Fireplace Insert Conversion?

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Milo, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. Milo

    Milo Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Hi all, Long time reader & first time poster. I have been given a steel & cast iron fireplace insert. I am trying to figure out if it can be converted to use as a freestanding heater. It is made by Birmingham Stove & Range. The insert is probably 10 years old but in excellent condition. Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. ericjeeper

    ericjeeper Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2006
    I would think if you can set it on bricks, or weld on some legs and it will securely accept a flue pipe then it will work.. . But I am just a man with an opinion..

  3. bargarguy

    bargarguy Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    I have used an insert as a wood burner for about 5 years now, it has worked ok for me.I recomend not attempting to damper the unit down, allow to burn full bore as the unit was more than likely not made as a sealed unit and when you damper it down you'll find out how many cracked and holes it has. The sides of my unit needed to plugged somewhat as there are draft holes designed for chimney use. All I used was tin foil, it will not seal the unit completely and you don't really want it to as you need some draw to get good air flow.
    I had to make an adaptor sleeve to mount the top of the insert and then fit inside an 8" flue pipe. You will also want to make sure you have enough distance around the unit. The closest to any surfaces mine sits is 12 inches from the back, I used 2 layers of concrete/mason board with an air gap in between. The other three sides have several feet of clearance. It sits on concrete/mason board with 8" block under neath, it also has 4" legs. The insert will be hotter than a regular wood burner on the outside so keep that in mind, another consideration is if your place would catch fire the insurance company probably would not cover it if the insert was the cause, so I am very careful when I use mine., but again it has worked well and hey it was free.