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Ok folks, how do we seal this?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by eclecticcottage, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    And, what was this for??

    We're thinking a wall furnace maybe??

    Background:

    This is at our Old House. See the blog for more pics, we're doing demo and found this in the wall, going into a cinder block chimney on the other side. Scary thing is, when we bought the house and for the first two or so years, we used a gravity heater in the floor that was connected to the same chimney!! This place must have an angel of it's very own, I swear. The electric line that used to run along the side of the house was singed when we had it replaced. Before we bought it, some kids tried to burn it down but it wouldn't catch. Now we found a wire that was totally stripped today (we rewired the whole place, this was in the old K&T).

    Anyway, here's the hole. We do not use the chimney now and don't plan to, but it's still there. Looking forward, we may sell the house one day and someone might decide to hang a furnace and use it again. I don't want the possibility of this venting into the wall in that case.

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    So the flue doesn't go through to the roof? I'd probably brick up the opening, plaster over it, and call it a day. Maybe foam the top so it doesn't draft. If somebody decides to use a chimney that doesn't vent to the outside... you can't fix stupid. I don't think you could be held responsible if they had to do so much work to access it. What's to stop them from sticking paper clips in the wall receptacles?

    Personal responsibility has to have a place somewhere. Making sure the chimney that you just broke into actually pokes through the roof is a good place to start.

    Matt
    Dune likes this.
  3. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I guess I didn't explain this too well. It's a full exterior cinder block chimney, fully vented. It is a regular chimney. The gravity heater was in the floor next to where this was in the wall (we called it the hole in the floor, it basically looks like a radiator with a grate over it). This goes through the wall into the chimney which is on the outside. Like an old wood stove, only I don't think it was for a wood stove.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How big was that hole in the floor? About 3' by 3' maybe even larger? I'm trying to picture a couple of old floor registers.

    Some houses used to be heated by a gravity hot air furnace that was in the basement, it burned either wood or coal or both. Frequently there was a chain on a sprocket that also went through the floor that was attached to the damper of the furnace. This was used to regulate the heat output from the first floor.

    Nearby was the chimney sometimes there was also a stove that used the same chimney and it wasn't unknown to have both at the same time or to have had one and then the other at different times.

    A prior house we owned had the old gravity hot air unit still in the basement and the chimney it was connected to had been brought below the roof line. I finished removing the chimney and did a refurbish job on the furnace and had a new lined chimney built, burned just a few ton of coal in that puppy along with a bit of wood.
  5. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Maybe 2 1/2' x 3'. It wasn't ducted, it just sat in the floor and radiated heat. and the grate on top got HOT. We don't have a basement, it was hung from the floor joists in the crawl space.

    Here's one I found for sale

    [​IMG]

    And this is basically what they look line installed (this isn't ours)

    [​IMG]
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ours could get an inch higher in the center than at the edge when fired and the cold air would run like a river over the floor and down around the edge of the unit and the heat just poured out of the center, sure sounds like you had a smaller unit than we had. No ducting at all and it had no trouble keeping the house (over 2000 square feet) warm.

    I got tired of the ash cans full of ash and replaced it with a multi-zone hot water system.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    We used to have a house built in 1920 that had a large floor grate like that. It was hooked up to ductwork when we bought the house, but I always figured it was from the old coal stove the house probably had.

    Matt
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've seen several of these drop in floor heaters. Coleman sold them.

    The thimble shown has plaster lath very close to it. It would definitely not qualify for a woodstove as shown.
  9. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    This is a better view with the wall in plain view

    [​IMG]

    Note the bees nests. When we redid the ceiling a few years ago, we couldn't figure out how the bees got it to make nests. And now we know.

    The wall with the paneling on the left was not originally there. We built that to match one on the other side, this is between the living and dining rooms.

    It's just outside of this photo on the left:

    [​IMG]
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    They put a plug in the hole and went right over the top of it. There are and were caps made to plug unused chimney access holes and some folks came up with their own variations.

    I had a front row seat to one plug getting blown out into a living room due to a delayed ignition of an oil fired domestic hot water "boiler", it blew the plug through the wallpaper in a living room.
  11. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We're thinking of using a cement type product. We're also capping the chimney since it isn't being used but it would be a PITA to take down.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I filled a couple of those with some brick and mortar, it became chimney again.
  13. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Quickrete brand Hydroment cement, it expands when curing seals everything solid. As the name implies it is used to seal cracks / holes against water penetration.
  14. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

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    Without a sealer no cement product is good for water prevention. "Hydro" i assume is in reference to it being a hydraulic cement, ie it expands as it cures. You have to be careful with something like that because it could expand so much it basically breaks its container. It would probably split a stove pipe in that large of a mass of concrete.

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