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Reverted flue

I recently came across an old Sunbeam brand, coal-fired unit that had been converted to gas using a Waterbury gas conversion kit. There were two flues exiting the back of the unit. These joined a common vent which was connected to a draft hood and the vent continued from the downstream end of the draft hood to the main flue - a metal-lined masonry chimney. I've heard this type of double vent referred to as a reverted or revertable vent or flue. Can someone enlighten me regarding the porpose and function of this type of venting system?

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