How to Fix a Damper Inside a Fireplace?
If you own a wood-burning fireplace or stove, then it is very important that you keep your damper working properly. It does not only regulate draft but prevents loss of heat up the chimney and can help reduce energy costs.
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If your damper is not working, it can be very dangerous as it could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or even death in extreme cases. That is why it is essential to check the damper’s position before lighting a fire in your fireplace.
The best way to know if your damper is open or closed is to stick your hand near the opening of the fireplace and feel if air breezes against it. If there is no air breeze then your damper is most likely closed and you need to find out how to fix it.
- The Damper Plate: Most dampers have a plate that opens and closes, it is usually pushed to the right to close or the left to open. If the plate does not open then it may be stuck. If the plate is stuck you will need to replace it with a new one.
- The Damper Rod: This is a metal rod that sits inside the damper. It is held in place by bolts. If the bolts are not free to turn then they are probably rusted out and need to be replaced. If there is rust on the bolts you will need to spray them with a lubricant to loosen them up before turning them.
- The Mortar Blockage: If there is a blockage in the damper, it may be caused by a mortar that has been pressed into the opening track during the construction or rebuilding of the chimney. Remove the blockage by breaking off the chunks of mortar with a hammer and a cold chisel.
- The Chain: If you have a top-mounted damper then there will usually be a chain hanging down from the ceiling. It is very important that the chain is securely attached to a hook as this will allow the damper to be opened and closed easily.
- The Lever: Most throat dampers have a lever that you push to the left or right to open or close them. The same applies to top-mounted dampers as well. If you cannot operate your damper then you may need to replace the lever.
- The Smoke: When the damper is not working, the smoke will come into your living space and it will fill up quickly. This can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and the smoke will make you sick. If the smoke is filling up your living space then you will need to get it fixed as soon as possible so that no one in your home is put at risk.
- The Ashes: When the fire is out, it is a good idea to clean up the smoke and ashes. This is a very simple task that you can do by yourself and should not take long to complete, although if you are not confident in your abilities then you should call in a professional.