Pacific Energy Summit Insert Installation Problem Provides Little Heat

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Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
I recently had a PE summit insert installed in my home. No matter what I do or how long I burn I cannot get the temp in my home to rise more than 3 degrees. I live in the Cleveland area. 2100 sq ft home well insulated. I burn well seasoned cherry as well as kiln dried wood. 25 foot chimney, SS liner straight in no problems.

It takes 2 or more hours to get the fans to come on once I start the fire. Air coming out doesn't get extremely hot for hours after that. When this was installed the front plate was not removed for inside air. I was told that the two slots in the upper back of the insert were air supply holes to let air in from inside the chimney and that would be fine. Other poeple on these forums say these holes are carrying handles and should be covered or the fans will blow all the hot air into your chimney. The latter explanation sure would explain a lot of things if that's correct.

Can someone please steer me in the right direction with some correct info on this. If these holes are to be covered what should I use to cover them up? If they are to be left open does anyone have any other answers or solutions? I would really appreciate the help.

Thanks
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
Page nine of the manual covers this. It is something you can check yourself rather than having to wait for the dealer. Is this an exterior chimney and if yes, did they install a block-off plate?
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.00.53 AM.png
 
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Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
Page nine of the manual covers this. It is something you can check yourself rather than having to wait for the dealer. Is this an exterior chimney and if yes, did they install a block-off plate?
View attachment 150451
It is an exterior chimney and I'm not sure I understand what you are telling me. Is this block off plate in the front of back of the unit? Should it be taken off? Should the holes in the back be open?

Thanks
 

Prockncj

Member
Jan 24, 2012
41
Livonia MIchigan USA
The holes in back are handles , they should be covered with the metal covers that slide.

Check The manual like Begreen said. Remove the room air box cover. If you are using that. If not you have an OAK ?

The summit should be putting out the heat.

I installed mine in December and I have a non insulated basement, we had a high of 6 the other day why my basement was a cozy 83f. @ 650 stove temp, my wood is good but not great as well.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
The first thing to check is to make sure the room air cover is removed if there is no outside air connection (OAK) to the stove. Without an oak the fire will be starved for air until this plate is removed.

A block off plate is done at the time of installation when the full liner is put in. It goes up in the damper area with insulation packed behind it. The purpose in this case is to keep the fireplace cavity around the outer jacket of the stove hotter. Without it, the heat heads right outdoors through the chimney walls. Forum folks report a significant and notable increase in heat output after this is done.
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
The holes in back are handles , they should be covered with the metal covers that slide.

Check The manual like Begreen said. Remove the room air box cover. If you are using that. If not you have an OAK ?

The summit should be putting out the heat.

I installed mine in December and I have a non insulated basement, we had a high of 6 the other day why my basement was a cozy 83f. @ 650 stove temp, my wood is good but not great as well.

Thanks for your reply. I have a few questions. Should those covers for the handles in the back of the unit have come with the unit? OAK means? I was told by the dealer that we were using outside air from the fireplace. If that's the case does the cover or any other cover have to be removed? Should I be using outside air or inside air? Sorry for all the questions.
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
The first thing to check is to make sure the room air cover is removed if there is no outside air connection (OAK) to the stove. Without an oak the fire will be starved for air until this plate is removed.

A block off plate is done at the time of installation when the full liner is put in. It goes up in the damper area with insulation packed behind it. The purpose in this case is to keep the fireplace cavity around the outer jacket of the stove hotter. Without it, the heat heads right outdoors through the chimney walls. Forum folks report a significant and notable increase in heat output after this is done.

The installer put this in with a SS tube running from my insert out the chimney. Obviously removed the damper and chopped some of the middle bricks away to get the liner through. No insulation at all and no block off plate. Looks like this is becoming a very expensive and frustrating mistake.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
Was the room air plate removed or does the insert have an outside air connection.

A block-off plate is an extra. Many dealers are reluctant to quote on them because they are trying to be competitive. It usually adds $2-300 to the cost.
 

mstoelton

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2013
486
SE michigan

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
Was the room air plate removed or does the insert have an outside air connection.

