All the heat goes up the chimney myth

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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,776
Wisconsin Dells, WI
10% is about the best that is possible from an open fireplace. Most are far less

We have a Heat N Glo EM-42 that has heating tubes with a fan. It's more "efficient" (I use that term very loosely..lol) than your standard fireplace.

Not our photos, but it's the same fireplace.

 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,428
Downeast Maine
Three feet from the fire and it is at 126 degrees fahrenheit (127 before I turned it for photo). This is a small fire. I've had the temp gauge there less than 10 minutes. Heat is going up the chimney. But there is a lot of heat to spare. How hot is it 3 feet from your stove?
View attachment 289888 View attachment 289891
You have a beautiful fireplace that looks big enough to do some cooking even. Still a terrible option for heating your home, but I'm sure nothing beats a roaring open fire. I wish we had a fireplace just for the occasional open fire.
 
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,776
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I wish we had a fireplace just for the occasional open fire.

We have not used ours since we put in the wood furnace. It just sits there all cleaned out staged with some birch logs placed on the grate.

I just can't get myself to use wood in that when the amount of wood I'd burn in 4 hours would heat our home for days in the Kuuma. LOL
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,428
Downeast Maine
We have not used ours since we put in the wood furnace. It just sits there all cleaned out staged with some birch logs placed on the grate.

I just can't get myself to use wood in that when the amount of wood I'd burn in 4 hours would heat our home for days in the Kuuma. LOL
Our house is small, and the daydreaming fireplace would definitely only be used in mild weather. My daydream fireplace is the fancy Superior two sided ZC that can be installed in an exterior wall.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,784
Long Island NY
Its from a potter that has known me since I was a baby. I now clean his chimney in exchange for his stuff.

I was going to say that that is hand made on a wheel. Looks good.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,126
MA
What happens to heat in the house as fire dies down with a large open, drafting chimney? Not interested in a pissing match.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,233
Palmyra, WI
What happens to heat in the house as fire dies down with a large open, drafting chimney? Not interested in a pissing match.
For the farmhouse here, I went around with a smoke stick searching for leaks that could contribute to heat loss. Some of the things I found were a little surprising. Light switches, holes cut in for plumbing pipes and heat vents, the fireplace (with glass doors to supposedly seal it off). The glass doors helped, but through any gaps it was like a bath fan was turned on. Air was just motoring up and out. Even with the damper shut it did little to stop the flow. The cast iron damper closed the opening, but did not seal. I got on the roof and caulked on a chimney cap over the clay tile, effectively disabling the fireplace. We'll see how the heat bills fare.
 
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ctyankee

Member
Oct 25, 2019
104
connecticut
To be fair, where is the "paragraph" that one is exempt from bringing a system up to the stipulations of code if the system is already existing and not being altered? If that paragraph is "in the code" (e.g. at the end), then one is "up to code" in a case like this. The exemption is part of the code. That's how law works imo.

Hence, this is a matter of semantics.

That said, the latest code requirements are without a doubt safer.
That is my understanding as well. Grandfathered code is not an exemption granted, it is not "stepchild" code. The vast majority of homes have grandfathered code in them. We are the majority.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,810
central pa
That is my understanding as well. Grandfathered code is not an exemption granted, it is not "stepchild" code. The vast majority of homes have grandfathered code in them. We are the majority.
Ok regardless of how you say it you are correct. Many systems in many houses absolutely are not required to meet modern code. But that really doesn't matter when we are talking about safety..

Grandfathered or not an unsafe install is unsafe and should be addressed. Yes some old systems can be perfectly safe while not meeting code but assuming it is simply because nothing has happened yet is a dangerous thing to do
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,784
Long Island NY
I do think we agree that safety is affected by not meeting the requirements that altered or new installs have to meet.
 

ctyankee

Member
Oct 25, 2019
104
connecticut
Ok regardless of how you say it you are correct. Many systems in many houses absolutely are not required to meet modern code. But that really doesn't matter when we are talking about safety..

Grandfathered or not an unsafe install is unsafe and should be addressed. Yes some old systems can be perfectly safe while not meeting code but assuming it is simply because nothing has happened yet is a dangerous thing to do
I apologize to you for using the term "fraudulent" in regard to your code discussions on this site. I think some of it is incomplete, maybe unintentionally, when discussing code. Some folks make changes only because they are under the (wrong) impression they are not code compliant.
Ok regardless of how you say it you are correct. Many systems in many houses absolutely are not required to meet modern code. But that really doesn't matter when we are talking about safety..

