I had a company come to install a Osburn 2200 fireplace insert the other day. As soon as they started working it seemed to me that they weren't very professional. They ended up scratching every piece of the front of the insert to the point where I refused to pay. They're coming out this week to replace the entire unit except for the stainless steel chimney liner that they installed. Once they left I started looking at the liner install and noticed 2 things
1. There is no insulation covering the liner. I called several companies in the phone book and half say it's not necessary to insulate and the other half say it's mandatory. Can anyone give me some insight here?
2. They did not use a standard appliance connector between the liner and fp insert. They used a length of stovepipe to connect them. Is this ok? Would it pass an inspection? I've attached a pic to this post.
The only comment they really make about an insulated liner is this.
"Chimneys constructed outside of the home, on an exterior wall, should be avoided if possible, especially in colder climates. Outside chimneys may not draw as well and may downdraft due to the difficulty in heating them up to operating temperature. Cooler chimneys will result in increased creosoteing, less draft, and poorer performance. Draft is proportional to overall chimney height as well as to stack temperature. Draft can be increased by increasing chimney height, and by reducing heat loss from the chimney through an insulated liner."
This matches my experience with chimneys fairly well.
As far as the black stovepipe, my concern is that it is going to corrode much quicker than the stainless steel. My wood fired boiler sets in a furnace room and is connected to the Metalbestos style chimney with black stovepipe which I replace every year. It corrodes because it tends to hold moisture, but it is easy to replace because I can access it. It takes me about 15 minutes to do. On the other hand your connector is hidden away and looks like it would be a PIA to check and or replace every year or two. If it was me I'd want stainless steel.
I'd say call Osburn and see what they say. If these people are authorize insallers complain loudly and longly. Shoddy workmanship is a pet peeve of mine.