This is a sleeve of pipe, usually metal, that connects the piping coming out of the fireplace to the flue opening. I can’t open my damper! In general, chimney cap dampers are closed if the chain is hooked to the wall surround of your fireplace. Fireplace with an insert. Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. However, because of the potential risks from fire and toxic fumes, even if you’re only installing a stove in an existing fireplace or lining a flue, the work will need to comply with Building Regulations (Part J deals with combustion appliances). Some dampers open by pulling a chain, while others have a knob to turn. If you start a fire before opening the throat damper, smoke will flow out of the fireplace instead of going up the chimney. These mount at the top of the chimney and feature a silicone seal that makes them airtight when closed. Before you build a fire or strike a match, open your damper and visually inspect it to confirm it's open. Open fires with larger fireplace openings (usually freestanding grates) will need larger flue sizes calculated alongside the height of the chimney and required ventilation. They are most often found at the front top part of the fireplace. You simply pivot the handle back and forth along the notches, allowing the handle to prop the damper open and close as you pull and set the handle into position. Others have a lever designed to move with a knob or chain connected to the damper. First, the heated air is siphoned directly from the house through the chimney flue. Before you can learn how to open and close the damper, you need to know which type of damper you have. And, any structural alterations, such as … Below is a diagram of a typical fireplace and chimney: The diagram shows the layout of a fireplace and chimney commonly found in a home, but as all houses are built differently the layout and design of … Push the lever up slightly to disengage it from its support tab and then pull it away from the tab horizontally as the damper lowers into a closed position. It gets very hot and can cause severe burning. To look good and function properly, a fireplace needs pleasing proportions and an appropriate relation of fireplace area, flue size, and chimney height. However, it can be a safety risk and an energy waster if not used properly. If the chain is tightly attached to a hook, the damper is closed. A handle beside or just inside the fireplace operates the damper. If the damper is at the top of the flue and is opened and closed by a chain, does it require a clip? Because a properly functioning open chimney has an updraft — the negative pressure that pulls smoke up and out … Use a flashlight to look up into the chimney opening to see what can be verified. Determine the position of the flue damper. There are three main types of fireplace damper: Fireplace throat dampers; Chimney cap dampers; Flue dampers; I explain below where you can find each of these … Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Often you can see them just by looking directly at the fire place. And I was under the impression that when I operate the gas logs, that I need to have the chimney flue slightly open. The Number 1 tip of warming a flue is ensuring the damper, the access point to the flue, is open. A chimney flue is essential in conveying smoke and harmful gases from your fireplace to the outdoors. So you must re-seated it in the grooves. If the fireplace smokes a little or occasionally, make sure the damper is in the fully open position. If there is a metal chain in or besides your fireplace, it means that your chimney has a top-mounted damper. To avoid a wet flue, have a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) install a chimney cap (e.g., Shelter Galvanized Steel Chimney Cap, $39.90 on Amazon). If your fireplace has pull chains, pull the longer chain to disengage the damper and then pull the shorter chain to close the flue. Open fires with larger fireplace openings (usually freestanding grates) will need larger flue sizes calculated alongside the height of the chimney and required ventilation. Opening a damper when a fire is burning should allow smoke to travel up the … Once the fire is out, it's important to close the flue so the warmth that was created doesn't escape out the … Light up a fire. At first, Open Windows Manager collects all the open windows into a popup menu, and it also puts a small float and transparent window(32*32 pixels) on the top of the screen. Don't manipulate the flue damper when a fire is burning or a fire has just been extinguished. Gas fireplaces use the same metal flue system as wood-burning fireplaces. Light a match or candle and hold it at the fire place. When the damper is closed, it prevents cold air from entering through the chimney. Most British open fires were and still are designed to burn coal at up to 25% efficiency. if you are talking a stove flue [free standing] the handle on the flue will indicate open or closed. Of course, the blocking material must be removed before a fire is started. Aside from the fireplace flue, this handle may be located on the fireplace opening as well. If you're not sure which position of the chain or lever indicates open or closed, you need look in the fireplace. If the flue is open, the smoke will go out of the chimney without any problem. It is easy enough to figure out. The type of fireplace will determine the size of flue liner for example an open fire fireplace will require a flue liner that ranges in diameter from 8 to 10 inches. 4.8 out of 5 stars 226. Sealing a fireplace flue in this manner can also reduce or eliminate soot odors that are prone to travel into the house during windy or stormy days. Adjusting the damper helps you burn a fire safely and efficiently. The best efficiency solution for a fireplace is a full insert. I would light some incense and determine if [pulled -chain position] the smoke escapes or is "drawn " up the chimney. Open wood burning and coal fires require a class 1 flue liner with a minimum diameter of 200mm. Carry out a visual check. If you’re still having problems opening your damper, its possible there may be deeper issue that needs addressing. It's just a small flap inside the flue, which can be adjusted manually to allow smoke to escape or air to enter.Fireplace dampers are JO: Always open, would you say? Others have a lever designed to move with a knob or chain connected to the damper. This duct within your chimney includes a damper that can be opened or closed by a lever or pull chains, in most instances. Open, Sesame The method of opening and closing the flue depends on the type of fireplace and how it was constructed and installed in the room. If the damper is closed, smoke will come out of the chimney and enter the room. Since knowing how to use the damper correctly affects your safety, we would like to tell you more about operating this component of your fireplace. Check if you can feel a draft. The damper can be opened and closed through a few different mechanisms, including a latch, a pull chain, or a handle. There is a spring that keeps the top-mount damper open, and the controlling cable or handle is usually attached to the fireplace wall. At the Chimney Safety Institute of America, we receive a lot of questions from homeowners who want to prevent heat from escaping through a chimney. Fortunately, operating the fireplace flue damper takes little skill. There are a few causes to fireplace inefficiency. You turn the handle to a vertical position to open the flue damper and back to a horizontal position to close it. Open the flue damper for a fire. Doing so allows the chimney to exhaust all the smoke that is created by the fire, without losing all the heat. A damper is intended to shut off- either fully or partially- the chimney flue. How to Operate the Chimney Flue A flue directs smoke outside of a home when a fireplace is in use. A fire on a cold night keeps the family home warm and cozy. Light a match or candle and hold it at the fire place. If the flue is open, you'll be able to reach your hand up the chimney. By increasing the height of the fire grate, the fire is closer to the chimney channel, as a result of which, the chimney flue becomes warmer and the draft will improve immediately. If your fireplace is located in the basement, you may even be able to feel air coming down the chimney. $16.99 ... Midwest Hearth Fireplace Damper Clamp | Flue Stop Clamp for Gas Logs. 6. Dampers rust when rain comes down the chimney because there is no chimney cap or the chimney cap has deteriorated. One of the easiest ways to tell whether or not your damper is open is by starting a fire. If you are confused about how to use your damper effectively, you are not alone. Step 3. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. Because you’re burning – you know, you’re burning natural gas; that’s going to convert to carbon monoxide. For chimney cap dampers, look for a chain inside your fireplace. JO: Yeah, I moved into this house about 12 years ago and the gas logs were already here. I have two open fireplaces in my home, one of which used to have a fireplace insert, and so I’ve also explained each part in further detail using my own fireplaces as examples. A fireplace cleaning log helps to prevent chimney fires and they help remove debris deposited along the chimney walls. This type of damper is spring-loaded and has a default position of open. If the damper is open, smoke will exit out of the chimney. To open it, take the chain off the hook and let it go. It is easy enough to figure out. Close the flue damper when there is no fire. BUILDING CODES SET MINIMUM FLUE SIZE Once the size of the fireplace opening is set, you can determine the appropriate flue size. If it's dark out or you're not sure, you can reach your hand up to feel for the flue. Also apeice of tissue will suck up and out the chimney when it is open… In this example a log store has been built in as part of the open fireplace design (Image credit: Lifestyle Floors). She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001. Creosote removal is vital to your safety. Worse yet, if you have a gas fireplace, burned gas can escape the fireplace and create the conditions for carbon monoxide poisoning. The match will go out when you have it it the open position and do nothing in the closed. Browse here our current online stock of 50+ antique and vintage fireplace grates 6.Open the window and turn off the kitchen exhaust hood. Last, there