Zero Clearance Help - FP 30 install

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bcar

New Member
Sep 18, 2023
32
Iowa
Hey guys, been lurking for a while but need some real help now...

I'm tearing out my Quadra-Fire Explorer II to put in a ZC with a raised hearth and floor to ceiling stone chimney similar to the second attached pic.

Our room is 25x25 with vaulted ceilings. The Explorer is 2.4 CF fire box with no blower and heats the room just fine. Furnace t stat is on the sidewall of the room (I run furnace fan on a 50% schedule usually). On subzero nights or during high winds the furnace will usually end up kicking on early in the morning if I don't wake up and feed the fire sometime in the night. I also struggle to have any coals with this stove after 6-8 hours.

Aesthetics is one of the main goals here as we both love the lodge feel and look.. but more importantly; I absolutely do not want to downgrade in heat output or burn times. I've been looking at the Quadra Fire Pioneer II (have a local dealer) which is 2.7CF box, but is rated less square feet and shorter burn time than the Explorer, and I haven't been able to dredge up much for reviews on the Pioneer. So my main question before I get too far into this process, am I making a big mistake with the Pioneer II?

Sub note, we're also building a patio and plan to do an outdoor masonry fireplace that would back up to the ZC and be all one structure essentially.

Appreciate any help!

Wood Stove.jpg Chimney.png
 
I'd go larger to a 3 or 3.5 cu ft firebox. If there is room it might be worth looking at fireplaces that have a deeper firebox that affords N/S loading. That will allow you to utilize the full size of the firebox without worrying about logs rolling up against the stove door glass.
 
yeah I'd love a n/s loading stove, not sure we have the depth as my wife doesn't want it sticking too far into the room, and we can't push outside very far due to the patio and exterior fireplace. I also haven't really found a n/s loading model in my searches anyway; any recommendations would be appreciated.

We have a generator so I'm not too worried about the fan issue. I know some people say they're loud, but i grew up around an insert with a fan and it wasn't too big of a deal.

I would do a outside air intake. And i had considered running a duct into the basement also, but the local dealer said it's more efficient to just run the furnace fan 100%.
 
For a N/S loader, take a look at the Pacific Energy FP30. It can take 18" splits. I think some of the RSF models can take 16" N/S. Their Opel 2 plus is catalytic which will help with low and slow burns during milder weather.

Ducting heat to the basement can be a mixed bag. If the basement is uninsulated, that is likely to negate the heat supplied. Also, using the furnace system to circulate the heat will depend on how well-insulated the supplies and returns are. If they are not insulated, the heat loss through the ductwork often means that the net effect is nil.
 
FP30....mine works better than I ever expected in our new build. Consider using a different fan then the one supplied in the remote heat duct kit. Ours needed replacing twice in 3 seasons. The main fan has worked without problems since installing.
 
I do like the specs and dimensions of the FP30 a lot. Planning to go with that if price and lead time aren't too crazy.

say I did go with the two remote heat kit options, is there still a fan that blows air out the front of the unit, and are there any controls turn off the remote fans or dampeners for those ducts? Basement heat would be nice on occasion.
 
I’m sure the best answer here would be to keep my Explorer stove and put that in the basement to use when we actually want heat down there 😬.
 
Yes there is a main fan below the firebox. You can wire the remote duct fans on separate switches. The oem remote duct fans are noisy. I would consider something different when they quit working. The remote duct fans are a nice option to send some heat away from the main stove room. We use ours all the time and especially if the stove roo is getting warmer than needed.
 
IIRC someone reported substituting an AC INFINITY S6 inline duct fan for the remote as a quieter and less expensive option.
 
Try expanding your search. kozy, FPX are also solid heaters. The FPX being a monster heater in the line up.
 
I'd go PE if it were me. I did not have the option but would have if I could. I did a similar reno that you are looking to do, when I ripped out my Winter Warm Unit (pics are in the Hearthstone thread if you are interested). I'm with BeGreen on the stove size recommendations - I went 2.5 and totally wish I did 3.0 cuft.
 
I don't want a cat, and seems like the FP30 has good reviews other than people fighting the OAK and the fans. The Kozy looks solid too, but seems like the edge goes to the FP. Still waiting to hear back from my dealer on the FP. They had to get ahold of the MFG to check on pricing and availability. Kozy dealer is just a few blocks away from the FP.
 
Kozy Z42

Here is a link to my thread on the Kozy if you haven’t seen it.

I would go with the FP30 if it works for you. We love our Kozy Z42 and after living with it, I think the FP30 would have put out too much heat for our needs. The Z42 heats up our basement very quickly and I then turn on the blower fans to redirect air upstairs.

The AC Infiniti inline duct fan has been fantastic with zero issues still. I would be a bit more cautious installing this fan close to the FP30 though as it’s a more capable heater. These blowers have a max temp around 150 or 160 I think and if I recall, someone on the forum said their fan was turning off due to overheating. Highest air temp I’ve seen coming from the vent on the main floor on ours is in the 140’s
 
@KC2004 i had just ready your Kozy thread yesterday. Looks great! I'm not going for full house heat.. but if I had a good way to circulate then obviously that would just lead to less furnace time. I should add to my info, my house has an east and west hvac system that's split pretty evenly between the two halves. My east furnace where my wood stove is doesn't run much when i'm burning consistently and my footprint is only 1650 sf.

