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moral_hazard 04-26-2011 12:24 PM

h/e furnace, leaky chimney, and more
Hi all, some expert help for this young and naive DIY-er is much appreciated:

1) my roof is leaking into finished attic around the cinder block chimney
2) the source of the leak *seems* to be from either/or bad flashing when roof was replaced in 2008 or deteriorating bricks/mortar above roofline.
3) both furnace and water heater vent into chimney, one flue
4) my furnace is 18 years old, water heater approx 10 yrs, both work ok.
5) house is cape cod built in 1949 in Wisconsin
5) I'm poor, cheap, and like getting in over my head on DIY projects.

My idea:
Instead of spending $$ re-doing the chimney (new flashing, tuckpointing, replacing a few cracked bricks, chimney cap, etc...) I am considering spending the $$ on a h/e furnace and vent that out the side of the house. I would then knock down brick chimney and install B-vent for water heater.

I still don't know all of the details (condition of chimney, life expectancy of furnace and water heater, and associated costs), but does this sound reasonable?

I don't want to needlessly replace appliances that haven't given me problems, but anticipate that they only have a few more years left in them. Plus, it would solve my leaky roof and I could replace water damaged drywall in the attic without having to worry about future leaks.

yuri 04-26-2011 05:47 PM

Sounds good to me. The high efficiency furnace will save you fuel $$ and start paying for itself. At 18 yrs your furnace may need some expensive repairs soon (circuit board etc etc). If your electricity costs are reasonable (under 12c/kwh I would convert to a electric water heater and delete the whole chimney and save $$ by not buying a B vent. Even with just a water heater in a B vent it is like having a 4" hole punched in the roof letting heat and $$ out 24 hrs a day. Electric solves that problem too and they seem to last a lot longer than the gas ones.

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