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Proper Stainless Steel Chimney Liner Flue Sizing

Updated on October 16, 2013

Make the Safe Choice

Your current chimney flue may be showing signs of deterioration such as a hairline crack in the flue, missing mortar between the clay flue tiles, or you may not have a flue at all. Chimney deterioration can lead to dangerous combustible gases such as carbon monoxide pouring into your living space. Putting just any chimney liner down the flue will not solve your problems. Understanding the capacities and fuel type of the appliance, as well as understanding the different types of chimney liners, can create a safe and efficient method of venting.

Choosing the right size chimney liner is the most important part when determining which chimney liner is right for your flue. Choosing a liner that is too small can cause problems such as poor drafting and condensation issues. Choosing a liner that is too large can cause excessive creosote buildup and wasted fuel from over drafting. To start, understand what fuel type the appliance is using. With a wood burning or coal burning stove, the size of the exhaust hole on the top or back of the unit will dictate the diameter of the chimney liner. A Pellet or corn stove has either a 3”or a 4” exhaust. If your pellet stove has a 3” exhaust and your chimney is taller than 15’, you should choose a 4” exhaust. A pellet stove will need more draft with a taller chimney. More area Inside the flue will equal a heaver draft.

When sizing a gas or oil fueled appliance, a little more information is needed. For a gas appliance you need to know the BTU capacity, the lateral length from the appliance to the chimney, the height of the chimney, and the efficiency rating. Sizing an oil fueled appliance is similar but you will need to know the gallons per hour firing rate, the height of the chimney, the lateral length from the appliance to the chimney, and the steady state efficiency rating. You can also connect two or more appliances in the same chimney liner by adding the capacities together and following the steps from above. With this information, you will be able to get a recommendation from a venting professional as to what size chimney liner would be best.

Chimney liners come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you have an unusual chimney an oval or rectangle chimney liner can be made to maintain the proper flue size designated for your appliance. Round chimney liners are the most common, and a square liner is also available.

When you have figured out the appropriate size chimney liner, the next thing you want to know is the different types of chimney liners that would be compatible for the fuel type.

Types of Chimney Liners

· 316TI Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liner:

o A unique titanium alloy designed to resist flue acids and the extreme stresses of hot and cold cycles. It can withstand multiple heating cycles up to 2100 degrees.

o Intended Fuel: Wood, Coal, Pellet, and Low Efficient Oil & Gas

· AL29-4C Flexible Stainless Steel Chimney Liner:

o Intended for use with HIGH EFFICIENCY gas, oil, and corn burning appliances. The flue gases from these appliances are cooler and create exceptionally high amounts of moisture which in turn promotes formation of an especially corrosive acid.

o Intended Fuel: High Efficient Oil, Gas, and Corn

· 304L Rigid Stainless Steel Chimney Liner:

o A smooth interior wall allows the liner to vent without the turbulence that the flexible liners produce. Strong 24 gauge steel creates a long lasting, easy-to-clean liner.

o Intended Fuel: Wood, Pellet, and Low efficient Oil & Gas

· 316L Rigid Stainless Steel Chimney Liner:

o Tougher against corrosion than the 304L. The 316L can withstand high temperatures as well as corrosive acids found by higher efficient appliances. The smooth interior wall also gives the liner better draft and reduced turbulence.

o Intended Fuel: Wood, Coal, Pellet, Gas, and Oil

Insulation Helps

Something that will help the chimney liner vent to its utmost efficiency is adding insulation around the flue liner. This will help the liner retain heat inside the flue and keep the flue gas from condensing. Insulation will also cut down on the buildup of creosote inside the flue. When the flue gases start to cool down, the result is creosote. Creosote is inevitable, but insulating the liner cuts down on the buildup of creosote. The insulation blanket wrap and the vermiculite pour down mixture are the most common types of insulation to maintain the UL listing of the chimney liner.

Do-It-Yourself and Save

Installing a chimney liner yourself can be an easy job that will save you hundreds of dollars. There are many web sites online that can help you through the process.


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