Schedule Your Utility Flue Relining With Garden State Chimney
For many, a conjured mental image of a chimney results in a sort of rectangular structure protruding from the roof of a home, smoke wafting out of the egress – the picture of warm welcomes and cozy evenings. And while this is, of course, a pristine and accurate rendering of a chimney structure, it is not the only.
Technically speaking, any appliance that alters the temperature of a space – think air conditioners, heating systems, clothes dryers, etc. – produces exhaust that must be, at some point, released. That’s where a chimney flue comes in.
This means that, when it comes to overall houseware maintenance, it’s important to have an awareness of all your appliances that expel exhaust. Fortunately, if you live in the Northern New Jersey area, you can rely on Garden State Chimney for all your chimney- (traditional fireplace and other) related needs. From annual preventive services – like chimney cleanings – to intensive repairs or rebuilds, Garden State is the team for it all.
Hey, we’ll even sing and dance if you ask nicely. (We only know one song, can you guess what it is?) Schedule online through our website, or give us a call at 973-519-0802. We’d love to work with you.
What Is a Utility Flue?
Ok, we grazed over it briefly, but what even is a utility flue and why is its maintenance important? It’s a fair question… After all, what do you picture when asked to imagine a chimney structure?
Regardless, the fact remains that, while all chimney flue structures are designed to perform the same job (release byproducts, fumes, and exhaust), they are not all created equally. Your furnace, boiler, and/or water heater all must have a way to not only take in fresh, new air, but also a way to release it.
Take your water heater, for instance. Provided it’s powered by gas, the byproducts created during gas combustion can be harmful and dangerous to your home and family if not allowed to ventilate properly. That’s where the utility flue comes in. And just like with chimney flues, the quality of its liner is crucial when it comes to the overall performance of the appliance.
Is a Water Heater’s Utility Flue Liner Different From a Traditional Chimney Liner?
Yes and no, depending on what material is currently lining your fireplace’s chimney. When it comes to appliances fueled by gas – whether we’re talking about gas logs in a fireplace, a water heater or boiler, or even a furnace – the piping or ventilation system used to expel the fumes and exhaust is typically lined with some type of metal. Why? Because the byproducts created during gas-fueled combustion are generally too harsh and would eat right through other lining materials, like clay.
At Garden State Chimney, we only use stainless steel piping when we conduct any of our relining services, no matter the appliance. Stainless steel is not only a strong and durable material, but one that comes in several different alloys as well, making it extremely versatile for both traditional chimneys and other alternative home heating ventilation systems alike.
What Is the Purpose of a Flue Liner?
Flue liners are a vital component of a ventilation system, no matter if they’re hidden within the walls of a chimney or simply present as pipes, in the case of a furnace or water heater. Designed to transport exhaust containing harmful chemicals and other byproducts out of the appliance and, by proxy, the home, flue pipes or liners ensure that the system is operating as efficiently as possible. Though the general purpose across the many different appliances that require such streamlined ventilation is the same, the presentation (as well as other specifics) will vary.
For instance, in the case of a traditional chimney (you know, the ones Santa uses every December), depending on the fuel type, the flue liner will usually either be terra cotta clay (as is typically the case with brick masonry systems), or some kind of metal (generally found in prefab chimneys).
No matter the material, their presence and functionality is twofold:
- they protect the inner walls of the chimney structure from the harsh combustion fumes
- they create a streamlined exitway for these noxious gases and harmful chemicals to safely escape both the chimney and the home
Now, when it comes to utility flues, while their purpose is identical, they look very different. Unlike a traditional chimney that contains a heat-resistant material to protect the rest of the system and surrounding areas, utility flues are, for the most part, just another way to refer to the piping that releases the produced exhaust fumes. Without them, those gases would be expelled into the whole room – definitely not ideal.
So, when we’re talking about “utility flue relining” more often than not, we’re referring to the state of your water heater, furnace, or boiler’s exhaust pipe and whether it needs to be replaced.
It’s extremely complicated and a bit convoluted, we know. That’s why even though we do our best to describe and explain this stuff online, we don’t blame you if you’re still feeling confused. Fortunately, we have a friendly and talented team of people available to answer any question you might have. Give us a call at 973-519-0802, and we’d be more than happy to walk you through it.
Why Are Flue Relining Services Necessary?
OK, so now that you have a better understanding of what utility flue liners or piping does for your appliance, you might be wondering why they might need replacing (or relining). Well, just like the flue liner found in your fireplace’s chimney, over time, the fumes and gases produced during combustion can wear out the existing ventilation pipes.
Because they’re made of metal, these flue pipes are prone to corrosion, rust, and other damages that can greatly inhibit the performance of the appliance – and threaten the safety of your household.
Simply based on their design, even more efficient water boilers and furnaces can cause a great deal of damage to their flue system. Why is that? Because, by nature, these types of appliances have the ability to hold excessive amounts of water that, when heated, create an excessive amount of water vapor. When the appliance is utilized and the water is vaporized as exhaust traveling through the flue liner (pipe), because the air used to heat the system contains various chemicals, it’s highly acidic and can eat away at the liner – which, eventually, will cause system-wide inefficiencies.
Again… if all that jargon is hard to follow, no worries. We’d be happy to discuss this further with you, ensuring full understanding of the need for these services and our processes behind them.
When Should I Consider Relining My Water Heater’s Chimney?
Good question. Because these appliances are designed to vent through pipes, it can often be hard to discern when it’s time to reline them. That’s why it’s always a good idea to maintain a general awareness of your appliance’s performance, as it will ensure that you know the difference between an efficient water heater, boiler, or furnace and one that might be suffering from unseen damage.
Another good rule of thumb is to periodically examine the flue pipes for any visible signs of damage like corrosion, weak parts, or leaks. This is a surefire way to know that it’s time to get a professional out to take a look – if it looks deteriorated or damaged in any way to you, it likely requires a repair service.
Most importantly, when all else fails or if you’re completely unsure of what to look for, hand it over to the professionals at Garden State Chimney. No matter the appliance, no matter the issue, our expert chimney technicians are trained to handle it all. You can book with us online or call us at 973-519-0802. We’d love to learn how we can make your life that much easier.
How Long Does a Utility Flue Liner Last?
Like so much else in this industry, the answer to this question depends on a variety of circumstances.
- Is the flue the appropriate size for the appliance?
- Was everything constructed correctly in the first place?
- Is the flue pipe insulated?
- Is your system suffering from other efficiencies that have nothing to do with the flue system?
Factors such as these (and more) all play a role in determining the longevity of a utility flue liner. For instance, if it’s determined that your flue pipe is traditional stainless steel as opposed to a more appropriate alloy, or worse, aluminum, its lifespan will be far shorter.
Is It Time To Reline Your Utility Flue? Call in Garden State
Does any of this ring a bell? Did you run down to check your boiler and notice some rusty piping? Need help with something else venting-related? We’re here to help. All our chimney technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and possess years of industry experience. Simply put? We only hire highly trained and qualified experts who understand the importance of providing good service and doing honest work.
Are you a homeowner in the greater Passaic County area and want to work with us? Fill out our appointment form right here on our website or give us a call at 973-519-0802. We can’t wait to serve you.