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Caca Cabeza

Replacing a fireplace gas lighter

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I have a new to me 1967 house in Northern California with a real brick fireplace. The whole firebrick and ash door thingy out the back. The fireplace has one of those 30 btu fake things that makes no heat nor warmth.  It is plumbed for gas.  I’d like to convert back to a regular wood fireplace with natural gas starter. Anything I need to know? Looks like the black iron into the firebox is ok 

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Color me slow, but I've never heard of a gas starter and have lived in 5 houses with regular wood fireplaces.  A little newspaper and kindling and you're going.  I think they also sell some kind of igniter kindling that works as well.  Why complicate things?

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Get a Cord of apple to burn 

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I have a gas starter, its easy. You can buy the elbow (assuming its stubbed up and capped) and starter pipe with holes drilled in it at most any big box hardware store. Mine is 1/2" iron pipe. It works awesome. Lay the wood in the rate, one piece of newspaper or equivalent under the grate, light the paper, turn on the gas, 3 minutes later turn it off and the fire is happily burning. Its hugely convenient.

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2 hours ago, Point Break said:

I have a gas starter, its easy. You can buy the elbow (assuming its stubbed up and capped) and starter pipe with holes drilled in it at most any big box hardware store. Mine is 1/2" iron pipe. It works awesome. Lay the wood in the rate, one piece of newspaper or equivalent under the grate, light the paper, turn on the gas, 3 minutes later turn it off and the fire is happily burning. Its hugely convenient.

Really? You of all people. Disappointing...........

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1 hour ago, Ease the sheet. said:

Really? You of all people. Disappointing...........

He’s good at stopping them, not getting then going. 

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Did you mean that the fireplace was converted to a gas-log fireplace? With some of those converted fireplaces, they sometimes close the flue, or even blocked it off when they converted to gas. Did you check the path all the way back up? Maybe even have the whole chimney swept before you start burning wood again?

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37 minutes ago, mikewof said:

Did you mean that the fireplace was converted to a gas-log fireplace? With some of those converted fireplaces, they sometimes close the flue, or even blocked it off when they converted to gas. Did you check the path all the way back up? Maybe even have the whole chimney swept before you start burning wood again?

Stopping the flue with a gas fireplace would lead to dead people.

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KISS......and primal....I probably have my fireplace wood burning insert going 24 hrs a day for 10-15 days each Florida winter, a couple of these each start or restart in the morning and you are good to go....still working on  the same box of this stuff for probably over 10 years now and that's counting what my boys snitch when the go camping

 

fatwood.jpg

FireP.jpg

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38 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:
1 hour ago, mikewof said:

Did you mean that the fireplace was converted to a gas-log fireplace? With some of those converted fireplaces, they sometimes close the flue, or even blocked it off when they converted to gas. Did you check the path all the way back up? Maybe even have the whole chimney swept before you start burning wood again?

Stopping the flue with a gas fireplace would lead to dead people.

Funny,

Many are advertised, sold and installed as "Ventless".  I've been using mine for 10 years and my CO alarm hasn't beeped once.  

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20 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Funny,

Many are advertised, sold and installed as "Ventless".  I've been using mine for 10 years and my CO alarm hasn't beeped once.  

I never quite understood how my kitchen oven was going to kill me if I used it to heat my house for 10 hours, but not if I used it to cook a turkey for 10 hours.

I do know that the gas forced hot air furnace I had in my barn caused a squirrel who decided the flue vent would be a good spot for a nest, to become severely brain damaged. One of the only times I felt sorry for a squirrel. Poor little thing was staggering around the driveway, falling over, doing the "Curly shuffle" trying to stand up, falling over. I finally put him out of his misery.

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6 hours ago, Ease the sheet. said:

Really? You of all people. Disappointing...........

:lol:;)

Work smarter not harder................

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

Stopping the flue with a gas fireplace would lead to dead people.

On our's they sealed up the chimney and routed the gas exhaust though the back wall.

I used to have one like Dutch had, an indoor ventless gas brick fireplace. That thing unnerved me, but yeah, the CO detector never even chirped.

Lessee ... natural gas is usually four hydrogen atoms around one carbon? The high potential hydrogen reacts with the Oxygen, makes H2O, that carbon though, how can they be sure that it forms CO2 rather than CO? This is beyond my understanding of combustion.

