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How To Install A Flue Damper
If you have a wood burning stove installed and you suffer the effects of excessive chimney draught then it may be beneficial to install a chimney damper. A chimney damper is a means of reducing the internal diameter of the flue, therefore slowing down the up draught, meaning better temperature control and less heat loss. Some stove manufacturers make dampers specifically for their stoves and it's worth checking if this is the case first before purchasing a universal damper, such as the Stovax Damper sold here. For the purpose of this article I shall describe how to install a universal damper.
- Measure the diameter of the single wall flue pie above the stove and buy the relevant sized damper.
- Wrap a band of masking tape around the pipe 5" above the flue collar and using a pencil, mark a small cross on one side of the pipe.
- Using a flexible measuring tape make another small cross on the opposite side of the pipe. Measure the circumference of the pipe with the tape, making sure the mark is exactly opposite your first mark.
- With a hammer and punch very carefully make an indentation in the centre of each cross. This will help the drill bit stay in one place when you drill your holes.
- Using an electric drill with a new sharp bit, drill a 7mm hole at the side in which you wish to have the damper handle and a 6mm hole at the opposing side. These measurements are correct for a Stovax Damper, if using another brand these measurements may well be different.
- Take the damper and firmly holding the damper plate, depress the spring fully, turn and release the damper spline from the plate.
- Holding the damper plate with one hand reach up inside the flue pipe whilst feeding the spline through the 7mm first with your other hand. The aim is to feed the spline back through the damper plate, once you've done this you need to depress the spring again and twist to lock the spline back in place.
- Your stove is now ready to use. When lighting the stove keep the damper in the fully open position and adjust as necessary once a fire has been established. One important point that should be noted is that the damper provides an area for potential flue blockage so you should always move it from time to time to dislodge any built up soot. Care should be taken to thoroughly clean around the assembly when you're having the chimney swept.
- All installations should have an approved carbon monoxide alarm installed but it is of larger importance with a damper as it slows the chimney draught which could lead to smokeblowing back down the chimney. All well and good when you are awake and you can smell and see it but if you've drifted off to sleep on the couch? As you can imagine an audible alarm is a must, don't take chances with yours and your families safety.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms can be purchashed here.
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