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Old 2017-12-30, 03:43 PM
condor11 condor11 is offline
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Default Cold draft from fireplace

This is the first winter in our new construction home. Our fireplace is leaking drafty air, quite strongly, constantly, even when there isn't much wind outside.

It's a typical built into wall Napoleon on the main floor.
It is a dog-house type, there's a bumput for it on the outside wall.
A an experiment I covered up the exhaust vent but the draft was still there, though a bit less.

I am about to let the builder know, generally he's been cooperative in the past but I want to be prepared and educated because the'll just send a trade that installed it.

- Is it OK for the fireplaces to be drafty? Because, they could claim "it's vented outside so of course there's a hole where air can get in. You gotta keep pilot on"
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Old 2017-12-30, 06:27 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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first. never block or cover the exterior vent termination. Extremely dangerous.

There is a recent thread on the same subject in Ottawa see if you can find it, it was lengthy. Bottom line its a builder insulation construction issue. Call them out to address the cold floor and walls.

Will it be cold at the fireplace? Yes it is a direct vent fireplace and there is a natural circulation of air happening through the venting system into the firebox area. With no continuous running pilot the glass and area around the fireplace will be cool to cold to the touch..
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Old 2017-12-30, 07:35 PM
condor11 condor11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKG26 View Post
first. never block or cover the exterior vent termination. Extremely dangerous.

There is a recent thread on the same subject in Ottawa see if you can find it, it was lengthy. Bottom line its a builder insulation construction issue. Call them out to address the cold floor and walls.

Will it be cold at the fireplace? Yes it is a direct vent fireplace and there is a natural circulation of air happening through the venting system into the firebox area. With no continuous running pilot the glass and area around the fireplace will be cool to cold to the touch..
No, I only blocked it for the test, and of course unblocked it right after, even though we are not using the fireplace.

But my question stands - there is an obviously exhaust from the fireplace to outside. When it's installed properly what's supposed to keep the air from coming inside? Is there a flapper of some sort that opens up when fireplace turns on?

Last edited by condor11; 2017-12-30 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 2017-12-30, 10:24 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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http://www.daviddarling.info/images/..._fireplace.jpg

No damper.. Diagram above shows what's happening internally..
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Old 2017-12-30, 10:55 PM
condor11 condor11 is offline
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Right, makes sense!
Fireplace from the inside is a sealed unit, otherwise exhaust gasses would leak indoors, so even if cold air can get inside thhrough the vent it will say within combustion chamber.

I had a closer look and can actually see that cavity for the fireplace is not sealed properly and this is how the cold air is coming from. So the fireplace will need to come out and the cavity sealed.

Thanks a bunch for your help!
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Old 2018-01-02, 08:13 AM
nafr1 nafr1 is offline
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I have the exact same issue in my new house. This is my first winter in this house and the floor next to fireplace is cold and whenever I pass close to fireplace, I feel that cold draft. I have talked to some of my friends and they mentioned they are having similar issue in their house.

Last edited by nafr1; 2018-01-02 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 2018-01-02, 10:27 AM
OttawaG OttawaG is offline
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I need to check mine too since this is our very first winter in this new built home.....
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Old 2018-01-02, 06:47 PM
Sarah2012 Sarah2012 is offline
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I recommend that everyone check the seal around the bottom of the bump-out. That's where we found a 1" gap in the insulation and that the entire bottom of the bump-out was not sealed properly. The result of this deficiency for us last winter was a draft strong enough to move a candle flame and temperature readings around 11-12 within two feet of the fireplace (gas, direct vent).
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Old 2018-01-02, 06:59 PM
condor11 condor11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah2012 View Post
I recommend that everyone check the seal around the bottom of the bump-out. That's where we found a 1" gap in the insulation and that the entire bottom of the bump-out was not sealed properly. The result of this deficiency for us last winter was a draft strong enough to move a candle flame and temperature readings around 11-12 within two feet of the fireplace (gas, direct vent).
Where is it exactly? On the outside? Or inside, but then fireplace would need to come out...
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Old 2018-01-02, 07:47 PM
Sarah2012 Sarah2012 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor11 View Post
Where is it exactly? On the outside? Or inside, but then fireplace would need to come out...
Outside, on the bottom of the bump-out. I've attached a picture taken while laying on the ground looking up. This is where our bump-out met the wall. The fireplace is surrounded by the pink sheet insulation but, for whatever reason, they didn't actually place the insulation all the way up to the wall so we had a gap completely open to the elements. There is also supposed to be a sheet of metal that covers the entire bottom of the bump-out and is then sealed around the edges thus making it airtight. Well ours stopped short of this pink insulation on either side so it was totally exposed.

I have no idea if our situation was one-in-a-million or not but I figure it wouldn't hurt anybody having air/cold issues to check it out. We had two builder reps and a home inspector here and none of them caught it....we did!

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