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Old 11-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
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Fireplace help.....


Ok so bought house 3 months ago and,surprise, home inspection report said chimney good (found he never even shined a light up or down it) I will do my best to not rant on that...... Anyway fireplaces were very important to us buying home. House is very well built with the exception of fireplace ( in my opinion ) house built in 1950 , custom build , brick ranch . 2 flue fireplace with roughly 30degree bend in them. Externally solid . Upon sweep inspection many problems found. For starters big gobs of mortar between tiles , few small cracks , inside around smoke shelf mortar was not filled in entirely etc. .. Now upstairs firebox in good shape as is damper but flu remains issue with mortar globs etc. we were dead set on open fireplaces but now really considering inserts or other options as it seems I could drop in a downsized insert without worrying about reducing flu too much. Any advice on doing this?? I guess I'm asking 1. how common is this shotty craftsmanship in chimney? 2.How bad is it really to have fires in the upstairs (there is almost 0 creosote in flu you can see bare tile from both ends ) with inside of smoke shelf and flu not being entirely smooth. 2. What options could or advise can anyone offer in me getting these both safe and usable ? Thank you for any help.

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Old 11-13-2013, 05:28 AM   #2
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Fireplace help.....


Have you ever owned home with a fire place before?
They put out very little real heat and create a negative pressure in the home sucking air from the back rooms for make up air cooling them down, plus will burn a whole lot more wood then an insert.
An insert with a blower will put out some real usable heat.

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Old 11-13-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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Fireplace help.....


why would anyone want a fireplace ? they're a BIG hole in the wall just leave the front door open & tune to the f/p channel instead

IF you want heat, follow joe's advice there's not a more expensive way to get heat than an open fireplace,,, we don't even use our - damper's shut & have glass doors

btw, its not horribly expensive to line a chimney w/flex pipe - i like it because its diy - other'n that, you need the balloon & grout method
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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Fireplace help.....


Ya I have and have seen plenty of "mixed" results on if it actually makes house warmer or cooler. That aside I am much more practical than romantic so I am leaning towards an insert myself with how efficient it would be vs having a nice crackling open fire. So is the average flu around 6 inches for most these inserts of a full fireplace size? Anyone have a personal recommendation on insert and or liner brand? Thanks
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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Fireplace help.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by yankcrime74 View Post
Ya I have and have seen plenty of "mixed" results on if it actually makes house warmer or cooler. That aside I am much more practical than romantic so I am leaning towards an insert myself with how efficient it would be vs having a nice crackling open fire. So is the average flu around 6 inches for most these inserts of a full fireplace size? Anyone have a personal recommendation on insert and or liner brand? Thanks

When I lived up north years ago I had a Heatilator with blowers and glass doors in a 20x20 family room that worked VERY well,and if you want to leave the doors open so you can have an open fire,you can do that too.

http://www.heatilator.com/Browse/Fir...ireplaces.aspx#
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:36 PM   #6
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Fireplace help.....


Lot's of typical, mis-understoood, furnace-industry-propoganda-driven mis-information, as usual, here at the diy forum...............


It's amazing the early settler's didn't freeze to death when they lit their fireplaces hundreds of years ago, seeing as open fireplaces draw more heat then they provide in the mind of the mis-understood................

Whether you want to believe it or not, there have been open hearth, wood burning fireplace's that would rival most furnaces for efficiency that have been "real world tested" in the last decade or so.........
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:38 AM   #7
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Fireplace help.....


love to be a believer, jo, & rid myself of my ignorance just show me the data/design
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Fireplace help.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
love to be a believer, jo, & rid myself of my ignorance just show me the data/design
Here's an example of where alot of the false notion that masonry fireplaces actually create a heat loss comes from, with an explanation and a little reality applied:

http://rumford.com/articleHayden.html
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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Fireplace help.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
Here's an example of where alot of the false notion that masonry fireplaces actually create a heat loss comes from, with an explanation and a little reality applied:
From a fireplace vendor, can't imagine how that would try to spin it...

The settlers often lived in single or two room houses, about the size of the typical modern living room. And spent the great majority of their time foraging for food and fuel to burn in said fireplace. Denuding the surrounding forests in the process. So let's put a dose of reality into that false sense of reminiscence.

