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  1. #1
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Default Chimney Problems

    About a year ago a red stain started appearing around the top of my chimney. I assumed it was creosote from my woodburner. I had a guy come to clean the chimney and he informed me the flue for the woodburner was fine and did not need cleaning, but he did tell me that the red substance was caused by the clay pipe in the other flue breaking down. It used to be the flue for the old oilburner (i guess) I now have gas and the only thing in that side is the exhaust from the hot water heater. That stain now covers the top of the chimney and part of the roof. The worst part is on windy days I find it blows around a bit and left red stains on the plastic bumpers of my wifes new car. This will not wash off and the car needs to be repainted. A friend told me he read something about the exhaust gas from the gas breaking down the oil residue from the oilburner and causing this problem. Does anyone here know anything about this and how I can correct it. Thanks

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    Last edited by Joe Berger; 06-03-2012 at 02:38 PM. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    wayne soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    The mixing of residue created by oil and then gas fired appliances creats a strong acid.
    Oil residue on it's own also creats this affect but not as strong.
    It is possible that a good chimney cap will slow the problem but eventually.
    The solution is to break open the walllet and install a stainless steel liner.
    Sample install instructions Rockford How to Install a Chimney Liner, Chimney Liner Installation Instructions

    A picture of the flue would help, that's why I alsways take one if possible.
    The dust also has some acid in it and you may find some pitting on your paint if it's allowed to stay on the finish for a while.

    And if your wife finds out you knew and did nothing, well you know what happens then.
    Happy Fathers Day


  3. #3
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Chimney Problems

    Ok, the car has already been repainted. I will get some one here to look at an insert. Is there anyway to clean the outside of the chimney and roof shingles? Any thing that will breakdown the acid? I tried various cleaners but nothing works. And by the way, I just learned about this this morning and my wife loves me. LOL


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    The red is DYE used to dye #2 fuel oil sold for heating (which is exempt from motor fuel tax).

    It is incideous and nothiing will remove it.

    It is so that you cannot use it to fuel jets, or other vehicles. It does not wash off. It can dye skin, plastics, etc. Its designed to carry in petroleum products so you can forget about removing the stain from composition shingles.

    Did I follow this discussion correctly? ... Do you have a wood burning (solid fuel) flue in the same masonry chimney that contains a flue serving natural gas fired equipment (which formerly served oil fired equipment)...is that correct?

    About a year ago a red stain started appearing around the top of my chimney. I assumed it was creosote from my woodburner. I had a guy come to clean the chimney and he informed me the flue for the woodburner was fine and did not need cleaning, but he did tell me that the red substance was caused by the clay pipe in the other flue breaking down. It used to be the flue for the old oilburner (i guess) I now have gas and the only thing in that side is the exhaust from the hot water heater. That stain now covers the top of the chimney and part of the roof. The worst part is on windy days I find it blows around a bit and left red stains on the plastic bumpers of my wifes new car. This will not wash off and the car needs to be repainted. A friend told me he read something about the exhaust gas from the gas breaking down the oil residue from the oilburner and causing this problem. Does anyone here know anything about this and how I can correct it. Thanks


    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-04-2012 at 05:55 PM.

  5. #5
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Bingo, you have it correct. The way I see it, I have two choices. install a stainless pipe down the old flue or revent the hot water outside and seal the other flue pipe. Unless you have another idea? The red dye sounds like a reasonable answer, but Ive been in this house ten years with no problem until the last year and gas has been present the whole time Ive been here. I called the old owner to see if he knew when the changeout took place. I will be up on the roof today and will take some pics and post them later today. Thanks

    Last edited by Joe Berger; 06-05-2012 at 07:10 AM. Reason: New idea

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Berger View Post
    Bingo, you have it correct. The way I see it, I have two choices. install a stainless pipe down the old flue or revent the hot water outside and seal the other flue pipe. Unless you have another idea? The red dye sounds like a reasonable answer, but Ive been in this house ten years with no problem until the last year and gas has been present the whole time Ive been here. I called the old owner to see if he knew when the changeout took place. I will be up on the roof today and will take some pics and post them later today. Thanks
    When did you install the non-descript "wood burner" ( ) ?

    How are you heating your home? It would be rare indeed to have a former clay flue previously serving oil fired equipment, to be properly sized for a 10 y.o. orphaned single gas-fired nautral draft water heater or to function correctly regarding draft. Your description of the gas-fired water heater is non-descript and can't even be assumed to be of the natural draft variety.

    Converting from solid fuel or oil to natural gas of a masonry chimney flue requires more than just installing an appliance.

    NFPA 54 (natural gas), NFPA 31 (Oil burning appliances), NFPA 211 (chimneys) and your residential codes & property maintenance codes.



    Please contact a local professional and have the entirety inspected and perform calculations. Minimum Level II inspection and analysis bordering on Level III all calculations, and review. A mere "guy" who you have to JUST "clean" the "wood burner's" flue is NOT sufficient. You need a certified professional who is qualified to perform condition inspection, analyize volume, draft, combustion analysis, etc. Preferably a F.I.R.E. certified professional.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-05-2012 at 09:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    My woodburner was installed in 02, perhaps your still missing something. The chimney has two flues. one is the woodburner only. Its clean and the flue pipe is in good condition. The other is the old oil burner which has been converted to gas some time prior to me purchasing the home. That side of the flue pipe is starting to breakdown and is causing the problem.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Berger View Post
    My woodburner was installed in 02, perhaps your still missing something. The chimney has two flues. one is the woodburner only. Its clean and the flue pipe is in good condition. The other is the old oil burner which has been converted to gas some time prior to me purchasing the home. That side of the flue pipe is starting to breakdown and is causing the problem.
    I believe I am "picking up what you're putting down", I just do not agree with your conclusionary statements as to the extent of what the problemS are/may be; and as to what the effective corrective solutions for same may be.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Thanks for you help, have a good day


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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    HG wrote in part...
    It is so that you cannot use it to fuel jets, or other vehicles.
    Red dye is done for tax purposes.

