A 25 year old condo has a fireplace connected to a wooden chimney. The
flue inside the chimney consists of some kind of metal liner which has
corroded and needs to be replaced. The only thing the chimney is used
for is the fireplace. What kind of liner can be used as a replacement in
a wooden chimney? Any problems to watch out for in getting the old one
out and installing the new one?
Generally seaking a Class A chimney is required for wood burners.
The wooden chimney you are talking about should be viewed as just a
decorative surround. There must be good clearance between your wooden
chimney and the Class A chimney.
The specific materials may vary country to country, but this Class A
is an inner metal liner usually stainless Steel with an outer metal
"shroud". There MUST be at least 1 inch of air clearance between the
the sections and AYNTHING. This is important. One cannot put
anything up against the Classs A metal chimney.
The pipe is made in sections 1, 2, 3, 4 feet long. Each section fits
into the next and a 90 degree turn locks the sections together. A
top is required which serves as both a spark arrestor and a rain
blocker. The Class A is held in place from the bottom mainly using
the lower terminationg support appropriate for your fireplace.
Class A Chimneys are not cheap a 4 foot section runs around US$250 to
US$325 (east coast US)
And this is not something to "play with" get a professional.
Additionally One would expect that your condo has guidelines for these
repairs and may require you to do it thru the Condo management due to
the safety implications.
Wood fires need only the 304 stainless steel. For burning coal the
requirement is for the more expensive 316 stainless steel. Where as
burning a gas fireplace only requires aluminum. But I would doubt
that your Condo association would allow the Aluminum even for a gas
Hope this helps some.
Recently there was a ban south of me for using wood fireplaces since it
is a densly populated city with a growing polution problem. I decided
not to fix my fireplace liner because of the ban being so close. Im
sure it will spread to the near subburbs in no-time. I just plugged the
flue with a chimney balloon and bought a fireplace candelabra for some
occasional ambiance. I figure I could spend that $1k it would have cost
to get a new fireplace liner in better ways that redoing a wood
fireplace that i wont soon be able to use.
There is not such thing as a wooden chimney. What
you are looking at is chimney chase, which is just
a means of holding the flue out of sight. The
metal flue is the real chimney. It may be a
double wall, e.g., stainless steel tube surrounded
by asbestos surrounded by an aluminum tube. In
that case you will probably be required to get rid
of the asbestos. More common is a triple wall
using air space for insulation. The minimum
spacing from the wood to the metal chimney is
dependent on the construction of the chimney, but
most likely somewhere between 2" and 6". There
may also be stand offs and platforms to hold the
chimney in place since most metal chimneys are
made up of 4-foot or 3-foot sections that lock
together. So you may have to take the chase apart
(or at least sections) to remove the chimney and
to install a new one.
You need to check with your jurisdiction (County
or city building department) to find out what
type of metal chimney is required. Also, are you
sure that you are allowed to use the fireplace;
many jurisdictions have imposed burning bans on
stoves and fireplaces in the past 20 years,
especially if air pollution is a problem in the area.
As the OP suggested, I'll go with Home Owners association. The county
will probably set the minimum but the HOA may want more. Good point on
allowed use of the fireplace. If isn't allowed, I won't need to fix it
and can save a bunch of money.
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