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12 hours ago, Caca Cabeza said:

I have a new to me 1967 house in Northern California with a real brick fireplace. The whole firebrick and ash door thingy out the back. The fireplace has one of those 30 btu fake things that makes no heat nor warmth.  It is plumbed for gas.  I’d like to convert back to a regular wood fireplace with natural gas starter. Anything I need to know? Looks like the black iron into the firebox is ok 

 

first you have to be sure it's a wood burning fireplace vs a coal burning one..  depth of the fireplace is the difference, the coal ones are a lot shorter for some reason and not conducive to wood burning..    yeah make sure that chimney is clear..   all sorts of critters like to take up residence if you don't have a cap...  if you don't have a cap , look into getting one installed as it will prevent the intrusion

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4 hours ago, mikewof said:

With some of those converted fireplaces, they sometimes close the flue, or even blocked it off when they converted to gas.

If it is a conversion chances are they don't..  for various reasons one being that your carbon monoxide alarm would be chirping to the high heavens...  that is in fact you had the foresight to install one..  if not, you too will be looking at the high heavens in no time flat..

 

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2 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Funny,

Many are advertised, sold and installed as "Ventless".  I've been using mine for 10 years and my CO alarm hasn't beeped once.  

Are we not talking a whole insert vs. just converting to a gas log?  I my burb, I don't think these things are allowed by the local building codes... 

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24 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

If it is a conversion chances are they don't..  for various reasons one being that your carbon monoxide alarm would be chirping to the high heavens...  that is in fact you had the foresight to install one..  if not, you too will be looking at the high heavens in no time flat..

My old gas brick fireplace had no vent at all, just perfect blue flame at the base. I definitely was paranoid of it, thus the CO detector, but it never set it off. Somehow it just worked, though I've no idea how.

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38 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

Are we not talking a whole insert vs. just converting to a gas log?  I my burb, I don't think these things are allowed by the local building codes... 

Mine is a conversion that sits in a former word burning fireplace. Instructions say to keep the flue closed and doors open.   

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I think a lot of those ventless have a catalyst to convert CO to CO2. Still pumps a lot of water vapor though.

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3 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

Cooke hime into jumpalya?

I don't eat sick animals..... It might have been RSE instead of Co poisoning..... (Rodent Spongiform Encephalitis)

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1 hour ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Mine is a conversion that sits in a former word burning fireplace. Instructions say to keep the flue closed and doors open.   

Doors open? kinda defeats the purpose of a fireplace doesn't it?

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feeling smug in SoKal with 2 Airtight WoodBurning Stoves = Brass/Glass Door Fireplace that Squeeze the heat out of every grain of Wood

But then again if you were into being Warm you would be putting up with the Shit to live here too

https://www.hearthsidedistributors.com/Catalog/BIS-High-Efficiency-EPA-Wood-Burning-Fireplaces

Ya I got Old ones as I bought en in Late 80's But Still Kick out the Heat while producing little ash 

I like to Bake Potatoes (in foil w stuff) in with the fire

Glass stays Clean and No Sparks jump out

Flame looks Kool above wood when air turned down

Burns Outside Air Only so inside of house is pressurized rather than creating a vacuum to suck in Kold air from every gap around the house

Added Bonus, As No Outside air gets sucked in All Heat Goes Up and around house forcing Koller air down and back to Fireplace to be Heated and sent Up

A Paddle fan here and there is Not needed But makes the place feel more comfortable

But you guys go ahead with the old fashion fire places that burn inside air that Must be replaced with Kold Fucking Air from outside  

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5 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

I don't eat sick animals..... It might have been RSE instead of Co poisoning..... (Rodent Spongiform Encephalitis)

 

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5 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Stopping the flue with a gas fireplace would lead to dead people.

a lot of them (gas fireplaces) are vented out the side of the wall and not up the chimney. You for sure want to know if you have that going on because then if the chimney is strictly for that fireplace it could be capped. 

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

Doors open? kinda defeats the purpose of a fireplace doesn't it?

You are starting to think like a "Florida Man".  Better leave now.  

Fireplace glass doors open.  On a 23-25 degree night, the radiant heat brings a 20X25' den up from heater setting of 68 to 70-71 and keeps SWMBO happy and she likes the ambiance of the fire.  As a bonus, the rest of that heater zone stays cool as the thermostat is in the den.  About the time we go to bed, the setback thermostat kicks in and keeps the regular heater from coming on until the morning.  

