Starting my Liner Install

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Well the day is finally here. I picked up a BK Princess Insert on Thursday along with a liner and insulation kit. On Saturday I set up my ladders and roof jacks to begin my terra cotta break out. I am not showing the ladder photographs because I know it would send Bholler into cardiac arrest.. hehe. Here is my chimney from the outside (working on the left side)
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Here are pictures of the damper pre tear out.
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Photos are looking directly up at the damper and a bit from the left side. Standard Toll Brothers house built circa 1982. I had a tremendous amount of flakey and loose creosote above the damper and up the existing liner. I did not burn last year after my chimney fire. Yes I was bad and did not have the chimney cleaned often enough and also burned wet wood. I now preach to everyone with a fireplace to clean and CSS wood. Constantly.

I took off the spring loaded cap (it was just caulked to the liner). and knocked out the upper tile. Here is a photo of the top. Looks like I will need a new crown.

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I knocked out the top tile with a hammer and some chisel action.

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Started this morning (Sunday) to get out the remainder of the top tile. It was offset about 1 inch, presumably to center it on the crown as the flue is not in the middle of the brick structure. I was able to chisel out the liner and all that extra mortar pretty easily and some big pieces of terra cotta I could pull out by hand.

My 17 yr old son fabricated this tile breaker yesterday. Total cost was under $20.
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Welds are not the cleanest but it is a one time use tool. I have 6' threaded rods and 3/8" coupler nuts with lock nut and locktite to extend the breaker. Started to run it this morning with my cordless drill but it did not grip well in the chuck and fell down 2 times. Easy retrieval but this is not gonna work today. No biggie as rain was predicted for 10:30am and I wont work on the roof in the rain (I'm stupid but not dumb..hehe)

Here are pictures of the liner with the top junk removed and most of the 2nd section gone.

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From left to right. 1. view from the top 2. Zoomed in, gap to back of chimney, along the house (camera turned) 3. Zoomed in, gap to left side of liner. 4. Zoomed in, gap to right side of liner and brick. 5. Zoomed in, gap from liner to outside facing brick.

Basically I have about 1" gap right, 2" left, 1" top and little more than 1" bottom (side facing house)

One question I have to those how may be experienced, do you foresee problems in breaking out a liner in this configuration?

With the rain I moved indoor and cut the back of the damper, easy peasy with a Sawzall. Took less than 5 min. Chiseled out 2 firebricks and I now have a little over 10" of clearance from the front of damper to smoke shelf.

Next step is to completely knock out the terra cotta liner. Hopefully that is not too bad. Also looks like the entire chimney is brick on all 4 sides so I should not have clearance issues with an insulated liner.
 
Last edited:

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,592
central pa
Looks good. It should break out pretty easily with that gap. They can be a real pain if they are tight
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Next question.

My dealer told me I can use this cap on top of my liner securing this way.

Center the 6" liner at the cap, stuff some roxul around the top leaving it about 2" below the top ledge. Then fill the 2" gap with regular brick mortar which when dry should hold the liner in place and make it water tight.

He then gave me this style cap (similar in size and shape, not this exact model)
chimney cap.JPG

He suggested that I screw an "L" bracket on either side of the extended 6" liner and then use said bracket to secure the cap to.

Is that an acceptable and secure way of finishing the top, or would I better off getting a 6" round cap and securing that directly to the liner the way it is intended?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,592
central pa
Next question.

My dealer told me I can use this cap on top of my liner securing this way.

Center the 6" liner at the cap, stuff some roxul around the top leaving it about 2" below the top ledge. Then fill the 2" gap with regular brick mortar which when dry should hold the liner in place and make it water tight.

He then gave me this style cap (similar in size and shape, not this exact model)
View attachment 249742

He suggested that I screw an "L" bracket on either side of the extended 6" liner and then use said bracket to secure the cap to.

Is that an acceptable and secure way of finishing the top, or would I better off getting a 6" round cap and securing that directly to the liner the way it is intended?
Not even close to acceptable. You need to use the proper top setup designed to work with your liner system. Doing it the way he suggested will either damage the liner or your chimney. There needs to be room for expansion
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,546
South Puget Sound, WA
That's pretty hokey. You can do a lot better. What is your dealer selling you? Stove? Liner?

Will you be redoing the chimney crown too or just capping it with a full, skirted cap?
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Sorry to revisit this again, but I agree with Bholler that the method described to me seemed odd. Did some checking on the Olympia site and found this in their installation manual. What was suggested to me is actually listed as possible by Olympia.

Chimney cap olympia installation.JPG

I really don't like that configuration but I guess it passes muster. I will probably secure a stainless crown cap to cover my failing concrete crown and secure the ring to the liner with a proper round 6" cap above. Am I required to use Olympia Forever Flex for the cap and crown?

PS - for begreen its a BK Princess insert with a Forever Flex 6" liner that is 30' long. Dealer sold both, I'm doing the install.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,592
central pa
Sorry to revisit this again, but I agree with Bholler that the method described to me seemed odd. Did some checking on the Olympia site and found this in their installation manual. What was suggested to me is actually listed as possible by Olympia.

