Brick removal advice for chimney liner install

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New Member
Oct 27, 2023
I’ve learned so much in this forum and have finally started my install. I’ll be putting a Morso 7110 in a somewhat narrow existing fireplace and lining the masonry and clay chimney with pre-insulated rigid oval Duraliner.

My fireplace tapers to a narrow throat, so I need to remove a brick or two to get the flex end of the liner system through. I’ve started trying to break out the brick, but have been unsuccessful so far. I’ve tried a combo of hammer, chisel, and drilling with a masonry bit. The position high up in the fireplace means I can’t get a very good swing with the hammer. Any advice on how I can get this brick out? As you can see in the picture, the brick is breaking before the mortar, and not in a way that will help get it out cleanly.

Thanks for any and all advice!

Brick removal advice for chimney liner install Brick removal advice for chimney liner install
Yeah you will need to open that up a lot. A messy way is with a grinder but you need to careful reaching with one. Are you using a mason chisel?
I would use an an air hammer maybe with a long chisel and a shorter one also if you can reach up and angle it more sharply. Check your local tool rental shop.
I would use an an air hammer with the longest chisel I could get. Check your local tool rental shop.
Some rental places also have electric rotary hammers (Hilti, Milwaukee) that you can use a chisel bit on if you don't have an air compressor.
I agree as well about renting an air hammer because I had more access then you do and it was an effort. I used a mini sledge and mason chisel to take out a couple bricks. Make sure to do yourself a favour, make it plenty large enough for the liner to get through. So if you’re dealing with a 6-7” liner give yourself at least an inch or two otherwise you will be cursing.
Is there risk of damaging the chimney structurally when impacting it enough to break a brick out? I’ve wondered about using a multi tool with masonry blades to work in that tight space with precision and less impact, but don’t know if that would do enough.
As long as you are careful to only remove the firebrick and not the structural bricks behind them you should be fine.

Is your fireplace/chimney in good condition overall? If the structure itself is crumbling or in bad shape, I'd be a little more concerned, but if that's the case I'm guessing you'd have bigger problems that would be cropping up already.
Angle grinder with a diamond masonry blade was the answer here. It was still a lot of work to get those bricks out. They did NOT want to give! I basically ended up scoring every inch or so as deep as I could with the grinder and then whacking away with hammer and chisel. Rinse and repeat. A rotary impact chisel probably would’ve been easier, but I wasn’t sure I could get up there with a larger tool. Nobody is going to accuse it of being pretty, and everything is sore from hammering and grinding above my head while half crouched for hours, but it worked out and the liner is through!

Brick removal advice for chimney liner install
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