Caring for Prefabs

Fireplace Pre Fab New Construction Firebox12How to Care for Prefabricated Fireplaces

The fireplace has certainly changed since its original design from so long ago. Improving fireplace parts is a constant project. Since the primitive use of fire containing devices, one of the most recent being the factory built or prefabricated fireplace unit. A prefabricated unit, or prefab, is made of metal instead of brick or other masonry materials. A prefab uses insulating pipes which are made by cooling air, and blowers to move the warm air around the house.

These systems are very sophisticated and manufactured and listed for use as a unit. Each part is approved by the Underwriters Laboratory to be used in a certain way under certain conditions with parts that make up the unit. A prefab doesn’t require a cement base for a foundation like a masonry unit due to how much lighter the prefab is. These systems have either cooling spaces in which air pockets act as insulation or actual insulation which allows the units to be closer to combustibles than would be otherwise.

Factory Built Prefabs

Factory Built Fireplace
Prefabs reduce clearances and can sometimes be housed in wooden chimneys.

When factories build fireplaces, they generally last until a part needs to be replaced but is no longer manufactured. At this time the prefab unit will reach the end of its useful life. This is because it needs specific part in order to operate according to UL standards. The technician should install the stove according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is not easy to remove in order to conduct an inspection





Safety Tips

Never install a wood stove into a prefabricated unit. You can operate a prefab according to the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Similarly, it is not safe to burn paper waste in a prefabricated fireplace unit. This is because of how hot these fires get and how quickly they get so hot. (Since it’s close to the holidays, remember that it’s not safe to burn your Christmas tree in a prefab either. It produces a similar effect to a paper waste fire.) Also, when operating your prefab, the damper must be completely open. It should remain open until the fire is completely out. Prefabs require less clearance than other appliances. They’re easy to install in most areas of the home because they are so lightweight.

In conclusion, we hope you can find a reputable Chimney Sweep in your area to help you solve your problems. You can use this link:  ! In addition, be sure and go online to read their customer reviews from Google, BBB, or AngiesList.
I hope that this information helps! Check out our YouTube Videos or our Blogs to learn more about your problems and more!
Burn Safe and Warm,

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb
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4 thoughts on “Caring for Prefabs

  1. How do you measure a prefab firepalce with a shorter lenght in the back as comparied to the fornt for a one piece grill.?

  2. I believe you’re referencing what I will call the fireplace grate. Having a prefab fireplace I would look for the metal tag that is often riveted on the inside of the firebox, or just behind the screen / glass doors.
    Often these are black and might be a little difficult to find.
    You’re looking for two things the Manufacture as well as the model number.
    I would then suggest going online and hunting for the Mfg to see if the original equipment/parts are still available.
    Your grates could be oversized or to small. Your fireplace grate should have a couple of inches of free space on both the right and left side.
    This may sound a little silly, but remember to put the smaller width of your grate in the back of the firebox! because daily we see our customer’s grate are installed

    Clay Lamb author of: – Youtube Educational Videos – Professional grade Chimney products – Contractor Coaching Podcast – GM @ American Chimney Sweep Cincinnati, OH

  3. Hi, great site.
    Is it possible to to place a new clay pot type chimney cap on a prefab system?
    Thank you.

  4. Nicholas, You might think that my concern is about the weight of the clay pot, but as a chimney service contractor, we will not make any alterations to any prefabricated fireplace or chimney flue system.
    That is unless “that” manufacturer states that it can be altered in a particular manner.
    For me, I need to see those allowable alterations in writing from that manufacture.
    My thinking is, that equipment was originally tested to allow the fireplace and chimney flue to be air cooled. Making certain alteration could potentially block the required venting and air cooling feature of that product.
    To hopefully minimize a manufactures exposure to “possible product liability,”. Let us just say, if bad things were to happen, many manufacturers will put a condition of use, in both their installation manuals and/or product warranties.
    For a manufacturer to obtain a UL listing for any given product, all of its components must be rigorously tested together, in a very controlled laboratory environment. And yes this manufacture had to pay some very big bucks to get that product UL listing.
    I know most people would think “well it is just a chimney pot”, and they look great. But that is not how manufacturers look at today, and when we think of it, it is for good reasoning from their perspective
    … please don’t shot the messenger.

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