I purchased a Harman Exception Insert for wood, we have just finished building a real pine log home, so I wanted a fireplace installed and everyone says that Harman throws alot of heat.. so I got one...
So we cut a hole out of the main wall and inserted the insert into it, with the rear of the unit sitting outside the home on the deck, I left 10 inches on each side and above insert, but on the back of the unit I made a square like case around it with 2x6's and plywood like a box. I also used 8 6' stainless steel chimney stacks as my roof is 25ft high.. it was very close to the side of the house with about 3 inches clearance from side and from the plywood casing that also covered chimeny stacks all the way to roof... reading this now I see how completely insane that was, but my friend kept saying its a zero clearance stove??
So..I had a good fire on Sun night when it was done and everything seemed ok... on monday afternoon again.. everything was fine.. then monday night before bed my husband stoked it pretty good and we went upstairs to the loft to bed. I could smell what smelt like paper burning and we checked the fireplace and we checked chimney and it seemed ok... so we went to bed, 2 hours later I woke up with the feeling of smoke on me. I hit the outside lights on balcony and could see the smoke in the bedroom.. I flew out of bed and turned on inside light.. there was smoke all over, I looked down into living room at stove and the front looked normal but I could see orange behind it like it was glowing... then I looked out the upper windows and could see orange dancing around.. and thats when I pretty much realized the house was on fire...
I called 911, hubbys fast thinking grabbed a fire extinguisher from our utility shed and busted holes in the plywood casing to get at fire.. when the extinguisher was empty we used the garden hose to slow it down some more... fire dept arrived 30 min later ( we are rural ) Anyways.. the rear of the unit got so hot it caught something on fire and the rest is history.. the whole side of my house was on fire and now with everything removed it looks like I have a perfect black chimney housing all the way up side of house.. because its so badly charred...the other thing too was that it had just reached roof and was melting the soffit and fascia.. few minutes more and all that insulation in the ceiling would of caught.. so yeah..we are ok thank god and this was a lesson hard learned. I know this story really sounds to stupid to be true..but I am not ashamed to admit what I did , because I really need help from people who know what to do, I am being honest so I can figure out all the things I did wrong.. and specifically what i need to do to ensure that I dont die from my next installation.
Everything has been removed and the hole in wall has been covered with plywood and insulation until we decide how and what to do with next installation. Specifically I am wonderring what the clearance in the rear of unit would be to any housing type case.. we wanted to do stone originally but house is gonna shift and crack it for at least another year or two.. so we decided to use plywood with a slip joint at midsection just to keep unit covered. Gosh.. reading what I just wrote its so obvious I made some bad choices.. but I cant stress how many times I was told.. harman is a zero clearance insert.. so here I am thinking it would be ok even if it was too close.. Gosh how stupid can I be.. and yes I realize how lucky I am to be alive.. especially given that the 3 smoke detectors did not go off .....but they went off when the chain saw was cutting logs???? Anyways, all I can say is, thank god these logs are actually very slow burning and that plywood casing actually appears to have kept the fire contained to that area all the way up the house....please do not write back and call me stupid.. because A: I already can see that.. and B: I have been flamed enough for a lifetime and C: no we didnt have insurance.
I am not looking for specific instructions, but some general clearances for front and rear of unit and above the unit?? Because I need to house this unit on the outside and I do plan on hiring a professional probably for the masonry..but I need to know for myself what is right and what is absolutely wrong.. so just some general feedback would be greatly appreciated. and any ideas for chimney as like I said. the house will shift alot.
Thank you so much for any replies and I look forward to getting this done properly.