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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    37

    Default Stone fireplace construction

    This fireplace was spotted today in the basement of home built in 1958. Note the custom combustible hearth. Construction, including firebox, is stone with a concrete block and brick base. It is my understanding that a firebox does not actually need to be constructed of firebrick. It can be made from stone but must meet other requirements including thicker back and side walls. This set up including connection to chimney just feels wrong. Unit does not have a damper, either. Any thoughts on this fireplace construction and flu connections are appreciated.

    My apologies for the grainy fireplace pic. Photos were from my Blackberry. I was dropping off radon monitors when I noticed the fireplace. Will be back Thursday for the home inspection.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    As the kids say, OMG!
    Are those all going into the same flue?!
    You bet the whole thing just feels wrong!

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    Regular B vent is not allowed.
    There are many guidelines to be followed and I agree this looks all wrong.
    Everything you wish to know seems to be in a read only guide found at this link at the National Fire Protection Association.
    NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances
    Just do a fast signup.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    I imagine there is a gas furnace behind that water heater? If so, the fireplace connection should be removed, pronto. It would need to be on its own flue, besides all the other screwups.
    Where I live, relatively cheap hydro, I would recommend installing an electric fireplace insert, 120 volts, no chimney.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 02-14-2011 at 09:43 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    As the kids say, OMG!
    Are those all going into the same flue?!
    You bet the whole thing just feels wrong!
    LOL!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

    That install is DOA.

    Last edited by Nick Ostrowski; 02-15-2011 at 01:25 PM.
    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NY Finger Lakes Area
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    There is a gas line entering the rear of the "fireplace"--was it ever intended to have any thing other than a set of gas logs?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    Thank all.

    I guess I couldn't see the forest through the trees. A lot going on but to not pinpoint the furnace/fireplace connection...That's the beauty of doing the radon placement two days prior to inspection. You get this free preview and lots time to research.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    There is a gas line entering the rear of the "fireplace"--was it ever intended to have any thing other than a set of gas logs?
    Up to this point it been gas only but who is to stop someone from taking the gas logs out and burning wood.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Williams View Post
    Thank all.

    I guess I couldn't see the forest through the trees. A lot going on but to not pinpoint the furnace/fireplace connection...That's the beauty of doing the radon placement two days prior to inspection. You get this free preview and lots time to research.

    Up to this point it been gas only but who is to stop someone from taking the gas logs out and burning wood.
    Eric, I would love to use these three photos in presentations of what not to do. If that's OK, can you send high resolution photos. Thanks. fred@homeinspectionsofmn.com

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Winfield, IL
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Stone fireplace construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Comb View Post
    Eric, I would love to use these three photos in presentations of what not to do. If that's OK, can you send high resolution photos. Thanks. fred@homeinspectionsofmn.com
    Fred,

    Check your email. Photos on the way.

    Last edited by Eric Williams; 02-15-2011 at 09:38 AM.

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