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KDOC 09-26-2012 06:11 PM

What is this in my fireplace?
2 Attachment(s)
Hopefully an easy answer...I've never had a fireplace before..

Daniel Holzman 09-26-2012 06:57 PM

Looks like the damper control.

BigJim 09-26-2012 07:56 PM

Or whats left of a damper, I can't tell from the picture but it looks like the damper is not altogether there.

notmrjohn 09-26-2012 08:19 PM

Nope, no damper. That puts damper on situation. You need a damper to control proper draft when using fire place. And to close it off when not using it. Warm air from heating system goes up chimney in winter. Squirrels, birds, bats, pterodactyls, raccoons come down it any time.
Ehhh, it could be a control I don't understand how it works, some sorta screw type? What happens when you pull, push, or turn it?
( Every time Stan Laurel pulled the damper a brick fell on Ollie's head.)

If damper not there, you need to have chimney and fireplace inspected before using. Who knows what else is missing, broken, or out of place. Be a good idea anyway, if you just moved in, still don't know what condition it is in. And this your first one you could overlook something obvious to others. Is there spark screen/rain cap up top? Could be things living up there.

joecaption 09-26-2012 08:27 PM

Looks like you also have some missing morter that really needs to be worked on also/
A fire place is about 10% efficient when running, it also sucks the warm air out of the other room for make up air.
May want to look into an insert for it with a blower if you plan to use it. Then you get real heat.

Lots of people opt for a gas insert. Then there's no having to deal with buying, storing, chipping the wood, No soot on the walls. Push a remote control button and you have instant heat.

notmrjohn 09-27-2012 07:53 AM

"chipping wood" joe has a very small fire place:wink:
Of course with a fire place, you get warm twice, first when you chop the wood, then when you burn it.
Most folks pro'lly don't look on fireplace as source of heat anymore. You could put a wide screen TV in there and DVD of all kinds of fires, oak, apple, pine,etc. , burn incense. No chopping.

KDOC 09-27-2012 07:56 AM

Thanks all for the info...I am going to repoint the inside of the fireplace with fireplace mortar and have a direct vent gas fireplace insert installed.. I don't have the gas line run yet and was wondering if these appliances are interchangeable between liquid propane and natural gas. The chimney was just cleaned yesterday. Also, how can I tell if there is a damper or if I need to have one installed? Thanks. Kevin

notmrjohn 09-27-2012 08:50 AM

Most gas appliances can be easily converted to run on LP. Some even come with connections for either and a quick switch between the two. When you buy the unit just make sure you tell dealer or installer what fuel you will use.

The damper if present is just a flat metal flap or door that usually lowers to close and raises to open. should be plainly visible if there. Move the handle see if anything else moves.

You shouldn't need chimney damper. Installer will most likely run pipe vent up chimney and block off rest of chimney. Make sure that is done.

With gas you do not need spark guard, but critter guard at top is needed, as well as rain cap. But top is where installer may block off chimney anyway. So rain and critters won't be coming in. If you think folks get excited when bat flies in, pterodactyls cause sheer pandemonium. Pandas cause sheer pterror.

propane inserts;

ddawg16 10-02-2012 01:55 PM really know how to dampen someone's enthusiasm just because the dam dampner is not where it is damned well supposed to be. Dam shame......

And then all the fear mongering....hey, even Pandas need a little dam attention now and then....

But does everyone get squirly if a squirrel gets past the dam'd missing dampner?

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