You are here:

Chimney & Fireplaces/Fireplace conversion to pelletstove


Preway Fireplace
Preway Fireplace  

Existing Wood Stove
Existing Wood Stove  
I have a very old Preway fireplace installation. The interior chimney is Preway Type 8A, 8" triple wall, no insulation or "air insulation". When I moved into the house I blocked off the fireplace opening with a plate and installed a free standing wood stove on the hearth vented directly into the fireplace firebox but not directly attached to the existing flue. While I am not sure whether this installation meets code, it has worked excellent for many years. I have always had very good draft and very little, if any, creosote build up in the chimney. I clean my own chimney every season.

I have grown tired of dealing with wood and would like to convert to a pellet stove. My original idea was to remove the existing wood stove and fireplace, build a new corner hearth and connect the pellet stove to the existing chimney. However, after doing some research, it seems that the existing 8" flue is too large for the pellet stove. The manufacture does not recommend anything greater than 6". I understand that pellet stoves need no more than 3" or in some cases 4" chimney.

I guess my options are to leave the existing chimney in place and reline it with the appropriate size liner or completely remove the chimney and replace it with the appropriate pellet chimney pipe. I am fairly handy and would like to attempt this myself.

I realize the attached image shows the wood stove overhanging the hearth and for that reason alone does not meet code. That is one of the reasons I want to remove the existing fireplace and build a corner hearth. That way I can set the new installation back into the corner more and achieve the proper clearances. And no, the stove is not currently in use, and that is why there are combustibles on top of and all around the stove.

1. Am I on the right track or way off base with my ideas?,
2. Since the existing chimney extends all the way from termination above the roof to the top of the fireplace firebox, can it be cut off above ceiling height and tied into, so as to conceal the large chimney?,
3. If #2 is a valid option, how exactly would I tie into it?

Thank you in advance and sorry that this is so long winded.

Great Question!
You are right on with the notion to remove the old Preway chimney system
And start new. The existing Preway chimney is not listed and tested for
use with your pellet system. I would take the whole thing out rather than
cutting it off.

Chimney & Fireplaces

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Randy Brooks


Inspection of Masonry, Pre-cast Tilt-up, and Factory Built Fireplaces as well as Free Standing & Insert, Gas, and Wood Appliances. We also provide Hearth Fire Loss Investigations, Litigation Support, Consulting Services, Flue Sweeping, Installation and Repair. Additionally, I’ve been a chimney sweep for 23 years, service and install hearth appliances as well as being recognized by the Superior Court of California as an expert witness.


Brooks Chimney Sweeping Since 1989 Ojai, CA Owner / President

NCSG, MEMBER,(National Chimney Sweep Guild), Member since 1990, Board of Directors representing Region 6, (CA, NV, AZ, UT, OR, WA, ID, WY, MT, AK and HI,) 2004-2011, ethics committee chair, 2004-2005, executive committee member, Vice President, 2006-2008, President, 2008-2011. CSIA, BOD (Chimney Safety Institute of America,) Board of Directors, ethics committee chair, 2004-2005, executive committee member, Secretary, 2005-2006, Vice President, 2006-2008, President, 2008-2011. HPBA, MEMBER, (Hearth, Patio, & BBQ Association,) since 2002. NFPA Member, (National Fire Protection Association) Since 2009. Technical Committee member for the 211 Standard.

California State Licensed Contractor, C61-D34, #750710. C.S.I.A., (Chimney Safety Institute of America,) Certified Chimney Sweep, #2580. Held since 1990 re-certified in ‘93, ‘96, ‘99, ‘02, ‘05, '08,'11,'14. F.I.R.E. (Fireplace Investigation, Research & Education Service,) Certified Inspector, #FP-006. Held since 2000, re-certified in ’03, ‘06, '09, '12, '15. Fireplace Investigation, Research & Education Service,) Advance Expert Consulting & Witness, certificate, ’05 N.F.I. (National Fireplace Institute,) Certified Gas & Wood-Burning Specialist, #133851. Held since 2002, re-certified in '05,‘08,'11,'14

©2017 All rights reserved.