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Chimney Liner on Existing Fireplace

I have a existing fireplace with (I think) a clay liner. It is about 50 years old. I have a number of issues that make me think the fireplace should be lined.

I do not want to get a wood burning fireplace insert, I want to keep the original fireplace. Looking online all the diagrams show an insert made to connect to the 6" stainless liner.

Has anyone done this upgrade with the stainless liner? It sounds like I may need to remove the clay liner and install an insulated liner. And I would like to go with an external damper, at the top of the chimney, that makes more sense to me.

How is the liner terminated where the damper is now?

Does it have to be an insulated liner for a wood burning fireplace if I go through the existing chimney? i.e. Can I just slide a 6" liner down the clay chimney?

I also have a second flue that used to be (I assume) for the oil burning furnace. That should be capped with cement, should it not?
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:42 AM
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They put a stainless liner in my chimney, and poured grout around it. Round liners draw as well as square ones, so it was fine.

If you call a reputable company, they will inspect your liner while cleaning it.
Old 12-06-2013, 01:48 AM
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I know they grout the top, did they also grout the bottom?
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:08 AM
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What are the issues with the fireplace that make you think it needs to be lined?
You are aware that an insert would be much more efficient than an open fireplace.
If just for occasional use a fireplace is ok but if your using it regularly to supplement your existing
heating system your furnace may actually run more as the massive draw of the chimney will pull cold air into the house.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:40 AM
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I get smoke in my basement. I believe there is leakage from the fireplace chimney to the older furnace chimney. Or I simply have a downdraft through the ash clean-out.

The fireplace is not for heat, it's just for occasional fires. Has to look good only. And not kill me.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:49 AM
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Easy enough to eliminate the clean out but that sounds like an unlikely source. Relining with flexSS is a good way to go. Remember that by doing so you are reducing the interior size of the flue a little.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:02 AM
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I did this but as you mentioned it was a for a wood stove insert. I used an inusulated flexible stainless liner. Depending on your installation you would use insulated straight pipe too I suppose. Trickiest part is the termination of the new liner at the top of the firebox.
Old 12-06-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990C4S View Post
I get smoke in my basement. I believe there is leakage from the fireplace chimney to the older furnace chimney. Or I simply have a downdraft through the ash clean-out.

The fireplace is not for heat, it's just for occasional fires. Has to look good only. And not kill me.
Is the Furnace chimney still in use? Have you updated to high efficiency furnace or HW heater? Alot of people don't realize that newer furnaces/HW don't heat masonry *chimney flues enough to get a good draw, and need to run a stainless liner for the furnace/HW heater.

*edit: not fireplaces

Last edited by dad911; 12-06-2013 at 05:39 PM..
Old 12-06-2013, 01:55 PM
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50 years is not that old for a chimney. Are you sure you need a SS liner. The SS has to be cleaned often or it pits. If the clay liner is not crumbling then they should last a long time. Water is the enemy. Does water get in you chimney?

I have a SS liner on one flue in my chimney, but I think is was a scam they ran on mom. I have an oil furnace on that flu and have to have it cleaned every year for $275.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:18 PM
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If you have smoke in the basement it is most likely from the house being pulled into a negative from the massive draw as Pete3799 calls it from the fire place.
The smoke does not come out your clean out unless your chimney is plugged but rather it comes in down the chimney of your heating appliance when the fire place puts the house in a negative. What you need besides a proper liner is also a means of introducing combustion air for your fire place to prevent the negative situation
Old 12-06-2013, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad911 View Post
Is the Furnace chimney still in use? Have you updated to high efficiency furnace or HW heater? Alot of people don't realize that newer furnaces/HW don't heat masonry fireplaces enough to get a good draw, and need to run a stainless liner for the furnace/HW heater.
Here we are not allowed to mix fuel sources in one flue. Gas furnace and water heater can use the same flue but not a gas water heater in a chimney with an oil furnace (unlikely anyway) or a wood stove with a oil furnace etc When you remove the gas furnace and go direct vent the remaining gas water heater needs a smaller chimney and then you pull in a liner.
When you have two flues side by side the morter might have crumbled allowing gases from one flue into the other even though the tiles are intact.
I have installed a stainless liner kit for a high efficiency(airtight) insert.
We used a piece of "Roxul " batt insulation as a stuffing around the liner at the top and bottom but didn,t bother in between. Roxul is mineral or stone wool I think so is fireproof. I think You would need to fabricate a sheet metal lid for your firebox to terminate the bottom at the fireplace if not using a factory made insert.
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:21 PM
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We have a fresh air pipe at the base of our masonry fireplace. It works great.

