Rookie looking for advice

JennyDoe

New Member
May 21, 2020
6
Bay Area
Hi all, I've got a narrowish, frustrating, smokey FP in a small (<1,100 sq. ft.) single-story house, and after taking down several trees on our lot, I have ~2.5 cords of dry stacked hardwood just waiting to burn! So I'm interested in adding an insert to allow us to make use of our resources--and just to enjoy the FP we've hardly ever been able to use.

Because our space is so small, and to keep with the style of the house, I've been looking at the flat-front models like the Osburn Matrix 2000 or Inspire 2000. But I read where the fans are loud, which would be a huge drag in our tiny LR. I also read the thread on the Supreme Fusion, which sounded like a mixed bag. And I can't get an idea of the pricing for the Lopi or Hearthstone products. And I'm not sure about the whole hybrid thing anyhow.

Basically, I'm a total novice, overwhelmed by all the info, unable to go shopping because of the shutdown, and worried about making the wrong choice. So I come to y'all virtual hat in hand, asking for input. Thanks in advance!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
How tall is the chimney? That might be part of the issue. If it is short then it could be an issue with an insert too. Take a look at the Pacific Energy Neo 1.6 fireplace insert. The blower on low speed is pretty quiet. If you can post a picture and the fireplace dimensions we may be able to suggest other inserts too.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
A little freestanding stove like the Hampton H200 or Jotul F3CB would have fit nicely in there, but it might take some searching to find one.
 

Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
351
Eastern Alps, Italy
That fireplace is screaming “Morsø stove”!
I can distinctly hear it from here.
 

JennyDoe

New Member
May 21, 2020
6
Bay Area
So... ballpark our chimney is ~11.5 ft. from the top of the FP to the spark arrester. Pretty short, but then again, pretty tiny house.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
That was my concern. We have heard complaints recently with a Morso stove on the same height chimney. That is why I suggested the Hampton which breathes a bit more freely. Still, I think you may need to extend the chimney to get best performance due to the mild climate in your location, regardless of stove or insert choice.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
It's not the end of the world, but it does narrow down choices. The chimney can be extended with masonry or with a metal class A chimney section.
 
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ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
281
Nor Cal
SBI makes Century, Drolet, Osburn stoves and they draft easy. Manuals states only 12' required from top of stove. We have a Century free standing stove with 2 ~75 degree elbows in the flu stack and it drafts very good with 16'. We live in Newcastle, near Auburn/Roseville Ca. Not far from Bay Area and also considered a very mild climate.

Its easy to add a foot or two of chimney height if required.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
Not all SBI stoves have a short chimney requirement, but they are worth considering. The house already has an issue with smoke rollout so it could be that the chimney, besides being short, could be poorly placed in relation to the roof or prevailing winds or local topography. @JennyDoe, is the house on level ground or is there a hill alongside/behind the house? Can you post some exterior shots of the house that include the full chimney and roofline?
 
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JennyDoe

New Member
May 21, 2020
6
Bay Area
SBI makes Century, Drolet, Osburn stoves and they draft easy. Manuals states only 12' required from top of stove. We have a Century free standing stove with 2 ~75 degree elbows in the flu stack and it drafts very good with 16'. We live in Newcastle, near Auburn/Roseville Ca. Not far from Bay Area and also considered a very mild climate.

Its easy to add a foot or two of chimney height if required.
Thanks! Do you know anything about the SBI inserts? Would it be similar?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,329
Downeast Maine
You will need a full length insulated chimney liner and very few stoves will operate with a flue of that height, as others have mentioned. Even stoves that say they will work with 12 of insulated flue will probably struggle with smoke spilling into the house. My non-expert opinion is that your current FP spills smoke because of the short chimney and living in the bay area. I always chuckle when I see beautiful Craftsman homes in CA with beautiful fireplaces in TV and movies, because they almost always have smoke staining from too short a chimney in too warm of weather.
 
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ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
281
Nor Cal
Thanks! Do you know anything about the SBI inserts? Would it be similar?

Below is a Century and Drolet link. Both are 12' min chimney height. The Drolet is 2020 EPA compliant. Made in same factory, same metal, same welders. SBI told me this directly.

Drolet Insert

Century Insert

Regarding draft, I am still very surprised how easily the FW3000 drafts when its mid 60's outside with two bends in the chimney. The first ~75 degree elbow is directly on top of the stove - thats the worst placement - with the 6 inch liner making the second bend, then straight up to the cap. Again, 16 ft from top of stove to cap. Never any smoke in the house.

Adding another two feet of chimney height can be done later if required.

Their is a smaller Drolet and Century insert and they both require 15' min chimney. The fw3000 firebox is the same size as the larger Drolet and Centry inserts. We only heat about 1,000 sq ft of our 2,500 sq ft home. Having a larger firebox makes life easier imho and I would not want it smaller. Accepting up to 20 inch logs and easier loading for example. And the larger fire view is also a plus.

But, if only a smaller insert will fit, then that dictates all else.


Update:

Went looking around and found this small Drolet insert and it states 12' min chimney height. I'd call Drolet to confirm. Also, this is not 2020 epa. I have not been following the regulations so I do not know if their was an extension. Others will know.

Drolet 1400 Insert with Liner Kit
 
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JennyDoe

New Member
May 21, 2020
6
Bay Area
Below is a Century and Drolet link. Both are 12' min chimney height. The Drolet is 2020 EPA compliant. Made in same factory, same metal, same welders. SBI told me this directly.

Drolet Insert

Century Insert

Regarding draft, I am still very surprised how easily the FW3000 drafts when its mid 60's outside with two bends in the chimney. The first ~75 degree elbow is directly on top of the stove - thats the worst placement - with the 6 inch liner making the second bend, then straight up to the cap. Again, 16 ft from top of stove to cap. Never any smoke in the house.

Adding another two feet of chimney height can be done later if required.

Their is a smaller Drolet and Century insert and they both require 15' min chimney. The fw3000 firebox is the same size as the larger Drolet and Centry inserts. We only heat about 1,000 sq ft of our 2,500 sq ft home. Having a larger firebox makes life easier imho and I would not want it smaller. Accepting up to 20 inch logs and easier loading for example. And the larger fire view is also a plus.

But, if only a smaller insert will fit, then that dictates all else.


Update:

Went looking around and found this small Drolet insert and it states 12' min chimney height. I'd call Drolet to confirm. Also, this is not 2020 epa. I have not been following the regulations so I do not know if their was an extension. Others will know.

Drolet 1400 Insert with Liner Kit
Awesome! Thanks so much. Been offline for a few days but will investigate these. And I'll post the photos @begreen requested a bit later. Y'all are the best.