Gasketed, sealed doors keep cold air from infiltrating. 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. Learn how to fix your crown yourself. 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. Cold air stored in the chimney flue can give you the impression that the damper is open. Top dampers fit … 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. 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. © 2020 Fluesbrothers Chimney Service. As the name implies, rotary damper work on a rotating system, with long, screw-like rods that move the damper. These dampers are opened and closed by a ratcheting push or lift rod, or a screw-type rotary control. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. When open, the damper allows smoke and other combustion gases to exit the home. 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. It should not accidentally close. Place it inside your fireplace, near the top section. I've moved into my new condo and I'm trying to light the fireplace for the first time. Wood-burning fireplaces usually have a damper installed in the upper part of the firebox. 3. How to Open Your Fireplace Damper – (Poker, Rotary, Double Pivot). If you can find the controls to your damper, you can check to see whether it’s … You should turn the knob clockwise, as far as it can go, or push the rod all the way up to open the damper. The damper in many ZC fireplaces is a simple metal plate that pivots open and pivots closed when a lever is pushed or pulled. If you run into problems with your damper, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to help! 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. The handle has grooves in it to hold the damper in place. Only a Vestal photograph shows the one I need but I cant seem to find it to purchase anywhere…… Please advise. Damper operation depends on the type of damper you have. Required fields are marked *. 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. To be up to code, all fireplaces must have a damper. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. Learn why you should never use a sealer. Learn how your comment data is processed. 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. Please try again. Fireback. Number two we call a rotary damper. Water damage can cause chimneys to deteriorate faster than anything. Broken Dampers: The damper plate is visibly cracked, broken, or has fallen into the firebox completely. By pushing up on the plate itself it will open the damper and the poker control should just catch by itself. If your damper is located at the top of your fireplace, you have a traditional throat damper. 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. Leaky Chimney? Look for the controls. 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). If you’re still having problems opening your damper, its possible there may be deeper issue that needs addressing. Find answers to your creosote problems as we show you how to get rid of dangerous 3rd degree creosote. 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. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. Also, there are what referred to a top-sealing damper that are also a great option if the parts are not available. If the damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling, it will no longer work properly. A damper must be in one piece that is snug to the flue in order for it to work properly. 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 To open or close the damper, lift the handle and push or pull to move the damper to the desired position. In some jurisdictions, it is a building code requirement that dampers be permanently open for gas fireplace logs. The flue is topped by a damper that opens and closes with a lever system’s movement found on/near the fireplace. The damper in a gas fireplace should remain open all the time. Here’s how to Tell. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. If your fireplace is equipped with glass or metal doors, make sure they are closed before you go to bed. A fireplace damper is a set of flaps in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from escaping. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. Is There a Problem in My Fireplace Smoke Chamber? 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. An open damper will pull up the smoke and flames upward, while a closed damper will not. 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. 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. Usually there is a small lever, handle or chain next to the damper that can be pulled to open or close it. Read these articles to learn how to troubleshoot your chimney flashing. The operation of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have. 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 Damper Won’t Open: Your fireplace becomes inoperable until this can be resolved. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. Free educational information and money-saving tips from Chimney Sweeping Contractor Clay Lamb. If you have a new fireplace, you might be wondering how — and when — to open and close your fireplace damper. I have owned and operated American Chimney since 1981. 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. | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! If it’s too dark to properly see, then use a flashlight. Check for a draft. If you can see up through the damper and past to your chimney’s interior, then the damper is open. 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. Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is … Do You Need a New Chimney? If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. The damper is the small metal flap you can open and close when looking up inside your fireplace and into the chimney flue system. 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. Place your hand in the (unlit) firebox. Chimney Water Problems – Don’t Call a Roofer! Great optics! Fireplace dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the fire. For decades, the most common damper in masonry fireplaces was a cast-iron throat damper. Take picture of what you have and I’ll bet someone can help you. Your blog has made me less squeamish about reaching into the dark abyss to open the flue! Our DIY eBook solution is here. Replace the handle when the damper is in place. Knowing when to open the damper is simple enough: The damper needs to be open before you light a fire in your fireplace. You should be able to feel cold air by moving your hand or face into the fireplace. Get a bucket Honey, no get lots of buckets”. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. 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. If there is a metal chain in or besides your fireplace, it means that your chimney has a top-mounted damper. Poker dampers operate on a long, curved handle. Replacing a fireplace damper by yourself is possible, and you can save yourself some serious money by foregoing professional consulta… It can be a nightmare. Practice opening your damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper plate itself. You can also listen for the rush of air to see if the damper is open or closed. Success! Install an Insert. Open the fireplace vent at the top of the firebox. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. Keep a fireplace poker or metal rod close to the fireplace. by Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | Fireplace Maintenance. 2. Your email address will not be published. I'm trying to open the damper but it won't open. Vestal 42-inch cast-iron throat style fireplace damper This kind damper, Poker dampers, we commonly refer to as a banana handles. Some of the most common types of dampers include: • Poker dampers. Note that most EPA certified ZC fireplaces do not have a damper. There was an error submitting your subscription. 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. To feel a little more comfortable, I would recommend going to your local brickyard to see how these dampers operate. The damper is designed to be shut when the fireplace is not in use and can be easily opened when it is. Visually Check. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. Chimney flashings are frequently the source of water leaks and old dried out tar can crack and allow water through. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs. • Rotary dampers. 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. Your email address will not be published. Thanks, Clay! A fireback is a cast-iron reflector that is placed on the back wall of the fireplace, behind … Pull the lever to open and close the damper. Unsubscribe at any time. Look inside the chimney with a flashlight. Then the last one is what we’ll call a double pivot. Remember that some fireplaces can be lit by simply flipping a switch on a wall. 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