I will say the Geo-thermal guys hooked up our unit wrong and it smoked from our main floor fireplace into our basement through the basement chimney. Once they fixed that, I've had no problems. Is this happening while your running the central heat? Have you had work done to it recently?
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Old 12-06-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
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If you have smoke in the basement it is most likely from the house being pulled into a negative from the massive draw as Pete3799 calls it from the fire place.
The smoke does not come out your clean out unless your chimney is plugged but rather it comes in down the chimney of your heating appliance when the fire place puts the house in a negative. What you need besides a proper liner is also a means of introducing combustion air for your fire place to prevent the negative situation
If that's true then an open window should improve the air flow.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72doug2,2S View Post
We have a fresh air pipe at the base of our masonry fireplace. It works great.

I will say the Geo-thermal guys hooked up our unit wrong and it smoked from our main floor fireplace into our basement through the basement chimney. Once they fixed that, I've had no problems. Is this happening while your running the central heat? Have you had work done to it recently?
I have central heat running at the same time.

My furnace is high efficiency now, so I suspect the old chimney for the furnace was never capped off.

How does the fresh air pipe work? I've never seen one.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:27 AM
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I have seen a few different fresh air intakes setups. Simple-est is a small round duct like a dryer vent without the backflow shut off flap. It comes in the basement wall and turns down terminated just above the floor of the furnace room. cold air flows in to replace the hot air which went up the chimney.
Most complicated is a balanced HRV ( heat recovery ventilator with both in and out).
I,ve also seen a vent directly into the wood burning fireplace box.a grill outside with a screen to keep out mice/bugs and a grill on the floor of the hearth near the front edge. Idea there is supply replacement outside cold air as makeup for the fireplace without it drawing all it,s air from the room.
Looking at your original post I still wonder if you have mortar missing between side by side flues. If the smoke only comes out the clean out when your furnace is running then the idea of neg press in the furnace room could apply. But most high eff. furnaces here have an exhaust and an intake pipe both led outside. If that's the setup then the furnace isn,t causing the neg press. . If someone cheaped out and has the air intake terminated in your furnace room then fix for your fireplace might be as simple as extend the furnace intake outside just like the exhaust.
Also when you light the fireplace the chimney needs to be warm before it can start "convecting"drawing properly.
I had a house which was really air tight after a major program of weatherstipping and caulking. That fireplace would smoke out the front when starting it. Never through the cleanout below that I ever saw.
I began lighting a big piece of newspaper like a torch and held it up the chimney as a first step. It started the draw by partially warming the chimney. Once burning the smoke spillout if any stopped.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:24 AM
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Our mason is in his upper 70s. I had never seen this before he built it 2007.









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My uncle has a country place, that no one knows about. He said it used to be a farm, before the motor law.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:31 AM
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I will do some investigating. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:44 AM
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Added benefit. My boys love going out side around Halloween and make spooky sounds into the fresh air vent.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:45 AM
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Just call a chimney contractor that can check and clean your chimney.
The liner can be installed without removing the tile liner.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1990C4S View Post
I have central heat running at the same time.

My furnace is high efficiency now, so I suspect the old chimney for the furnace was never capped off.

.....
PVC vent? Does the HW heater still tie into the old flue?
Old 12-08-2013, 02:35 PM
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