Return to the Old House Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Large pipe in old fireplace

Posted by caffeinecat (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 14:53

I posted this in the fireplace section but figure it would be a good idea to post here too since this is an old house issue.

So I took off the cover on my fireplace today and discovered what's in the photo below. This is a old house, and while I wasn't expecting it to be in good shape, I also wasn't expecting whatever that is.

It goes up and out the roof and down into the crawls space somewhere (I assume, I didn't check, but it goes way down)

Can someone tell me why this pipe is there, what it's supposed to do, and how difficult it would be to remove it so I can at least have a decorative fireplace after blocking off the hole in the ground? I've lost hope now on it ever been wood burning but would be nice to have something pretty.

Thank you!

 photo IMAG2342_zps5d0f6ff3.jpg

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Large pipe in old fireplace

The broken boxy thing surrounding the metal pipe looks like a pretty standard chimney liner, maybe a piece that broke off and fell down the floor of the firebox. The metal pipe looks like stovepipe, doesn't it? You say it goes from the roof to the crawl space? How peculiar.

I would look around for a professional opinion. I engaged a chimney sweep once who turned out to be a retired fire chief for one of the towns around here, and he gave me some good advice. Basically, I can't burn stuff in my fireplace without risking a chimney fire. Disappointing, but good to know!

RE: Large pipe in old fireplace

vjrnts is correct. The large box shaped object is almost certainly a terra cotta tile used to line chimneys. The fact that it seems to have dropped out of the chimney suggests that the lining is badly damaged. It might, however, have been placed where it is deliberately.

The galvanized stove pipe was probably used to vent something in the cellar. This would be contrary to codes and a possible danger, especially if it has lots of angles and has not been cleaned. By all means check to see if it's still connected to something such as a water heater or even furnace.

Fireplaces of this size and design were intended for coal rather than wood. I second the idea of an inspection by a certified chimney sweep or perhaps your local fire department.

RE: Large pipe in old fireplace

Thank you for the replies, now that you mention it venting something in the basement, it's almost certainly the water heater.

So I would need to vent that elsewhere to use this fireplace for anything at all. :(

This is disappointing, but at least I know now. Thanks again

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Old House Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here