free standing stove in a fireplace

coldinctDecember 17, 2007

I was told i could put a free standing stove in a fireplace, so i went out and bought one. it has a 6" flue, and i dont think i can get enough room after removing my damper to get stove pipe up the chiminey. can i reduce the size? can i even put this thing in my fireplace? please help, i think i blew $600! also i did burn in it 2 times and had decent draft with nothing extending into the chiminey. i didnt get it to heat the house completely, only for 5-6 hrs a day while my wife and i are home.

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Told by whom? If it was a pro, they have an obligation to make it work. If it was anyone but a pro, wellll... maybe it would have been wise to speak to a pro before buying.

But it's not too late: since you've burned it, you probably can't take it back [though you might be able to sell it privately and cut your loss a bit], but the store that sold it to you should be able to offer some install guidance.

I don't think it's safe to burn without an airtight chimney system in place.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 12:24AM
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It depends on the size of your chimney flue but you will likely want to reline from the top of the stove to the top of the chimney. With a stainless liner you could either ovalize 6 inch pipe to get through your damper or possibly use a 5.5 inch liner. I actually cut my damper housing to get mine through and it worked fine. What you are doing is both dangerous in that in the case of a pressure inversion you could bring smoke or CO into your house and inefficient in that heat from the room will race up the chimney. You can certainly put the stove in your fireplace but it would help to know what kind it is to give you better guidance. Did you buy a new stove or a used stove?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 7:02AM
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its a new englander stove. the smallest they've got. my chiminey flue is large i beleive 12x12 something like that. i do have a nice liner in there. the chimney was just inspected, and i had the top 3 rows rebuilt, and got a new cap. the stove fits tight though. i cut the back corners off the top, and am about to trim the legs (which are detailed and stick out the back a little) so the flue in the stove will be completely inside the fire place. as far as keeping the heat from escaping i was going to build a cap for the damper in the fireplace with only the stove pipe going up the chimney. how far up should i go with the pipe? thank you for your help

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 12:23PM
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I'm taking from your description that you have a new Englander stove from England's stove works like they sell at Home Depot. If so did your stove come with a pedestal kit? That might help make the fit better in the back. As far as your chimney connection goes, a 12x12 chimney has a cross sectional area of 144 sq inches while a 6 inch stove pipe has an area of about 28.3 sq inches. So your chimney has more than three times the cross sectional area of the flue. This is against national codes. Your chimney will not draft as well and the gases will tend to move slower increasing transit time in the chimney and condensing creosote on the chimney walls. The Englander is a pretty nice stove and pretty efficient so the draft is important. You really should be looking at installing a new chimney liner. Stainless steel, flexible or rigid would be the least expensive option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Insurance Information Institute - Wood stove safety

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 7:16AM
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You need to get that stove professionally installed! Go back to Home Desperado and ask for the names of installers. Or look in the Yellow Pages. Stove shops install, but you'll be at the back of the line as you didn't buy it from them.

You need a 6 inch flue from the top of the the stove all the way up to the top of your chimney. Depending on where you're located you might need to have the whole thing insulated wirh ceramic fibre too.

Burning that stove without it correctly installed & up to code is just asking for tragedy.

Complete stoves with installation can run over $2,000. So you may be looking at another $1200 to make sure this thing is installed correctly.

If you don't do ALL aspects correctly, you may be out more than just $600!

VT Woodburner

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 7:57AM
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thank you for all the help. i am definately not risking everything to save a few gallons of oil this winter. one more thing though. there was a fireplace insert in the fireplace when we looked at the house, but they took it with them. it was old and looked horrible, and there are no signs of how it was hooked up. is there anything that i could look for in the chimney to see how they had that installed? that would be how i would need mine installed right?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 1:07PM
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The bottom line is that you need to install the stove according to the manufacturer's installation instructions. You ought to have a copy of those instructions, and you need to read and follow them carefully.

I notice that "someone told you" that you could install a regular woodstove in your fireplace. Unfortunately, that may or may not be true, and it's more of an open question as to whether you have the skills, ecperience and judgement to do that if it can be done.

Nhyankee's comment about your oversized flue illustrates the fact that you don't have the experience and judgement to do this job. There are plenty of other pitfalls as well that can trip you up.

By contrast, a good installer will have his wily ways of doing the job properly and leaving you with a safe and secure installation.

So I would add an additional vote to spending your time shopping around for am honest and competent installer. They are probably going to want to install 6" all fuel chimney up to the top of your chimney and install a new cap and seal the oversized existing flue. That would be well worth paying for based on my understanding of the facts you have posted.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2007 at 10:06PM
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