Gas insert in “ruined” fireplace

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Concerned1234

New Member
Apr 4, 2021
2
USA
I bought a house in 2019 that has a wood stove fireplace insert in it. It is what was at one time known as a “slammer” stove in that it was just slammed into the firebox and vented passively into the chimney. It was used as such for approximately 50 years and now my chimney has significant glazed (level 3) creosote in it.

we’ve had a couple of quotes to install new stoves and have it cleaned, a new flue installed etc. We decided to ask about having a gas insert installed. One of the fully contained deals made by Enviro.

it’s my understanding that these are vented directly out the top of the chimney, and that no significant heat is generated in the firebox aside from what’s projected out into the room. Nonetheless, the quote we were provided still involves the same extensive glazed creosote removal.

my concern is that I’m being taken for a ride. It seems logical to me that extensive cleaning should not be nevessary for this gas insert, and a normal, mechanical cleaning would be perfectly adequate to knock off the big chunks of creosote and call it good.

can anyone comment on this? What is the reason for extensive glazed creosote removal in a chimney that will have a direct vent gas insert installed in it?

thanks a lot in advance!
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,002
Wherever we're parked
The buildup of creosote can cause your fireplace to smell like asphalt or barbeque gone bad.
The flexible gas venting enclosed by the dirty chimney will cause that smell when it heats up...
That's why it's best to clean the chimney before installation...
If you DO install a gas insert, you will probably NEVER have to clean the chimney again...
 
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Concerned1234

New Member
Apr 4, 2021
2
USA
Thanks for the reply. That’s much appreciated.

how thoroughly would you say it needs to be cleaned? They’re talking about a chemical treatment that takes 1-2 weeks to dissolve the creosote, followed by mechanical methods to remove what remains. Price is $1900 for this service.
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,002
Wherever we're parked
If any creosote remains, you may smell it for awhile.
Not sure how long until it stops.
 
Jan 9, 2017
136
Upstate NY
Thanks for the reply. That’s much appreciated.

how thoroughly would you say it needs to be cleaned? They’re talking about a chemical treatment that takes 1-2 weeks to dissolve the creosote, followed by mechanical methods to remove what remains. Price is $1900 for this service.
Forget the expensive cleaning! Just make sure that they insulate the throat of the fireplace, and you will not smell it.
Imo every fireplace insert installed today, should be insulated at the throat. I had no idea why some installers don't do it.... Just too lazy I guess.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,487
central pa
Forget the expensive cleaning! Just make sure that they insulate the throat of the fireplace, and you will not smell it.
Imo every fireplace insert installed today, should be insulated at the throat. I had no idea why some installers don't do it.... Just too lazy I guess.
You do realize installing an insert without properly cleaning is a clear violation of code and every single instruction manual I have ever seen. I can't believe some installers don't do it. Just to lazy I guess.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,783
Iowa
Not to mention. What happens if you develop a little reverse draft during certain weather/times of the year? Potential creo stink in your home from the old creo buildup. And the forever safe good vibe! I'd feel better with it clean at my home before a fresh install. Now would surely be the time to tackle it. To each there own however. Best of luck on your project.
 
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