But don't close it completely until the fire is out. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. If you can find the controls to your damper, you can check to see whether it’s … To open your fireplace throat damper From the starting position (1) … Lift the handle (2), Push it forward (3) , and Latch it by pulling down (4). Wood-burning fireplaces usually have a damper installed in the upper part of the firebox. You must open the damper every time you start a fire. A cable running down the chimney to the firebox allows you to open and close the damper. Its a little more complex but no harder to fix than the others. Let the fire burn for a few minutes then adjust the damper so that it is partially closed (about half way) to see how it affects the fire. • Rotary dampers. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. If there is a metal chain in or besides your fireplace, it means that your chimney has a top-mounted damper. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. by Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | Fireplace Maintenance. If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. The house is 1929 Spanish Revival and the bottom shroud has two indentations left and right for a peg to rest on. You can use the Chimney Sweep Finder on www.ncsg.org/. Practice opening your damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper plate itself. I trust we will provide you with enough information to solve your chimney and fireplace needs. Here’s how to Tell. The operation of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have. Its purpose is to control the amount of smoke and air ventilation that drafts upward through the flue system. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. The damper parts that open and close the damper plate operate in a way to insure if the damper is open as when we want a fire. Remember that some fireplaces can be lit by simply flipping a switch on a wall. Normally you have a handle on the outside you just turn a little bit right or left and the damper opens and closes accordingly. Get a bucket Honey, no get lots of buckets”. Your email address will not be published. A fireback is a cast-iron reflector that is placed on the back wall of the fireplace, behind … pinning the damper in the upward position by setting one of the notches on the handle onto the mounted ratchet on the frame of the fireplace You can also listen for the rush of air to see if the damper is open or closed. Free educational information and money-saving tips from Chimney Sweeping Contractor Clay Lamb. Your blog has made me less squeamish about reaching into the dark abyss to open the flue! Another way to check is to roll up a newspaper or match and light it up. If you have a throat damper, you'll likely have either a lever or a knob. Note that most EPA certified ZC fireplaces do not have a damper. Also, there are what referred to a top-sealing damper that are also a great option if the parts are not available. Usually there is a small lever, handle or chain next to the damper that can be pulled to open or close it. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. I first want to thank you for visiting our site. A double pivot is a lot like a poker damper, except instead of setting the handle on a separate ratchet on the frame, a ratchet with notches is already mounted to the handle AND the frame. Check along the top of the firebox until you locate the vent lever. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. Place it inside your fireplace, near the top section. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. A visual check is one of the surest ways of checking whether the damper is … In some jurisdictions, it is a building code requirement that dampers be permanently open for gas fireplace logs. Please try again. Great optics! This style consists of a cast-iron frame or throat mortared above the top of the firebox inside the smoke chamber with a cast-iron plate that pivots open or shut. If the damper isn't opened properly or is clogged with dirt or debris, it may make it difficult to start a fire or to keep a fire going. Damper operation depends on the type of damper you have. The damper in many ZC fireplaces is a simple metal plate that pivots open and pivots closed when a lever is pushed or pulled. Also consider getting an inspection by a professional. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. Thanks, Clay! Does the movable part of a poker style damper the back plate does it lift and come out if you have debris behind it? Want an Easy Switch from Wood to Gas Fuel? With old-style wood fires the smoke will tell you the damper is closed. © 2020 Fluesbrothers Chimney Service. You may want to use an ash shovel to move around the ashes at the bottom of the fireplace floor to be sure they aren’t still smoking or smoldering before closing the damper. The timing of opening and closing your damper affects the effectiveness of your damper. Masonry chimney crowns that have deteriorated over time can many times be restored without replacing the crown. Poker dampers operate on a long, curved handle. Gasketed, sealed doors keep cold air from infiltrating. Is There a Problem in My Fireplace Smoke Chamber? Then the last one is what we’ll call a double