Hot Art original free standing ceramic fireplaces

Installation Guide

A Hot Art fireplace is easily installed by a builder, handyman or DIY savvy purchaser, provided that these instructions and diagrams are followed meticulously. Some of the aspects may seem untoward, but the steps must be closely followed! We have a system that works for our pots, and so for the benefit of the pot and to get the best use of your fireplace, these instructions are key and must be followed! If you take as much care with the installation as we did with making the pot, it will serve you well.

Consumables Required for Installation:

  • Roof sealant – we recommend Buccaneer Raincoat Storm Seal or a Silicone Boot Flashing for a Tiled Roof
  • Sponge
  • Acetone / Windowlene
  • Paintbrush
  • Cloths and an ice-cream tub
  • Water
  • Self tapping screws or spring toggles
  • S/S pop rivets
  • 4,2mm drill bits

Please Note
Like any fireplace, the Hot Art fire pot is a potential fire hazard if not installed correctly, compliant with Part V of the National Building Regulations (SABS 0400). The chimney should pass no closer than 200mm to any combustible material without adequate insulation. The fire pot itself should be no closer than 300mm on either side to combustible materials and 500mm in the front.

Hot Art herewith specifically excludes responsibility for damages arising from whatsoever cause concerning the installation and use of Hot Art Fireplaces.

Take care of the lid during installation – it is most vulnerable prior to installation. It could get chipped if the edge is bumped carelessly against the pot.

Take great care insulating the ceiling, roof timbers and any surface that might touch the pipes – they get very hot! The kind of wood you burn in your fireplace will determine many things, including heat output and the need for a fire screen. Certain woods burn quietly while other woods spit and crackle. Use invader species of wood, such as Black Wattle and Blue Gum. Ensure the wood is nice and dry.

Installation Site

The fire pot must be freestanding, although it may be positioned within an existing fireplace, if it is high and wide enough to accommodate at least one length of flue (500mm) or an elbow. The existing masonry chimney should be blocked off with a heat resistant board to prevent heat loss and ensure adequate heating of the room, as well as proper draw.

A base of durable material is essential for the pot, unless it is placed on tiles. If the pot is going to be placed on wood or laminate then it needs a base. A plinth looks best at a height of about 300mm above floor level and the plinth should extend at least 1000mm in the front, and 200mm on either side or a 1400mm diameter for a round plinth. Your plinth can be made from bricks, cement, fireproof glass or tiles. A glass mosaic plinth looks beautiful, or a marble/granite slab, however this will require a stand. The fire pot should be positioned about 1000mm from the nearest furniture. Choices of locally-made wrought-iron stands are available to elevate your pot. A fire screen is also recommended to catch sparks, but it is not necessary. A sacrificial rug, animal skin or woollen carpet can also be placed in front of the mouth (about 500mm away) to catch any flying sparks.

Why Pipe-within-a-pipe? Allowance must be made for the expansion of the metal flue. The 125mm stainless steel Flue Pipe must float inside the 150mm Sleeve Pipe, so that it can expand up and down, and outwards when hot, retracting when cool. If the 125mm Flue Pipe is fixed to the roof it will lift the ceiling/roof when hot and break the seals or worse the lid!

Stainless steel expands approximately 1cm per metre with heat, and retracts when cooled.

