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Convert or Demolish Chimney

Hammer 🔨 | Posted in General Questions on

So asked a question a while back about removing a chimney and everyone got me set up to remove myself, here is link to question

https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/question/partial-removal-of-chimney-will-i-be-able-to-do-it#comment-185185?utm_medium=email&utm_source=notification&utm_campaign=comment_notification&utm_content=view

I’m preparing for demolition mode and before ripping this beast out I want to make sure this is the best option. Can I create a basement wood burning fireplace by using this chimney that was previously used to vent an oil burner? Is this even done? The chimney shoots right through center of small 2 1/2 story home. I posted a picture of what looks like some damage on second floor in wall covering chimney and the bottom of chimney in basement to get better idea. My wife ran the idea across to me and now I’m second questing. I could use it to heat basement area but is it even worth it and if this can be done how expensive does it get comparing to just ripping it out? Is it more cost effective to decide to just vent a small wood stove out of side of basement in new location if I want a fireplace down there one day? Where is the value at?

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Replies

  1. Andy CD Zone 5 - NW Ohio | | #1

    Joe, converting this chimney from venting an oil burner to a woodstove is probably a non-starter. Even if it's physically possible (could be the flue is too small); and even if your homeowner's insurance allows it (doubtful); and even if your local jurisdiction allows it (maybe); and even if you an find a contractor to do the upgrade (doubtful); could be you still can't afford the stainless steel components and necessary masonry repairs. From the basement, that's probably 40 feet at least! You're in five figures if you hire it out. As an alternative, venting a woodstove out a basement wall and up from there won't be much cheaper--you'll still have to terminate above your roof ridge. In the best of circumstances, wood stove chimneys are EXPENSIVE.

    1. Hammer 🔨 | | #2

      Damn ok I guess that answers my question, down she goes, thank you for the info. I thought there was a way to vent something like that just directly outside that would probably be like a gas fireplace not real wood

      1. Expert Member
        Zephyr7 | | #3

        Different types of combustion gases need different flue materials. 80% gas burners typically use a galvanized/aluminum vent. 90+% typically use PVC pipe, because the corrosive combustion gases will rot out the vent pipe typically used for the 80% gas burners. Wood stove stainless steel vent pipe is pretty impervious, but also pretty expensive.

        There is always something to get in the way of one's plans, it seems. Some of the masonry in those pics of your chimney makes me question the structure anyway, so taking it down is your safest option. Just make sure you have a competant contractor doing the work -- removing old masonry chimneys can be dangerous.

        Bill

    2. Patrick OSullivan | | #4

      What am I missing? Putting a liner in for a wood stove is common practice. They're a few hundred bucks. How do we get to 5 figures just to add a liner?

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