Title:
Preformed fireplace capable of venting vertically or horizontally
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A gas fireplace is provided including a first housing having a first upper wall, and a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space there between. A combustion chamber is defined within said second housing. The fireplace further includes an elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace. The elbow flue is coupled to the second upper wall and extends within the space. The elbow flue is rotatable relative to the upper walls about a vertical axis.



Inventors:
Nguyen, Long N. (Tustin, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/888489
Publication Date:
02/05/2009
Filing Date:
07/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B1/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HAMILTON, FRANCES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTIE, PARKER & HALE, LLP (PO BOX 7068, PASADENA, CA, 91109-7068, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gas fireplace comprising: a first housing having a first upper wall; a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space between the first and second upper walls, wherein a combustion chamber is defined within said second housing; and a first elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace coupled to the second upper wall and extending within the space, wherein the elbow flue comprises a first section and a second section, wherein the first section comprises a first longitudinal axis, wherein the second section comprises a second longitudinal axis extending at a first angle relative to the first longitudinal axis, wherein at least a portion of each section is within the space, and wherein said elbow flue is rotatable about said first longitudinal axis for orienting the second section at different positions.

2. The fireplace as recited in claim 1 wherein the first longitudinal axis is generally vertical.

3. The fireplace as recited in claim 2 further comprising a second elbow flue coupled to the first elbow flue, said second elbow flue comprising a first section and a second section, wherein said first section of said second elbow flue comprises a third longitudinal axis, wherein said second section of said second elbow flue comprises a fourth longitudinal axis extending a second angle relative to the third longitudinal axis, wherein said first section of said second flue is rotatable about said third longitudinal axis.

4. The fireplace as recited in claim 3 wherein the first elbow flue second section is coupled to the second elbow flue first section and wherein the second and third longitudinal axis are aligned along a line.

5. The fireplace as recited in claim 3 wherein the second elbow flue extends above the first upper wall and wherein the first elbow flue extends below the first upper wall.

6. The fireplace as recited in claim 3 wherein the second elbow flue is rotatable to position said fourth longitudinal axis in a generally vertical position and is rotatable to position said fourth longitudinal axis in a generally horizontal position.

7. The fireplace as recited in claim 6 wherein the first angle is 45°, and wherein the second angle is 45°.

8. The fireplace as recited in claim 6 wherein the sum of the first and second angles is 90°.

9. The fireplace as recited in claim 2 further comprising another flue extending vertically from the second upper wall, wherein the first elbow flue is coupled to the said another flue and whereby said another flue is located between said first elbow flue and said second upper wall.

10. The fireplace as recited in claim 2 wherein said elbow flue allows for the intake of air into the combustion chamber and for the exhaust of said gases.

11. The fireplace as recited in claim 1 further comprising a second elbow flue coupled to the first elbow flue, said second elbow flue comprising a first section and a second section, wherein said first section of said second elbow flue comprises a third longitudinal axis, wherein said second section of said second elbow flue comprises a fourth longitudinal axis extending a second angle relative to the third longitudinal axis, wherein said first section of said second flue is rotatable about said third longitudinal axis.

12. The fireplace as recited in claim 11 wherein the first elbow flue second section is coupled to the second elbow flue first section and wherein the second and third longitudinal axis are aligned along a line.

13. The fireplace as recited in claim 11 wherein the second elbow flue extends above the first upper wall and wherein the first elbow flue extends below the first upper wall.

14. The fireplace as recited in claim 11 wherein the second elbow flue is rotatable to position said fourth longitudinal axis in a generally vertical position and is rotatable to position said fourth longitudinal axis in a generally horizontal position.

15. The fireplace as recited in claim 14 wherein the first angle is 45°, and wherein the second angle is 45°.

16. The fireplace as recited in claim 14 wherein the sum of the first and second angles is 90°.

17. The fireplace as recited in claim 11 further comprising another flue extending vertically from the second upper wall, wherein the first elbow flue is coupled to the said another flue and whereby said another flue is located between said first elbow flue and said second upper wall.

18. The fireplace as recited in claim 11 wherein said elbow flue allows for the intake of air into the combustion chamber and for the exhaust of said gases.

19. A gas fireplace comprising: a first housing having a first upper wall; a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space between the first and second upper walls, wherein a combustion chamber is defined within said second housing; and an elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace comprising a first end coupled to the second upper wall and a second end, wherein a majority of said elbow flue is within the space, and wherein said elbow flue is rotatable for orienting the second end at different orientations.

