A chimney liner is an aluminum pipe that is installed in a masonry chimney to protect the clay liner from furnace and water heater exhaust gases. When furnace and water heater exhaust gases travel up a masonry chimney they start to cool down and condense. The condensation that forms is acidic. The acidic condensation corrodes the clay liner in the masonry chimney and then starts eating away at the mortar.
When you see a chimney falling apart on an old home it is usually because it has no liner. This was never an issue with the old inefficient furnaces because the exhaust gases on the old furnaces were much hotter than today’s efficient furnaces.
Do I need a chimney liner?
The codes vary depending on the city you live in. It is our opinion that a chimney liner should be installed whenever your mechanical equipment is updated. Some companies say that you don’t need one and that it is overkill. When you ask most mechanical inspectors they will say it is a very good idea to install one when you replace your furnace or water heater. Another reason a chimney liner is a good idea is because when the exhaust gases are eating away at the inside of the chimney, all the material falls to the bottom of the chimney and will eventually block off the furnace or water heater vent pipe. This causes the exhaust gases to back up into your home instead of going up the chimney. We see this happen several times a year and it is very dangerous.
Who should I hire to install a chimney liner?
Hire a licensed mechanical contractor for this. It is not a do-it-yourself project or something a handyman should be installing. Also make sure the contractor is pulling a permit with the city, and insist that the inspector come out to your home to inspect the work. If a chimney liner is installed incorrectly you could damage your home, but worse, you could hurt a family member.
What type of chimney liner should I install?
Rigid (hard pipe) liners are preferred; the other option is a flexible liner kit. The flexible liner kits first came out to deal with chimneys that had a jog in them (often chimneys on an outside wall have a jog), meaning the inside shaft of the chimney was offset, usually towards the bottom. If the chimney is straight then a rigid liner should be used because of its strength; flexible liner kits do not last as long because of the thin walled material that make them flexible. Unfortunately mechanical companies have gone to using flexible liners for every application because of the cheaper material cost and because they are easier to put in. If you are having a chimney liner installed question the type of liner being used and the reason for it. We find 5 year old flexible chimney liners that are full of holes from the exhaust gases and have to be replaced. If you do have a flexible liner installed, have it inspected per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Replace your chimney liners
Contact Aabbott Ferraro today by calling (651) 776-7214 Schedule an Appointment to have your chimney liners repaired.