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Old 06-30-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
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Chimney Liner Installation


I bought my house two years ago and it came with a nice Kingston wood fireplace insert which I have used extensively for the past two winters. (I work from home and M-F during cold weather I keep it going.)

I had a chimney inspector out who recommended that I install a chimney liner. He said the chimney is in fine shape, but adding the liner would bump the safety margin and also increase efficiency. He quoted me $1,000 US for the job.

I see liner kits available in the $400-500 range and this looks to me like a one day job. Any reason I shouldn't tackle this myself?

Note: I was a building engineer for over fifteen years before I went into IT and am quite competent with tools. I am also very detail-oriented. (Just ask my wife.) The house is one story, so getting up on the roof is not a big deal.

Also: I have done a fair bit of research and it seems the liner is required in Canada. I am in the US, where it is optional. (At least where I live.) Any advice on the necessity and/or benefit of adding the liner would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Chimney Liner Installation


I would definitely recommend a liner. On my last house I had a chimney that I believe was in good shape but was a real pain to maintain. I had to brush it twice a season and it was hard work due to lots of hard chunks of creosote building up. After installing a liner, brushing was easy. One push and pull through and it was done plus a quart of fluffy soot vs a 5 gallon bucket full before. The big benefit of a liner is safety and peace of mind. If you do end up with a chimney fire in a liner, the worst case is you would need to pull and replace the liner. Without a liner, the mortar can end up permanently damaged, rendering the chimney useless. Additionally, creosote buildup with a liner is so much less that a chimney fire is much less likely.
In my case, installing was fairly easy. I hauled the liner up to the roof and pushed it through. It was 25' of 6" and cost about $600 for the liner, cap, and connecting sections. Also, for insulation, I used the wet vermiculite mix. I would recommend some sort of insulation because it keeps the liner hot which minimizes soot buildup.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:58 PM   #3
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Re: Chimney Liner Installation


Be sure to use a heat resistant flexible caulk at the top or you will have rainwater collecting and coming down into the insert. Even with a cap there will be windblown water that will accumulate.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:02 PM   #4
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Re: Chimney Liner Installation


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Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
I had a chimney inspector out who recommended that I install a chimney liner. He said the chimney is in fine shape, but adding the liner would bump the safety margin and also increase efficiency. He quoted me $1,000 US for the job.

If you responded to an offer of a free chimney inspection - all bets are off whether or not you need a new liner.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Chimney Liner Installation


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Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky View Post
If you responded to an offer of a free chimney inspection - all bets are off whether or not you need a new liner.
No, I had actually called this guy out to look at a pellet stove which came with the house. (Different stove than the wood stove I'm talking about here.) He poked at it for ten minutes, then admitted he didn't have a clue. The deal was that he was supposed to get $75 for the estimate so I asked him to look at the chimney in order to get something for my money. He inspected it and told me the chimney was in good shape, then recommended the liner. Then he refused to take any money, saying that the job was to look at the pellet stove and since he couldn't help me it was on the house.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:38 PM   #6
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Re: Chimney Liner Installation


I didn't say much about liner insulation but that's another thing to think about. An insulation blanket helps keep the temperature hot all the way to to the top. So, when you choke down the stove for the night you get less soot forming. The wrap around blankets that pull through with the liner are really easy but a bit pricey. The other option is to use a mix of vermiculite and portland cement. It is mixed with water just to the point where it feels damp then poured around the liner from the top. You can buy premixed but I made my own and saved a few $$$.
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