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Fireplace / Heatilator Question

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Forum topic by chrisstef posted 10-02-2014 03:58 PM 5332 views 0 times favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


10-02-2014 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: heatilator fireplace

We’ve just purchased a new home and on the wife’s list of upgrades / projects for me to do is sprucing up the fireplace with a mantle and surround. The existing fireplace has vents and blower turned on by a switch on the wall (a heatilator?). Now I haven’t had the chimney or the firebox inspected yet to determine the functionality of it and we don’t plan on using it until our little guy gets a bit older and he can grasp the idea of “hot” but I don’t want to render my fireplace unusable just in case. So my question is, can I cover up these vents or will I be causing myself a bunch of trouble? I could probably work removable panels / plinth blocks into the design if I needed to. FYI – the house was built in 1988.

Here’s the pic:

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk


52 replies so far

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AnthonyReed

8726 posts in 1900 days


#1 posted 10-02-2014 04:03 PM

Curious to see where you go with this. I’m along for the ride.

-- ~Tony

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7Footer

2541 posts in 1409 days


#2 posted 10-02-2014 04:14 PM

I’d probably just make a jig for my router….... ;-)

That’s an interesting setup though…. Some dressing up is much needed.

-- http://www.youtube.com/nrk411

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chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#3 posted 10-02-2014 04:16 PM

Hmm, I found this diagram which makes me think that I have a steel firebox and not your typical firebricked fire place. This leads me to believe that if the blower isn’t running I could overheat the steel box and possibly cause some harm to it or would all the heat escape up and out the chimney like a regular fireplace?

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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AnthonyReed

8726 posts in 1900 days


#4 posted 10-02-2014 04:19 PM

I am sure the firebox insert is strong enough to withstand the fires it was built for, heatilator running or not.

-- ~Tony

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ToddJB

6902 posts in 1590 days


#5 posted 10-02-2014 04:31 PM

Interesting design. I wouldn’t cover them up, but man, they definitely need something. Maybe a mantel directly below the top ones and some properly placed props to obscure the view of the bottoms ones. And maybe find some wrought iron covers to tone it down?

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

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7Footer

2541 posts in 1409 days


#6 posted 10-02-2014 04:31 PM

You might want to build a fire and see how much heat comes out of those vents naturally when the blower isn’t turned on (if any).

I’ve got a somewhat similar fireplace, but my blower is different, it’s one little vent and it comes out of the side of my fireplace. Yours looks more serious, mine is a bit jenky, but it has rectangular steel ‘pipes’ that are mounted to the back of the fireplace and from what I can tell they absorb heat and the blower just circulates air from the heat off those two pipes in the back of the fireplace. It almost seems like you’d have to have some sort of steel pipes that go to the upper vents or a bunch of smoke would come out of them.

-- http://www.youtube.com/nrk411

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AnthonyReed

8726 posts in 1900 days


#7 posted 10-02-2014 04:37 PM

… It almost seems like you’d have to have some sort of steel pipes that go to the upper vents or a bunch of smoke would come out of them.” – Hahah. Pretty sure the chimney pipe attached to the fire box (not pictured in diagram) will prevent the smoke from being pumped back into the house. Bless your heart.

-- ~Tony

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theoldfart

8072 posts in 1911 days


#8 posted 10-02-2014 04:46 PM

Stef, I cover mine with magnetic sheets. When there’s no fire the vents spit out old air in winter. I’ll post a pic later. My vents are on the side of my fire place.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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7Footer

2541 posts in 1409 days


#9 posted 10-02-2014 05:03 PM

Lol T, I can see how that may sound stupid. But my house doesn’t have chimney pipe attached directly to the firebox, because the brick structure it’s in extends from my basement which also has a fireplace up to the attic. The chimney pipe connects to the top of the brick where it meets the attic and there are 2 shared smoke chambers that meet up in the main floor, if I start a fire on the main floor and the damper isn’t closed on the basement it will make the basement all smoky, so it’s very possible that the chimney pipe is a few feet above the brick and it has steel pipe attached to the brick to absorb heat.

-- http://www.youtube.com/nrk411

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theoldfart

8072 posts in 1911 days


#10 posted 10-02-2014 05:05 PM

pics

vents

covered

covers

Also, the vents should not get too hot if you don’t run the fan. Mine vents are convection only, no fan. I don’t think the fireplace needs to run the fan.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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widdle

2057 posts in 2459 days


#11 posted 10-02-2014 05:11 PM

I would center the fireplace between the speakers and light a fire, and than dare the kid to touch it, which he wont..cuz it’s hot..

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Sodabowski

2308 posts in 2293 days


#12 posted 10-02-2014 05:12 PM

That heatilator business is exactly what I was aiming for when the parents rebuilt the chimney (alas they never listen). Keep it, you really get a lot of heat and great air distribution from such a system. While the kid grows up, you can always build a sawdust press to make pellets and pile them up in the ceiling for when the time will come to fire up the chimney again :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

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theoldfart

8072 posts in 1911 days


#13 posted 10-02-2014 05:19 PM

BTW, get rid of the BRIGHT BRASS ;-(

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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AnthonyReed

8726 posts in 1900 days


#14 posted 10-02-2014 05:22 PM

… so it s very possible that the chimney pipe is a few feet above the brick and it has steel pipe attached to the brick to absorb heat. – 7Footer -They’d put a heatilator in an active smoke chamber? The hell you say?

.

I would center the fireplace between the speakers and light a fire, and than dare the kid to touch it, which he wont..cuz it s hot..- widdle – Gospel.

-- ~Tony

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widdle

2057 posts in 2459 days


#15 posted 10-02-2014 05:50 PM

Oldfarts living room smells like weed…

showing 1 through 15 of 52 replies

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