Does an exiting chimney require a flue liner?

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I have a victorian semi-detatched with an old fireplace in the downstairs lounge (AT rear of building). We want to put a new fireplace & gas fire in there.
Does the installation require a new flue, or is the existing chimney able to be used for the gas fire without any alterations? The chimney itself is in he centre of the house, and serves all 4 rooms in the main part of the house (2 on ground floor, 2 on 1st floor) and has 4x separate chimney pots at the top indicating 4 separate flues (One to each room).
The installer is so far telling us it doesn't ned anything else done to the existing chimney, but I'd rather be safe than sorry later...
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On a property of this age, it is safer to have a liner pulled through the exsiting chimney. Over the years gaps appear in the mortar and the stonework moves, thsi can cause unseen opening into other rooms above the one you're working on, so it's best to line the chimney and not take the chance of allowing flue gases to escape anywhere else than the top of the pipe. Kopex flexible flue is not to expensive for the safety it provides.
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Doesn't the addition of a chimney liner involve building regs approval, and the associated costs/delays of that?
The chimney will need to be swept before the installation of the fire, and the sweep should do a smoke test to determine it's state and suitability. Some protection against water, wildlife and debris ingress may also be necessary on the pots.
The people we bought our gas fire from refused to install it until we had the necessary certificate of soundness from a sweep.
cheers Richard -- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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BigWallop wrote:

The cost of installing a liner is not the liner but gaining access to the chimney pot. For a fire a liner is not required but the chimney must certainly be swept and tested. It is likely that on a chimney of this age its condition might indicate a liner even if it were to pass all the smoke tests. If this chimney were be used for a back boiler the liner would be mandatory.
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at www.diyfaq.org.uk
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From my bumper book of building regs
"The circumstances in which a flexible flue liner may be used in a chimney are if: - The liner is in accordance with BS 715: 1989 AND - The chimney was built before 1 feb 1966 or is already lined or constructed of flue blocks in accordance with teh apprived document"
Under certain circumstances if the chimney is lined with appropaite flue blocks a liner is not necessary. I THINK.
You can get double insulated steel flue sections for later chimneys. These are expensibve.
Inserting them can be even worse if the flue is not straight up and down.
Dodgy stacks and brickwork MUST be rectified befiore lining as it dangerous to work around crumbling stacks.
Proper H & S adherence means usually the minumum of some scaffold erection, or working off an elevated platform. Soem self emplyed guys may rowrk of allders and use straps, but no self respecting company with liability insurance dares take the risk.
Which makes teh cost anything from 200 to 2k to line a flue...
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Hamish Marson wrote:

It is pretty much mandatory to line all flues these days for everything. If the property is pre 1567, you are allowd to use a flexible flue I think - check with buildng inspector.

The legal issue is I think you have to line it.
Th reaosn I think are to do with fire sfaety - old chimneys - even those using ceramic blocks - may not be able to take the heat and failing mortar joints can cause gassing and/or ignition of nearby timberwork. Thats the rationale. Also your gas fire is likley to want to couple up to a round flue anyway.
I wouldn't care to have a fire insurance claim refused because I didn't follow 'accepted' practice either.
Check this out carefully - I may be wroing, but for the few hundred to install a linetr, I'd play safe.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Have you got a web link to the 1567 building regs I could use?
running & ducking
Bob
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If it's pre-1567 TPTB won't let you do anything!
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Err well... the LBO actually insisted that flue liners have to be fitted in our building (1726) and to our neighbours which is 16thC but I'm not sure exactly what date. So I think on balance they'd rather have a non-original "feature" than risk the damage done to the structure by flue gasses.
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Steve Firth wrote:

Red faced and stuttering apoligies the Natural Philosopher muttered # er...s/5/9/ :-)

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"The Natural Philosopher" wrote | It is pretty much mandatory to line all flues these days for everything. | If the property is pre 1567, you are allowd to use a flexible flue I | think - check with buildng inspector.
I think you mean 1667 - the London Building Act following the Great Fire.
Owain
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Hamish Marson wrote:

Almost certainly it will need a liner. An acquaintance of mine fitted expensive gas fire when refurbishing his ground floor Vic London flat. The first time he lit it the flats upstairs complained of fumes coming through the chimney breasts into their flats. Quote to fit liner (it will need a crane) are in excess of 2k ...
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Surely that's a class1 rather than class2?
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Hamish Marson Wrote:

Well i think that you should call Corgi for advise regards your chimne liner..Any gas engineer will tell you a standard brick chimney DOES NO required a liner so long as it is in good condition ,,,meets th correct sizes,,,and passes the flue flow test....there are regulation that confuse non gas trained people///ive serviced tens of thousands o gas fires WITHOUT liners....If the smoke test proves a faulty Flue the i advise that a flue liner is required.
-- gastec
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On Wed, 16 Nov 2005 19:47:42 +0000, gastec wrote:

Thius is completely WRONG
Brick chimneys MUST be lined with
- socketed clay liners or - imperforate clay pipes or - socketed cement pipes. or - fixed metal tubes or = felxible liners for chimneys already equipped or built before 1966
This is a Building Regulation.
-
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We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the
saying something like:

You mean....
Gasman is talking out of his arse?
Must be where his nick comes from.
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To put things into context -
New chimneys must be built to meet building regs - no-one is arguing against that
Old chimneys were not and may have worked just fine for many years. Fitting a gas fire to a preused solid fuel flue which is swept prior to the installation, inspected in good order and passes flue flow and after installation passes no spillage test is permissible. If the old flue is not in good order or does not pass the tests then a liner will be required.
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On Sun, 20 Nov 2005 19:06:44 +0000 (UTC), John wrote:

No. Installing a gas fire comes under a 'material change' and is subject o building control.
Building control specifies uprating old chimneys to something approaching modern standards.
You and I know that this is probably totally uneccesary if the chimney passed the tests you describe.
Nonetheless, in the building regulations, it is.
I don;t want to say more than that the building regulations are available online,and the OP should check them. If he chooses to do the work outside building regulations, that is his affair, but I think the facts of the regulatory position should be stated, and to the very best of my knowledge I have stated them correctly.
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As I am now retired from such work I may be not up to date with very recent gas reg requirements. Can Ed or someone else add anything here. It seems pretty stupid if the gas ACS training and assessment courses are pushing a situation which turns out to be at variance with building regs and quite frankly Id be amazed if they are. Who or which is right here?
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On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 17:31:07 +0000, John wrote:

My understanding (based on having done my ACS reassessment this year) is that there is no prohibition on using an existing swept Class I brick chimney in good order as a gas flues.
There is a requirement to inform building control about the installation of gas appliances and flues (possibly only heating appliances), however CORGI members have access to a self certification scheme which allows them to notify the installation of all gas appliances and flues and the removal of boilers. Also several other notifiable work activities such as a single electrical circuit, ventilation. Alas it does not include self certification for unvented cylinders even if you hold a 'G3' card.
There are plenty of gas fires on the market which either require or permit the use of a swept Class I chimney as a flue subject to satisfactory inspection and testing.
In my experience a chimney can have as good a 'draw' on it as a liner if not better.
I have been to a gas fire installation this year which had been subject to an CORGI/HSE investigation following problems:
The defect list included: No purpose provided ventilation. Soldered gas pipe under burner (not permitted by makers for this model). Manual damper not secured or removed (this was the 'hanging' offence). Unsleeved supply pipe as it went through the wall. Leaking supply pipe on restrictor elbow (this was the 'presenting' problem).
The above was perpetrated by an unregistered fireplace firm, no longer trading.
No mention was made of the unsuitability of the existing chimney as a flue.
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
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