Furnace Chimney work

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by soupy1957, Mar 2, 2010.

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  1. soupy1957

    soupy1957
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    We've only been burning wood in our wood stove since Jan. 1st, so we don't have any creosote to speak of, but.........we are interviewing Chimney Sweeps for future annual work.

    In the meantime, our Furnace & Hot water Chimney is looking like it could use re-pointing; the Wash (Cap, Crown.......whatever you call it) has some cracks that could use filling.

    So I'm entertaining estimates right now.

    The guy who came today, shined a flashlight in the vent hole for the furnace pipe and showed me what he believes is a crumbling flue pipe. He suggests the chimney is leaning. He wants to do a hatch at the bottom of the cinderblock chimney in the basement (there isn't one now), and he wants to put a liner (stainless steel?) down the flue. He wants to take the bricks apart completely and rebuild the bricks, redo the Wash, and put a stainless steel cap up there, all for $2,000.00

    Question: how much of what this guy wants to do is overkill? I'm no Chimney Sweep.......how do "I" really know what's needed?

    The first guy who came yesterday, said approx. $875 or so, for a cleaning and repointing, and we have another one coming later in the week.

    I don't have brick pieces falling off the chimney, yet it obviously needs some re-grouting or whatever..............just where do I draw the line?

    Anyone out there with any experience in these matters?

    -Soupy1957
     
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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider
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    Pictures and a better description of the chimney might help...

    You mention a wood stove, and a furnace - does your chimney have two separate flues? (You should NEVER have a stove sharing a flue with anything else, it is a major code violation and safety hazard)

    Is the chimney inside the house, or running up the outside of a wall?

    Are there gaps between the house and the chimney that aren't uniform?

    If you put a level vertically on the side of the chimney is it out of plumb?

    Is there a visible lean to the chimney?

    Your rebuild everything guy sounds a bit suspicious - that much work sounds like more than just $2K worth, and I agree that it doesn't necessarily sound like you need that much work done. OTOH, putting in a liner is seldom a bad idea if done properly. I would definitely want to see more evidence that the level of work he mentions is actually needed...

    If you have a maintenance contract on your furnace, you might ask the furnace guy to evaluate the chimney and get his opinion about it's condition (unless he is also a sweep he has no incentive to push you one way or the other...)

    Your second estimate for $875 for a sweep and repoint sounds a bit more realistic in terms of what I'd expect for a bill, and the services most likely to be needed...

    Gooserider
     
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  3. soupy1957

    soupy1957
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