Removing a Wood Stove Flue Pipe

Topic: 
Heating and Cooling
Topic: 
Healthy Home and Environment
Question: 

We have decided to remove a wood stove from our living room and my husband has removed the pipe from the wall (chimney). When he originally installed the stove, he chipped a hole in the chimney and inserted a horizontal clay pipe. Now that the stove pipe has been removed, he has inserted a galvanized end cap on the end of the clay pipe. He says he is going to place a piece of wallboard over the opening in the wall.

My question is: Does the edge of the cap need to be sealed? If he doesn't seal it and then covers the hole in the wall with a piece of wallboard, will this be dangerous? I don't know who to ask about this and I don't totally trust my husband's judgement.

Answer: 

And now you want me to enter into this argument? It's bad enough that I regularly lambast "fly by night" contractors; now I could become a correspondent in a divorce! Well, OK I will try to be very even handed about this matter:

(1) Most appliances which require a chimney must be installed on a dedicated flue. As far as I know, there is only one exception - a gas furnace can be vented into the same flue as a gas hot water heater. All wood stoves, fireplaces etc. must be installed onto a dedicated flue. In other words, if the wood stove was installed into the same flue as any other appliance, removing it was a very good idea.

(2) If this flue is now being used by another appliance, then this would be a very good time to have it inspected, cleaned, repaired or lined by a chimney service. Any hole left over from the wood stove should be repaired with brick and mortar.

For example: if the flue is used for a gas furnace, a metal liner is highly recommend. Combustion of natural gas produces a lot of water vapor, this in turn can damage the mortar and brick in the flue. A damaged flue on a natural gas furnace can result in elevated CARBON MONOXIDE level in the home.

(3) If the flue which was previously used by the wood stove, is not in use, then it will not make a great deal of difference how you seal the old wood stove connection. It might be a good idea to cap the top of the chimney.

I hope that you had a very nice valentines day, and many more to come. George