Unblock Fireplace

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by WeegyAVLover, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    Hey Everyone...

    I am doing some work in my dinning room and moved onto the chimney to open it up and unblock so a fire can be installed.

    However when I removed the plaster from the wall, what I found confused me as it was not what I expected. I am a DIYer so this is not my day job but I have seen an opened fireplace when our livingroom was being done up, but this is different.

    When removing the plaster I was expecting to find the new brickwork where the fireplace hole had once been. However while I can see the new brickwork it seems to be, in part, holding up the lintel (which is narrower than I expected). Also I am not sure what it is called but the curved back to the fireplace that I guess directs the smoke up the chimney that is a lot closer to the front of the brickwork, again, than I expected.

    Here are some pictures:

    DR - Fire - 1.JPG DR - Fire - 2.JPG DR - Fire - 3.JPG DR - Fire - 4.JPG

    I am also not sure what what those wooden stakes are doing but they appear to go the whole way to the floor, but the left one does not appear to be support anything but is held in by the cement.

    Just looking for some advice on how to deal with this before I proceed and remove anything else.

    Thanks in advance.
    Col
     
  2. BB3Lions

    BB3Lions
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  3. DJT75

    DJT75
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    I'm going to guess there's either another wider lintel a little higher up and that one was shoved in when bricking up as it appears to have new bricks above it. But then if the other part is further forward than you were expecting, maybe that was the original lintel, someone removed it, it started collapsing and they've quickly patched it all up.
     
  4. RuddyRoad

    RuddyRoad
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    I was so sure you were going to say HDMI cables. (Sorry).
     
  5. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    That is going to haunt me for-ever-more-amen.
     
  6. foozoo

    foozoo
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    What age is the house? I did the same thing in a Victorian terrace, the opening ended up being about 4' high and 3' across. As DJT75 said they could be another lintel above, I would remove more of the plaster to see if the original opening is still in tact, fingers crossed you may get lucky.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  7. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    That will be the job over the weekend. Thanks for the advice, I will report back once I have stripped off more plaster.
     
  8. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    Have you got a set of drain rods? If so push them gently up the chimney, where they seem to hit a blockage then that is usually about a foot above the lintel where the flue makes a turn towards the main stack which should be in the middle of the house. Always turn the rods clockwise.
     
  9. DJT75

    DJT75
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    Any news or did the house collapse on you?
     
  10. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    LOL! the house is still standing.

    Never got a chance at the weekend as I was helping my in-laws who are getting on a bit do decorating in their Kitchen/Bathroom as well as feeling ill on Fri/Sat.

    This week has also been a bit crazy with work and just general life things that need to be done.

    However this Saturday I hope to make some progress and I will update you all after that.... I know the anticipation must be almost unbearable.
     
  11. DJT75

    DJT75
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    It is, it is!!

    You wait until you see the weather for the next few weekends. I reckon you'll be back on this in October :)
     
  12. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    LOL!.... I hope so and at the same time hope not.

    You clearly do not stay in Scotland... This year has been a stinking summer up here and looks to be continuing into Winter
     
  13. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    Hey all,

    As I know some of you will have been unable to sleep due to the lack of updates I thought I better post this now rather than later

    So I went further up and 3 bricks fell out into the chimney so the cement I think was very weak. However as you can see from the pictures it has left a decent sized inspection hole for me to check out.

    Up the chimney looks clear and I am happy with what I can see which is darkness and no decomposing chimney sweep boys bodies... Which is nice.

    Down the way there is not much to see as it is still rather confusing.

    I think I am going to call a chimney sweep company for advice on what to do.

    The chimney is not as deep as I expected, the bottom (4th pic) has a curved set of bricks less than a bricks depth behind the plaster I removed and I am not sure if this is integral to the chimney or left over from what may have been there.

    Also and my deciding factor I have not found another lintel yet and I am comfortable the hole I have is stable I do not want to risk anymore of the brickwork coming away.

    That all said if anyone has any solid, sound advice then I am willing to listen.

    Cheers
    Col



    ImageUploadedByAVForums1435417051.720089.jpg
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    ImageUploadedByAVForums1435417079.502926.jpg
    ImageUploadedByAVForums1435417444.378744.jpg
     
  14. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    Looking at those photos it looks like your fireplace is lower down, below the level of the skirting board, your final photo seems to show scorching of the brickwork from the the highest point flames reached, placing the fireplace itself well below current floor level :confused:
     
  15. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The fireplace is looking more like a small parlour fire place. It would have measured about two feet wide by three high and maybe a foot deep. Then it would have been surrounded by a decorative grate. Coal, even in Victorian times was quite expensive. Householders could, to save money, go for the far inferior English coal, but most would have wanted the very best burning fuel and so would have ordered Welsh coal.;)

    To solve this problem Weegie is going to have to dig down a little to make sure the hearth is not sitting on exposed wood. Sometimes the wood either under or over the fire place will start to smoulder, known in the trade as a hearth fire and a real pain in the arse to deal with. The chimney itself looks as if it was cleaned before the fireplace was sealed up, that's probably a sign that quality Welsh coal was used (Aberdare Dry Steam) and not your cheap English house coal. They do look like fire bricks at the bottom and if the soot line is about eighteen inches from the floor then that's about right for the type of fire I've described.

    If you want to check the draw on the chimney then set fire to a small piece of oily rag, or get a small smoke bomb, place it in the bottom of the fire place and then go outside to see if the smoke is venting properly from the top of the chimney stack.
     
  16. IronGiant

    IronGiant
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    It looks like the soot line is only a skirting board length above the skirting board? so if he has 9" skirting boards that would be about right :thumbsup: And in an old house like that 9" skirting is a definite possibility.

    Edit: so something like this that only requires the opening to be 7" deep? http://www.oldfireplaces.co.uk/product/victorian-bedroom-fireplace-2/
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  17. WeegyAVLover

    WeegyAVLover
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    Hey guys.
    Thanks for the responses. You are saying what I have been thinking that it was a small fire that sat very shallow and the link that IG have to the fireplace is the sort I thought had been there.

    The skirting boards are about 9" tall and I had planned on removing these to check out what was closer to the floor. The floor itself has a large concrete slab as I would expect so don't think there is any wood close by to worry about.

    Thanks for the advice.
     

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