1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Advice needed on hearth / home remo, liner install and clearances

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Northeaster1, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Hi Folks,

    Sorry in advance, for the long post. Put in a PE Pacific inset and liner a couple of year back, and got alot of great advice and info here. Very happy with the PE.

    Now, the wife and I have bought an old (100 year old) balloon framed house to use as a summer house / cottage, and will also use it in the spring and fall, so we want to upgrade the fire burner!

    To start off, there is an old (likely orginal chimney, that is no longer in use, that has a new chimey build right next to it (sistered) all the way from basement cleanout to roof (old chimney no longer goes through roof).
    - new chimney (maybe 30 - 50 years old) is in good shape, and is unlined (no clay liner), so I have bought a 6" rigid liner kit and sections.
    - Existing flue is 8x8" ID, so will have room for liner.
    - Chimney is internal / central to house and only top 3' stick out of roof peak.
    - In Easten Canada, and as house has zero insulation (other than the paster / lathes) and needs upgraded plumbing and electrical, so we are tearing paster/ lathes off of exterior walls, and some ceilings and interior walls where necessary.
    - Rehingling roof next weekend and adding two dormer with big window in upstairs bedrooms at same time.
    - older fella who liverd ther for last 50 years heated with wood cookstove with Kemac (stove oil injection type) burner. He likely never had insurance and we can't use that if we want to keep our insurance. In Canada, the insurance co wants a WETT certified install or inspection. I plan to install myelf, and have inspected.

    Main questions:

    - I believe, even with a ss liner, that you need something like 2" of clearance to combustibles from masonary chimney. I have ripped gyprock away from old and new chimney on one side of 1st floor, and although the gypock was held away from the chimney, the wood studs and tight next to it. I imagine the other side is the same, as well as the 2nd floor. Attic is open, so nothing covering masonary.
    The old guy never burned it down in 50 years, with not even a clay liner. I would think that it would be even safer now with a new ss liner, but what does the codes says for clearance?

    - I may want to keep the old chimey exposed on the 1st floor, as it is very old, and weathered looking, but the new chimey next to it is newer brick (not as authentic looking) and is mostly parged anyway (other than where the two meet, and you can see the newer bricks).

    The flue from old cookstove (with Kemac burner) passed through the old chimney and into the flue of the new chimney (as new chimey was farther from stove / kitchen). Maybe I could use this opening, to run the liner tee out, but since we want the new stiove t obe in the living room anyway, I have started drilling / cutting a new hole in new chimney, for the new liner tee, and plan on rebricking the old one. (We would have needed a couple elbows if we used existing opening for new tee).

    I have drilled a few holes with a masonary bit, but it's slow going. May try with 4.5" minigrinder and masonary wheels next weekend. Is there something better???
    Any problems cutting new hole?? Do you usually cut a bit larger than 6" square hole ( as cutting round would be harder)??

    - As old and new chimneys are built tight, side by side..Are there any clearance issues with building a wall tight to the edge of the old chiney?? We are ripping out the old wall between kitchen and next room, and I plan on just adding a couple of 2x10 header beams to carry the 10' load to each end, where it would be supported by about 2 x4s holding it up, and 2 full length 2x4s, running outside them, to keep from twisting.

    Forgot to take pictures of chimneys after uncovering them on 1st floor, but here is one while stil covered9 New chimey behind fire extinguisher, old chimney to left of that, on other side of wall, in kitchen. Wall between kitchen and next room has been now gutted.

    Any advice would be appreciated!!

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,160
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    You need to get the WETT certified inspector in there to advise what to do. Before you do a lot of work and then find out it ain't gonna pass that inspection. Get him/her in on the game from the start and it will make life a lot easier.
  3. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Very good advice! The only problem is that I can't get anyone for a few weeks, and I will be reshingling the roof this coming weekend, and already have some roof jacks and platforms up to the chimney.

