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“Raising” a brick/masonry fireplace?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by double_entendre, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

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    Can you look up the flue? The metal duct probably extends all the way to the damper.


    Get the ducts cleaned out for the furnace. Mice can find thier way in there and cause a lot of stink. The cost of a new furnace will almost never be compensated for in better efficiency, especially in a warmer climate like California.
    #21
  2. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    I need to have the chimney swept, so I can address this with the sweep, too. I hope he's as dynamic as in Mary Poppins. :D

    I had the ducts cleaned this fall, but to no effect. The furnace is original 1967 vintage by the look of it. A furnace for a 1200SF house can't be that much. In theory.
    #22
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  3. gmk999

    gmk999 ____ as a Rotax

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    So, it looks like you have something similar to this.
    https://www.amazon.com/Comfort-Flam...8247&sr=8-5&keywords=zero+clearance+fireplace.
    You need to check the chimney pipe to see the clearance requirements to combustable material before to do your shelves, but I would start tearing brick down.. Worst case, these woodburning fireplaces are are less then $800 and chimney pipe is about $15 a foot. Then you can remove all the brick and start over.
    A 2200 btu gas burner is less then $1500 (with Remote controll}

    I had originaly assumed from your linked picture (First post) that it was a Masonry firebox and chimney.. My Bad.
    #23
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  4. ericm

    ericm Long timer

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    We currently have one of those builder quality zero clearance fireplaces. It's a total piece of shit. Using it makes the house colder. We'll be replacing it with a zero clearance EPA fireplace. I wanted to do a stove but there's no way to fit it and it's required clearances without taking up too much room. The zero clearance EPA fireplace costs more than a stove but puts out similar amounts of heat. Your flue is probably a simple double wall like ours. A real stove or EPA zero clearance requires a triple wall or insulated double wall.

    There will still be plenty of heat radiated through the windows to warm cats. The windows are required to make it efficient.
    #24
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  5. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    So I tried taking pics up the flue with my phone and a flashlight and didn’t get much definition—surprise, surprise.

    I do need to have it cleaned out—it’s been a couple years or more—so I’ll ask the sweep to confirm what’s going on. I’d really love to rip out the top 4 to 5 feet of brick and put in a built-in. We’ll see how that plays out.
    #25
  6. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    double entendre, thanks for starting this thread. If by chance you break out the top 5' please post a picture of what it looks like underneath. I am in a similar situation and currently have a pellet stove insert slid in. It works well. My wife and I call it the Fred Flintstone fireplace, circa 1979 with the fake rock facing. Check out this beauty.... We thought about taking an easier route and just painting it. It might be like putting lipstick on a pig.
    20190104_092838.jpg
    #26
  7. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    My mom's house has brick and they painted it white. It looks fine. And far cheaper than a total redesign. My understanding is that once you paint, you're pretty much committed because you can't get all the paint back off.

    I'll update when I have an answer.
    #27
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  8. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    Here's what I found underneath all that beauty.
    20190106_114316.jpg 20190106_131820.jpg
    Tore it down to the firebox.
    #28
  9. double_entendre

    double_entendre It's nothing personal; just your existence.

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    Ohhhhhhh. Dude. You totally screwed up. You owe the pet tax. :D

    Like this guy, our middle child, enjoying the fire.

    (Seriously, congrats in the big step forward. That's awesome!)


    [​IMG]
    #29
  10. bearcat1

    bearcat1 Been here awhile

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    That's a good looking tuxedo kitty. In keeping with the cat tax & fireplace theme:
    Resized_20171207_090829.jpeg 20180304_140313.jpg Cats, totally self serving, but I love 'em. Olive & Shakira (warming up on the laptop & renaming files).

    I'm happy to say that the fireplace update is going better than expected concerning the pellet stove usage . Outside of that the original wood burning firebox is obsolete & inefficient. I ran pellet stove exhaust up through the flue and insulated that area to minimize heat loss out of the chimney.
    #30
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  11. small_e_900

    small_e_900 Amanda carried it

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    Before using a wood insert, I’d go with a pellet insert or a pellet stove in the fireplace.
    The pellets cleaner than wood, self lighting, require less maintenance and the cost is comparable to buying cut, split and dumped in the yard wood.
    #31
    Coma likes this.
  12. rufus

    rufus We're burning daylight...

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    [QUOTE="double_entendre, post: 36668695, member: 101808"............... if I yank off the top 5 feet of brick over the fireplace, what would I find behind it?

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]


    You will find more brick. That's how they were built until the late 70s early 80s. .......Inside to outside, all brick.
    #32
  13. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    [​IMG]
    Once the faux chimney is out the way, exposed flues are quite common here - this one is insulated, but uninsulated are much cheaper and give out additional heat to the living space. If you are building a shelf unit across, you could box round the flue with plasterboard for the fire rating you need. Or a rear exit to the outside? Common here.
    The above fire is advertised at just over £500 = $600ish. Comes with all the current afterburn/glasswash stuff for smoke controlled UK.

    Most people want to see the flames, so solid doors aren't so common any more, but available.

    Our house is just over 13 years old, so the heating and insulation is reasonable but a mile away from current new build standards. As the house has a large (and ugly) chimney through 2 floors and expenive to remove, we got a stove for occasional use - super cold (by our standards) or protracted power cuts (more common). Cost £300 delivered, and still looking good and working well. I re-sealed the door this autumn.
    When lit it makes the whole house - 4 bedrooms - very warm.
    #33
  14. Coma

    Coma Long timer

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    Worst case the heat exchanger is cracked and leaking CO.

    My sister installed a pellet stove, I’d never have a fireplace ever. Not cheap but worth it.
    #34
  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Here's a text book https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/...MIp4KzuYWc5wIVCLrtCh1Abw0iEAQYAiABEgLLtfD_BwE (there are also PDF versions on line, but probably only in "modern" codes and metric).

    The series follows UK code, that copy is a pre metric version, so easier for you to understand. It is a proper training/apprentice course textbook, rather than a diy manual. I have the vol1 which covers foundations, walls, floors and roofs. The old version I have worked really well when I was restoring a 1777 house. It discusses old code standards and why they were and why they changed.
    Our codes are different now than in ^1969 and different again from yours, but thermodynamics and the chemistry of combustion doesn't change.
    It also reflects that almost all UK housing stock is wet built masonry.

    When I was in our previous house, our "study" cum almost all the time room had a wood stove. The main lounge had an open fire. Occasionally - for guests etc in winter time, we would light up the open fire, more for atmosphere, the central heating could cope. The difference was the fuel consumed. The open fire used more fuel in an afternoon than the wood stove did in a week of all day burning.
    Also the draught up the flue was huge - we had a bladder to seal it off, but what a faff to use.
    #35
  16. Johann

    Johann Commuterous Tankslapperous

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    An exposed flue can make a surprising difference to the amount of heat released into a room, design wise I always thought it was a better idea than letting all that heat escape up a chimney into space.
    #36