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  1. #1
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    Default burn on top of fireplace vent

    This is an 10 year-old condo. The gas fireplace vent is installed on the metal siding on the balcony. The burn and carbon residue on top of it.

    Is this normal or insufficient combustible possibly CO hazard or overheat? I recommend fireplace service.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Not normal. Call for a Level II inspection of the unit and install.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Thank you Nick.

    Level 2 inspection recommendation is always under my report. I should specify on this one although this could be covered by Condo strata.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Thank you Nick.

    Level 2 inspection recommendation is always under my report. I should specify on this one although this could be covered by Condo strata.
    Bonjour, Peter. There is no such animal as a Level II chimney inspection is Canada.
    In Canada, call for service by a gas heating contractor. Warn the occupants not to use the appliance until it is serviced or replaced.
    Sometimes the condo tenants association has a heating contractor who looks after all the gas fireplaces (not very well, if that's the case here). But a home inspector is not going to know this and doesn't need to know. Call for repair or replacement. That fireplace is dangerous.

    If you encounter a wood-burning fireplace or stove, in Canada, call for a WETT (wood energy technologist) inspection. I usually call for a chimney cleaning as well, because he can't inspect a dirty flue.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    we recommend a level-2 inspection by a qualified specialist within thecontingency period or before the close of escrow, as recommended by NAPA standards "uponthe sale or transfer of a property."

    Thank you John. I got the above from my mentor. I am going to look into this NAPA.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Hi John. This 4-story building is built by face sealed stucco(EIFS) in 2001. The first floor is commercial. You must know the infamous Leaky-condo in BC. But this building was not in that construction period. Also,I did not see anything wrong on the bilding envelop. I did ask client to read minutes & express a little concern on it although we do not need to cover the exterior wall. I believe the realtor can only request the last 2 years minutes, which may not enough. What would you do once you go across this case?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Actually there are 3 levels of a WETT inspection (Wood Energy Technical Transfer)

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    Hi John. This 4-story building is built by face sealed stucco(EIFS) in 2001. The first floor is commercial. You must know the infamous Leaky-condo in BC. But this building was not in that construction period. Also,I did not see anything wrong on the bilding envelop. I did ask client to read minutes & express a little concern on it although we do not need to cover the exterior wall. I believe the realtor can only request the last 2 years minutes, which may not enough. What would you do once you go across this case?
    I explain that this is a home inspection, not an engineer's building envelope inspection, which involves destructive testing and costs $$thousands.
    If the unit is on the weather side of the building, southwest or similar, check for moisture getting in around the windows. That's about all you can do for them in a residential home inspection.
    Look for flashing above the windows and expansion gaps between floors, those are good things. Look for patches where somebody has cut into the stucco and then patched it back up. Check around the balconies as well. Tell the client to ask to see the engineer's building envelope report. That 2 year rule is BS. If they want to BS a buyer, they can find another buyer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Actually there are 3 levels of a WETT inspection (Wood Energy Technical Transfer)
    Yeah, but If he calls for a WETT inspection of a gas FP, he will look kinda stoopid, eh?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  9. #9
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Yes no WETT on gas appliance installations. Call the gas company.


  10. #10
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    Mar 2011
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    Sparks,NV
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    The unit is sealed and might not pose a problem to the people inside but should be serviced by the gas company or a local gas fireplace installer. Often the logs or embers are misplaced and can cause impingement of the flame and cause the carbon deposits.

    Nevada IOS#1730
    Nevada Energy Auditor #30
    775-342-4767 www.homecsi.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Peter Louis,

    The photo of the appliance APPEARS to be displaying a flame, is that correct that you operated the appliance?

    The photo of the vent termination soot or burn pattern indicates a situation in which the appliance should NOT BE OPERATED and requires notification of the Safety Authority - IMMEDIATE Notification of the building owner, the Strata Managment, and the Condo owner, as well as the occupant to NOT USE the appliance and have it immediately checked out and reported.

