Glossary

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Glossary

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A

AnchorsAnchors are straps of steel that are secured into the bond beam and are tied back to the floor joists, roof rafters or wall members. The anchors tie the chimney to the house, which may provide support in the event of wind or earthquake. (Also known as an FHA Strap or Anchor Tie.) Air Duct CleaningRemoving all air born dust and debris from the ducting systems of Forced Air Systems, Gravity Heaters and HVAC Systems. The duct system is put under negative pressure either from the motor area of the unit or from the return air. During the negative pressure stage, compressed air is shot into the air duct system through the register/vents termination of each duct. The entire system is gone through in this manner and then the motor area is cleaned out. AshThe solid residue that remains after combustion is complete. Ash DumpThe trap door on the floor of the inner hearth that leads to the ash pit. Ash PitA space into which the ashes are dumped. It is a non-combustible storage compartment behind or below the firebox, which helps keep the fireplace clean without having to carry ashes through the house.  

B

Baffle
An object installed in an appliance to change the direction of, or retard airflow, air-fuel mixtures, or flue gases.
Bond
Where referring to bricklaying and masonry chimneys, that connection between brick, stone or other masonry units formed by lapping them upon one another in carrying up the work, thereby forming an inseparable mass.
Bond Beam
A member poured in the masonry at the support level of the chimney. The support level is usually at the floor and at the ceiling or roofline. It may also be above the roofline if the chimney is tall enough to require a supplementary support.
BTU
Abbreviation for British Thermal Unit. The quantity of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1°F.

C

Chase
The area around metal flue pipes, to simulate a chimney. Specific clearances to the flue pipe must be met as specified by the manufacturer of the unit and the city specification of where this fireplace is being installed. The chase is usually built with wood or steel studs. Most common exterior covering is lathe and stucco. Other variations include brick/stone veneer or wood siding.
Chase Cover
Fabricated galvanized metal cover that fits on top of the wood or steel framed chimney enclosure that surrounds factory built or Class A HT flue pipe.
Chimney
A structure containing one or more vertical or nearly vertical passageways for conveying flue gases to the outside atmosphere.
Chimney Cap
A protective covering or housing for the top of a chimney intended to prevent the entry of rain, snow, animals, birds as well as downdrafts. (Also known as a Rain Cap.)
Combustible Material
Material made of or surfaced with wood, compressed paper, plat fibers, plastic, or other material that can ignite and burn, whether flame-proofed or not, or whether plastered or unplastered.
Corbel
Units of masonry projecting from or projecting upward and outward from the face of a wall or chimney in courses to form a support or ledge for a beam, rafter, or other member.
Creosote
A natural by-product of burning wood. It can be defined as a combustible deposit, which originates as condensed wood smoke, including tar, vapors and other organic compounds. The physical appearance of these creosote deposits is usually dark brown or black in color and watery or tar-like depending on the mixture of tar and vapors and the amount of water vapor condensing. In contrast with creosote, soot deposits are soft and black or brown in color, often mixed with fly ash.
Cricket
A simple description is a ridge that extends from the back of the chimney to the slope of the roof. Usually found on chimneys wider than 30” with the purpose of shedding water away from the connection between the chimney and roof. (Also known as a Saddle.)
Crown
The slight slope or beveled edge on the top surface of a chimney designed to shed water away from the flue liner.
CSIA
Chimney Safety Institute of America – CSIA is a non-profit, tax-exempt educational institution dedicated to chimney and venting system safety. CSIA is committed to the elimination of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other chimney-related hazards that result in the loss of lives and property. To achieve its goals, CSIA devotes its resources to educating the public, chimney service professionals and other fire prevention specialists about the prevention and correction of chimney and venting system hazards.

D

Damper
A valve or plate for controlling draft or the flow of gases, including air.
Damper – Blade
located in the throat area of the firebox. Works by closing off flue when not in use so that cold air does not enter the home and that heat/cold air does not get drawn up an open flue. Damper is controlled by a handle, pull to open and push to close
Damper Clip
Attached to the blade type damper in the throat of the fireplace to stop damper from fully closing during the burning of gas logs. This device is a protection from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the damper closing while the gas is on.
Damper – Top Mount
Located on the top of the chimney at the termination. Works by closing off the top of the flue when not in use so that cold air does not enter the home and that heat/cold air does not get drawn up an open flue. A cable is run down the side of the flue and attached to the side firebox wall. The cable controls the opening and closing of the damper
Draft
The pressure differential that causes the flow of air or gases through a chimney, gas vent, or venting system.
Dryer Vent
The area between the wall behind the dryer and the exit point that vents the heat from the dryer, usually a rigid or semi rigid pipe.
Dryer Vent Cleaning
Should be done every 2-3 years. The lint that is generated in drying the clothes ends up in the dryer venting system. The lint that is removed by hand from the lint trap on the dryer is a very small portion of lint that accumulates in the venting system. Build up of lint causes the dryer to take more time in drying the standard load of clothes and becomes a fire hazard.

