old school. I asked him about something more modern, but he likes this look. It reminds him of the woodstove his grandfather handbuilt for their cottage. The simplicity of it makes him feel nostalgic. The main purpose of the insert is to have something we can easily start and use when the power is out. It's not something we'll be using every day. Either way though, we have to put a new liner in our fireplace, as it badly needs one. We already have the money to pay for a chimney reno whether we do it ourselves or hire someone. He just prefers doing things himself whenever he can. There is no shortage of wood for sure.

I'll let you know how it goes. I might have more questions soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Piney and EbS-P

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,350
NE PA
An Insert has a double wall with air chamber around the firebox. There are openings top and bottom for air to enter and exhaust the heated air into the room. This is convected heat from convection compared to radiant heat from a wood stove that radiates in all directions.

You don’t want to radiate into the fireplace masonry, you want to heat the room. Heat radiated into masonry also radiates upward through roof and worse, to the rear when an exterior fireplace is used. A close clearance to a stove in an enclosed place such as a fireplace hearth is extremely hard on the stove. They are designed to radiate heat off each side and back.

When a stove can’t radiate equally in all directions the front cools by radiating forward and the back stays hot. This uneven heating leads to warping or cracking welds due to uneven heating. Always allow at least 3 inches air space between stove and non combustible material for the minimum air circulation.

Most new Inserts are convection only, almost flush with hearth front. A blower makes a huge difference moving the convected hot air out. The Fisher is designed with a single wall firebox in front that protrudes out of the hearth to take advantage of radiant heat and give you a cook top. The back half uses convection heated air out the top slot and cooler air closer to floor level enters under ash fender (shelf) or is helped even more with a optional blower.

Most of the heat comes from around the exhaust outlet pipe. You can see the pipe looking into the air slot at top. Moving air across this pipe with a blower extracts the most amount of heat into the room.
 

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
Ok. So I ended up getting the one I originally posted pictures of. The other guy's was extremely rusty, he finally admitted. This one needs a little sanding and painting too. But the lady who sold me this one did reduce the price down to $350 due to a Trump bumper sticker on the back of our pickup truck. Lol. She did have the air deflector. The only thing it's missing is a blower and firebrick. I can easily pick up firebrick in town.

Dumb question though, where does a blower attach if I get one like you mentioned? On that lower right side where there is a gap? Or on top? I was looking at heat convection powered fans but they look pretty dinky. Does something like this work? Do you just bolt it on?
71pEjXl8ABL._AC_SL1373_.jpg
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,350
NE PA
There were a few styles made. If there are no slots along the sides of the Insert through the faceplate you use the long slot across the bottom.

Here is a thread showing the best home made blower I’ve seen. I later posted pics of all the different types in the thread.

 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,350
NE PA
I should add, it takes a high cfm blower for an Insert. 225 cfm is best. They all had a variable speed control so when the fire is low you can slow it down. Overnight about half speed is quiet compared to running any full speed.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,350
NE PA
This one is only 135 cfm.

It takes a much larger one than the one you linked in the post above.
Woodmans Associates has much larger and will be twice that price for what you need.

Notice in the thread I linked above I posted the original template for making a sheet metal duct for the bottom intake if you can’t find a blower to mount into the slot.
 

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
Thank you. I'm still not sure about the blower. So I guess we'll get one later. Before I can do anything else, we have to put in a chimney liner. There isn't one. We started cleaning the old chimney out and repairing it. But we're waiting on the correct size brushes to come in. Then gotta put in the new liner kit. It should all be here in a week or so. I also ordered a bigger faceplate 32" x 50" since our fireplace is 48" wide. I'll let you guys know how it all works out.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
Thank you. I'm still not sure about the blower. So I guess we'll get one later. Before I can do anything else, we have to put in a chimney liner. There isn't one. We started cleaning the old chimney out and repairing it. But we're waiting on the correct size brushes to come in. Then gotta put in the new liner kit. It should all be here in a week or so. I also ordered a bigger faceplate 32" x 50" since our fireplace is 48" wide. I'll let you guys know how it all works out.
What size liner did you order?
 

Lizzinator

New Member
Oct 15, 2021
25
Virginia
What size liner did you order?
I got an 8" flexible steel liner, same as the pipe opening on the stove. Our chimney is a rectangle 10" x 10.5" more or less. It should fit, fingers crossed. Luckily, we only need 15', and our roof is low pitch, easy to hop up on and walk around on. Never would have tried to DIY this project otherwise!

@coaly Ok, I've been scraping off the old ash and rust, and painting with Lowe's high heat paint. I finally figured out where that bottom air intake slot is you were talking about! I see it's about 1 3/4" high and 17ish" long. But I think I also have slots on the left and right. So I guess that means I pick one, either the bottom one or one of the sides, but not both?