20. The gas fireplace as recited in claim 19 wherein the elbow flue comprises a bent portion wherein said bent portion is at least partly within the space.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to preformed gas fireplaces and more particularly, preformed gas fireplaces that are capable of venting vertically and horizontally. A conventional preformed gas fireplace includes an outer housing which is formed by an upper wall, a bottom wall spaced apart from the upper wall, a rear wall and two side walls, such that the latter three extend between the upper and bottom walls. A front opening is framed by the top, bottom and side walls. An inner housing is formed within the outer housing having an upper wall, a bottom wall, a rear wall and two side walls. The upper wall of the inner housing is spaced apart from the upper wall of the outer housing. The rear wall of the inner housing is spaced apart from the rear wall of the outer housing and the side walls of the inner housing are spaced apart from the corresponding side walls of the outer housing. The inner housing also defines a front opening which is framed by the inner housing upper, bottom and side walls. A space or plenum is defined between the inner and outer housings. An upper cover is positioned along the plane of the openings of the inner and outer housings so as to cover the space between the upper wall of the outer housing and the upper wall of the inner housing. Similarly, a lower cover is positioned to cover the space between the lower wall of the outer housing and the lower wall of the inner housing. A combustion chamber is defined within the inner housing. A plurality of ceramic logs are positioned within the inner housing on a grate. A burner is positioned underneath the logs and is connected to a gas source for providing fuel for generating a flame.

The preformed gas fireplace is simply positioned within a fireplace receiving opening formed in a room. The fireplace receiving opening is typically bounded by an upper wall, a bottom wall, a rear wall, and two spaced apart side walls. The receiving opening is typically defined with an exhaust vent which may be extending vertically through the upper wall of the opening, or rearwardly through the rear wall of the opening to an external location. Sometimes the exhaust vent may also extend from either of the side walls of the fireplace receiving opening.

A flue is formed in the fireplace to allow for the exhaust of gases from the fireplace. The flue it typically connected to the exhaust vent in the fireplace receiving opening. Typically the flue is a vertical pipe extending from the upper wall of the inner housing and through the upper wall of the outer housing and external of the outer housing. That flue may then be connected to a vertical exhaust vent flue extending into the vertical exhaust vent. If a horizontal exhaust vent is used, a 90° elbow fitting is used to couple the flue extending from the fireplace to a flue extending within the horizontal exhaust vent. The problem with these types of gas fireplaces is that sometimes it is difficult to align the fireplace flue with the exhaust vent flue. Consequently, additional fittings may be needed requiring more space between the upper wall of the outer housing and the upper wall of the fireplace receiving opening. This may not be possible at times as the fireplace receiving openings are preformed to be of a specific size.

In cases where the vent extends horizontally through the rear wall of the fireplace receiving opening, the flue may sometimes be a horizontal pipe extending through the rear wall of the inner housing and externally through the rear wall of the outer housing. Again this flue needs to be connected with the exhaust vent flue vent extending horizontally through exhaust vent. The problem with a flue through the rear wall of the fireplace is that the gases generated by the fireplace exhaust from a location lower than the upper wall. This does not allow the flames to extend completely upward. Furthermore, a rearward draft is created that tends to pull the flames rearwardly providing non-natural looking flames.

Moreover, the problem with either of the aforementioned fireplaces is that a different preformed fireplace is required to be used in a fireplace receiving opening having a vertical exhaust vent than in a receiving opening having a horizontal vent.

Other fireplaces have an inner housing and outer housing which include inclined panels typically at 45° between the upper wall and the rear wall of the outer housing, and between the upper wall and the rear wall of the inner housing, respectively. A flue is then positioned perpendicularly through those panels such that it extends at 45° relative to the upper and rear walls of the fireplace housing. However, because the opening of the flue would be closer to the flames and at an angle rather than being vertical, the exhaust of gases through such flue also tends to pull the flames rearward.

Applicant has discovered that the best-looking flames are achieved when the flue is positioned vertically extending through the top of the upper wall of the inner housing. Thus, a fireplace is desired that would allow for a vertical venting of the gases generated within the fireplace combustion chamber, and which can be easily arranged to connect to either a vertical or horizontal exhaust vent flue extending in the receiving opening having a limited space.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one exemplary embodiment, a gas fireplace is provided including a first housing having a first upper wall, and a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space there between. A combustion chamber is defined within said second housing. The fireplace further includes a first elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace. The first elbow flue is coupled to the second upper wall and extends within the space. The elbow flue includes a first section and a second section. The first section includes a first longitudinal axis and the second section includes a second longitudinal axis extending at a first angle relative to the first longitudinal axis. At least a portion of each section is within the space, and the elbow flue is rotatable about the first longitudinal axis for orienting the second section at different positions. In an exemplary embodiment, the first longitudinal axis is generally vertical.

