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Install & Replace

Replacing Chimney


  I have a brick chimney on a two story home. I have a leak around the chimney and have had no luck stopping it. I finally got into attic and found the leak is actually water coming through the brick as it is turning to powder. After looking closer i have found that the chimney is not straight and  the water is coming through the chimney at the bends. So what i'm afraid of what is what kind of condition is the chimney in the walls and if water is coming through is the exhaust from my furnace also penetrating the brick.


    So i have decided it would be best to replace the chimney with an outside stack pipe for furnace and hot water heater. Both are natural gas. But what kind of pipe should be used, how high does it need to be, are there any alternatives to this i don,t know about. There are no fireplaces in the house. Any advise would be appreciated.



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Posted 2011-02-10T19:30:48+0000  by sworldt sworldt

Hello sworldt, I had a similar issue come up last year when I started to notice many bricks that were cracking or popping on my 61 year old home.  I'm not fond of heights, so I called to get a 3 estimates on what the problem was and I was told that the moisture & heat coming off of the furnace over time was causing the unlined chimney to expand and contract, thus causing the bricks to deteriorate.


I was told by all 3 contractors that I needed to have the chimney rebuilt partially. Each estimate varied in cost and also in the number of bricks they wanted to replace--some wanted to replace half the height and some suggested partial. But replacing the bricks was not the only solution, they said  that I needed to get a chimney liner.


A chimney liner is a flue lining in a masonry chimney is defined as “a clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.” By getting this chimney liner installed, and having the bricks replaced, my popping, cracking or water damage is gone. I had the option of going with either a stainless steel liner or aluminum liner.


chimney liner.jpg

 There are two main types of metal pipe you can line your chimney with, aluminum and stainless steel.  When lining wood burning stoves or wood burning fireplaces, you must use stainless steel. Almost all stainless steel liners that have been UL listed require insulation in the form of a blanket or poured insulation material, and it is recommended that aluminum liners be insulated as well. Aluminum is not appropriate for wood burning appliances or fireplaces because of the temperatures that the fires reach when burning wood.


Aluminum is the ideal gas chimney liner. It has been the material of choice for venting gas fired appliances for more than half a century. You want to make sure to purchase a liner that is UL listed. This means it has been put up to standard tests and passed. Many liners come with a lifetime warranty when installed by a professional when installed according to the manufacturers instructions.


If your on a budget like me, I choose the aluminum because the price was so low compared to stainless steel, and my furnace is so old, that if I were to replace it with a high efficiency furnace, the chimney liner would only be used for my water heater, the new high efficiency furnaces vent through the wall to the outside not through chimney.


On January 2011, I my furnace failed after 40 years of service, so I'm glad I choose to go with the less expensive liner, otherwise I would have paid for something very expensive, that would no longer be needed-- the liner is only being used for the gas water heater that is 15 years old, once that fails, then I will replace it with  a tank less water heater and those are vented the same as the furnace, through the side of the house, so at that point the liner will never be used again. 


If you have a chimney contractor come out, have them give you an estimates for a possible pipe on the outside of the chimney, or an estimate for what I suggested above. If you go with the pipe on the outside, there will still be a need to fix the gap where the water was coming in around the chimney.


Please let me know if you have any more questions.


Posted 2011-02-10T22:36:19+0000  by Angelo_HD_CHI
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