New member, new to me PE Summit

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Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Asked a few questions about our old stove before but basically a beginner here. Wall of text incoming.

Our old stove was a Truman branded box and best I can tell was an 80's-ish beast that ate wood and produced very little heat. Obviously, not a good combo. We have an electric heat pump system that the last owners spent 15K installing, and which is quite nice, but even with it being relatively new/efficient our winter electric bills were 500 a month last winter. That just hurts me to type. So... we decided to upgrade our insert to try an offset some of that cost. And, like many of you feel I'm sure, a fire is just awesome, and is one of those things that make a house feel like a home. I spent 3 hours last night just sitting in front of the first real fire, talking to my wife, 2 small girls, and my elderly father and it was awesome. No TV, just a big couch and a fire. So the story...

Six months ago I found a PE summit (first gen) used for 600 on Craigslist and jumped at it. From reading various threads here I knew it was a big insert and that was my number one desire as I have a large 1 story (very spread out 3200 sq feet). Drove 3 hours each way to get her but it was worth the travel. Looked good, no obvious issues or damage and the fan worked well. On the list of approved Washington state inserts so yay all around.

In my excitement, I didn't stop to measure my firebox and just assumed since it was a rather large firebox that the Summit would fit. It didn't. My firebox box is very long, but about 1/2 an inch under the required minimum height. Wife pushed to have me sell the Summit, but I pushed back that we have a large 1 story and need all the BTU's we can get. If we went with a smaller stove, and failed to heat the house, I'd always wonder if it was just too spread out, or if I would have done it had I stuck with the large Summit. No room for second guessing so we stuck with the Summit and I had a local company come out to asses our options. We both agreed that there was no where to go up, but the hearth was made of rough cut stone 3.5 to 4.5 inches thick and could be ripped out and replaced with a thinner piece.

This sounds easy but took a few months to find the right stone as we wanted to match (color wise) the remaining stone of the fireplace while also replacing it with a solid single piece. Additionally finding someone who could handle large stone slabs without charging an arm and a leg was difficult. Eventually we settle on a travertine piece that had similar grays and browns and went well with the home (has travertine elsewhere). We have a small bar sink and counter top a few feet away that we redid using this same stone. It was originally white tile with a red and black border and a red bar sink (Go blazers!). It too needed some TLC so this was a win for multiple reasons.

First we rotohammered out the stones that formed the hearth. Pretty straight forward and found the interior of the hearth was filled with crushed stone. Not sure if that's normal or not but probably was the easiest/quickest part of the whole job and was done in a few hours.

I try to do what I can and want to know how things work operate. Somethings are over my head, but this site had a lot of people advising this is a DIYable task; so I ordered a 6 inch liner kit from Chimneysweep online and decided to do the install myself. When the fireplace crew came out they advised me that I had a "heatalator" prebuilt fireplace and in order to drop the liner I'd have to cut out the inner tubes out. Not a super difficult task, but a pain in the but all the same. Im a tall guy, and physically getting into the chimney to grind out the metal was almost impossible. Got it done though. Dropped the liner from the roof and got it through with just a bit of "ovalizing" to get it past the smoke shelf (think that's the right term). Had a welder lined up to cut out the shelf, but just couldn't see paying 250 for something I could do with a 10 dollar cut-off disk and a few hours of time.

In trying to do this right, I read about Washington state requiring fresh air intakes. I weighed the pros and cons from many threads here, and eventually decided to do it. Seemed like it was worth the effort.

So while the hearth top was removed I removed the interior gravel and got down to a poured concrete rebar reinforced concrete base. I crawled around under the house and there was nothing down there to be concerned or worried about. After looking at the cost of concrete hole saws, I bought a long concrete drill bit and "swiss cheesed" a six inch hole through the concrete. I used HVAC piping to go from a 6 inch round intake to a 12x3 rectangular outlet that sits right under the firebox of the summit at the edge of my firebox. Air comes into the ventilated crawl space, through the intake to the underside of the Summit to its rear air intake. My stone guy cut a space for the intake in the stone slab (he cut it too large but the Summit covers it so no real harm). Not a huge pain but like everything took longer then I'd think. My wife would tell you she triples all my estimates so it was just about right on schedule...

At this point I also took the time to redo some cosmetic issues that the old fireplace had - the heatalator had two fans on the sides to draw air through the unit; they were ugly and I doubt they ever worked. I got rid of the fans, corrected some bad wiring (put connections into junction boxes), and did what I could to make the fan covers a little more aesthetically pleasing. I ran electrical into the firebox for the fan on the Summit as well. Convincing my wife you could put an electrical box into a fireplace was fun.

Based on threads here again, I also put a block off plate in above the stove, and insulated above it with Roxul insulation. Again this forum was a huge help as this isn't absolutely necessary, and not an obvious need to be addresses by novice fireplace enthusiasts. I'm super glad I stumbled upon this tip at a point in time where I could do it relatively easily.

Liner in place, intake done, block-off and insulation in place and stone replaced. Now just needed to get the unit in. I had 25.5 inches (almost 2.5 more then minimum) and I have honestly no idea how one could install this with any less. I struggled to get the liner into the top of the summit. I tried and failed with a 30 degree adapter and ended up getting the straight pipe adapter to just fit. Such a struggle and my hands/arms just fit. No clue how you do this if you cant reach in there.

