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Just finished DIY insert installation

Posted by Switching2Wood (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 30, 05 at 22:56

I just finished a DIY insert installation for a Pacific Energy Summit wood burner.

Here are some notes that may help a future DIY installer.

1). The installation took 6 hours. I had the help of 3 110 pound or less women and children. I am a pretty big/strong guy and I am pretty darn handy, excuse the immodesty. I did the demolition previously, which took about 2 hours (used acetylene torch to cut out some of the damper - I've heard a grinder cuts cast iron well too).

2). The flue liner of the masonry fireplace was about 6.5" by about 9". The stainless liner I used just fit in the flue liner. I just read that oval liners are available, and I recommend them to anybody doing this job. Why? Because it was torture getting the 6" stainless down the 20 feet of flue liner. I had to pretty much get up next to the chimney and pile drive the SOB down. Worse yet, the fireplace is "offset" from the flue liners, so after the stainless cleared the flueliners, I had to work hard to get it to redirect about 35 degrees. I ended up inside the fireplace with lockjaws yanking down on the liner, then going up top and pushing. About 6 iterations before the stainless was low enough for a helper to grab the wrench and pull. By the way, the stainless didn't need any clearance to the flue liners because the chimney construction was within the specs.

4. I got the stainless liner to about 2 inches lower than what I calculated would be it's final, inserted height.

3. Getting the stainless liner end into the "coupler" was a real bear. The liner didn't want to go in, and I had to work for about 1/2 hour to get it in 90% of the way. I also opened up a huge gash on my finger from the sharp edge. Wear gloves when you handle the stainless ends.

4. Moving the insert was an exertion, but not difficult. The unit weighs about 350-400 pounds. Note that you should take out everything you can. My unit had a removable baffle that weighs about 40 pounds. I didn't take it out, but I should have. I used a dolly (handcart) and two helpers to get it into position. I left it screwed to the pallet. I used a floor jack under the pallet to get the stove up on the raised hearth.

5. Installation after that was pretty easy - I finagled the insert into position (DON"T SQUISH THE STEEL LINER!). Per the dealer's instructions, I jammed insulation up around the damper to seal off the insert (no craft paper!). Then I popped in the coupler. Leave the unit out about a half inch. On went the sheet metal that covers the gaps around the insert - then slide it back the last half inch.

6. The bricks went in easy.

7. Up to the roof. When I had put the steel liner in, I had the end plate already screwed on the end (I originally thought it might get pulled in! Hah). I unscrewed the plate and lowered to the top of the flue liner. I then used a lock jaw to pull up on the stainless liner to tension it up, and then torqued down the clamp screw on the top plate.

Oh yeah, I used high temp silicon between the top plate and flue liner and between the coupler (at the bottom end) and the stainless liner.

Finally, I cut the stainless so that it protruded at the top the right amount, mounted the rain deflector/spark arrestor, and that's it.

If you have a bigger flue relative to your liner and if you have a straight shot from the top of the chimney to the insert, then this job would be a lot easier.

Last thought - the guys at the dealer recommended "squishing" the stainless for the last 4 feet to get it through the damper without having to cut up the damper to make the hole bigger. I'd guess it would have worked fine, but I think it would be harder to clean and could produce long term stress issues on the stainless.

That's it. Feel free to comment, and you won't hurt my feelings.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

I have the same flue size like yours. I do not know what to do. My masonery chimney located inside the house and has a clay flue 6 6/8" X 11 7/8" internal size. According to manufuctures, liners should be insulated and in this case can be installed with Zero clearance to the flue. Insulation is about 1/2" thick. I founded one manufucturer that is recommended for it's liner to have 1" clearance without insulation. Also, liner should not tauch the flue all the way down, if installed without insulation. All of them will void warranty if installed differently. Kind of worse scenario.
What is your manufacturer? Did you think before to install oval 6" liner with insulation? Thank for the nice note. Please respond to my comments. I have a delema to do or not to do.

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

Well I don't know other than what I've read and what I've been told. As I posted on your other thread, no clearance to the flue is required with the liner I used UNLESS the chimney doesn not meet the list of requirements. Further, the liner I used indicated in the instructions that the liner could be "ovalized" before use, which I took to mean compressed slightly.

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

A quick question...when you said ...." I jammed insulation up around the damper to seal off the insert (no craft paper!)" there a special type of insulation you used or is it just non-backed fiberglass insulation you use in your attic?

Flue too small for 6' liner

I am picking up a 5.5" liner today. It's to code and comes with an adapter kit to step down to the stove itself. The dealer tells me it will actually draw better than the six inch liner. My flue is a scant seven inches in depth and I don't want to spend hours see-sawing it down.

I bought it from a hardware store in Niagara Falls, Ontario that has a large stove department; no place here in Rochester with a walk-in parts store like that, but perhaps there is in your community.

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

Brother and I installed the ss liner for our pellet stove. Although our chimney is also offset inside, it was not that bad to get through because it's 4" ss flex pipe. He fed it from above, and when I could reach it I pulled it down through the offset portion and down through the damper opening.
I recommend wearing good leather gloves. The flex pipe is sharp on the ends.
Also, don't forget to seal the joints with a good rtv hi temp silicone sealant. Place where we bought the stove wanted $500 for labor installation. Did it all ourselves and it's as good if not a better install than they would have done.

about to install a wood burning insert

I'm trying to decide if insulating around the insert is worth it. I'm hearing allot about the draft benefits to insulating exterior chimneys but ours is interior and draft is not a problem. I really want to know if there is an efficiency benefit and what to use. The supplier I am buying the insert from said some guys dump vermiculite between the liner and the flu Im wondering if anyone has done this and if I need to keep it out of the old fire box or should I just pour it all around the stove too?

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

Great read of your exp. of fitting your wood burner. I wondered if you could help. I want to put in a second wood burner on the second floor of our cottage. We had someone come out and look at it but said due to regulations we could not put two liners in one flu, although our chimmney is an old inglenook style and is massive, eg. I can get up it with a ladder and swing a cat. So he said he would not fit it. However I have been thinking about it again and have found a T-style branch fitting for the liner ( Mr Expert never even mentioned such a product, no money in it I think. Do you think if I added this into the exsisting liner and put new burner on the end it would work? I think this is a case of regulations gone mad.

RE: Just finished DIY insert installation

I think it would be scary to even guess how that T-fitting would draft on these newer wood burners.

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