 

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14 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

You are starting to think like a "Florida Man".  Better leave now.  

Fireplace glass doors open.  On a 23-25 degree night, the radiant heat brings a 20X25' den up from heater setting of 68 to 70-71 and keeps SWMBO happy and she likes the ambiance of the fire.  As a bonus, the rest of that heater zone stays cool as the thermostat is in the den.  About the time we go to bed, the setback thermostat kicks in and keeps the regular heater from coming on until the morning.  

 

if you have a fire of any value and doors open - you are burning and sending up the chimney Inside Air

That WILL be replaced by Outside Facking Kold Air

the tell if your house is Air Tight Open FP Doors

If Smoke comes out into the room you are Not feeding it enough Outside Air

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More details.I live in the dying state of California. No such thing as a coal fireplace here. Nice lovely damper, flue, etc. I get the cold outside air comes in, but I'd like to have a nice roaring fire sometimes. It makes me feel good that I got to the log before the termites or fungus.

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A properly designed fireplace, with a properly built smoke ledge does not suck the warm air out of the room and up the chimney. It pulls outside (cold air) down the outer sides of the chimney which feeds the combustion chamber, and the reflected/radiant heat is pushed out in to the room.

Ask Dog. He's an architect. He should know this.

 All that said, most fireplaces/inserts are only built for show and glow, not for heating.

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23 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

A properly designed fireplace, with a properly built smoke ledge does not suck the warm air out of the room and up the chimney. It pulls outside (cold air) down the outer sides of the chimney which feeds the combustion chamber, and the reflected/radiant heat is pushed out in to the room.

Ask Dog. He's an architect. He should know this.

 All that said, most fireplaces/inserts are only built for show and glow, not for heating.

Not to mention the heat stored in a substantial fireplace. 

 

Ps. Ask dog. Thats funny!

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6 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Mine is a conversion that sits in a former word burning fireplace. Instructions say to keep the flue closed and doors open.   

They've really improved ... in my previous house, I had a 1990s-era Heatilator, it barely even warmed the living room, it was kind of a decoration-mostly thing.

In my new house, it's a 2015-era Heatilator, no way to open the glass, it's sealed, and it even seems worse than the old one. But when that thing is on, it will warm the entire house. I haven't checked yet, but I'll bet that the air going to the outside vent of that thing is barely room temperature, it seems to have some kind of passive Heat Recovery Ventilator inside of it.

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3 minutes ago, Ease the sheet. said:

A heat exchanger that uses the heat of the exhaust to warm the incoming air is not a new idea....

it may not be a new idea, but my old unit didn't seem to have one, now it's apparently required by the County.

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1 hour ago, Caca Cabeza said:

More details.I live in the dying state of California. No such thing as a coal fireplace here. Nice lovely damper, flue, etc. I get the cold outside air comes in, but I'd like to have a nice roaring fire sometimes. It makes me feel good that I got to the log before the termites or fungus.

get a 3"-4" pipe

cut hole through back to 1 side of firebox

place pipe through hole and put elbow near ft and run a length across

Drill or cut large openings facing back the grate

run a pipe to each side connecting to front vent even better

Then get glass doors and Keep Closed other than lighting or feeding fire

Desired Results = burning air from outside and Heating Same Air that Was inside

Net result = All of house will get warmer as you Won't be Sucking in Kold Outside Air to feed the fire

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55 minutes ago, Mrleft8 said:

A properly designed fireplace, with a properly built smoke ledge does not suck the warm air out of the room and up the chimney. It pulls outside (cold air) down the outer sides of the chimney which feeds the combustion chamber, and the reflected/radiant heat is pushed out in to the room.

Ask Dog. He's an architect. He should know this.

 All that said, most fireplaces/inserts are only built for show and glow, not for heating.

No. 

In my previous career I built many solid masonry fireplaces. The purpose of the smokeshelf is to minimize downdraft and induce draft. There's a reason we started building in outside combustion air inlets.

The entire flue is hot, no way in hell cool air is going to slide down and around the smoke chamber and into the firebox.

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I have the Cozy Grate heater grate in my wood burning fireplace. It’s a heat exchanger and it works awesome. 

 

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2 hours ago, bmiller said:

No. 

In my previous career I built many solid masonry fireplaces. The purpose of the smokeshelf is to minimize downdraft and induce draft. There's a reason we started building in outside combustion air inlets.

