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About Hearthman

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    Fireplace specialist contractor

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  1. Unless you take samples and have them analyzed by an accredited lab, you're just guessing. Open flame combustion causes a lot of funny things to happen resulting in some interesting things being formed, both gaseous and solid. White residue/ powder is a common occurrence in and around open flames. Since there aren't supposed to be any solid or liquid fuel open flame heating devices in the home, we notice it with gas. Yes, you can get it with those gelled alcohol "fireplace"/ illuminaires and candles, too. What I typically see the most often in the lab reports I get from samples for Black
  2. An Oxygen Depletion Sensor or ODS safety pilot is nothing more than a finely tuned pilot designed to dropout at 18.5% ambient O2. Basically, the low O2 slows the flame speed sufficient to advance the pilot flame past the thermocouple to the point it drops out. ODS pilots are not field serviceable except cleaning them. You cannot replace just the thermocouple or adjust the bracket. You cannot ream out the orifice since it is an industrial ruby shot with a laser such that it resembles a spider web or snowflake. Should a plumber insert a drill bit to "clean it out", the ruby will shatter ruining
  3. When VF logs are installed into a fireplace, the log mfr. typically requires the Fp meet the building code or NFPA 211 in the absence of a local bldg code. That would take care of the hearth extension. In addition, VF have a markedly increased clearance requirement over the header since that's where most of the heat is. A mantel that meets clearance for wood burning typically requires a 4" canopy or hood to push the heat well away from the facing. On a listed VF enclosure with VF logs, you'll need to refer to both the log mfrs. instructions as well as the enclosure listing. These logs pro
  4. Re-read my first post. I said the IRC still allows it. This, however, is a contradiction because the code also says all positive pressure venting must be listed. They can't make their minds up. These appliance mfrs. say its ok to use this pipe but the pipe mfrs. and other agencies say don't do it. That's all. Fernco says don't use their neoprene couplings for combustion venting but sells them to water heater mfrs. for use on power vented models included with the unit. Go figure.
  5. CAT IV listed venting would be the proper choice but in reality everyone gonna continue to use PVC until the codes or CPSC pull it.
  6. No statute Bill. As I said, the mfrs. state do NOT use it for combustion venting and IAPMO said don't do it. It is NOT listed to UL 1738 so technically its just some building material that a group of mfr.s decided to use without permission or a listing. It would be the same as using terra cotta sewer pipe with mortar joints and calling that ok. There is no test protocol to ensure polymeric venting is intact unlike DWV pipe. One problem is the pipe mfrs. specifically forbid the use of pressurized gas including air in testing their pipes, even at low pressures. Nobody wants to do a water te
  7. B-vent listed to UL 441 for CAT I appliances only. No positive vent pressure. Natural draft only. Positive vent pressure appliances must vent into pipe listed for positive vent pressure, which is UL 1738 or PMI, which is where the illegal use of PVC comes from. PVC has never been approved for venting in the US by UL nor by IAPMO nor any mfrs. I'm aware of. Still allowed though by IRC for now.
  8. Yep note on boilers they only require a pressure relief valve and not a temperature/ pressure relief valve. ASME provides some flexibility as to location but on commercial applications the insurance underwriter and state boiler inspector will probably be very strict applying CSD-1 to relief valves. Also, they should be tested per mfr. and replaced very few years even if they appear to be working properly. Some mfrs. used to state about every 5-7 yrs but some of that has changed. The relief must match the max. rating on the rating plate. Very tall buildings may use 50 psi instead of the typical
  9. The gage glass often froze first. Yes, the nipple was a vent. Circulator pumps didn't come about until 1923 and the widespread conversion to oil fired burners. Prior to that hydronic heating was gravity as noted by the large diameter pipes. If the upstairs rooms don't get enough heat have a technician drain the system and inspect for an orifice plate used to force more hot water into lower floor rads by gravity. Often those orifices weren't removed once converted over to forced circulation.
  10. A pro certified in CO/combustion analysis should test and correct as needed. The vent connector should rise straight up as far as possible while still making room for the 1/4" per LF slope up to the vent. The vent connector should be supported at the offset and every four feet. The vent should be inspected for obstruction (level II). There could be a a flow obstruction such as damaged inner liner or the use of TEK screws pushing in the inner liner instead of piercing it and pulling the two single walls together. If the B-vent joints have any screws, this is a common defect. A worst case depres
  11. If they rain rebar down the inside corners, rust jacking can cause this. With a listed metallic vent or chimney you won't see temperatures significant to cause thermal expansion or thermal shock. The listing allows for a maximum interior surface rise of 90?F from ambient.
  12. I would add to Bill's post: In South Dakota, I would suspect this is below the anticipated snow line. Definitely not an approved vent termination.
  13. The 3-2-10 rule dates back nationally to at least 1927. This chimney and the supporting pics show what appear to be soft fired bricks but definitely not SW or Severe Weather grade bricks intended for exterior use directly exposed. Note the salmon colored "Easy Bake" bricks, which are like sponges. Now note the hard Portland cement-based mortar. This mortar is waay harder than these chalky bricks which causes the destruction of the bricks from differential expansion along with freeze-thaw damage. Rebuild the chimney from the attic-up meeting the code height. The flashing could then be prop
  14. BTW, this appears to be a Majestic termination. They have been bought out numerous times over the last several years but now are owned by their old nemesis, Hearth & Home Technologies, Inc.
  15. Look inside the fireplace for the rating plate. If you cannot find a rating plate noting the mfr., model and serial number then treat it as an unlisted appliance which must be removed. Otherwise, defer to a qualified hearth pro. The stated clearances vary by unit to unit and not just mfr. to mfr. so you can NEVER assume or try to apply general measurements. One may be shorter and another may be longer--you have to read the listed installation instructions-period. I can tell you that functionally, if direct vent terminations don't have sufficient free circulation of air, they often operate
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