Lopi Insert in "Heatilator" Fireplace

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DakotaBound

New Member
Nov 11, 2019
3
Puget Sound
I've been lurking for a short time to help with our decision on a wood stove for our North Dakota retirement home. Great site with lots of good information! While reading on this forum it occurred to me that I'd better look into cleaning the chimney in our current home. I haven't burned much wood in the past 5 years but started again this year. Been in the home 10 years and burned a fair amount in the first 4-5 years. I pulled the insert out today and found a very short stub of stove pipe through the sheet metal block off, and quite a mess of ash and what I assume to be creosote, 1/2" to 1" thick in some places. This is the first time I've had the stove out.

Here is the problem, the fireplace is what I would call a "Heatilator" style. I don't know if this is the correct term. See pictures. The house was built in 1975. The fireplace has a series of five tubes that exit the brick facade above the fireplace opening. At the bottom on either side of the fireplace opening are air intake holes. An identical fireplace exists on the other side of the wall offset from this one. They share a common chimney with separate flues. There is about 11" of clearance from the sheet metal plate to the bottom of the tubes. The tubes are about 4" apart, preventing extending the stove pipe any further. The damper and its handle are still in place, though it won't move. The whole thing is very difficult to access for cleaning, even if I were to remove the sheet metal.

I know virtually nothing about fireplaces, wood stoves or chimneys, but this does not look right to me. The Lopi stove is dated 2000, so the installation is approaching 20 years old. I question whether it was legal at that time. I think the pipe needs to be extended at least past the smoke chamber, if not a full reline to the top. To do so would require cutting out one of the heat tubes and capping both ends, to make a path for the pipe. Ideas and input appreciated. Thank you.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,189
central pa
I've been lurking for a short time to help with our decision on a wood stove for our North Dakota retirement home. Great site with lots of good information! While reading on this forum it occurred to me that I'd better look into cleaning the chimney in our current home. I haven't burned much wood in the past 5 years but started again this year. Been in the home 10 years and burned a fair amount in the first 4-5 years. I pulled the insert out today and found a very short stub of stove pipe through the sheet metal block off, and quite a mess of ash and what I assume to be creosote, 1/2" to 1" thick in some places. This is the first time I've had the stove out.

Here is the problem, the fireplace is what I would call a "Heatilator" style. I don't know if this is the correct term. See pictures. The house was built in 1975. The fireplace has a series of five tubes that exit the brick facade above the fireplace opening. At the bottom on either side of the fireplace opening are air intake holes. An identical fireplace exists on the other side of the wall offset from this one. They share a common chimney with separate flues. There is about 11" of clearance from the sheet metal plate to the bottom of the tubes. The tubes are about 4" apart, preventing extending the stove pipe any further. The damper and its handle are still in place, though it won't move. The whole thing is very difficult to access for cleaning, even if I were to remove the sheet metal.

I know virtually nothing about fireplaces, wood stoves or chimneys, but this does not look right to me. The Lopi stove is dated 2000, so the installation is approaching 20 years old. I question whether it was legal at that time. I think the pipe needs to be extended at least past the smoke chamber, if not a full reline to the top. To do so would require cutting out one of the heat tubes and capping both ends, to make a path for the pipe. Ideas and input appreciated. Thank you.
You are absolutely correct the way that is done does not meet code. It is possible to meet code with something similar but the liner has to extend into the clay liners. But you want a full liner. And yes to do that some of those tubes need to go
 

DakotaBound

New Member
Nov 11, 2019
3
Puget Sound
You are absolutely correct the way that is done does not meet code. It is possible to meet code with something similar but the liner has to extend into the clay liners. But you want a full liner. And yes to do that some of those tubes need to go
Thank you. You have confirmed my suspicions. I wasn't real clear in my original post, but it is a masonry fireplace which you probably recognized from my pictures. Therefore the insert itself in that fireplace isn't a problem, but the liner is. Now I understand why I has such awesome heat coming from those upper vents! :eek: