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Chimney Dampers

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By Walt from New Kensington, PA on November 5, 2012
I needed to have my fireplace damper plate removed to get baby raccoon out of the chimney. Now, I have a roughly 24" X 4" opening into the chimney above my ventless gas logs in which I want to put a loose, unsecured replacement plate.

There is room above this opening to slide a plate that is somewhat larger than the opening and that plate could then rest on bricks and effectively close the area. The top of the chimney is now (since the raccoon) capped but dirt and water sometimes get in and damage my gas logs.

Do you have a plate that I can buy to slide into and fill this opening? There would be no need to open or close the plate once it rests in place.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on November 6, 2012

Answer:
Unfortunately, we do not work with a manufacturer that supplies such an item. It is common to used rolled, unfaced fiberglass insulation to seal around any liner that passes through the damper area. However, a block-off plate would need to be fabricated on site.

By Raymond from Leesburg OH on January 20, 2013
I have a vestal damper but I am missing the piece that hangs and catches the poker style piece. Can I just buy one of those?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on January 21, 2013

Answer:
Vestal does not offer the poker catch as an individual piece at this time. The catch is only sold in conjunction with the replacement poker arm, seen here. I apologize that we do not have this item individually.

By Dave from Wyckoff, NJ on July 30, 2013
I have a parlor coal stove and I would like to know do you offer 6" barometric dampers for it?
By Tyler M. - NFI Certified Specialist on July 30, 2013

Answer:
We do indeed offer two 6" barometric dampers; the Copperfield Automatic Barometric Damper With Black Tee - 6-Inch Diameter and the Vogelzang 6" Barometric Damper for 6" Single-Wall Flue Pipes. As this items are made by different manufacturers, pricing is different. Both are sufficient for use with 6" diameter single-wall stovepipe.

By anthony from New York on December 6, 2012
I have a fireplace damper that looks identical to the Vestal models I see on your site, even though it is at least 50 years old. I want to install a wood burning insert with a 6-inch liner opening. Even with the damper plate "open" it looks like only 5 inches is available.

I think if I just completely remove the damper plate the cylindrical 6-inch liner might make it through the damper opening without forcing it into too much of an "oval" shape. However, I can't find how the plate can be removed. In the photos it seems to have two tabs. Is it just a matter of lifting the plate up so the tabs come out, or are there screws or bolts to contend with. Also, is the whole damper unit (frame and plate together) secured with bolts or mortar?
By Collin C. - NFI Master Hearth Professional on December 7, 2012

Answer:
On the Vestal damper models we sell, the damper plate is held in position by a pair of mounting pins. The pins are driven into position through the welded bushings and can be knocked out of place by using a punch or chisel. Some older damper plates simply have the plate resting on an open hinge and the plate can simply be lifted out of position.

Generally, the entire damper throat is only held in position with parging. This can usually be chipped away and will allow the throat to be removed if necessary.

By Lee from Louisville, KY on November 11, 2014
I just bought a house with a decorative gas fireplace that has a 6 inch metal vent. It does not have any type of damper on it and when the wind blows it comes into the room. Is there something I can have installed to stop the air infiltration or do I just need to plug the vent and not light the fireplace? It is a Majco model GBU36 fireplace.
By eFireplaceStore on November 11, 2014

Answer:
Unfortunately, many of the older B vent gas fireplaces suffered from this issue. There is a built in draft diverter that is supposed to cure the issue, but it is not entirely effective. A high wind cap can be added to the vent system or a custom draft diverter fitted over the cap, but if you do not plan on using the unit, you could indeed pack insulation into the vent opening. If you go that route, it will need to be made known to anyone who may try to burn the unit in the future.

By Robert from Natchez, MS on July 16, 2014
Looking for a replacement damper plate. I do not have the old plate. The measurements inside the opening are 4 1/4" x 35 1/2".
By eFireplaceStore on July 17, 2014

Answer:
We do carry replacement damper plates, but they are specific to the Vestal brand of dampers and as such, we do not have one that matches your size requirements. The plates we carry are not easily modified, as they are cast from grey iron. If you are not able to see a name on the damper throat, the best option would be to have a damper plate cut from 1/4 inch plate steel that matches your sizing requirements. The only other option would be to remove the entire damper throat and replace the assembly with a new one.

By Fred from Southeast Michigan on July 3, 2014
I am renovating a house that has two fireplaces, but both lack dampers. Do you have, or can you recommend, a guide for the builder/owner on how to size and install dampers?
By eFireplaceStore on July 3, 2014

Answer:
As a standard, the damper throat should be the same size as the front width of the fireplace opening. As such, a Vestal 36 Inch Cast Iron Throat-Style Fireplace Damper would be the proper size to use for a 36 inch fireplace.

Most damper assemblies are held in position with a layer of parging mix. If you have an existing damper that has rusted badly or otherwise needs replacement, it will need to be removed by using a cold chisel and hammer to break the existing parging mix loose. After removing the existing damper and any remaining mortar, the new assembly can be put into position and new parging mix used to secure it. If the new damper does not sit upon a brick ledge, you may need to construct temporary 2 x 4 supports to hold the damper assembly in position while the parging mix sets. A good parging mix to use is the Ahrens Chamber-Tech 2000 Smoke Chamber Parging Mix.

By Bill from Philadelphia, PA on August 19, 2014
How do you determine what size damper you need? Can a novice replace the handle?

By eFireplaceStore on August 19, 2014

Answer:
The damper throat should be sized to the width of the fireplace opening. If the opening is sized between the castings available, it should be sized to the closest casting step. The handle itself is usually simple to replace. Most models simply have a drive pin holding the handle in place, but it differs from design to design.

By Joe from Atlanta on December 31, 2012
I have a brick fireplace with no damper. The clay flue is in good condition and I was thinking of getting a chimney cap and bottom damper.

I don't think I can use one of the top dampers because I don't have any of the clay flue extending above the top of the chimney, and the furnace uses a separate flue in the chimney to vent, so I can't block that. The flue is 11" x 7" but I can't seem to find a damper that would work.
By Tyler M. - Fireplace Specialist on January 2, 2013

Answer:
It is likely that none of our dampers would be small enough for you, unless your fireplace throat is quite a bit bigger than your flue size. Please see the Vestal 24 Inch Cast Iron Throat-Style Fireplace Damper.

Chimney dampers allow you to close the chimney flue when the fireplace is not in use to prevent heated or cooled air from escaping the home through the chimney. An open flue is an invitation for inefficient climate control and added problems due to prolonged exposure of the chimney to the elements. Using our large inventory of chimney dampers, you can make sure that you get the most out of your chimney and your home year round.
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