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BronxMatt

New Member
Dec 5, 2021
8
Bronx, NY
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and excited to tap into the wisdom of its members.

I have a home in the Bronx that has a masonry cut out fireplace. I've befriended a tree guy who's given me lots of wood and I have been splitting and stacking wood in the back yard and hoping to keep this up, and put it to use to help heat my home.

For a while I was looking at inserts: the Regency 1150 and the Supreme Fusion 18 both should fit in the fireplace. These got pretty expensive as I'd need to get a new model. I started searching on craigslist and found some Vermont Castings stoves coming up. Disclosure: I'm very familiar with the Defiant. My father has one in his home and I've used it a lot. Also, I dabble in old woodworking machinery and am aware that the quality of things that were once made very well has dropped significantly.

I'm now trying to get a few questions answered:

1. One of the benefits of an insert is it seals the opening so you don't lose so much heat up the chimney. If I get a free-standing fireplace like a VC Intrepid, is there a way to seal between the 6-inch liner and the chimney (somewhere towards the bottom of the chimney) to serve the same purpose as an insert would in closing up those gaps?

2. I'm seeing VC Intrepid 2 come up in sales of used fireplaces. I've read some mixed reviews (but too many unhappy customers for my liking). If I educate myself more about maintenance and care, can I make it work with one of these? Is there another model that's a similar size that folks would recommend?

3. If I go with a free-standing stove, it would need to have a horizontal pipe section before it can go straight up the chimney. How long can these horizontal chimney pipe sections get before they hurt the draw/exhaust?

4. I'd like to have a clean/efficient burn, and I've read that newer fireplaces are becoming tougher to work with because of these features. I don't mind needing to replace a converter or wear piece every 4-5 years if necessary (I say this so casually now...). I don't mind leaving the door cracked a little to help with draw as I get the fire started. Are there other major drawbacks to using these secondary burn systems that I am unaware of? Is the headache not worth it?

Thanks again everyone,
Matt
 

jalmondale

Member
Dec 16, 2021
140
NY
I just installed a stove (Woodstock Fireview) in front of my fireplace this year. The installers sealed off the top with a mesh to keep animals out, and an insulated something-or-other in a tight fit around the pipe just above the old fireplace, so I think the answer to #1 is 'definitely yes'.

For a single data point for #3, I brought the stove out into the room a bit, so I've got about 20" of horizontal run before the pipe starts to bend, and have no issues with draft at all.

As for #4, my stove is new enough that I haven't had to do any maintenance on the cat yet, but I've inspected it a couple of times and it seems pretty straightforward for when the time comes (at least for mine, it looks like you lift the lid, remove two bolts, and lift the cat right out). I've had no issues with running with it - I get the fire started, then once it's going well, I close down the air and engage the cat at the same time - no muss, no fuss. I really like being able to dial the amount of heat down while still getting a clean burn, and one unexpected perk has been the flame quality - I'm a fan of the kind of magical wispy purple-orange flames that you get near the top of the firebox with the cat engaged.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,564
Long Island, NY
I can't add much right now, but I'm bumping this up, considering the original posting date.

You're in the Bronx, you're going to need all the help you can get !!!! :)

Welcome to the forums !!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,254
South Puget Sound, WA
I can't add much right now, but I'm bumping this up, considering the original posting date.

You're in the Bronx, you're going to need all the help you can get !!!! :)

Welcome to the forums !!
Is that a Bronx cheer? ::-)

For more info tell us the fireplace dimensions and how large of an area the stove will be heating.
 
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Reactions: Dix

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,564
Long Island, NY
Is that a Bronx cheer? ::-)

For more info tell us the fireplace dimensions and how large of an area the stove will be heating.

Kinda, sorta :)
 

BronxMatt

New Member
Dec 5, 2021
8
Bronx, NY
Hi everyone,

Thank you for the replies! Since my original post I’ve continued to do research (which is a lot of fun).

I am starting to like the new Jotul F500 V3. It would be able to sit on the tile hearth in front of the fireplace. I’d have a horizontal run of 1-2 feet and then straight up a very long chimney. Which brings me to some questions:

1. As I understand it, a long chimney causes a strong draft, which is generally good but may lead to quicker burn times. Am I on the right track here? Anything else to know? In the photo from outside, the stove would be located about 5 feet above the silver exhaust vent.

2. I’ve done some reading on the Jotul 500 V3 but seems like a new stove with not too many reviews yet. What I’ve read so far has been almost entirely positive. As I mentioned above, I am very familiar with the Vermont Castings defiant stove. With that stove I was able to manipulate it to create a hot or slow burn. Do you think users have as much control with the Jotul?


image.jpg image.jpg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,199
Long Island NY
Is the chimney lined with an insulated liner? It might get cold (with risk of creosote condensation near the top).

If your draft is too much, you may need a flue damper. Make sure you can reach that location (over/besides a hot stove...?)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,254
South Puget Sound, WA
Nice masonry work. Whoever did that knew their stuff. The reviews for the new F500 are mixed so far. The early ones had cat failures that caused some collateral damage. Some are reporting that the ash pan door does not seal well for them, causing hard to control fires. Lifting the ash pan door up before latching seems to help with its gasket alignment.

There are some caveats for an F500 install. First is that the hearth would need to be extended to include 18" in front of the stove door. The other is the mantel clearance requirement which is 30". An insert or a front loading stove that fits inside the fireplace cavity would simplify the installation.
 

BronxMatt

New Member
Dec 5, 2021
8
Bronx, NY
Hi,

As for chimney insulation, I’ll put in a liner. I believe those come insulated. Also, there’ll be a cap at the top of the chimney that I’m assuming would keep some of the warm air that is dissipated from the liner within the chimney cavity. Not sure if this addresses your concern but I haven’t heard about colder chimney tops and creosote.

As for the clearances, I’m expecting the stove to sit fully outside of the cut out. That does pose a problem though with the 18 inches of coverage needed from doors. Couldn’t I just use a hearth rug? I’m only planning to use the stove about 3 months a year—and I’m that period maybe only 60% of that time.

Additional question: would I need a rear heat shield?

Thanks everyone! I’ve learned so much already. Please keep it coming!