Hoping my dealer has an answer on the FP30 today, it is definitely my top choice at this point. I would drop one remote duct straight under into the basement, and with the 20' max run I might be able to get the second one over towards the other half of the house to supplement the west furnace. Hoping the FP30 isn't overkill, but my main goal is good overnight burns so I'm still thinking this is the way to go.
 
My FP30 Arch model got delivered to my dealer's warehouse this week, and my wife picked stone out! Working on orders for patio fireplace model and chimney piping for inside and outside now.... and the cold weather his here.
 
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a couple more questions/comments to add:
I purchased one remote heat kit. Since the fan is at the end of the duct run, would i ever need access above the fireplace or inside the chimney cavity?

Should I go ahead run duct from each knock out and Tee together like KC2004 did on his Kozy? I don't see why this would ever be a bad. Pretty hard to ever do it later if i don't do it now.
 
If it can be done discretely, a service access to the chase cavity may be handy for checking on chase cap leakage later on.
 
In for a dime in for a dollar....seriously consider upgrading the fan on the remote heat duct. The oem fan is unreliable. I'm on year 2 with my ac infinity attached to the fp30...no issues and much better noise and air movement than the previous 2 factory fans. I had to cut drywall to install the ac infinity, this could be avoided in your case. Just a suggestion.
 
Slowly but surely making some progress after a somewhat wild October...

I got the patio fireplace ordered today, Outdoor Lifestyle Cottagewood 36, and working on getting pipe ordered. I'm about half done demo'ing my existing chimney from the wood stove. It is CMU w/4" thick limestone veneer; trying to salvage the limestone to sell. Hind site definitely wish I would've just paid somebody to take it down from the get go, but at least i got some new tools out of the deal.

Meanwhile in Iowa tomorrow night its going to be 20. A fire sure would be nice! I'm taking the week of 11-6/10 off to deer hunt/hopefully get fireplaces installed and start framing up.

Thanks again for the help, folks! Pic of chimney demo progress and model snip of my double chimney offsets 😁

IMG-5069.jpg Chimney Model.PNG
 
keep us posted on progress. Curious to hear how you like the FP30 once it’s up and running with the duct kits. I ran my Z42 with a few fires while I still had easy access to the ducting area so I could make sure everything was functioning the way I wanted before sealing it up. Thankful I made an access panel through our wood storage area next the fireplace since I decided to add the AC Infinity inline duct fan silencer after the fact. This goes between the fan and your vent.

Duct fan silencer
 
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I got a lot done the week of the 6th-10th, but back to work and some other obligations that came up so progress has really slowed down. I hired a couple guys from work to help get the demo done and the two units set (never would've gotten the demo finished by myself).

Chimney chase is ready for pipe now. I still have to cut one last hole in the exterior wall to offset the inside pipe through. I'm planning to stuff the wall cavity around the pipe with mineral wool (rated as non combustible) with sheet metal to hold the insulation in place. Hoping to get started on pipe tonight.

After I get both pipes ran up I'll finish framing in the front face of the chase and weatherproofing. I still have a lot of inside work to do, but like KC did; I'm planning to start burning ASAP and can finish the cosmetics in time.

I decided to utilize both remote ducts and am Tee'ing them together and running to the unfinished basement, so I'm not too concerned with noise/access to maintenance later. I'm also not upgrading the fan since it will be easy to do when the factory fan craps out.

Some other questions/plans:
1. Do I really need drywall on the inside of the interior chase? I shorted myself some clearance for the B-Vent, so I was planning to either cut drywall out here or take it off all together. I don't see any need to insulate these walls, so not seeing why I would really need the drywall either.
2. Is romex the standard feeder for the main blower fan? Romex is only rated to 90F exposure. Maybe this is OK when feeding from the underside of the unit.
3. Where does everyone like having their blower switches? I'm guessing mine will end up on left or right side wall. Ironically I have a spare switch on the main bank of light switches in this room that controlled the wall lights on either side of the old wood stove. I wanted to splice onto these for simplicity, but my wife doesn't want the fan controls over with the light switches.
edit: 4. PE manual says remote duct can run a max of 20'. Do people follow this spec, or does upgrading to a higher CFM fan allow for longer runs?

It's getting cold up here... really antsy to start burning!

IMG_5326.jpg IMG_5342.jpg IMG_5362.jpg IMG_5440.jpg
 
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1. Do I really need drywall on the inside of the interior chase? I shorted myself some clearance for the B-Vent, so I was planning to either cut drywall out here or take it off all together. I don't see any need to insulate these walls, so not seeing why I would really need the drywall either.
2. Is romex the standard feeder for the main blower fan? Romex is only rated to 90F exposure. Maybe this is OK when feeding from the underside of the unit.
1) No, as long as the insulation is secured. Sometimes this is done by criss-crossing wire from stud to stud across the raw insulation batts.
2) Yes, but if concerned it's ok to use THHN wire in flex conduit.
 
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