View attachment 249855

I really don't like that configuration but I guess it passes muster. I will probably secure a stainless crown cap to cover my failing concrete crown and secure the ring to the liner with a proper round 6" cap above. Am I required to use Olympia Forever Flex for the cap and crown?

PS - for begreen its a BK Princess insert with a Forever Flex 6" liner that is 30' long. Dealer sold both, I'm doing the install.
Wow I will have to ask them about that the next seminar.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,546
South Puget Sound, WA
That is surprising. 30' of liner is going to move as it expands and contracts with heating/cooling.
 
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spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Yes. Terra Cotta was 8 x 12". Interior dimensions are less than 8" needed for an insulated liner. Also I had a small chimney fire (my fault) 2 years ago due to allowing too much creosote to build up. Safer to remove the whole thing.
 
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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,479
Michigan
For your crowns I would go with welded seam stainless steel caps from Rockford Chimney supply, they're not that much and you'll never have to get on the roof again.
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Funny you should recommend a stainless cap. I ordered just that from Rockford last week. Have an 18" x 18" tapered cap plus a rain cap on top. This is the item ordered.
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I plan on building up the outside edge of the existing crown with new sand mix concrete to roughly match the taper of the top plate. Existing chimney is roughly 20" x 24" . Basically raising the middle (high section) a 1/2" or so and then the outside edges maybe 2" or a bit less to achieve the proper slope.
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Latest update. Broke out the complete liner on Saturday. Took about 5 hours as my homemade breaker tool broke 2 times. Once the welded cap came off, 2nd time the chain broke. Quick trip to HD to get a 1/2" chain (instead of 3/8 in) and a 1.25 plug and 1.25" cap. Screwed them together, my son welded the chains to the square tube and back in business.

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Today went up to the 35' top of chimney and built a rough form. Mixed up 35 lbs of sand concrete and made a new crown. While not the best setup, its 35'+ from the ground and barely visible. I tried to make the top less sloped so the 18" x 18" chimney cap will sit tight on the 22" x 26" crown.

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For comparison, here is the original one
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Next step is to let the crown cure. I'm hoping that 2 days will be enough to make the concrete hard enough.

Question - can the SS cap (flat piece that sits on crown) just be sealed with lots of caulk, or does it need to be secured with tap con screws?

BTW: here is the chimney post terra cotta tile removal. I measured and now have about 8 1/2" clearance, some spots less due to mortar slop.

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First photo - top down. 2nd photo looking up, back of chimney is on right
 
Last edited:

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Just to make @bholler cringe ;), here is my set up to get to the top.
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Not recommended, but it worked. All that's left is to pull up the liner from below and secure the cap.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,592
central pa

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
Finished up the install yesterday. Ran the liner bottom up after wrapping the Forever Flex Hybrid in insulation and wire sock. Son pushed and wiggled from fireplace, I pulled from the top. Took about 15 min and it was heavy but worked. Secured the liner and the top on Friday night and called it a day.

Sat was spent adding the top plate. Heavy bead of caulk and silicone, was difficult to hold the liner high enough to secure it to the top plate as it wanted to pull back down. Managed though and got it locked in. Added tapcon screws and caulked all the sides of the plate.
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Having finished the top, work now turned to the inside of the fireplace. Fashioned the block off plate out of steel sheet from home center. Made a cardboard template, cut and bended the materials. No photo of the block off by itself, just one of it installed.

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1st picture is the brake line fashioned for my magnehelic gauge to monitor draft. 2nd shows the plate. Insulated the rear with 4" roxul, almost 8" of roxul on top of the block off plate. High temp caulk on the seams and it was good to go.
 
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spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
If you mean the wood frame, see pictures in post #13 above. I used scrap wood pieces, 2 1/2" high screwed together in the ends. Did not create an overhand with a drip ledge since there were protruding corbels in the brick.
 

Crab

Member
Oct 17, 2006
13
Eastern MD
Sorry for the confusing question. What type of underlayment did you use to pour the crown concrete onto?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,592
central pa
Sorry for the confusing question. What type of underlayment did you use to pour the crown concrete onto?
Most of the time there is fill in the chimney so you just lay a sheet of plastic down and pour on that. But if it is open you can use cement board or metal to pour on with a sheet of plastic separating the crown from the chimney
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
In my particular case, I poured the cement right on top of the old concrete crown. You can see in the photos its condition. It was pitted and worn, so I was not worried about it bonding. So I made a frame around the fireplace brick, poured up to that level and then just troughed it smooth to top where it was thin, thereby reducing the slope. This allowed me to set the top plate on a better surface.
 

Crab

Member
Oct 17, 2006
13
Eastern MD
Thank you both for the replies. Yep Spudman I didn't look hard enough at the photos. I see now that you didn't remove the old crown. I congratulate you on your efforts to reline.