In another exemplary embodiment, the fireplace further includes a second elbow flue coupled to the first elbow flue. The second elbow flue includes a first section and a second section. The second elbow flue first section has a third longitudinal axis and the second elbow flue second section has a fourth longitudinal axis extending at a second angle relative to the third longitudinal axis. The first section of the second flue is rotatable about the second longitudinal axis. In a further exemplary embodiment, the first elbow flue second section is coupled to the second elbow flue first section such that the second and third longitudinal axis are aligned along a line. In yet another exemplary embodiment, the second elbow flue extends above the first upper wall of the first housing and the first elbow flue extends below the first upper wall of the first housing. In yet a further exemplary embodiment, the second elbow flue is rotatable to position the second longitudinal axis in a generally vertical position and is also rotatable to position the second longitudinal axis in a generally horizontal position. In another exemplary embodiment, the first angle is 45°, and the second angle is 45°. In yet another exemplary embodiment, the sum of the two angles is 90°.

In a further exemplary embodiment, the fireplace includes another flue extending vertically from the upper wall of the second housing such that the first elbow flue is coupled to the vertically extending flue, whereby the vertically extending flue is located between the first elbow flue and the second upper wall of the second housing. In yet a further exemplary embodiment, either of the aforementioned flues allow for the intake of air into the combustion chamber and for the exhaust of the gases from the combustion chamber.

A gas fireplace comprising: a first housing having a first upper wall; a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space between the first and second upper walls, wherein a combustion chamber is defined within said second housing; and an elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace coupled to the second upper wall and extending within the space, wherein the elbow flue comprises a first end and a second end angle relative to the first end axis, wherein a majority of said elbow flue is within the space, and wherein said elbow flue is rotatable about an axis for orienting the second end at different orientations.

In another exemplary embodiment a gas fireplace is provided including a first housing having a first upper wall, and a second housing within the first housing having a second upper wall spaced apart from the first upper wall and defining a space between the first and second upper walls. A combustion chamber is defined within the second housing. An elbow flue for the exhaust of gases generated in the fireplace has a first end coupled to the second upper wall and a second end. A majority of the elbow flue extends within the space between the first and second upper walls and is rotatable for orienting the second end at different orientations. In an exemplary embodiment, the elbow flue includes a bent portion which is at least partly within the space between the first and second upper walls.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment preformed fireplace with an exemplary embodiment flue of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cutaway view taken along arrows 2-2 shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cutaway view of another exemplary embodiment fireplace of the present invention with flue.

FIG. 4 is a partial top view showing possible rotation of an elbow flue relative to an upper wall of an outer housing of an exemplary embodiment fireplace.

FIG. 5 is an end view of an exemplary embodiment elbow flue for use with an exemplary embodiment fireplace of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In an exemplary embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a preformed gas fireplace 10 is provided having an inner housing 12 within an outer housing 14. The outer housing 14 is formed by an upper wall 16 and a bottom wall 18 spaced apart from the upper wall. The outer housing also includes a rear wall 19 and two spaced apart side walls 20, all three of which extend between the upper and bottom walls. A front opening 22 is framed by the top, bottom and side walls. The inner housing 12 is formed within the outer housing and has an upper wall 24, a bottom wall 26, a rear wall 28 and two spaced apart side walls 30. The upper wall 24 of the inner housing is spaced apart from the upper wall 16 of the outer housing. Similarly, the rear wall 28 of the inner housing is spaced apart from the rear wall 19 of the outer housing and the side walls 30 of the inner housing are spaced apart from the corresponding side walls 20 of the outer housing. The inner housing also defines a front opening 32 which is framed by the inner housing upper wall 24, bottom wall 26, and space apart side walls 30.

A space or plenum 34 is defined between the inner and outer housings. An upper cover 36 may be positioned along the plane of the openings 22, 32 of the inner and outer housings, so as to cover the space 34 between the upper wall of the outer housing and the upper wall of the inner housing. Similarly, a lower cover 38 may be positioned to cover a space or plenum 40 between the bottom wall 18 of the outer housing and the bottom wall 26 of the inner housing. The covers may be perforated. A combustion chamber 42 is defined within the inner housing. A plurality of ceramic logs 44 may be positioned within the inner housing on a grate 46. A burner 48 is positioned underneath the logs and is connected to a gas source for providing fuel for generating a flame.

The gas fireplace is simply positioned within a fireplace receiving opening 50 formed in a room. An exhaust vent 52 extends vertically through an upper wall 54 of the fireplace receiving opening, or rearwardly through a rear wall 56 of the fireplace receiving opening as for example shown in FIG. 3. The exhaust vent may also extend from the side walls of the fireplace receiving opening.

