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Wall above fireplace too darn hot!!!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by KevinHanson, Feb 3, 2006.

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  1. KevinHanson

    KevinHanson New Member

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    We moved into this house a little over a year ago. We have a direct vent gas fireplace (don't have the specs in front of me, sorry).

    When we have the fireplace on for more than a half an hour or so, the wall directly above the fireplace gets exceedingly hot! There's a 4 inch brick mantle (part of the whole enclosure) and that's all.

    We tried attaching a blower, but it never seemed to make a difference, and was noisy as all get-out, so we got rid of it.

    The heat gets so bad that the brick is unbearable to touch and candles will melt. Tonight, a mirror that we have had hanging on the wall above the fireplace CRACKED!

    Our fireplace "expert" says that the hot wall is NORMAL... but melting candles and cracking glass????? NORMAL?????

    Is our fireplace guy nuts for thinking this is normal, or am I, for thinking this shouldn't be happening?

    HELP!!

    Kevin

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Get the model# and Ser# and you can look up the required clearance. Post it here & I'll look it up for you.
  3. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    AND DO NOT RUN IT UNTIL YOU CHECK CLEARANCES!!!

    This sounds EXTREMELY dangerous.

    Please be careful, and stay safe.
  4. KevinHanson

    KevinHanson New Member

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    I'll track down the Model # & Ser. # for you, but I'm not sure what good knowing the required clearance will do me. The fireplace is built into a brick enclosure and I can't see any way of measuring the current clearance without tearing open the wall. Please don't tell me I have to tear open the wall to measure the clearance! Argh!

    :-(
  5. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Well, simply speaking out of my rear orifice, the mantel should not get hot enough to crack glass. Now melting candles, maybe, but cracking glass worries me. This implies a severe temperature differential, and may indicate that the wall behind the mirror is very hot, while the air infront of it is not, thereby providing the required temperature difference to crack it. It may be there is a void in between the bricks and the mantel, allowing heat to travel up above and behind the enclosure. I don't know. But be careful.
  6. the_guad

    the_guad New Member

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    This may be a stupid question, but is it possible that he could have a problem with his flue (tile or stainless)? Since the majority of the heat goes up the chimney, if it's not sealed to the top I imagine it would get pretty hot.
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    In a rear vent situation, fireplaces can build up a lot of heat. Expecially in a corner install with a 45 and a long run, with a level or a slightdown hill run. Does your fireplace ever shut off from overheating?
  8. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I'll be honest, it probably won't be an easy fix. With some work on your part though you could more than likely track down the *nice people* who put it in incorrectly and, with the help of your local building inspector, make them fix it. That is of course if it is installed incorrectly. I don't mean to jump to conclusions especially sight unseen. There could be a lot of different things causing the problem, have you had a service person out to look?
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    get your digital camera out an post some pictures so we can get a better understanding of what going on.

    Does not sound normal or right. Is it setup in an existing masonry fireplace opening?
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Im assuming its a direct vent fireplace, and not a direct vent insert. Please post some photos like elk has said.
  11. KevinHanson

    KevinHanson New Member

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    Sorry for my absence, folks. I've been away on vacation. It sounds like you all know of which you speak!

    To catch up: It's a direct vent fireplace. There's no chimney. This was part of the original construction (approx. 13 years ago). It is not in a corner. It is in the middle of an exterior wall and the vent is directly behind it. The firepalce has never shut itself off due to overheating.

    As to the hot mantle... I was just at another home (not in my neighborhood) with a direct vent fireplace and felt the wall directly under and directly above the mantle, as well as the mantle itself (which was wood, by the way). The wall directly under the mantle was hot (too hot to lean on), which I expected. However, the wall above the mantle was cool to the touch (hardly any heat at all) and the mantle was understandably warm underneath and cool on top.

    This leads me to believe that you may be onto something when you say there might be a problem behind my wall. Granted we don't have a wood mantle. Ours is brick, and would therefore absorb and transfer more heat (I imagine) than a wood mantle.

    I'll try to take some pictures (as well as getting that model # and serial #) and post them here later.

    Thanks again for all the feedback. I'm still holding out hope that I can get this problem corrected without too much expense!!

    Kevin
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