Chimeny liner

paddleJuly 14, 2005

Hello, we live in a 30 year old house which has a chimeny that vents for the fireplace and a separate vent for the furnace.

I was told by the chimeny sweep that there should be a metal liner installed on the furnace exhaust(some kind of bylaw in Ontario, Canada,true or not?)

Well, i can see that there is a clay liner sticking out from the top, and i imagine it goes all the way down. Is that not sufficient? Is it diificult to install a liner? Is it expensive? Is it available at the local Homedepot?



Toronto, Canada.

........and it's HOT up here!

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I was told the same thing. They say that it improves the draft (I think that might be my money going up that chimney). In PA older homes are exempt but most of the shops insist that you do it because of the creosite buildup and fire danger.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:56PM
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In researching fireplaces a few weeks ago, I came across this recommendation:

"The best bet is to get a continuous stainless steel fireplace insert going all the way up the chimney. All chimneys should have caps (A simple cap, preferably one with a vertical baffle in the form of a band that prevents line-of-sight access to the chimney opening, will be the most effective type). Also, seal the liner at the top - follow the manufacturer's instructions" It said that steel fireplace inserts are available from specialty hearth retailers. That's all the info I have on file.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 3:09PM
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Here is some information from a reliable source.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metal-Fab Chimney Liners

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 4:07PM
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Installing a metal chimney liner is probably the biggest con game ever played upon the citizens of north america. seriously. In probably about 90% of the cases where some poor sap with more money than brains was convinced that his world was going to end without a stainless chimney liner by a "professional", i'd say, in fact i would bet my right arm, that it was completely unnecessary. unfortunately for most people, you can rarely count on an honest evaluation of your chimney by most so-called "professionals". So, is it necessary, well without seeing your peticular chimney i cannot be 100% certain, however from the description you have given me; that you have a clay liner, and if your chimney seems from the exterior to be in good condition (no very large cracks, crumbling brick/ mortar) and since this is only for i assume either a gas or oil furnace, i'm about 90% sure your fine. Also clay tile is an approved liner for venting natural gas and oil appliances in ontario. so you can most likely disregard his attempt at making you pay him to needlessly reline your chimney.

It never ceases to amaze me that types of chimney liners that have worked fine for the last 70 years suddenly need to be lined with metal in order to work?.... riiiggght.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 4:54AM
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With the new high efficiency appliances, there is not enough heat released up the flue to keep the flue gases from condensing in oversized chimneys. A correctly sized liner will heat up quicker and alleviate the corrosive condensate from forming.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:37AM
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"With the new high efficiency appliances, there is not enough heat released up the flue to keep the flue gases from condensing in oversized chimneys. A correctly sized liner will heat up quicker and alleviate the corrosive condensate from forming"

true; however, the cases where this actually happens are very rare, and it usually occurs only on very oversized poorly jointed or unlined flues in chimneys that are located on the exterior of the home. additionally it is even rarer with oil furnaces such as the one the original poster asked about.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 4:18PM
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We just had the chimney cleaned on our 100 year old house, and the clay liner is rapidly falling apart. We got an $1800 estimate on a flexible metal liner.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:24PM
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When we bought our house, our home inspector recommended that we install a stainless liner. We have a woodburning fireplace that sits right in the middle of the house, and the natural gas furnace also vents through the chimney.

