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)

CHIMNEY LINERS???

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jstallone, Sep 14, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jstallone

    jstallone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    I have a pretty basic question which probably most of mine are at this point- One of the sales tactics a salesman used was to tell me to make sure I am getting a good quality ie. gauge steel liner. He showed me the liner they used which was a thick, stiff type of flex covered with insulation. It looked strong and solid and he then showed me a partially crushed thinpiece of stainless which he said some of his competitors are using. Is there an industry standard that I need obtain ie. certain gauge and should it definitely be insulated. I live in NY.

    Thank you- Jim

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. berlin

    berlin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    299
    Loc:
    Western NY
    while i'm not sure on the gauge of stainless liner preferred by hearth professionals here, i will tell you there is a difference in stainless, and if you want the best get 316ti. use the search i explained why 316, and specifically 316ti is the best in a previous post on here somewhere.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    I dont pretend to be the liner expert here, by a long shot. Mostly becuase i dont install or sell them. As matter of fact, i dont realy understand the reason people have to use nylon brushes to clean there liner. I would think a higher end, heavy non crushable liner could handle a steel brush. I was having this conversation the other day with one of the sweeps i use, he installs the homesaver brand, which is heavy, and they dont carry nylon brushes on there truck. If the reason is, and i dont know if it is or not, that you use a nylon brush because of the thickness being to thin, then i wouldnt buy a liner that thin.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,714
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    On the thickness side most of the flex liners are 316ti alloy and .005 inches thick. Some .006 inch are out there. I have a .005 and also a .012 inch thick double wall flex liner. With the double wall it is flex in the sense that it can be flexed, in a wide ark. It is so stiff that it couldn't be lifted high enough to go down the chimney. I had to stuff it up the chimney from inside my fireplace. If I had been charging somebody for that one they would have paid dearly. The .005 was a piece of cake.

    Now, as to the crush stuff. Lots of liner sellers push that a 250 pound guy can stand on their liners. Well, ain't nobody gonna be standing on the side of your liner in that chimney. The things to look for are UL 1777 listing for temps over 1800 degrees so if you have a chimney fire the liner may go south but it will give max protection to what is around it.

    Oh, and tell the guy that wants to tear out the tile liner to take a hike. On its worst day that tile liner is just another layer of protection. He probably is talking about breaking it out and pouring a solid round flue in. They are great and I wish I had one but there are significantly cheaper safe ways to do it with the flex liners. And the $1,200 guy is in the ballpark.

    Internet advise. Worth about what you pay for it.

    ps: MSG a guy in the business told Craig last year that the little pieces that break off of the ends of metal brushes with use, and they do break off, end up in the corregations of flex liners and set up corrosion. That be the reason poly is preferred. The old dissemilair metals trick you are learning about in chemistry class.
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    Thanks BB, i will bring that up next time i talk to them.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,275
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    There is something to be said about stepping up to at least a reasonably thick liner. Rigid, of course, is best and is 4x as thick! But if you need to use flex, step to the .06 or heavier. If you are going to spend a lot of money on installation, insulation and labor - well, then you only want to do this once. In other words, the material cost may not be much more for thicker.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,714
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I just looked at the documentation with my liners and found the best reason for poly. The warrantee. Of course I don't think any of the warranties are worth the paper they are written on but mine both say ya gotta use poly.
  8. jstallone

    jstallone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    Hey what exactly do ya mean by "poly" and why. Does the gauge of steel really matter? Dealertoday said they use thinner metal because easier to work with heats up faster and still give lifetime warrantee. He also said insulation wasn't necessary since dead space works as insulation. Any thoughts???
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,714
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Poly is a polyester chimney brush instead of a steel one. For the reason for it, read above. As to lifetime warranty nobody knows just how that works out. The flex liners have only been around a little under twenty years.

    Thinner is easier to work with. It costs the dealer less too. Thicker is going to be stronger and stand up to a chimney fire better. Same principle as buying cheap aluminum foil or the thick stuff. 99% of the time when you bake the turkey in the cheap stuff it is fine. When it isn't you have a hell of a mess in that oven and a burned up bird.

    .005 liners will probably do the job fine. They are the majority of liners sold and I bet mine outlives me. Like Craig said, the majority of the cost is the labor for installation. If you can get thicker why not do it. I put the .012 in my main chimney because the stove in there is a fire breathing beast. You could fit a lot of stoves sold today in its firebox. I want something tough taking the heat that dude sends up the pipe. I sleep in this house when it's burning.

    As far as insulation goes, insulated liners will always give you a better draft through the stove. If your chimney is on the outside of the house it helps even more. I hope he is right about the dead space because I didn't have room in the flues to insulate mine. If the room had been there I would have insulated them in a heartbeat. Cold bricks suck a lot of heat out of that liner. Air space or no air space. If your house didn't have insulation between the outside walls and the sheetrock you would have airspace too. Try living with that sometime. I did and didn't like it at all.
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Hi Jim,

    You live anywhere near me? That had to be Ashleighs. Standard discussion they have with everyone who walks through the door.