A block-off plate is an extra. Many dealers are reluctant to quote on them because they are trying to be competitive. It usually adds $2-300 to the cost.

The outside air connection is the puzzler. The insert is getting air from the back of the unit in an enclosed fireplace. No vents in the back of the fireplace. Damper is removed so there is that cavity for air supply. I have a ash dump that runs to the basement with doors. Should those doors be open? If they are not is this enough or should inside air plate be removed? Where is outside air coming into the insert if the front air supply door is closed?

There is no mention what so ever in the manual about the holes in the back of the insert and if they need to be sealed or not. No plates came with the insert.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
Is the ash dump closed off with a plate or plug in the fireplace? If so opening the doors won't help.

It sounds like the insert needs the room air plate removed. I would try this, you can put it back later if desired.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
There should have been 2 plates on the back, that were to be slid over the handle holes and bolted tight to close off the holes.
Unless they routed an outside air kit to the stove, the front pan should be removed to allow for inside air intake . Pg 9 in the manual.
You also need a lock off plate in the old damper area where the liner comes through.

See photos. first is the front plate that has to be removed by unbolting the bolt near the top on each side. The next two photos show where the box pan behind the cover plate is bolted to(lower holes with bolts removed in photos). Last photo is the pan that needs to be removed. Then reinstall the cover plate. Now you are receiving inside air into the air intake. I have no photos of the back plate over the handles holes, I believe there is a tag on back of the casing instructing to do so.

Seal off the old ash dump also
 

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Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
How much wood do you put in when you start the fire? When do you adjust the air and by how much? Do you have a thermometer to measure the insert's temperature? An IR thermometer pointed just above the door in the center from 2 to 3 inches away will give you a pretty good idea how hot the stovetop is (usually about 50 F more).
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
How much wood do you put in when you start the fire? When do you adjust the air and by how much? Do you have a thermometer to measure the insert's temperature? An IR thermometer pointed just above the door in the center from 2 to 3 inches away will give you a pretty good idea how hot the stovetop is (usually about 50 F more).
2 to 3 quartered cherry logs to start then once they burn down to red hot coals I add 4-6 more. Air is wide open until logs are really cooking (15 to 30 minutes) then close off air supply 50 to 75 percent depending on heat and flame. Have done the IR thing and temps are around 550 degrees aiming at the top of the glass. Can't get to the stove top and the ledge doesn't ever get that hot. How to control air supply to a newbe is also a very confusing issue. Thanks
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
There should have been 2 plates on the back, that were to be slid over the handle holes and bolted tight to close off the holes.
Unless they routed an outside air kit to the stove, the front pan should be removed to allow for inside air intake . Pg 9 in the manual.
You also need a lock off plate in the old damper area where the liner comes through.

See photos. first is the front plate that has to be removed by unbolting the bolt near the top on each side. The next two photos show where the box pan behind the cover plate is bolted to(lower holes with bolts removed in photos). Last photo is the pan that needs to be removed. Then reinstall the cover plate. Now you are receiving inside air into the air intake. I have no photos of the back plate over the handles holes, I believe there is a tag on back of the casing instructing to do so.

Seal off the old ash dump also
Thanks so much Hog. I had two installers as well as the dealer tell me that opening the inside air was not necessary and this has been the most confusing part because I always questioned where the air was coming from. The bricks at the bottom of the fireplace where the ash dump is were cracked and there is a lot of leakage around the dump. I have a door in the basement that I can open but I think I'm going to open the inside air port. It just seems to me that I have to be losing a lot of heat thru the back of this insert where the plates should have been. No plates were on those handle holes and it looks like none came with the unit unless they were attached or in the packing with the manual and the installer threw them away not knowing. The fans don't come on for quite a long time no matter how hot the insert is. Do you think I'm right in my assumptions? Thanks.
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
There should have been 2 plates on the back, that were to be slid over the handle holes and bolted tight to close off the holes.
Unless they routed an outside air kit to the stove, the front pan should be removed to allow for inside air intake . Pg 9 in the manual.
You also need a lock off plate in the old damper area where the liner comes through.

