Solutions to Common Chimney Liner Problems

By: Jim Warren
When it comes to chimneys smoking, there are no two fireplaces that function in the same way. There can be many reasons why your chimney is not working properly and smoke is getting into your home.

The Height Of The Chimney

There is an appropriate measurement rule that must be followed for every chimney. If the measurement is followed you should not have any problems with your chimney, however, there can be exceptions. To determine if the rule has been followed you should measure ten feet from the chimney to the closest object. This object can be the line of the roof, where an addition starts, or the peak. Once you find the ten foot mark measure up two feet and that is the height that you chimney should be.

The chimney must be at the proper height to catch wind. It is not necessary for the chimney to be higher than the peak of your roof. If the peak is in the ten foot clearance area then it should. This is because the wind will blow across the roof and it should make an updraft and pull the smoke up with it.

It is sometimes necessary to raise the height of your chimney if a certain situation in pressure happens. There have been some products introduced in the market that can help with the price of raising your chimney.

You can use a flue extender to raise your chimney up to three feet. They are usually made of copper or stainless steel and have been proven to eliminate the draft problem. It is much less expensive to use one of these than it is to have your chimney raised.

Chimney pots are another method to eliminate the draft problems on your chimney. They have been around for centuries and were originally made from clay.

The newer chimney pots are made from copper. They are more expensive than the clay variety of pot, but they are very beautiful and can add to the look of your home. When copper ages it will turn a green color that is quite beautiful.

For those fireplaces that are metal zero clearance it will be necessary for you to get the manufacturers model number and the name of the manufacturer so that you can get the size of pipe you will need to raise your chimney. There may be a regulation in your city that requires you to enclose the pipe in a chase. This might cause you to have to build the chase to the new height.

This may solve some of your problems with smoke entering your home, but if it does not there may be more problems with your chimney.

Chimney caps like the Vacu-Stack or the Windbeater are another solution for your draft problems. They are specifically made to create an updraft when the wind blows across your roof and chimney. The cap will stay put and the wind will circle around the cap and make an updraft. This works fairly well with masonry chimneys, solid pack chimney pipe and metal chimneys. You can find a variety of sizes and adaptors that will work on most masonry chimneys.

If you have a metal chimney you will not need an adaptor. You can measure the inner pipe if you have an air cooled chimney pipe with two or three pipes inside. A collar for the outer pipes comes with the Vacu-Stack for these types of chimneys. If you have a drafting problem with your furnace or water heater you can generally find smaller sizes to fit these.
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