draft from gas fireplace

greenmanalishiDecember 5, 2005

Got a new house, new Superior Gas fireplace. The vent pipe comes up from fireplace, and goes right outside to a small silver box, where the gas exits. Problem is, cold air is coming in, right down the pipe, into the house, bigtime. What the hell?

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If it's a new home, contact your builder. He can have the fireplace subcontactor come out to see if the problem is with the fireplace itself or the air infiltration is due to lack of proper insulation in the framed cavity that fireplace sits in. The later is the the most likely cause.

Can you be more specific as to where the cold air is coming in? Is it behind the glass door? (You do have a glass door on it, right?). Is it coming in through the upper or lower grille or both?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:25PM
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thanks for the email back. it's coming in the bottom section. yes, there is glass on it. can't come in the top section (louvers) because the pipe is closed up in that area. i looked outside today in the silver box on the outside wall, whatever the box is called, and basically, it's just the wind and air coming straight in the vent pipe right down the fireplace, and out onto the floor. i guess i assumed there was something that could be closed, like a flue. nope.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 7:57PM
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It sounds like you have a direct-vent gas fireplace or freestanding stove. The "box" you refer to sounds like the termination cap.

It shouldn't be blowing in cold air, but it can only be coming in from the outer-walled pipe as that is the combustion air brought in from the outside. The inner pipe carries out the exhaust gases.

Maybe it's just a bad design. You should contact your local Superior dealer and ask if it is typical for this model and if there is anything you can do about it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:07PM
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In the lower grille area, do you feel cold air blowing in? Or, is it just cold at the lower grille? Do you have air vent outside near the fireplace that is letting cold air in near the fireplace? Make sure the builder insualted the chase the fireplace sits in. If it's not you're going to get cold air infiltration.

Your house may be very air tight. If so, the area in and around the fireplace may be the source of make up air that the rest of your house needs for mechnical devices like fans HVAC etc... If you feel a draft try opening a window else where in the house to see in that reduces the air coming in. Also, see if it happen when the heater fan is on. If it does, then the HVAC sub needs to balance out your house.

The design of the fireplace and the vent system will bring the combustion air directly into the firebox area (where the logs are)and not anywhere near the lower grille area. Are there any issues when you use the product? Does the fireplace work and put out heat?

Your best bet is to have your builders run interference for you with the subs on this. They have leverage on them.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 12:01AM
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This vent type you describe should be used with a direct vent unit. As others have mentioned it pulls fresh air in and exhausts through the same pipe kinda. One is inside the other and that box you mention is a very important part of the operation of this type unit. This also means that the unit itself should be sealed off from the house indoors so that no inside air is used for combustion. The fact that you have air coming into the house says to me somethings wrong. Maybe they installed a DV vent to a B-vent firebox or maybe something inside the firebox is wrong and it isn't sealed off allowing this outside air to blow into the pipe, through the box and into the house. It needs to be looked at.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 10:19PM
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thanks for the replies, i'm on it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 11:56PM
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I am having a similar problem. I have a superior woodburning fireplace. The draft is coming through the bottom louvers as well. I have the some vent to the side of my house. According to my manual you are supposed to be able to close that vent.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 10:33PM
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I think my problem may be due to poor insulation behind the fireplace. My fireplace is caddy cornered in my family room. I assume there is space behind the wall where the fireplace was installed. The wall around the fireplace is cold whereas the outer walls next to it are not, which would lead me to believe it was not insulated properly. Can this be fixed without the builder tearing down the wall?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:12AM
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Similar problem being noticed here in my new home. In addition, last spring our CO alarm went off and wouldn't stop - coincidentally occuring while the surrounding area was flooding - long story - pilot light out and alarm stopped buzzing. This winter started up the pilot on the fireplace again - within a few weeks that CO alarm was going off again. Working to get them out here to inspect. Now that the thing is off, and it's starting to get chilly here in TX, I'm noticing the draft and thinking that it and the CO alarm are related. You should all invest in a CO alarm or shut off the fireplace until you get it looked at...if anyone else gets positive CO alarms, maybe we've got some leverage to make them fix it ASAP!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:56PM
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I too have a superior fireplace thats about five years old. I am getting a draft from the top and bottom of the unit. Its a direct vent. I just purchsed the house so I am not sure if the home builder installed it with the proper insulation. Funny thing is my dad had a gas fireplace installed last year, and he made sure the contractor sealed and used insulation board. He gets a draft from the bottom of his unit. IS it common for these gas fireplaces to allow air in? Is it possible the direct vent hole is the culprit and theres not much you can do about it? I am at a loss.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 2:23PM
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I have a Charm-Glo ( I think) gas fireplace and noticed the same issue last winter. Cold air was coming out the bottom, making the bricks in front of it very cold, as well as the whole floor in that room. I called the local installer and asked them to check it out. The serviceman did install some more silver tape around where the gas line comes in.
He said that the 'chase' around the fireplace was not insulated, from what he could tell. I have to agree with him, because I noticed that there was also air coming in from the outlet, above the mantle, where the fireplace on/off switch was located. That whole column of the fireplace is not insulated.
What I'm wondering is what insulation I can use around there that won't burn up?? It's tough enough getting it in - I want to know what my options are. Because of my house's layout, I can actually get above it through an attic. Getting insulation down there would be pretty tough, though.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:53AM
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I also have a gas fireplace in a new home. The vent pipe is letting cold air to come in. I turned to pilot light off and put a plastic bag over the aluminum box outside the house. This should stop the cold air from coming in or greatly reduce it. I believe poor insulation is also causing cold air to come in. I will have to pull the fireplace out and reinsulate around the gas fireplace. Current temps are 20's and windy. Will let you know if the taped plastic bag over the vent box works.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 5:53PM
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I just installed a Napoleon Crystallo fireplace in place of my old gas fireplace. I had the new fireplace installed about three feet above the floor, so the installers built a frame on which to place the fireplace "box." The old fireplace was vented through the chimney but the new one is vented out the side wall. The installers capped the chimney and built a "firewall" above the fireplace box to block cold air from the chimney. The unit works fine and really throws off a lot of heat but when I turn it off I feel a cold breeze, as if there were a window open behind the fireplace. It's so cold that I had to put a large fabric "shield" over the face of it and cannot use it. I'm in Minnesota and it is very cold here, but that is normal for this time of year. The wall both below and above the fireplace feels very cold. Any ideas? The company that installed it can't seem to figure it out. I'd have to knock a hole in the wall to get to the inner spaces as I had the wall finished just days before our first cold snap.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 5:39PM
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Here's a photo of the fireplace as it is right now. If I remove the covering the fireplace runs fine, but it takes me an hour to replace the covering and, of course, it looks awful!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Here's An easy solution I found. The FIREPLACE FASHION COVER is a magnetic insulated fireplace cover
that will attached to your fireplace doors or screens with industrial strength magnets that are hidden inside the cover,
no modifications to or residue on your existing fireplace. Folds in thirds when you want to burn a fire.
The fireplace fashion covers will stop the cold fireplace drafts and chimney heat loss, and they look great.
Fireplace Fashion Covers are the easy, affordable and attractive solution to cover your fireplace and save energy.
All Fireplace Fashion covers are custom made to the measurements of your fireplace and our cover are made from
all American components in Havre De Grace Maryland. Check us out at--Fireplace Fashion by Beverly Thanks Gil

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireplace Fashion by Beverly

    Bookmark   September 28, 2014 at 11:28AM
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