Anyone know what this could be? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Anyone know what this could be?

sburns

Well-known member
Hey gang

Take a look at this (the square metal box which says hot), anyone know what this could be used for, besides a vent. Or recognize it?
IMG_5097.jpg
IMG_5098.jpg

The issue, I've been dealing with a smoke related problem around my house. I suspect it is my num numb neighbour who I have had fire pit related issues with previously, has moved their burning indoors, to some kind of burning appliance. I've called the city and Toronto fire to figure this out, they have been responsive but vague to the point of the only answer is to send someone to inspect it. Which is fine, but I rather be more informed before I pull that trigger. Plus this issue is very intermittent and I only noticed these vents on my neighbours house recently and the issue of course hasn't happened since.

My thoughts if these vents (there is 2 one on this side of their house and the front) are the source of the smoke it's got to be violating both building code and fire codes of some sort. I am pretty sure any fire appliance must be routed up and above the house via a chimney.

Thoughts?
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
It's a direct vent fireplace. I've only ever seen them on gas fireplaces. I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure) that solid fuel burning requires a proper chimney for a litany of reasons.

direct_vent_gas_fireplace.gif


EDIT:
Is that the completed install or a work in progress? All water running down that wall looks like it will be caught by the vent and channeled into the wall cavity.
 
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bigpoppa

Well-known member
^this
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Hey gang

Take a look at this (the square metal box which says hot), anyone know what this could be used for, besides a vent. Or recognize it?
View attachment 52344
View attachment 52345

The issue, I've been dealing with a smoke related problem around my house. I suspect it is my num numb neighbour who I have had fire pit related issues with previously, has moved their burning indoors, to some kind of burning appliance. I've called the city and Toronto fire to figure this out, they have been responsive but vague to the point of the only answer is to send someone to inspect it. Which is fine, but I rather be more informed before I pull that trigger. Plus this issue is very intermittent and I only noticed these vents on my neighbours house recently and the issue of course hasn't happened since.

My thoughts if these vents (there is 2 one on this side of their house and the front) are the source of the smoke it's got to be violating both building code and fire codes of some sort. I am pretty sure any fire appliance must be routed up and above the house via a chimney.

Thoughts?
As others mentioned, it appears to be a direct vent for a gas fireplace. Very unlikely it's venting anything that burns another type of fuel, you would see black smoke markings on the cover and up the wall. That brown drip mark is a bit weird, that's what one would expect if they were burning stuff in there.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Looks like this in the inside. There shouldn't be any odour from it.
 

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sburns

Well-known member
It's a direct vent fireplace. I've only ever seen then on gas fireplaces. I strongly suspect (but don't know for sure) that solid fuel burning requires a proper chimney for a litany of reasons.

direct_vent_gas_fireplace.gif


EDIT:
Is that the completed install or a work in progress? All water running down that wall looks like it will be caught by the vent and channeled into the wall cavity.
Yes I suspect anything fire related needs a proper chimeny.
It's completed. This isn't a new install, been there a while
I suspect they have modified it internally to burn chit, they may even have a duel internal duct of some sort to burn chit and switch to whatever it's suppose to be. Just a random guess.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Yes I suspect anything fire related needs a proper chimeny.
It's completed. This isn't a new install, been there a while
I suspect they have modified it internally to burn chit, they may even have a duel internal duct of some sort to burn chit and switch to whatever it's suppose to be. Just a random guess.
If that's the case, MM is right, expect a chit stain on the wall in short order (or the house to burn down).
 

sburns

Well-known member
As others mentioned, it appears to be a direct vent for a gas fireplace. Very unlikely it's venting anything that burns another type of fuel, you would see black smoke markings on the cover and up the wall. That brown drip mark is a bit weird, that's what one would expect if they were burning stuff in there.
Good call Mike on the marking. Since it's intermittant, it may not have enough to mark things. I'm waiting for the next time this happens to check out the look of the vents. Also they don't have any other chimenys on their house, they actually removed them a few years ago.
 

sburns

Well-known member
Looks like this in the inside. There shouldn't be any odour from it.
That was going to be my next question. If they had a gas fireplace then something like these vents are allowed because it's only venting extra heat? and no exhausting material, correct? (just making sure I understand).
 

sburns

Well-known member
If that's the case, MM is right, expect a chit stain on the wall in short order (or the house to burn down).
I would be ok with that, these ffuckkers have been a pain in butt with this burning stupidity.
A few times I walked out of my house and it was like walking into a ash cloud, impacts my house, the car, I get outta my car and I reek of smoke.
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
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That was going to be my next question. If they had a gas fireplace then something like these vents are allowed because it's only venting extra heat? and no exhausting material, correct? (just making sure I understand).
Correct. They are purely cosmetic.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
That was going to be my next question. If they had a gas fireplace then something like these vents are allowed because it's only venting extra heat? and no exhausting material, correct? (just making sure I understand).
Heat, water vapour and some gasses that are bad for you (CO, CO2 etc). As long as you don't stick your head right in the stream of hot gas, it it unlikely that it could cause you harm (it's not often not easy to tell when the fireplace is on).

