Big draft around gas fired fireplace in a 2 year old install


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Old 01-02-24, 06:22 PM
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Big draft around gas fired fireplace in a 2 year old install

Was at my daughter's 2 year old house in CT over the weekend. We noticed a sizable draft coming from the bottom of this Heatilator CNXT4236IFTT fireplace.

My daughter and SIL said they spoke to the contractor that put it in for the home builder and they say it's 'normal' / installed correctly. The builder paid them to do a rear vent. A top venting wouldn't get a draft, according to the contractor.

Googling, there's loads of people that talk of similar issues. there's a youtube video of a guy that took off the stone in front, pulled out the already installed fireplace and wound up using a high temp caulk to seal the vent joints and that stopped the leak.

From the pictures below, any thoughts? I tried calling the manufacturer but they are a dealer only operation - they say to talk to the dealer. If the dealer installed it poorly, they don't seem to care.

I was thinking (although I doubt the kids will let me do it) - cut the sheetrock above the mantle, reach in there and try caulking the vent pipe joints.

I also thought about shoving loads of insulation in that lower area. At first I thought the fireplace draws air from the house into the firebox, but the youtube video seems to make it look like incoming and outgoing air come through the vent pipe.

It seems the fireplace is larger than the current opening. The stone around the fireplace would have to be removed to be able to get behind the fireplace, right? Is that typically doable? Seems heavy and likely to get cracked taking them down?

And some of these pics show a clear view to the back vent. a) Seems that the concrete / fake stone inside the fireplace has slid down / was installed too low - can that get 'skootched up'? and b) There's nothing like I've seen in furnace flue pipes that cranks open when the fireplace is in use / closes to help keep cold air out?

Also, there's 1 pic of the gas line (and my purple flashlight). The back walls don't look insulated, right?

Thanks!








 
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Old 01-02-24, 07:18 PM
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Don't do anything rash.
That looks like it's using the typical hybrid/coaxial vent where the exhaust leaves the unit from the center and draws air in around the sides. The vent lines MUST be correctly installed and sealed. There should be nothing for you to additionally seal.

Was this installation inspected ? It should have been.
Request the inspection report.

The builder paid them to do a rear vent. A top venting wouldn't get a draft, according to the contractor.
I'm not following that. Isn't that insert in an actual fireplace ? With a chimney ?
If yes... that should be using a top vent up and out the chimney.
If there is no chimney that insert area probably should have been insulated with a product like Roxul.

There is no insulation in my fireplace. There is a seal plate at the top of the chimney to keep the cold air from coming in as that would fill in the chimney with cold air.

Downloadable installation manual
 
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Old 01-02-24, 08:14 PM
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no, It's not in a fireplace. It's in a wood framed area that sticks out a bit from the house. And the 'flue / coax goes right out the back of this gas powered fireplace.

Sore point on inspections and things with the houses in general... supposedly the inspector for the town was on the builders payroll on the side! The builder built 800+ houses in the area.

So the inspection reports (for just a fireplace?) likely are rubber stamped.



 
 

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