We got an estimate of about $1000, but we haven't had it done yet.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:34AM
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The more efficient the appliance is, and the larger the clay flue tile chimney, the greater the need for a liner. The cases arent rare, a large percentage of questions on these fourms deal with draft isses, and the number one reason for poor draft is large volume chimmeys. The manufacture doesnt pick out the flue collar size randomly, and the size that they engineer is the size that will make the appliance perform the best. There has been lots of changes in the last 70 years, hell, the last 10 years. Stoves are way more efficient then they used to be, and loose alot less heat. Chimneys are driven by heat. What has more air to displace? a 12x12 clay flue, or a 6" round flue? Liners are needed in most installations of new efficient appliances. period.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 2:17PM
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Msg, i don't wish to start a long drawn out debate with you on this issue; i don't even bother getting into it on the other board because there are so many "in the industry" over there, they will defend probably to the death the propaganda that just about everything needs to be relined. Fact is more often than not relining is not necessary, and more often than not chimney sweeps and hearth "professionals" are simply looking to line their pockets. Obviously a vastly oversized flue connected to an appliance that produces little exhaust heat and/or volume is not going to function as well as much smaller liner installed in that flue, however this is the exception not the rule. there may be a large percentage of draft related questions on these forums, however many deal with external masonry chimneys, which are just a bad idea, and regardless, compared to the number of people who used stoves and fireplaces, those who frequent these forums are not even a drop of water in the pool. I maintain that, in general, relining is an unnecessary attempt by "hearth professionals" to take even more of their customer's money.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:59PM
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Berlin, no hostility here. From the "other" board you should no that im a pretty low key guy. I respect your point, but i have seen in so many cases otherwise. Now we are not talking 8x8 flues here, we are talking 10x10 or larger. I have not had success, not one time on a direct connect in a flue that large. Hearth professionals are selling new stoves, not old ones, and new stoves dont draft in a oversized chimney. What is my motivation for posting inaccurate information? im not trying to sell anyone a liner here. If you hook up a new stove to a masonry chimney, you will get puffing, and sluggish draft. You seem to have some hostility to hearth dealers, if you have some data to prove otherwise you should bring it to the table, in here or the other place. I have witnessed it, first hand, many many times, poor draft associated with masonry chimneys. It doesnt matter if there on the side of a house or right in the middle. Heck, i dont even sell liners, i leave that up to the sweeps. I cant tell you how many calls i have been out on poor drafting inserts. They all have one thing in common, no liner. So we may agree to disagree, but if you do what i do for a living, you would think otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:32PM
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Berlin Know me from the "other forum" What he is advising is for one to scoff witten code, code which is approved and governs every USA citizen,, we approved for our own safety.
He asserts, that it) is a scam form chimney sweeps (There could be some truth to it But did he tell you about the cross-sectional that governs these situations? I am not a hearth retailer or chimney sweep but a national certified inspector. I gain no monitary advantages to installing the correct code compliant way. This is nothing personal to Berlin He knows my character and know of my professionalism
He also knows if he asked I would try to help him out.. I have posted the cross-sectional code enough time. Also he neglected to tell you that Liners may be needed in non NFPA compliant chimneys to obtain compliance?.

We are talking about an oil burner in Canada More details are needed concerning the chimney condition size and location,, To jump to a conclusion, However Canadian Codes as stricter than USA counter parts It is possible that a burner replacement venting in an older flue requires it to be lined
Just because a piece of the clay liner is seen at the top one assumes it is lined all the way? Was It an 8/8 liner? what is its age ? what is its condition? is it cracked? is it in its own chase? are motar joints missing motar? Too many unanswered questions to make a blanket statement. A statement advising, one does not have to be code compliant? based on what, your assumption? I will back up my position on what has been tested certified and written as code. What is your justification?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 11:53AM
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ok things on this post are getting confrontational. Ok per NFPA-211 (National Fire Protection Agency code 211) No two appliances shall share the same flue to vent out byproducts of combustion. In short what this means is that either the fireplace must have a liner or the furnace must have a liner. This is to keep the two appliances from interacting with one another. Now as for some "professionals" wanting to relime everything I dont dispute this statement there are some in the business who will tell you all fireplaces should be relined. I refer however to the NFPA 211 again where it states that a masonry chimney should be constructed with a clay flue liner mortared at each joint from the smoke shelf to the termination at the top. It also says this clay liner should be free standing wich means no other #2 or face brick touching it. In fact it calls for I believe a 4" air space between the clay tile and the first innermost course of #2 or face brick. Sorry to be long winded but not all facts are easily stated in ten words or less.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 10:12PM
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Confrontational? Nahh... but you have to contridict blatent bad advice. I guess you will find different opinions on every thing,definalty two schools of thought on this issue. around where i live its illeagle not to line a chimey, so my job is easy, and like a said i dont sell liners. I have seen direct connect inserters and stoves not work worth a darn. IF your over the cross sectional requirments, then it has to be lined by law.

Who here has a direct connect insert that works how its supposed to? If your does, please post you model, your chimney size, and the hight.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Rick the 4" you speak about is 1" air space surounding the flue is code. Why do you reference acode that the national government does not reconise? NFPA 211 is not part od the iInternational codes they may apply to firefighters but to the rest of the construction industry is governed by the International codes The 2003 0r 2006 Intrenational mechanical codes govern chimney construction Not NFPA 211. NFPA is a refferenced code but not the governing code infact NFPA coppied the Boca now International codes, Not trying to be confromational here but stating facts as a nationally certified inspector, that inspects such situations Today since 1996 Boca codes one chace for one appliance is code meaning a separate 4" solid masonry wyth separates masonry flue liners. Two flue liners may occupy the same chace if serving one appliance for an example a double soied opening fireplace and that each flue in that chase have motar joints separated by 7" You are correct that flues can not service a different fuel burning appliances I just thought I should clear up fome miss conceptions. Also it is great that one refferences code to do things correctly after all NFPA mirrors Boca and coppied it

