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  #1  
Old 09/30/08, 07:32 PM
was"farmwannabe"-no more!
 
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Question Fisher insert concern

We just got a Fisher insert from my cousin to fit into our fireplace (we moved into a 150 yo farmhouse in May, and the previous owners took the insert when they moved). I did a search here, and many people liked their Fishers, so we thought all was good. I looked online tonight to see if I could find glass doors to replace the solid doors, and found this at www.hearth.com:

"Fishers are pre-EPA smoke dragons, as such they are illegal for new installs in many places, and even when they are grandfathered in, they are usually subject to additional restrictions such as “no-burn days” and so forth. I don’t think this is an issue in GA, but it may be in CA, and I i know it is in WA and some parts of CO, not sure about other states.

Part of the issues with many of the old inserts is that there have been changes in the way stoves get hooked up in order to make them much safer and easier to keep clean. It used to be OK to do a “slammer” install, where you just stuck the insert into the fireplace with an open flue, sealed the front of the insert to the opening, and let the smoke find it’s own way up. This was dangerous, it caused a lot of house fires and CO poisonings, and is NO LONGER A LEGAL INSTALL. Modern installs require at least a “direct connect” where the stove feeds into a length of approved flue pipe that goes up the chimney past the damper, and makes use of a damper blockoff plate, and preferably a full length chimney liner that runs to the top of the chimney - this is much safer and easier to maintain. Often you need to get / make adapters to allow connecting these types of flues to an old stove.

There is a definite reluctance among the members of this site to get these old dinosoars back into action, they are NOT particularly safe by modern standards, even if they look like they are in “great shape”. They waste a lot of wood, and tend to smoke out the neighbors - if not properly maintained, they are also a chimney fire waiting to happen.

You will hear us talking a great deal about following Codes here on the forums - to a large extent the codes are a written memorial, as nearly every requirement is there because someone DIED from doing it in a way not in the code. The Fishers and inserts like them caused a great deal of the modern codes to be written.
"

Comments, ideas, suggestions please...

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  #2  
Old 09/30/08, 07:49 PM
MELOC's Avatar
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since i have been chided by some folks for advocating the "slammer" approach, i would advise you to consider the reasoning behind the new laws and regulations.

do the laws and regulations encourage the use of pricey materials and labor that employ people and make profits for installation companies?

does the use of a company who installs stoves remove liability from insurance companies when there is a fire?

do city folk who move to the country from urban areas gripe when they see smoke emitted from one of the "dragons"?

do people who encourage environmental activism forget that rotting wood also emits co2 gas just as burning wood does and that wood only has so much co2 whether is is burned or composted by the forest?

do those enviromental activists forget that wood used for fuel is a renewable resource renewed in decades and not millenia like petroleum products used not only in furnaces, but also in power generation plants?

do the new chimney systems have magic fairies that carry the smoke up the chimney or does it result from the draw of the chimney?

does an older chimney operate on the same physical priciples?

will a new chimney catch fire if it is not properly maintained?

will carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide enter the home is there is a proper draw in both examples... new and old? i don't think there is a way to prevent gases from coming in unless you prevent gases from going out. if there is no way for gases to enter a stove (oxygen) you will have no fire.

just make sure the path you choose is safe by making sure the chimney is in good shape.

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  #3  
Old 09/30/08, 08:19 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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We have a contract on a house that also has a Fisher insert. Did you ever find glass doors? I would be interested in that too. I started a thread that asked about the Fisher stove, and their were many positive responses. I am going to give mine a try and see how it does. Our last stove was a Jotul, EPA tested and airtight (great stove, btw). We still had a chimney fire when we let it get too hot one time. I think some of the safety factor is in the operator.

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Old 10/01/08, 07:34 AM
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Based on the quote, it appears that www.hearth.com has a problem with the old Fisher stoves not having air pollution devices, such as secondary combustion chambers or a catalyst. This problem is not inclusive to just Fisher stoves....all pre EPA-reg stoves are "smokers" and "use more wood!"

If my insurance company required me to use a metal liner in the existing chimney, I guess I'd bite the bullet and do it. And here again, the use of the chimney liner is not inclusive to just Fisher fireplace inserts. They are recommended for all fireplace inserts regardless of manufacturer.

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  #5  
Old 10/01/08, 07:46 AM
 
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My insert is Country Flame, installed by the companys rep. about 20 years ago. Its just set into the fireplace, and sealed with insulation. We have never had a problem, and do not have creasote. Guess its just a problem with Fisher then, right?

