Long-term safety of zero clearance wood burning inserts?

radbillJune 15, 2008

A chimney sweep I know says he will not install zero-clearance wood burning inserts in anything but a masonry fireplace, as he says that the insert will, over a period of 12 years or so, really dehydrate the adjacent studs in the surrounding wall, with a subsequent risk of spontaneous combustion of the stud when exposed to a sustained temperature of 156 degrees F (from the working insert). He says he got this information from a conference he went to.

Can anyone here verify or refute this statement? I did a web search but could not find anything which would verify his statement.

Thank you.

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First off, I wouldn't have a chimney sweep install my stove. I would have an installer that knows the unit being installed.
I had an insert installed in a Heatolator zero clearance fireplace in 1991. I have since sold the house but still talk with the new owners. They have had no problems with it. Now there may some anecdotal evidence of a fire, but if I were to have an insert installed today, all I would do is speak to the installer of my concerns.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 7:52AM
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