replacing a fireplace

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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yankee

Sun Dec 30, 2007 2:35 pm

Hello! I just found this site while looking for info on wood burners in MH. How exciting!
We have bought a 1990 Fairmont 14 X 70 which already has a factory installed fireplace. We would like to put in an insert so that we can use it for our main heat source. Any suggestions? We are not living in it yet, so we aren't sure how efficient the fireplace is, but normally, they aren't. Pretty to watch, but we want warmth! Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,


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Yanita
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Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:03 pm

Hi,

Welcome to the site and glad you found us!

I am going to move this post to the repair forum, please follow me there.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

Steve S.
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Maine

Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:25 pm

Hi-
I too have a factory fireplace in my 1985 Champion 14X70. I have used the fireplace for many years but only for the visual and aesthetic value...it produces no substantial home heating unless, of course, you're sitting right in front of it. My particular unit (Preway) has a blower beneath the firebox which circulates air around and exits from a vent above the firebox. But still terribly inefficient...at best, only heats the living room. But now with the price of K1 at $3.50/gal, I am now interested in alternate heat sources. Not sure if an insert is the answer since the heat generated is still confined to a small area. A central woodstove would seem to be more efficient, but not recommended/feasible for most manufactured homes. I'd also like to hear other ideas on this....
--Steve

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Harry
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Location: Citrus county Florida

Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:26 pm

Hi

I wish we had a fireplace. We have an endless supply of wood right here on the property.

If I ever get the wife to agree to a fireplace we'll have a professional install it with all the necessary permits and approvals from the insurance company.

The wife is afraid I'll accidentally burn the joint down...smart woman. MH fires are very common around here. Most of them are totalled before the fire dept arrives.

Right now we have a package unit with heat strips.

Harry
Aside from the roof leak, soft floors, rats, mice and bursted plumbing ........ how do you like it?

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Jim from Canada
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:18 am

An insert is probably the best way to go, provided you can find one that is Mobile home rated. It must take the combustion air from outside. An insert will be one of the most efficient burners. Barring that, a wood stove (box stove) would be your best bet and MAY be able to be hooked up to the existing chimney. It may need a new liner in it, a job for a professional to assess first. Wood stoves are not that hard to install yourself, if you take your time. I will post pics of my install if you want.

Jim
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM


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Greg
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Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:29 am

Hi & welcome to the family. Jim brought up one of the major points, Make sure it is MH approved, If there was ever a problem NOT being MH approved would be like giving your insurance company a "free" card. Many carriers lay awake at night looking for ways to get out of paying a claim.
The other problem you need to be aware of is the plumbing. the plumbing is run next to the heat ducts to keep them from freezing. If your underbelly & skirting are both in good shape you may not have any problems untill the temp. gets around 0. I heat with a Monitor heater and the only time in run the furnace is in sub 0 weather. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

cottonlily

Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:13 am

I would definitely go with a pro on this one. I'd like to have a FP too, and hope someday we will, but I wouldn't want the risk of a DIY mistake in this area!

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Yanita
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Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:24 am

Hi,

If you are considering heating your home with a wood stove use only a MH approved stove. Check with your insurance company prior to buying all the necessary items. A permit for install is needed as well as inspection.

As for fireplaces I feel that about all of them are for ambient purposes only, very inefficient for heating.

Depending on where you live another alternative heat source is a MH approved pellet stove. You can do a google on pellet stoves or check our archives for past threads on this, there are many.

Happy New Year

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

cottonlily

Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:42 am

^^^ The corn pellet stoves are very popular around here now. But, still I'm not sure if they would work in a MH.

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Yanita
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Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:45 am

Hi,

There are many brands of pellet stoves and many are MH approved...check out Harman Pellet stoves, these are also thermostatically controlled....

As with any alternative heat source once the temps get to freezing you would want to use your main furnace to prevent your water lines from freezing...BUT, you can also use your alternative heat source and run just the blower on your furnace to help circulate the warm air thru the vents.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!

Steve S.
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Maine

Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:31 pm

Found this article on wood stoves for mobilehomes:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1985 ... afety.aspx

Jim...I am interested in seeing pics on your install. Do you use your woodstove exclusively for heat or as a secondary heat source?
I know wood stoves are great for radiant heat but what about convection...can a wood stove effectively heat the whole house?
Like Harry, I have a large supply of free firewood on the land that I own, so it makes sense for me to investigate wood heat :wink:
Thanks, Steve

altasnowman
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:58 pm
Location: Edmonton,AB Canada

Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:52 pm

Hello Yankee.
Having a wood stove is great, however like all are saying IT MUST BE MH APPROVED,and it must be WETT certified(at least here in Alberta). This is one job that if you do go this route is best left to the pros. Even doing an insert again leave it to the pros. I have talked to the people that installed mine and was told that they have had calls from insurance companies to go and replace a job that a diy did,in most cases the job was done properly but unless it is do by a accredited pro the insurance companies will not in most cases insure the home. JMT
The dirtyist word in the dictionary CANCER....it takes many too soon and leaves nothing but anger and pain. We all mourn the loss of those that have succummed to this......

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Jim from Canada
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Location: Seaforth, ON

Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:42 am

Yanita is right on with her observations regarding wood stoves vs fireplaces. Something to think about, with more and more corn production going for methanol, the price will skyrocket. I will get on the pics asap.

Jim
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

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Jim from Canada
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:39 am
Location: Seaforth, ON

Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:11 pm

OK, got some pics of my installation on my album. They posted in reverse order for some reason, so start at 1 and go backwards to 10.
https://www.mobilehomerepair.com/phpbb/a ... ser_id=129

I heat primarily with wood, the furnace comes on during the night and when we are away and don't stoke it. I have never had a serious pipe freeze up. Had a minor one that got cured when we did the floor in the master bath and moved the pipe about 4" away from the exterior wall it was touching.

I have no heat tape on my infeed, but I do have 3/4" plywood skirting that is unvented in the winter and opened up in the summer. I do not know how I get away with this as temps get to minus 40. Just dumb luck that I wouldn't recommend anyone rely on.

This job was done with a permit and was inspected. Chimneys need to be at least 2' higher than any structure within 10'. That is code here. Please note the clearances that your manufacturers recommend. I chose the brands I did because of the close clearances, the styling and ease of installation, and because they are Canadian. Good luck and be safe, this has been a great money saver but a MH can be totally destroyed in about 15 minutes by fire. That is not a lot of time to wake up and get out!

Jim
Remember, minimum code requirement is just that....MINIMUM

Steve S.
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:41 pm
Location: Maine

Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:06 am

Jim,
Thanks for the information and pics of your wood stove install. Doesn't look too complicated, but as you and others suggested, open fire in mobilehomes is a very dangerous situation :( ...so I guess a professional install with the proper permitting is in order. In my case, I would probably use the existing fireplace chimney and either upgrade with an insert or close off the fireplace and install a woodbox. Definitely worth investigating :wink: ....

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