New online "How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys" course for inspectors

InterNACHI’s new, online “How to Inspect Fireplaces, Stoves, and Chimneys” course for home inspectors for 4 CE hours.


Glad to see another one added i am trying not to run out of course’s. Keep them coming !

Guess I just have to learn in the field cannot find the time to take the cources;-):wink:

Looking at your signature I can see why, and to add, thanks for all your get posts of information. Hats off to ya !


Thanks Ben!

Hey Ben,

To clarify, for termination heights above the roof:

Type B vents follow the height chart starting at 1 foot and go up based on the roof slope.
Type L vents follow the 2-2-10 rule.
And chimneys, of course, follow the 3-2-10 rule.

Is that correct?

Sounds like a good summary of general rules of thumb. We used standards of IRC 2012. G2427.6.3 (503.6.4) Gas vent termination.

Thanks. Just making sure I understand it.

I added the bold. That is correct right?

For anyone as chimney challenged as I am apparently,

I had to read these two statements like 20 times

When there is smoke rising through the throat opening above the combustion chamber, the open damper is designed to control the downdraft. When hot gases and smoke are rising up through the throat, it passes up into the front side of the smoke chamber. The rapid upward movement of the gases creates a downdraft on the rear side of the smoke chamber. One purpose of the opened damper door is to direct the downdraft back up into the smoke chamber and prevent the downdraft from pushing smoke into the room.

The smoke shelf is located behind the damper. The smoke shelf helps the open damper to change the direction of the downdraft. A fireplace will work well when the smoke shelf is deep. Some smoke shelves are curved.

This image I found helped clear things up.

It would be nice if there were more illustrations.

Just finished.

Great class Ben. I learned a lot. Thanks!

Looking forward to the chimcam video.

Levi is adding more chimney illustrations to this course this week. We didn’t want to wait for the additional illustrations to release it, as we had a couple members who needed the course immediately in Mississippi. The state made this course a requirement there. We should have the new illustrations inserted by Wednesday.

I read the articles “15 Tools A Homeowner Should Have” and “Carpeted Bathrooms.” I agree with the tools listed on the 15 tools article. I know many times I have used a plunger for my sink and toilet for sure. I would also recommend the torpedo levels, they are great for hanging pictures. A 5 in 1 screwdriver was not on the list, but I would suggest owning one. They are great for small projects and taking off electrical panel covers.

In the bathroom carpet article, I would agree that it would potentially cause mold problems due to steam etc. I was raised in a house with a half carpeted bathroom. I would not ever place carpet in my bathroom because I know all too well. It causes mold over time and makes it unsanitary.


Question regarding the hearth clearance requirements. 16-20" for wood burning fireplace.

With gas log (decorative) fireplaces, is the hearth clearance still required?

Also. On a fireplace opening that has been converted from solid fuel to a gas log decorative fireplace. What are the damper requirements?

Two articles from library

1.Fireplace Fuel (solid fuel)

What can be burned? - Dry wood. Softwood ignites quicker so it is great for starting the fire. Moisture must be less than 20%. Pallets can be burned as long as they are not marked “MB” which means they are treated with Fumigant Methyl Bromide.

What cannot be burned?- Painted or treated wood. Plywood, or rotted/moldy wood. Damp wood, along with dry lint (some people use as a fire starter) which contains dangerous chemicals.

  1. Fire Safety at home

Make sure you have a planned escape route to doors, windows etc. Especially egress windows. Make sure everyone is capable of following escape route.

Install smoke detectors outside each sleeping area and on each level. Also install carbon monoxide detectors near sleeping areas and in the same room as a fuel burning appliance. If the home has space heaters remember to provide at least 3 feet of space between the heater and combustibles.

I don’t believe so. Without looking up standards/codes, I assume the manufacturer’s installation instructions would state the clearances required.

Again, without looking up references, I always look for the attachment to the damper that prevents it from closing.