    As it's a 13:12 pitch, 2 1/2 storeys high, it would be alot more comfortable to do the liner now, rather than once the new shingels are on. I realize it can be done later, but it must suck to do all that from a ladder.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,160
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    For sure you are gonna have to insulate that liner with no tiles in the flue. And that clearance to framing is a BIG issue.
  5. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Since we are ripping most of the plaster and lathes out anyway, to insulate exterior walls, and to be able to run new wiring / plumbing, I may just rip down anything close to the chimney and then start fresh.

    What materials are typically used for "spacers", studs and gyprock ( cement board ???) , when most people do this?

    I will install a liner for sure, and have already swept the old flue and there is no creosote buildup in there.

    re: clearances, it is odd that it may not meet today's code, even though I would be adding a liner, and the old guy burned with no liner!

    I want to make it safe, for sure, but if getting WETT certified becomes too much of a hassle, I can always go without insurance.

    Any thoughts on the best / normally way to cut out a new hole for a new tee in the brick chimney??
  6. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    BB- re: insulating the liner, I thought that was more of an issue with external chimneys? Could I juts insulate the top 5' or so, as only about 3' sticks out of the roof peak?

    see attached pic!

    If you or anyone else has answers to some of the other questions re: materials used to adhere to clearance codes, and the best way to cut a new hole in the bricks, I would surely appreciate it!

    Attached Files:

    • 4.jpg
      4.jpg
      File size:
      60.4 KB
      Views:
      293
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,160
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
  8. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Definitely insulate the liner. An insulated liner will likely reduce your clearance reqts to zero. Depending where you are in NS you will have trouble finding an installer who knows what you are talking about, or even a supplier who can get you what you need to do the job. PM me if you want some recommendations of where to look.
  9. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks BB for the link! And Brent for the response, and info on inslualte liners.

    I am not doubting your experience(s), but I have an un-insulated solid ss liner installed in my exterior chimney, at home in NS, and have had absolutely no trouble with draft and / or creosote. I shoudl say that it is a cinder block chimney, with a 12" x 12" clay liner, so there is alot of dead air trapped in there, which would ofer some insulative value. I clean it 2 times per year and get maybe 2-3 gallons of very dry creosote. We burn about 2 cords / year, and I normally have my PE Pacific insert burning in the 700-900 degree range (at the fire's hotest burn period) (stovefront temperature as measured with rutland magnetic stuck just above door, and with hand-held infra-red.

    re: the saftey / code clearance factors, I think we need to put them into to catagories, what matters to my insurance co, and what I fee very comfortable with. Since I have cleaned / swept the old flue and it looks very clean, on visual inspection, any heat / fire should be contained within the new rigid liner, which has about an inch clearance at each side, with the 8" x 8" ID chimney. I cannot see how even a hot fire in the rigid pipe would heat the bricks to the point of causing combustibles, on the other side of the bricks, to catch fire. But, I am not the one writing the codes, or offering insurance policies!!

    If I choose not to insulate, what would be the normal of perferred method for adding some type of spacers, before studding up and finsihing wall with cement board???
  10. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    For info only, not to start an argument

    A chimney fire can reach temps of 2100*F. Your liner will withstand this, but the bricks will certainly get hot. All they need is to reach 500*F to start pyrolysis (turning wood to charcoal without flame) of any adjacent timbers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrolysis (edit - fixed the link)

    In the end they don't "catch fire", they skip that step all together

    The old Kemac burner didn't reach anything close to the temps the chimney will reach with a new stove and liner in it. The liner will radiate heat all day long thru stable air (no cooling), whereas the old oil burner got a constant refreshing of air thru the leaky converted cook stove.
  11. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    I would think you could use metal studs for the wall and you wouldn't have any problems. That would give you your 2" of space you would need anyways. I wouldn't be concerned about where the chimney penetrates the roof, I think any problems would be had in the structural timbers where the chimney passes from the first to second story of the house.
  12. how big is the chimney- I might have missed it.. I would rather have the right size flue then downgrade a liner to have insulation..
  13. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Brent - don't worry at all about starting an argument! I came here for advice, and although I may question why, I will still consider the advice!

