Heat N Glo Nightmare

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
Hello, I need some help. I have recently purchased a house and the Heat N Glo model cbs 41 zero clearance fireplace is very damaged. the secondary burn tubes are degrading, and the floor bricks and back bricks are cracked through. I have rented this house in the past, when the fire place was in usable shape, and it was never very impressive. Shallow box always made smoke roll out whenever we opened the door, and the heat was never great, even within a 1300 sqft house. I have been looking for an insert that will fit within it or any other idea someone may have. I see lopi has a fireplace that is rated to fit within heat n glo zc. but after measuring the dimensions, it seems it most likely wont fit. Any help is greatly appreciated, as the propane has been being used too quickly for my liking, especially with three cords of wood outside.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
The burn tubes and bricks are wear items. Smoke roll out is typically caused by a dirty chimney or cap, or a flue that’s too short. poor performance is most often due to using under seasoned wood.

You can’t put an insert into this fireplace.
 

woodhtr

Member
Feb 13, 2019
18
Norcal
I feel your pain.

I had a ZC fireplace and after doing some reading on them, I’ve concluded that they all are junk. They are mostly intended for burning decorative fires, and provide a much cheaper way for a homebuilder to install a fireplace than a masonry fireplace. Heating efficiency from them is very low.

I looked at putting an insert into my 43 inch ZC fireplace and found only one model that would fit. The wood splits it could take would be very small.

I finally decided the best option was to replace with a ZC wood stove (aka high efficiency fireplace). I replaced the old Superior ZC fireplace with a FireplaceX 42 Apex clean face. It was expensive, and a big project, which included changing out the chimney, but it was worth it. I generates plenty of heat and can essentially heat our whole house.

You might look into the FireplaceX Elite 36 for your home size. It is also compatible with some older model air cooled chimney, so it might save money and time if it turns out your existing chimney is compatible.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
I feel your pain.

I had a ZC fireplace and after doing some reading on them, I’ve concluded that they all are junk. They are mostly intended for burning decorative fires, and provide a much cheaper way for a homebuilder to install a fireplace than a masonry fireplace. Heating efficiency from them is very low.

I looked at putting an insert into my 43 inch ZC fireplace and found only one model that would fit. The wood splits it could take would be very small.

I finally decided the best option was to replace with a ZC wood stove (aka high efficiency fireplace). I replaced the old Superior ZC fireplace with a FireplaceX 42 Apex clean face. It was expensive, and a big project, which included changing out the chimney, but it was worth it. I generates plenty of heat and can essentially heat our whole house.

You might look into the FireplaceX Elite 36 for your home size. It is also compatible with some older model air cooled chimney, so it might save money and time if it turns out your existing chimney is compatible.
You had an open fireplace, they are pretty much for decoration only. This particular unit is a high efficiency ZC fireplace.
 

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
thank you very much for the information, i found the manual and it does say 40-60k btu unit which seems surprising, i also noticed the grate is gone on the bottom. Do you happen to know a good place to get these parts?
 

woodhtr

Member
Feb 13, 2019
18
Norcal
Ah, if the model you have is already a high efficiency fireplace, I doubt you will get better performance from trying to cram an insert into it. The insert would have a much smaller firebox. The most logical option would be to fix up the unit so its in good working condition. I would go to the manufacturer's website and find the nearest local dealer. I'm sure they could order any parts you need, or recommend a person who could inspect / repair the unit.
 

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
ya, its looking like they may not make parts for it anymore, so if thats the case and i cant find some old stockpiled replacement parts, it looks like the cheapest option would be to cut out a recessed area and put a stand alone stove so in the future it is easier to work on or replace than this built in style. i had already talked to a heat and glo dealer and he told me he wouldnt touch it, just wanted to sell me a new one. but that seems to be what every store acts like, i have talked to three about it and they all just want to replace it.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,019
Indiana
it looks like the cheapest option would be to cut out a recessed area and put a stand alone stove
You cannot vent a freestanding stove through this fireplace either. If that’s what you meant?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,145
South Puget Sound, WA
You cannot vent a freestanding stove through this fireplace either. If that’s what you meant?
Or do you mean removing the ZC entirely and turning the space into an alcove installation? If so, pay close attention to the proposed stove's alcove clearance requirements.

That said, I somehow doubt that would be the cheaper way to go unless the ZC is toast. The refractory should still be available. Tubes and grate may need to use a substitute or fabrication.
 
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whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
haha definitely not putting a freestanding through it. I meant alcove, i just couldnt remember that word. Im just hoping i can find the replacement parts.
 

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
thank you for the link, but that site doesnt seem to have the manifold unless i am missing it . I think i found it listed but it says "no longer available" which is the same problem i keep finding at other websites. Are there any other manifolds that may fit in the cbs 41? I guess my best bet is to try and take what is left of it out and see how it connects and what dimensions it needs to be. I see that it pulls intake from outside the house, so that is a plus.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,145
South Puget Sound, WA
Can you post a picture of the interior so that we can see what you are seeing?

Is the manifold rusted out or are just the tubes shot or missing? If just the tubes, perhaps they can be refabricated out of stainless tubing. Save what is left as a template.
 

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
i dont have a picture right now, i will try and post one soon. from what i remember the tubes have huge flaking chunks of rust breaking off.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,145
South Puget Sound, WA
i dont have a picture right now, i will try and post one soon. from what i remember the tubes have huge flaking chunks of rust breaking off.
They might be made of steel. This was more common in the earlier days. If they are still intact you may be able to match them with stainless tubing and with the same size and spacing of holes.
 

whoyt

New Member
Jan 11, 2020
7
California
ya, i see this model was made from 93-05 i think. and the house was built in 94, so most likely an earlier model of itself even. I have called a couple heat and glo dealers. waiting to see if they tell me the same thing again, that they dont have the parts. if they say no, i will attempt to fabricate. is there a way to make my own fire brick? these have huge cracks and the ones for sale say they are not in stock. im pretty sure i could make my own concrete form to fit the size i need. i just dont know the details on making sure i have the right product for fire resistance.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,145
South Puget Sound, WA
The refractory panels are still sold according to the link I posted.