Installation of Your Pot
Please ensure your plinth/base is built, in position and dry before installing your pot.
  1. Remove the protective plastic from the pipes. We recommend using gloves to avoid smudging the pipes with finger prints. Push the metal pipes together firmly on the ground. Make sure the pipes are joined the right way – for the 125mm Flue Pipes: narrow crimped end at the bottom; for the 150mm Sleeve Pipes: narrow, crimped end at the top. A 125mm Flue Pipe with a damper in it should be the first pipe out of the pot. If you don’t have a Damper Flue, then the Flue Pipe with a ‘BUMP’ should be first out of the lid.
  2. Connect the wide end of the End Cap (the larger 150mm end) to one of your 150mm Sleeve Pipes (clean end, NOT the crimped end) using 3 rivets so that the End Cap and the 150mm Sleeve Pipe become one unit, see diagram. The 125mm Flue Pipes must go inside the 150mm Sleeve Pipes, and must NOT be sealed anywhere. The 125mm Flue Pipe must allow for heat expansion, as stainless steel expands, approximately 1cm per meter when heated. The 125mm Flue Pipes must go out of the lid, up through the End Cap 150mm Sleeve Pipe and Escutcheon Plate, through the ceiling and out through the roof. The 125mm Flue Pipe is the chimney from the pot through the ceiling through the roof, and must extend at least a minimum of 300mm above the roof.
  3. The 150mm Sleeve Pipe riveted to End Cap hangs through ceiling about 100mm below the Escutcheon Plate, see diagram. The 150mm Sleeve Pipe goes from the End Cap, through the roof and into the Ultimate Cowl, to extend +- 1000mm. It does not need to clear the pitch of the roof.
  4. Slide the Escutcheon Plate up the 125mm Flue Pipe and 150mm End Cap Sleeve Pipe and screw it into the ceiling with stainless steel screws.
  5. Push the wider, smooth end of the 125mm Flue Pipe through the End Cap and slide it into the 150mm Sleeve Pipe. Make sure the 125mm Flue Pipe can freely move inside the End Cap and 150mm Sleeve Pipe. If it is too tight, file or cut the narrow end of the End Cap until you have an easy fit. Wrap the Fibre Frax around the 150mm Sleeve Pipe at this point to insulate your ceiling boards against the heat of the pipe. Further Fibre Frax should be used around the 150mm sleeve before it exits the roof or you could burn the roof seal.
  6. Place the fire pot in position.
  7. Align the 3 dots on the lid with the 3 dots on the pot. Pull the lid slightly forward so that the lip of the lid slightly overhangs the dots on the pot.
  8. In your installation pack there is a Ring and Ceramic Rope. Push the Ring onto the crimped end of the starter 125mm Flue Pipe, push it up to the ‘BUMP’ on the pipe. The Ring stops the pipes from falling through the pot along with the Ceramic Rope, which cushions the Ring on the lid, and allows for lateral expansion of the 125mm Flue Pipes. The rope rests on the lid under the ring.
  9. Reach inside the pot, through the mouth and sponge the lid join with a wet sponge. Mix the Sairset Cement, supplied in your installation pack, with a little water into a thick paste. Make a little sausage the thickness of your pinky, and smear it into the join. Wipe off the excess to leave a smooth finish. DO NOT USE THE CEMENT ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOUR POT. Mix half of the mix for sealing, and keep the other half for touch ups if needed.
  10. Place the Vermiculite inside the pot. DO NOT remove the Vermiculite; it creates a lightweight, insulation for the fire to draw through. If you don’t have Vermiculite in your pot, it will smoke. The Vermiculite should sit at least 20mm below the level of the pot lip.
  11. If the pipes have any clear finger prints, then clean the pipes with Windowlene or acetone before lighting the first fire, otherwise the finger prints will become permanent. The pipes will change colour with the first fire, from stainless steel to copper, to dark blue, dependent on the size and heat of your fire.