In an exemplary embodiment, a relatively short first vertical flue 58 is mounted on the upper wall 24 of the inner housing and extends to a location within the space 34 between the upper wall 24 of the inner housing and an upper wall 16 of the outer housing. An elbow flue 60 is then coupled to the first vertical flue 58. In the shown exemplary embodiment, the elbow flue is a 45° elbow flue. An exemplary embodiment 45° elbow flue has a first section 62 and a second section 64 extending at an angle of 45° relative to the first section. More specifically the first section has a central longitudinal axis 68 and the second section has a central longitudinal axis 69 and the angle 66 between the two axes is 45°. The elbow flue extends from within the space 34 defined between the respective upper walls of the inner and outer housings. At least a portion of the elbow penetrates the upper wall 16 of the outer housing and extends externally of the upper wall 16 of the outer housing. In another exemplary embodiment, the elbow flue may be mounted directly to the upper wall 24 of the inner housing thereby doing away with the first vertical flue 58. In an exemplary embodiment, the first section 62 of the elbow flue which is coupled to the upper wall of the inner housing directly or via the first vertical flue is oriented such that its central longitudinal axis 68 is vertical.

The elbow flue 60 can rotate 360° about the vertical central longitudinal axis 68 of the first section of the flue. In an exemplary embodiment, the elbow may only need to rotate around an arc 70 of 180°, as for example shown in FIG. 4. As can be seen from FIG. 2 in an exemplary embodiment, a majority of the elbow flue 60 is within the space 34 defined between the respective upper walls of the inner and outer housings. Furthermore, as can be seen from FIG. 2, in an exemplary embodiment, a bent portion 65 of the flue is at least partly within the space 34.

A second elbow flue 72 having a first section 74 and a second section 76 extending from the first section is then coupled to the first elbow. In an exemplary embodiment, the angles of both the first and second elbow flues should add to 90°. In the shown exemplary embodiment, since the first elbow flue is a 45°, the second elbow flue should also be a 45° elbow so that the angles of the two elbow flues add up to 90°. In other words a central longitudinal axis 80 of the second elbow flue second section extends at an angle 79 of 45° from a central longitudinal axis 78 of the second elbow flue first section. Stated differently, the second elbow second section 76 extends from the second elbow extending from the first section 74 at 45°. The second elbow flue first section 74 is coupled to the first elbow flue second section 64 such that central longitudinal axis 69 of the first elbow flue second section is aligned with the central longitudinal axis 78 of the second elbow flue first section. The second elbow flue may be rotated relative to the first elbow flue, i.e., about central longitudinal axis 78 such that the second elbow flue second section central longitudinal axis 80 is oriented in a desired orientation as for example vertically as shown in FIG. 2, or horizontally as shown in FIG. 3. The second elbow flue is then coupled to an exhaust vent flue 84 which either extends vertically (FIG. 2) or horizontally (FIG. 3) through the fireplace receiving opening 50 to an external location.

As can be seen by using two elbow flues whose angles add or do not add up to 90°, the exhaust flue from the fireplace may be adjusted and oriented so that it can couple to an exhaust vent flue extending through the fireplace receiving opening which exhaust vent flue may be extending horizontally or vertically, or even at an angle relative to a wall of the fireplace receiving opening. Furthermore, by using an elbow flue which extends within the space 34 between the upper walls of the inner and outer housings, the amount of space required to accommodate such flue between the upper wall 16 and an upper wall 54 of the fireplace receiving opening is reduced. In other words, by using a first elbow flue extending in space 34 between the two upper walls of the inner and outer housing and a second elbow flue coupled to the first elbow flue, the length of the space between upper wall 16 of the outer housing and upper wall 54 of the fireplace receiving opening required is reduced.

The shown exemplary embodiments are directed to a fireplace where intake air is received through the flues from a location outside the room or house where the fireplace is located. As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the flues include an intake air plenum 86 surrounding an exhaust plenum 88. In this regard, air is received from an external location outside the house and the exhaust gases are exhausted to the same location outside the house. However, in other exemplary embodiments, the flues may only include the exhaust plenum, or only their exhaust plenum may be used, and the intake to the fireplace may be through the room where the fireplace is located and may also be through either the space of plenum 40 defined between the lower wall of the inner housing and the lower wall of the outer housing, or through the space of plenum 34 defined between the upper wall of the outer housing and the upper wall of the inner housing.

In another exemplary embodiment, the elbow flue may be a smoothly curving elbow 90, as for example shown in FIG. 5 where the elbow includes a first section 92 and a second section 94 which are interconnected via a smoothly curving and typically rounded section 96.

It should be noted that the terms “upper,” “lower,” “upward,” and “downward” as used herein are relative terms to denote the relative position between two objects, and not the exact position of such objects. For example, an upper object may be lower than a lower object.

Although the present invention has been described and illustrated with respect to multiple embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that the present invention should not be so limited, since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention as hereinafter claimed.