Relining your chimney can be an incredibly intimidating process that is actually quite manageable if the correct steps are taken. During the entire process of relining your chimney you must be conscientious of the building codes and chimney standards according to your local government. Careful measurements must be taken, and you must be ready to spend the money that it is going to take in order to have a safely lined chimney that is up to code. By carefully following these steps, you can rest assured that your chimney has been properly lined.
Remember when purchasing your liner that chimney liner insulation must be purchased, and that flexible chimney liners are easier to work with than the rigid liners. Making an investment in a new stainless steel chimney liner can be expensive, but the safe, quality products on the market today and the increased efficiency that a liner provides (10-15%) are a priceless peace of mind.
Steps to Relining Your Chimney
Step 1: Measure Properly
Measurements must first be taken before considering what type of liner to buy and what tools you will need. To begin, measure from approximately 1′ above the chimney down to the point at which you will be connecting the appliance. This will give you the length of pipe you will need to buy in order to line the chimney.
Purchasing a stainless steel chimney liner kit from an online store or chimney supply store is your best bet at getting a quality liner kit. These kits come complete with all the components you will need to properly install your liner. Chimney liner kits are the easiest way to be sure that you are purchasing all the parts you need and that they are compatible with one another.
Step 3: Lay the Liner Flat
After removing the liner from the packaging, lay it out straight and flat on a flat surface (like a driveway).
Step 4: Attach the Connector to the Appliance
You will need to attach the connector to your appliance at this time. Your kit may have come with a tee connector or just a regular appliance connector. Tighten your hose clamp on the connector to the liner itself. Be sure not to over tighten the clamps as this can damage the liner.
Step 5: Measuring for Chimney Liner Insulation
Insulating the liner is one of the most important steps of the whole process.
liner insulation should be a minimum of ¼” and needs to cover the entire length of the liner. Begin by determining the width of insulating wrap you will require. Basic geometry is applied here; multiply the diameter of the pipe (the length from one side to the other) by 3.14 and add an inch and a half for overlap. The insulation must overlap by at least one inch, so adding an extra half inch gives you some fudge room.
Step 6: Cut the Liner Insulation
Lay out the insulation and cut to size with the foil side of the insulation facing down on the ground and place your liner in the center.
Wrapping the insulation is actually quite easy with a good adhesive spray. Liberally spray the adhesive as you roll the liner up to keep the insulation from slipping.
Step 8: Tape the Seam
After the insulation is wrapped all the way around, use foil tape at the seam. I find it easiest to tape in 6-9″ increments down the seam of the liner to start out with, but one continuous strip down the seam is required after the initial taping. This continuous, vertical length of tape will prevent tearing as the mesh is installed to the liner.
Step 9: Secure the Insulation with Wire Mesh
Wire mesh is what is going to prevent the insulation from tearing as the liner system is dropped down the chimney. Unroll the mesh and use the hose clamps (provided) to attach it to one end of the liner. Pull the mesh down the liner until it fits snugly and attach at the opposite end using hose clamps. After being sure that everything is tight and secure the liner is now ready to be dropped into the chimney.
Step 10: Pull the Liner Down the Chimney
Be very cautious, as you will be working on the roof. It is important to take safety very seriously and have the necessary manpower to handle such a large pipe. You may find it necessary to attach a pulling cone to the bottom of the liner to pull it down through the chimney as opposed to simply dropping it down through. In this case, another person will be needed to pull from the bottom.
Cincinnati Chimney Sweep, Clay Lamb owner of American Chimney Sweep. Executive Producer of Ask the Chimney Sweep Podcasts and YouTube channel.