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Fireplace with partially covered vents

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Hi I looked at a fireplace, I suspect an old heatilator. The fans below are not functional. The fireplace works, but some of the vents above the fireplace have motar covering them. It appears that it was the beginning of a remodel. The buyer wants to know if it is safe as is, and if it will be safe if all of the vents are covered so the brick can be covered.

There are also vents below the fireplace where the fans sit. Should these be covered?

Thanks in advance

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Is it a gas fireplace or a wood burning fireplace. If the latter, it might be one of the old steel box heat riser types with the large tubes passing through the flue above the box connected to the openings above the firebox and to the air space around it. Those tubes sometimes rust completely through. If I had one of those and those tubes were being mortared over, I'd want them plugged with mortar so that exhaust gases can't leak into the wall and flow up through the wall behind the fireplace surround.



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Where I live, the onus is on a WETT inspector, wood energy tech, to inspect and declare a wood burning unit safe to use. I call for chimney sweeping and an inspection by the WETT inspector.

Then my verbal info is just that, my verbal opinion. Check all around the base at the back of the metal firebox. That is where the rain water collects. Certain models crack right up the back. Also the vent tubes as Mike mentioned. I check for a chimney cap installed, good if it is, but a 20+ yr old heatalator fireplace with no chimney cap will be rusted. Check the damper, it is often just a small round disc, rusted.

If they want to go with a gas conversion, that is usually no sweat. They should drop in a metal chimney liner straight to the gas unit. Sometimes, the old heat tubes need to be cut out of the way for the new liner.

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I always use this comment

I would never accept libility for a FP

FYI - Although we attempt to determine if they are dirty or not, most flues are not fully visible and are therefore not inspected during a visual home inspection .It is impossible for a visual home inspection to determine with any degree of certainty whether a flue is free of defects. The NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) recommends that all chimneys be inspected before buying or selling a home. In our opinion this is a prudent recommendation. We recommend having a Certified Chimney Specialist conduct a Level II inspection of the chimney and flue, etc. prior to closing of escrow.

A Level II inspection is very comprehensive and can better determine the condition of the flue than can a limited generalist inspection such as ours, OR a Level I basic chimney inspection. See the following web site addresses for further information on chimneys, flue inspections, CSIA chimney specialists, or to locate a certified chimney specialist in your area, etc.


http://www.csia.org/PressRoom/PressRele ... fault.aspx

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