Quickie Chimney breast Question

shodan

Distinguished Member
Due to building works this year, the TV and kit needs to move off the wall its on and the next best location is to go across the room on to the chimney breast (90 degrees to the right from where it currently is).
I'm actually looking forward to it as it gives me a chance to get the L&R speakers to a better height for the TV and the right distance apart and to hide cables better (in the chimney flue).
So, my question..
The house is in the south east (Essex) and is about 110 years old.
The fireplace was bricked up with breeze block when I moved in, but I opened it out a little to fit a vent for some air circulation. I only opened it out enough to fit the vent cover.

So I'm presuming that the chimney breast itself is made of brick?

My TV currently lives on a massive double cantilever bracket, with M anchor bolts on the wall.
It's been there for 13 years and this is the second TV on it, and it is solid going in to brick.

I presume the chimney breast will be the same?
I don't think the chimney is capped (need to check obviously). So will use flexi tube trunking for the cables dropped down inside the flue to protect them from rain or moisture, but I don't think I've ever noticed it wet in there but it does get windy sometimes. I don't believe there is a balloon in there.
I don't think the opening went as high as the TV bracket will be either so that shouldn't be a problem either.

What else do I need to consider or think off?

Ta
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
Chimney vids

Some video of the inside of the chimney breast which shows the breeze block closing it up (and all the loose one's the "builder" just left in there. Consequently there is a whole loose one in there which I can't get it without making the hole bigger).
Also plenty of old dirt and dust which nearer the time I'll take the filters out of the old Dyson and vacuum it out.
Don't know if this is normal but the actual flue is in the right hand side of the chimney breast. I put the vent in the middle (obviously) but it is the left side edge of the flue!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If there are several open fires in the house, not unusual with Edwardian houses then the offset flue is there to allow others to join the chimney. It should be lined with a silica based firebrick, tough old beasts. The outer lining, or wall of the room is probably standard brick with a cement covering. Many people either cap the chimneys or remove them above the roof entirely which can prove costly. The lining looks pretty good from your videos. I'm not a builder so don't take my word for it as I'm more familiar with chimneys in old coal miners' cottages.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
Thanks matey, so pretty much as I thought.
Last year when I was pilling up carpet upstairs, I found a small stone heath in each room attached to the chimney breast. So I'm thinking for any cables I want to put round the house, I can open up the bricked up fireplaces upstairs and drop the cable down the chimney in to the living room! (I think).

Further pondering, all the crap dirt and dust in the bottom of the downstairs suggests no rain or heavy moisture gets down there, otherwise it would be like thick mud instead and the lining and walls works be caked.... Does that sound right?
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
This diagram is very similar to the one I remember in the 'Manual of Firemanship'. You may not have the dustpan underneath, that was really posh. Gives you an idea of how a chimney is constructed.
8ff4b1fe5667d62ef286d36941cc10ad.jpg
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You'll soon know if water is entering the chimney as not only does it land at the bottom but will also penetrate the brick, especially where some of the lining may have failed. Big problem with leaving them open at the pot is that birds often nest in them. I went to quite a few shouts where burning nests had fallen into the room leading to a serious incident. Not that that is going to happen to you but they can be a nuisance.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
That is excellent, thank you. See, knew all those years as a fire fairy would come in handy one day... 😂. Just kidding, you know I love you guys (cause if you didn't do it, then my lot would probably have to, and that would be disastrous!🙄😂).
Any idea what that Damper thing would be and how it would work?

The heaths in this place are just really heavy stone (like REALLY heavy).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The damper is made from metal. There is usually a metal lug or level that would be used to open or shut it. Open when you wanted to fire to draw closed once it's going. It's angled but never shuts 100% or everyone would be dead. If may very well have been removed. Push a piece of wood up and the chimney and you'll soon be able to tell if the damper is still in place, if so leave it there, it will do no harm.

The hearths are usually stone, as would be any lintels over the fire. Years ago they were often made from wood and when the chimney lining failed they would often start to smoulder. Right pain in the arse, took hours as they had to be removed. The heavy hearths were there to protect any wooden beams underneath.

You've made me feel like a 25 year old again. Well my mind at least, the body, well that's another story. Even fairies get old.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
@gibbsy you saying the house was Edwardian got me thinking..
The house is probably nearer to 120+ years old, however it doesn't have a huge amount or an obvious amount of characteristics of Edwardian, victoriana or Georgian despite there being examples of those design styles in the area.
I think this is because it was built by and owned by the MOD as it was Army officers family quarters.
They only sold it off about 43 years ago so we don't have the records of it being built, only references to it and the area in the local history.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
@gibbsy Fairies don't get old, they just get wiser... 😉
 

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