Chimney problems

I have a inspection tomorrow, and the client has told me that she wants me to look at the chimney close. She stated that there is moisture coming out of it through the paint and leaving a stain. Client states that they were told it is coming from the high energy furnace. Any thoughts on this? I did a drive by to confirm the address and took a peek at the chimney. Only thing I notice was the missing chimney cap. :roll: I am leaning towards having a certified chimney person inspect it. I am also going to look to see if they can reroute the high energy funace to a outside wall,and have the chimney capped. It is not being used for anything else.

I would do the inspection first, maybe the chimney is improperly flashed, and water is seeping through the roof line.
With regards to a high energy (efficiency) furnace venting through a chimney, that is highly unlikely.
Chek it out, and let us know!

High temperature vent pipe routed through a chimney is not only unlikely, it’s just plain wrong.

Yeh thats true! There are always some form of deficiencies, thats what keeps us working.

I recommend a NFPA Level 2 inspection:

Level 2 Inspections – A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection than a Level 1 inspection.

I agree. Do the inspection first and see what’s to look at. Then you will know what and who you will need to follow up.

I’m confused.

Mark said:
Client states that they were told it is coming from the high energy furnace.

I thought he was talking about a high efficiency furnace and their exhaust gases are very cool (having the majority of the heat sucked out of them).
Are they dumping the PVC vent into an unlined chimney?

I’ve seen PVC run up masonry flues to vent (intake and exhaust) high efficiency funace and it was fine with the AHJ. Am I missing something?

Unfortunately, fireplace inspections are not “required” in Ohio. However, I always recommend a Level II with the purchase (whoever wants to pay for it) and a Level I every year. Even so, nobody does it.

Nobody ever listens to me…(sniffle, sniffle)

But they can’t blame me, either.


I also recommend Level 2 Inspections on all chimneys prior to close in accordance with NFPA guidelines.

Our Office received a call yesterday from a Chimney Contractor. He was called out to look at a Chimney and was given a copy of my report when he arrived at the home.

He did not know what NFPA guidelines were and had no clue what was being referenced as a Level 2 Inspection. :shock:

Has anyone else encountered this?

Yes, we have all kinds of people doing chimney sweeping here but only one in the whole area is certified by CSIA to do a Level II. The folks that qualified automatically do a Level II whenever they do a cleaning and charge accordingly. Probably more for protection against liability but also becuz they are extremely professional in their approach to service and customer satisfaction. I too always recommend a Level II whenever there is a chimney or fireplace involved in the sale. What they do after that is up to them. Its in the report.

You said “no chimney cap”? Does that mean that the brick of the chimney is unprotected from moisture at the top?

This, all by itself, is a problem as moisture will wick down (aided by gravity) and come into the house.

In any case, a high efficiency furnace should not be vented to a chimney.

Hope this helps;

Thanks guys for all of your input. The furnace is a high efficiency furnace with the vent run just to the chimney from what I was told. Yes Will that was what I was thinking also. I will have my hands full on this inspection tomorrow. 110 years old house converted to a duplex and then converted into a single family. The out side looks a mess,and they know it. They told me that I will be shock at what the inside looks like. I will let you know what happens tomorrow. :roll:

Ok, the furnace was a regular furnace that had to be vented into the chimney. The chimney did not have a cap on it. Water damage was on the east side of the chimney and no other sides. Makes me think that the water problem is from rain do to no chimney cap. Recommended that they have a chimney inspector look at it for further eval. :roll: :wink:


If the New High Efficiency Furnace is routed to the existing masonry chimney, the flue is most likely oversized.

Flue gas will condense causing moisture and deterioration of the liner.

The Change in use of the Flue requires a Level 2 Inspection per NFPA guidelines. Chimney will most likely need to be relined.