Woodburner flue liner?

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  • I have just got myself a house with a wood stove. It is a nice little stove and works fine but there is no liner in the chimney. It is a brick chimney and it has been like that for years since the stove was installed. So - do I need a liner and why? and if so what is the best system? I thought I would ask here as you guys are likely to be less biased (and maybe more experienced) than my local builders or stove installers, I await your ideas with interest.

  • Easy enough to do your self , just make sure liner is right way up , and back fill with vermiculite ( won't be signed off , but who cares :) ). The stove will be more efficient,easy to control, and no risk of smoke getting into house through masonry cracks etc .

    I ssssume the stove is currently fed into the chimney via regesrty plate ?

  • It depends what you mean by a register plate. The stove sits on the hearth and the flue goes out of the back through a hole in a vertical plate which blanks off the fireplace. I think of a register plate as being horizontal across the chimney itself. Smoke coming through cracks isn't a problem (yet) as it is a fairly new chimney.


    Not sure about efficiency. The stove would get going more quickly with a liner as it hasn't got to warm the chimney first, but if the chimney isn't lined then some heat will pass through the chimney walls to the house, and as it is terraced then I and the neighbour will get the benefit. The amount of heat going out at the top depends on the diameter of the pot, which is about the same as a liner, so I wouldn't expect much of a fuel saving with a liner. But there is more than one way of looking at it.

  • With out a liner , there is more chance of tar soaking into the masonry increasing risk of chimney fire . Our house had a wood burner set up like yours , and I set the chimney on fire in the first few days as I assumed there was a liner . Up to you if you want to save money not having one . If your house is new , the chimney should be fit for purpose and relativly clean .

    Our house is about 300 years old , stone with walls 18 inches or more thick, not much heat passes through them , but when they warm up from the heat inside the house they stay warm , that is the case for most of the houses round where I live , and if you have a woodburner its unheard of not to have a liner . I don't think you are right about the size of the pot being the limit of the heat going out ,

  • Good point about the tar which was in fact one of the reasons why I asked.


    Well, what does limit the amount of heat going out then?

  • Pot doesnt limit heat


    I dont have a flue liner, i have a 50s bungalow with approx 18 inch square flue after the gather. Swept once a year, not much tar or soot buildup even burning shit pallet wood and construction timber


    The only downside i have found is that i need to remove the stove to clean the flue as there wasnt enough room for a register plate with a sweeping hatch as well as the flue entry. It is because of that that i am considering fitting a flue liner ( its a bungalow - piece of piss) although i wont be backfilling it.


    There should also be a metre of flue pipe on the flue outlet of the stove to ensure it draws properly.

  • With out a liner , there is more chance of tar soaking into the masonry increasing risk of chimney fire . Our house had a wood burner set up like yours , and I set the chimney on fire in the first few days as I assumed there was a liner . Up to you if you want to save money not having one . If your house is new , the chimney should be fit for purpose and relativly clean .

    Our house is about 300 years old , stone with walls 18 inches or more thick, not much heat passes through them , but when they warm up from the heat inside the house they stay warm , that is the case for most of the houses round where I live , and if you have a woodburner its unheard of not to have a liner . I don't think you are right about the size of the pot being the limit of the heat going out ,

    That's really helpful to know. I'm hoping to get a wood burner installed in my house this year (it's about 200 years old) and I've been wondering if I'd need to get the chimney lined.


    Does anyone know if it's a problem if the gas metre is close to the fire place? It's in a cupboard to the side, about 1.5m from where the stove will go.

  • I would recomend back filling Rick , If i remember rightly , liners came in 3 grades when I bought ours and the best was gaurenteed 15 or 25 years , cant remember , shittest 5 years ? What back filling does as well as insulate the liner it stabalise the liner from flapping about in the chimney cavity and makes sweeping less likely to damage liner. In a bungalow , relativly short distance to back fill + only 18 ins SQ chimney , our fire place was a wacking great thing from the day you could get a child go up it and do it by hand . I bricked it up after fitting liner with enamel flue for first metre having filled emourmous void of the fire place with big bits of stone and smaller to fill the gaps , up the the hieght of where the flu went into the space . then I made a hole in the outside wall about 8 ft up and tipped a wet mix of vermiculite , sharp sand and cement , before I tipped the neat vermiculite down the chimney .

    crappy photo of closed fire place.

  • no access for filling - the chimney is on the dividing wall between the two semis. If it was on the outside wall id have put a hole in it like you did. If i can be arsed i might tip a few bags down between the liner and the pot depending what the pot diameter is an the clearance that will leave but im not planning on doing!


    IIRC its a 9 inch pot and a 5 inch flue so there may be room to do it..

