Buying home, fireplace inspection questions

bustergordonJuly 1, 2010

Hi everyone. We are moving into our new home this weekend, and are now getting around to thinking about how to repair things that came up on the fireplace inspection. The original inspector wrote this on his report regarding the fireplace, which has a stainless steel liner:

"The second section of the inner flue pipe is damaged; the vertical seam has split and pulled damaging that section of pipe. The flue would have to be disassembled and a new part installed. In addition, there is a section of outer flue pipe which is not engaged exposing the locking tabs."

The sellers brought in another inspector, who said the liner was fine. We all compromised and brought in a 3rd guy, who suggested sealing the gaps between the metal liners with a high heat silicone sealant.

At this point, I'm thoroughly confused, and don't know what to do about this! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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christopherh

First you mmust ask yourself this question: "Which is more important?" Spending a few bucks? Or having a house fire?

Evidently you have a "Zero Clearance" FP. They're good units. The chimney is pipe. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to spend a few hundred bucks to replace the damaged pieces. Because otherwise I would always have that nagging worry in the back of my mind whether or not the chimney os OK.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:51AM
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bustergordon

Thanks. I would replace the pipes, except apparently my fireplace was made by Temco, which has gone out of business, so the fireplace inspector told us it would be impossible to find a replacement part...

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:36PM
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christopherh

Go to a stove and fireplace shop near you. If all you need is replacement chimney pipe, I do believe just about any brand would work. You may have to replace the entire chimney pipe because of the brand difference, but we're not talking much more than a couple hundred bucks and a half day's work for the installer.

He'll disconnect it from the fireplace, pull the whole chimney pipe out through the top, and reinstall the new pipe. Or maybe he can just install a liner instead.

OR....

You can install a woodburning insert into the fireplace. It'll give off more heat with less wood. Because to be honest, a fireplace is a heat loser. They have a "negative efficiency" which means when you use it, the heat from your home goes up the chimney. Whereas an insert could also mean you can shut off your furnace if you want.

We live in Vermont. It can get cold, sometimes going to minus 40 a couple times each winter. We have a woodstove, not an insert, but we use it as our main heat source. A cord of wood is averaging $175, and we go through about 3 cords per year. So for $525, about the cost of one tank of oil, we heat the house for the winter.

In our last house in PA, we installed an insert in our zero clearance fireplace and literally shut off the electric heat.

Each time the woodstove paid for itself within one year in oil or electric bill savings.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 7:57AM
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