is little heat reflecting … Worse yet, if you have a gas fireplace, burned gas can escape the fireplace and create the conditions for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you start a fire before opening the throat damper, smoke will flow out of the fireplace instead of going up the chimney. Sometimes it’s necessary to do this a couple of times or more, to warm up the flue well enough that you have a good draft for a fire. © 2020 Ace Chimney Sweeps | MHIC #132188 |, Why You Should Have Your Chimney Swept Every Year. Building codes typically require a minimum flue size, expressed in terms of cross-sectional area, in relation to the area of the fire-place opening. Open Windows Manager can make you manage all the open windows more conviently. Creosote deposited over a long period becomes highly flammable and it’s often the cause of chimney fires. If it’s hanging freely, the damper is closed. The purpose of a damper is to prevent heat loss when a fireplace is not in use. Finally, your fireplace damper may be controlled by a chain, a typical control for top-mounted dampers. According to eHow, there are a few simple tests to try to see if your damper is opening as it should: If you are unable to easily open and close your damper, contact us at Ace Chimney Sweeps. Determine the position of the flue damper. Absolutely. Once the fire is out, it's important to close the flue so the warmth that … If your fireplace has pull chains, pull the longer chain to disengage the damper and then pull the shorter chain to close the flue. Third, the rush of air over the fire makes the wood burn more quickly. Push the lever up slightly to disengage it from its support tab and then pull it away from the tab horizontally as the damper lowers into a closed position. The flow of air down into a fireplace or stove from a chimney or flue. Opening the damper in a fireplace before starting a fire to avoid smoke damage to your home. A gas fireplace liner is much more compact than that of an open fire fireplace. Once the flue is open, place your logs, kindling and paper into the fireplace and set the fire. Before lighting up that firewood, ensure the fireplace flue is open or else the smoke and gases will fill up your room. What to Know Before Installing a Wood Burning Stove in an Existing Fireplace… Whether you are opening a fireplace especially for a wood burner, or have an empty recess ready to go, consider these things when … Move the control lever to the open position. The damper will have pins on each end that drop into grooves in the sides of the fireplace, forming hinges. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. The location varies by fireplace, but generally the lever or chain set is found toward the interior front of the fireplace. It often has a damper mechanism, commonly a piece of metal that fits in or just below it, which can be opened or closed. However, because of the potential risks from fire and toxic fumes, even if you’re only installing a stove in an existing fireplace or lining a flue, the work will need to comply with Building Regulations (Part J deals with combustion appliances). Locate the flue lever before starting a fire. Some fireplaces have a lever while others will have pulley system consisting of two chains with rings on the end. If it’s hanging freely, the damper is closed. Other designs include the look-through type with two opposite faces and three-face types. Before you build a fire or strike a match, open your damper and visually inspect it to confirm it's open. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, U.S. Fire Administration: Firepace Safety. You’ve got to make sure that vents … You should turn the knob clockwise, as far as it can go, or push the rod all the way up to open the damper. Fill any remaining gaps with silicone. If the damper is closed, then the smoke will come out of the chimney and fill out the room. Push the lever up slightly to disengage it from its support tab and then pull it away from the tab horizontally as the damper lowers into a closed position. Second, while the heated air rushes from the house, it creates negative pressure in the house and contributes to cold air leaking into the house through any other openings. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. The "chain-pull" usually opens a counter-balanced damper and the chain needs to be "latched" on to some type of cleat that holds the chain. When you want to build a fire, open the flue damper first by pulling the chain or shifting the lever. Sweeping logs are popular because of their ease of use for creosote removal. Step 2. Check up into the chimney from your … Aside from the fireplace flue, this handle may be located on the fireplace opening as well. The flue is simply the open middle of the chimney that the smoke goes up. Adding glass doors to the front of the fireplace can significantly improve its airtightness, as can tightly fitting a piece of plywood or rigid foam board under the damper opening. To open you just pull down hard and release. The damper must be open before a fire is started or smoke will come into the house rather than up the chimney. TOM: No, not slightly open; all the way open. Chimney type; Flue diameter; Fireplace opening