Wood stove for fireplace installation - questions before purchase

Minuteman

New Member
Feb 2, 2020
4
MA
Last winter our sweep cautioned us against using our fireplace as an open hearth due to cracked tiles and lack of parging. After lots of reading, debates over wood v. pellet v. gas, and visits to the stove dealer we are close to making the final decision to purchase a wood stove which will sit partially in the fireplace.

Our house is 2400 s.f. It is heated by an oil burner/radiators and several mini splits. The fireplace is located in the combined kitchen/dining room, about 400 s.f. We renovated 3 years ago and the house is well insulated with new windows. The chimney is 2 stories tall, it is capped and has 3 flues (oil burner, fireplace 1st floor, fireplace basement). The rear of the chimney is in the garage on first floor, it runs between closet and bedroom on 2nd floor.

Firebox dimensions:
opening: 36” wide, 31.5” high
depth top: 16 (top),
depth bottom: 19” (bottom
back of box width: 26.5”

We anticipate using the stove as a chill chaser, for weekend warmth and ambience. We want something easy to start. I like the stove rather than an insert because it will extend into room for better heating without the need for a noisy blower. I will be purchasing the wood as we are in a suburban location outside Boston.

The dealer showed us a Jotul 45 and a Morso 7110. I like the looks of both, the Jotul has a short leg option. It was interesting to learn the dealer no longer carries pellet stoves due to maintenance issues and 90% of stove sales are gas. But we like burning wood.

1. Are there any significant differences between those two stoves?

2. Mantle Clearances? See attached image. It appears the bottom edge of the mantle trim is too low. I’d like to avoid tearing out the mantle, can I install a heat shield to reduce the clearance requirement? What would that look like, where would that attach?

3. Chimney lining? The chimneysweep quoted me huge prices to remove the existing tiles ($1600) and to install a "stainless steel lining with 1/2 foil faced ceramic insulation blanket and stainless steel armor mesh” ($3,900). The stove dealer quoted a very reasonable offer ($2,100 stove, $700 liner, $700 installation). Will I have to remove the existing clay liner and what is a reasonable price for that? What is the difference between the sweep’s lining and the dealer’s lining???

Any thoughts or suggestions are very much appreciated.
 

Attachments

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
Both will do the job. The Morso is a significantly smaller stove than the Jotul F45. The 7110 is all cast iron and closer to the Jotul F3CB in specification and design. The Jotul F45 is a cast iron jacketed steel stove with a larger firebox that can be loaded N/S. I think you would find the Jotul more flexible in use. Does the stove area open up to the second floor stairwell?

The stove's mantel clearances are important and must be honored. Search on 'mantel shield' for past threads and examples.

It sounds like the salesperson is trying to be competitive with a low overall price with little or no knowledge of the chimney condition. The chimney sweep sounds like he has inspected the chimney and has determined what is necessary to make the installation safe and code compliant . There are almost daily threads on liners and the need for insulation. Here is an example:
 
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Minuteman

New Member
Feb 2, 2020
4
MA
Thank you begreen.

Yes, the stove area opens up to the second floor stairwell. So the Jotul, with a larger firebox, sounds more appropriate.

I did some more searching on the site for "mantel shield" and see that people are attaching them the underside of the lintel if the mantel has trim like mine. That would be a clean and simple solution to the clearance issue.

You are right, the dealer does not know the chimney condition. Based on the thread you shared it is likely the sweep is correct; I need to remove the clay and use an insulated liner. Unfortunately that more than doubles the cost of the project. I'll try to line up a few more quotes to get a better deal but I'm not hopeful this time of year. We may have to satisfy ourselves with a candle or two this winter.

Thanks again. I'll post if I make progress.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
Did the sweep leave a written report that lists the inner dimensions of the chimney tile liner? There may be an alternative to busting out the tiles. Also, do you know if the chimney flue is straight or if it has any offsets?
 

Minuteman

New Member
Feb 2, 2020
4
MA
He did write in the description that "Clay tiles must be removed so that liner can go down". But no specific dimensions.
So I measured myself by taping a wood shish-kabob stick across the top of a yard stick...i snipped it to size until it just fit up the flue in both directions. It appears the flue is 7"x11". I can see a gentle curve to the length (is that possible?), but no offsets.
I took a couple of pics of the opening.
 

Attachments

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
It looks like an alternative would be to install an insulated oval liner instead of busting out the tiles. Duraliner makes a preinsulated, oval liner for this situation. It's a complete system that rivets together and transitions to 6" round after the damper. It's 4.75"x7.75" OD. I would ask for an estimate with this system installed.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
No problem, it's a common situation. That's why they make the product.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
22,181
central pa
The flue needs to be pretty straight for a rigid liner there are also flexible oval options as well that should work.