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Fireplace retrofit

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This masonry fireplace has been retrofitted with a metal gas only fireplace insert with a metal vent pipe presumably because the visible chimney cracks extended into the clay flue liner. Question is - shouldn't this fireplace get combustion air from the outside or is it dependent on the manufacturer requirements? From the roof, I could see down into the flue because the installer left a gap in the flue cap and saw a second flexible metal vent pipe that terminated inside the flue. I speculate they left the gap to allow combustion air into the original flue where the second metal vent pipe is located. See pics for detail. Last pic is through the gap in the cap looking down into flue.

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I agree, the opening is for combustion air and that's the air inlet pipe in the flue. I doubt that you'll get much water in there. We have chimneys wide open here without covers on them in arguably one of the rainiest places in the country and we don't see a lot of water getting in wide open flues. I doubt much rain will get in there and what little does will probably evaporate very quickly - even if it doesn't, it will drain through the floor of the original fireplace into the ash sump.



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