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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know about the ash pit at the base of a wood burning fireplace? Specifically, I'm remodeling a house and have discovered that the bottom of the ash pit is not accessible. If you open the cleanout on the outside of the chimney you don't find any ash because the pit is around 5 feet deep - below the cleanout door. So for all the years the fireplace has been used and ashes dumped into the pit, they have just been piling up at the bottom of the pit.

Is this a fire hazard or a problem in other ways?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Does anyone know about the ash pit at the base of a wood burning fireplace? Specifically, I'm remodeling a house and have discovered that the bottom of the ash pit is not accessible. If you open the cleanout on the outside of the chimney you don't find any ash because the pit is around 5 feet deep - below the cleanout door. So for all the years the fireplace has been used and ashes dumped into the pit, they have just been piling up at the bottom of the pit.

Is this a fire hazard or a problem in other ways?

Thanks for any help.
There is no problem. Many ash pits do not even have cleanouts. Most fireplaces these days are used rarely, and if a person does plan on using a fireplace for their main source of heat generally a fireplace insert of some kind is used, which has a ash tray. Also, if and when the pit fills to your door level, you can start emptying your ashes then.
 

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seal the clean out in the firebox and not use it.then seal the outside door.
One positive from the non-functioning dump and clean out is that it is a (marginal) source of outside combustion air--sealing them would eliminate this. If the fireplace works well, just let them be.

JVC
 

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One positive from the non-functioning dump and clean out is that it is a (marginal) source of outside combustion air--sealing them would eliminate this. If the fireplace works well, just let them be.

JVC
thats true,but a good fireplace will include an outside air duct for combustion.
 

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lots of clean outs are designed as the fresh air intake as well. Clean out doors can be bought vented or solid.

If your worried about the pit, seal it off at the bottom of the ash chamber and then use it as it was designed. If the fireplace is functional to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
fireplace ash pit

Thanks to everyone for responding.

Not sure why I was alarmed at the lack of a floor in the ash pit at the level of the cleanout, except that I've not seen it before.

Come to think of it, I remember Dad saying that they used ash for insulation in the old days. He had to pull a section of bathroom ceiling down at his mother-in-law's house in Brooklyn. The falling ash in the ceiling joists produced a fog that covered all the furniture and puffed out the cracks in the windows. :eek: Nonetheless, they remained married another 55 years...

Thanks again.

John
 
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