I've got a fireplace, but there's no denying their wretchedly bad ways to provide heat into a modern home. Sure, the 'atmosphere' of a crackling fire is a fine thing. But let's not pretend it's anything other than a wasteful luxury.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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Fireplace help.....


I've been following this thread with interest.

We have a stone fireplace...the inside is not brick, it's a heatelator
fireplace. The ends of the hearth have fans, it pulls in the air into
the fireplace and the warm air exists through the front (two stones
are not mortared; the warm air comes into the room.
We also have glass doors.

The fireplace keeps the room warm...When we had a severe ice storm
(in the early eighties or the late seventies -- cant remember the year)
the temps were in the single digits and we lost
power and heat...the fireplace was in use 24/7 for a full week and we
were able to survive. We all slept in that room for a week, ( with
three kids). But, it was freezing out and it was a big chore keeping that
fireplace roaring 24/7... We were the only people left on the block,
everyone else had to leave.
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Old 11-16-2013, 05:20 AM   #11
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Fireplace help.....


read up on what jomama post'd,,, from what i see, most f/p's aren't rumfords,,, f/p's are radiant heat ( thermal output heats objects - skin, furniture ) which then warms air passing heated objects,,, convection heat's air passing across a heat source

far's i know, original generic ' heatilator ' [ kleenex/scotch tape ] were air channels built alongside/across the firebox,,, warm'd air push'd out the top opening & the vacuum drew cooler air in the btm opening,,, later on, some genius add'd fan(s) thereby increasing dependency on elec power remember the farmall's ' thermodyne ' engine cooling system ?

this appears to be both, doesn't it ? - http://www.napoleonfireplaces.com/pr...burning-stove/

EDIT - you're right, 2knots ! original system's gravity-based,,, air heat'd expands & rises created tunnel vacuum which allows cooler air entry - also the model for the ' thermodyne ' tractor cooling system

re glass doors - we have those, too,,, dying down, warm air still goes out the chimney tho not as much,,, if it didn't, the room would fill w/smoke, right ?


Last edited by stadry; 11-16-2013 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:13 AM   #12
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Fireplace help.....


Actually, you do not need to use the fans to get the heatelator to work
efficiently. As a matter of fact, we almost never use the fans.
But, I can tell you if you have glass doors (thus the warm air doesn't
go up the flu when the fireplace is dying down) it definitely warms up
the room.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:02 PM   #13
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Fireplace help.....


Gobs of mortar on the flues, etc. are not a problem. Make sure the sweep gets the creosote off the flues and that the outer masonry is sound, and if needed, tuck any outright cracks in the chimney.

It is not really practical to retrofit an existing fireplace with an outside air source, although most codes require them for new construction.

I grew up in a log cabin (that contained 25 rooms) and had a fireplace in 12 of them. The biggest was 8 foot wide and 6 foot high and was capable of burning railroad ties (not that we would have). That was in North Carolina, Pinehurst, and it got plenty cold, although we had no problem keeping the house warm using 3 of the fireplaces, with small fires in the bedrooms.

Retrofitting an insert is certainly doable and they are efficient, but are also expensive. If you really plan on using the fireplace as a source of heat, that may be your best bet.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tscarborough View Post
Gobs of mortar on the flues, etc. are not a problem. Make sure the sweep gets the creosote off the flues and that the outer masonry is sound, and if needed, tuck any outright cracks in the chimney.

It is not really practical to retrofit an existing fireplace with an outside air source, although most codes require them for new construction.

I grew up in a log cabin (that contained 25 rooms) and had a fireplace in 12 of them. The biggest was 8 foot wide and 6 foot high and was capable of burning railroad ties (not that we would have). That was in North Carolina, Pinehurst, and it got plenty cold, although we had no problem keeping the house warm using 3 of the fireplaces, with small fires in the bedrooms.

Retrofitting an insert is certainly doable and they are efficient, but are also expensive. If you really plan on using the fireplace as a source of heat, that may be your best bet.
Thank you very very much exactly the advice I was looking for. I may put an insert in one but really just wondered about the true danger of a flu in the condition I listed especially if I monitor it regularly which I will.
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:35 PM   #15
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Fireplace help.....


This is what I had,and from what TwoKnots described is what he had,but apparently they don't make them any longer as they describe them as "old style".


http://www.northlineexpress.com/fire...atilators.html

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