45 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

You hire a chimney sweep to inspect (and clean) it. In some cases it may need to be completely rebuilt - in others, it may simply need cleaned and inspected, or it may need something in the middle. ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 202k
38 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

I would heartily suggest hiring a professional. Where I live what you are doing is actually illegal. Your territory may have different laws, but guessing with gas is never a good idea. It goes bang! ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 10.5k
22 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

Another thing to consider with a chimney that old is the distinct possibility that the bricks were laid up with a mixture of sand, horse hair and a bit of lime mixed in. It is not uncommon for a ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 64.1k
14 votes

Smoke coming out of my light

What's a "hi hat"? Is that like a can light (i.e. a light installed in a can flush behind ceiling drywall)? Anyway: stuff, whether smoke or otherwise, shouldn't be blowing from any lights. One hopes ...
Peter Duniho's user avatar
  • 1,855
13 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

If the pipework broke there, who's to say what its condition is like further inside the wall? That apart, you're asking what to do. That means you're not qualified or experienced. O.k. There's a way ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 5,198
12 votes

Natural gas fireplace with included "smart" thermostat and DIY added "dumb" thermostat as a power outage failsafe

There are plenty of millivolt wall and floor furnaces which use a pilot light, thermopile and millivolt thermostat. They are typically called "Empire style" and are made by Williams and ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
11 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

I hate working with gas - and would strongly recommend getting a pro to fix it. The pipe does not look in good shape either - I suspect the "proper" fix will be to replace the last piece of ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 10k
10 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It is a bad idea. TV screens are designed to be viewed basically level from your eyes as you sit in your TV room. If you mount it above the mantel you will forever looking up to see the thing. The ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 64.1k
8 votes

What should be done before using a fireplace that has not been used in decades?

If someone offers to modernise your chimney by putting some sort of metal tube or liner inside, make sure the chimney is cleaned first and all soot is removed. If this is not done properly, you risk ...
Just Passing By's user avatar
8 votes

Can a wood fireplace be completely open without any boundaries and just a chimney?

Yes - examples are out there. For practical reasons the chimney tends to be metal, or in older buildings, just a smokehole in the roof.
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 202k
8 votes
Accepted

Gas Fireplace - Starter or Gas Log?

That is a wood burning fireplace with a gas starter. The intent is to use the gas starter to get your log fire burning. You can then shut down the gas starter jet. Since it's a foreclosure the flue ...
HoneyDo's user avatar
  • 8,752
8 votes

Can I safely connect barely reachable flex gas pipe?

(Edited based on added information from the OP) As a DYI-er you could do gas fitting under supervision and inspection, and in readily accessible spaces. But if the space is tight, and you are unable ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 15.8k
7 votes

Gas fireplace won't stay lit

Looks like I had to rotate the pilot flame a few degrees to get it to better align with the thermocouple, especially when the fireplace was lit. This seems to have resolved the issue.
cbdoc's user avatar
  • 121
7 votes

Natural gas fireplace with included "smart" thermostat and DIY added "dumb" thermostat as a power outage failsafe

A gas appliance that can run without any house power supplied has a "millivolt" gas control. It has an always-burning pilot light, and a thermocouple or thermopile that sits in the pilot ...
Triplefault's user avatar
  • 6,499
6 votes
Accepted

How to seal the top of a wood-burning cooking stove?

I suspect that they are designed not to be sealed. Otherwise, there would be an asbestos-style rope to form a seal. They are called fire-rope nowadays. If you were to seal it, the fire may not burn ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 5,090
6 votes

How to seal the top of a wood-burning cooking stove?

Those gaps do not need to be sealed. Why you ask, well the draw created by the chimney is more than sufficient to drg all the combustion fumes up the chimney and that also means that a tiny amount of ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
  • 26.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Cleaning hot ash out of a woodstove without creating soot plumes

Keep the ash bucket right in front of the open door of the stove, so that the draft of the warm stove will pull any soot plume into the stove, and the distance the ash is being moved is minimized. ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 202k
5 votes
Accepted

Options for restoring or otherwise utilizing old chimney

I would really suggest that you should hire a local expert to come out to your place to give you advice on the chimney condition, design and safety. I am quite sure that there was good reason to cap ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 64.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What's the deal with this (fake?) chimney on my house?

Your dad is wrong. Chimneys have been used for non-fireplace heating systems since the days of the Franklin Stove. Also, remember that the interior of the house may have been drastically rearranged ...
keshlam's user avatar
  • 27.5k
5 votes

Need advice on removing fireplace gas starter pipe

I had the same problem when converting mine. The pipes have been subjected to repeated extreme heat and cooling cycles and will be difficult to unthread. Your best bet is to soak with penetrating oil ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
  • 35.1k
5 votes

Fine Mesh Screen for Chimney

No, this is a bad idea. In the winter, the moist combustion byproducts or plain leaky indoor air can condense and freeze on the cold metal screen. After a while and in the right conditions, enough ...
dandavis's user avatar
  • 2,212
5 votes
Accepted

How to make stone fireplace look better, darker and shinier?

Generally, cleaning then sealing can give you a shinier appearance. I emphasize the clean, since 90% of people skip that step. The sealers tend to give a wet stone look. It might not be darker but ...
Omagasohe's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
Accepted

Is it normal or necessary to line gas fireplace cavities with drywall?

It depends on: The specs for the unit. Some require an air gap and typically have metal protrusions to enforce that spec. Older ones may have called specifically for fire-resistant wall treatments. ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 129k
5 votes

How can I direct heat from a fire pit table?

Reflection of radiant heat is what you would be after. If you could magically hang it, one of the best would be a metal surface above the fire reflecting heat back down to everyone. Using an upside ...
Ack's user avatar
  • 5,709
5 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It may not be desired, but sometimes it's the only available wall space in the room. FYI, we mounted our 55" above the fireplace. But the fireplace was converted to propane at the same time. I was ...
SteveSh's user avatar
  • 6,780
5 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to seal a gas fireplace?

Where I live, it is mandatory that if you can smell the gas, you have to call a professional certified in detecting gas leaks in home installations, or if you can't afford that, emergency gas service. ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 537
5 votes
Accepted

Laminate floor against fireplace brick

I would rent an "undercut saw" and put a diamond blade in it. Cut a channel along the floor at a suitable height. Brick cuts fairly easily and you'll have a dead-straight, perfect fit to ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 129k
5 votes
Accepted

Is there any reason not to use the trap door ash receptacle in my fireplace?

The benefit is that (with the door below closed as per normal practice) you don't need to wait for anything to cool (it's going into a nice masonry chamber, nothing to burn) and you don't need to ...
5 votes
Accepted

Tv will be off center if mounting to studs

drill holes in the frame where the studs are. No way would I put a $1000 TV on toggle bolts.
Ted Mittelstaedt's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between fireplace gas lighter and burner?

What you have is a gas starter for lighting wood logs to start a fire in your fireplace. I've seen them before in some older homes and it's simply a means of getting a fire started easily without ...
HoneyDo's user avatar
  • 8,752

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