I have both an upstairs and downstairs fireplace which share the same
basic chimney structure. Internally there are two separate terracotta
liners, the one for the lower fireplace has a jog where it angles over
below the upper one. While the upper fireplace chimney is in good shape,
the lower has apparently suffered a chimney fire at some point and the
liner tiles were badly cracked. I got all set to run a stainless flex
liner down it to vent a woodburning insert when the damaged liner
collapsed into a pile of rubble down inside the chimney. What are my
options here as far as removing the demolished liner? The brick
structure is sound, so if I can get the old tile liner out, I can use an
insulated flex liner and be good to go, and legal too. One additional
challenge is that the clay liner for the upstairs fireplace shares the
same cavity in the brick structure so I have to take care not to damage it.
I've contemplated mounting an air chisel to a pipe and adding sections
as I go down, carefully jackhammering the liner pieces up into bits that
can fall down the flue and be swept out. I tested the chisel on a
section of the stuff I got out and it demolishes it almost effortlessly.
I also considered cutting out a brick or two from the side to get in
there and break the stuff out, then patching up the bricks. That side of
the house is not visible so it doesn't have to look perfect, but I don't
want to compromise the structural integrity. Since the brick work is in
good shape, this is a last resort.
Any creative ideas? Unfortunately calling in a pro is out of the
question right now, but then I've never needed one for anything else so
why start now.