heat and glo 8000
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  1. #1

    heat and glo 8000

    Is is supposed to be cold and drafty right under the firepace where the pilot, the fan and propane line are located when the fireplace is off? when I say cold we had temperature reading as low as 29f. It is a new house the builder is saying it's built to the code and the heat and glo tech did not find anything wrong on the installation, he also checked with a "snake camera" for insulation, it's there.
    so is is worth it to remove the fireplace (we would need to remove the stone facade) and add more insulation behind, all around the box?
    When it's on we can feel the heat but how much frigid air are we warming up?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
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    268
    They didn't use high temp red silicone on the gap between the vent pipe and wall flashing. Not a dyi job but may be done by taking the termination off and using a silicone gun with extension on the nozzle to reach to pipe/flashing gap. It should make people mad that it would have taken 5minutes and $5 dollars at the time if installation to avoid this draft. Thats what you get when you hire a builder and installer that lacks integrity. Now your house lacks integrity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    1,078
    So there is just insulation behind the fireplace? What about something to seal it in? According to Energy Star documents I have seen fiberglass batting is only effective if its sealed on all 6 sides, normally this is done with sheeting, studs, and drywall. But behind a fireplace often times the drywall (or something comparable) is neglected. Like this, the insulation just acts as a big filter, so at least you get clean cold air.

  4. #4
    the only insulation is behind the front wall of the fireplace and on top of the box, side and back walls are "naked", not drywall looks like plywood to me.
    Nobody removed the outside vent pipe to look for red silicone, maybe we need to start from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
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    46
    Sealing the pipe isnt nearly as important as insulating and finishing off the inside of the chase. Thats too bad that it wasnt finished off prior to the installation of the FP. You could probably do the chase finish work yourself but you need a pro to do the removal and install of the FP to make shure clearances and proper venting are followed. JB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
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    268
    JB, I'm talking about creating a thermal break. Doesn't matter how much insulation and vapour barrier when there's an 1/8" gap around a 7" (or 8") pipe. But it does sound like a poorly planned installation. Who is to blame? Was the installer supposed to frame, insulate and drywall? Not likely, but should the installer forfit a half days pay to notify the builder or homeowner of the deficiencies and reschedule the install? Sadly, yes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    1,078
    If the walls behind the fireplace are just bare studs and exterior sheeting then there is no amount of caulk on the vent that will fix the cold coming in. It also does not have to be red silicone. We use 450 deg rated silver silicone caulk. The red is rated for 600 deg I think and its nasty stuff so we only use it when needed (commercial projects mostly).

    If you have vinyl siding it can be fixed from the outside without removing the fireplace. We actually started doing this as a service because its a huge problem for a lot of people in 5+ year old houses. That's about the time when as a company we recognized the problem and forced the builders to either insulate and seal back there themselves before we installed the fireplace, or we do it and change them for it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
    Posts
    46
    As long as the wall is finished off then the air gap will not be a problem. If I am following your post correcly then that is the fire stop and we do not caulk around the pipe. I will make shure the chase is finished prior to the job being started because I do not want to be blamed for a drafty install. (bad advertising)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    JTP, I am interested in your repair. Do you take everything off and rebuild from inside to out? What does that cost? How long doe it take? Does the builder repay anything?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
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    JB, you don't caulk the pipe where it passes though the firestop..... why? That can be a major source of cold air unless the brand of venting you use has very tight firestops. Ours have probably at least 1/4" of play in them so if you don't seal that gap air will leak in.

    natgastech, For a job where there is no drywall in there I think they are taking off most of the siding on the back wall. Then they cut a large hole removing sheeting and studs. Then you make a draft stop and push it up with insulation on top. Next insulated and drywall the side walls. Then do the back sections of wall that are not cut out. For the final piece I am not sure how exactly they do it (It may be different every time depending on the house). I think best option would be to put a full sheet of drywall in first, sealing the hole. Then repair the suds, and insulate between them. Then you can put the sheeting back on the outside and put the siding back on.

    A lot of the times there is something in there but its just not done right. For that they cut a smaller hole and crawl in (I have done this myself, tons of fun). Usually armed with a caulk gun and a few tubes of caulk. Seal all the gaps and patch in drywall where needed.

    We charge people $500 normally. Takes the crew about 3 hours to do it. They are pretty good at it, since we do the same thing when we tear out and replace and old fireplace through the back of the house. They have been doing that for years so it was a simple conversion to fix the house and leave the unit there.

    We charge the customer directly and if they want to go after the builder for it they can. Most builders are long gone from the project by the this time though. If the builder is involved in it already they have probably spent time and money trying to fix it themselves. In that case we normally end up not charging anyone for it but have a happy customer and a happy builder so it works out in the end.

    ----

    Also, referencing the original post, I would be curios to see what the code book has to say about the envelope of the house. I wonder if you are supposed to have a huge hole in the envelope behind the fireplace? You might as well just open one of your windows year round, it would have the same effect.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    Yes, the fireplace should be installed on a "building code" certified wall otherwise it is not installed "to code".

  12. #12
    Last question, the outside wall is stucco, is is the easiest way to get in and do all the repair needed?
    Thanks for all the info

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio (geauga County)
    Posts
    46
    As long as the termination cap is properly installed and sealed then you wont have air flow through the firestop. JB

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