The entire flue is hot, no way in hell cool air is going to slide down and around the smoke chamber and into the firebox.

DAMN! 70 years of empirical experience flushed down the drain with one post!

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13 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

I never quite understood how my kitchen oven was going to kill me if I used it to heat my house for 10 hours, but not if I used it to cook a turkey for 10 hours.

I do know that the gas forced hot air furnace I had in my barn caused a squirrel who decided the flue vent would be a good spot for a nest, to become severely brain damaged. One of the only times I felt sorry for a squirrel. Poor little thing was staggering around the driveway, falling over, doing the "Curly shuffle" trying to stand up, falling over. I finally put him out of his misery.

Funny story! When my dad was aging, he was convinced that his furnace was broken (literally after about 10 service calls all to a different HVAC shop). He was old, had COPD, etc. and was genuinely cold, even though the thermostat maxed at 85F on heat.

I checked in to see how he was the next day on my way home from work. He was in the kitchen/family room with the pocket doors closed and the oven (electric) on 500F with the door wide open. His space (about 400 square feet) was a toasty 93F (!?!). Drove me crazy at the time.

About 10 days later he was complaining about the utility bill. God I wish I had one more day with him like that.

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56 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

my dad had something like this , but nicer looking

 

1360011-450px.jpg

Nothing can compensate for an Open FirePlace Burning Mega Cubic Feet of Air from inside your house

Not Exactly that it's burning the air - BUT The POWER Vacuum it's turning your chimney into 

All Air coming out the stack has to be replaced by Air from wherever it was drawn

 

People Get it or they Don't

Heating anything beyond the area where the Inferred Heat from the actual flames of an open fireplace

is = to sailing Directly Into the Wind & that's Counter Productive

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8 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

DAMN! 70 years of empirical experience flushed down the drain with one post!

How many solid masonry fireplaces have you built?

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16 hours ago, DA-WOODY said:

feeling smug in SoKal with 2 Airtight WoodBurning Stoves = Brass/Glass Door Fireplace that Squeeze the heat out of every grain of Wood

But then again if you were into being Warm you would be putting up with the Shit to live here too

https://www.hearthsidedistributors.com/Catalog/BIS-High-Efficiency-EPA-Wood-Burning-Fireplaces

Ya I got Old ones as I bought en in Late 80's But Still Kick out the Heat while producing little ash 

I like to Bake Potatoes (in foil w stuff) in with the fire

Glass stays Clean and No Sparks jump out

Flame looks Kool above wood when air turned down

Burns Outside Air Only so inside of house is pressurized rather than creating a vacuum to suck in Kold air from every gap around the house

Added Bonus, As No Outside air gets sucked in All Heat Goes Up and around house forcing Koller air down and back to Fireplace to be Heated and sent Up

A Paddle fan here and there is Not needed But makes the place feel more comfortable

But you guys go ahead with the old fashion fire places that burn inside air that Must be replaced with Kold Fucking Air from outside  

Why do you need a wood burner? You live in San Diego where it never gets cold! Or so I've been led to believe.

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1 hour ago, bmiller said:

How many solid masonry fireplaces have you built?

I'm not a mason, so only one. But I've sat in many, many houses designed by my father who was an architect. one of his pet specialties was designing fireplaces that not only drafted well, but didn't suck all the warm air out of a room. In New England. In the winter.

He was very good at it.

 

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2 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

I'm not a mason, so only one. But I've sat in many, many houses designed by my father who was an architect. one of his pet specialties was designing fireplaces that not only drafted well, but didn't suck all the warm air out of a room. In New England. In the winter.

He was very good at it.

 

No masonry fireplace draws combustion air down the flue. The purpose of the smokeshelf is to prevent that from happening. Here's a random image I found that should help explain it.

fireplace%20parts.jpg

 

Keep in mind that image demonstrates centuries old technology. In all the years I built them I never experienced downdraft while the flue was warm and drawing. Starting a fire with a cold flue could be a smoky bitch, until it got warm. 

I'm sure your father was a fine architect. But there is no way a properly built and drawing fireplace can get it's combustion air from the flue. It is possible to draw combustion air from outside the house, but that requires a chase feeding the firebox. Most likely that is what he had specd into the fireplace design.

There are very few things in this world I know much about, but on this topic I'm fairly well versed.

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4 hours ago, bmiller said:

Why do you need a wood burner? You live in San Diego where it never gets cold! Or so I've been led to believe.

