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Direct vent co-linear installation without terminal cap

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by stathouse, May 22, 2013.

  1. stathouse

    stathouse Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Arnold, CA (Sierra Nevada Foothills)
    Hi there. I just had a Heat & Glow fireplace insert installed replacing my existing wood fireplace. During the install the installers encountered limited space to run the aluminum vent lines all the way up the existing flue due to an awkward bend in the flue. They ended up leaving the intake line short (starting at the gas unit and going as far up as they could) and running the exhaust gas line all the way up.

    They then could not terminate either vent line with a wind cap due to the masonry construction of my existing chimney. The old chimney was built with a "cap" of brick over the top, with large side openings on all four sides of the chimney just below the top brick cap. These openings have spark arrester screening over them (local fire codes in my area requires this). So instead of drilling through the brick top to thread the exhaust vent up through it and into a wind cap, they just left the pipe kind of curved to a soft right angle inside the screened area under the brick top. They say they have to do it this way in many cases because of the odd ball chimneys in my area. They assured me it is ok with the manufacturer even though I know it is not technically to code. The unit functions fine.

    The installation company (where I purchased the unit) did not put the cost of modifying my chimney by drilling into their quote so I would have to pay extra for it. I got an outside bid of around $500 from a general contractor that I know.

    How essential is the wind cap? Is there a safety concern here?

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,946
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...

    Which model did you get installed & does it have a standing pilot? While there may not be a safety issue, you may have pilot issues when the wind howls outside. The resulting turbulence may take the pilot out...if you have an IPI unit, then that point is moot. I've done a couple of installs where the chimney capstone interfered with the specified co-linear cap, & we ALWAYS modified that cap so that it fit & sealed off the top of the flue. Without that top plate, you WILL get rain (or melting snow) down inside the chimney & it will cause your insert to rust. Tell your installer that you want SOMETHING up there...If they refuse, call your building inspector...
    As far as the shorter intake, that's a common practice, but NOT without a cap up top. You say they ran it up the chimney? Most installers pull them down. It's easier.
  3. stathouse

    stathouse Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Arnold, CA (Sierra Nevada Foothills)
    I have the Supreme 130 with an electronic pilot ignition, so no standing pilot. We don't get snow here. Rain would be pretty tricky to actually get inside. Like I described, the existing chimney has a brick cap across the top of the entire chimney opening and the flex tube is under this and bent over. And they probably dropped the pipe down the chimney; I did not actually see it done.
  4. mygasfireplacerepair

    mygasfireplacerepair Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Midwest
    I would be surprised if the manufacturer told them they could install it this way. It says right in the SupremeI-30 installation manual "The vent must be terminated with the cap supplied with the LINK-series vent kit". So there are two issues with this:

    1.) The manufacturer tests the unit with the vent cap attached. Without the vent cap, there is no guarantee that the fireplace will function properly (essentially voiding any warranty on the product).

    2.) As stathouse said, there is no way to seal the flue opening, so you would very likely to get driving rain water, birds, bugs, ect coming down your chimney. (even though it has a concrete "cover"

    I would bet Heat & Glo never told them this was an approved way to install it. I would call Heat & Glo up direct and ask them.
  5. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    x3. There's a reason its called a termination cap. I'd have a talk with the installers, I would not leave a liner just there, espec an exhaust liner.

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