See photos. first is the front plate that has to be removed by unbolting the bolt near the top on each side. The next two photos show where the box pan behind the cover plate is bolted to(lower holes with bolts removed in photos). Last photo is the pan that needs to be removed. Then reinstall the cover plate. Now you are receiving inside air into the air intake. I have no photos of the back plate over the handles holes, I believe there is a tag on back of the casing instructing to do so.

Seal off the old ash dump also
I think that something as important as closing handle holes should also be in the manual.
 
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Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
2 to 3 quartered cherry logs to start then once they burn down to red hot coals I add 4-6 more. Air is wide open until logs are really cooking (15 to 30 minutes) then close off air supply 50 to 75 percent depending on heat and flame. Have done the IR thing and temps are around 550 degrees aiming at the top of the glass. Can't get to the stove top and the ledge doesn't ever get that hot. How to control air supply to a newbe is also a very confusing issue. Thanks

Unless your splits are really large you are not really loading up the Summit. Plus, you seem to leave the air open for too long when the stove is already hot. That's how I do it in the Super:
After a small startup fire I rake all the coals forward towards the door. I drop some shorter splits E-W (sideways) behind the pile of coals and then load the other wood N-S (looking at the ends) on top of it. Keep the door slightly ajar until the wood has caught fire, then close it with the air fully open. Let most of the wood get charred for a few minutes, then close the air a bit until the flames get lazy. Wait a few minutes until the fire has picked up again, then continue closing the air another step until you see lazy flames and so on. The flames will be shifting from the wood to the top of the firebox seemingly coming from the baffle. At the end, your air control should be between a quarter open to fully closed depending on draft, dryness of wood, etc. Stove temp should reach 600 F to 700 F at peak maybe 15 to 30 minutes later.

An IR thermometer will give you a wrong reading with transparent or reflective surfaces. As said, the spot just above the door in the center will be close in temp to the stovetop. Measure it from 2 to 3 inches away to reduce the spot size (depending on the d/s ratio of your device: http://www.grainger.com/content/qt-370-infrared-thermometers ).

If the fireplace is at an outside wall, think about insulating it: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/finally-got-around-to-insulating-my-fireplace.75755/
It was mentioned before but cannot said often enough: Install a damper sealing block-off plate or a lot of your heat will go up the chimney.
 

branchburner

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2008
2,758
southern NH
The outside air connection is the puzzler.

I suggest you don't completely ignore whatever explanations your dealer/installers gave for how they set up the stove, but do try to get yourself more information even above and beyond the very useful replies in this thread. If you do some reading on OAKs, block-offs, exterior chimeys, etc. then you will understand the principles at work behind them and in short order, when your installers try to explain something, you will be able to educate THEM. As for the PE Summit itself, owners like Hogwildz may give you better and more useful info than your dealer.

I think the dealer/installer confused you with their use of the term "outside air". Ultimately, all combustion air is coming from "outside." When an OAK is connected, there is a direct conduit feeding the stove from the outdoors. Around here, that is how we use the term "outside air". But I am not clear from your posts: does such a conduit exist in your setup, or not? When two installers and the dealer say that opening the inside air is not necessary, it sounds like they are saying an OAK actually WAS installed. Since your post implies otherwise, perhaps you can answer definitively if there is any such duct connected to the stove, or not

Absent that conduit, air is pulled in from wherever it might leak into the house, or fireplace, and so it becomes "inside air". When you were told by the dealer that you were using outside air from the fireplace, that's a little confusing, because in OAK terms, "outside air" refers ONLY to air that is routed directly to the stove via an OAK conduit. So I don't see why they would leave the front plate on and tell you the stove was using outside air when it wasn't, unless they were grossly incompetent... certainly a possibility.

