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multiple fireplace flues

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recently purchased a home that has a fireplace with two flues. One is 9x9, the other is 9x13. Any ideal what may need to be vented to the flues other than fireplace smoke. When I went on the roof I found that there were no chimney caps. The previous owner had placed some metal plates over the flues and weighted them down. I'm trying to get the fireplace in working order(need damper plate). I installed a cap for the 9x13 flue but am wondering if I really need one for the 9x9 or just continue to keep the metal plate over it.
asked in House Chimney by lennyg (120 points)
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1 Answer

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Hi LennyG,
If there’s currently only a single fireplace in the house, the second flue might have been installed as an option for additional fireplace, heating stove, or other appliance installation in the future.
It could also serve a fireplace or other appliance (natural draft water heater, heating furnace / boiler, etc.) that has been removed and this area sealed off completely so it’s not visible anymore, or replaced with a high efficiency appliance utilizing different types of venting instead of a chimney.
I’d highly recommend a rain cap and screen for both flues (remove plate), even if one of them is not in use any more. Check this Q&A for my answer I gave Chris -  seal unused chimney
The difference in your case would be that you don’t know what (if anything) they did at the base of that second flue. Maybe you can look inside that flue from the top and see what they did at the bottom, or look for a cleanout at the chimney’s base and use a mirror to check what’s above it. Depending on the flue’s shape you may or may not be able to view its interior.
Just click “comment” below if you have more questions.
Thank you
answered by darekrudy (21,730 points)