Fireplace inserts

How to use and install 'em



1 comment

Before the cold weather hits, consider making your wood-burning fireplace more effective with an insert, which fits inside an open fireplace and keeps more heat inside the cottage. If you’re a confident DIYer, there’s no need to have a pro install it—just grab your tool box and a helper. (Remember to have a WETT-certified inspector check your work afterwards.)

1. Choose your insert based on the type of fireplace you have, and its dimensions, keeping in mind that inserts can’t be used with all fireplaces. Measure the depth, width, and height of the existing firebox at the front and back. Consider that the insert’s metal caisson will expand when heated; the manufacturer should list the required clearance. When you go to pick up a stainless steel flue liner and the insert itself, make sure you check that the liner is longer than the height of the chimney, and that the insert will still fit in the firebox even after heat expansion.

2. Remove the damper and sweep the chimney. Verify that the firebricks are intact, and clean the hearth with a steel brush. Slide the insert into the firebox and level it so it’s nearly flush with the hearth.

3. Go up to the roof, and attach the flue collar connector to one end of the liner and feed it down the chimney to the insert. Have a buddy below pull out the insert slightly to attach the flue collar connector to the flue collar on the insert. Cut the excess liner, leaving only eight centimetres above the chimney crown. Secure the liner with a top plate that attaches to the chimney, and fit with a rain cap.

4. Return inside and pull the insert out a bit from the firebox (the flue liner will allow for some flex). Screw in place the top and side surround panels that come with the insert. Slide the insert back into the firebox so the surround panels are flush with the fireplace front. Now you’re ready to call in the inspector.

Product info/sources

The Chimney Sweep

Fergus Fireplace

Vermont Castings

Fireplaces Now (offers gas, wood and pellet inserts for existing fireplaces or new construction)

Note: most manufacturers of wood stoves and fireplaces will also sell fireplace inserts

This article was originally published on August 26, 2010

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north of 7

Jul. 15, 2011

9:09 am

I did a rink on lake simcoe and yes the ATV with a plow was a huge improvement over a snowblower. I suggest an ATV with AWD/4WD. I also bought a Honda water pump which i draw water from the lake through an augered hole (the Honda pump is easy to start and pumps more than enough water). Make sure after every flood to open the 2 water screws on the pump and drain the water & then re-attach the screws and put in non-toxic antifreeze to prevent the pump from freezing (i put the hose inside and leave the pump in the garage)

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