Chimney Liner for Flue Gas?

10 Replies

Had our inspection on a 6-unit apartment here in Kansas City last week and the inspector flagged that the old brick chimney has no liner and flue gas from the gas furnace(s) and water heater vent through this chimney. I know this is a health concern with these gasses seeping through the brick as well as a possible deterioration issue. 

What have others experiences been with this? Is this a must fix? Maybe Fix? Don't worry about it? 

We asked for the seller to fix it and they got a quote for $7K and are willing to credit us this value (no way I'd pay anyone this much to do the work). We'll definitely take this credit but I'm just wondering if I need to try and pay someone a couple thousand to rent a lift and install a liner in the 3 story chimney or just take the credit and move on. 

@Dar Fornelli

Gas boilers and gas water heaters require a stainless steel chimney lining.

The gas exhaust can wear down the chimney's masonry without it.

Had a stainless steel lining  put in my house chimney after converting from oil to gas.

A single family home can run around $2,500 just for materials. Depends on the number of stories involved.

You can always find your own contractor and have them give you a quote...

@Dar Fornelli

This is a life safety issue and a must fix. Carbon monoxide seeping through the bricks and mortar is colorless, odorless and deadly. Do the right thing. Take the credit and use it to fix the problem ASAP.

I've done a little more research this afternoon and it looks like I can buy a kit online for about $900 which includes a chimney cap, 50' SS flex liner, and a T fitting for the bottom of the chimney. Seems like a good Saturday project I can take care of myself or pay someone a couple hundred bucks to install the material I ordered. 

@Tom W. and @Christopher Phillips thanks for the input. 

Originally posted by @Dar Fornelli:

I've done a little more research this afternoon and it looks like I can buy a kit online for about $900 which includes a chimney cap, 50' SS flex liner, and a T fitting for the bottom of the chimney. Seems like a good Saturday project I can take care of myself or pay someone a couple hundred bucks to install the material I ordered. 

@Tom W. and @Christopher Phillips thanks for the input. 

 Here's what I found in case anyone else has the same issue: 

http://www.woodlanddirect.com/316Ti-Chimney-Champion-Easy-Flex-Chimney-Liner-Kit-6in?gclid=Cj0KCQiAq6_UBRCEARIsAHyrgUwb_y2WtZ95NR_kxR5MwdgAhluH1TEFNrgwmLI_22m2OuwU6rc8i-MaAlh3EALw_wcB 

@Dan Fornelli

The link you attached is for a 6" chimney liner. You mentioned that this is for a 6 unit apartment building which I would assume has a larger heating unit. The liner kit you are looking at may be undersized for the application. Installing an undersized liner could be just as hazardous as having no liner at all. You should contact a qualified HVAC contractor in your area to have the job done properly. Installation of a liner is not really a high tech job and anyone can do it but chimney sizing is critical and must be matched to the BTU input of all the appliances.

@Dar Fornelli

$7K sounds like a lot of money. But having a professional do the job properly will save you a lot of money versus your tenants getting carbon monoxide poisoning or you falling off a roof...

You also might need pointing work done, chimney cleaning, crown repair, and you want to make sure everything is done to code.

I think @Tom W. is giving you good advice. You can do this yourself and save a lot of money, but you need to size the liner properly. Get an HVAC tech out to figure it out for you and then rent the lift and do it yourself. I'd be surprised if you ended up north of 2k for this job.

@Dar Fornelli you're getting some solid advice here. There is nothing more to add. However, if you have any questions i'm willing to share.

(816)565-1991

@Dar Fornelli if you don't want to install the liner, you really only have 2 other options:

  1. Switch out all furnaces and water heaters for electric versions.  For a 6 unit, this will cost you way more than $7k.
  2. Change the flow of the exhaust to exit the building in a way that doesn't use the chimney.  You would need to have a professional look at this to see if it would even be possible.  The location of the furnace/water heater might make this impossible, but there is a small chance this could be done for cheaper than $7k.

The only other advise I have is to call a few chimney companies yourself and see if you can get a better price.

Originally posted by @Tom W. .:

@Dan Fornelli

The link you attached is for a 6" chimney liner. You mentioned that this is for a 6 unit apartment building which I would assume has a larger heating unit. The liner kit you are looking at may be undersized for the application. Installing an undersized liner could be just as hazardous as having no liner at all. You should contact a qualified HVAC contractor in your area to have the job done properly. Installation of a liner is not really a high tech job and anyone can do it but chimney sizing is critical and must be matched to the BTU input of all the appliances.

Appreciate everyone's input on this. I did a little more research over the past couple of days and have learned a lot. As Tom mentioned, under/over sizing the chimney liner could be just as dangerous as doing nothing. 

I've included a link below to the sizing guide I found most helpful. It's actually fairly straight forward to size your exhaust duct size / chimney liner if you can pull a tape on your exhaust run/rise and sum the btu/hr from the equipment you need to vent flue gas from. Choose the right table based on your equipment and duct configuration and boom, you've got your liner size. 

I think I'm going to end up giving this a shot myself. I work in the construction industry and have renovated a few places myself so this doesn't seem like an overwhelming project. 

http://www.hartandcooley.com/files/assets/files/13...

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.