    It doesn't HAVE to be insulated to meet any code, but in theory it can help with poor draft and help eliminate cresote if the chimney is cold. My liner goes up the throat of a majestic chimney, and I decided not to insulate it. I figured I could always insulate it later if I wanted to. As it turned out, when I cleaned the chimney I inspected the entire length with a light and there was nothing but fly ash the entire way, top to bottom. Only a minor "creosote" discoloration on the rain cap which came off with some Fireview spray. I even mentioned it to the salesman at Ashleighs and he said I shouldn't change a thing since I'm apparently burning just about as optimally as possible.
  11. berlin

    berlin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    299
    Loc:
    Western NY
  12. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    Hi Jim,

    I suppose I can be accused of using the same "tactic". I prefer to look at it as free information that you can use to make an informed decision. But it all depends on which side of the transaction you are on, doesn't it? At any rate, there is truth in the guage being related to "quality". But it is not as simple as that. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

    You don't specify if this is a wood stove application but it seems to be assumed by the others commenting on this thread. Do you want the best? or will you be satisfied with "good" or "better". If you want the best, it will be the heavy guage stuff and it will be insulated and come with a lifetime warranty. If that is more than you need or want you can get a "good" or "better" liner for less money and with a thinner guage. You may or may not "need" the insulation. Your chimney system will determine that, not the sales person. In fact, there ARE codes that require insulaton (sorry Warren) and your chimney may be in that situation.

    There is no "standard" for guage specifically. However, the UL 1777 standard does put a liner through some rigorous tests so guage will play a role. In short, the "best" liners are .007" guage interlocked to make a very strong surface that cannot be easily penetrated or damaged. This is the liner Bart mentioned as his .012 (it is thicker after interlocking but is made with .007" guage stainless steel). It is the most expensive but it is by far the toughest liner you can install. Next, is the .006" continuous weld liner, which is much lighter in weight than the heavy duty stuff but is still very strong and resistant to crushing. This is the "better" stuff. Finally, there is the ubiquitous .005" liner that MAY be "good" or may be junk.

    As Bart and Berlin mentioned, the 316ti is the good stuff for ligthweight liners. The better light weight liners are the .006" as they are not easily damaged during installation or cleaning. The .005", even if made of the "good" stuff (316ti) is not as resistant to damage and you must be more careful when installing and cleaning so that you do not accidentally puncture, or crush it. In short, if you have a tight fit in the reline I would avoid the .005" stuff. If really tight, the heavy duty .007/.012 stuff is safest but the Homesaver .006 is also pretty tough and can withstand a fair amount of force. One advantage to the .006 is it is lighter and therfore easier to handle. If you are on a 30 foot roof the heavy duty stuff is much harder to work with.

    continued...
  13. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    ...continued

    I disagree with the take on the 250 lb guy in the chimney and the comments on the removal of the tile liner.

    First, the crush demonstration simply shows the strength of one liner as compared to another. Another good example is to take a slotted screw driver and try to puncture the liner. The .005 stuff is easily punctured and crushed. If you are careful and treat your thin guage liner with tenderness it will probably be fine for many years. The heavier guage helps ensure that it won't be accidentally damaged, either during installation or cleaning. Believe me, you do NOT want to winch as cheap liner down a chimney. There is MUCH more force than any 250 salesman standing on the pipe in the store.

    In some cases it is necessary to remove the existing tile liner. There is no standard practice here. Usually it comes down to what is practical. If you have a chimney that cannot be be upgraded to UL 1777 any other way, short of rebuilding, than I think it makes sense. In most masonry chimneys there is no air space between the flue tile and the masonry structural mass of the chimney. Also, there is no air space between the masonry mass and the combustible framing of the house. In this case it is necessary to install insulation to achieve a UL 1777 with a stainless steel liner. Many times there simply is not enough room to get an insulated liner into the chimney. Sometimes a smaller diameter liner will solve the problem. Sometimes you have no choice but to remove the tiles to create enough room for the insulation. If there is enough room for the insulated liner the tiles are NOT removed. We do NOT want to remove tiles unless absolutely needed. Another reason to remove tiles is to allow the replacement of a defective tile with a new tile liner. In short, there are valid reasons to remove the tile liners.

    Much of the argument about flue tiles and insulation would be moot if the masons who built chimneys built them to the NFPA 211 code. But they don't, so we argue about when we should and should not insulate, etc. Bottom line - if you need a UL 1777 listing for a non code compliant chimney you MUST insulate. The guage of the liner may be whatever passes the test. If the liner is listed for UL 1777 you can be resonably sure it is a "good enough" liner. If you want more, if you want the best, than spring for the heavy duty stuff. It lasts forever.

    Sean
  14. jstallone

    jstallone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Messages:
    15
    Thanks for all your help guys. It was very informative and I appreciate your experiences. I'm not sure if I should try to push the issue or not with the salesman since it seems like I was just "getting a regular". He did assure me that there was a lifetime warrantee and they've never had problems in the past for what that's worth. I just wonder if I would know if there was a problem and does the warrantee cover someone puncturing it during cleaning. The installers are a separate charge since it is subed out and they cost $500 which sounds relatively inexpensive. Do you think it is worth me finding out who they use to do the installs and call him to see about upgrading. By the way my chimney abuts my garage and attic above the garage so I guess that helps.
    Thanks Jim
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page