pellet stove insert questions

keithruckSeptember 29, 2007

I'm interested in getting a pellet stove insert, and I've started doing some research but I'm not confident I understand (or believe) the information I'm getting from some folks, so I thought there might be some installers of folks 'in the know' here who could help clarify.

Background: Fireplace/chimney centrally located in a house built in 1870. Fireplace/chimney is dilapidated, and chimney now terminates in attic (done during a previous re-roofing). I want to put in a zero-clearance (ZC) pellet stove insert, run ZC venting up through the old dilapidated chimney, then up through a collar in the roof and cap it as a new vent.

Harmon seems to have a good hardware/features reputation, but the local dealer is telling me that (a) all Harmon inserts are ZC, but harmon sells a seperate ZC "box" for their inserts. The box is too large for my existing space (maybe I could remove the firebrick), but that makes me think the dealer isn't familiar with his own equipment (and he can't do the full install, just the stove- given the complexity of the job I think I should have one person do it all to make sure the venting ends up exactly where the stove needs it). Can anyone here confirm whether the harmon inserts are ZC without that special box?

The Harmon was my top choice due to small size (the fireplace is very small), their claim that the ash box doesn't have to be cleaned as often and the stove can take even lower quality pellets without a problem, and I like the idea of being able to hook it to a room thermostat.

My other locally available options include a pelpro insert, which I can get locally through a hardware store, or quadrafire, through a dealer.

Another question, about the venting - what is the max temperature of the vent gas going into PL piping? I'm wondering if I need to get a triple wall vent pipe to get the ZC, or if there are better (and cheaper) approaches. Some installers are telling me they can just run PVL right up the old (dirty) chimney, but the PVL specs all say 3" clearance, and I don't want to run any risks in that old chimney.

Thanks for any advice,


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The Accentra Insert from Harman is able to be installed in a zero clearance setup using Harman's zero clearance box which is sold separately. Harman is a great stove. Among the easiest to clean, and maintain. The thermister control is state of the art, and very easy to use. Plus it's cast iron body looks great. The insert comes in multiple sizes to fit in different sized fire boxes. The zero clearance box only comes in one size, however and is sold separately (as everyone installing this stove will not need it).
Regardless of stove brand (as long as stove is certified for zero clearance install) you would need a full reline if your chimney is dilapidated. It sounds like yours is an even more extreme scenario since there is a gap between the end of the chimney(inside the building envelope) and the roof. This would either take a mason to extend the chimney to the roofline or a very complicated install of rigid pellet pipe from the stove up through the roof. Standard pellet pipe is sufficient to run through your chimney. In your attic (if you did not continue the chimney to the roofline) you would want to make sure to use PL rigid pipe for the entire line, and obey the correct clearance for the pipe (3" standard) and the correct passthroughs for any ceilings, walls or roofline. If you had a mason complete the chimney you should be able to get away with a flex liner. (IMO rigid pipe would be better for you by your description) You may also want to check with your local building inspector. There are many times local ordinances that would override stove installation recommendations...

Here is a link that might be useful: Harmans Zero Clearance Install Specs

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 5:25PM
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I am certainly no handyman, but we got a pellet stove insert for our fireplace a few years ago. Our fireplace is small, (our house was built in 1920) We also had to reline the chimney with a pellet pipe we purchased along with the stove.
We got our stove online from Enviro:

We got the EF3Bi with the gold door and installed it ourselves. It was not very difficult to install and they had good customer support.
On their website they have all the manuals and the clearances information.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 9:04AM
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