Insert not correctly installed

radicchioMay 11, 2014

I bought my home a few years ago and a feature I love is a gas fireplace, surrounded by a stone wall. This is a feature of the living room, and the fireplace creates a lot of heat and I love it. Unfortunately, when I had the fireplace cleaned recently, the sweep told me that it was not installed correctly, as it is an insert, and inserted into a wood framed cavity rather than an existing brick or metal fireplace. He said it is dangerous and I need to replace it with an actual wood fireplace. This will be expensive and entail buying the new fireplace and having a mason fix the stone. I've had two second opinions, on fireplace inspector agreed that it is dangerous and needs to be fixed, one said it will likely be fine. I would love feedback on whether the repair is really needed, and if so, should I buy a new gas fireplace, or try to get a metal fireplace into which I can use the existing insert. Thank you!

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The guy is full of it. You most likely have a zero clearance fireplace. These are manufactured for just the purpose you have. There are also wood burning fireplaces that are built right next to the studwork, and there's not one ounce of concrete in them.

To make sure, get the brand and model number and look it up.

I read these things so often. A sweep comes in and suddenly you need a brand new stainless steel liner because the old stainless liner is "rusted". There a lower amount of iron and high amounts of chrome and nickel in stainless, so rust is never a concern. But the sweeps find a way to hit the homeowner up for thousands of dollars.

That's why I sweep my own chimney every year.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:41AM
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