I need a chimney expert -- any out there?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

My question pertains to the chimney in my house. I have a ranch-style home with a basement. The brick chimney extends from the basement up through the house. The chimney has two flues, one from the fireplace upstairs (which I've lined with stainless to hook up to my fireplace insert) and the other is from the basement where the water heater, furnace and an old gas heater are located. The furnace, water heater and gas heater exhaust into the brick structure of the chimney. My question is: if I replace the old gas heater with a cast iron wood stove, is there any reason I should not use this same chimney as my chimney for the wood stove downstairs. It is a solid brick chimney, and I plan to only use this setup in an emergency, like my basement freezing and having my water freeze up, but I'm not sure that venting to the same chimney as my furnace and water heater is safe. Any help would be greatly appreciated. By the way, the floor is concrete and the chimney is large enough to create a fireproof backdrop for the stove. Thanks!

-- Dale Rehus (dale@spicreative.com), September 10, 1999


Its probably ok, but you really need to have a chimney person LOOK at the chimney. Does the "brick chimney" have a clay liner? Lots of times water heaters vented to a chimney not used with wood heat previously will not suffuciently heat the chimney, allow moisture to form, and deteriorate the mortor or clay liner (if any). Also a lot of codes and insurances say you cant have the things you mentioned vented to the same chimney. Although my insurance agent examined our setup (water heater, gas furnace, and wood furnace in same chimney) and ok'ed it.


Its probably basically ok (from a practical standpoint).

You need an expert to actually asses the chimneys condition.

Codes and insurance companies tend to frown or outlaw such setups. If you get a "newer" gas water heater they are Pvented by separately by PVC and the other two appliances would probably be allowed.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), September 10, 1999.

Assuming the lining and chimney are ok , the biggest problem is the air comming into the chimney from waterheater and furnace , gas applications need the airspace but with a wood stove the when the stack temerature drops below 210 F , the water vapor condences and alot of creosote builds up low in the chimney. if you ARE NOT using an airtight stove and this is just for emergency use you will probably be ok.

-- Jeff Statzer (jstatzer@michiana.org), September 11, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