Intermittent crap like this can be a good fit for either a trailcam with motion detection or a crappy wifi camera looking at the vent. In the interest of neighbour relations, it's better if they don't see the camera but if it's just looking at a blank wall and not staring in their bedroom window I don't expect legal implications. Normally, I try to aim cameras so they capture as little as possible of land I do not own. Shoot one down your walkway and it can probably capture smoke belching from that vent (if it happens). If you catch smoke belching out, sic the fire department on them for a surprise inspection. FD doesn't want people doing shady crap and getting dead.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Heat, water vapour and some gasses that are bad for you (CO, CO2 etc). As long as you don't stick your head right in the stream of hot gas, it it unlikely that it could cause you harm (it's not often not easy to tell when the fireplace is on).

Intermittent crap like this can be a good fit for either a trailcam with motion detection or a crappy wifi camera looking at the vent. In the interest of neighbour relations, it's better if they don't see the camera but if it's just looking at a blank wall and not staring in their bedroom window I don't expect legal implications. Normally, I try to aim cameras so they capture as little as possible of land I do not own. Shoot one down your walkway and it can probably capture smoke belching from that vent (if it happens). If you catch smoke belching out, sic the fire department on them for a surprise inspection. FD doesn't want people doing shady crap and getting dead.
I'm pretty sure Toronto has a no-open-air-burn bylaw (i.e. no fire pits, chimineas, wood-fired pizza ovens etc.). If you see smoke or ash, call the local FD station -- they will be lickity-split check things out.
 

sburns

Well-known member
I'm pretty sure Toronto has a no-open-air-burn bylaw (i.e. no fire pits, chimineas, wood-fired pizza ovens etc.). If you see smoke or ash, call the local FD station -- they will be lickity-split check things out.
Exactly. Toronto does have a no fire pit law, which started this whole problem with this idiot. A few years ago they were burning renovation materials, like every week-end, not little fires either. I asked him to stop it, he refused, this resulted in our relationship going downhill and me calling Toronto Fire, not once but twice because he thought he could still get away with this crap. Now I believe he has moved this inside, what I believe they are doing is burning yard material like leaves or whatever. Because this problem intensifies in the spring and fall. What is worse we live on a ravine so it's not like they couldn't push it down back like everyone else on the street does, nope they are fixated on burning it. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️
 

sburns

Well-known member
Heat, water vapour and some gasses that are bad for you (CO, CO2 etc). As long as you don't stick your head right in the stream of hot gas, it it unlikely that it could cause you harm (it's not often not easy to tell when the fireplace is on).

Intermittent crap like this can be a good fit for either a trailcam with motion detection or a crappy wifi camera looking at the vent. In the interest of neighbour relations, it's better if they don't see the camera but if it's just looking at a blank wall and not staring in their bedroom window I don't expect legal implications. Normally, I try to aim cameras so they capture as little as possible of land I do not own. Shoot one down your walkway and it can probably capture smoke belching from that vent (if it happens). If you catch smoke belching out, sic the fire department on them for a surprise inspection. FD doesn't want people doing shady crap and getting dead.
Thanks interesting idea. But in my case my garage is also on that side of the property, but further ahead then this vent. So it would be to obvious to put a camera there, but honestly if I did I could care less if they knew what I was doing. I guess I could always get a camera which rotates and move it..... :unsure::unsure:
 
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backmarkerducati

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Is there a regular (above the roof) chimney on their house? It is very possible they have multiple fireplaces or even a wood stove ontop of this one. I doubt very much that the smoke issue is coming from this vent as it is the exhaust for a gas fireplace (and you would see signs around the vent if they put wood in the gas fireplace...) but that does not mean they don't have something else that burns wood inside the house, that will vent out to top.

I doubt they are burning leaves unless they are doing it to spite you! They could be burning very wet wood. All a bad idea but people are stupid. Also, do you see a wood pile anywhere in their yard, another sign....
 

sburns

Well-known member
Is there a regular (above the roof) chimney on their house? It is very possible they have multiple fireplaces or even a wood stove ontop of this one. I doubt very much that the smoke issue is coming from this vent as it is the exhaust for a gas fireplace (and you would see signs around the vent if they put wood in the gas fireplace...) but that does not mean they don't have something else that burns wood inside the house, that will vent out to top.

I doubt they are burning leaves unless they are doing it to spite you! They could be burning very wet wood. All a bad idea but people are stupid. Also, do you see a wood pile anywhere in their yard, another sign....
They actually took out their chimney (part of that renovation years ago), so they have no rooftop exhaust for something like that.

I know none of this makes any sense, but the proximity and what I have seen before all points in this direction. My other neighbour doesn't burn anything or use her fireplace. I'll have to do some more snooping around now that I have all this input, and basically wait for this to happen again and investigate what I see from the vents.
 

jc100

Well-known member
If you can smell smoke you’ll see it if you’re near the source. That vent would have it escaping if it’s the source. Have a look next time.

Is it wood smoke you smell? Has your neighbour just sneakily moved his fire pit or gotten one that looks like something else (wood fired pizza oven?).

We had a problem with people using fire pits for days on end earlier this year but they got the word that neighbours could smell smoke in their homes so they seem to have stopped.
 

Robbo

Well-known member
Are you sure it’s the next door neighbour? Could it be another neighbour with a legit wood-burning fireplace up/down the street? Next time it happens, check wind direction and go for a walk…see if any chimneys are smoking.


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backmarkerducati

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I agree with jc100 based on the evidence so far. My money is on an outdoor pit, "BBQ" or other like device that they are using to burn the wood scraps etc. Moved it out of your sight so you don't see it to complain.

Unless you see the smoke coming out of this vent, it is very unlikely they are burning wood in their gas fireplace.
 

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