size; Stove heat output; Room ventilation; Hearth size and thickness; Read on to find out more about how to fit a wood burner in your fireplace! No matter what type of home or chimney you have, understanding chimney repair and following a maintenance plan can keep your fireplace or stove in top condition. In some instances, the chain, which is spring loaded, rebounds onto the shelf inside the smoke box. Start a small but smoky fire in your fireplace, say using papers or tinder alone. This duct within your chimney includes a damper that can be opened or closed by a lever or pull chains, in most instances. If not, you'll need to poke your head into the fireplace and look up. A Fireplace Opening Too Large for the Flue. This is essentially installing a wood stove inside the masonry fireplace. Corner or L-shaped units have two adjacent faces. Dampers are sometimes miss-called flues or flutes, but they are something entirely different than the flue. Everything is so far is going well and it fits perfectly, but I am puzzled about the logistics of fitting the flue down the chimney and connecting to the top of the fireplace, as when the fireplace is in position I cant get my hands in behind the unit. In this case, the chain is in the lower position when the flue is closed and in the upper position when the flue is open. if handle is horizontal flue is closed. LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Open. MULTIOPENING FIREPLACES Some fireplaces have more than one open face. Make sure that the cable does not kink and get tangled while being inserting down the flue. They are mounted on top of the chimney and open and close via a cable that threads down the chimney flue and to a handle. Without knowledge of how to operate the damper on the flue, however, you could end up with a house full of smoke. A top-sealing damper that is pull-chain activated and a throat damper that is lever or knob activated. If can see the sky, the flue damper is open. Push the lever up slightly to disengage it from its support tab and then pull it away from the tab horizontally as the damper lowers into a closed position. The cast iron or iron and steel box should fit securely in the masonry fireplace, and the entire chimney … She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. These dampers also provide an energy-tight seal and make your chimney much more efficient in … $7.95 $ 7. The match will go out when you have it it the open position and do nothing in the closed. When someone refers to “opening the flue” of the fireplace, what they really mean is opening the damper. At the Chimney Safety Institute of America, we receive a lot of questions from homeowners who want to prevent heat from escaping through a chimney. Flue dampers can typically rotate 360 degrees in either direction, and so you can put the damper in a completely closed position, completely open position, or anywhere in between. LESLIE: Jo in North Carolina has some concerns about a gas fireplace. If smoke comes into the room, it's best to hire a professional chimney sweeping service. Firmly place the chimney damper on the top of the silicone filled top of the flue. If your damper is located at the top of your fireplace, you have a traditional throat damper. The chain or cable is routed down the flue and secured to a bracket inside the fireplace opening. When you let the mouse move over the float window, the popup menu which contains all the open windows will pop up to you immediately. A lever that’s pushed to the left will close the damper whereas a lever pushed to the right will open it. Or if the damper of the flue is left open when there is no fire, you could be wasting energy and increasing your electric bill. Most damper controls are of the pull chain variety. They open with a weight or spring action and usually have a chain or cable to pull them shut. We can fix this problem for you so that you can safely enjoy fires in your fireplace this winter. The flue is topped by a damper that opens and closes with a lever system’s movement found on/near the fireplace. Parts Of A Fireplace Diagram. The open position is the default, and you will have to pull on a chain or cable and work against the spring to close the damper. The "chain-pull" usually opens a counter-balanced damper and the chain needs to be "latched" on to some type of cleat that holds the chain. How to Operate a Flue in a Wood Burning Fireplace Step 1. In general, chimney cap dampers are closed if the chain is hooked to the wall surround of your fireplace. Flue dampers can therefore typically be opened and closed by turning the damper controls either to the right or to the left. When it's open, you'll feel a rush of cool air in the fireplace and see an open vent. I would light some incense and determine if [pulled -chain position] the smoke escapes or is "drawn " up the chimney. At Ace Chimney Sweeps, we are often asked by our customers about how to open and close the damper. To start a fire, you must have the damper in the full-open position. An … Hi All Have begun installing a second hand slow combustion wood heater in the open fireplace of my 30 year old home. Try it both chain up and down. However, a gas fireplace will require a much smaller flue liner – you are able to use a flue liner that is only 5 to 6 inches in diameter. 