Wood Insert - Vent Question

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ben1

New Member
Jan 20, 2022
5
Boston, MA
Hi All - Just found this forum and am hoping to get some advice and information.

We had a ranch house that we added a second floor to several years ago. It had a fireplace with brick chimney but when we did the remodel we thought we were eventually going to install a gas insert with a direct vent so we did not have the chimney extended up to the roof. Instead they leveled it off and added a small roof on top. So we still have the fireplace in the living room. I am attaching pictures. For measurements the existing brick chimney is 67" wide and 2' deep. From the concrete to the roof is approximately 30'. The existing brick is 4.5' tall.

About a month ago we were without heat for a little bit but thankfully it was not that cold. It got us to thinking that we really need a backup for if power/gas stops for any period of time in the winter (We live in Massachusetts and this past week was extremely cold outside). Based on that we started looking at wood inserts. I am getting conflicting information from two dealers in the area. Combining the information it seems there are three options. I wanted to get some outside opinions from people who are more knowledgeable on this than me on the pros/cons and if what they are saying is accurate. Also if there are any suggestions on other options that would work that would be great to hear.

Option 1 - Replace the chimney. Seems the most logical but also going to be the most expensive. Given this would primarily be for backup we aren't sure we want to go through on the expense of this. One mason I spoke to quoted 22k to bring it down to the concrete base and then build an entire new brick chimney. That doesn't include the cost of the insert and installation.

Option 2 - Build a wood box similar to a chimney and then run an insulated vent pipe through that to the roof.

Option 3 - Install a stainless steel vent pipe called a "Class A" Vent pipe?? (I believe that is what it is called) that can go on the outside of a building against combustable materials as its insulated. I am attaching a picture of what I believe this is. They said the combustable roof on top of the chimney currently installed would need to be removed and then replaced by a mason with a non-combustable one and then they could run the pipe up the side of the house. Although this is visually the worst option, it is on a side of the house not really seen so its not a huge concern. One of the dealers said he has never done it before but its definitely possible. The other dealer said it's not possible to do this.

Thank you in advance for any options and advice you can provide. We are not in a huge rush on this so we want to make sure to do something that is safe and will work.

IMG_0910.JPG
IMG_0545.JPG
Class A Pipe.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,177
central pa
Hi All - Just found this forum and am hoping to get some advice and information.

We had a ranch house that we added a second floor to several years ago. It had a fireplace with brick chimney but when we did the remodel we thought we were eventually going to install a gas insert with a direct vent so we did not have the chimney extended up to the roof. Instead they leveled it off and added a small roof on top. So we still have the fireplace in the living room. I am attaching pictures. For measurements the existing brick chimney is 67" wide and 2' deep. From the concrete to the roof is approximately 30'. The existing brick is 4.5' tall.

About a month ago we were without heat for a little bit but thankfully it was not that cold. It got us to thinking that we really need a backup for if power/gas stops for any period of time in the winter (We live in Massachusetts and this past week was extremely cold outside). Based on that we started looking at wood inserts. I am getting conflicting information from two dealers in the area. Combining the information it seems there are three options. I wanted to get some outside opinions from people who are more knowledgeable on this than me on the pros/cons and if what they are saying is accurate. Also if there are any suggestions on other options that would work that would be great to hear.

Option 1 - Replace the chimney. Seems the most logical but also going to be the most expensive. Given this would primarily be for backup we aren't sure we want to go through on the expense of this. One mason I spoke to quoted 22k to bring it down to the concrete base and then build an entire new brick chimney. That doesn't include the cost of the insert and installation.

Option 2 - Build a wood box similar to a chimney and then run an insulated vent pipe through that to the roof.

Option 3 - Install a stainless steel vent pipe called a "Class A" Vent pipe?? (I believe that is what it is called) that can go on the outside of a building against combustable materials as its insulated. I am attaching a picture of what I believe this is. They said the combustable roof on top of the chimney currently installed would need to be removed and then replaced by a mason with a non-combustable one and then they could run the pipe up the side of the house. Although this is visually the worst option, it is on a side of the house not really seen so its not a huge concern. One of the dealers said he has never done it before but its definitely possible. The other dealer said it's not possible to do this.

Thank you in advance for any options and advice you can provide. We are not in a huge rush on this so we want to make sure to do something that is safe and will work.

View attachment 290329 View attachment 290330 View attachment 290331
Option one would absolutely work but it's the most expensive.

Option 2 is probably what I would choose but it will be the same pipe as option 3. It will just look better
 
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ben1

New Member
Jan 20, 2022
5
Boston, MA
Option one would absolutely work but it's the most expensive.

Option 2 is probably what I would choose but it will be the same pipe as option 3. It will just look better
Thats what I am leaning towards. I assume it would be something similar to this?

Class A Boxed In.jpeg
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
2,001
Northern Maine
Option one would absolutely work but it's the most expensive.

Option 2 is probably what I would choose but it will be the same pipe as option 3. It will just look better
What he said.
 

ben1

New Member
Jan 20, 2022
5
Boston, MA
Yeah but I would run the chase all the way up to the top
I would definitely have them finish the chase all the way to the top if I am going through that expense. Is it possible to taper the chase so it's not the full width of the chimney but wide enough to meet clearance for the pipe.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,177
central pa
I would definitely have them finish the chase all the way to the top if I am going through that expense. Is it possible to taper the chase so it's not the full width of the chimney but wide enough to meet clearance for the pipe.
Absolutely. It's just framing and what ever finish you choose
 

ben1

New Member
Jan 20, 2022
5
Boston, MA
Absolutely. It's just framing and what ever finish you choose
Thank you for your help on this. One last question I just thought of. The dealer who proposed this option said that the roof on top of the chimney now needs to be removed and replaced by a mason with a non-combustable one. Does that sound right? My thought was where its a Class A vent pipe designed to be near combustible materials they could the opening through the existing roof add on the chase that attaches to the roof and then run it to the top of the house.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,177
central pa
Thank you for your help on this. One last question I just thought of. The dealer who proposed this option said that the roof on top of the chimney now needs to be removed and replaced by a mason with a non-combustable one. Does that sound right? My thought was where its a Class A vent pipe designed to be near combustible materials they could the opening through the existing roof add on the chase that attaches to the roof and then run it to the top of the house.
The problem is if you are putting an insert in there it needs to be enclosed in a code compliant fireplace so yes you will need some masonry work done before you can transition to class a and framing
 

ben1

New Member
Jan 20, 2022
5
Boston, MA
The problem is if you are putting an insert in there it needs to be enclosed in a code compliant fireplace so yes you will need some masonry work done before you can transition to class a and framing
Ok. That makes total sense. Thank you again for your help with this!