Stainless Steel Liner

David Albright Posted By David Albright, Jan 10, 2013 at 10:20 PM

  1. David Albright

    David Albright
    New Member 2.

    Jan 10, 2013

    We bought a house two years ago and it came with a Lopi X/FL/LX (not sure which one):

    This is the first year we had the chimney cleaned (supposedly cleaned by the previous owners every year). The sweep discovered that we had had a chimney fire at some point and they proposed installing a stainless steel liner. Additionally, our chimney was not far enough from the roof, so that was included in the estimate from them.

    We talked to our home owners insurance company and they sent out a insurance construction guy to look at the chimney. He said we needed new clay tiles, not a stainless steel liner (plus the same work to raise the chimney higher). He made this determination after looking at the chimney for a solid 10 minutes. His estimate was significantly less than the chimney sweep so that is what the insurance company went with.

    So...the chimney sweep company insists we need a stainless steel liner as the Lopi stove can get pretty warm. Who is right here? Seems like there are varying opinions on the Internet.

    To make the matter a little more complicated we are in the process of selling the home (long story) and have an offer. So I don't want to put any money into the place if possible (but don't want to screw someone over either).

  2. KaptJaq

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 31, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    You can compare the layout of the bricks in your stove to the layouts on page 7 of the manual to determine which stove you have.

    The insert you have is a "slammer" type install. There is no easy way to connect a stainless liner directly to the unit. Something will have to be fabricated. This may be part of the sweep's high cost. Most people frown on slammer installs. If the unit is in good shape and you follow the user manual, it can be used safely. You just have to remember to burn clean and sweep the flue regularly to prevent future chimney fires.

    The unit that is there is a quality unit but it is old. The buyer may want something modern, clean burning, and more efficient. The money sunk into connecting a SS liner to the current unit would be wasted. If I was in your shoes I would probably go with the insurance person's plan. Put new tiles in, extend the height, and leave the current unit as is. That will give the buyer the option of using the existing unit, pulling it out and using the open fireplace, or installing a new stove with the proper SS liner without tossing the liner you just installed.

  3. Corey

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 19, 2005
    Certainly good advice above. Though the kicker here seems to be that you are selling the house and have an offer on the table? So I'm guessing this may have come up as part of a home inspection? That changes the dynamic a bit IMHO. The home inspector was likely brought in by the buyer(?) so he could have some tendency to point out every little issue - and rightly so. Your home insurance is a little irrelevant as they would no longer be insuring the home after sale, so the install may or may not need to be up to their standards.

    To me there are several ways you can play this out.

    1) Simply do nothing, leave the stove 'as is' - perhaps the stove is not a big issue with the new buyer. Maybe they intend to tear it out anyway and/or have no intention to use it?

    2)Perhaps you could negotiate a change in the selling price to make up for the work needing to be done. I don't think you would necessarily have to delay closing until all the work is complete - especially this time of year. This could range anywhere from almost 100% your money, 50/50 or almost 100% their money.

    3) If the stove working 100% is an absolute deal breaker for this buyer, then you have a choice of catering to their needs or not taking their offer and looking for another buyer.

    Ultimately, selling a home is a 'negotiation' as long as things are negotiated fairly and openly, you can leave the stove in pretty much any condition mutually agreed to. It is not absolutely up to you to make it 100% perfect prior to the sale.

    Personally, I suspect 99% of the public probably wants a 'fireplace' for decoration or one fire a year on Christmas. The amount of 'hard core wood heaters' is relatively small. If the buyer is a hard core wood burner, they would most likely want something cleaner and more efficient than the old Lopi - either way, a lot of negotiation can be done.

    Good luck!
  4. clr8ter

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Oct 4, 2010
    Southern NH
    Question: How do you replace the clay liner? As far as I was aware, they are built into the chimney as it is built, thereby becoming an integrated part of it.

    If it were me, I'd tear out the insert, line with SS, and park a nice EPA wood stove in front of the fireplace. This is what we did. If selling the house, I'd inquire with the buyers to see what they were interested in.
  5. webby3650

    Master of Fire 2.

    Sep 2, 2008
    No one is gonna replace those tiles... If it was even possible. The insurance guy likely knows nothing about chimneys. Go with the chimney sweeps recommendations. If it was to be re-lined as a fireplace then a Round SS liner would be used. The cheapest would be to run a liner right to the insert. You should definitely find out what the buyer wants to do. But don't have those clay liners replaced, it's counter productive.

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