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Old 10/01/08, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresone View Post
My insert is Country Flame, installed by the companys rep. about 20 years ago. Its just set into the fireplace, and sealed with insulation. We have never had a problem, and do not have creasote. Guess its just a problem with Fisher then, right?
No, that's the way all inserts were installed 20 years ago. If you were to install your insert...or any other insert...to a another home, the same metal liner recommendation would be made.

See: http://www.woodheat.org/technology/inserts.htm
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Last edited by Cabin Fever; 10/01/08 at 07:57 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10/01/08, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
we moved into a 150 yo farmhouse in May
Any chimney that old should have a metal liner installed for ALL types of inserts.
And your Fisher wont smoke much more than other inserts IF you operate it correctly
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Old 10/01/08, 11:47 AM
 
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I am right now in the process of changing my "slammer" Lopi into a direct connect stove and installing a stainless liner. My stove in its original form has no way to connect the liner to the stove as there is no flue vent collar on it. The stove damper is on the outside top of the stove, so I'm fabricating an enclosure with a collar on it.

I had it mostly made and needed to contact the manufacturer to verify what material they used for the collar. Turns out they were able to go to their engineering archives and pull a couple of drawings from 1986 or so of an adapter they designed for that stove, to be used with chimney pipe if desired. They mailed me the drawings for reference and the design is basically what I had built except they made it out of formed sheet metal, whereas I welded it up out of small angle iron and 10ga plate. This is likely gross overkill but I can cut/weld better than I can form...

I found that some stove manufacturers just use 6 or 8" schedule 40 pipe for the collars, but apparently Lopi uses well casing.

If Fisher or a parent company is still in business they may be able to provide some guidance.

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Old 10/01/08, 07:18 PM
was"farmwannabe"-no more!
 
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Meloc - I understand and appreciate all of your comments, but my primary concern is for our safety. If using this stove can lead to flue fires (which, I found out tonight, my cousin had last year), then I want to do anything possible to prevent that! DH has looked up the chimney (which was added to the farmhouse 15 yrs ago), and there are brick step-ups that are covered with creosote, and will be very difficult, if even possible, to clean once the stove is in place. We thing that the best thing to do would be to add a metal flue liner. We are going to get a chimney inspector to come look at it, and will decide from there.

Wayne - where are you getting your lining from? Did you order it online, or is someone installing it for you?

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  #10  
Old 10/01/08, 11:02 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Western WA
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I purchased my kit from here.
http://www.chimneylinerdepot.com/index.asp

and there is this outfit.
http://www.chimneylinerinc.com/index.html

Both these sites are fairly comprehensive. They have installation instructions, videos etc.

Make sure and ask about lead-time if you are wanting to install it this year before heating season. With the mad rush of people going to wood heat places like this are very busy and sometimes backlogged depending on the product you need.

Does your stove have a collar on top? If so then that is a good thing and the standard appliance connectors can be used. If it does not have a collar but the damper slider is under the top plate of the stove, i.e. the top plate of the stove is level and just has the hole in it, then they make "boots" that are made to use with these type of stoves. These boots are used like the standard appliance connector except instead of fitting down into the collar, they sit flat on the stove top over the vent hole and are secured with some screws to the top plate of the stove.

If you are planning to do the install yourself make sure you spec out your kit carefully. If you are fortunate to have a simple chimney that is a straight shot from the top of the stove to the top of the masonry chimney then installation can be a snap. If it is not a straight shot or if you have very minimal space between the top of the stove and the top of the fireplace opening then things can get a little more complicated. I found that digital pictures used in emails to the supplier with my associated questions were very helpful in clearly identifying what I needed in a kit. My install is a bit complex so I sent pictures of the stove, the chimney etc. I put the dimensions of the chimney/stove/openings on the pictures so they could see what I had to deal with.

Finally, if the flue vent opening on your stove is 8" you will need to use an 8" liner which is more expensive then the now standard 6" liners that are used with almost all modern stoves these days.

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  #11  
Old 10/02/08, 07:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresone View Post
My insert is Country Flame, installed by the companys rep. about 20 years ago. Its just set into the fireplace, and sealed with insulation. We have never had a problem, and do not have creasote. Guess its just a problem with Fisher then, right?
No it's not just a problem with the Fisher stoves.

At some point, you will likely have a problem after your insurance does an inspection on your wood burning appliance - the code changed in 1991 I believe, which was was 17 years ago. All inserts now require the liner. Your unit no longer meets current building code or wood stove installation code, and generally insurance companies will only insure when installed to the current standard.
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