Grandfathered or not an unsafe install is unsafe and should be addressed. Yes some old systems can be perfectly safe while not meeting code but assuming it is simply because nothing has happened yet is a dangerous thing to do
Some code I am sure is driven by industry greed, etc. Some of the code amounts to nitpicking, or worse. Even with stove installs, etc.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,233
Palmyra, WI
The farm house here still has knob and tube electric wiring in places. It's been "grandfathered in", and all "new" wiring meets applicable codes. Of course the old stuff was all disabled long ago, but still, just sayin. The floor joists in the dining room are 2x6, and span 16ft. Hmm, codes. Get stuff up to date and be safe.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,810
central pa
I apologize to you for using the term "fraudulent" in regard to your code discussions on this site. I think some of it is incomplete, maybe unintentionally, when discussing code. Some folks make changes only because they are under the (wrong) impression they are not code compliant.

Some code I am sure is driven by industry greed, etc. Some of the code amounts to nitpicking, or worse. Even with stove installs, etc.
Ok can you tell us what code is driven by industry greed?

I absolutely agree some can be nitpicky but believe me it is nothing compared to what will happen if something goes wrong and an insurance claim is filed on that new install. Like it or not when doing a new install you have to be nitpicky to be sure you comply and cover yourself when it comes to liability
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,810
central pa
The farm house here still has knob and tube electric wiring in places. It's been "grandfathered in", and all "new" wiring meets applicable codes. Of course the old stuff was all disabled long ago, but still, just sayin. The floor joists in the dining room are 2x6, and span 16ft. Hmm, codes. Get stuff up to date and be safe.
And that old knob and tube was perfectly safe when done for the loads of the time. But if it has been messed with or is overloaded it no longer is. Just like old fireplaces many times they were safe to start with but they degrade and people change them and they may not be any longer.
 

ctyankee

Member
Oct 25, 2019
104
connecticut
You have a beautiful fireplace that looks big enough to do some cooking even. Still a terrible option for heating your home, but I'm sure nothing beats a roaring open fire. I wish we had a fireplace just for the occasional open fire.
I was fortunate to buy a home with a stone chimney. I wanted an old house with fireplaces, but wasn't thinking about stone vs brick. Mortared brick just does not stand up over the centuries compared to a well built stone chimney --- at least in CT. I can't vouch for how PA stone chimneys are built (I don't want a debate from the resident sweep ha ha). The stack in cellar is 13 feet by 13 feet, so that gives you an idea of the scale. Here's some troll food I just roasted: 100_4147.JPG 100_4149.JPG 100_4151.JPG 100_4152.JPG
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,810
central pa
I was fortunate to buy a home with a stone chimney. I wanted an old house with fireplaces, but wasn't thinking about stone vs brick. Mortared brick just does not stand up over the centuries compared to a well built stone chimney --- at least in CT. I can't vouch for how PA stone chimneys are built (I don't want a debate from the resident sweep ha ha). The stack in cellar is 13 feet by 13 feet, so that gives you an idea of the scale. Here's some troll food I just roasted: View attachment 289938 View attachment 289939 View attachment 289940 View attachment 289941
You are very confused about things if you think I have a problem with old chimneys like this in any way. I find them very interesting and rewarding to work on to keep them alive. We work on many very old brick and stone chimneys here. Some still in use as intended others converted for more modern uses.
 
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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,132
Sand Lake, NY
For giggles (and not to make a point either way, because I don' t think it says enough about the situation to make a judgement about efficiency either way), I put a thermometer 3 ft in front of my stove. It died at 120 F... :-(
Yeah, I have a few of those accurites. I'm surprised it went up to 127!
 
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ctyankee

Member
Oct 25, 2019
104
connecticut
You are very confused about things if you think I have a problem with old chimneys like this in any way. I find them very interesting and rewarding to work on to keep them alive. We work on many very old brick and stone chimneys here. Some still in use as intended others converted for more modern uses.
I meant brick vs stone. For all I know you'll say "no, stone does not necessarily hold up better than brick" etc. I just didn't want to debate it if you were so inclined.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,810
central pa
I meant brick vs stone. For all I know you'll say "no, stone does not necessarily hold up better than brick" etc. I just didn't want to debate it if you were so inclined.
That really depends on the stone and the quality of construction as well as location and if coal was used in the chimney. We typically see lots of limestone here which doesn't hold up well to coal. But in general yes the actual stone holds up better
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,126
MA
I'm a scientist by education. There's a three-page argu .... discussion ... on a single data point? ==c
 
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