Yes there is: So you don't have to fiddle with it ever again.
Ah, you might say, that defeats the purpose by allowing outside air to
influence the inside temperature!
Not at my house, or at least not so much.
A couple of years ago I scored a fireplace screen from Craigslist for $45.
It consists of a frame clamped to the fireplace itself, two wire-mesh doors,
and two tempered glass doors. After enjoying the fire as much as needed, I
can close all the doors and make the front of the fireplace almost air
tight. No air, or not much, can enter or leave the fireplace. And I don't
have to fuss with the damper at all. Plus, I don't have to reach into the
still smoldering embers to engage the hot damper.
And before anyone haruumps "There's still SOME leakage!", I'll admit to
that, but probably no more so than around a closed damper.
Mine is similar to this one:
On 12/26/2012 5:51 AM, HeyBub wrote:
. No air, or not much, can enter or leave the fireplace. And I don't
Are you saying that you were in the habit of closing the damper while
the embers are still smoldering.
If so, we have discovered why the dampers are locked open...because of you.
Glad you're still alive.
I didn't read all the other posts in this thread, but I can think of at
least two reasons why a previous home owner would have secured the fire
place flue dampers open:
1. Dryer exhaust duct is clogged with lint. Clothes aren't drying
properly. Home owner misdiagnoses the problem as being insufficient
make-up air coming into the house to replace warm moist air being blown
out by the dryer. So, he opens the flue vents to allow for more made-up
2. Thermocouple on water heater is old and barely producing sufficient
voltage to keep safety valve on gas valve open. So, pilot light flame
going out, heaving home owner constantly running out of hot water. Home
owner misdiagnoses the problem. He figures that when the dryer is
operating, the make-up air is coming down the water heater flue and
blowing the pilot light out. So, he opens the flue vent to allow
make-up air to come in through the fire place instead.
Because and I clamp wouldn't work?
Because they kept lighting fires without opening the flue?
Because Santa Claus was expected last night and he can barely squeeze
through even with them open.
Because 2 and 3 were jealous of 1.
Because they believed in open relationships.
I went to images.google.com and typed in "fireplace damper safety clamp".
Lots of pictures similar to what you've got there.
Here's one for a damper clamp.
"When properly installed, this clamp will prevent the damper from closing.
If a gas leak occurs, the gas will not enter the living space,
but will be vented up through the chimney."
Here's an LA Times news article:
Disabling Fireplace Damper Keeps Home Safe From Fumes
These clamps are placed on the fireplace flue damper to keep it open
allowing venting for the pilot exhaust. This is a code compliance issue
(for most states and counties in the US) anytime there is a gas
appliance in a fireplace and a safety issue due to carbon monoxide
released by the burning gas.
a damper clip is required on all fireplaces that have been equipped
with gas logs. The damper clip locks the damper in the open position
at all times. This is done as a safety precaution, to prevent gases
produced by your fire from entering your home. With gas logs, there
is no smoke produced, and therefore no indicator that the damper is
closed, which causes a potentially hazardous situation.
I didn't realize the pilot light is supposed to be ALWAYS ON!
So, the damper has to be open for the pilot fumes to escape up the chimney.
However, keeping the pilot light on all the time - doesn't that waste
a ton of energy?
Do most people keep their pilot light burning all the time?
Seems wasteful to me.
I would just open the damper when I light the fireplace if it
wasn't clamped open like it is now.
I'm confused why my gas burner has BOTH the pilot light and the
The piezo-electric snapper simply starts the pilot light.
So why do I need the pilot light if I have the snapper?
The pilot light heats a thermocouple which produces electric current to
operate the gas valve. If the pilot goes out, the gas valve will not
operate. Some pilots also operate as an oxygen sensor, when O2 levels
drop, the pilot flame shrinks and no longer heats the thermocouple thus
the gas valve closes. My wall mounted unventilated gas heater has a
piezoelectric igniter for the oxygen sensing pilot light. The pilot must
heat the thermocouple enough to produce electric current before the gas
valve can be turned on. If the pilot goes out, the gas to the
burners shuts off regardless of the position of the control. ^_^
Ah. That must be why the pilot light kept going out in the beginning,
when I let up on the pressing of the knob.
Then, after a few minutes with the butane lighter, the pilot light
stayed lit after I let up on pressing the knob.
The thermocouple must've heated up by then!
You got it! In the case of oxygen sensing pilot lights, the flame shoots
out at more of an angle to heat the thermocouple. When oxygen levels
drop too low, the flame bends away from the thermocouple and can no
longer heat it, the thermocouple cools and the gas shuts off. ^_^
I posted not long ago about a small heater in the well house here...it
is a _very_ old heater (re-purposed WW II vintage bathroom heater from
house pre-central heat installation) and had a "wild" pilot that was
common (essentially universal) in those days. In those the pilot was
simply a small bypass line but there was no TC and no safety valve; if
the pilot went out it just went out and if (no, when) the temperature
dropped and demand signal came, the valve would open. If untended,
Indianapolis could be the result.
From that, it's clear why the new way is better. Last spring I
replaced the pilot assembly and control valve on this heater w/ a new
pilot assembly w/ the TC adaptor and one of them new-fangled control
valves...it has proved beneficial once this winter already as the pilot
blew out on a very windy day once already.
It did, however, go for 40-some years out there (the well house was
built around the "new" well in the late 50s/early 60s) though...
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