  • I've been on about 20 jobs where either a wood burner or an aga is being fitted, I've Only know of one fitted without a liner. It was on a new build and had round 8" internal flue liners, each one jointed with fire cement. I asked about a liner and was told this way it doesn't need one, the fire clay liners will last a lot longer than a steel liner. It's was for a gas fired aga I think.

  • When i mved into my (council) bungalow 10 years ago...I tied up me horse, took off me stetson and removed my spurs.... then fitted my (smallish) log / multi fuel burner to the existing chimney, which was originally designed for a coal fire but had later been lined with the thin flexi liner for a gas fire, I remove the flexi liner, fitted a register plate and 1.4M vertical cast iron /enamel pipe. Have used it every winter for the past 10 years, checked in loft with a torch to see if there is any smoke escape - all good visually, each summer I climb up on top of the roof and look down the chimney to see if there is any build up of tar or soot, each year it looks fine so.....I haven't even bothered getting it swept. It lights and draws well, when door and draft hole are shut down it is fairly economical on logs, I rarely use burn coal but have done if I get "free" coal, when using coal it will even "stay in" over night. I have a monoxide meter fitted and that has never indicated any monoxide leak....The council did an inspection of the property and asked who fitted the burner...I lied and said it was there when I moved in....lol - Life is too short to worry too much about rules and regulations 8)

  • When i mved into my (council) bungalow 10 years ago...I tied up me horse, took off me stetson and removed my spurs.... then fitted my (smallish) log / multi fuel burner to the existing chimney, which was originally designed for a coal fire but had later been lined with the thin flexi liner for a gas fire, I remove the flexi liner, fitted a register plate and 1.4M vertical cast iron /enamel pipe. Have used it every winter for the past 10 years, checked in loft with a torch to see if there is any smoke escape - all good visually, each summer I climb up on top of the roof and look down the chimney to see if there is any build up of tar or soot, each year it looks fine- Life is too short to worry too much about rules and regulations 8)

    life is a whole lot more rosey when your alive, not behind bars, not working to pay off a compensation claim/fine or scared to close your eyes because you killed the kids next door with your lax attitude to due care and attention and your conscience won’t let you relax for the nightmares. How bad does a chimney have to get before you think it will burn?

  • Monoxide is odourless tasteless and deadly.It also seeps through brickwork.An alarm down by the fire wont tell you whats leaching out the chimney...how can it?Can you see every single joint in and out,can you test every joint in and out?As your flue pipe is going up through a register plate?that is where most soot may be building up.I put flexi pipe for woodburners down a previously lined ,8 inch pottery sleeved chimney, backfilled with a weird substance.I had an asbestos test on it as it was the wonder material for ages before people realised the dangers and was used widely.I feel confident the chimney being double lined is okay.

    I scrimp and have little money, but to compromise on safety is risking yourself and others.

  • Safety is rather paramount especially monoxide and clogged up flues. havent lived in a house for 30 years sI I only know stoves in my vehicles I've had over the years and have now, never had a problem, educating oneself doesnt cost anything. I always have an up to date monoxide alarm, but the one i have now is the newer generation, its a fire angel digital read out and alarm, the digital screen tells you the parts per million at any one given time and the alarm goes off if the level gets up to 50 PPM. 35PPM is the highest safe level to be in a room with for 8 hours. the digital read out I have has never gone above 6 PPM which isnt worth taking note of, 99% of the time it sits at 0 PPM, if I leave the door of stove open for say half an hour and the door glass is hot, then the meter has read 10 - 12 PPM occasionally, but even then, thats far from dangerous levels, I really like the digital read out as you can closely monitor the situation.

  • I prefer chimneys lined with liner and vermic, but often jobs are tight so I check the flue if its ok and no major defects I put stove pipe via reg plate in em, and give customer advice that its best practice to line out. last job I put a co alarm in room where stove was and bedroom upstairs where flu passed through as she wouldn't have it lined took me long enough to sort a few defects at back of brick fireplace/mantel shelf. and yeah early vermiculite came from seams near or same as asbestos mines.



    amiante-vermiculite.jpg pasted-from-clipboard.png



    Scary stuff vermiculite seemed liked a wonder product natural harmless I ve put it in concrete in flues kncked ceilings down with it above why does everything that works well is so bad for us, asbestos amazing fire retartdant terrible to humans, I still thing new foam board insulation is the new asbestos in waiting, fibreglass etc etc, basicy do a job that involves breathing fresh air on a remote island.


  • yeah I know about silca dust, basicly if your anything to do with construction, its not a healthy place to be. I hate dust always get a mask on in dusty conditions, but I guess being the age iam will have been exposed to life shortening dust.