wood-burning FP stove insert into a bad chimney

stowyNovember 25, 2007

I have a quote for $3800 to re-line our chimney to use the fireplace. This crazy quote has me leaning towards a wood-burning stove fireplace insert - hoping I can avoid the chimney repair.

It seems most inserts use a 6" diameter pipe. is this true? Should I have a larger one? I hear flex tube will burn and need replacement after a couple years which is NOT acceptable. Please help. I want a semi-permanent solution but do not want to break the bank.

I hope to heat my entire 2 story 2300 sq foot home and will get a blower which I also would like to hook into my existing duct-work (if possible).

We now have a heat pump in this old house (that we just bought) and I fear my heating costs will be atrocious unless I get creative and use good old wood. I considered the outdoor furnace, but we want the enjoyment of the fire indoors - my wife wants a glass door on the stove.

What about moisture? I hear that it will be dry and would like a way to add moisture back into the air - something more advanced than a pot of water on top of the stove.

Thank you for you help and assistance. This is a great forum.

- Stowy

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How can you avoid the chimney repair by burning wood? Burning wood using a bad chimney is a prescription for burning down your house.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 10:23AM
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In most places for $3,800 you could get a nice fireplace insert like an Hampton HI300 and a stainless liner installed, (ballpark). I'm biased to the Pacific Energy brand and would also suggest you look at a PE Summit insert, which might even be less. There are obviously other brands as well. Two things to note: first, virtually all new wood stoves have glass windows, nice for atmosphere and you can monitor the condition of the fire much better. Secondly, stainless flex pipe will not burn out in two years unless you misuse your stove and have a lot of chimney fires in it. It is the mainstay of the industry for most relines.

Interestingly, I had almost exactly the same quote for my fireplace. One reason it is so much is that most fireplace flues are 12x12 or bigger. There is much more stainless steel in a 12x12 square liner than a 6" round liner so the cost of the product is much higher.

I just bought my own 316Ti stainless 6" liner for $300 and insulated it and installed in about 4 hours with some family helping out. This is going into a wood stove which I put in my fireplace. I thought about an insert but stole a nice used stove at a yard sale for $75 and fixed it up for $50 of parts and paint. I bought $40 of unfaced ceramic blanket insulation, $35 for a stainless mesh wrapper and $5 of foil to tidy up the ends of the insulation. So I'm safely burning in an as good as new stove for just about $500 but as my name suggests I am a New England Yankee skinflint.

It is a fairly easy thing to do if you are relatively handy but not everyone likes getting on a roof. A lot of stove shops in my area charge about $1,000-$1,200 for a reline.

I would suggest you look at doing a hearth mounted wood stove if you have the room but be mindful of clearances to a mantle if you have one. You'll generally get a bit more heat from a stove than an insert. Also inserts have integrated blowers which need electricity. If the power goes out, it is nice to have a stove which can convect more heat. Good luck

    Bookmark   November 26, 2007 at 12:45PM
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