New Insert

Switching2WoodSeptember 4, 2005

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new insert.

I've read the reviews at Hearth.com.

I am going to get a Pacific Energy Summit Insert.

The place I have in mind wants about 2,500 for everything, including face plate, door, and stain. steel insert and cap.

I'm going to pick it up and install it myself.

My house is about 2400 sf, in connecticut, and I'm going to get about 3 cords. I plan to try to heat as much of the house as possible with the insert. The fireplace is on the main level, which is open except for the master bath. Four bedrooms are located up a flight of stairs, and the flight of stairs is located about 15 feet from the fireplace. I have a warm air furnace (natural gas), and it has a fan only setting, so I could run the fun to help distribute the heat, if need be.

Anyone with experience want to throw any heads up my way? Am I missing anything significant?

BTW, I liked the PE insert for a few reasons -

1 - uses outside combustion air.

2 - bigger than most, with greater heat output.

3 - guy on the phone was great, and I'd prefer to give him my business.

4 - claim to have a long overnight burn time.

Thanks from a newb.

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Xanndra

What do you mean by "stain. steel insert"?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 6:52PM
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Switching2Wood

I meant, whoops, stainless steel flue liner.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 11:43AM
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Xanndra

Just be sure you know what you are getting yourself into with attempting to install this yourself. There are many things to consider. If you have a masonry fireplace you will most likely need to do some demolition to get the liner in. We were NEVER able to install one without demoing out the damper and surrounding area. Plus, your liner might need to be insulated. It sounds like they did not include that in the price.

I hated each and every insert we installed. They are such a pain in the neck. Not to mention, sweeping out the chimneys was a pain too. The inserts usually have to be pulled out and disconnected to clean them.

Oh, and schedule yourself at least 2 days to install it since you have never done one before. And make sure that the chimney is thouroughly swept and a chemical treatment is done if needed prior to installation.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 1:11PM
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Switching2Wood

Thanks for the thoughts.

I thought an insert with a flue liner never needed to be removed for cleaning. Is this not true?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 3:09PM
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Xanndra

This is NOT true. It depends mostly on the design of the stove. When the chimney is brushed the soot falls into the stove. Many times the only way to remove it is to disconnect the stove from the pipe, pull it out and vacuumn the soot out the top of the stove with an ash vac. Like I said, it just depends on the design of the stove. Some have removable baffles (could be removed from the inside of the stove) that wouldn't require pulling the insert.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 3:29PM
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tommyw

I have two Regency inserts installed three years ago. I've been very pleased with them as they are now my primary means for heating my 3800 sq. ft. home. They are not removed when I've had my yearly chimney cleaning done.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 3:30PM
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Switching2Wood

OK, I thought I posted this, but I guess it didn't stick . . .

Bought a Pacific Energy Summit insert today. Coming in Friday.

Going to install it myself. Already pulled out the damper and sawed away some protrustions. The chimney was very clean - the previous guy burned gas with ceramic logs (what the h___ for? That's wasteful).

So after talking to the salesman for a half-hour, I decided I could put it in. They were dying for me to put it in. I should have said, "knock 200 bucks off the price and I'll put it in." The placed was packed. Man, this oil thing has got everybody spooked.

Anyway, paid 2467 for the insert, the stainless steel flue liner, and the cap and hook ups.

I'm going to use outside combustion air for a couple of reasons.
The Summit allows you to pull in air through the ash hole in the bottom of the fireplace. On my fireplace, the hole opens up into the open insides of the masonry in the basement supportign the fireplace. There is a clean out door. I am going to mortar a metal duct pipe into the clean out door and then have the pipe pop through the wall outside.
Any thoughts on that?

Finally, the guy showed me how to remove the baffle from the unit to get to the flue hole for cleaning. THe unit shoudln't ever have to come out. Anyway, why would anybody buy a unit that you have to pull out to clean? What a nightmare that would be.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 7:48PM
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pitydog

Dear Switching2Wood

Where did you get your insert (we live in Guilford)?
Also, why the pacific? and what else did you consider?

Thanks

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 5:07PM
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Switching2Wood

Hey, my wife's cousin lives in Guilford. Nice place. I'll bet windy and cold in the winter though, eh?

I'm kinduv a nut job. I did a bunch of research on line. Like about 10 hours. I came up with 3 models from three manufacturers. I eliminated many for lack of BTU - for example, Jotul, which is great, doesn'thave a big enough unit. The first was a regency. The second, the Pacific. The third, I forget - maybe lodi. I went to the local shop in Canton, and the lady was nice and all, but I didn't get any warm fuzzies. They wanted 3500 installed for the regency. The fan on the regency is said to be loud. The pacific fan is said not to be.

Then I called a guy at a really hopping place in New Milford. It's an hour from here, and I despise burning the gas, but the guy was great on the phone. After 10 minutes, he had answered enough questions so that I knew I could put it in myself. On a scale of 100, I"m about a 99 handy. As in, I've put in complete gas boiler/baseboard systems in two houses, including piping the gas lines, and things like that. So I did some more research online, went to that hearth.com place and read every review, and compared the features again.

As I posted in the first post, I like the high BTUs - I'm going to try to use wood alone. I want to be able to crank it up and have the house be a cozy 70+. I also like the slow burn technology - I literally want to use kindling one time. I downloaded the patent and read it. Finally, I really like the outside air burn option. There are a bunch of really good reasons to use outside air. The other stoves weren't clear on whether or not that was possible, so I assumed they were not fitted for that option. Oh yeah, and the instruction manual was better. The guy gave me a price of 2400, I said OK, and that's the story.

The place is "the Trading Post" and it's in New Milford. They have a large number of floor models of many manufacturers. The way I see it, however, is that you really want to decide what you want on your own. A salesperson is going to steer you, and you might be distracted and forget about key features you want.

Good luck

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 8:50PM
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tedbou

Im thinking of buying the pacific unit how has it been running so far? Did it cost you 2400 just for the chimney parts? I live on Long Island so the climate is similar. How is the wood usage..was it easy to figure out the settings? Thanks Ted

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 3:00AM
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