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  • Trapdoor in Fireplace...

    I moved into a new house a couple of months ago, and I finally got around to cleaning out the fireplace (12-15 gallons of ash and about 400 nails and screws, if you're curious).
    As I got further down to the bottom of the hearth (there's an insert that was installed about 1950-1960, the house is circa 1921) I discovered a piece of metal (cast iron?) - a flat square about 16"x16", about a quarter inch thick. I pulled it out, and underneath was a vent (?) cover about 5"x9" sitting loosely in a hole. Under the vent cover, someone had plugged the hole up with some fiberglass insulation which I haven't yet pulled out.
    Now my skills of deduction lead me to believe that while the vent cover served a useful purpose at some point, it outlived that purpose (perhaps when the insert was installed?) so the owner plugged it up with insulation, replaced the vent cover, and put the metal square in as a heat shield to avoid burning the insulation.
    My question is (other than do you think my guesses are right?) is - what purpose did the hole in the bottom of the fireplace / vent cover serve?

    ADDENDUM: It's possible that the hole opens up to the outside of the house, but it was raining outside and the entire chimney is covered in ivy, so I'm putting that inspection off for better weather.

  • #2
    Re: Trapdoor in Fireplace...

    Originally posted by Fightgar View Post

    ADDENDUM: It's possible that the hole opens up to the outside of the house, but it was raining outside and the entire chimney is covered in ivy, so I'm putting that inspection off for better weather.
    you answered your own question it was used for cleaning out the ashes. you would sweep them into the trap door in the fireplace and then dig them out at the outside door.

    look around the kitchen,you probably have a milk door in the wall

    might want to keep the mailbox too. i understand that in new tracts, the mail is delivered to a common box. not the door.

    some old timers probably have more hidden doors.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Trapdoor in Fireplace...

      Who knows, maybe you'll find a box of gold coins in there, then you'll be filthy rich, all pun intended, LOL...
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Trapdoor in Fireplace...

        Some fireplaces have an opening like yours to bring in outside combustion air rather tha use room air.
        SSG, U.S. Army
        Retired
        K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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