E

 

F

Factory-Built Appliance
A manufactured appliance furnished by the manufacturer as a single assembly or as a package set of subassemblies or parts, and including all the essential components necessary for it to function normally where installed as intended.
Factory-Built Chimney
A chimney suitable for continuous use at 1000°F (538°C), composed of listed, factory-built components that might be fully enclosed in combustible, residential-type construction, and that is assembled in accordance with the terms of the listing to form the completed chimney.
FHA Strap
Anchors are straps of steel that are secured into the bond beam and are tied back to the floor joists, roof rafters or wall members. The anchors tie the chimney to the house, which may provide support in the event of wind or earthquake. (Also known as an FHA Strap or Anchor Tie.)
Firestop
Horizontal or vertical barriers intended to retard the spread of fire and hot gases between concealed areas. Firestopping shall be provided to cut off all concealed draft openings (both vertical and horizontal), and form an effective barrier between stories, and between a top story and roof space.
Flashing
Sheet metal between the chimney and the roof, embedded into the chimney and under the roofing material to prevent rain from leaking between the roof and the chimney.
Flue
The general term for a passage through which gases are conveyed from the combustion chamber to the outer air.
 

G

 

H

Hearth
The floor area within the fire chamber of a fireplace or a fireplace stove.
Hearth Extension
The noncombustible surfacing applied to the floor area extending in front of and at the sides of the hearth opening of a fireplace or a fireplace stove. Also where applied to the floor area beneath a fireplace stove or beneath an elevated overhanging fireplace hearth.
Histoplasmosis
A fungal infection of the lungs caused by breathing in dust from soil enriched by bird dung (i.e. soil from chicken coups or fireplace smoke shelves).
 

I

 

L

Lintel
Where referring to masonry fireplaces, that horizontal, noncombustible member, usually of masonry or steal, spanning the opening of a masonry fireplace to support the load above.
Listed
Equipment, materials, or services included in a list published by an organization acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned with evaluation of products or services that maintains periodic inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic evaluation of services and whose listing states either that the equipment, material, or service meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for specified purpose.
M
Mantel
A shelf or facing ornament above a fireplace opening.
Manufacturer
The company or organization that evidences its responsibility by affixing its name or nationally registered trademark or trade name to the appliance concerned.
Masonry Chimney
A field-constructed chimney of solid masonry units, bricks, stones, listed masonry chimney units, or reinforced Portland cement concrete that is lined with suitable chimney flue liners.
 

N

NFPA
National Fire Protection Association.
Noncombustible Material
A material that, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, does not ignite, burn, support combustion, or release flammable vapors when subjected to fire or heat.

P

Parging
A coat of mortar applied to the inside of a masonry chimney or to the walls of a smoke chamber.
Pre Cast Fireplace
A poured in place concrete fireplace that was built off site and then transported to the location and set in place with a crane. Appears to be standard masonry construction but is not. Cracks in breast plate and flue tiles are common defects found in these systems
Pyrolysis
Chemical alteration of wood, coal, or other combustible materials as a result of the application of heat.

R

Rain Cap
A protective covering or housing for the top of a chimney intended to prevent the entry of rain, snow, animals, birds as well as downdrafts. (Also known as a Rain Cap.)
S
Saddle
A simple description is a ridge that extends from the back of the chimney to the slope of the roof. Usually found on chimneys wider than 30” with the purpose of shedding water away from the connection between the chimney and roof. (Also known as a Saddle.)
Shroud
Decorative structures commonly designed by architects and installed around the top of the chimney. Typically made from sheet metal or terra cotta materials, and often supported by plywood structures. Their purpose is aesthetics, not functional. Shrouds may cause heat to transfer to the wood frame of a chimney chase, allow heat and smoke to affect the thermo siphoning system (cooling) or potentially affect the draw of the system.
Smoke Chamber
The transitional area from the damper opening to the beginning of the flue liner in a fireplace system. The smoke chamber acts as a funnel to compress the smoke and gases from the fire so that they will squeeze into the chimney flue above. The smoke chamber is important for good draft action. It should be symmetrical in shape so that the draft pulls evenly on the fire in the firebox. The smoke chamber should be centered with the flue directly above the fireplace and its walls should be sloped at the same angle to provide even draft from the firebox to the chimney.
Smoke Shelf
A smoke shelf is located at the bottom of the smoke chamber behind the damper and can collect soot and also gather any rain water that runs down the chimney. A smoke shelf improves draft conditions in a chimney and help eliminates downdrafts.
Smoke Test
A procedure for ascertaining the tightness of a chimney and for detecting any cracks in a masonry chimney flue or deterioration or breaks in the integrity of a factory-built or metal chimney flue. The procedure involves igniting a smoke bomb or building a smoky fire in a fireplace or solid fuel-burning appliance, covering the chimney termination and checking for smoke leakage through the chimney walls.
Solid Fuel
Wood, coal and other similar organic materials and any combination of them.
Spark Arrester
Screening material or a screening device attached to a chimney termination to prevent the passage of sparks and brands to the outside atmosphere.
 

T

Thermocrete Ceramic Flue Sealant
Repairs lined and unlined masonry flue systems with a ceramic coating. Applicable in many circumstances, including the repair of cracked flue tiles. Not applicable for broken chimneys.
 

U

Unlisted Metal Chimney
A manufactured or field-constructed chimney intended only for non-residential applications having one or more metal walls, or made of metal with a refractory lining, and that is capable of withstanding the flue gas conditions of its use.

W

Wash
The slight slope or beveled edge on the top surface of a chimney designed to shed water away from the flue liner. (Also known as the Crown.)
Water Seal
Clear material that is applied to the brick surface of a chimney to help stop absorption of water into the bricks.
Wythe
Where referring to masonry chimneys, a course, a thinness, or a continuous vertical section of masonry separating flues in a chimney.
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