Forgetting the air source for a moment, consider what happens in your current setup: combustion air (perhaps insufficient) is being pulled in through whatever leaks are in and around the fireplace, but obviously there is not a vacuum being created in your chimney/fireplace cavity as air goes into the stove. Instead, you have warm air circulating back there, and losing its heat to all that exposed cold masonry, right up the entire length of the chimney. Essentially, your installation is a very efficient heat exchanger that is working wonderfully well to transfer the BTUs of your fire directly to the great outdoors. You are heating the exterior of greater Cleveland rather than the interior of your house.

With an exterior chimney, you want truly dead air in that chimney cavity, and to create that you need a seal both above (sealed top plate) and below (sealed block-off plate). As mentioned, insulating the fireplace itself would also help. Right now, it's just too easy for the stove to give away its heat to the cold masonry.
 
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Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
I suggest you don't completely ignore whatever explanations your dealer/installers gave for how they set up the stove, but do try to get yourself more information even above and beyond the very useful replies in this thread. If you do some reading on OAKs, block-offs, exterior chimeys, etc. then you will understand the principles at work behind them and in short order, when your installers try to explain something, you will be able to educate THEM. As for the PE Summit itself, owners like Hogwildz may give you better and more useful info than your dealer.

I think the dealer/installer confused you with their use of the term "outside air". Ultimately, all combustion air is coming from "outside." When an OAK is connected, there is a direct conduit feeding the stove from the outdoors. Around here, that is how we use the term "outside air". But I am not clear from your posts: does such a conduit exist in your setup, or not? When two installers and the dealer say that opening the inside air is not necessary, it sounds like they are saying an OAK actually WAS installed. Since your post implies otherwise, perhaps you can answer definitively if there is any such duct connected to the stove, or not

Absent that conduit, air is pulled in from wherever it might leak into the house, or fireplace, and so it becomes "inside air". When you were told by the dealer that you were using outside air from the fireplace, that's a little confusing, because in OAK terms, "outside air" refers ONLY to air that is routed directly to the stove via an OAK conduit. So I don't see why they would leave the front plate on and tell you the stove was using outside air when it wasn't, unless they were grossly incompetent... certainly a possibility.

Forgetting the air source for a moment, consider what happens in your current setup: combustion air (perhaps insufficient) is being pulled in through whatever leaks are in and around the fireplace, but obviously there is not a vacuum being created in your chimney/fireplace cavity as air goes into the stove. Instead, you have warm air circulating back there, and losing its heat to all that exposed cold masonry, right up the entire length of the chimney. Essentially, your installation is a very efficient heat exchanger that is working wonderfully well to transfer the BTUs of your fire directly to the great outdoors. You are heating the exterior of greater Cleveland rather than the interior of your house.

With an exterior chimney, you want truly dead air in that chimney cavity, and to create that you need a seal both above (sealed top plate) and below (sealed block-off plate). As mentioned, insulating the fireplace itself would also help. Right now, it's just too easy for the stove to give away its heat to the cold masonry.
Thank you very much for your help
 

branchburner

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2008
2,758
southern NH
I have a ash dump that runs to the basement with doors.
Where is outside air coming into the insert if the front air supply door is closed?

If you look at BG's post of the manual, it shows two ways to get air to the stove: either the plate, or the OAK. If the installer left the plate on and used the OAK, then the air should be feeding through that ash dump, right? From your description, though, it sounds like they did not make any provisions for an external air source. To repeat BG's question: is the ash dump closed off with a plate or plug in the fireplace? Or did the installer remove any plate/plug, to allow air flow?
 

Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
This is the first time in my life I've ever had an insert or fireplace so some of the lingo here is unfamiliar to me. I paid an installer to put this in correctly and he obviously didn't do a good job and that's why I'm here. I have an insert that doesn't heat my house. Outside air source to me means a tube or screen through the chimney to outside air and the answer to that is no. There is a ash dump but it's closed. Installer and dealer both said it doesn't need to be open. I would get enough air through the chimney cavity which to me makes no sense. This is what I have to deal with. I was told that the two 4x2 holes in the upper back of my insert were inlet holes for air to get into the insert. After a lot of research on my part I'm now told that those holes are supports for your hands to lift the insert and they should be covered with steel plates that came with the insert. No plates came with my insert and my installer had no clue. The manual has no mention of those holes or plates. I called Pacific Energy to verify and they refuse to provide any help. They tell me to talk to me dealer who is helpful but sells the units. My installer doesn't know so it's up to me. This has been a nightmare and it's up to me to now fix this properly. Thanks for the help
 
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Sean Truesdell

New Member
Mar 9, 2013
27
Hey Cold,

Sorry for your troubles, I wish your screen name was Warminclev!!! I just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents as I purchased and installed the same unit back in October. The handles on the rear of the stove were a huge worry for me as I was installing as there was no information provided for them anywhere in the manual. They are shown in the parts illustration on page 21 but not described anywhere. Luckily for me the 2 sheet metal covers were in place with one screw (with second screw started in other end of same plate) and turned slightly so upon unpacking from the crate I could see they were meant to be handles and assumed the covers should be put on when completed. Looking at the diagram on pg 17 of the manual it appears that the air flows directly under that rear sheet metal casing before it crosses the top of the stove and exits to the room (the diagram shown is actually the "B" series of the summit as they have changed the air flow on the "C" series that I have.) Looking at the diagram I am concerned that much of your heated air is flowing out into your chimney.

To clarify, the OAK on the summit insert is actually a 9" x 2" opening in the same rear panel at the very bottom. I was unclear about hooking up an actual conduit to any air supply as the opening in the unit would require a specialized adapter to go from 9" x 2" to whatever conduit one might chose. I had read descriptions of OAKs before and this design seems to only provide one option which is described in the manual (pg. 9.) I simply removed the ash dump cover and hoped the unit would draw air from the ash dump in through the 9x2 opening.

My install was an interior chimney but I insulated the liner and built/installed a block off plate based on the minimal cost and advice of so many knowledgeable people on this site.

My last note is that I just got through burning about a quarter cord of cherry and it did not provide nearly the heat output that much of my other wood supply did. With that said it still kept temps in my stove room in the mid 70s last week when it was in the teens during the day and single digits at night. Better wood has pushed those temps another 5-7 degrees.

The good news is that you have purchased a truly amazing heating unit that should be able to keep most of your 2100 sq. ft. home warm and toasty most of the winter. The bad news is that you relied on "professionals" who may have made some mistakes during installation that are limiting the abilities of the stove.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Thanks so much Hog. I had two installers as well as the dealer tell me that opening the inside air was not necessary and this has been the most confusing part because I always questioned where the air was coming from. The bricks at the bottom of the fireplace where the ash dump is were cracked and there is a lot of leakage around the dump. I have a door in the basement that I can open but I think I'm going to open the inside air port. It just seems to me that I have to be losing a lot of heat thru the back of this insert where the plates should have been. No plates were on those handle holes and it looks like none came with the unit unless they were attached or in the packing with the manual and the installer threw them away not knowing. The fans don't come on for quite a long time no matter how hot the insert is. Do you think I'm right in my assumptions? Thanks.

Inside air is only not necessary, IF they made provisions for outside air. Some folks leave the existing fireplace ash dump open to facilitate outside air. Usually this is if the ash dump opens to outside the chimney, outside the house. Some go with the ash dump left open for outside air even if it actually dumps into the basement. BUT, if your basement is tight, then it may be useless. The explanation of the outside air intake opening on the back of the Summit as described by Mr. Truesdell is correct. The other issue some other folks have had with any brand stove, is using the ash dump allows cold air to infiltrate the home, and draft out from under the stove.
The first thing I would do, is remove the inside air pan off the front and see if that helps any with combustion inside the stove. Even if it helps, it won't remedy any cold air coming in from the old ash dump. That would have to be sealed off, if you want to stay with inside air for air source.