    I hadn't thought about the captive air with the new liner, vs the open flue with the old kemac burner, etc. Good information!!

    re: metal studs, I had wondered if thye would be OK, but then also wondered if they would just pass he heat on through, and still not be acceptable.

    As we will be mostly using the house as a summer cottage, we will only be burning spring and fall - we will not be there in the dead of winter. (will be next to the PE insert at home).
    We are gutting most plaster and lathes anyway, to eventually insulate, vapour barrier, gyprock and paint. We actually plan on using it for the next few summers witout refinishing, just leaving most walls as rough studs/ boards, and maybe spray painting on some white paint (so light reflects better), on the inside of most walls. Then as time passes, and more money comes in, we will start rewiring, insulating, gyprock, etc.
    I mentions this as maybe I will just expose the chimney now, so I do not have to worry anbout clearances, and then refinish down the road.


    ** The chimney is juts over 8" x8" inside dimensions, so I do have room for insulation.

    On that note, what are thoughts / impacts of pouring in vermiculite - would that help to reduce clearance, or does that not help (offically), as my liner likely was not tested in this way??
  14. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Honestly, given your plans for the place in the long run, I'd install an insulated liner now. If you insulate it to meet zero/zero clearance requirements you will get some reno benefits:

    With a Zero/zero chimney, you can insulate right up against the brick/stone.
    You can caulk, air seal and foam wherever you want.
    You can use the gaps along it to run wiring without any concern of heat.
    Heck, you could wrap it in newspaper from a code perspective - in fact, I had blown in cellulose installed 2 feet deep around mine in the attic.
    You can even just leave the chimney exposed to the room and take advantage of the radiant heat that it will give off. (less heat than if not insulated, but still some heat)

    Another benefit is that you will have less heat radiating from it to the underside of your roof deck in the attic, so less snow melt and less chance of ice dam buildup in winter.

    The overall cost for me having my liner insulated was approx $500 dollars over what it would have cost without it. Well worth it given the advantages I reaped just in my energy conservation efforts re insulation and airsealing IMHO.

    Poured in vermiculite or perlite is another method of insulating liners and can also meet the zero/zero requirements I described. It can be difficult to ensure you get the perscribed thickness of perlite around the entire lenghth of the liner, especially if it is a flex liner. You can install spacer bands on the liner to keep it away from the walls of the tiles to allow for even filling all the way down.

    Where did you get your liner from (Brand)? Is it rigid or flex?
  15. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Brent, thanks for the reply and all of the info!!

    I bought a solid liner (Selkirk) from Central Supplies in Windsor. Have not installed it yet, so it would be possible to return it, if another one made much more sense.

    However, I would really like to install it this weekend, as I have roof jacks / planks up on the roof now, and they will be removed once I reshingle on the weekend. I do not want to dealy the roofing.

    The chimney is just over 8" x 8" ID, and is straight the whole way. I don't have the instructions with me, so I am not sure if there is any mention of acceptable methods of insulating.
  16. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Selkirk has some of the best instructions out there. Check their website for info. Their Versa Liner uses 8 lbs. density, 1/2” foil faced ceramic fibre blanket or Selkirk’s Insulation Wrap to give a Zero Zero clearance spec. I'd buy 1/4 inch and double wrap it so you don't have any seams to worry about splitting. One of the supply houses in Halifax is likely to have the wrap, tape and wire mesh in stock. You may even get Central to order in some for you by Friday.

    The details will all be in the instructions from Selkirk.

    Good luck.
  17. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    One last point - get in touch with whoever will be inspecting the job before you do it. If it is the Hants County building inspector, you will need to give him the details when you draw the permits for the reline and new stove install. If it is a Certified Sweep, speak to him in advance to makes sure he is happy with your plan for the reline - better to know before than after it's all done that he wants a specific thing done, etc.
  18. Northeaster1

    Northeaster1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Well, I am taking some of the good advice here. I have bought a 1/2" thick, foil backed liner kit, incuding the ss wire mesh. Will be installing the new (insulated) liner on the weekend, with any luck.

    Thanks again for all of the help and advice!

Share This Page