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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Another Unusable Fireplace

    Picture taken from the bottom of the ash dump looking up.





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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Merle, did you forget to open the damper?

    No, ma, I didn't see no damper. I dunno why the house is filling with smoke.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Picture taken from the bottom of the ash dump looking up.



    It looks like a view from the cleanout (in the basement?) looking up to the bottom of the fireplace hearth. What you see, in addition to the hole cut from the plywood for the ash dump in the fireplace, is the wooden form that has been left in place. Wood under the fireplace hearth does represent a risk of fire and is not all that uncommon. However, you do deserve an attaboy for finding it. Most often it is too late when it has been identified. Ashley Eldridge CSIA Director of Education Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) | Plainfield, IN[/email] ashley@csia.org


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Ashley, check out this one I found back in September. http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...other-one.html

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Chicago
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Would anything prohibit this fireplace from being used with a vented gas log set-up?

    Mike Lamb
    Inspection Connection, Inc.
    http://www.inspection2020.com/

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    Ashley, check out this one I found back in September. http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...other-one.html
    That is scary! I do like your acknowledgement of the importance in checking for this problem area. Ashley Eldridge CSIA Director of Education Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) | Plainfield, IN


  7. #7
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    Jul 2009
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lamb View Post
    Would anything prohibit this fireplace from being used with a vented gas log set-up?
    Mike, the rule is that the fireplace must be functional before any modifications are made. That would be like saying that since my fireplace smokes when I burn wood I choose to install gas logs. That is not a good scenario since now you cannot see the exhaust entering the home. The fireplace is still performing the way it was, and heat transfer through the hearth will still be taking place. Ashley Eldridge CSIA Director of Education www.csia.org


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Near Philly, Pa.
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    Cool agree with Ashley

    Just to agree with Ashley, gas logs or even a gas direct vent insert are not repair items. They must state in their listed instructions that the appliance be installed in a fireplace suitable for burning wood or "working". They sometimes but don't always state the chimney and fireplace must meet a certain building code or std., which is usually impossible so there needs to be some leeway in interpreting what constitutes an acceptable fireplace and chimney for any heat producing appliance. Now, in a case like this, you might find a pellet insert mfr. for instance that has listed their product for use sitting on a combustible floor. In that case, this plywood would not prevent the installation of that insert. However, a woodstove makes way too much heat that concentrates at the floor and would never be an acceptable alternative.

    They can always install flowers, candles or a TV on a loop video of a fire and make it a "Manhattan fireplace".

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashley Eldridge View Post
    Mike, the rule is that the fireplace must be functional before any modifications are made. That would be like saying that since my fireplace smokes when I burn wood I choose to install gas logs. That is not a good scenario since now you cannot see the exhaust entering the home. The fireplace is still performing the way it was, and heat transfer through the hearth will still be taking place. Ashley Eldridge CSIA Director of Education www.csia.org
    This is what I tell buyers and realtors when somebody says to just convert the fireplace to gas. The problems are still there so a conversion to gas without addressing the current issues is not an acceptable workaround.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Nick, finally someone else using the camera for it's true purpose, thankyou.
    I have inspected at least 100 homes with that same problem. Some burnt and some not.
    Never miss a flue up and down when you can stick the camer in there.
    On the down side, HAHA iv'e found some interesting things in the ash pit also

    One day, homeowner never got off the phone.
    Kid was in jail in the playpen in the family room.
    I looked down the ash dump door and spotted 4 cell phones down there
    no ashes, fireplace had never been used.
    I looked at her and said " smart kid"
    she said " why do you say that?
    I said, have you been missing cell phones lately?
    She said" how didi you know that?
    i said," you never get off the phone"
    " the kid is starving for your attention"
    " so he threw all your cell phones down the hatch"
    she said" what?
    I said" what?"
    She said" WELL!!"
    and on she went yakking it up with her idiot friends.
    smart kid, i like that kid!!!
    true story


  11. #11
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    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Another Unusable Fireplace

    Got another. I showed this to the buyer and his friend was talking about opening up the ash dump chamber in the basement, getting up inside, and cutting out the wood. Good luck with that.



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

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