Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:18 am

Hi guys,

My sisters here in GA both have relatively new houses (1990s) which both have fireplaces that are what is being called “manufactured” fireplaces.

They are metal boxes covered with thin tile on 3 sides. The fire box sits on a metal shelf covered with the thin tile. This floor is raised 4 inches to allow air flow or so I’m guessing. On the front bottom edge of the box that gap is covered with a grill. A sliding chain screen is across the front. There is a 2 inch or 3 inch wide split damper across the width of the firebox. I guessing that damper goes into a 6 inch stainless steel chimney. The entire fire box can’t be more than 3ft wide and 2 feet deep. They are both finished with real nice stone. The chimney of one house is on the outside and the other is inside the wall that divides the kitchen from the living room. I don’t have pictures, sorry.

My question is can you put a fireplace insert, wood or coal, in this type of fireplace? I sure can’t imagine how that would work.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. The winter weather is killing their budgets and both would like to get an insert if they could. Thanks, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: McGiever On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:40 am

What fuel can they now burn in them...you didn't mention. ;)
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:16 am

I assumed she meant firewood. I THINK if it can burn wood it should be able to burn coal. I'd be worried the structure supporting the dinky fireplaces would be able to support a heavy insert. I think some of the stoker inserts are zero clearance. That may be the only option there is a keystoker hearth model with zero clearance. 60,000 BTU. Weighs 355 pounds.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace


Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: D-frost On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:21 am

Lisa,
If the home-builder is local, and available, his opinion on the 'infrastructure'(building materials) would be helpful. If the units house a gas log now, that's where you start, and go from there. And, don't forget all the "yahoo's".(local planning board& home-owner insurance)
Best of luck.
D-frost
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon Eagle I (multi-fuel oil, wood/coal)
Coal Size/Type: nut/Reading anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #118 wood burner

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: McGiever On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:34 am

Whatever the case... short of a demo and a do over again, the size of existing opening will play the deciding factor as to what can actually fit. (if anything) ;)
Last edited by McGiever on Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:37 am

A strategically placed stoker with direct or power vent might be the easiest option. Shouldn't really need that big of a unit in the Georgia climate.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: J F Graham On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:41 am

Lisa, I have installed a few fireplace inserts in the past, and don't think it's possible in the situation which you describe. First with the damper being only 2 to 3 inch you would never fit a 6" liner through it. And I see no way of securing the flex pipe to the chimney. You're only option, in my opinion is to remove the existing units. Install a proper fire back, to code and install whatever freestanding unit you desire.
J F Graham
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 160
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Pacific Energy wood stove / oil baseboard

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: KLook On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:55 am

Hey Lisa, I have the same thing here. I have even gone so far as to cut the wall away on the back to see what was done "out of sight". The chimneys many times are uninsulated double wall and not nearly as good as Selkirk or other such kinds. These things are horrible for burning wood in also.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:58 am

I installed a zero clearance unit back in the 80's (previous life) and it sat 1" from surrounding framing, they are a box, in a box, in a box, same as the triple wall pipe that is required. One removed it is like looking in a 3 ft wide x 2 ft deep closet without sheet rock. I am not sure what type of stove you could possibly put in there with combustibles so close.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:15 am

McGiever wrote:What fuel can they now burn in them...you didn't mention. ;)


They are burning wood right now but as everyone knows an open fireplace and chimney wastes a lot of fuel. They would really like a wood insert. Coal isn't an option.
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:23 am

Dare I suggest a wood pellet insert? They do provide measurable heating at a relatively modest fuel cost. They actually make window A/C type wood pellet burners. They could remove it during the summer months and only install it when needed.

http://www.amazon.com/Stove-Company-240 ... B0044726Z2
Last edited by Carbon12 on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: 009to090 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:24 am

Yes, This is what I also did with our last house.
It came with a 'canned' fireplace. Kinda tacky, and provided ZERO heat into the room. I yanked it out, and reframed for a Zero-clearance wood stove, the FireplaceXtrordinair. It looks like a fireplace, but has the efficiency of a woodstove, transmitting most of the heat out into the room rather than up the chimney.
Heres a pic...

J F Graham wrote:Lisa, I have installed a few fireplace inserts in the past, and don't think it's possible in the situation which you describe. First with the damper being only 2 to 3 inch you would never fit a 6" liner through it. And I see no way of securing the flex pipe to the chimney. You're only option, in my opinion is to remove the existing units. Install a proper fire back, to code and install whatever freestanding unit you desire.
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009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:46 pm

Thanks for all the responses. Everyone has pretty much said what I've been thinking. There really isn't much that can be done with the current fireplace beyond burning a small, non heating fire. What a waste.

Although my one brother in law is capable (he's a facility maintenance engineer) of replacing the existing fireplace and chimney with a more useful one, they will have to consider if it's worth the cost of doing. Given the area's warm winters it may not be.

Thanks again for your thoughts, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:19 pm

Tell them to check out wood pellet stoves that can be either direct vented through a wall or into the existing manufactured chimney. There are wood pellet stove dealers in northern Georgia and they manufacture wood pellets in northern Georgia. Might be just what they're looking for.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Putting a fireplace insert in a "manufactured" fireplace

PostBy: bksaun On: Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:29 pm

Big Warning for you.... Most of those type fireplaces have a Class B chimneys. They are 2 wall uninsulated metal. and only meant gas or an occasional SMALL wood fire.

All coal/wood stoves and inserts require by code a class A chimney, either masonry or 3 layer insulated metal.

Just 2 days ago I attended,( by nature of my proffesion) a structure fire caused by installation of a wood insert into a class B chimney, it had been used by the owner for 5 years with no problems.

However he had not cleaned it and resulted in a chimney fire which breached the chimney and started a house fire, lost all the 2nd floor and attic. Class B chimneys melt and buckle when involved in a cresote fire.

Now, as we all know coal doesnt produce creosote, so it should be fine right? BUT, all coal appliances require a class A chimney, so it would be frowned on by the insurance company if the installation resulted in a problem.

Now I am speaking of my experience in Kentucky, Georgia may not allow the use of Class B chimneys( a smart move in my book). I wish Ky would.

If they do have a class A chimney, by all means proceed!
bksaun
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62