Do Not

  • use sairset cement on the outside of the pot
  • join the pipes the wrong way around
  • forget to remove the plastic from the pipes before joining them
  • use non-approved pipe
  • force the pipe into the lid hole – it should slide in freely
  • force the metal ring and string into the lid hole, it will crack your lid
  • clean the vermiculite out
  • narrow the flue at all!!
  • use the sairset cement to seal the pipe to the lid
  • seal/inhibit movement of the flue pipe – it must be able to expand and contract with heat (1cm per metre)
  • should your pot crack, do not attempt to fill it or repair it. This will make it worse. Please call us if you have questions
  • DO NOT throw wood into the pot! Place the wood in gently - treat it like a teapot and not a kettle

Roof Sealing

The roof hole should be as tight as possible around the 150mm Sleeve Pipe. Secure the 150mm Sleeve Pipe to the roof by inserting self-tapping screws horizontally into the pipe to support the weight. The 150mm Sleeve Pipe can be sealed against rain and damp with roof sealant - we recommend Raincoat Storm Seal – it must be heat resistant, flexible and waterproof, to allow for the movement of the pipe. A variety of flashing products is painted over that which will keep out the rain.

The Cowl Height Requirements

The Ultimate Cowl has been designed to withstand the windy conditions of the Western Cape. If you have abnormally high winds, like Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), the Ultimate Cowl must be riveted to the 150mm Sleeve Pipe as to stay in place.

The 150mm Sleeve Pipe must extend a minimum of 1000mm above the roof hole. The Ultimate Cowl does not need to clear the pitch of the roof.

The Flue

The chimney flue works best when it exits straight up out of the pot. If you are unable to go straight up, a 90° elbow can be used. You can angle straight out of the pot, the draw will be sufficient!

Mark off the spot on the ceiling that is precisely above the fire pot lid hole. Drill small holes all around the 150mm circumference with a 5mm drill bit until you can clear the hole. You can also drill an 8mm hole and use a jigsaw. Ensure there is no joint, power wire or plumbing in the way. The hole must be cut at least 50mm away from the 150mm Sleeve Pipe to leave space for the insulation material. Remember the 125mm Flue Pipe must float in the 150mm Sleeve Pipe, and must rest gently on the ring and string in the lid of the pot.


The ceiling must be cut back at least 50mm from the 150mm Sleeve Pipe, to allow space for the Fibre Frax (insulation material) to be inserted. THE CEILING IS A CRITICAL AREA FOR INSULATION. Use the first piece of Fibre Frax around the 150mm Sleeve Pipe. The hole and insulation material is then covered by the Escutcheon Plate. The plate is screwed into the ceiling with stainless steel self-tapping screws.

The second piece of Fibre Frax is placed around the 150mm Sleeve Pipe, where it goes through the roof. Thoroughly insulate wherever the pipes are within proximity to combustible material. Any wooden beams or rafters that are within 200mm of the 150mm Sleeve Pipe, must be insulated. Extra insulation material can be provided if needed.

How To Make A Proper Fire In A Hot Art Pot

The object of the ceramics is to absorb as much heat as soon as possible, through a large fire (if you start off with a small fire, all the heat goes straight up the chimney and does not give the pot a chance to get hot). The way to do this is to stack the pot as full as you can, whilst it is cold, reason being that it is easier to stack the pot full without throwing the logs in when it is hot. Throwing logs into the pot, will eventually cause the pot’s integrity to weaken.

Starting with paper, kindling, small wood, medium wood and then as large as will fit into the pot (just like you make a braai to achieve coals). If you use firelighters, place them under the wood after the pot has been fully stacked - otherwise the vapours can ignite much like a gas leak, and blow back. Light the paper or firelighters, to immediately assist the draw, take a quarter page of newspaper (A3 size), and place over the mouth of the fireplace, leaving a gap at the bottom. After smoothing the paper down on the upper lip, the fire will automatically suck the paper against the pot, creating a reverse bellows effect. Paper can be removed when the fire is crackling. When coals are considerably reduced, new logs can be gently added. Use the newspaper over the mouth again, and the logs will inflame in a matter of minutes.

CAUTION: Do not throw the logs against the ceramic, our fireplaces are not metal – treat your fireplace like a teapot and not a kettle. We recommend placing logs into the pot with the use of tongs.

Sit back and enjoy the radiant heat!

Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. We are here to help you have an amazing experience with your new pot. We welcome photos of cozy lounges with our pots burning away.

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