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I have a gas chimney and gas hot water heater that vent into my chimney. Here's a picture of the area and a picture when I open one of those small "doors" below the exhaust pipe. As you can see, this area is full of debris. Seems to be "flaky" and crumbled brick.

Is this normal? Is this a problem?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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What's above when you open the door? Closed box or can you see up the chimney?

Not too knowledgeable on how chimneys are built, but if you have any concerns about the condition of the chimney, get it inspected, especially if there's no liner in there. Reason being is that without the liner, there could be condensation issues especially if a mid efficiency furnace is venting into it. The exhaust of the mid efficiency isn't diluted (but may be indirectly diluted with a natural draft water heater venting air 24/7), also cooler than that of a low efficiency furnace.

I don't think you have a liner given that there are two pipes.
 

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Is the furnace natural draft?



If major chimney repairs are needed, you would be better off installing side-wall vented equipment and abandoning the chimney.

A "chimney guy" may want to do repairs, but you would be throwing good money after bad, especially if a 24+ year old inefficient furnace is venting into it.
 

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Does not look normal. I would get a chimney repair Pro to inspect it in case it is crumbling and needing repair. People have died from CO poisoning when chimneys get blocked. You should have 2 CO new CO detectors in your house.
 
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