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Short Stacked Prefabricated Chimneys

“Short Stacked” chimneys occur when the contractor installing the fireplace and chimney shows up without enough chimney pipe to complete the job. Rather than making a second trip back with enough chimney pipe, the installers sometimes “forget”, and the homeowner is left to deal with a potentially dangerous situation.

Short stacked chimneys often sit directly on top of the chase pan cover with no chimney pipe visible.

Short stacked chimneys often sit directly on top of the chase pan cover with no chimney pipe visible.

Looking at a neighbor's house will often reveal that your chimney cap sits much lower than it should.

Looking at a neighbor’s house will often reveal that your chimney cap sits much lower than it should.

Proper height with cap above chase pan cover and chimney pipe visible.

Proper height with cap above chase pan cover and chimney pipe visible.

Measuring the distance between the bottom of the chimney cap and the top of the chase pan cover reveals that this cap is too close for comfort!

Measuring the distance between the bottom of the chimney cap and the top of the chase pan cover reveals that this cap is too close for comfort!

Why is “short stacking” dangerous?

Normally as you burn fires, the hot gases rise up through the chimney and escape safely through the chimney cap into the outer atmosphere. For Safety purposes, the manufacturer’s instructions on how their chimney is to be installed are very specific, and allow little leeway for variance. These instructions specify the closest allowable distance the bottom side of the chimney cap can be to the top of the chase pan cover.

This chase pan cover exhibits concentric heat rings around the chimney cap, and the galvanized finish has been burned off causing rust to quickly form.

This chase pan cover exhibits concentric heat rings around the chimney cap, and the galvanized finish has been burned off causing rust to quickly form.

Concentric heat rings around the chimney cap.

Concentric heat rings around the chimney cap.

This charred wood was found beneath the singed chase pan cover to the left.  Close call, indeed!

This charred wood was found beneath the singed chase pan cover to the left. Close call, indeed!

If the cap is installed too close to the chase pan cover, the combustible wood directly beneath it can overheat and catch fire. Often this is the case where the installers BARELY had enough pipe to be even with the chase pan cover, but not enough to elevate the cap high enough. In extreme cases, the chimney pipe doesn’t even reach the chase pan cover and smoke and hot gases spill directly into the hollow wooden chase! BOTH CONDITIONS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

The chimney pipe in this wooden chase stopped well below the chase pan cover, and hot gasses were spilling into the hollow chase.  YIKES!!!

The chimney pipe in this wooden chase stopped well below the chase pan cover, and hot gases were spilling into the hollow chase. YIKES!!!

Chase pan cover.

Chase pan cover.

Hollow wooden chase.

Hollow wooden chase.

If your chimney is “Short Stacked”, discontinue use until additional chimney pipe has been installed so that hot flue gasses from your fires can vent into the outside atmosphere safely.

 

The trained professionals at A to Z can inspect to be sure your prefab chimney is the correct height for safe operation. If it isn’t the proper height, we can make the repair to keep you safe.



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