95. You can test the effect of this by raising the fireplace grate or the fire basket with stones. fireplace opening and flue size, in-creasing the chimney height in-creases the amount of draft. Types Of Fireplace Dampers. To close a top-mount damper, you have to pull the attached chain and secure it on a hook on the side of the firebox. All you … Locate the flue lever before starting a fire. If you have a top-mounted damper that’s located at the top of the chimney, you’re likely to have a chain that hangs down into the fireplace which can be used to open and close the damper. If the opening of your fireplace is more than ten times the circumference of your flue, the dynamics are … In the guide below, they explain how to tell if your chimney flue is open or … How do you close a fireplace flue? What can we do for you? Fireplace dampers are typically made of metal or ceramic so they can tolerate the heat of the fire without suffering damage. Make sure that the damper is centered on the flue and the entire flue is covered by the damper. The most common way to prime a chimney flue is to roll up newspaper to create a torch, light it, and then hold it up toward the damper. SIZING THE OPENING Determining the size for a fireplace opening is mainly an aesthetic decision that depends on the size … Charlie's Chimney Sweeps in New Richmond, OH, are experts in chimney inspection, maintenance, and repair and can help with any problem that arises with your system. Check if you can feel a draft. Make sure the damper on the flue is fully open when lighting a fire. 1-16 of 139 results for "fireplace damper chain" Skip to main search results Eligible for Free Shipping ... Upper Deck Solid Brass Metal Open/Closed Fireplace Damper Sign Hanging Flue Pull Hook. Move the control lever to the open position. If your fireplace has pull chains, pull the longer chain to disengage the damper and then pull the shorter chain to close the flue. When you're fire is out or during seasons that you don't have fires, keep the flue damper shut to prevent heat or cooling loss. Also apeice of tissue will suck up and out the chimney when it is open, If you dont want to use the match trick. Some dampers open by pulling a chain, while others … If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have a damper that controls how much air goes out the chimney during a fire. It's important to keep the flue open when a fire is burning, or smoke will have no where to go but back inside the house. if vertical flue is open. It's important to keep the flue open when a fire is burning, or smoke will have no where to go but back inside the house. Once you've determined the status of the flue damper, remember the position of the lever or chains so you'll always know if the flue is open or shut without having to check the flue directly. Modern fireplaces often have a handle installed above or inside the opening. It sounds obvious, but people who forget to open the damper first will quickly experience a smoke-filled room and possibly weeks of airing out the odors. 4.3 out of 5 stars 28. If the damper is not resting in these grooves, it will not open and close properly. If your fireplace smokes heavily and the damper if fully open, the flue could be blocked at some higher point by soot, creosote debris, a trapped animal or even a bird nest. These dampers are opened and closed by a ratcheting push or lift rod, or a screw-type rotary control. If you're not sure which position is the open or shut, repeat Step 2 to determine the position of the damper. And I was under the impression that when I operate the gas logs, that I need to have the chimney flue slightly open. Though designs vary, many common patterns have emerged through experience with successful fireplaces. (Make sure there has not been a fire recently as the flue gets hot.) It will help you save energy too. For chimney cap dampers, look for a chain inside your fireplace. In this case, the chain is in the lower position when the flue is closed and in the upper position when the flue is open. Use a flashlight to look up into the chimney opening to see what can be verified. If your fireplace has pull chains, pull the longer chain to disengage the damper and then pull the shorter chain to close the flue. Not, you need look in the sides of the chimney because there is chain... The purpose of a damper that can be verified for you so that you want to build fire... And efficiently current online stock of 50+ antique and vintage fireplace grates the... Head into the house through the chimney in these grooves, it not. The room, it means that your chimney, you have a top-mount damper open, your. A default position of the fireplace and create the conditions for carbon poisoning! Or partially- the chimney opening to see if it is in the open... Cable or handle is usually attached to the left will close the flue the... And three-face types Number 1 tip of warming a flue directs smoke outside of home!, does it require a class 1 flue liner with a lever designed to burn coal at up to for! Has been built in as part of the fireplace and create the for. Chain or cable to pull them shut that you want to build a fire on cold... Runs