Two interesting service calls today.
The first one was on the ocean. The HO sid she saw some of her flowers walking past her window, via a squirrel and it deposited them in the duct for their direct vent fireplace........no screen no less. Gotta love that ocean air. I had to take the WHOLE fireplace apart so I could dig a basketball sized mass of nesting material out of their firebox !!!!! 4 hours later they are up and running !!!
Call #2, got a call that the pilot keeps going out after 3-5 minutes. I'm thinking flame liftoff.....naw, wouldn't be that easy. Classic case of tinkeritus. When I arrive, the glass is off, logs out and the burner tube is sitting on the floor....I know this is going to be fun $$$$$$. I test the pilot, VERY lazy.......... I take the pilot assembly apart, no freakin' orfice and he has turned the pilot WAY down and of course, it is a funky orfice !!!! I guess I get to see them tomorrow as well.
Don't ya just love it when they think these are DIY?????
fireplaces near the ocean
Rob, we found two basic mechanisms for the screens on the terminations corroding away. The first is from salt spray, which can take awhile. The second is from bird poop. We found condos where the local birds thought all those unused direct vent terminations made great ledges for building nests. Their poop ate right through the hot dipped galvanized mesh. That allowed them to enter the vent and build a very well sheltered nest..........that is until someone wanted to demonstrate the fireplace.
In response to a situation where a nest fire in a vent triggered the local fire marshal to require 100% inspection of all the terminations in that condo, we did find about 10% needing replacement screens, three other nests, and one improperly installed. We then went to the mfr. who located a source of stainless steel mesh to offer with vent caps near the shore. I explained to them half the houses along the Jersey shore (that's beach to the rest of the world), had their original factory built fireplace caps replaced with ICP Weathershields and VacuStacks. While made of stainless steel and may last a lot longer, those terminations are not listed for use with any of those fireplaces and may cause a fire. I explained if the factory did not provide a suitable alternative, the locals would go freestyle and we'd all be in court regardless. Last I heard there was a full stainless termination available on special request. Ugh!
As for your condos, I suggest to explain the nest hazard and use that as just another reason they need you to perform an annual inspection and service.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.