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Draft Damper question

H2Oradiators Member Posts: 10
Tonight, during a visual check on my boiler, I discovered a problem with the draft damper. One of the pins(?) which holds the rotating damper cover in place had come off, resulting in the damper remaining in the open position. I was able to find the pin on the floor and put everything back where it belongs (i assume...), although I am not sure if the pin will stay in place for very long. Also, the damper does not stay in the fully closed position any more.

I will monitor it through the next heating cycle, but my question is how concerned should I be about this? Do I need to rush out tomorrow and find a replacement damper, or call and schedule a tech to come in and work on it? What are the consequences? I can post a picture of the damper if that would help...

As I have mentioned before....I am very inexperienced with oil boilers specifically, and heating systems in general.


  • Al Letellier_21
    Al Letellier_21 Member Posts: 402
    damper problem

    Teh function of that damper is to regulate the draft over the fire in your boiler. Wide open will draw more room air up the chimney and closed will draw more out of the boiler, which means more heat going up the chimney (this is all assuming you have good draft in the chimney). Losing a pin is not an uncommon issue with barometric dampers. A finish nail can be used when a pin is lost. Give the holder a little squeeze with pliers to hold it in place, but have a tech come and set it properly. You need a draft gauge to set the barometric in the right position. It may never stay closed completely if there is good or excessive draft in your chimney.
  • H2Oradiators
    H2Oradiators Member Posts: 10

    Appreciate the response!

    As of now, I have the damper back in place, and it sits slightly open, whereas before this, it was essentially closed when the furnace was not running (i have some pictures to verify that, otherwise I would have no idea...)

    As for the draft from the chimney, I have heard the damper swinging open and closed in the past, independent of the furnace operations......and assume that means I have a pretty good draft.

    So, my big question is this. Should I get my furnace guy out here soon....or can it wait until my next annual service? If it's not a safety issue, what are the consequences of waiting? Decreased efficiency? Other?

    As always, all input is greatly appreciated!
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