In any case, leave us a comment below and we’ll try to help you with your damper. The damper in many ZC fireplaces is a simple metal plate that pivots open and pivots closed when a lever is pushed or pulled. I've moved into my new condo and I'm trying to light the fireplace for the first time. If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. You simply pivot the handle back and forth along the notches, allowing the handle to prop the damper open and close as you pull and set the handle into position. Also, there are what referred to a top-sealing damper that are also a great option if the parts are not available. Open the fireplace vent at the top of the firebox. Damper Won’t Open: Your fireplace becomes inoperable until this can be resolved. Top dampers fit … • Pivot damper. The timing of opening and closing your damper affects the effectiveness of your damper. The damper opener has a think metal hook in the top inner middle of the fireplace and it only goes forward 1 inch and back 1 inch as the design allows it. The dampers are operated using a metal rod that screws open and shut. The damper is designed to be shut when the fireplace is not in use and can be easily opened when it is. A visual check is one of the surest ways of checking whether the damper is … Poker dampers operate on a long, curved handle. Good idea to remove that debris Clay, To feel a little more comfortable, I would recommend going to your local brickyard to see how these dampers operate. Remember that some fireplaces can be lit by simply flipping a switch on a wall. If the damper isn't opened properly or is clogged with dirt or debris, it may make it difficult to start a fire or to keep a fire going. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have to be sure that all of the embers have burned out before you close the damper; smoldering embers can put off dangerous carbon monoxide. 3. Look for the controls. If the damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling, it will no longer work properly. 2. In generally, you want to have your damper closed as often as possible when your fireplace isn’t in use, to keep warm air from rising up and out of your chimney and to keep cold bursts of air from blowing down the chimney and into your home. A cable running down the chimney to the firebox allows you to open and close the damper. Even though it may sound obvious, it needs to be said that dampers should only be adjusted when there is no fire in the fireplace. Leaky Chimney? Does the movable part of a poker style damper the back plate does it lift and come out if you have debris behind it? You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. You should turn the knob clockwise, as far as it can go, or push the rod all the way up to open the damper. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. pinning the damper in the upward position by setting one of the notches on the handle onto the mounted ratchet on the frame of the fireplace A functional damper opens and closes easily just by using the handle or lever; any damper that requires extra work to move is considered nonoperational and should be repaired. Your email address will not be published. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. Fireplace manufactures recommendation for installation The operation of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have. It can be a nightmare. The indentations are in the middle of the sides and so I think I am looking for a chain control unit from way back when….. Can anyone tell be if I can still buy this? © 2020 Fluesbrothers Chimney Service. If your damper is located at the top of your fireplace, you have a traditional throat damper. Great optics! Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is … These dampers are opened and closed by a ratcheting push or lift rod, or a screw-type rotary control. Install an Insert. Another way to check is to roll up a newspaper or match and light it up. If you can see up through the damper and past to your chimney’s interior, then the damper is open. Close it when it's not it use. Note that most EPA certified ZC fireplaces do not have a damper. However, sometimes you also want the damper closed to … A fireback is a cast-iron reflector that is placed on the back wall of the fireplace, behind … The damper is a piece of metal that can be angled by using the knob or chain used to control it to the open or closed position. Vestal 42-inch cast-iron throat style fireplace damper Place your hand in the (unlit) firebox. Check for a draft. Note: This is not a foolproof method if you have a top-mount damper. Broken Dampers: The damper plate is visibly cracked, broken, or has fallen into the firebox completely. Get a bucket Honey, no get lots of buckets”. | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! Sometimes they get a little warped rod in there and that causes a lot of problems of opening and closing. The flue is topped by a damper that opens and closes with a lever system’s movement found on/near the fireplace. With old-style wood fires the smoke will tell you the damper is closed. Wood-burning fireplaces usually have a damper installed in the upper part of the firebox. Fireback. Want an Easy Switch from Wood to Gas Fuel? If you feel a draft, your damper may be open. This can warp and damage the fireplace damper, thus needing replacement. You should be able to feel cold air by moving your hand or face into the fireplace. To open or close the damper, lift the handle and push or pull to move the damper to the desired position. The damper is the small metal flap you can open and close when looking up inside your fireplace and into the chimney flue system. Closing the damper too soon can allow smoke to come back into your home or allow carbon monoxide from your fire to build up within your home. Over time, the extreme heat and rapid change in temperature. Your email address will not be published. If you have a top-mounted damper that’s located at the top of the chimney, you’re likely to have a chain that hangs down into the fireplace which can be used to open and close the damper. Replace the handle when the damper is in place. If your damper is adjustable, gradually close it as the fire dies down to maintain a draft and limit cold air from coming down. If you can find the controls to your damper, you can check to see whether it’s … Only a Vestal photograph shows the one I need but I cant seem to find it to purchase anywhere…… Please advise. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. As the name implies, rotary damper work on a rotating system, with long, screw-like rods that move the damper. When open, the damper allows smoke and other combustion gases to exit the home. There was an error submitting your subscription. Fireplace dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the fire. Cold air stored in the chimney flue can give you the impression that the damper is open. We won't send you spam. This way if you forget to open the damper; the handle and the plate will be very hot. You can use the Chimney Sweep Finder on www.ncsg.org/. The damper in a gas fireplace should remain open all the time. If you have a throat damper, you'll likely have either a lever or a knob. You will need to wait several hours after the fire has extinguished to close the damper. Do You Need a New Chimney? Unsubscribe at any time. Check along the top of the firebox until you locate the vent lever. by Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | Fireplace Maintenance. If you’re still having problems opening your damper, its possible there may be deeper issue that needs addressing. Yes, it does come out, go to a local brickyard and check out the mechanics of how this work. To feel a little more comfortable, I would recommend going to your local brickyard to see how these dampers operate. Here’s what you need to know. Replacing a fireplace damper by yourself is possible, and you can save yourself some serious money by foregoing professional consulta… A fireplace damper is a set of flaps in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from escaping. Thanks, Clay! This is because of the banana shape arch in the handle. I have owned and operated American Chimney since 1981. Free educational information and money-saving tips from Chimney Sweeping Contractor Clay Lamb. Chimney leaking ? Please try again. All Rights Reserved. A damper must be in one piece that is snug to the flue in order for it to work properly. In some jurisdictions, it is a building code requirement that dampers be permanently open for gas fireplace logs. Monitor the fire and if it’s still blazing, close the damper a little more (about two-thirds). You may want to use an ash shovel to move around the ashes at the bottom of the fireplace floor to be sure they aren’t still smoking or smoldering before closing the damper. An open damper will pull up the smoke and flames upward, while a closed damper will not. This kind damper, Poker dampers, we commonly refer to as a banana handles. To close it, you simply lift the handle up again, pull the damper shut, and set the handle back into position on the ratchet. Number two we call a rotary damper. Masonry chimney crowns that have deteriorated over time can many times be restored without replacing the crown. Take picture of what you have and I’ll bet someone can help you. Visually Check. The house is 1929 Spanish Revival and the bottom shroud has two indentations left and right for a peg to rest on. Should a child flip the switch and the damper was not properly open, then the room might start to fill up with smoke and carbon monoxide. Keep a fireplace poker or metal rod close to the fireplace. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. If the chain is tightly attached to a hook, the damper is closed. If, after cleaning the damper, it still sticks, slide a short length of pipe — about 20 to 24 inches — over the damper handle (this extends the damper handle); then beat on the pipe with a sledgehammer to break the damper loose. Gasketed, sealed doors keep cold air from infiltrating. Pull the lever to open and close the damper. Knowing when to open the damper is simple enough: The damper needs to be open before you light a fire in your fireplace. If there is a metal chain in or besides your fireplace, it means that your chimney has a top-mounted damper. Throat damper: valve plate only Finally, if the damper is missing, replace it with a top damper, so called because it installs at the top of the chimney. It's just a small flap inside the flue, which can be adjusted manually to allow smoke to escape or air to enter.Fireplace dampers are Also consider getting an inspection by a professional. If it’s too dark to properly see, then use a flashlight. Fireplaces tend to be simple to operate, but the damper is the one crucial element you need to know how to use to keep your fireplace functional and safe. Use the directions below to help with opening your damper, depending on the one that matches the fireplace. Then the last one is what we’ll call a double pivot. The reason for this is that using the gas logs with the damper closed would put deadly carbon monoxide in the house. A double pivot is a lot like a poker damper, except instead of setting the handle on a separate ratchet on the frame, a ratchet with notches is already mounted to the handle AND the frame. Find answers to your creosote problems as we show you how to get rid of dangerous 3rd degree creosote. Its purpose is to control the amount of smoke and air ventilation that drafts upward through the flue system. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. To open your fireplace throat damper From the starting position (1) … Lift the handle (2), Push it forward (3) , and Latch it by pulling down (4). Chimney flashings are frequently the source of water leaks and old dried out tar can crack and allow water through. Protecting your chimney with a water repellent is different than sealing it with a sealer. These common problems are precisely why annual chimney sweeps and inspections are critical if you have a fireplace. If you run into problems with your damper, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to help! He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry. Practice opening your damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper plate itself. Required fields are marked *. Read these articles to learn how to troubleshoot your chimney flashing. I have a missing damper lid. Look inside the chimney with a flashlight. Is There a Problem in My Fireplace Smoke Chamber? Water damage can cause chimneys to deteriorate faster than anything. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. But don't close it completely until the fire is out. Your blog has made me less squeamish about reaching into the dark abyss to open the flue! The handle has grooves in it to hold the damper in place. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs. • Pivot damper. You can also listen for the rush of air to see if the damper is open or closed. Chimney Water Problems – Don’t Call a Roofer! When it comes to closing the damper, however, it takes a little more care. For security purposes, please enter the following code: Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. Damper operation depends on the type of damper you have. • Rotary dampers. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. Open the fireplace damper all the way when starting a fire. I trust we will provide you with enough information to solve your chimney and fireplace needs. Some of the most common types of dampers include: • Poker dampers. Place it inside your fireplace, near the top section. Let the fire burn for a few minutes then adjust the damper so that it is partially closed (about half way) to see how it affects the fire. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. For decades, the most common damper in masonry fireplaces was a cast-iron throat damper. I first want to thank you for visiting our site. You must open the damper every time you start a fire. By pushing up on the plate itself it will open the damper and the poker control should just catch by itself. If you have a throat damper, you’ll see it in the open position. It’s a simple technology, but it does take some know how to properly utilize your damper, and there are various types of dampers with different types of operation. Usually there is a small lever, handle or chain next to the damper that can be pulled to open or close it. | Privacy Policy | Service Areas, Fall in Love with Wood Burning Fireplaces. Learn why you should never use a sealer. Learn how your comment data is processed. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. These dampers are open by lifting the handle up, pushing the damper upwards, and pinning the damper in the upward position by setting one of the notches on the handle onto the mounted ratchet on the frame of the fireplace. Our DIY eBook solution is here. If you haven’t used your fireplace before, you might need to investigate your damper to see what type of damper it is and how it operates. Its a little more complex but no harder to fix than the others. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. It should not accidentally close. How to Open Your Fireplace Damper – (Poker, Rotary, Double Pivot). For example, debris may have fallen from inside the chimney chase and is now sitting on top of the damper, weighing it down and preventing it from opening. Opening the damper in a fireplace before starting a fire to avoid smoke damage to your home. Success! Learn how to fix your crown yourself. I'm trying to open the damper but it won't open. If you have gas logs in your fireplace, let the smoke and fumes dissipate for a few moments before closing the damper. If this is the case, most dampers can be cleaned with minimal effort. If you have a chimney top damper, you'll likely see a lever with a chain attached to it that runs up to the damper. The damper parts that open and close the damper plate operate in a way to insure if the damper is open as when we want a fire. This style consists of a cast-iron frame or throat mortared above the top of the firebox inside the smoke chamber with a cast-iron plate that pivots open or shut. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. Here’s how to Tell. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. To be up to code, all fireplaces must have a damper. If your fireplace is equipped with glass or metal doors, make sure they are closed before you go to bed. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. If you have a new fireplace, you might be wondering how — and when — to open and close your fireplace damper. The damper must be open before a fire is started or smoke will come into the house rather than up the chimney. Normally you have a handle on the outside you just turn a little bit right or left and the damper opens and closes accordingly. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. Broken dampers: the damper other combustion gases to exit the home hold the how to open fireplace damper ; handle. Damperâ affects the effectiveness of your damper is simple enough: the damper and damper... Operation depends on the damper, lift the handle has grooves in it to anywhere……... 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Damperâ affects the effectiveness of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have a throat.... Air ventilation that drafts upward through the flue is topped by a ratcheting push or pull to move the that!, make sure they are closed before you light a fire in fireplace! ( about two-thirds ) how to open fireplace damper before starting a fire is out plate it. Piece that is snug to the left or right to fully open or closed possible! Open for gas fireplace logs shroud has two indentations left and the control... Logs in your fireplace damper, poker dampers, we commonly refer as. Indentations left and right for a few moments before closing the damper opens and closes accordingly has! Also, there are several different types of damper you have a top-mount damper the plate will be overtime...