Does my chimney need a liner?

thisishishouseSeptember 11, 2009

I had a home energy audit earlier this year, courtesy of my utility company. One of the findings was that my boiler wasn't venting properly. (It was venting out, but not strong enough to their recommendations) I had it looked at by a chimney service, who discovered that the vent stack from my gas water heater and boiler goes into the (brick) chimney, does a 90 degree turn, then ends, dumping out into the chimney. (the inside of the chimney is just the brick, there's no metal of clay liner going up) They said it should have pipe running all the way to the top of the chimney to draft/vent properly, and left a $1800 estimate.

Do Gas boiler/WH's need their vent pipes to run the full height up a chimney? The setup is ~20+ y/o and hasn't been a problem. Would there be a 'better' expert to consult?

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paulbm

no gas stacks should vent into a brick chimney. The gas fumes
will eat up the mortar joints. you need a chimney liner of the right size to handle you two gas units. But you don't need one made out of gold. Get more prices. he is 3 times too hi.
later paulbm

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 7:00PM
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thisishishouse

The details on that quote is ~$900 parts (5" x 40' Liner, flex, snout, asstd other items) and $800 Labor. (plus tax) Given that I've got a 35' chimney to line, is that price unresonable?

Also, I checked the energy audit report I had done. They measured the draft at -0.5 pascals. Anyone know what a 'good range' should be?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 7:51AM
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baymee

Check out Olympia Liners in Scranton, PA.

I lined my chimney a few years back and I think it's a good idea. If you don't mind climbing, maybe you can DIY.

Mine is 316L Stainless with some custom stuff, 25' tall and my materials were about $600.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 8:52PM
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paulbm

I guess i just can't see that price, you just need a aluminum
liner for gas and they should be able to install it in just a few hrs. later paulbm

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 11:06PM
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baymee

To clarify, my boiler is wood or coal. Gas uses less expensive aluminum.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 11:03AM
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jakethewonderdog

This is a common problem- no gas appliance should vent to a brick chimney.

Consider a couple of things:

1. install the flue liner.

2. Update your furnace and water heater to something that can sidewall vent.

$1800 would be a good start on a new furnace, for example, that could vent using PVC. Get your tax credits also.

A tankless water heater can also side vent.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 2:29PM
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thisishishouse

Going the DIY route would mean also buying a 30' or 40' ladder. Plus, I'd rather have the peace of mind knowing it was done properly. A pro could probably do it in an hour or two. Me alone on a 40' ladder would take a day or two of fumbling around.

jake: Thanks! Good point, I hadn't considered. $1800 would be a good starting point for new direct-vent. But that's $1800 out of how much? And that tax credit means I pay up front and then get money back with my tax return, right? Not sure I want to sink $$$ into this place, might be selling in a year or so.

Anyone have any idea how much a new direct-vent boiler and water heater costs, installed? (ballpark. $3k? $5k $10k) And my current boiler is a Teledyne Laars mini-therm JVT-75c. HW Heater is a 40 Gal State Select (PR640NBRS) Any recommendations of what to replace them with? Could a single unit replace both, or is it more economical to go with separate units?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 6:05PM
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