Fireplace question

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Otahyoni

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Anyone know about fireplaces? I have one that i've never used. It doesn't have a damper.

I lit a piece of paper and even with it at the back smoke drifted out into the room. Is this normal? I assume not....

If it works properly i mihgt use it to offset the heating bill, but not if it's going to be a huge headache... What say you?
 

havasu

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You better make sure the chimney stack is open and void of any bird nests, dead racoons, and old, unneeded moderators! :eek: If you can't draw the smoke up the chimney, don't use it until it is inspected by a professional, who usually wears black top hats in my area.
 

Chris

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Make sure the flue (SP) or whatever it is called is open. Sometimes when it is real cold you will need to hold the lit newspaper up into the chimney a bit to warm the air and start a vacumn.
 

Otahyoni

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We weren't going to start a fire until it's been cleaned and inspected. I just wanted to make sure i wasn't wasting $125 doing that only to find a major problem.

I can get wood for free and last winter our gas bill was outrageous....
 

majakdragon

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Even if the chimney was clear, this doesn't mean the chimney is in proper condition to operate. The fee to make sure is well worth it. This is especially true since you have never used it. My Sister had one that they used for 5 years, and then one night they smelled some weird odors. The chimney had a crack and it was the paint on a closet wall getting extremly hot that caused the paint to smell.
 

speedbump

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You can always lay on your back and look up the chimney with a flashlight. If it looks clear all the way up, it should work, but I agree that an inspection by a pro is a good idea. House fires are pretty devastating.
 

BRad704

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Make sure the flue (SP) or whatever it is called is open. .
This... I can remember only 1 time that the flue got bumped closed and dad lit a fire... house full of smoke, and its hard to reach in and open it when you don't know exactly what you are reaching for, and there's a fire in the way
 

speedbump

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Then there was the time my wife threw one of those big candles into the fire. Once it started melting and burning, here came the flaming wax right out onto the mantle. It got real close to going on the tile floor (thankfully not carpet) then slowly burned up. Got a little tense there for a while!
 

Otahyoni

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Well..... big problem.... One of the previous owners put a 2" thick cement cap on the chimney....For the repairs that need done, it'll cost $350 which means i won't be saving money after the effort to get wood and the repairs....

Now i really need to think about fixing it at all (only needed to have a fire).... :(
 

Chris

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Do it yourself and it will be free or cheap and you will learn something. Fireplaces are simple things and dont cost much to put together. If it cost 350 to have someone else do it I cant se it being much to do yourself.
 

BRad704

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Well..... big problem.... One of the previous owners put a 2" thick cement cap on the chimney....For the repairs that need done, it'll cost $350 which means i won't be saving money after the effort to get wood and the repairs....

Now i really need to think about fixing it at all (only needed to have a fire).... :(
I'm with Chris on the DIY, but that's just me...

Is it common to have cement caps put on chimneys? If someone wanted to cap it, that seems like the stupidest way they could have done it. Perhaps it is a pre-fab cap and can be removed without just breaking it...
 

Otahyoni

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I don't know much about them... The guy that inspected it said it would need to be broken up and removed. (He jokingly said it'd need a jackhammer...)

As far as the DIY, see my above post.
 

havasu

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I once repaired about 3' of a chimney that had been damaged by the Northridge Earthquake. I reused the original bricks and used a bag of mortar mix. It turned out to be a fun little project and to my knowledge, is still working OK for the residents....that is unless they died of carbon monoxide and have turned to dried up cadavers, and this is why I didn't receive a call back!
 

phishfood

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I hate it when that happens. Cuts into the pool of repeat customers.
 

Mr_David

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Maybe he capped it for a reason.
Probably didn't like Christmas and was trying to keep Santa out.:rolleyes:
 

Chris

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So did you ever fix it or are you still paying the man for warmth?
 
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