45

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. At that age, you may well find that you'll face relining to make use of it under modern conceptions of what's safe - it will have deteriorated with age and ...


22

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 chimney like that to have the external weather at the roof line and above erode away some of or all of the sand leaving the bricks literally free stacked with spaces ...


14

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 that it's not actually smoke, and I would work harder to confirm that it's not. Check the entire fireplace flue and any spaces it traverses in the house and ...


13

I would build a 2x4 (or 2x6, it's hard to tell the depth from this picture) frame to fit into the cubby hole, something like this: Spacing and attaching Space the studs 16" on center. You'll need to attach this securely to the rest of the walls. Assuming they're also wood, a few 3" #10 screws into either side would probably do the trick. Be sure to recess ...


10

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 heat thing is also a concern for electronics as you have mentioned. Raise the temperature some and in the best case you will age certain components and shorten ...


9

The thermopile in your fireplace puts out millivolts, nothing near the 120V the light switch was designed for. It's probably just a matter of finding a switch with a low enough on resistance. A generic low voltage switch from a electronics store, or ripped out of a toy, would probably do it (for example a 12V SPST). Really here the smaller the better, but ...


8

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 having a fire in the space between the tube and the chimney, which you (or the fire brigade) won't be able to reach to put out.


8

Yes - examples are out there. For practical reasons the chimney tends to be metal, or in older buildings, just a smokehole in the roof.


7

Creosote from wood fires is the main reason, so no, cleaning from that standpoint isn't needed.


7

Damper closed - most likely. Chimney blocked - while "damper closed" is a self-correctable version of this, if the fireplace has not been inspected there may be anything from bird nests to parts of a chimney in serious disrepair blocking the flue. SO - before you become a statistic (of the chimney fire sort) call a chimney sweep and have the flue inspected ...


7

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 may not have been maintained properly. It would be a good idea to have a professional come in to inspect the chimney liner to ensure it is in good condition and ...


7

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.


6

You should try to determine the manufacturer and model of your fireplace and get a copy of the installation instructions, which will have detailed instructions on the required clearances. The answer will vary depending on the construction of the fireplace.


5

The characteristics and composition of firebrick also called refractory brick make it suitable for high heat applications. Conventional pavers will fail quickly when exposed to heat. I can't testify about pavers but I have had concrete explosively spall (small pieces of concrete shrapnel) while cutting steel anchors with a torch. So you really need bricks ...


5

Yes. These are painted all the time. I just used this for a traditional wood burning fireplace. You can search for fireplace paint but really you are looking for it to withstand the max temperature. Since yours is gas I am guessing your max is well less than 1000 F. Also most fireboxes are painted black so you can see the fire easier. And because of ...


5

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 off and close up the chimney and fireplace in the past and it is highly unlikely that you will come to an understanding of the reasons without some seasoned ...


5

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 over the years. My kitchen definitely isn't where it was when the place was built, and in fact the old kitchen space is now my dining room. The only way to be ...


5

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 (slide some cardboard under prior to spraying so you don't soak the bricks). Soak repeatedly and tap the pipes frequently to help the oil penetrate into the ...


5

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 condensation can freeze to slightly prevent airflow, which makes the whole thing freeze over very quickly. I don't think I need to explain why a frozen-shut ...


5

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 could bring out colors that your not seeing. So clean it, and see how it look wets first. Apply sealer as needed.


5

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. Local building codes. There may be requirements that disregard and enhance manufacturer requirements and recommendations. The risk tolerance of the builder or ...


5

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 down cone or pyramid shape, with the middle point centered over the burner and the angles set so that the surfaces would reflect the fire and heat (radiant heat ...


5

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 able to attach it to some paneling that was used to build the fireplace surround, after appropriate reinforcing. Here's a picture of it completed. Note that ...


5

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. They will find the leak and fix it or, if it is not trivial, safely unplug your device so you could get it to repair shop, in a way that is up to a local code ...


5

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 your floor. Here's a video You'll have to do a little creative grinding with other tools near the wall where the circular saw won't reach. You can get diamond-grit ...


5

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 carry ash through the house. You dump the ash (hot or cold) down the hole all winter, and when spring comes you shovel it out from the basement and go spread it on ...


4

I was just about to ask this last week. I found the NFPA Guidelines here - don't go to their site or you get a 1000 page PDF. I agree with DA01 - fireplace TVs hurt the neck.


4

The short answer is all you need is a new orifice. The complicated answer is : don't do that. Ventless systems have been banned in various places, and come with significant hazards not fully mitigated by a carbon monoxide detector. Read for instance : http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog-building-science-HERS-BPI/bid/48762/Bob-Vila-and-the-Vent-Free-Gas-...


4

Cement surface and even paint (scarifed with 50 grit belt sander or similar) can stay, if both are well adhered.. An experiment is in order: Use a good quality thinset, (Laticrete Platinum 254 or Custom Flexbond) Trowel on 1/4 inch patch (4in x 4in or so). Wait 24 hours Chip off patch with a chisel Observe the removed thinset: If it cleaves off ...


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