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Hello, all:

The photo below shows some bracing to a chimney I inspected yesterday, and I'm wondering if this is a common sight, or if it might indicate some underlying condition.

IMG349_zps2c680a82.jpg"]

Yes, I know there are other defects to the chimney. Nevertheless, I would find it educational to hear from all of you who might be willing to share what you see.

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Since everything I read about chimneys indicates a liner is a good thing, and in most cases, necessary.

Maybe it's not that way with oil. There is zero oil in Chicago. I have no idea.

If you're burning wood or natural gas, there should be a liner in that puppy.

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Since everything I read about chimneys indicates a liner is a good thing, and in most cases, necessary.

Maybe it's not that way with oil. There is zero oil in Chicago. I have no idea.

If you're burning wood or natural gas, there should be a liner in that puppy.

Liners are required for oil as well. That's not my question.

The picture of the chimney in the OP clearly shows a terra cotta flue liner. You said it is an unlined chimney. Let me rephrase my question. Why is a terra cotta flue liner not a flue liner?

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Kurt's talking about a new liner inside the old one.

Old clay liners perform poorly with newer gas appliances around here causing drafting/condensate problems inside the chimney when the chimney is located at the outside wall of the house. Efflorescence and brick problems occur and the chimney falls apart. Most conscientious HVAC guys will install a new AL liner inside the old one. Things might different in Seattle where it's not so cold in winter.

But I don't usually find that a chimney needs a new liner inside the old one if the chimney rises inside the house where it's warmer. This chimney looks interior so I don't call for a new liner inside the old one at least in the Chicago area.

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Kurt's talking about a new liner inside the old one.

Old clay liners perform poorly with newer gas appliances around here causing drafting/condensate problems inside the chimney when the chimney is located at the outside wall of the house. Efflorescence and brick problems occur and the chimney falls apart. Most conscientious HVAC guys will install a new AL liner inside the old one. Things might different in Seattle where it's not so cold in winter.

But I don't usually find that a chimney needs a new liner inside the old one if the chimney rises inside the house where it's warmer. This chimney looks interior so I don't call for a new liner inside the old one at least in the Chicago area.

That's RE-lining - not installing a liner in an "unlined chimney".

Many chimneys around here with terra cotta liners are about due for relining, particularly when the oil or coal equipment has long since been converted to LP or NG. Oil heating equipment alone usually tears up TC liners at between 40- 55 years. TC liners seem to hold up quite well to wood, unless there's been a chimney fire.

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Kurt's talking about a new liner inside the old one.

Yeah. Really. Was it that hard to understand? Are we now having to delineate minutia and write technical spec's for ****ing liner on an internet forum?

Exactly how far up my own ass would bill like me to go?

Outside wall, absolutely. Interior wall, the good tech's are calling for it. Every time I've bothered to take the time to actually size an old tile liner, it's always "wrong". Most of the stuff I look at has a 90+ year old tile thingie it's shaling off, there's a small pile of thingie-ness in the cleanout....I tell people to put in a liner.

Had a lot of Level II's lately. Every one of them said install a new liner.

In the old liner. The clay one. The old one. Maybe wrong size. Usually it's cracked. So I thought a new liner would be good.

In the old one.

The clay one.

That needs a new stainless steel one.

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Yeah. Really. Was it that hard to understand? Are we now having to delineate minutia and write technical spec's for ****ing liner on an internet forum?

Yes, it was hard to understand that a lined chimney is unlined.

Folks come here to learn from guys like you with decades of experience. You want them to identify a terra cotta lined chimney as "unlined"? Any home inspector could immediately loose all credibility making such a statement.

Had a lot of Level II's lately. Every one of them said install a new liner.
The same thing here. Whether it needs it or not, they sell them a reline. Every single time, no matter the size or condition of the flue. Sometimes the new liners installed in correctly sized and perfect condition flues are too small and the appliance or fireplace doesn't vent properly. They still walk away with their hands full of money.
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I'm not sure if Seattle's the same way, but in Portland, the piece of terra cotta that you see would probably be the only one in the chimney. It's very common around here to have an unlined chimney with a single piece of terra cotta at the top.

Pre-1900 or early 1900s we sometimes see the same thing here, but by the teens or 1920s virtually everything had a liner.

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I'm not sure if Seattle's the same way, but in Portland, the piece of terra cotta that you see would probably be the only one in the chimney. It's very common around here to have an unlined chimney with a single piece of terra cotta at the top.

Pre-1900 or early 1900s we sometimes see the same thing here, but by the teens or 1920s virtually everything had a liner.

Interesting. Out here liners didn't become common until the 50s or 60s. I can't recall having ever seen one on a pre-war chimney.

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I'm not sure if Seattle's the same way, but in Portland, the piece of terra cotta that you see would probably be the only one in the chimney. It's very common around here to have an unlined chimney with a single piece of terra cotta at the top.

Pre-1900 or early 1900s we sometimes see the same thing here, but by the teens or 1920s virtually everything had a liner.

Interesting. Out here liners didn't become common until the 50s or 60s. I can't recall having ever seen one on a pre-war chimney.

Terra cotta liners in almost every chimney after 1910 or so.

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My experience in Michigan is more varied. Unlined chimneys were pretty common until early 1950's. Intended fuel seems to be the determinant. Rectangle interior units were usually lined. Exterior units unlined. Simple stacked brick usually not lined. Metal liners are only common from late 1980's.

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