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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    13

    Small wood stove in a Heatilator Mark 123?

    My Heatilator is useless for heating so I want to install an insert and use existing chimney. I have a small wood stove (Vogelzang BX26E - firebox is ~ 12"Wx24"Lx14"H) and want to know if I can run a 6" stainless steel liner up the 8" flue to top of chimney. The current flue pipe is probably double wall with 10" outer. Only the back of the stove would be in the existing firebox. Specs call for 36" clearance for the stove, but the Heatilator has double wall sides with bricks in back.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Your plan sounds good if you WANT TO BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!

    If you value your home, have a dealer or some other fireplace professional come see what they can do for you. The best option is probably to remove what you have and start over with a built in EPA fireplace, or a freestanding stove built into an alcove.

    You may possibly be able to do a wood insert, but you should have a 6" insulated liner for that setup and its pretty much impossible to get a properly insulated liner down the 8" ID Mark 123 chimney.

    Take the Vogelzang and return it from where you got it if you still can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,225

    Thumbs down death trap

    Woodstove inserts should NEVER be installed into ANY factory built fireplaces-period! They are NOT tested and listed together as a system. The UL task force on this was unable to come up with a means of testing them together that did not void one or more warranties and listings.

    In the case with the Mark 123, a stove would block the primary cooling system of the fireplace. Liner or no liner, you would overheat the firebox and surrounding combustibles. The fireplace is not designed to hold that much weight. There are NO chimney liners listed for use inside factory built chimneys. By modifying the termination, you defeat the primary cooling system of this fireplace and can burn the house down.

    Replace the entire fireplace with a modern EPA fireplace/ stove hybrid and return that piece of junk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for responses.

    I know Heatilator front or chimney vents can't be blocked since this is how these units are cooled, but good to note if modifying.

    The Vogalzang is cheap junk (can use in shed or outside), but if I get a 6" SS insulated liner, can I get a good insert (like a Quadrafire 2700i) and use it with the Heatilator (Mark 123 36F/3036). Current chimney is 9" inside pipe/14" outside, so the insulated liner would fit.

    Problem is Heatilator chimney damper - can this be removed easily?
    Is there any advantage to a "smooth wall" liner? Flue would only be 12' from top of box to top of chimney.

    A couple forums on same thing.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index...ead/31118/P22/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index...read/31118/P0/
    Do I understand correctly that JTP says Quad 2700i is okay in ZC as long as using 6" insulated liner?
    It seems like the Heatilator front vents would be blocked with a 2700i, which would also block the draft that cools the factory chimney. Is this okay/is it not blocked with 2700i (or others) design?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    It is OK per the Quad install manual, but it is somewhat of a Grey area because there is no actual UL testing or listings to back this up properly as hearthman pointed out.

    Best option is a gas insert or removal of the Mark123 and have a new fireplace installed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,225

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    13
    Thanks again.
    I understand better why inserts are used in factory builts, while none are approved/listed (too many to deal with, no standard method of testing, etc). Hearthman's link was a an almost 3 year-old position. It seems SOME producer of inserts would get theirs listed (esp since so many Mark123s out there), but it would also depend on current condition of a 20 year-old firebox and this would be impossible to know (some could be rusted through). I pulled/replaced inside panels on mine and all is like new (no rust) - chimney should be reinspected. House was built in 1980.

    I'm not sure how long I will be in this house so don't want to get a new fireplace, and want to be able to undo any mods to the Heatilator (ie pull out chimney liner, etc).

    Gas insert is out since no gas service here, and I have an almost unlimited supply of firewood that I'd like to utilize.

    Does the Quadrafire 2700i utilize the Heatliner cooling design - not blocking air (allowing air as originally intended) to circulate up/around the chimney and around the firebox? It's amazing how many hits show on inet for installing these in ZCs considering they aren't approved.

    Do either of you know of fires resulting from ZC inserts in factory builts? Was it from improper liner (not insulated), bad condition of ZC firebox, etc? Is there a spec on how hot the outside of a Quad 2700i can get? (as hot as a "normal" open fire?).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,225

    Exclamation beating a dead horse

    There are a number of problems putting any kind of insert into any kind of factory built fireplace. I have only touched on the legal/ liability side of it. Practically speaking, there are many and yes, they do result in unfriendly fires. Here are just a few of the problems:

    -when you install any kind of insert into a fireplace, the heat signature of that fireplace goes way up. That's because you are no longer cooling the fireplace with that 400-600cfm of air up the chimney. Now, with masonry fireplaces, they are not listed and have a large amount of thermal mass that experience has shown usually, but not always, is suffiicient to dissipate the heat.
    -the trim panels typically block the cooling louvers on the factory built fireplace. In the case with the Heatilator designs, the air entering below and around the firebox is dumped into the flue below the damper. When you install an insert with a liner you block this cooling air.
    -installing an insert typically requires modification of the original fireplace. By removing refractory panels, smoke shields, damper, etc. it ceases to be a fireplace listed to UL 127 and becomes just a metal box. The clearance to combustibles for unlisted stoves is 36" and how close is the framing on these fireplaces? In addition, that framing is encapsulated in a wall where it does not get ventilated to strip heat away.
    -the UL127 listing requires the floor of the fireplace be capable of supporting a 200lb live load. Stoves typically weigh 400+ lbs plus the liner. We find they collapse all the time.
    -The floor of the fireplace was tested at a zero clearance to the fireplace---not with a woodstove radiating much more heat downwards to the unprotected floor.
    -There are NO liners listed for use inside factory chimneys. Therefore, ANY transition hardware, such as one popular adapter on the market are NOT listed as a system and therefore illegal according to the IRC.
    -The termination is a key cooling component to any fireplace. When you modify the termination, you change the heat signature of the box. Being untested, we don't know what it will be. I will share with you that engineering vent terminations to pass all the listing requirements, keep out rain and critters and still 'work' is one of the toughest things to design on fireplaces. Indescriminate modifications change all the performance parameters, while voiding the warranty and listing.
    -HHT (Quad and Heatilator) tested the 2700i in one HL fireplace, got some short term average numbers and released it to the market. The unit was tested in a lab with an uninsulated stainless liner with nothing blocking it off at the damper, no termination kit-just the naked liner sticking up out of the top chimney section. There were no long term tests and they did not run the full listings for the fireplace, stove or liner.
    -UL1482 is the listing for woodstoves--not inserts. There is No listing for insert woodstoves. It is routinely applied to inserts incorrectly but this has already come up in court.
    -UL 127 does not have an optional test for any kind of insert
    -UL1777 tests liners in a single wythe brick chimney 10ft vertical with no offsets.
    -there is no way the UL task force has found to even come close to homogenizing all three listings into one for the reasons stated above.
    -Mfrs., such as HHT, who condone this practice assume huge liability. Trust me, they HAVE lost in court over this more than once. They figure the sales still offset the losses. Similar concept to Yankee Candles that cost them about a million dollars per year in soot subrogation claims while they are making close to one billion dollars in sales. They figure they can continue to pay claims and make money.

    Now, instead of fighting all these problems, for God's sake, why don't folks just rip out the factory built fireplace and replace it with a listed factory built fireplace/ stove hybrid that IS listed and approved AND meets the EPA Phase II emissions requirements?

    Yes, inserts in prefabs DO burn homes down.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    13
    Other questions were
    Can the damper and "axle" easily be removed from the factory chimney of a Mark123 to install a liner? (so it could be reinstalled)

    Is there advantage to using smooth wall liner? I know it's thicker (more durable?). Flex King ad says "20% increase in chimney draft which allows for more efficient burning and a 25% decrease in creosote buildup in the chimney liner." Their ad also says a standard flexible liner will only be guaranteed/can only be installed by a professional (don't know if this is industry standard or a sales pitch).

    This for my info (12' chimney) and also for a friend who may be lining a 60 year old 30' masonry chimney?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for the lesson Hearthman - lots of standards to learn...

    The only reason I (and most others) probably don't want to rip out the old prefab fireplace is the "ornate" brickwork of the current setup. If I stay in this house/pull the HL out, I'd probably put brick veneer on the walls and get a freestanding unit with fresh air intake - that way I'd get all the heat except what goes up the flue (the HL pulls in a LOT of cold air - both for the fire and to cool the unit).

    I didn't know HL panels might have to be removed to install the 2700i. This WOULD worry me because I assume the first layer reflects a lot of heat (idea has always been any insert would radiate less heat than an open fire and the HL firebox/chimney cooling design could handle it).

    Other good point is there should be no restriction of the HL cooling intake either in front for the firebox or around the chimney. Photos of inserts look like there are vents but (I assume now) these may not supply the HL with cooling air.

    Even if I followed what others did with a 2700i (and it didn't burn the house down), you made a good point about weight. My HL is built in a corner, about a foot off the floor with an 18" stone veneer hearth, then 2 feet of marble tile on the floor. I don't think there's any way this set up could reliably support the weight of a 305 lb insert (esp when I'm kneeling on the hearth loading it with wood).

    For now I'll continue using the Heatilator while I waste wood and get little heat...

    Thanks much for the input - I may start other threads if liner questions aren't answered here (my friend may be installing my old 100 Series Earth Stove in his masonry fireplace - you quickly convinced me not to put it in my HL earlier this year).

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