Fireplace insert into chimney (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Inaccessible Chimney Flue at Fireplace Inserts

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Fireplace & chimney inspection: inaccessible chimneys & flues: this article describes the blocking of ready access to an existing fireplace and chimney flue when a "zero clearance" or other woodstove or heating appliance is inserted into a fireplace. Because the condition of an inaccessible flue is unknown, and because possibly dangerous fire or carbon monoxide hazards could be present, we offer advice on further inspection and cleaning.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved.

Inaccessible Connections Between Fireplace or Woodstove Insert & the Chimney Flue

Fireplace insert into chimney (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

These articles on chimneys and chimney safety provide detailed suggestions describing how to perform a thorough visual inspection of chimneys for safety and other defects.

Chimney inspection methods and chimney repair methods are also discussed.

[Click to enlarge any image]

Carson Dunlop's sketch explains that a home inspector is not required to inspect the connections between a fireplace insert (such as a woodstove or coal stove inserted into a fireplace) and the chimney. Our page top sketch of a typical fireplace insert is also provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop & Associates.

In fact it is just about impossible to see the condition of these components and their connections unless the insert is removed or inspected from above using a chimney inspection camera system.

If a woodstove/free-standing fireplace like this were to be used it would probably require at least three feet of clearance from combustibles.

Local codes and fire regulations need to be consulted, and in most jurisdictions, a building permit and safety inspection are required for the installation of a woodstove or similar device.

See WOOD STOVE OPERATION & SAFETY for important details and also see CHIMNEY SAFETY ALERT for Wood Burning Appliances - US CPSC Alert Document 5017, wood stoves, fireplace.


Readers should also see FIREPLACE INSERTS.

More help with inspecting chimney flue interiors can be found in the articles listed below.

More Reading

Green link shows where you are in this article series.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Questions & answers or comments about handling inaccessible chimneys, flues, and chimney connections during a chimney inspection.

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References