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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    145

    Default Gap between firebox and flue

    Inspected a new construction yesterday for a friend and found both fireplaces have a 1" gap between the top of the firebox and flue. Noticed the insulation when I looked up the chimney. The gas vent in the attic wasn't any better as the label says it requires 1.5" of air space between combustibles and insulation. Builder dropped by and I handed him my flashlight. He couldn't seem to find anything wrong. This builder told the buyer he was crazy to hire an inspector and he would charge him extra for anything found in my report.

    To add insult to injury, if the owner didn't die from carbon monoxide and the house caught on fire, the water pressure was only 30 psi. I pi$$ with more pressure than that!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    I'll guess that the builder will back down when push comes to shove.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Burnett View Post
    Inspected a new construction yesterday for a friend and found both fireplaces have a 1" gap between the top of the firebox and flue. Noticed the insulation when I looked up the chimney. The gas vent in the attic wasn't any better as the label says it requires 1.5" of air space between combustibles and insulation. Builder dropped by and I handed him my flashlight. He couldn't seem to find anything wrong. This builder told the buyer he was crazy to hire an inspector and he would charge him extra for anything found in my report.

    To add insult to injury, if the owner didn't die from carbon monoxide and the house caught on fire, the water pressure was only 30 psi. I pi$$ with more pressure than that!
    Two things come to mind. The first is could that white fuzzy stuff be part of a gasket where a collar attach's to the top of the firebox. And two is...on a well system 30 PSI is permissible on a 30-50 system just before the pump comes back on. Just tossing out ideas which may have no merit at all..


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    What was the make & model of the fireplace(s)? What did the installation instructions specify as to the manufactured chimney system specifications & requirements, and which accessories were allowed to be installed with "x" specifications?

    Clearly you have an air space proximity from combustibles AND building insulation conflict with the listed and labeled clearances from the Model SK chimney system componant(s) you photographed.

    The stockinged/socked foot upon finished flooring adjacent in the photograph suggests this is also upon a level/floor of occupied space - therefore this manufactured shimney should be firestopped, properly supported (this includes at the offsets) and in an enclosed chase to protect occupants and items having contact with the two-wall chimney system - protect the system from damage, and assure the air-space clearance from combustibles and building insulation is maintained.

    Make, model of manufactured fireplace - installation and operation manual will have its listed instructions, including specified manufactured chimney system, allowed accessories, etc. The manufactured fireplace or stove will have a plate containing this information and likely a serial number and/or date of manufacture as well as which standard it is listed under, and specifications for which accessores may be installed and how they may be installed.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-24-2011 at 05:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,445

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    "The stockinged/socked foot upon finished flooring adjacent in the photograph suggests this is also upon a level/floor of occupied space -"

    Gary can tell us for sure, but it looks to me that the inspector is in an unoccupied space, the attic.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,243

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    "The stockinged/socked foot upon finished flooring adjacent in the photograph suggests this is also upon a level/floor of occupied space -"

    Gary can tell us for sure, but it looks to me that the inspector is in an unoccupied space, the attic.
    I agree with Jack - that foot looks like it is standing on a 2x4 top plate, and just below it is 2x4 framing for the vent firestop.

    Sure looks like an attic to me too ... and I would not want to be the one walking in the attic without shoes.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Joe Richmond's Avatar
    Joe Richmond Guest

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    I have a couple of comments to add to your commentary:
    You said that the Builder didn't find anything wrong although you pointed out the discrepancy between the installed dimension versus the recommended installed dimension? Although the difference is small, it is enough to have a conversation with your client about. Namely warranty's and guarranty's. If there is an opportunity to address it prior to close , I would strongly recommend having your client (or since you state the client is a friend, you) contact the manufacturer of the product and have them send something in writing stating that the warranty is valid should anything go wrong with the product. That information should be presented to your client and have the agents/attorney/your friend decisde what is in their best interest.

    Secondly,
    Because we are dealing with fire and heating products, since it is your friend, either of you could definietly have a conversation with the local authority having jurisdiction with regards to fire protection and see what they have to say. At that time, your client/friend has enough information in order to make a sound decision.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    Be careful about calling out the top of the fireplace as a problem before checking the I & O manual, or possibly talking to the tech support guys. I've seen connections like that that were proper. Clearly though there is a clearance problem around the pipe.
    Jim Brewer


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    I couldn't find a manufacturer on either firebox to check the installation instructions and searched online for any manufacturer that would show that gap and none did. One of my main concerns was that when I put my finger through the insulation I could feel air flowing from somewhere. Since this was not an air cooled chimney I was concerned that it could be an escape route for carbon monoxide + a lot of heat.
    I always slip off the shoes when entering a home. The picture is in the attic. I wear socks about 90% of the time in the attic so I can feel the ceiling joists and flooring. Makes me a little more careful before I put down any weight and so far I haven't had to buy any sheetrock. I wear shoes when the attic is full of wood shingle debris and some of the older ones that have exposed joists. I don't walk across areas that would cause the insulation to be compacted either.
    The water supply isn't from a well, although this is a rural development outside of the city.


    "A lady from the Red Cross knocked on my door the other day and asked if I could help with the floods in Pakistan. I told her I would but my hose only reaches to the end of the driveway"........anonymous funny person


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Gap between firebox and flue

    Gary a good source of imformation on chimmys is fireplace stores that sell all the acessories also ask your local licence chimmy sweeps. as far as the water pressure yes it is low. does it seem low where it counts like the shower and taps inside? I hope there is no second story there. See if you can check with neighbours on water pressure too. see if theirs is low too.

    In regards to the builder he is blowing smoke to try and hide his screw ups. anyone who says that is scared someone will find something wrong with his work. A good builder stands behind his work so it can showcase how well he did his job, not run scared and try and charge extra cause he screwed things up.


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