Chimney iced up

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Les, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. Les

    Les Member

    Messages:
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    Jun 2, 2002
    Well, I"ve never had this happen before.
    My chimney has iced up.
    After the (city gas) furnace runs a bit, water starts dripping out of the stove pipe joint as it makes a turn before entering the furnace.
    I notice a small amount of fumes are entering the house instead of going up the chimney, but not enough to set off the CO detector.
    Looking at the chimney cap from outside, I can see icecicles hanging from it, and only a small amount of vapor coming out when the burner is on compared with the large amounts I remember from last year.
    Temps lately have been in the single digits at night and in the 20s during the day. We usually have it set at 68 while we are home, 64 at night (programmable thermostat).
    Last couple days I have run it up around 78 while I'm home trying to melt the ice out, but no noticable change so far.
    Any suggestions?
    The roof is snow and ice covered, so I'm not too keen on climbing around up there.
    Les
     
  2. I think you have the wrong chimney. You don't say if the chimney is masonary or not, but I suspect it is. Because the flu gases are cooling off before they are exhausted out the top, they condense and run back down. This condensation is usally acidic and eats the mortar out of the brick joints.

    What you need is a chimney built for gas appliances, i.e. a double walled, insulated, metal flue. Because the gases stay warm because of the insulation, they are fully exhausted and don't drip back down.

    You may be able to get a liner for your current chimney if it is indeed masonary. I'd have someone that knows about these things check it before it kills you and your family in some manner. Just my opinion of course.
     

  3. B-vent gas chimney ...metal insulated is indeed what you need to meet code in our state. 17 yrs heat/plumbing experience.
     
  4. Les

    Les Member

    Messages:
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    Jun 2, 2002
    Thanks for the replies.
    Yes, you are right, it is an old brick and mortar chimney.
    I do plan on having somebody look at it this week.
    It just caught me off guard because we have lived here 4 years now and it never happened before.
    Les
     
  5. Les

    Les Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    The purchase of a carbon monoxide detector with a digital readout indicated moderate levels of CO in the house.
    I pulled the stovepipe apart as close to the chimney as I could get (original owner built a closet around it, very hard to get to anything) then ran a vacuum cleaner hose in it and pulled out handfulls of... something.
    Ran the vacuum until nothing more came out.
    Now it draws properly, the CO levels are back down to normal, and the dripping / ice problem has stopped.
    Just thought I would tell the end of the story in case it happens to somebody else.
    Les