replacing a zero clearance fireplace

rmnyiJune 15, 2011

Hi everyone. I'm researching the replacement of a zero clearance fireplace. By replacement, I should say I was looking to purchase a wood burning insert but 3 different dealers all gave me different answers. One dealer refused to sell me an insert. He was quite nasty to me and several other customers but he said it should not be done. The dealer who said they could do the insert into the existing zero clearance fireplace is a very reputable dealer, probably the most well known in the area. A 3rd dealer, the newest shop of the 3, strongly recommended replacing the zero clearance fireplace with a zero clearance insert. Before I visit any more shops, I need to be a little more knowledgeable so I'll do some research on the net and hopefully you guys can guide me a little as well. I have a Superior BC-42 zero clearance fireplace. ItâÂÂs good for the weekend burn and heats the first floor quite nicely but with oil prices what they are, it's time to upgrade. The house is 6 years old, 2 story, 2000 sq/ft. located in southern NY. Safety is the first concern so is it safe to put a wood burning insert into a zero clearance fireplace? If no, would it make sense to replace it with a zero clearance insert? Wood burning is my first choice. We get our share of power outages and I do not have a generator. Thanks for your time and I look forward to your comments. Bob

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Many of today's stove inserts are made to put in a ZC fireplace. In 1992 I put an Avalon stove in a Heatolater ZC fireplace and it worked just fine. Heated the whole house.
What you have to do is find a reputable dealer. It sounds to me like the one who wants you to rip out the fireplace wants to make some money.
What you're going to need is a stove and a chimney liner that takes the chimney opening down from 8 inches to 6 inches.

I currently have a Regency stove. And they make a number of inserts that are certified for a pre fab fireplace, as do many other brands. Do some online looking and you'll have the information necessary to talk to any dealer.

Just remember, although you have a 2,000 sq ft home, you don't want a stove that will heat 2,000 sq ft unless the home is one big room. Otherwise you'll heat the room the stove is in too hot. Something that will heat 1,000-1,200 sq ft will do nicely.

Below is a link to Regency inserts and one that is good for a ZC fireplace. It's a good place to start.

Here is a link that might be useful: Regency Stoves

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:25AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Been doing some reading so I'm starting to get a handle on this. Seems like the majority of dealers are against doing it but some will. My chimney is do for a good cleaning so I'm on the lookout for a good chimney sweep who could also shed some light on my current setup. Thanks again for the feedback.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:04PM
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i have a z c fireplace the firebrick on the back is crumbling away. i vac the ashes out when it is cool ,the bottom stone is cracked but intacked, can i replace this fire brick , if so where do i find it.

Here is a link that might be useful: uniflame fireplace

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 12:01AM
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I am going through the same thing right now. The chimney sweep who just cleaned seemed to be very knowledgeable and understanding of my ZC system. He told me he could install an Insert that would be a great heater for my house. Today I visited two different fireplace stores and one store told me there was no way I could put an insert into my ZC fireplace, no matter what it would be a huge fire hazard. The other ones made it seem to be very expensive, $5500 and a difficult job. Yet, on the internet I see there are Inserts made for ZC fireplaces. Any help appreciated. (I have to talk again to my chimney sweep about his recommendations)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2011 at 5:56PM
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