Looking for fireplace repair in Toronto? Fireplaces, like many other things, require maintenance, repairs and cleaning as time goes by. Luckily, you can repair most of these issues in a few steps. You only need to detect a problem and have it fixed before it gets worse. Regular service and maintenance of your fireplace is the only way to ensure it remains in good working condition. Outlined below are the top 9 typical fireplace issues and how to handle them.
1. Pilot Light Not Turning ON
The pilot light is a flame (gas-fueled) that helps ignite the main burners and stays constantly lit when the fireplace is on. If the pilot light doesn’t come ON, the burners won’t ignite either. A failed pilot light can result from moisture in the gas line or a clogged nozzle. While restarting the system’s gas flow may solve the issue, you may want to call a certified technician to drain and clean the line (if clogged). You could also ignite it manually.
2. Creosote Buildup
Creosote is a substance (often black and hard) that forms when smoke cools and condenses after using the fireplace. It can also develop if fire from the fireplace isn’t hot enough or from using low-quality or wet wood. Creosote can build up over time, creating a blockage within the chimney vent, restricting airflow. A blocked chimney vent can lead to back drafting. This black, hard substance is also highly flammable, posing a fire risk. Regular cleaning of the chimney can help prevent the buildup. You could also hire a pro to clean the vent properly.
3. Pilot Light Going Off After Some Time
The pilot light stays lit for as long as the fireplace is on. If it, however, only ignites for a few seconds then goes off, then chances are you have a faulty thermocouple. A thermocouple allows gas to flow to the pilot light during combustion. It uses an electrical current to help the gas valve open when combustion is detected, enabling the pilot light to stay lit.
A faulty thermocouple can thus be the problem and need fixing or replacing. Check if the tubing is connected correctly and all the wires and screws are in place. Call a certified technician if not.
4. Obstructions In The Chimney
The chimney can attract birds, insects, and even rodents. Bird nests can block the chimney vent, making it almost impossible for smoke to pass through. However, installing a chimney cap and screen at the top can prevent birds and the like from nesting there, allowing the chimney vent to function as it should. You also want to keep the chimney cap clean and free from fallen leaves, branches, and other debris.
5. The Chimney Is Too Short
Design flaws, such as too short a chimney, causes insufficient draft in wood-burning fireplaces. For this reason, a chimney should be at least 3 feet above the roof and 2 feet above anything else within a 10 feet radius. A properly designed chimney is the only way smoke will have sufficient draft to escape and protect it from high winds, among other weather elements. If your chimney is too short, buy and install an additional chimney pipe to cater to the deficiencies.
6. A Dirty Gas Fireplace
A gas fireplace should be kept clean at all times. A dirty fireplace causes decreased output and low flame height and increases the risk of a gas leak. Cleaning the fireplace regularly (using a vacuum cleaner) is thus recommended to ensure it continues to function optimally. It would also be advisable to use manufacturer-approved glass cleaner to avoid damaging the fireplace. You might also want to eliminate artificial logs that might have deteriorated. Have a technician service the fireplace once in a while as well.
7. Reduced Heat Output
Several factors can be to blame for the reduced heat output. Poor quality firewood is a common culprit in wood-fueled fireplaces. Using softwoods or freshly cut wood with tons of moisture will only prevent it from producing enough heat. Wood with a high moisture content also increases the rate at which creosote forms, hence not recommended. Wood not more than 20% moisture content is best for optimal heat production and burns cleanly.
8. A Stuck Or Closed Damper
A fireplace damper helps regulate heat in the fireplace. It has a steel, adjustable flap to allow heat and smoke to escape by maintaining the draft. Closing the damper completely when the fireplace is still on only spreads smoke throughout the space.
One way to avoid this is to have the damper slightly open to allow a draft. Cleaning the damper hinges thoroughly and lubricating them can help prevent rusting, ensuring it doesn’t get stuck.
9. Cracked Fire Brick
Almost all fireplaces have a layer of fire bricks that are heat resistant. These masonry blocks help protect the fireplace and the walls next to it from fire-heat damage. Poorly installed fire bricks can leave the fireplace and house exposed to extreme heat or gasses leaking into the home. Cracked fire bricks indicate an issue with the heat-resistant seal and should be checked by a professional. The contractor will inspect, repair, or replace any cracked bricks to ensure a tight seal. They will check to ensure the cracks don’t result from another issue, such as a shifting house foundation.
Conclusion – Fireplace Repair Toronto
Learn how to keep your fireplace clean and in good condition through proper maintenance for the best results. Check out our tips and tricks on fireplace maintenance for more insight. If you have any questions about your fireplace, contact Furnace Repair Toronto today!