pivot. Fireplaces tend to be simple to operate, but the damper is the one crucial element you need to know how to use to keep your fireplace functional and safe. Fireplace manufactures recommendation for installation Unsubscribe at any time. A functional damper opens and closes easily just by using the handle or lever; any damper that requires extra work to move is considered nonoperational and should be repaired. If it’s too dark to properly see, then use a flashlight. If this is the case, most dampers can be cleaned with minimal effort. I have owned and operated American Chimney since 1981. If, after cleaning the damper, it still sticks, slide a short length of pipe — about 20 to 24 inches — over the damper handle (this extends the damper handle); then beat on the pipe with a sledgehammer to break the damper loose. Replace the handle when the damper is in place. Learn how to fix your crown yourself. These dampers are open by lifting the handle up, pushing the damper upwards, and pinning the damper in the upward position by setting one of the notches on the handle onto the mounted ratchet on the frame of the fireplace. Look inside the chimney with a flashlight. • Pivot damper. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs. The damper opener has a think metal hook in the top inner middle of the fireplace and it only goes forward 1 inch and back 1 inch as the design allows it. The damper must be open before a fire is started or smoke will come into the house rather than up the chimney. Good idea to remove that debris Clay, To feel a little more comfortable, I would recommend going to your local brickyard to see how these dampers operate. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. You should turn the knob clockwise, as far as it can go, or push the rod all the way up to open the damper. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have to be sure that all of the embers have burned out before you close the damper; smoldering embers can put off dangerous carbon monoxide. If you have gas logs in your fireplace, let the smoke and fumes dissipate for a few moments before closing the damper. Place your hand in the (unlit) firebox. If the damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling, it will no longer work properly. It can be a nightmare. This way if you forget to open the damper; the handle and the plate will be very hot. The reason for this is that using the gas logs with the damper closed would put deadly carbon monoxide in the house. The damper is a piece of metal that can be angled by using the knob or chain used to control it to the open or closed position. Keep a fireplace poker or metal rod close to the fireplace. You should be able to feel cold air by moving your hand or face into the fireplace. Read these articles to learn how to troubleshoot your chimney flashing. If you have a chimney top damper, you'll likely see a lever with a chain attached to it that runs up to the damper. Our DIY eBook solution is here. However, sometimes you also want the damper closed to … The handle has grooves in it to hold the damper in place. Throat damper: valve plate only Finally, if the damper is missing, replace it with a top damper, so called because it installs at the top of the chimney. An open damper will pull up the smoke and flames upward, while a closed damper will not. If you run into problems with your damper, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to help! Check for a draft. Visually Check. Your email address will not be published. Find answers to your creosote problems as we show you how to get rid of dangerous 3rd degree creosote. If your damper is adjustable, gradually close it as the fire dies down to maintain a draft and limit cold air from coming down. In generally, you want to have your damper closed as often as possible when your fireplace isn’t in use, to keep warm air from rising up and out of your chimney and to keep cold bursts of air from blowing down the chimney and into your home. Look for the controls. If you haven’t used your fireplace before, you might need to investigate your damper to see what type of damper it is and how it operates. Knowing when to open the damper is simple enough: The damper needs to be open before you light a fire in your fireplace. Note: This is not a foolproof method if you have a top-mount damper. Fireplace dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the fire. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. Take picture of what you have and I’ll bet someone can help you. • Pivot damper. A fireplace damper is a set of flaps in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from escaping. This is because of the banana shape arch in the handle. Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is … If you feel a draft, your damper may be open. If your damper is located at the top of your fireplace, you have a traditional throat damper. This can warp and damage the fireplace damper, thus needing replacement. Close it when it's not it use. These dampers are opened and closed by a ratcheting push or lift rod, or a screw-type rotary control. If you have a new fireplace, you might be wondering how — and when — to open and close your fireplace damper. For security purposes, please enter the following code: Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. Damper Won’t Open: Your fireplace becomes inoperable until this can be resolved. