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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    BC Canada
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    Default rain dripping into fireplace vent

    The fireplace is working properly. The client told me water dripping into the fireplace when raining. I do not know it was wind blow rain or any rain causing this problem. How can we find out at inspection?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    if the client tells you it leaks, believe the client, and tell them what they need to do to fix it.
    Looks like a simple fix to me.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Louis View Post
    The fireplace is working properly. The client told me water dripping into the fireplace when raining. I do not know it was wind blow rain or any rain causing this problem. How can we find out at inspection?

    Thanks
    Research the fireplace unit for installation instructions before you go to the inspection if possible.

    Most through the wall direct vent terminations that I see have a rain diverter shield which I do not see in your photo.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    I would say "reported to be leaking" or some such indicating information received from others to get it in your report. You don't want to try to replicate rain conditions. Of course if you see direct evidence of water entry you include that.

    I don't doubt that someone here will say you can't include anything you don't directly observe, but I freely use things like: "seller indicates prior leakage in this area" or "neighbor reports repeated flooding in storm conditions".

    Mark Fisher
    Allegany Inspection Service - Cumberland MD 21502 - 301-722-2224
    Home Inspections, Mold Testing, Thermal Imaging

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    While working for HHT, leaking horizontal vent terminations was a big engineering problem. How do you make a termination/ firestop assembly that is simple and logic to install, has some sort of flashing lip across the top, drains condensation and frank water that has intruded, forms an acceptable weather seal so you don't get cold air infiltration complaints, and is removable for inspection and service. Now, when you apply those concepts to the termination shown, you quickly realize you cannot meet all those goals. What typically happens with this type termination is it gets caulke with silicone to the stucco and everyone's happy for a few days until it rains---or 5 years later when that section of the wall rots off and is full of goobers.

    This is not the time for a Band-Aid repair but by someone familiar with gas hearth appliances and hopefully this brand. As always, record the make, model, serial number and hopefully mfg. date code and forward with this recommendation. If you just recommend caulking you could be liable for all the sins of what's inside such as improperly joined vent pipe, inadequate clearance to combustibles, missing firestops or components, bird nests, water damage, air infiltration, etc.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    If the fake, stucco-on-OSB "chimney" box thing goes up past the roof, I would suspect the flashing up there, number one.

    I'll see if I have pics of that vent termination. I think they normally have a shield on top, as someone mentioned above.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    Thank you for all input. Yes, some direct vent/prefabricated chimney are like this as well as the last one. Normally they are fine. this one is leaking from the vent duct opening not the flashing/caulking on the wall. Unfortunately this was reported by the buyer other than seller a couple of months later after completion. I revisited client the only sign could be an indication is the rust on the vent collar. However, this could be condensate other than actual leaking. Therefore, I am wondering how can we find out the problem during the inspection other than after. Normally the seller w'ont tell us about this.

    Fortunately, the client did not complain. They wrapped vent with plastic & contact contractor.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Near Philly, Pa.
    Posts
    1,643

    Default Re: rain dripping into fireplace vent

    When the rain enters the fireplace through the vent it is often that the vent is pitched up too far. Some call for being level while others must be pitched 1/4" per foot. However, some designs do not have adequate means to control water intrusion into the vent. Remember you have two pipes so two places water can enter. You can still get water from the flashing/ caulking to follow the pipes and enter the fireplace making it appear to be from inside the vent.

    I hope they shut off the gas and disabled the controls before bagging that vent termination!

    Yes, call a pro

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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