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Heat-A-Lator fireplace

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I inspected a house yesterday that had a heatalator brand insert fireplace. There was a ceramic panel on the back wall but nothing but metal side walls. It really did not look like there was any way to attach a ceramic panel unless the hangars were on the panels themselves. I have seen a lot of fireplaces but not this brand so I was wondering if it should have the panels or if it was designed without them. I tried searching the internet but I could not find anything helpful. Does anyone know if the heatalator is built without the ceramic inserts. I wrote it up as being in need of these panels.



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Hi Buster,

It probably does not require them.

I see a lot of woodstoves and stove inserts - sometimes 2 per home. It's a common detail to find them with a row of refractory brick or a cast refractory panel at the back wall and nothing on the metal side walls.

Sometimes there will be a metal side wall attached with spacers and an air space behind. Sometimes there is refractory brick or a cast refractory panel the simulates brick at the back wall and what looks like a cast refractory panel at the sides, but when one taps on it it turns out to be stamped steel that is painted to look like brick with some type of ceramic coating.

Unless I saw clear evidence that there should have been refractory brick or panels, I wouldn't call them, I'd just report the condition that I found the stove in, ie: The firebox is badly warped at XXXX - probably from excessive heat and possibly because there is supposed to be a layer of refractory brick or a cast refractory panel that's been removed. Have the stove looked at by a woodstove installer and repaired as necessary.



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Thanks for the info. The Heatilator website states the refractory panels are mainly aesthetic. The fireboxes are tested and UIL approved with no panels. They also state that they only recommend replacement if the panel has a crack you can fit a quarter in or if the panels are crumbling.

I did not know this. I had been taught to always call out cracks in the panels. I guess I should just point out there condition from now on.


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