Inspection Training

How to Inspect Solid Fuel Heating Devices (UPDATED 6/19/18)

While the inspector is inspecting a solid fuel fireplace they should check the damper if it is accessible. The inspector should also check for any cracking in the fireplace. It is always good practice to recommend that they have the fireplace cleaned by a chimney sweep before using the fireplace. Please review the full procedure below.

NACHI SOP

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

 

3.8. Fireplaces

 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. Readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplaces and chimneys;

B. Lintels above the fireplace openings;

C. Damper doors by opening and closing them, if readily accessible and manually operable; and

D. Cleanout doors and frames.

 

II. The inspector shall describe:

A. The type of fireplace.

 

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. Evidence of joint separation, damage, or deterioration of the hearth, hearth extension, or chambers;

B. Manually operated dampers that did not open and close;

C. The lack of a smoke detector in the same room as the fireplace;

D. The lack of a carbon-monoxide detector in the same room as the fireplace;

E. Cleanouts not made of metal, pre-cast cement, or other non-combustible material.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect the flue or vent system.

B. Inspect the interior of chimneys or flues, fire doors or screens, seals or gaskets, or mantels.

C. Determine the need for a chimney sweep.

D. Operate gas fireplace inserts.

E. Light pilot flames.

F. Determine the appropriateness of any installation.

G. Inspect automatic fuel-fed devices

H. Inspect combustion and/or makeup air devices.

I. Inspect heat-distribution assists, whether gravity controlled or fan-assisted. J. Ignite or extinguish fires.

K. Determine the adequacy of drafts or draft characteristics.

L. Move fireplace inserts, stoves, or firebox contents.

M. Perform a smoke test.

N. Dismantle or remove any component.

O. Perform a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-style inspection.

P. Perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection.

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Inspector should turn the gas fireplace on/off if the pilot light is on and also check for any gas leaks with gas detector. This is for section 14.02 (Gas Fireplaces).

 

Tools Needed

The inspector will require a flashlight when inspecting a solid fuel fireplace.

Procedure

  • Inspector should take flashlight and inspect all accessible parts of the fireplace for any defects.
  • Check the damper door by opening and closing, if it is accessible.

Common Defects

  • Did not have a “shut off” valve above the floor (not easily accessible)
  • Did not have proper vent kit.
  • Did not respond
  • Glass is cloudy
  • Had a leak
  • Must remain open during use
  • Only “vented” fire logs are allowed in bedrooms.
  • Pilot on, but no flames
  • Was Damaged
  • Was Disconnected
  • Was improperly routed through ash dump
  • Was Loose
  • Was loosely connected at vent hood
  • Was not operable
  • Were cracked, damaged or loose
  • Would not ignite

 

Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the damper door or thoroughly inspecting the fireplace.

Report / Software

IN


  • The chimney flue was inaccessible and was not inspected. Improperly lined or damaged flues may allow the toxic products of combustion to enter the living space or corrosive gasses to damage the chimney structure. Consider consulting with a qualified contractor. Dirty flues are potential fire hazards and should be cleaned by a professional. Recommend having the chimney evaluated by a C.S.I. (Chimney Safety Institute) -qualified chimney sweep. I do not inspect the shape of fireplace or the design to determine if your fireplace has a proper air draw.

NI

  • The chimney flue was inaccessible and was not inspected. Improperly lined or damaged flues may allow the toxic products of combustion to enter the living space or corrosive gasses to damage the chimney structure. Consider consulting with a qualified contractor. Dirty flues are potential fire hazards and should be cleaned by a professional. Recommend having the chimney evaluated by a C.S.I. (Chimney Safety Institute) -qualified chimney sweep. I do not inspect the shape of fireplace or the design to determine if your fireplace has a proper air draw.

NP

  • The property did not have a solid fuel fireplace installed.

RR

  • The [[word1]] at the fireplace [[word3]] [[word2]]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
    • Did not have a “shut off” valve above the floor (not easily accessible)
    • Did not have proper vent kit.
    • Did not respond
    • Glass is cloudy
    • Had a leak
    • Must remain open during use
    • Only “vented” fire logs are allowed in bedrooms.
    • Pilot on, but no flames
    • Was Damaged
    • Was Disconnected
    • Was improperly routed through ash dump
    • Was Loose
    • Was loosely connected at vent hood
    • Was not operable
    • Were cracked, damaged or loose
    • Would not ignite


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