Q: Jason, I am trying to decide weather to put a Chimney Balloon in above or below my flue damper. You can see in the picture here what the damper looks like. The area below the damper is a trapezoid of 29" x 20" x 34". Should I put a Chimney Balloon in this space?
The area above the flue damper is 30"x12". You can see that in the second picture. - JR
A: Dear JR, By looking at this vestal damper application I would say the best location to put a Chimney Balloon in is above the damper door. The area below the damper has quite a bit of hardware in the way since the handle, the handle retaining clip, and the glass door retaining screws are all down there.
It also looks like your chimney flue was also recently re-mortared, although I am not sure it was done by a pro. The texture is quite rough and the surface is uneven. But this nice clean surface will make it easier to install the Chimney Balloon in that area.
You can put the Chimney Balloon in just above where the damper door is when it is open. When you inflate it in place the bottom of the Chimney Balloon will actually rest on the damper doors front edge.
Another option is to remove the damper door so you only have the frame of the damper in the fireplace and then install the Chimney Balloon just above the frame.
To remove the damper door just pull the cotter pin from the damper handle assembly ( you can see the cotter pin in your first picture) and remove the damper handle. Once that is removed you can reach up and lift the damper door off of the lip of the damper frame. There is no hinge on these dampers, they are just held in place by gravity.
Once the handle and door are out of the way you can simply install the Chimney Balloon above the damper frame. - Jason