    I can only guess that if you first visualized the vent termination, this obvious warning condition did not exist, then you went to operate the appliance, without having manufacturer's instructions and reviewing same, and THEN found this condition had just occured (NEAR MISS Level 2 or 3 manditory reporting condition *See B.C. specific document attached from your safety authority).....

    OR

    You failed to identify and visualize the vent terminal condition prior to your attempt at operating the appliance, did or did not have the manufacturer's instruction information, and did or did not follow the instructions (which would have informed you to NOT attempt to operate the appliance when such conditions are noted) and have had a Level 2 or Level 3 REPORTABLE to the AUTHORITY "Near Miss".

    IF that is indeed flame in the photo.

    The difference between a Level 2 Near Miss and a Level 3 Near Miss is how much it will cost to repair the damage and restore - the notifications and time frame and procedures are identical AFAIK.

    The picture interior also indicates questionable positioning of the face out of alignment, plumb vertical and square.

    Sooting on the logs and log positioning too far forward is also a warning sign.

    Location clearance minimum 4" or Mfg instructions clearance of logs to face glass, whichever is GREATER, If I'm recalling CSA B-149.1 2010 correctly..which I believe is presently effective in B.C. previously being 2005 edition with 2007 updates...I can't say for sure since I haven't had reason to follow most updates for your province in many years, nor maintain an extensive library or data base anymore.

    As a "person" having observed, I believe you are mandated to inform and notify. First via telephone, all relevant parties, next followed up in writing. I believe you are mandated to inform within 24 hours. As a "person" I believe you may also have been mandated to disable, i.e. turn off the gas valve, tag same, and apply a warning sign to the face of the appliance, I'm sure you know better how your laws work.


    Having discovered this appliance in an UNSAFE CONDITION you are mandated to report same I believe, since not just a detached single family home, your notifications would be extensive, especially with the building having public/commercial space as well. Having had a "near miss" occurance, you may well be further mandated to report it, I believe, at least according to the "plain reading" of the Safety Standards Act (B.C.) pertaining to Gas Technology, as you are a "person" and that condition photographed at the vent termination is an unsafe condition indicator.


    Unrepairable appliance
    54 (1) A person who finds any appliance or gas equipment beyond repair or in an unsafe condition must
    (a) place the appliance or gas equipment out of service, and
    (b) promptly notify a safety officer of its condition and location.
    (2) If the initial notification under subsection (1) (b) is verbal, it must be promptly confirmed by a written statement setting out the facts.
    above from: Safety Standards Act
    Gas Safety Regulation [includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 150/2011, August 12, 2011] . You can review it yourself here (clickable link): Gas Safety Regulation


    Most especiall See the attached Incident Reporting Requirements Gas Technologies (specfic to BC Canada) from your safety authority. Especially the level 2 & 3 entries for "Near Miss". It also contains contact information.

    The appliance at a minimum requires a full examination by a gas technician and service. It would be unsafe to operate until this is done and the damage has been fully explored and remediated.


    HTH.

    P.S. the post you made about your "mentor" and reference to "NAPA" the language sounds like U.S. language and the reference if that is correct is NFPA as in the National Fire Protection Association, "National" being U.S. not Canada. The documents are NFPA 211 and NFPA 54 they don't apply to Canadian requirements nor Canadian certifications.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 12-14-2011 at 09:07 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: burn on top of fireplace vent

    Great & detailed information. Thank you HG.

    Yes I did send an email & call the buyer to ask the seller to do the service on the fireplace.

    Frankly I did not think it was as serious as you mentioned. First I saw the vent. It made me uncomfortable. It was the first time I saw the burn (soot) on that kind of prefabricated vent. I thought it might be the coating burn residual on that metal pane siding. I turned on fireplace & did not see anything wrong. The fireplace seemed to be used by the seller regularly. But I finally called buyer. Possibly I have to follow up.


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