Help Removing Fireplace Damper Assembly

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LandscaperDarryl

New Member
Aug 17, 2008
15
Eastern CT
Hi. I was wondering if someone could tell me how to remove the entire damper in my masonry fireplace in preparation for converting to a wood stove. I've got the door off now but I want to take the whole assembly out. Are they usually just set in there or is there some sort of hardware holding it in. I can't seem to find anything holding it. It seems to be in there pretty tight...I can't budge it. Granted there's some creosote deposits that likely have it glued in a bit but anything else likely to be holding it other than the lips and gravity? I'm sure i could get it out, but I'd like to get it out undamaged in case I ever want to put it back in....i.e I sell the house and want to take the stove with me.

I'm attaching a picture of it.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Darryl
 

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If I am seeing right, it looks like the damper (the door) has already been removed. I don't think one can easily remove the damper throat. It is usually permanently installed. Normally one ovalizes the liner to fit or cuts/grinds out clearance at this point. If this is a 2 story chimney, you could probably go with a 5.5" liner to reduce ovalizing.
 
should you decide to cut, I found a cut off wheel worked best. Sawzall just made a mess and ate up blades.
 
I just cut a big "V" notch in one side of mine, and it worked fine. Get a reciprocating saw with a blade long enough to cut through both the face (which you can see) and the top shelf. Plan the angles of your cut with care to avoid cutting twice. It's a bit of a pain, but you can do it.
 
woodzilla said:
should you decide to cut, I found a cut off wheel worked best. Sawzall just made a mess and ate up blades.
Not contradicting, but for the record; the sawzall went through mine like butter. Most of the work is in getting setup to go, and also, be prepared to get real sooty.
 
Ok...thanks guys. And yes the door has been removed and it's a 2 story chimney....well 1.5 story house (farmhouse cape). I was really hoping to not have to mutilate it to the point of rendering it unusable. You never know if someone will want to use it as a fireplace again in the future. It's just a shade under 6 inches wide.

As far as ovalizing the liner....are you saving just sorta squash a round one? I know they make liner sections that go from round on one end to oval on the other for stoves with oval exhaust flanges. I suppose I could use one of those to get though there. I didn't realize they made 5.5 inch liners.

Thanks again

Darryl
 
I would cut it and use a 6 inch. I figured I could have mine welded back together if I wanted to put it back to original.
 
LandscaperDarryl said:
Ok...thanks guys. And yes the door has been removed and it's a 2 story chimney....well 1.5 story house (farmhouse cape). I was really hoping to not have to mutilate it to the point of rendering it unusable. You never know if someone will want to use it as a fireplace again in the future. It's just a shade under 6 inches wide.

As far as ovalizing the liner....are you saving just sorta squash a round one? I know they make liner sections that go from round on one end to oval on the other for stoves with oval exhaust flanges. I suppose I could use one of those to get though there. I didn't realize they made 5.5 inch liners.

Thanks again

Darryl

Hopefully, BrotherBart will sign in on this one soon. His set up and solution (with the 5.5" pipe) is somewhat similar to yours.
 
I tried my sawzall and that didn't work well. The cast iron was way too tough.

Used my handheld grinder and cut the damper frame out in a matter of minutes. I guess I could have used an oval connection, but I wanted the 6" round all the way from stove to chimney top.
 
Well...after pondering all this for a few days, I think I'm just gonna buy my stove from a shop and have them install it. My biggest issue is the liner and getting it down and I really don't have the time or patience for PITA stuff. It's about 30 feet from the ground to the chimney top and it's offset from the roof peak enough that I can't get it from there. I don't have a ladder that long or ever a ladder rack on my truck. Due to the fact that I'm the sole source of income for a family of 4 without disability insurance, I really don't wanna mess with the liner install. I really don't like having friends help with that kinda stuff either and my wife isn't much help and don't wanna put my 14 year old son at risk either. In my younger days I wouldn't have given it a second thought but it gets to a point where it's just not worth the risk. So I'll leave the damper up to him too.

I haven't gotten prices yet...waiting for the Avalon dealer to return my call..obviously he's pretty busy...but I talked to him a couple years back and I feel comfortable with him. At this point I've narrowed it down to a few choices ... I think the Avalon Rainier as either an insert or matle installation would fit the bill. Not sure if I'll get the blower...gonna discuss it all with him. I could sqeak the Olympic insert in there too...barely...but I think it would be overkill for my 1,600 ft sq cape but that firebox is huge.

Anyway...thanks for the input and I'll keep you posted. BTW...he's already booked out to October on installs.

Darryl
 
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