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 11:00PM
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I'm not sure how widely available it is, but there is an alternative to stainless steel liners called Supaflu. In this system, an inflatable tube is placed in the chimney and after inflation a proprietary mixture is pumped in slowly around the tube. After hardening the tube is deflated and removed. This system was originally developed in Britain during the 70's energy crises as a way of rehabiltating old chimneys in order to utilize coal.
It has to my mind several advantages over stainless steel liners. Steel liners provide no structural connection to the chimney. The Supaflu mixture bonds tightly to the chimney itself and increases its overall strength. Steel liners can be very difficult to install properly, especially in old chimneys without liners of any kind. Supaflu flows into all nooks and crannies and provides a very smooth interior without any possibility of kinks or dents. Since one of the main ingredients is vermiculite, insulation value is enhanced.
I have no connection to this company except as a satisfied customer. We had a 150 year old unlined 60' brick chimney treated three years ago at a cost about the same as a steel liner.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 6:42AM
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My 1947 house has two chimneys, 1 for an oil burner and a large one for a wood-burning fireplace. Two years ago I had installed on the wood chimney a Stainless ovalized liner for in the area of $1800. The mortar between the terra cotta tiles inside the chimney had deteriorated and significant amounts of smoke would escape between the tiles into the attic. This is bad. I hired a company to smash out the tiles and install a liner. They did a great job. I had them inspect and clean the oil chimney and they also explained the theoretical need for a liner due to the lower temperature flue gases emitted from my new Energy Star furnace. Based on the visual inspection of the 50 year old chimney, they recommender fore-going a liner in the oil chimney for now since it looked to be in pretty good condition. As with anything, the key is to find a reputable contractor. I got estimates and input from at least a half dozen contractors, but wound up hiring the company from 50 miles away because they had a good reputation. There seem to be many incompetent or unethical contractors in the chimney field so be careful.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 6:47AM
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what if I have a 25ft long 13"diameter lner, willt aht draw high eff. woodstove smoke?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 10:16PM
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it will, the question is how well, 13" is a bit on the large side. I need more info; is your chimney built on the inside of your home?, or is it tacked on to the exterior, also, is there more than one flue in your chimney? if so, does that other flue vent any appliances such as a furnace/water heater?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 3:05PM
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I'm in the same position, sweep told me I needed a $2500 liner/cap installation ASAP. I got 3 more quotes since, one for $950, one for $450 (said I didn't need a liner, just repoint and a cap) and $2100.
The first sweep pulled two 5-gallon buckets of bits of clay and debri out of the clean out, the third guy said the tiles were all fine, just a little flaking (10 galons? thats alot of 'flake', no?) And then the last guy said the chimney was still blocked with debris, so, for no charge, he cleared out another 2' of blocked nasty chimney, and handed me several chunks of tile, and invited me to look up the chimney to see the obvious broken tiles. I was pretty pissed at the first sweep that was actually paid to clean it out leaving so much crap in there without saying anything.

Regardless, I think I'm having the $950 guy do the job, as he is an independant, while the other two $2k+ quotes were franchises, and the $450 guy that doesn't think I need a liner, doesn't do liners... go figure.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 4:05PM
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I looked down my chimney, the liner seems not to be straight, but kind of weeve? anyone know whats going on? I am examining my chimney cause there is a terrible smell in the room that it runs through. I have pics, but dont know how to show you.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 10:44AM
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well, when you post the pics i would be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of whether what you have is normal or not, can't really do this from that discription.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 2:34PM
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How do i post the pics?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 7:48PM
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That is a link to a pic of the inside of my chimney, what do you think?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 8:56PM
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PLEASE Help. I had a LOPI flush-mount wood burning fireplace insert put in the middle of Feb 2006 (so it's had about 2 months of use). The fan never came on correctly. They had to reposition it once to come on at all, and even then it took 4-5 hours burning several logs full blast to get it to come on. They wouldn't even come back to check it out the second time I complained!

The problem now is that the chimney sweep says the 6" stainless liner is coated in creosote and can NOT be cleaned sufficiently for it to be safe. He says we have to remove the entire unit or change the liner (every year??). The company said we got "bad wood".

We only burned kindling and hard wood which was purchased and kept under a tarp with good air flow around it. (The tarp was raised up with poles at 4 ends.)