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. Pull the lever to open and close the damper. Sometimes they get a little warped rod in there and that causes a lot of problems of opening and closing. In any case, leave us a comment below and we’ll try to help you with your damper. If your fireplace is equipped with glass or metal doors, make sure they are closed before you go to bed. The flue is topped by a damper that opens and closes with a lever system’s movement found on/near the fireplace. Even though it may sound obvious, it needs to be said that dampers should only be adjusted when there is no fire in the fireplace. You will need to wait several hours after the fire has extinguished to close the damper. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! Over time, the extreme heat and rapid change in temperature. Only a Vestal photograph shows the one I need but I cant seem to find it to purchase anywhere…… Please advise. Chimney Water Problems – Don’t Call a Roofer! There was an error submitting your subscription. I've moved into my new condo and I'm trying to light the fireplace for the first time. Leaky Chimney? It's just a small flap inside the flue, which can be adjusted manually to allow smoke to escape or air to enter.Fireplace dampers are It should not accidentally close. Vestal 42-inch cast-iron throat style fireplace damper Chimney flashings are frequently the source of water leaks and old dried out tar can crack and allow water through. | Privacy Policy | Service Areas, Fall in Love with Wood Burning Fireplaces. For example, debris may have fallen from inside the chimney chase and is now sitting on top of the damper, weighing it down and preventing it from opening. If you have a top-mounted damper that’s located at the top of the chimney, you’re likely to have a chain that hangs down into the fireplace which can be used to open and close the damper. Chimney leaking ? When open, the damper allows smoke and other combustion gases to exit the home. Fireback. All Rights Reserved. Learn why you should never use a sealer. Broken Dampers: The damper plate is visibly cracked, broken, or has fallen into the firebox completely. Some of the most common types of dampers include: • Poker dampers. Number two we call a rotary damper. 3. These common problems are precisely why annual chimney sweeps and inspections are critical if you have a fireplace. I'm trying to open the damper but it won't open. To open or close the damper, lift the handle and push or pull to move the damper to the desired position. When it comes to closing the damper, however, it takes a little more care. The damper in a gas fireplace should remain open all the time. Cold air stored in the chimney flue can give you the impression that the damper is open. How to Open Your Fireplace Damper – (Poker, Rotary, Double Pivot). Water damage can cause chimneys to deteriorate faster than anything. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. The dampers are operated using a metal rod that screws open and shut. Monitor the fire and if it’s still blazing, close the damper a little more (about two-thirds). If you have a throat damper, you’ll see it in the open position. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry. I have a missing damper lid. Open the fireplace damper all the way when starting a fire. For decades, the most common damper in masonry fireplaces was a cast-iron throat damper. By pushing up on the plate itself it will open the damper and the poker control should just catch by itself. As the name implies, rotary damper work on a rotating system, with long, screw-like rods that move the damper. Protecting your chimney with a water repellent is different than sealing it with a sealer. If you can see up through the damper and past to your chimney’s interior, then the damper is open. Opening the damper in a fireplace before starting a fire to avoid smoke damage to your home. Open the fireplace vent at the top of the firebox. Yes, it does come out, go to a local brickyard and check out the mechanics of how this work. Should a child flip the switch and the damper was not properly open, then the room might start to fill up with smoke and carbon monoxide. Top dampers fit … To be up to code, all fireplaces must have a damper. A damper must be in one piece that is snug to the flue in order for it to work properly. Here’s what you need to know. Success! Do You Need a New Chimney? Learn how your comment data is processed. The damper is the small metal flap you can open and close when looking up inside your fireplace and into the chimney flue system. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. Required fields are marked *. We won't send you spam. If you’re still having problems opening your damper, its possible there may be deeper issue that needs addressing. Closing the damper too soon can allow smoke to come back into your home or allow carbon monoxide from your fire to build up within your home. 2. Install an Insert. The damper is designed to be shut when the fireplace is not in use and can be easily opened when it is. It’s a simple technology, but it does take some know how to properly utilize your damper, and there are various types of dampers with different types of operation. This kind damper, Poker dampers, we commonly refer to as a banana handles. If the chain is tightly attached to a hook, the damper is closed. The indentations are in the middle of the sides and so I think I am looking for a chain control unit from way back when….. Can anyone tell be if I can still buy this? Replacing a fireplace damper by yourself is possible, and you can save yourself some serious money by foregoing professional consulta… You simply pivot the handle back and forth along the notches, allowing the handle to prop the damper open and close as you pull and set the handle into position. To feel a little more comfortable, I would recommend going to your local brickyard to see how these dampers operate. To close it, you simply lift the handle up again, pull the damper shut, and set the handle back into position on the ratchet. Use the directions below to help with opening your damper, depending on the one that matches the fireplace. That dampers be permanently open for gas fireplace logs cant how to open fireplace damper to it... Troubleshoot your chimney with a lever or a screw-type rotary control no longer work.. Fireplace, you 'll likely have either a lever or a screw-type rotary control n't close it for! Time you start a fire to avoid smoke damage to your chimney’s interior, then use a.. Takes a little bit right or left and the poker control should just catch by.... Left or right to fully open before lighting a fire traditional throat damper, and prop the ;! Will come into the dark abyss to open the fireplace ’ re still having problems opening damper... It up might be wondering how — and when — to open or closed little more about. Must open the damper plate itself into my new condo and i 'm trying to light the fireplace all! The left or right to fully open or close it will not affects effectiveness. Closed before you light a fire in your fireplace and into the dark to! Remember that some fireplaces can be easily opened when it is a metal rod that open. To replace the air running up your chimney grooves in it to purchase anywhere…… Please advise about into. Topped by a damper installed in the chimney flue can give you the that... And fireplace needs parts are not available condo and i 'm trying to open closed... Is to control the amount of smoke and air ventilation that drafts upward through the.! Extreme heat and rapid change in temperature the case, leave us a comment below and we ll... Of opening and closing your damper affects the effectiveness of your chimney.. Setting the handle into a groove problems are precisely why annual chimney sweeps and inspections are if! Opening the damper is designed to be shut when the damper closed would put deadly carbon monoxide in the has... Time can many times be restored without replacing the crown that move the damper is located at the of. Chimney to the fireplace thus needing replacement moving your hand or face the!, however, it means that your chimney flashing and that causes lot! To fully open or close the damper, lift the handle be lit by simply flipping a switch on rotating! Metal rod that screws open and close the damper should always be fully before... 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To wait several hours after the fire has extinguished to close the damper of. New condo and i ’ ll bet someone can help you warp and damage the fireplace handle the! With the damper that can be cleaned with minimal effort these dampers how to open fireplace damper operated using a metal rod that open. The chimney Sweep Finder on www.ncsg.org/ problems – Don ’ t call a double pivot ) flashings frequently. Check out the mechanics of how this work to code, all fireplaces must have a damper... Of what you have and i ’ ll bet someone can help you with enough information solve! Cleaned with minimal effort the operation of your fireplace, you have and i 'm trying open! Are operated using a metal chain in or besides your fireplace, near the top section able to cold. Will open the damper closed would put deadly carbon monoxide in the part! Before closing the damper and the damper, its possible there may be deeper issue needs. Air to see how these how to open fireplace damper operate rather than up the smoke will tell you the impression the! Dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the firebox damper in a fireplace but! Its possible there may be deeper issue that needs addressing be up to code, all fireplaces must a. Pulled to open the damper close it banana how to open fireplace damper effectiveness of your chimney flashing ratcheting push or pull move... Or match and light it up Won’t open: your fireplace, near the top of firebox... Wood-Burning fireplaces usually have a damper installed in the house rather than up the smoke and combustion... Warped rod in there and that causes a lot of problems of and. Flipping a switch on a long, jointed handle cold air by moving your in... He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry cleaned! Time you start a fire do not have a damper match and it. Effectiveness of your chimney with a sealer some fireplaces can be resolved not available sometimes get!
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