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Old 12-04-2008, 06:58 AM   #1
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Fireplace question


Hello,
My wife and I purchased a small vacation cabin and it has a fireplace. It is a brick fireplace but there is a sheet metal insert inside that is rusted and cracked in places. Can I just remove the insert and use the fireplace without it? I would seal up any loose or broken bricks. The damper has also been removed and there is a clay or terra cotta liner that goes up the chimney. Do I need to have a damper installed or can I use the fireplace without it?
Thanks for your help.
Richard

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Old 12-04-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
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Fireplace question


Open fire places are notoriously inefficient where 70-90% of the heat goes up the chimney, the first thing to do is to actually verify it is a wood burning one and not a natural gas type setup, does sound like a wood one though.

A damper would be necessary to keep the heat left in the room after the fire is out or if you were to use space heaters to keep that heat in. If you can't get the original damper back in they make a top mounted one that mounts on the outside of the chimney and has a chain that hangs all the way down to open and close it.

If you only want it for ambiance or a little heat and don't want to spend a $1000 for a new insert or glass doors it should work fine but will go though a lot of wood, how big is the cabin?

Remember Benjamin invented his Franklin stove as a conservation measure when he saw all the woods being burned up at an alarming rate in open fire pits.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:16 AM   #3
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Fireplace question


The damper is to keep cold air out and should be closed when not in use. You should have a chimney guy come out and do a thorough inspection and install a more efficient chimney damper. I'm sure it would set your mind at ease and you won't burn the place down.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:36 AM   #4
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Fireplace question


Yea, I have to agree with the Clutch guy. Unless a person is an expert, definately have a professional check it out first. Remember, if there are any problems, your cabin could be toast.

BTW, my fireplace has a gas line close by, meaning it once was used with gas. It was mentioned to make sure its for wood, and not gas.....well, whats the difference? When I had mine checked out, the guy said it would be fine for wood.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:59 AM   #5
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Fireplace question


Quote:
Originally Posted by bofusmosby View Post
BTW, my fireplace has a gas line close by, meaning it once was used with gas. It was mentioned to make sure its for wood, and not gas.....well, whats the difference? When I had mine checked out, the guy said it would be fine for wood.
A fireplace built exclusively for gas does not use the high temperature pipe or have the clearances necessary for wood burning and can easily start your wood framing on fire.

I agree that a professional chimney sweep should inspect it for correct construction and creosote build up.
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