Wood stove insert in an old zero-clearance pre-fab?

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PDutro

New Member
Sep 26, 2021
33
Oregon
This seems tight. Just checked FP30 and they need 30” to adjacent wall. Corner free standing into existing chase at a height that the bump out in the other room could be repurposed while still giving access to clean out T.

Demo is fast/cheap. Framing and finishing flat walls is faster than all the extra work to frame out a new chase. I just some are getting all you money back on this project when you sell. Do it because you want it for what what ever time you have left in the house. Or take a couple nice vacations.
I just took some measurements, even with a small freestanding, with the space needed in front for ember protection we’d be losing the entire corner of that room (it’s not real big), so I don’t think that’s a good option for us.

Dang, looks like we are back to the alcove and freestanding...

You think most/all of the ZC are going to need around 30” to adjacent walls?
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,504
SE North Carolina
You think most/all of the ZC are going to need around 30” to adjacent walls?
No idea. Time to hit the manuals. Had the PE site up in another tab.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
I thought about a corner freestander too. Not understanding the chest of drawers concept, tell me more?

So if we went corner freestanding, we’d pull the ZC and close up the hole in order to build the surround. And the ‘tee’ would run off the stove pipe into the wall thimble, into the chase?
Assuming that the tee snout would be around 18" below the ceiling, that will leave a lot of dead space underneath it. My mind wants to do something with it. Could be just a cabinet or a low closet, or a reading nook for wee ones.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,201
central pa
Assuming that the tee snout would be around 18" below the ceiling, that will leave a lot of dead space underneath it. My mind wants to do something with it. Could be just a cabinet or a low closet, or a reading nook for wee ones.
I would do wood storage
 
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ericm979

Member
Nov 2, 2018
37
California
Our house came with a builder grade prefab fireplace that made the house colder when burning. It was built into an ugly surround that stuck out into the room. One of the goals besides efficiently turning wood into heat was to reduce the footprint in the room. I spent some time designing an alcove but between the required wall spacing and the space available behind the unit I couldn't find a stove I was happy with. I ended up with an EPA ZC stove, a Flame Monaco. It freed up space in the room and it heats our 2500 sq ft house except when the temp drops below 30 which is rare. We had the 32' flue replaced per code.

The drawback to a ZC is reduced selection and it'll be more work if you want to replace it with something else.

This stove needs dry wood but it burns really clean. I don't want to be the guy who smokes out the neighborhood. Except for 10-15 min when starting up there's no visible smoke and only a faint smell when downwind. This is probably true of most if not all EPA stoves.
 

PDutro

New Member
Sep 26, 2021
33
Oregon
Our house came with a builder grade prefab fireplace that made the house colder when burning. It was built into an ugly surround that stuck out into the room. One of the goals besides efficiently turning wood into heat was to reduce the footprint in the room. I spent some time designing an alcove but between the required wall spacing and the space available behind the unit I couldn't find a stove I was happy with. I ended up with an EPA ZC stove, a Flame Monaco. It freed up space in the room and it heats our 2500 sq ft house except when the temp drops below 30 which is rare. We had the 32' flue replaced per code.

The drawback to a ZC is reduced selection and it'll be more work if you want to replace it with something else.

This stove needs dry wood but it burns really clean. I don't want to be the guy who smokes out the neighborhood. Except for 10-15 min when starting up there's no visible smoke and only a faint smell when downwind. This is probably true of most if not all EPA stoves.
Sounds like a major improvement!

Do you remember what the dimensions of the alcove would have been had you built it?


Our prefab is stuck awkwardly in a corner, and on the opposite side there’s a coat closet that we can’t really afford to eliminate (need the storage, small house)

I’m looking through a number of the ZC’s installation manuals and they all seem to need more clearance to adjacent walls than we’ve got. We may end up needing to do the alcove/freestander because it will be our only real option.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
Have you looked at the RSF Focus? I seem to recall it having low adjacent wall clearance.
 
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ericm979

Member
Nov 2, 2018
37
California
I don't remember my alcove dimensions. The problem wasn't width so much as depth. There's a walk in closet behind the stove and we extended into it for the box around the ZC. Even with a wide shallow stove the alcove + stove would have been deeper than the ZC which would have meant either taking more room from the closet or sticking out into the living room, neither of which were appealing. So, different fitment issues than yours. I think the Flame Monaco has pretty tight required clearances as well which helped.

To get around the distance to side wall problem, can you build a surround that is at an angle?
 

PDutro

New Member
Sep 26, 2021
33
Oregon
To get around the distance to side wall problem, can you build a surround that is at an angle?
Good thought, but I don’t think we gain anything that way, just with the fact that the corner where the fireplace is is very close to the entrance to our kitchen.

1970’s houses, man.

Anyway, the RSF has a 12” to side wall clearance. I think that would work, since there’s room for the whole fireplace to move away from that side wall some and still be clear of the closet wall on the other side.

The only question I have about that is, when installing a ZC, if the top of the firebox doesn’t center up exactly with the center of the chase above it, can a slight angled fitting be used to connect the top of the firebox wall pipe to the class a chimney?
 

PDutro

New Member
Sep 26, 2021
33
Oregon
Have you looked at the RSF Focus? I seem to recall it having low adjacent wall clearance.
I hadn’t until I read your reply. Looks like it might work with the 12” sidewall clearance requirement.

I asked ericm979 this as well, but when installing a ZC, if the top of the firebox doesn’t center up exactly with the center of the chase above it, can a slight angled fitting be used to connect the top of the firebox pipe to the class a chimney?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,201
central pa
I hadn’t until I read your reply. Looks like it might work with the 12” sidewall clearance requirement.

I asked ericm979 this as well, but when installing a ZC, if the top of the firebox doesn’t center up exactly with the center of the chase above it, can a slight angled fitting be used to connect the top of the firebox pipe to the class a chimney?
Yes you can use offsets or the chimney could just be off-center
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
Interesting, I have the pre2020 Focus docs which have a smaller clearance. Just looked at the Focus 3600 and yes, it is 12", but that is from the door, not the fireplace body. It looks like you would have that clearance there.
 
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ericm979

Member
Nov 2, 2018
37
California
The only question I have about that is, when installing a ZC, if the top of the firebox doesn’t center up exactly with the center of the chase above it, can a slight angled fitting be used to connect the top of the firebox wall pipe to the class a chimney?

We did that. I had the contractor use shallow bends to make it easier to clean and restrict air flow less.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, some chimney pipe comes in 15º and 30º elbows.
 
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