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Oilcan 10-11-2007 10:27 AM

Vents I can't decipher
I have three circular cast iron vents in my upstairs bedrooms (one in each room) that I can't quite figure out. They seem to be placed where the chimney comes up through the house but Im not sure if they are actually connected somehow. (The fireplace is downstairs.)

It seems strange that the chimney would vent directly into the rooms upstairs. My first thought was to light a fire in the fireplace, and open the vents up but there are cracks in the masonry so I'm a little weary of that. We've never used it.

Anyone have similar vents?


CraigFL 10-11-2007 11:45 AM

Could these have been to vent woodstoves in the "good ol' days"...

Oilcan 10-11-2007 03:07 PM

Thanks Craig
Yeah, I think something like that is possible. The upstairs has been remodeled so I suppose whoever did the upgrade may have saw the vents and just left them there. The vents come through drywall now.

I was hoping someone might know before I start sawing holes in the wall just to find out what behind them.

inspectorD 10-11-2007 07:08 PM

Well Oilcan looks like you have an older home.
These are most likely old hookups like you guy's said for woodstoves.
You could tell for sure with a small smoke test in the fireplace....or just look up the flue.:D

Just get someone to look at it.:)

glennjanie 10-11-2007 08:30 PM

Hey Oilcan:
It is possible that the vents do not go all the way into the chimney; rather into the cavity around the chimney. That would make them release radiant heat off the chimney into the upper rooms.
It would have been a disaster to vent wood burners into a fireplace chimney. That's a big no no.

Oilcan 10-12-2007 01:54 PM

ahhh, radiant heat. That would be nice.

And the small smoke test is a great idea. Thank you very much. Because of how the fireplace was built I cant look up the flue but maybe I can solve the mystery with a pack of Camel filters..:)

tx again


glennjanie 10-13-2007 10:22 AM

BTW Oil Can:
We plumbers use a small smoke bomb (its no bigger than your thumb and has a fuse on it). It doesn't blow up, it just lays there and smokes A LOT. They will usually sustain a lot of smoke for 2 or 3 minutes.

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