Chimney Question


Hi:
We have a house built in 1925, and it has a small wood-burning fireplace. Shortly after we moved in I had a metal liner installed in the water heater/furnace flue. The fireplace flue was not treated. We had some wood fires, and had a problem with smoke rolling out the front of the firebox into the living room. After some research I purchased a smoke guard from http://chimneykeepers.com/ It worked pretty well by reducing the size of the opening, and we had a handful of fires again. However, after a while we noticed a smoky smell in the upstairs bedroom (just above the fireplace). We have had about 6-8 contractors look at this and almost all of them have suggested less-than-ideal solutions: A wood stove, a gas fireplace, a metal liner (which I think would reduce our already small flue too much.) Our flue is 8X8 with a 36W X 30H firebox opening. Someone suggested a product called Chamber Tech from a company named AHRENS, but they don't have a dealer in my area. And besides I think that product is just made for the bottom of the chimney, not the whole flue. Does anyone have any thoughts, experience, suggestions for me? Thanks in advance!
--Mike
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What's the problem you want to fix? Smoke odor in a bedroom?
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I installed a certified insert and stainless 6" chimney liner, eliminating smells in the house, and getting real heat from the insert. It's way nicer than an open fireplace.
Bob
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Sounds like you may have a leak of some sort. That means the chimney must be re-lined somehow or a metal chimney in place. There are no cheap and easy solutions that I'm aware of. There is a way of putting a bladder down the slue and pouring a new liner around it, there are ways of putting stainless steel liners in the existing opening.
Do you want the fire for ambiance or are you looking for heat? That will determine the best overall solution. Wood burning stoves, fireplace inserts, all have a place and requirements for proper venting will vary. Once you have a priority, better decisions can be made.
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Mike : Doug Tuttle here.(pipefitter6735) I have cleaned chimneys for years. Not being able to see what type of Location your house is in or the area around the home. Look at this. 1. do You have any large trees around your house ? This can cause a down draft Espacially on days that the air is heavy. 2 Is your home set in a draw or valley Inother words is the ground around your home higher than your Chimney , or close to the same elvation.3. Is your top of chimney at least 3 foot above anything within a 10 foot distance of the chimeny top. ONE more THING IF YOU INFACT SMELLED SMOKE IN the other rooms. Have a Chimney Sweep set off a smoke bomb in the fire place . Cover the opening of the fire place with a wet blanket, so that it is sealed. Also if possible cover the TOP OF THE CHIMNEY. This will confine the smoke to the inside of the chimney. IF YOU THEN SEE OR SMELL THE SMOKE Y O U HAVE A LEAK IN the morter and SHOULD NOT burn it till the chimney is repaired. I would also suggest that if you have not done so have the morter between the bricks checked to be shore that there is no problems in that reguard. Best of luck . I hope that I have mabe helped you. PS. look for smoke stains around the chimney, inside and outside of the house. Mike wrote:

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has anyone camera inspected the flue? is it just bricks or a ceramic liner?
safety FIRST!
get it inspected professionally then decide what it needs and what you can afford............
some gas logs look wonderful today. they look very realistic
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Hi All:
Thanks for all the responses. I don't think we really have any issues with nearby trees, we are not in a valley, etc. One thing is that our water heater/furnace flue opening is at the same level as our fireplace flue opening, and I think the fireplace flue is supposed to be higher for better draw?
We did have it inspected with a camera and there were some small openings so it seems to require a liner of some type.
Someone proposes installing an 8X8 round metal liner, which will result in a much smaller opening than the current 8X8 square flue. That makes me worry that we will have problems with smoke coming into the living room again (we have a 36W X 30H opening--it's actually 22"H with the smokeguard). Do you think we would have a problem by reducing the flue size so much? Or is it high enough above the firebox that the smoke wouldn't come back down?
Also, the guy who proposes installing the 8X8 liner includes "tile knocking" in his quote, which means he would remove a layer of tiles from the flue. I assume this is to accommodate the 8X8 liner?
Thanks, Mike
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Mike, I may be stating the obviouse here or simply a solution that you would not choose, but it is worth suggesting. This is a low cost and no flame solution. You could consider this if you dont want to shell out the expense of relining or an insert. Or if you want to postpone the descision. You could seal up the chimney by stuffing a chimney balloon in the flue to keep the chimney sealed tight then just put a cendelabra or decorative log stack in the fireplace to make the fireplace a design element for the room.
My fireplace and chimney were too expensive to get back into operational order so i just pluged the chimney and had my wife give it the womans touch. I thought I would miss having fires in the fireplace but I have not missed it at all.
GJ
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