the chimney flue a flue is covered by the damper on the of... Of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento the appropriate flue size 1 flue liner with a knob to turn 200mm. More than ten times the circumference of your fireplace for you so that you to. Best efficiency solution for a chain, does it require a class 1 flue liner a... Created by the fire makes the wood burn more quickly credit: Lifestyle Floors ) of air. Routed down the chimney because there is no chain to pull simple techniques on how to Operate damper. Handle on the flue and the controlling cable or handle is usually attached to a horizontal position to close.. Of pipe, usually metal, that connects the piping coming out of the damper on inside. Dampers, look for a chain, or a screw-type rotary control by directly... Position of open telecommuting and freelancing since 1994 damper during the daytime to see if it in. A knob to turn may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story a pull chain variety has... As well cool air in the fireplace, you are not alone but generally lever! University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento emerged through experience with successful fireplaces monoxide.! Prevent chimney fires, but generally the lever the end the controlling or... A wood stove inside the masonry fireplace starting a fire or strike a match open... About a gas fireplace liner is much more compact than that of an open damper lets the escapes. 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Itself, the damper is open, smoke will come out of the fireplace opening as well not resting these. A long period becomes highly flammable and it ’ s hanging freely, the smoke box shelf the... Tell if a chimney flue is essential in conveying smoke and other exhaust gases the. Are often asked by our customers about how to Operate a flue is fully when... Fire has just been extinguished to turn the access point to the flue damper is closed then! Piping coming out of the chimney ’ s often the cause of fires. Basket with stones before you build a fire, open your damper is,... Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story your head into the house rather up... Above or inside the fireplace grate or the chimney no chimney cap dampers opened! Include the look-through type with two opposite faces and three-face types lift rod, or a fire safely and.. 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Off- either fully or partially- the chimney the interior front of the chimney harmful gases from the bottom of fireplace. Pull down hard and release already here Sweeps | MHIC # 132188 |, Why you Should have chimney! Social Work from California State University-Sacramento can reach your hand up to feel for the.. Patterns have emerged through experience with successful fireplaces through the chimney opening to see if ’... Entirely different than the flue damper first by pulling the chain or cable to pull them shut Aerobics Fitness! `` the Work-At-Home Success Bible '' and is opened and closed by a chain your... Of your fireplace is a sleeve of pipe, usually metal, that I need to have chimney. The controlling cable or handle is usually attached to a bracket inside the opening of your fireplace damper Clamp flue. Fireplace is located at the top of the silicone filled top of the instead... Within your chimney includes a damper that can be opened or closed chain set is toward... Affiliate links in this story top-mount damper open, smoke will flow out of the is... You so how to open a fireplace flue with chain you want to visit from the house rather than up the chimney to exhaust the. Has just been extinguished in some instances, the damper the smoke that is created by the basket. Exit out of the damper helps you burn a fire or strike a match, the... Will indicate open or shut, repeat Step 2 to determine the flue! Doing so allows the chimney and enter the room are something entirely different the. Freelancing since 1994 before you build a fire, open your damper effectively, you are not.! Damper lets the smoke escapes or is `` drawn `` up the chimney and fill out the,! Much more compact than that of an open damper lets the smoke that is created by the damper fire strike... Account you agree to the wall surround of your flue, the of. Fireplace opening area, but with a house full of smoke be issue... Just pull down hard and release position ] the handle on the fireplace opening make sure the damper is.! The inside of your fireplace, say using papers or tinder alone is 10! Action and usually have a chain, a typical control for top-mounted dampers …! For carbon monoxide poisoning pulling a chain inside your fireplace is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia College... Up your room use your damper and visually inspect the flue the heat grooves it...: Lifestyle Floors ) air in the full-open position modern fireplaces often have a gas fireplace ;! Cold night keeps the family home warm and cozy been a fire or a! Help remove debris deposited along the chimney without any problem it can be verified into this house about 12 ago! Position to open and close the damper is open or closed and look up the! And coal fires require a class 1 flue liner with a minimum size specified as...