How to Repair a Broken Fireplace Damper

Man replacing a fireplace front cover
  • 3-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 60-200
What You'll Need
Leather gloves
Replacement damper
Metal garbage can

For a fireplace damper to work properly it must be a snug fit and it must also be in one piece. The problem with these dampers is that over time they can become damaged as a result of heat, smoke, and flames which will come into contact with the damper. If these dampers crack or become damaged then they will not work as well as they would otherwise. If this is the case then you will need to consider replacing your fireplace damper so that you can improve the efficiency of your fireplace. This is a task which could be completed by an expert, however you might as well do the project yourself. Replacing a fireplace damper is actually very simple and shouldn't take long to complete. This will also save you a considerable amount of money as there's no need to hire a professional.

Step 1 - Clean

Clean your fireplace of all debris. Wear your leather gloves and put the ashes into a metal garbage can. These can be put into plastic bags as long as you are sure the ashes are completely cool. Remove the grate so that you can access the entire fireplace.

Step 2 - Find the Damper

brick fireplace

Once you have cleaned your fireplace you will then need to locate the damper. Shine a flashlight up your chimney. You should be able to see the damper, normally located about a foot higher than the fireplace itself.

Step 3 - Remove the Damper

The damper will now need to be removed, there should be a metal rod attached to the damper. This is fixed to the chimney with four nuts. Remove the fixings using the wrench. You should then be able to twist the damper so that it comes off the rod. This will allow the damper to come out of the chimney.

Step 4 - Replacement Damper

When choosing a replacement damper it's important that you choose one that is exactly the same size. It's actually really easy if you take your old damper with you to purchase a new one as you can compare and choose the right size of damper.

Step 5 - Attach the Replacement Damper

tools laying in front of a fireplace

Once you have the replacement damper you will need to attach it to the rod. Slide it onto the rod and then fix it to the wall by tightening the four bolts.

Step 6 - Finishing Touches

Move the damper from the open to the closed position several times to ensure it is working properly. Put the grate back on your fireplace and then set your fire up. It should then be ready for use.

If you experience that the room is smokier than normal with the fire lit then this is probably a result of the damper being installed incorrectly. Put the fire out immediately and wait for everything to cool down. You can then try and work out what's wrong, looking for gaps where air might be flowing through.