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CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHIMNEY COMPONENT DEFINITIONS
CHIMNEY FIRE ACTION / PREVENTION
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTION
HOME HEATING SAFETY
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
SAFETY RECALLS CHIMNEYS VENTS HEATERS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
Definition & hazards of dead end chimneys & flues. This article describes dead base or dead end flues and explains why they can cause heating equipment operating difficulties or why they may be unsafe. A dead end flue is one in which the flue vent connector joins at the very base of a chimney. Debris falling down the chimney can quickly block the flue, prevent proper removal of exhaust gases from the building heating equipment, and can be dangerous. We describe how to spot dead end chimneys, how to recognize trouble signs, and what to do about dead end chimney venting systems.
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At below left we illustrate another clue that may indicate a dead base chimney - no visible cleanout door below the chimney thimble where the flue vent connector attaches to the flue, and water leak stains directly below the thimble.
Watch out: At above right we illustrate another scary problem often found in deep, hard to access crawl areas: a dead base chimney and a fallen-off or disconnected flue vent connector or "flue pipe" - presenting a fire hazard, a flue gas poisoning hazard, improper heating operation, generally an unsafe heating system. Why would this problem be more likely here? Because the connection of the flue vent connector to the dead base chimney is deep into a hard-to-access crawl space where nobody wants to go. Be sure to inspect such locations with care.
Solutions for the Dead End Chimney or Dead Base Flue Problem
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