I wish I could remember, but the plates that cover the rear grab holes should have come with the stove.
It does not label them on the parts diagram, but if you look at the diagram I attached, which is out of the manual, you'll see I pointed to the plates & the holes to be covered.
Whether these let a little or a lot of hot air out of the holes, I don't know.
The best I can recollect, is the plates where on the back casing with one of the bolts through the plate and casing, the plates swung out of the way of the holes, the 2nd bolt just through the casing. The bolt through the plate was loosened, the other bolt removed, plate swung up over the hole and second bolt fastened through the plate and casing. Both bolts tightened, and that was it.
So they are either still back there swing down, or the installer took or tossed them not knowing better is my guess.

I use the fans in manual selection on the switch. I think my old Summit fan came on around 200-300 degrees. You can try and use the manual selection and see if it blows heat, once the stove is up to temp.
Otherwise it may be a case of the sensor needing to be repositioned/adjusted.

This insert is a top notch, beautiful workhorse. And should be putting out some heat.
Once you get the issues ironed out, you will be happy.
I did notice in the new manual, it does call for either sealing the surround panel to the old fireplace face, or install a block off plate where the liner passed through the damper. Not in those exact words, but that is how I read it. I would never seal the surround the to face, hard to get a good seal, and if you need to remove it, which you will to clean the fans, it will be a mess.
An absence of the block off plate is also going to give you a big cold air draft and also let precious heat up the chimney cavity and radiate out to the wild blue yonder. IMO, a block off plate is a must. And that missing, plus the ash dump leaking, both cold air, that could be a big part of your problem.
 

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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
I just looked at my insert. I can see on top between the top casing & the stove top, all the way to the back, and I can see the holes, which are covered. I installed myself, so I knew they were covered.
Any pc of steel sheet metal will do and a couple self tapping sheet metal screws would work, IF you can get the front top casing off, which brings the fan air diverters with it, giving you a clear shot back. But there ain't much room to get anything back there. Otherwise, the isnert has to be pulled back out, which you may have to do to seal the ash dump & cracks, unless you can do that from the basement.

I would do the block off plate with the insert & liner in place, and it ain't fun. Do a 2 or 3 pc plate to make it easier.

I am thinking the fans might be pulling cold air from the ash dump through the holes introducing the cold air to the house? Possible. At very least mixing with the hot air, making it cooler. I think if you get the block off plate installed and sealed decent, close off & seal the old ash dump and any cracks good and tight, remove the box to let inside air in, and cover the rear grab holes, you may see a drastic improvement.

In 9 years and an A body style and now a B body style, I have been throughout these inserts.
Many times. I'd be more than happy to help, but you're a bit too far.
 
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Coldinclev

New Member
Jan 12, 2015
29
Cleveland
I just looked at my insert. I can see on top between the top casing & the stove top, all the way to the back, and I can see the holes, which are covered. I installed myself, so I knew they were covered.
Any pc of steel sheet metal will do and a couple self tapping sheet metal screws would work, IF you can get the front top casing off, which brings the fan air diverters with it, giving you a clear shot back. But there ain't much room to get anything back there. Otherwise, the isnert has to be pulled back out, which you may have to do to seal the ash dump & cracks, unless you can do that from the basement.

I would do the block off plate with the insert & liner in place, and it ain't fun. Do a 2 or 3 pc plate to make it easier.

I am thinking the fans might be pulling cold air from the ash dump through the holes introducing the cold air to the house? Possible. At very least mixing with the hot air, making it cooler. I think if you get the block off plate installed and sealed decent, close off & seal the old ash dump and any cracks good and tight, remove the box to let inside air in, and cover the rear grab holes, you may see a drastic improvement.

In 9 years and an A body style and now a B body style, I have been throughout these inserts.
Many times. I'd be more than happy to help, but you're a bit too far.

Hog, I can't thank you enough for all of your advise. Your knowledge of these inserts and detailed info is fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you. All of the people here are great.

I have one more question for you. Single wall SS tubing was installed (6 in dia.) and I have a 25 ft exterior chimney. Do you suggest putting double wall in or will single wall be fine?
 
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