I work full time so this was mostly done nights and weekends and has eaten my spare time for the last month. But its done and I honestly want to thank all of you here for the information. While not asked by me, similar questions obviously get asked all the time and every issue I had I found the answer to a so huge thank you.

Estimates for total install when we were pricing out a new stove and install (not counting the hearth and bar counter top replacement) were 5-6K. Maybe more maybe less.

All in, stove, both countertops, piping, caulking, rodent screens, gravel, drill bit/misc tools I spent 2500 and could not be happier. Thanks again. I'll upload some pictures later tonight.

Again, thanks y'all for the help, and if you made it this far, for reading my probably poorly explained install summary.
 

Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Pics
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edyit

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
838
Wilmington NY
nice! nothing better than being able to sit back and enjoy the results of your labor, enjoy the heat ::-)
 

mstoelton

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
486
SE michigan
Awesome Job. Looks great. Enjoy the heat!
 

Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Thanks everyone. Love it.

Thermometer for furnace was 68 last night and the furnace has been off now for over 24 hours.

Felt warmer then 68 though tbh. Warm air temporarly from the furnace vs everything actually being warmed? Idk but i was very comfortable.

Spent the fall building a huge covered shed and ive compiled a ton of huge logs from trees cut down 4 years ago. 1/2 shed is covered storage and half is wood storage. Have 40x6 feet on the wood storage side. Set for this year with split wood but gotta get going to get ahead

My wife has thought I was crazy going 100% into wood burning since we've never been wood burning people, but I think she's seeing the light. Asked how it was going yesterday while I was at work and all I got back was "aawwwwweeeessooooooome".

Thanks again for the help, motivation, and examples.
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Looks awwwwwwsome, but we're gonna need some pics of the interior of that classic stove..curious about the secondary air, baffle, etc. Was there a date of manufacture on the metal tag?
tried and failed with a 30 degree adapter and ended up getting the straight pipe adapter to just fit.
They've got 15* elbows as well, I used one installing the Buck 91.
My wife has thought I was crazy going 100% into wood burning since we've never been wood burning people, but I think she's seeing the light. Asked how it was going yesterday while I was at work and all I got back was "aawwwwweeeessooooooome".
Yep, they usually come around to our way of thinkin' once they feel the bone-warming heat. Your 'bones' will heat up as well when you crank the heat and she starts peeling off layers. ;)
 

Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Looks awwwwwwsome, but we're gonna need some pics of the interior of that classic stove..curious about the secondary air, baffle, etc. Was there a date of manufacture on the metal tag?They've got 15* elbows as well, I used one installing the Buck 91.
Yep, they usually come around to our way of thinkin' once they feel the bone-warming heat. Your 'bones' will heat up as well when you crank the heat and she starts peeling off layers. ;)
No tag anywhere. Nothing in the fireplace either.

Seems like its just a metal box. Air flowed in above the door to be heated, to the back, down and out the front via a fan. Air for combustion came into the box through the 2 knobs on the front. No dampener or other adjustments. Pipe just went a few feet up chimney and stopped. Dont think it was much more then that. Never found any info on it. Front door says truman, thats all I got.

Here be some pics.
52998a2cd2564aacedb658d12ce1e03b.jpg 662a5c467c21857d6ddb111890fb56bb.jpg 18c50dca29cdde1941aab92efc12a8db.jpg e53db8978174066245cc1c413064dc26.jpg 1c3b55d79cdfc49ee5921314830827fa.jpg 6dad3741a484eeb0689fa6c4828351fe.jpg a379c75270e8804664913bca5f92f564.jpg 3cce5af98310796c1562f95bbac54e2f.jpg
 
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vwmike

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2013
323
Chilliwack, BC, Can.
Nice job on the stove! And even nicer shed :)
 

heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,830
Kirtland Ohio
Nice, the heat now sure makes up for the process to get there. The summit is a nice insert I'm very happy with mine enjoy it.
 

Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Nice job on the stove! And even nicer shed :)
Thanks! I have a fairly boring 9-5
so I love flexing my (limited) diy muscles when I can. Wife agreed to a "wood shed" and by the time she saw what that meant to me the lumber was purchased and posts were in the ground.

Easier to ask for forgiveness.

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
 

Hardfive

New Member
Apr 30, 2018
13
Camas, WA
Nice, the heat now sure makes up for the process to get there. The summit is a nice insert I'm very happy with mine enjoy it.
I love it. Come home sit in front of fire; nice warmth and good family time.

My two girls (9 and 6) want to "camp out" overnight in front of it this weekend.

Didnt grow up with a fireplace so its not nostalgia per se, but there is something about it.

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Hey thanks for all the posts on running a summit. Feel like I owe you lunch for all the info ive got from your.

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
No problemo. I had a few good Summit owners help me along when I first came around.
Just passing along the knowledge gained.
 

heavy hammer

Minister of Fire
Jul 18, 2015
1,830
Kirtland Ohio
Our summit is on the first floor where the girls play all the time they are 2 and 5. They make blanket forts and play in front of it every day. Last night we did the family Christmas light show at the big farm park area down the road from us. The girls couldn't wait to get home and get warm from the stoves, they are great family get together pieces. Enjoy!