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canuck the pro
canuck the pro, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2885
Experience:  i have extensive experience in the home improvement industry. my current job is at lowes home improvement.
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I have a 30 years house with the chimney leaking. I am thinking

Customer Question

I have a 30 years house with the chimney leaking. I am thinking to remove the chimney and convert the existing fireplace to ventless fireplace. Is that doable? how big is the project? I called one chimney company, the technicall told me that we need to install a 40" metal box to install the new ventless fireplace which require us to demo the existing frames and marble surrounding, and it is too big a project to be financially reasonable. is that true?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
Hi my name is ***** ***** I have been in the home improvement and repair field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. I am not sure why there was a suggestion that a metal box would need to be installed. You basically only need a certain amount of room for the insert. The space required depends on the model. If your home is sealed really well and not a lot of outside air is getting in then you may have to add a grill for an inlet and outlet on the wall to allow air in from the outside. The hardest part of the installation will be installing a gas line. The additional gas line may exceed the amount of fixtures in your home and your gas meter may have to be replaced with a larger one. This is usually free from the gas company. There is not a vent required like a traditional fireplace.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Mike:
the existing fireplace already has a gas line there. the existing fireplace is vented through chimney which is very old and leaking. I got a quote to rebuild the chimny, it is not cheap. the fireplace sits in a pretty open living room , so there is no air circulation issue if I convert the fireplace to venteless one.One quote I got is to do like this:(which makes sense to me)
1. Demo chimney $875
2. two none heat transfer seals at top of chimney $700 (why two?)
3. Frame up hole when chimney was and roof over 680
4. insulated stainless stell throat seal 320
5. Ponderosa ventfree gas logs with intermittent pilot $1489
6. Gas log installation 189
7. Dumpster 385total=$4638I need you to answer the following questions:
1. is this solution going to work? safety issue? humid issue? we are not going to use the fireplace long time , only use it occasionly.
2. is the price reasonable?
3. is anything missing in the quote? I am having difficulties to find a company to do the job, the other guy says I need to install a new ventless fireplace metal box to work which requires me the demo the whole existing mantel which will cost 10K and does ot make much sense to me, so I am coming here to look for second opinion.
4. if you were hired to do the job, what's your plan?
5. the reason I want to remove the chimney is I dont want to have the leaking problem 10 years down the road and rebuilding the chimney / flashing will probably cost me around 3K as well.
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
The only reason I can think that the box would have to be built is that there is not enough clearance for the insert. It requires a certain amount. As far as the chimney demo that is something I would subcontract out. As far as humidity there is no risk of that. There is a small amount of condensation that builds during use and the heat of the insert and blower will take care of that. I am sure if you have the manual it addresses the humidity factors. The quote sounds very reasonable considering the scope of work. I doubt very much that the box would have to be built and the mantle demolished. I really just cannot think of any good reason for that. The insert comes with it's own metal casing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1 I don't know what u mean by insert, but they are not going to install any new stuff, they just going to replace the old log with the new log
2 why they need to install two seals on the top? Shouldn't all heat blocked in the bottom? If the heat is not blocked completely in the bottom, should I worry about the temperature of the wall above the fireplace? I want to install electric wire and cable there to mount TV over the fireplace? Is there any issue?
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
There would be a blower on top to blow the heat out. You would be able to run the wires etc. no problem as long as the clearance minimums are met as described in the directions. When I am referring to the insert I am referring to the ventless fireplace unit. The unit requires the vents for air circulation like I had described before. It sounds like the installer has planned to install the vents in the chimney instead of putting grates on the wall in the room. The vents may actually not be required at all but it is still a good idea to do as the contractor has planned. Better air circulation will allow for better performance of the unit and putting the circulation vents in as planned will be hidden compared to putting grates on the wall if the vents turn out to be needed later. The vents are only necessary if the room is well sealed and there is not any air circulation from outside. If there were poorly sealed windows, for example, then the circulation vents are not necessary.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My current fireplace is 28 inch . the surrounding height is 41 inch
Do you think it meets the minimum clearance requirement?
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
It depends on the model you are getting installed. If you could give me the total dimensions of the space and also the model you are getting installed I could see if I have the installation manual for that information. If you have the installation manual it would be noted in there also.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know the existing fireplace model#
I checked the metal frame; it says
Listed fireplace accessories
I measure the dimension 40x23x28
28 is the height for the metal frame ; if I measure inside the fireplace; it is much higher; it is about 38 inside
According to the quote, I don't think they will install any new blower, looks lilke as far as the fireplace goes, we will only get a ponderosa ventfree log with the remote control.everything else will stay old. What confuse me is you mention fireplace model, and they only mention gas log.
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
The reference to "gas log" in the quote would be a vent free gas log unit. Whatever is there will be replaced. The insert will have the metal casing around it, gas valve, logs and blower all in it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
that is what I understand literally. They will only replace the Gas log unit, not a insert. So there will be no blower , no metal casing(it will use whatever already exists there), is there going to be a issue for the ventfree log to work without the blower?
Expert:  canuck the pro replied 2 years ago.
I think they would replace the whole unit instead of just the logs. I'm not really sure how only replacing the logs and not the whole thing would be the dramatic improvement that a new unit would achieve. Maybe the language of the quote is confusing the issue?