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The Home Smithy
The Home Smithy, Home Builder
Category: Home Improvement
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Hi, when we moved into our house it already had a fire place

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Hi, when we moved into our house it already had a fire place which draws very well when it has a fire in it. The problem occurs when the fire goes out and then wind comes down the chimney and blows smoke and ash all over the living room. I have looked up the chimney, it appears not to have any internal baffles and the cap on the top is flat.Would appreciate any suggestions on how to fix this. Many thanks, Carla

Hi. Welcome to Just Answer.

Carla does the chimney have a damper installed? You will know if there is one by the handle sticking down just inside the top of the fireplace.

I am sorry Carla. I see you have gone off line. I will return tomorrow before 12 noon PST. Its pretty late here and I will only be on for a few more minuets.

Sorry for the inconvience.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Evening - we must be in very different time zones - we're in Tanzania at GMT +3hrs - so it's only just lunch time here.... there's no handle in the chimney - I can see straight up to the chimney cap when I stick my head in the fire place. The whole fire place and chimney is made of brick. Many thanks, Carla

Yes we are. Im in California GMT -8hrs.

What you need is a special cap that pivots. What it does is like a weather vane. It points the exhaust port away from the direction that the wind is blowing causing a natural suction. As long as the cap rotates the chimney will have a vacuum applied and no air is blown into the home.

Any competent tinsmith, or HVAC company can make one for you.

Please let me know if you have any other immediate concerns.
If not please select a positive rating at this time. Doing so will not close your question, and after you rate my service you may ask any followup questions you like. All at no additional charge.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.
Best, Smitty
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi again,

We have artisans who could probably put something together, but they don't have the knowledge of what we are talking about here. Would you happen to have a picture or design of one of these that I can show them to copy?

Many thanks,


I will see if I can find a drawing for you. If not Ill do one myself for you. Wont be till tomorrow though. Heading to bed with a sore back and a pain killer. Im getting too old to frame houses with the young pups, lol!


Sorry about the wait Carla. I couldnt find the type I had used years ago on Dougs place. He had the same problem as you did and this lil gem fixed it.

Please click here to see the cap.

There is a rod in the center that has a small bearing at the top that the cap spins on.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No problems - been packing my kids off to boarding school and not thinking about the chimney the last couple of days anyway!

The pictures are great - I will show them to the workshop in the village and see what they can do - much appreciated and will let you know how we get on.

Many thanks



You are most welcome Carla. I look forward to hearing what your town workshop comes up with. For all I know they may come up with something better!

Best, Smitty