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Thasista

New Member
Jan 8, 2022
4
KY
First time poster long time reader. There are so many of you who have helped me in the past but don’t realize it with operating my buck stove.

To me I have a complex situation the narrative below the long I hope it’s helpful for you all to offer advice.

In the main house on my farm which was existing when I bought it there is a large fireplace. My daughter her husband and five children live in this house. And I have a smaller new house right next to it with a masonry fireplace.

The existing house came with a wood burner that was very inefficient and we replaced it with a buck stove eventually. Please read on.

Prior to that replacement, The fire alarm went off. It was winter there was a blazing fire in the stove. There was no smoke in the house. The fire department came looked around did temperature measurements and found nothing.

We don’t know what happened but shut the fireplace down and over the next couple of weeks had No issues. During that time we did burn fires in the stove.

Then it happened again my alarm company called and said the fire alarm was going off.

I ran over to the house and again no smoke no nothing. We shut the fireplace down and let it go out. It was at that time that we decided to pull the old wood-burning stove out so that we could look up in the chimney.

Up in the chimney which is approximately 3 1/2 feet wide by 3 1/2 feet deep we could see the liner which was a metal pipe. And the construction was drywall and wood. I was shocked because the only fireplaces I have ever seen are masonry from top to bottom.

We called the only chimney maintenance people in the area Who came out and said we just needed an insulated liner.

So we purchased an insulated liner. It’s about 25 feet long they came and installed it and then we swapped out stoves. I grew up with buck stoves and so that’s what we chose.

After the install and winter came around we began burning fires in the buck stove. After the first or second fire the fire alarm went off again.

We shut down the stove let it cool and there was still a gap where we had taken a brick Down that we could look up and see the liner. It had completely collapsed.

We had the people come out who installed it to ask them why it had collapsed and asked if they attached all of the pieces together with screws in which they said no because it was such a tall chimney they couldn’t. I could not believe what I was hearing. I insisted that it be installed properly and my son-in-law essentially supervised and watched them screw the pieces together. This was approximately 2 to 3 years ago.

Present day daughter lit a fire this morning. And once it was going good and hot they heard a loud crash. My son-in-law emptied the burning logs from the fireplace and shut it down and cooled it off he is certain the liner crashed again.

My question for the community do we need to rip this entire fireplace out install a complete masonry fireplace or what? We are in a very rural location with a massive abundance of firewood this is a 3700 square-foot house and supplementing the heating in the winter time with wood is not only comfortable but the most economical way for this house to be heated.

Over the years we learned the person who built this House cut a lot of corners and I feel like this is one of them

Additionally I have no confidence in the people who installed this liner and there is no one else in the area who takes care of fireplaces and chimneys.

We do clean our liners annually ourselves and completely clean out the stoves.

I apologize for any typos.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
Do you have a picture or two. They help a show what is happening. In the mean time read up on the differences between zero clearance fireplace and a masonry fireplace. They are very different.

My complete amateur opinion is that something doesn’t seem right and needs addressed.
 

Thasista

New Member
Jan 8, 2022
4
KY
image.jpg
image.jpg
I can’t take a picture of the inside because it has been bricked back up. We had planned on putting stone on the front that’s why it doesn’t look as clean as it should

I may have underestimated how wide the inside of it is because the bricked part is about 5 feet wide

The chimney liner is 8 inches. There is over 1 foot of clearance on all sides from the firebox to about 8 feet up. Then it narrows the guy who installed it had to use a single walled liner for this one section. And then the chimney opens up again Two over 1 foot of clearance on all sides to the top of the chimney. And the liner from that one piece that is single walled is double walled

The first picture is obviously inside the house the second picture is hopefully not too blurry but it is outside the excess amount of liner that sticks above the top of the chimney
 
Oct 13, 2020
167
Quebec, Canada
Photographs would be required to attempt to help you in some way or opinionate on it.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
I dont think you should be running an insert in that space at all, sounds like this was once a zero clearance fireplace that then was half butt converted over to make it look like a masonry fireplace, the masonry does not support the insert as the insert is tested and certified for UL in a full masonry fireplace w/ 8" solid of masonry. it sounds like you have a shell of a fireplace
 

Thasista

New Member
Jan 8, 2022
4
KY
That’s what I’m afraid of. I’ve tried to understand zero clearance systems but am not clear. Could a zero clearance wood burning insert go into something like this that is not masonry all the way to the top of the chimney? As I see it we have two options So tell me if I am understanding this correctly. We can either have A fireplace Mason come out and redo this entire structure or potentially get a zero clearance wood-burning insert?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
Replacing the unit with a epa zero clearance with the proper class a chimney would be the way to go, the fp will have its own cooling vents to keep heat from building in the chase and the chimney will be rated and supported correctly
the other option would be to build a bigger hearth in from if the brick work, seal the old fireplace opening, install a free-standing wood stove, use the proper black pipe to the ceiling and install a new ceiling support box w/ class a chimney going, patch the old chimney hole in the roof.
 
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Thasista

New Member
Jan 8, 2022
4
KY
Thanks so much for your help. That’s what we will do. Do you have any recommendations for a good insert that will heat a large space preferably around 3000 sq ft. And where would you buy such a unit from.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Not an insert. A zero clearance fireplace. Terminology, but fundamentally different.
 

PAbeech

Member
May 16, 2021
78
Wallenpaupack, PA
A good zero clearance fireplace that may work for you is a pacific energy "fp30" just make sure you take measurments and read the manual
 
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