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Chimney Advice Needed (Pics)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pen, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Evening all,

    My question has to do with whether or not any cracks in a clay tile lined chimney are safe. I have spoken to several others in my community that burn wood, and the typical response I have gotten has been "every one i've seen has cracks."

    My cracks are found in the very top chimney tile. There is another about mid way as well, but not nearly the size of the one in the highest tile that I am showcasing in the pictures.

    What are your opinions.

    Is it time to get the chimney lined? Or is this really the norm for a tile lined chimney.

    Also, what are your opinions on the appearance of the chimney in terms of cleanliness.

    Thank you in advance for your time.

    pen

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Here is another pic of the chimney better showing the crack in question.

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  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Here is a picture of the part of the chimney seen above the roof. This chimney is on the outside of the house. Also you can see where the previous owner has attempted to "repair" one of the cracks.

    pen

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  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Here is the last picture that I took. This picture is from the cleanout and up. In the second tile up and on the left, you will see another hair line crack.

    Thanks again to all.

    pen

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  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The pros will ring in but while the top one being cracked, temperature differential does that to most of them, and with one lower down being cracked I would line it and not take a chance on a flue fire getting through it and setting framing on fire. And the draft improvement is worth it anyway.

    As to clean. Looks great to me. I am the guy that looked down and saw this one day.

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  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    What the heck, as long as I am taking up site space with pictures, I might as well do it well! I'll show you what utilizes that chimney

    (Hope that is OK, please let me know if it is not kosher)

    here is a pic of the old Grandma Bear. It may be old but it certainly did a nice job last winter here in the Endless Mountain section of Pennsylvania.

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  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Holy 3rd stage creosote batman! I have seen that pic on the web not associated with this site before. Always interesting to put info on the web together with its owner. There must be an impressive cleaning story to go along with that! I couldn't imagine what it would take to remove that with a brush, if it is even possible.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It was a really thin glaze. Burned off fast with no drama.
  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    How does this compare to the appearance of other chimney's around?

    Since this is no exact science, it is nice to hear what others are experiencing to see if I am in the ballpark / doing this right. I feel like I do not know what "normal" is.

    Thanks.
  10. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Welcome aboard Pen, I am in agreement with BB. Better safe than sorry. Once cracked, If you happen to have a chimney fire and it gets through the crack and to the framing around the chimney, worst case scenario, you loose your home to fire. If you reline with insulation and have a fire, worst case scenario, cash shelled out for liner & possibly having to reline again. Home intact.

    BB speaks from alot of experience, hes the resident old timer who has soiled his depends many a times :)
    He done everything the hard way, and reports it to us ;)
    I think that chimney looks awfully shiny & slick BB, kinda purdy!!!

    Pen, your chimney looks clean, but those cracks are a done deal.

    I also am from the Endless Mts, great place to live Pen.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Well actually there are two of us. Backwoods Savage always gets it right and I have made every wood burning/cutting mistake you can make. Except the big one.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Thats why we love ya brotha!
    I dunno why I relate to you so well. Lord knows I am flaweless and made no mistakes in my lifetime ;)
    Its a pleasure to learn from your mistakes.
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Thanks for your honest and interesting responses as well as the warm welcome.

    Certainly have a nice site here. I have been enjoying the galleries and am amazed at the activity in these forums!

    pen
  14. dvellone

    dvellone Feeling the Heat

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    Flue tiles will crack when they've been set without space around them to allow for expansion and contraction. If they're set properly with space all around and no mortar between the tile and the outer structure they won't crack. If you can reach the damaged tile you can certainly clean it well and patch with refractory clay although it's likely to crack again. It seems unlikely that the crack would have any effect on draft.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With an exterior chimney I would line it for sure. I'm not sure if you can insulate or not, but would also consider that.
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