Damper Cut and Welded Shut

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Jon Curl

Mar 8, 2019
Midland, MI
I purchased a home with traditional brick chimney/wood burning fireplace. At some point they had a gas insert installed, which was later replaced with a wood burning insert. Anyway, I disconnected the gas line and removed the wood burning insert, as it was severely rusted due to a cracked/leaking crown. When I pulled it out I discovered the original damper was welded shut and they cut an oval hole through it's center to install a corrugated pipe to vent the insert in to the chimney.

I would like to restore the fireplace or at least have a functioning fireplace of some kind. The masonry/brick is in good condition. Does anyone here know if it is possible or feasible to replace the damper only, without having to tear down and rebuild the entire two story chimney? I've never seen this and don't have any idea how to get a functioning fireplace in the home.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
Utah & NJ
post some good clear pics.


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Almost anything is possible with the right budget. The first thing to do is have the chimney camera inspected by a professional, certified sweep to make sure it is not compromised and safe to burn with.

Is the damper spot welded or welded all the way across? If just spot welded, then the welds could be ground out and the hole repaired with a welded patch.
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P


Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
Long Island NY
Just be aware that going from an insert to a fireplace you'll (have better ambiance when the fire is going but when no fire is going you) loose a lot more heat up the chimney (dampers don't seal), so your heating cost will go up.

It's okay if you are okay with that for the ambiance the fireplace gives, but I wanted to note this before you are seeing unintended consequences.