Help. My gas fire has been condemned in new house

11 Nov 2004
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United Kingdom
Hi guys

Looking for some advice.

I have bought a house approx 40 years old. It originally had a real coal fire in the chimney breast.

I had the gas safe fitter round to service it when I moved in. He condemned it, :cry: stating that the original damper needs to be fixed in place, and that all holes in the chimney breast need to be cemented over??

There is the original hole in the bottom where the back of the fire was (under the back boiler).

I think I am going to have a battle with the seller. I think the fire is covered by a warranty for the first 5 working days from the date that I bought the house. I have informed by solicitor that it has been condemned (I'm in Scotland).

My question is, is this correct that the fire should have been condemned because there is holes in the breast and the damper is not fixed in place. It looks like the original fitter just put a new gas fire into the original hole where the coal fire was. It is only a small gas fire. The coals sit on a bed of sand and it looks like a real fire when switched on.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated for a 2nd opinion from another gas fitter.


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the damper should be removed or permanently fixed in the open position and any holes in the fireplace should be filled in (old pipe holes etc) hardly think it should be condemned for these items ID or At Risk mean that remedial work is required before the appliance is used again
without seeing pictures it is had to tell what is required but a competent engineer should be able to deal with this in about 2 hours.
if the fire or the flue are defective then it could be a different story
Thanks kevindgas

I can't see a flue of any sort.

The fire is in the original space where the coal fire would be. When you look up the chimney it just looks like what it did when a coal fire was in it. In fact, the whole fire still looks like a coal fire chimney breast when I remove the gas fire section with the coals.

Thanks for help. The original engineer thought that it would cost about £1000 to fix. Any views?


Flue and chimney mean the same thing here.

Where exactly are the holes,are they in the bottom of the opening leading sideways into the walls or are they on the outside of the house leading into the chimney.If the latter then yes it could be expensive to remedy if the former it`s a simple job just to cement it up and remove damper,probably a couple hours work at most.

Either way Your RGI should do a smoke test on the chimney and it may be an idea to get it swept.

Also the fire that you have sounds like the simple basket type,which is incredibly inefficient.For every £1 of gas you burn,you`ll be lucky to get 15pence worth of heat from it.
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It all depends on the kind of fire but about £100-£150 would sound more normal to do simple repairs and test the flue.

Hi Macfudd

It is a rectangular hole in the bottom of the chimney, straight in front as you look at it. I can't see if the holes then goes sideways. I would imagine that the hole would just need bricked/cemented up. Also, sound like the type of fire you described, although it does produce alot of heat.

Thanks Fluff
Hi Guys

Looking for any thoughts on my isolated fire. I am getting conflicting reports from builders and gas fitters.

One builder says that is is pointless repointing the baby bricks and that it would be best to remove and re-cement. Also, he found a hole within the chimney breast. It is up and to the right hand side of the chimney flue.

2nd builder says that the bricks only need repointed and the hole is ok.

1st gas fitter who originally condemed fire stated that the bricks needed repointed and the damper fixed in place, he would then be able to reconnect the fire.

2nd gas fitter (independant of 1st one) said the same as the 1st fitter but in addition because the fire is a basket type operating at over 7kw, I would need to get a builder to knock a new ventilation grille through the wall and that the gas pipe would need to be sleeved to comply with current regs. He said that the vent and sleeving would need to be done to comply with current regs, even though it is not a new fire installation because the fire has been disconnected.

Does anyone have any ideas on who is correct? The gas part is the main problem. Do I need an additional vent and pipe sleeving?

Any advice would be appreciated.


if this is a basket fire over 7kw then ventilation will be needed poss 100cm2 unless manufactures state otherwise, also damper plate should be removed or fixed in close to remove.. and holes will need to be sealed .. not a great deal of work but engineer was right to at risk. My advice would be to get rid of it if its over 7kw basket fire you will just keep the birds warm on top of the chimney and it will cost a fortune. Get an rgi to install a lower rated fire.
With all due respect, you will be spending a lot of money for a device that would be outrageously inefficient to run... I'd be inclined to block up the flue/ Chimney and fit an electric fire..
My concern is that you asked a builder if it was safe ,when an rgi had told you not,the builder is unlikely to know the gas safe regs,the rgi is looking after your best interests and afety so go with their advice.

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