Has any one heard of this? Can wood be so bad that the liner has to be replaced in 2 months? I think the issue with the blower not coming on means there was a problem with the flue liner or the original installation. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 2:02PM
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the blower coming on is probably due to a bad snap disk, or the unit is not hot enough to close the circuit. That would explain the creosote as well. Eiteher your wood is wet, or you buring stove improperly. Meaning that you close the damper down to fast. I have never heard of a uncleanable liner. Thats me, the experts on liners are over at

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 3:05PM
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I think mountainstoveguy is absolutely correct that the creosote problem and the failure of the fan to come on are the same problem: the stove never gets up to a hot enough operating temperature.
A chimney can become so clogged with stage 3 creosote (this is hard, glassy and impossible to remove with just brushing) that it is unsafe. There are chemicals sweeps use to soften it, but whether they can be used with a metal liner, I don't know.
The real question is why this is happening. Green wood is one possibilty (especially if a lot of it was oak), shutting down the damper too soon is another. If this is an exterior chimney, creosoting problems are always worse because the chimney has a harder time maintaining a temperature warm enough to prevent condensation.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 5:42AM
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Thanks guys. I was wondering about trying to use one of the chemical creosote removers to see if that removed it. I think someone has to spray it on the interior of the liner directly and then it is supposed to loosen it up. I don't know why the chimney sweep didn't suggest that. I found those products searching the internet after the fact.

But is hard to believe that we never had a problem before the insert. In the past we were told the clay liner in the chimney was relatively clean even though we used it all winter. And now the stainless liner is coated in just 2 1/2 months!

The chimney IS on the exterior of the house on the north side of the building and we are near the water. Lots of real breezy days. As far as the damper, we had it on full burn and we didn't shut down the damper until the blower came on. Never had a lot of smoke problems or anything to suggest "wet" wood, and the wood seemed to burn well. A few pieces here and there were slow, but nothing exceptional. I was putting in 3 or more logs an hour continuously for 3-4 hours to get the blower on. And in the meantime the fire seemed to be burning really well. Very little ash was left over after the logs were gone so I thought it was actually burning better than without the insert.

One other thought, our chimney is pretty large in width as is the firebox itself, so there is a lot of room around the liner and the insert itself (4 or 5 inches all around). Is it possible that we could be getting some kind of down draft of cold air around the liner that is making it run colder than it should? Especially on an exterior chimney? or is this not generally an issue?

thanks again

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 2:22PM
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sharetheneutral: the liner you have looks in decent condition although i'm guessing it's fairly old due to some crumbling of the interior surface of the clay, however that is not a problem as it looks in otherwise excellent condition; the weaving that you spoke of is fine, it is simply how the mason put the liner in the chimney.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 9:51PM
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I think you've identified the source of the creosote problem in your last paragraph. A lot of space around the liner in an exterior chimney would definitely tend to keep the liner from becoming warm enough to prevent condensation. It may be possible to add insulation - perhaps vemiculite - around the liner. Insulation should help, but this issue is one reason why I think the Supaflu lining process I wrote about earlier in this thread is far superior to merely inserting a metal tube in an existing chimney.
This leaves the blower question. Three to four hours to reach the temperature that triggers the blower seems really excessive. I'm sure the stove manufacturer could tell you what temperature is the threshold for blower activation. An inexpensive stove thermometer would let you see when this temperature is reached. If the blower remains off at the activation temperature, something is defective in the blower controls. A themometer would also let you see the stove and liner temperature as well.
Finally, I'd consider contacting another sweep to see what he says about both cleaning the liner and adding insulation. Anything that would attack stage 3 creosote has got to be pretty heavy duty stuff - probably not a do-it-yourself job (at least not for me) and the clean up/toxicity issues may be considerable.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 5:32AM
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Help. I live in Toronto, Ontario. my house was built in 1952. I had my fireplace and chimney inspsected and cleaned. my home is a standard brick and block detached bungalow. I was told that we need a liner, fine. but i was quoted $4000.00 CDN. please, someone tell me what i realy should be paying. I have no problem paying for saftey and being up to code, but $4000.00...come on this can not be right.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 1:34PM
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$4,000 bucks sounds a bit rich I would get a few more prices. Just what is the chimney being used for ? a wood burning fireplace or gas ? or other?.. I rebuild brick chimneys in Ontario for a living and I can tell you right now any one who says a masonry chimney doesnt need a metal liner when the flue used for a high efficiency gas furnace ,hasnt seen the damage done to the masonry chimney in a short time 5yrs or less. And no I dont install metal liners. The amount of water vapour that a high efficiency gas unit puts out is what causes the damage, in the winter, freeze thaw will quickly disintegrate the bricks & clay liners on the exposed portion of the chimney.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 5:27AM
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I would agree with BrickMan. But I would add that it is a job for a Handyman HomeOwner. I dropped the liner down into mine for $380. $4,000 is absolutely nuts. There's re-liner kits for $400 if you shop around. Of course you need to be fit and healthy enough, its a big job. Merry Christmas all, and ENJOY THE FIRE! -Joe, Michigan

    Bookmark   December 21, 2007 at 8:39PM
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