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chimney liner and cap help

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by longislandguy, Dec 30, 2010.

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  1. longislandguy

    longislandguy New Member

    Joined:
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    NY
    good morning.

    I'm new to this site. so i just wanted to thank you in advance for your help.

    about 3 years ago i had a Chimney contractor come and install a stainless steel liner for my oil burner flu. I also had chimney caps installed. The contractor said to call them to inspect the liner in approximately 2-3 years to see if it needs to be cleaned. i had called them up for the inspection but they did not show.

    So i had another chimney contractor come to look at it. He said that the liner was never connected to the boiler flue and that no thimble was installed. my first question is "is installing a thimble standard operating procedure?" In other words should the original contractor come in and correct the problem at no charge (there is a lifetime warranty for the liner itself).

    In addition, the 2nd chimney guy said the caps were installed incorrectly with the roofing tar (see below). He said that the first 3 row of bricks need to be removed because the tar will shorten the lifespan of the masonry. he said that instead of the two caps that one would be installed.

    the 2nd chimney contractor advised i call the original guy to correct the problems but he would fix it all if the original guy balks.

    to tell you the truth i barely look at my chimney of my house and never realzied the tar as a problem. then again i knew nothing about chimneys.

    thank you again on any advice or comments.
    brian

    [​IMG]

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  2. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Well, as for the boiler flue, the liner MUST be connected to the appliance it serves (usually with a tee/thimble). If the liner is just hanging freely in the flue and isn't attached to anything at the bottom, this is a problem. It's not actually doing anything.

    As for the tar, I wouldn't have done it. Tar is flammable and frankly, there are much better options for waterproofing a top.

    As for the caps, I would say it's better to have a multi flue cap on this chimney, though I suppose you could get by like this if needed.
  3. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Roofing tar/plastic patch? I'm not an expert, but I think that's kind of lame. There are bolts/screws that attach the base of the cap to the portion of clay tile that extends above the brick. It looks like either that wasn't possible, or he saw that the masonry was starting to fall apart so he decided to "fix it". The top of the chimney should have been re-pointed with mortar. For a furnace it would probably be OK, but for a wood stove.. maybe not for the reason the previous poster stated? The liner should be connected to the device it was intended for.
  4. Eaglecraft

    Eaglecraft Member

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    I empathize with your situation. Obviously, the "installer" has no pride of workmanship and probably does not know what he is doing. This is one for Tommy Silva, of This Old House.

    Roofing tar should never be used to either a) repair a failing crown wash, or b) attach the chimney cap to SS liner. You photos illustrate why I do much of my own home repair and new installations.

    Several years ago, the concrete crown wash on my masonry chimney was failing. I repaired it by removing most of the bad crown wash, building a wood form around what was left, and pouring new concrete into the form to make a new crown wash. To prevent future damage I coated the cement crown wash with "DEFY Brushable Chimney Crown Repair." According to the manufacturer this product is "a fast setting elastomeric coating that forms a flexible waterproof membrane. DEFY Brushable Chimney Crown Repair is specifically formulated to repair and protect chimney crowns from water intrusion."

    A single chimney cap should have been installed, manufactured to accommodate two flue liners or SS flex pipe. This cap should have been attached to the liner, either tera-cotta, or SS, in such a manner so that it could be removed for liner inspection and cleaning.

    Your installer did the job mostly wrong. If it were me, I would not have this guy back on my property. I would just rack it up to a bad learning experience. Contact a reputable installer or chimney sweep and have them remove the tar and install the liner to your appliance and the proper chimney caps correctly. How to find a reputable installer? Visit local wood-stove dealers and ask for the name of their top installer. Contact the BBB and see who is bad/good. Also, go to the Yellow Pages and determine who is a certified wood-stove installer or chimney sweep. Any competent, reputable installer will see what is wrong and know how to repair what your original installer did wrong.

    I wish you good luck. You can resolve what was done incorrectly.
  5. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Wow- what a mess.
  6. 98dingo

    98dingo New Member

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    Agreed!
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Woow! What a mess, it is unbelievable that someone would sell this kinda work. How are those caps suppose to be removed for cleaning? You should have the liner issue addressed before anything else. At this point it will be hard to make that brick look good again, if you can afford it, it would look real nice to put stone veneer over the brick, and then have a new crown cast.
  8. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I think I'd skip the original installer and go with the second guy. The first installer may screw it up even more.

    Good luck,
    Bill
  9. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Well, the OP is in Levittown, so I bet all of the chimneys look like this. %-P
  10. longislandguy

    longislandguy New Member

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    thank you all for your help and advice. well what a headache this has turned into. bu to give you an update since i originally posted. unfortunately i didnt read all of your responses before the original guy came.

    The original contractor came and so no way the flue was not connected to the boiler. He gave me the story that there is no way to know it wasnt connected unless the pipes were taken off the wall and that the other chimney company was scamming me. so he said he'd take it off to show me that it was done. low and behold it wasn't done. he then looked at the boiler and saw that it was installed after the Chimney liner was installed.

    he then continued to blamed the oil company after he started doing the repair work. saying that they took the connection off and that the reprair wouldnt be covered. The second chimney contract said there would be no way the oil company could remove the thimble/connections that were inside the chimney without pulling up the liner. The oil company confirmed that they never touch anything inside the chimney.

    at that point i didnt even get into about the caps. The guy said that the tar was not an issue.

    so i have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and my county's consumer affairs department. Also working on a complaint to the National Chimney Sweep Guild in which the company is a member of.
  11. Eaglecraft

    Eaglecraft Member

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    Rudy:

    The nightmare continues...

    Unfortunately, should you attempt to sell your home, any competent home inspector will send up a red flag when the tar coated chimney is observed. You will most likely be required to repair the chimney to complete a sale. It's a case of "pay me now or pay me later." Sometimes it's better/easier to cut your losses and resolve an issue yourself - on your own dime. On the other hand, you could sue this "installer" (and that's using the word installer loosely) in small claims court. This is something that you will have to decide. I think though, from a safety and aesthetic viewpoint, the chimney should be repaired. The prospect of a lawsuit could change the installer's mind that "the tar was (is) not an issue."

    In any case your installer should find another line of work. A very famous luminary - the man who taught the Japanese about quality - W. Ed Deming - said many times, "There is is no substitute for knowledge." Clearly your installer has none.
  12. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Hey Rudy, just for kicks are you able to post pictures of the bottom connection area.
  13. longislandguy

    longislandguy New Member

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    i already have the 2nd contractor lined up to do the repair work to the chimney. He will be removing the top 3 rows of brick. Replacing it, rebuilding the crown and isntalling one multi flue cap. He advised me to contact the BBB and try to get my money back.
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