New Boiler, Old Chimney, Missing Hole

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

 

Old house, new boiler, new flue, new connection to the old chimney.  All good.

Except for a couple of things.

First, the hole beneath where the flues connect to the chimney has been filled with mortar.

That is not good.

Second, the new connection to the chimney required that the old connection from the water heater inclines downward. That impedes exhaust drafting.

That is not good, either.

On top of the hip roof, the chimney is on the side of the house.  It is very high, too high for most ladders.  And dangerous to access from the roof side.  It is covered with a flue cap, which is good.  But if something inside the flue, like bricks or spalling ceramic flue liner, should become dislodged and fall, how could they ever be removed?  That clean-out port was there for a reason.  To fill it with mortar is short sighted, at best.  It is dangerous at worst.

If enough material should fall, it could conceivably clog the flue and the boiler/water heater's ability to discharge exhaust gases.  The resulting back draft into the house could be deadly.  It would be deadly over time - carbon monoxide is unkind.

Chipping that mortar out, putting in a new tube to allow easy access and sealing it tightly with a cute cover (tin plate, acorn, pineapple) would be an easy and good fix!  And very Colonial!

My recommendation:   When you see new installations, it is sometimes hard to know if they are installed correctly.  Time to call a home inspector!

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Active Rain Block Party
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Tags:
carbon monoxide
chimney flue
boiler
spalling
back drafting

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

Old chimneys and what people do with them, and do not do for them, is quite amazing. It is a wonder there are not more fires than there are.

Nov 16, 2009 01:42 AM #1
Rainmaker
684,559
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I see cleanout doors sealed over way too often. I always make an effort to get a look inside the chiimney from the top and bottom through the cleanout. No looking in this one.

Nov 16, 2009 05:02 AM #2
Rainmaker
508,975
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

That's why you should get inspections. I stress them heavily. Keeps the liability off of ME!!

Nov 16, 2009 05:27 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I agree Steve.  When I put my hand beside the hood over this new boiler, "air" was pouring out.  I recommended they have the flue examined for a clog.

James - you are looking at the bottom.  The top is a good 35 feet and against the side of a hip roof.  That's too much for me to access.  But, I can recommend it!

Hopefully, Robert, hopefully!

Nov 16, 2009 05:44 AM #4
Rainmaker
86,952
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Hey Jay,

You get all the fun inspections. What is that foil exhaust at the very top?

Nov 16, 2009 02:09 PM #5
Ambassador
1,333,956
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, fat chance I know---but maybe they metal lined it:)  Always the optimist:)

Nov 16, 2009 03:28 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Eric - der dryerfunken.

Charles - I doubt I will find out.  They sure knew how to do mortar fills!

Nov 16, 2009 08:39 PM #7
Rainmaker
86,952
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Hey Jay,

Thats what I thought, looks like all kinds of things happening there.

Nov 17, 2009 07:58 AM #8
Rainmaker
233,467
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

Interesting.  Here in Minneapolis, any unused openings in the chimney are required to be filled or permanently blocked off.

Nov 18, 2009 01:02 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

As they are here too Reuben.  But not the clean out.  That isn't unused.  Hard to know what's going on inside there when there's no access.

Nov 18, 2009 08:07 PM #10
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,843,915

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information