I have 2 in my house, no central heat or ac, I have opening skylights and live next to Mission Bay 

wood here is Free

having a heater won't help you get laid

a built-in airtight wood burning stove with brass & glass doors is an entertainment center

that either unit will compleatly heat the house is a bonus

I tried a few different fire places in my 1st house (rental)

1st one I wanted to be able to toss a chair in if need be

It was HUGE and needed a bonfire to put out any heat

that heat went about as far as the sparks that shot out

a metal screen would cut the heat output in 1/2

Biggest thing I noticed was the rest of the house was the same temp as outside (when it was warmer before having a fire)

basically  it put out a warm light for about 8'

and once the light went out any warmth was Gone

In my 2nd house (home) I had a couple different potbelly stoves (1 @ a tme)

they burn inside air BUT Pump Out The HEAT in a manner that Will heat areas in another room

in my case a large Den, Bedroom & Bath in the back end of the house

 

@ Any Rate a Brick/Rock fireplace is NOT designed to heat your house at all if it sticks outside ( 100% interior fireplace better but not by much)

a brick fireplace would heat your house better if the firebox was on the outside of your house

at least when the bricks got warm it would transfer to the living space

No Really - If you understand the dynamics and Still had to build a brick fireplace you Would face it the other way

& use a Heavy Castiron Plate  as a back (roomside) wall

Wollfsy might get the idea

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All of my father's chimneys were central, and generally were massive masonry and granite heat sinks (They also were the flue for oil, or gas furnaces.... separate flues for each f/p or furnace). I have two sets of plans from the late 50s/early 60s somewhere. I was going to build one of them on this property, but haven't yet. I've moved one or two times too many, and can't put my hands on them right now, but when I do, I'll scan the fire place/chimney sections, and post them. Even an old mason can learn something new....;)

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14 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

my dad had something like this , but nicer looking

 

1360011-450px.jpg

this helps to significantly increase the fireplace's efficiency, as the tubes heat by the fire, they suck colder air from below and the heated air exits from above.

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2 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

All of my father's chimneys were central, and generally were massive masonry and granite heat sinks (They also were the flue for oil, or gas furnaces.... separate flues for each f/p or furnace). I have two sets of plans from the late 50s/early 60s somewhere. I was going to build one of them on this property, but haven't yet. I've moved one or two times too many, and can't put my hands on them right now, but when I do, I'll scan the fire place/chimney sections, and post them. Even an old mason can learn something new....;)

I would be very interested in seeing those, seriously. Regardless of this topic history like that is cool.

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3 hours ago, bmiller said:

I would be very interested in seeing those, seriously. Regardless of this topic history like that is cool.

Indeed it is. When I find them (They're probably in my shop on a shelf, which I haven't been able to reach since June), I'll scan those sections. If I recall, it involved a second smoke shelf in front of the damper..... But..... Yanno it's been 30 years since I built the one and only fireplace that I ever built, and it worked fine. I used plate steel box wood stoves after that house because the burn time was so much longer, and the heat so much stronger.

 I love fireplaces, and this would be a great place for one, but I don't have the physical strength to build one right now, and I don't trust the local contractors to do a good job. (This is the land of the doublewide, and the carport.)

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I've got this one. 50K btu.

The stains in the corners are from when it was a traditional fireplace. I've finally gotten rid of those stains when I discovered oven cleaner.

3225896860_51d734f0cd_b.jpg

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When we built this house the wife and I couldn't agree on what type of secondary heat to include. I wanted a freestanding woodstove, she didn't like the idea of black pipe showing. She won, of course. So we installed a fireplace from this company.

https://www.fireplacex.com/ProductGuide/ProductDetail.aspx?modelsku=98500104

Combustion air is drawn from outside. The fan to blow heat is also installed outside the living space, in the attic. The idea is outside air is heated and blown in, slightly pressurizing the living space. Works great, mostly. It was my idea to place it up there as opposed to a side wall or the crawl space. In theory that's where it should be. If it was in the crawlspace it would just recirculate inside air, due to the  "conditioned crawlspace". 90% of the time it's great, however if it's not running on a cold windy day the attic pressurizes and sends cool outside down that duct. 

Next time we have a fire I'll try to remember and post a photo.

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On 1/14/2019 at 12:06 PM, bmiller said:

I think a lot of those ventless have a catalyst to convert CO to CO2. Still pumps a lot of water vapor though.

