I have a gas fire in my living room with a marble hearth(sp?) in front
of it. I would like to remove it, but ideally in a way that would allow
future people in the house to be able to reinstate it relatively easy.
I guess my main questions are :
What decomissioning is required? I assume that Corgi registered
person should do this.
What should I cover the hole in the wall with? Wood? Plasterboard? Do
I need to leave a ventilation grill?
Should something be done to the chimney?
Thanks for your help.
Probably, though as I left the gas elbow joint in position where it comes
through the floor ( for future use ) it was easy as pie to disconnect the
fire. The operations are:- turn the gas off at the meter, bleed the residual
pressure in the pipe off ( if any ) by turning the fire on briefly, then
the slotted cap on top of the gas elbow fitting. Inside will be a slotted
grub screw. Screw it down inside the elbow until it bottoms - you have just
isolated the gas. Turn the gas on at the meter and check that no gas enters
the gas fire ( no hiss, no operation ). This is just a check. Turn the gas
at the meter again ( just for safety ). Next, disconnect
the gas pipe from the fire to the gas elbow by using a spanner to unscrew
the hex nut clamping the pipe into the gas elbow ( it is just like a water
pipe - there is an olive on the pipe to provide a seal ). That's it really,
I've really spun it out. I also then turned the gas on at the meter again
drenched the gas elbow with some soapy water to check for any gas leaks.
Replace slotted cap on top of gas elbow.
Of course, the above is not advice, it's just what I did when I disconnected
fire. You must do what you think is safe.
Yes you need a ventilation grill; moisture can build up in a chimney, from
rain etc. Just as cavity walls are ventilated, you must ventilate an unused
I have seen varous attractive vents available which would be suitable for
Some are adjustable for those winter nights when you don't want hot air
up the chimney.
Plasterboard seems fine for closing up the hole.
Up to you; I will say that my chimneys were unused and unventilated for
some time, and a trip to the loft when I recommissioned them ( I was
for smoke leaks ) left me puzzled to see brown stains in the lime mortar
two brick flues joined together to go up to the chimney stack. This brown,
coloured mortar was extremely soft and was crumbling. I worked out that rain
had come down the chimney, and it must have soaked that part of the flue on
repeat basis, probably reacting with the soot on the inside of the flues to
acid which rotted the lime mortar. I spent a day raking out the joints in
the attic and
repointing to assure myself of a good seal, and to stop the remaining soft
falling out of the joints.
So, for belt and braces, put a cowl top on your chimney pot(s), or
a half round
pot cap or something, to stop the rain getting in. That is a long-term
Have a qualified person remove the fire and cap the pipe for you, then it is
just a case of strapping with a timber frame to make a solid backing for a
piece of plasterboard. It is also a good idea to have a cap put on the top
of chimney pot if it doesn't already have a rain hood when the gas fire was
fitted. If the chimney already has a rain hood then you wont need anything
else. You wont need any venting grille unless you are going to have another
gas appliance in the same room.
It is very often unneccessary to fit a ventilation grille
to a bricked up fireplace. Where one is needed, it is
often put indide the room. This is both unsightly and
draughty. If one really is needed, it is best if possible
to indert an air-brick into the external wall.
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