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  1. #1

    Name this fireplace...

    Below are links to pictures of one of my fireplaces. This is a masonry fireplace (built in 1985), but it has a steel firebox and air tubes built into it. Is this thing a Heatilator? I can't find any type of ID tag or other identification on it.

    (Ignore the masking tape on the brick. I was showing my wife where various glass door choices would possibly fit. )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    S.E. Pa


    -Nice article from my friend Big Steve in San Luis Obispo

    This appears to be a Heatform and not Heatilator Mark C. The HL has a narrower damper handle with Heatilator on it. Both have a metal ID plate inside the firebox in the upper front corners. The Hl Mark C usually is built with two intakes with fans low and two high to exhaust plus the grinning teeth across the front. Regardless of make, you need a Level II inspection by a qualified fireplace inspector. These things are notorious for neglect, abuse and misuse not to mention many installed with combustibles packed into these air passageways. I recently removed two fans that were housed in anti-freeze jugs cut away. They install plastic jugs in the ducts to hold the fans. I show them at training. I've found newspapers packed in to shim the bricks in place since the masons who build these things never do more than one and obviously were freaked out by it. They never figured out how to make the transition to that first flue tile. Since the never install caps, the rain rots out the damper, which is a piano hinge and cannot be removed without a Sawzall or torch. My friend Steve Kuber in NJ wrote a piece on how to torch these fireplaces out and rebuild with regular masonry. He calls it a "root canal". Yes, he admits having starter several fires using the torch. That's why the protocol calls for an assistant with a water can sprayer looking over your shoulder on fire watch. This is taught at Chimney Sweep workshops.


  3. #3

    Thanks for the detailed response. That article was VERY interesting. The pictures in it seem to confirm what you are saying...I have a Heatform, not a Heatilator. When I look through the brick vent across the top of my fireplace, I can clearly make out the 3 large exit pipes shown in that article. I still can't find an ID plate anywhere, though.

    Here's where I'm at with this thing...

    I'm going to install a set of glass doors and attempt to use it one more winter. I'm not trying to heat my house with it, but I'm hoping it will throw off a reasonable amount of heat without sucking all the air out of my house (wishful thinking, perhaps). Anyway, I'm wondering what to expect from this thing. I will also take your advice and have it checked out again more closely.

    What I would really like to do is install a direct vent gas fireplace inside the firebox (I'm burned out on pun intended! ). I was going to ask you about cutting those vent tubes to install a liner, but that article already seems to support this as an option. I hate to cut the thing up and make it useless as an open fireplace, but if it's not very efficient as it sits, I figure I don't have much to lose.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Madison, WI
    If you did cut the tubes for a liner and someone wanted to go back to wood someday they could always get a wood insert.

  5. #5

    followup - heatform/wood insert/liner question

    I want to install a wood insert into my Heatform fireplace. The sticker shock from the estimates I received for the installation has prompted me to consider installing it myself.

    My question is - to route the new liner pipe up through the metal Heatform contraption, is it typical to cut through the heat tubes and hinged damper assembly (i.e., more or less straight up through the tubes and damper)? Or is it typical to cut through the top of the angled back wall? Or to cut partially through both areas?

    Thanks ahead of time for any advice or suggestions.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    S.E. Pa


    If you cut those tubes, you void any warranty or support from that mfr. If heat migrates through that open tube, it could conceivably get into an area near combustibles and cause a fire. Cutting these tubes is done all the time to install inserts with liners but that doesn't make it a good idea.

    I recommend saving your money until you can get it torched out, rebuilt with masonry into a Rumford and/ or EPA Phase II woodstove with an insulated listed liner.

  7. #7

    pro com fireplace

    will lite stay on for five min. and cut off till you cut it back on and were do i get parts this is for one of my builders he bought it and it has not worked since day one

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    S.E. Pa


    Jdawg, I suggest you have a pro inspect and service your fireplace. I believe the Pro Com brand is made in China but is not one of the more established brands.

    Next post, try using complete sentences and punctuation, please.

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