About Pellet Inserts

INSERT COMPONENTS: When you buy a pellet insert there are 3 main components:

INSERT BODY – This is the “engine” of the pellet insert. It has the auger, combustion and convection fans, burn pot, the glass, and all the “guts” of the insert. Just as with any products, there is a difference in the quality of one insert vs. another.

INSERT SHROUD – This is the surround panel that attaches to the insert to cover the fireplace opening. They come in different sizes to accommodate different fireplaces and, upon request, we can have a custom surround panel made to fit your fireplace opening… we only make custom surrounds for our customers, not for other brands.

INSERT VENTING / PIPE – All pellet inserts must be vented through the chimney with their own venting system. There are 2 different ways to vent a pellet insert:

SHORT CONNECT – This is a cheap way to install an insert, and we don’t do it. Some dealers will try to convince you that this is all you need, but they are not looking out for your best interest. A short connect means that a 5 foot section of pipe is connected to the insert, run up past the damper, and the damper is blocked off with insulation, or a block off metal plate. This will save an average of $200-$300 on the total cost, but you will pay for it down the road.

What happened if you don’t run the vent pipe all the way down the chimney is a large part of the soot and residual particulate matter from burning the fuel will rise part way up the chimney, and then fall back down and sit on the section of where you blocked off the damper area. It builds up and when it comes time to clean the chimney you will have to literally uninstall the insert and reinstall it after you clean out the chimney. If you hire this out you can expect to pay $300 – $500 every time you have your chimney cleaned.

We use FULL RELINE – This is the only way we install a pellet insert. We run a vent pipe all the way down the chimney and connect it to the exhaust outlet on the insert. We seal the chimney with a flashing and put a cap on the top. When it comes time to clean the “chimney,” all you have to do is clean the pipe by taking the cap off and running a brush down the pipe into a cleanout that comes with the stove and pipe. It’s much less expensive to have the pipe cleaned than to uninstall and reinstall the insert every year.

Different people have different opinions on whether to use a full reline on a pellet insert or a short connect. In the opinion of the Spa Doctor Spa & Stove Center, it is short-sided to put in a short connect. You may save a few dollars at first, but you will pay for it in the long run.

Please call The Spa Doctor with any questions, 209-545-5224.