Dangerous flue installation practice


Action Chimneys were called out to inspect a chimney relining project that had been carried out a number of months earlier while some some renovating were being carried out on the house. Action Chimneys often encounter chimneys that are "relined" by simply inserting a stainless steel flue down the inside of the existing clay flues which in turn  is then connected to a newly installed stove. To the home owner this type of flue installation appeared economical and looked like a top class job had been carried out however......

After 9 or 10 months of use the owner of the house experienced a chimney fire and called the fire brigade as the chimney breast were getting very hot. The fire brigade arrived and examined the flue from above below and above the roofline to determine as to how best to extinguish the fire but could find no evidence of a fire inside the liner.

Past experience led the team to believe that the fire was actually in the space between the stainless steel liner and the original clay flue. A demolition hammer had to be used on the wall to break through into the chimney stack in order to extinguish the fire that was burning between the old clay flues and the new stainless steel liner.

Over time the existing  soot and tar deposits on inside of the clay flues became baked and dry and it was this combustible material that had ignited from the heat generated by the flue gases. 

Action Chimney wish to advise home owners to be vigilant of the practice outlined above which is offered and carried out  by unscrupulous contractors who show little regard for the home owners safety.

Opening made upstairs by fire brigade to get access to between the flues in order to extinguish the fire that was located in the space between the clay flue and the flexible liner.

Internal remideal work carried out of this 1960's house with new stove installed.

Flues as remove from the chimney stack. Note the buildup of soot on the inside of the flue and the scorched steel liner.

Action Chimneys surveyed the chimney a couple of days after the fire brigade left and issued the householder with a report recommending that the existing flues be removed and the chimney relined properly and to current building regulations. We also issued him with photographic evidence of our findings along with a link to the video footage we took of within the chimney. The householder then engaged with his house insurer and requested that Action Chimneys deal with the claim on their behalf. Action Chimneys engaged with the loss adjuster and provided the adjuster with all requested paperwork and answered any questions relating to how and why the damaged was done. 

Once satisfied that the damage was fire related the loss adjuster agreed the figure required to restore the premise back to its original condition and Action Chimneys arranged with the householder a suitable date to commence the repairs which took 4 men 2 days to complete properly and in accordance with current building regulations. 

Action Chimneys