Fireplace flue lever

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rockabilly
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Fireplace flue lever

Postby rockabilly » Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:21 pm

I moved into my first MCM about 7 weeks ago. a couple days ago I decided to look at the flue on the fireplace. apparently the inspector never looked at it because it is stuck open and the lever is broken. that said, it was converted by the previous over to an ugly gas fire log unit which I plan to replace with the fire glass as recommended here earlier.

my question is, is the flue lever and assembly something simple I can replace myself or should I call a local repair place to do it? should I get it closed permanently or get it 'working' again?

thanks in advance for advice!

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Postby egads » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:08 pm

For flue dampers stuck open, there is a unit made to mount to the top of the chimney. Is there a cover on the top of the chimney now? They are now recommended. They keep water out of the fireplace during rains. They also act as a spark arrestor. Something you don't need when using gas only. But keeping critters out is a good idea in any case.

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rockabilly
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Postby rockabilly » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:13 am

Hmm... thats actually a good point. I looked and there is no cover on top. Its a bit humorous that I was trying to figure out how a moth and a wasp got into my house recently given both were big and loud enough for me to notice them coming in the door with me. I'm betting they came thru the chimney! LOL

The top of the chimney has three terracotta tubes. Only one of them is functional as a vent hole. if I understand you correctly it might be cheaper just to get a 'plug' or cover.

question: if I get a plug or cover for the top, do I remove it when I turn on the gas log unit? I was let to believe that most gas units have permanently closed flu ducts.

anyway, thanks in advance for the advice and input!
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Postby eegs2k » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:05 am

you should have a chimney cap regardless of if your damper is working correctly or not, and no it doesn't get removed when you fire up the gas unit.

Another issue you'll have with the damper broken "open" is heat loss in the winter months.

Sometimes you can replace the level and fix it. I'd look into that or call a pro who can.

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Postby egads » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:57 am

I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. You can get a chimney cap that includes an operable damper. There's a chain that runs down the flue allowing you to open and close it. The other tiles may in fact be connected to other burning devices in your home like a water heater or furnace.

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Postby kjansma » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:28 pm

Our last house was built in 1941. The damper in our fireplace would never close all the way. When we went to sell the house, the inspector told us it was designed to not close all the way because there was one of those gas lighter things in the fireplace. I have no idea if this is true, but it allowed us to leave the damper alone and not have it considered something that should possibly be repaired. So, maybe yours is jammed open and the lever broken so that no one could close it all the way once the gas log set-up was installed.

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Postby Joe » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:47 am

my damper rusted open as well. I brought in a pro and the common solution is to install a cap on top of your chimney and run a chain down the flue on the inside of the fireplace the with a handle to open/close. works well and did not cost much. aesthetically, you cannot see it.

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Postby rockabilly » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:09 am

about how much does something like that run for pro install? thx in advance
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Postby Joe » Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:30 pm

it was under $200

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Postby danny leisure » Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:42 pm

If things aren't too corroded/rusty, I'm betting you could get in there and loosen up the existing damper. As far as the broken lever, it's probably a fairly simple matter of just unbolting and replacing the arm.

The chimney cap damper system will work alright, but I like having the damper down closer to the opening... not too mention it's nice to keep the original hardware operating if at all possible.

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Stephen
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Postby Stephen » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:30 pm

Stephen Meade
SoCal Realtor - DRE 01378749
Pacific West Assoc. of Realtors President-Elect
http://www.OCModHomes.com
http://www.CliffMaySocal.com
and
Cliff May Homeowner

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danny leisure
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Postby danny leisure » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:40 pm


egads
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Postby egads » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:11 pm

Goggles! Unless you want rusty metal in your eyes.
Even if a damper is working or can be fixed, having a chimney cap is important. Keeping the weather out of old masonry will help it last.

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danny leisure
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Postby danny leisure » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:15 pm


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Stephen
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Postby Stephen » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:16 pm

Stephen Meade

SoCal Realtor - DRE 01378749

Pacific West Assoc. of Realtors President-Elect

http://www.OCModHomes.com

http://www.CliffMaySocal.com

and

Cliff May Homeowner


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