Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Free is my Favourite Colour!

While thumbing through online ads the other day, I came a across an ad where someone was offering a free wood-burning fireplace insert if the taker could manage the removal. The insert was from Elmira Stoveworks, and was a 2-door insert, the same as we had in our house when I was a teen.

I got all tingly. I love a good wood fire, but our current fireplace has a few issues. It allows a lot of cold air into the house when it isn't running due to a damper that isn't superfantastic, and it allows a lot of warm air out of the house when it is running since it draws the air out of the dining room.

A good fireplace insert counter-acts this by forming a mostly airtight enclosure around the fireplace, and controlling airflow when it is burning. As a bonus, the insert will have a built in fan to circulate air around the firebox and more effectively heat the room it is in.

I answered the ad, and was fortunate to be invited to remove the insert. The folks disposing of it were new homeowners with other plans for the fireplace.

The insert was VERY heavy. I estimate its weight at a gazillion. Units are not important.

Step one to removal was to take off as much trim as possible. The side screens popped off to reveal bolts holding on the backplate. Firebrick was removed from inside.

Very carefully I slid the insert forward and out of the fireplace.

I removed all the insulation to allow better access to the insert and started dismantling in earnest. A number of bolts held the back plate on and it took a long time to get them undone. Eventually, everything came apart.

I planned to slide the insert off the mantle and onto a four-wheeled piano dolly, but it had other plans. it rolled off the mantle and left a big dent in the floor! I was in shock and must have apologized a million times. The homeowners laughed it off - they had a new floor coming in the next day. Whew. Lucky!

With some effort, I managed to roll the insert onto the dolly and roll it to the front door.

The front steps of the house provided another challenge, but a stand-up appliance dolly took care of that. Pretty soon the fireplace was loaded up and in the trailer. Now it is sitting in the living room at our house, waiting for installation day.


  1. Free is definitely way better than not free! I was just thinking that those people were brave to trust a stranger to remove their gazillion unit thing when you got to the dented floor part....lucky break all around on the new floor!

  2. Actually, good planning on their part. The folks wanted it out before anyone had a chance to hurt their new floors. But yeah, I felt awful. I had meant to bring a piece of plywood in case of this but forgot.


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