Are chimney liners necessary?


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Old 12-08-12, 02:06 PM
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Are chimney liners necessary?

We just moved into a ranch style, 1950s era house that has a four woodburning fireplaces. Our inspector recommended we get the chimneys inspected to make sure they are safe to use. We've had two contractors come in and they are giving us completely different opinions.

One contractor said that there were cracks throughout each of the chimneys and that we need to have liners installed in all of the chimneys and that we needed to rebuild one of the fireplaces. He then gave us a quote of $17,000.

A second contractor came in and said the fireplaces and chimneys looked fine. He said we could install liners if we wanted, but that he thought the ceramic tiles looked ok. He suggested that we try using one of the fireplaces to see what would happen -- if we saw smoke, we knew we needed to do something. He didn't think that would be the case.

My guess is that the right answer may be somewhere in between these two. I'd love to trust the second contractor's suggestion, but it seems too casual. The first contractor seemed like overkill.

Do any of you have other suggestions/tips on what is necessary, what precautions we should take, and what to expect?

Thanks,
Derek.
 
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Old 12-08-12, 02:16 PM
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Are all the tiles in the chimney intact?

Did you get a video inspection?
 
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Old 12-08-12, 02:18 PM
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I would keep trying and maybe go with a couple more inspections from other companies.

"Looks good.....light a fire and wait if you see smoke"

Perhaps that guy should be eliminated from the picture.

Did either one use a camera to inspect the entire chimney?

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Edit: ......like Lawrosa said.....who posted as I was writing.....



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Old 12-08-12, 03:12 PM
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My question would be, what do you want from these 4 fireplaces? Since heat is a net loss from an open fireplace, I would recommend considering a sealed combustion insert. They will usually require a smaller chimney run up through the existing one. No sense rebuilding it as a fireplace if you will ultimately convert it to a more efficient use.

Bud
 
 

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