That's the big advantage of ventless, it heats with the maximum burn efficiency since the both the combustion and the exhaust heat the space.

The one I had didn't seem to have a catalyst, it just burned the gas in a few hundred tiny blue jets. It wasn't pretty to look at, but it obviously had a far more efficient burn, there wasn't even a tiny lick of yellow or red flame, it was all blue, each jet was the size of a pinhead.

I have no idea why that technology isn't used in a regular home HVAC unit. When I open my home unit, I see fat flames with yellow and red chaos, rather than those tiny blue points of perfection. I had the Vanguard, about 30k BTU, and it heated the house in Alabama better than the 96k BTU dual-phase monster outside, with the ducts through the unconditioned crawl space.

One lesson I learned about heating Southern homes, it gets freaking COLD down there with the humidity, the houses are often poorly insulated, and a Colorado house at 68 degrees will feel a lot warmer than a Southern house at 76 degrees.

 

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13 hours ago, austin1972 said:

I've got this one. 50K btu.

The stains in the corners are from when it was a traditional fireplace. I've finally gotten rid of those stains when I discovered oven cleaner.

3225896860_51d734f0cd_b.jpg

I have it’s twin.   The chimney was marginal when inspected and the house’s original 1970s toy heat exchanger didn’t do squat when the furnace broke.    They run a double wall pipe up the chimney, so any chips or cracks don’t matter.    This also produces much more heat from much less wood.    I recommend the upgrade if you want heat with your fire.    

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12 minutes ago, Lark said:

I have it’s twin.   The chimney was marginal when inspected and the house’s original 1970s toy heat exchanger didn’t do squat when the furnace broke.    They run a double wall pipe up the chimney, so any chips or cracks don’t matter.    This also produces much more heat from much less wood.    I recommend the upgrade if you want heat with your fire.    

Vermont Castings? Ashley?....

 

I had a Jotel stove once..... Tiny little thing that the company promised would be better than my old plate steel box "Better'n Ben's" stove..... Nope. It might have worked in a fish camp, or a large boat, but it sucked in an 1850s farm house, and it wouldn't burn all night no matter how you loaded it, or set the flue, and damper.

Clean? Yeah. It burned clean, but we froze our asses off for a month before putting the old dented box stove back in to service.... I guess we saved some wood too, as a result.

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1 hour ago, Mrleft8 said:

Vermont Castings? Ashley?....

 

I had a Jotel stove once..... Tiny little thing that the company promised would be better than my old plate steel box "Better'n Ben's" stove..... Nope. It might have worked in a fish camp, or a large boat, but it sucked in an 1850s farm house, and it wouldn't burn all night no matter how you loaded it, or set the flue, and damper.

Clean? Yeah. It burned clean, but we froze our asses off for a month before putting the old dented box stove back in to service.... I guess we saved some wood too, as a result.

I added a small RSF Topaz product during a remodel of the prior house. The core house (it has several remodels and additions including toilets) was built in 1890 but there was no remaining trace of a fireplace.    I framed it and finished it, but had the pros install it.   I had to put it on an outside wall due to layout.    Due to the roofline it drew marginally and was hard to start, but cranked out major heat (75’ or more in a 14x20 room open to the kitchen).    

This one upgraded a large inefficient fireplace.   There are vents on the sides of the stone, an energy audit suggested I somehow seal them off.    The fireplace backs against an unheated  three season room with grill using the same chimney.   It also has another 1 & 1/2  outside walls plus the cathedral ceiling.   I can’t close off the rest of the house from the kitchen and family room, but it but starts easily and will warm the two rooms to 68 at the hallway without the furnace.   (20’ outside).   They are efficient below a 0 F.   I seldom have to restart either the next morning or noon, especially the Topaz.   It’s the same as Austin’s Vermont castings except I didn’t opt for the decorative relief on the corners.   I chose for style to blend with the house as much as efficiency, and didn’t really want a catalytic converter.

To the original post, both get too hot to allow a fire starter.   

The photo with vintage lighting was from when I bought this house.   I don’t have an after photo that doesn’t have partygoers who probably don’t want their pictures online.

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3 hours ago, Mrleft8 said:

Vermont Castings? Ashley?....

 

 

Vermont with a double wall pipe. It'll run through the night but you have to choke it down pretty low to make that happen. I usually run it right in the middle with the blower at medium and have to start it back up in the morning.

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