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My chimney damper does not open. I bought the house last year so have never used it before. Any suggestions on how to get it unstuck? Note that the damper cable DOES move from one side to the other but it just does nothing to open the damper. Looking at it, I can't even tell how this is supposed to work.

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You need to slide that handle over to the larger slot and then pull it down or push it up.

Ok, good you got it. It was hard to tell from the picture which way it operated. You could try some WD-40 but these dampers are pretty cheaply made and don't have a precision fit. You should try working it back and forth to loosen it up a bit.

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  • The narrow section of slot is to hold it in place. Pull the handle away(out) from where it fits in larger section of slot as @JACK said. – crip659 May 5 at 16:18
  • So, it actually goes the other way. It should push up. I'm able to whack the side of the damper that the rod attaches really hard with a pole and then the damper opens. But once I close it again, it's stuck, and has to be hit with the pole again to reopen. Could it need lubrication or something? – Brian May 5 at 16:56
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    You may want to beef up this answer a bit. Maybe include your comment in the answer itself... – FreeMan May 5 at 17:19
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    WD-40 sprayed all around has got the damper moving now without TOO much effort. Thanks for your help! – Brian May 5 at 17:55
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    @JimStewart I've got just about the same damper as this and it opens about 55 degrees from horizontal. The sheet metal get a little warped from the heat. Every Winter I get about 25 calls to open vents for seniors in my subdivision and in the Spring I get the calls to close them... I get paid with cookies and candy... – JACK May 8 at 0:30

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