Fireplace #22: Bevel Gear Damper
These Bevel Gear Dampers are not very common. The gearing and shafts often break or get corroded. Parts are hard to come by. Here are the characteristics of this damper:
- You swing the horizontal damper handle that hangs down into the firebox from left to right to open and close the damper door.
- There is non-removable gearing and shafts that actuate the damper.
- There is a long rectangular damper frame and matching damper door.
- Bevel Gear Dampers operate almost identically to Vestal Dampers , except they have a different opening and closing mechanism.
Because of the gearing and shafts below the damper, there is no way to install any draft stopper chimney plug below the damper. In this particular application you can see through the damper opening. The flue tile comes down to just inches vertically above the damper (image 22-1). This allows you to touch the flue tile by hand. That makes the flue tile an ideal location to plug.
If you want to plug it and forget it, use the Flueblocker
Here is a video on how the Flueblocker works. You will need to take a quick measurement of the flue tile with a ruler (Image 22-3). Then buy a Flueblocker that size, or a little large for the hole. The Flueblocker is a wool pad with extra hems, so you can trim it to size with sharp scissors. The handle on the Flueblocker is only 1 foot long, so you may want some 6″ handle extenders for your Flueblocker to make it easier to stuff in the flue tile.
What about the Chimney Balloon?
You can use a Chimney Balloon to plug a low flue like this. You would need to get a measurement of the length and width of the flue tile first (image 22-3), so you will know what size Chimney Balloon to use. Flue tiles generally take a 12×12 or 15×15. Also purchase a HEK handle extender to give the handle some extra length to reach the flue tile (image 22-5). The Chimney Balloon will require a top-off of air each 6 to 12 months, and it is not quite as durable as the other two options above. So consider it a “Plan B” for this application.