    The dye has no affect on combustion abilities. You can burn fuel oil dyed red in a tractor or furnace and vice versa.

    Not even sure of your statement that the red dye would stain shingles since shingles would not be exposed to the dye since the dye readily is consumed in the combustion process.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 06-05-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Raymond Wand,

    I invite you to visit a family owned nursery and farm in south central NJ in late January or early February to fuel your injection diesel auto with locally delivered and reasonably local (regionally) refined #2 heating oil (in-home or in-ground tank grade). We'll hand crank you a full tank. Lets make sure to see you off during a frigid snap You'll be enjoying the result within a few hours esp. after you've stopped for your first meal & comfort break on the cold ride home.

    Local distinctions (regional blending, distinctions) vary, depending on demand, etc.. The OP is in NJ, where electricity isn't goverment owned subsidized and cheap (like canadian "hydro"), and where N.G. has been availble to his property for a mere 10+ years or so, he's not in suburban T-town, Ontario, canada.

    Canada sends its sulfur mud crude from its western provinces down to us, crud it wouldn't bother to refine or use there.

    So lets not get into what you couldn't possibly relate to, like a $500-$10,000 fine losing your inspection tag and quite possibly your on-road vehicle impounded, even if your wise enough to sufficiently ammend with additives.





  12. #12
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    H.G. Watson

    Where did I mention anything about burning fuel oil/diesel in a car? I didn't you did!
    You stated the fuel is dyed so it can't be burned. Poppycock!

    It is so that you cannot use it to fuel jets, or other vehicles.
    I am very familiar with diesel as I have a small farm, and have and do burn fuel oil and or diesel in the tractor.

    Diesel fuel up here as well as furnace oil is winter blended simply because the storage tanks are outside exposed to temperature extremes. It is blended to prevent gelling and both are dyed red up here.

    My diesel tractor has never had a problem burning either diesel or fuel oil as they are the same.

    As to your remark about cheap Canadian energy again you demonstrate your ignorance as electrical prices have steadily increased in Ontario particularly and likely is not as cheap as you believe. Hydro price increases will over the several years increase by at least 45%!

    So lets not get into what you couldn't possibly 'relate to' given that you purposely introduced the subject of burning fuel oil in a car to try and make an irrelevant arguement.





    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
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    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  13. #13
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Guys, the red dye is only there to id use of fuel for tax purposes. No highway tax included in the price of dyed fuel. (ie. tractors, heavy equipment, anything offroad and heating.)

    What about my problem?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    I know why red dye is added.

    As to your initial question do you have a picture you can post?

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
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    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  15. #15
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    I had intended on going up yesterday and taking some photos. Unfortunatly it rained all day. The plan is to try again this afternoon. Ill post some then.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand
    You stated the fuel is dyed so it can't be burned. Poppycock!
    I never said that. You made that up! I said it is dyed so it can not be USED to fuel aircraft and other such vehicles subject to fuel taxes. I SPECIFICALLY made mention TO THE OP regarding LOCAL designations of #2 heating oil.It is dyed so as to IDENTIFY it. I never said it could not be burned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand
    Diesel fuel up here as well as furnace oil is winter blended simply because the storage tanks are outside exposed to temperature extremes. It is blended to prevent gelling and both are dyed red up here.My diesel tractor has never had a problem burning either diesel or fuel oil as they are the same.
    You are misguided and frankly wrong as pertains to the NJ region.Sulfur content regarding even off-road diesel is more strictly controlled (reduced). Additives regarding on-road & off-road diesel include MORE than simple anti-gelling during colder temps. Locally refined and delivered to the local market #2 heating oil is NOT used to supply above ground outdoor tanks or being pumped. I really don't care what you choose to put in your piddly 'tractor'. I really don't care if your area refineries and suppliers don't make a distinction between diesel and heating oil your supply chain. Wouldn't consider using S. central N.J. #2 heating oil in modern, EXPENSIVE, used year-round, equipment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand
    As to your remark about cheap Canadian energy again you demonstrate your ignorance as electrical prices have steadily increased in Ontario particularly and likely is not as cheap as you believe. Hydro price increases will over the several years increase by at least 45%!
    Whine, whine, whine. I'm sick of hearing Southern Ontarioians whine about what little they pay for electric power. Its a joke. You're barking up the wrong tree there, nobody feels sorry for you that perhaps in seven years you'll pay maybe half of what we do now. Gov. run and supplied electric & health care, heck we subsidize your pharma supply. Cry us a river why don't you.


  17. #17
    Joe Berger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    What is wrong with you.......


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    H.G. Watson

    Eloquent as usual. Your pleadings are futile!

    Joe,

    My apologies. I think your chimney problem staining is not caused by red dye in fuel oil as opined by H.G. Watson.

    Raymond Wand Home Inspection Service
    http://www.raymondwand.ca
    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Chimney Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    H.G. Watson

    Eloquent as usual. Your pleadings are futile!

    Joe,

    My apologies. I think your chimney problem staining is not caused by red dye in fuel oil as opined by H.G. Watson.

    That's funny!!! Really funny!!!


    Joe Berger: Its been a rough past 2 years+ weather-wise - brutally rough on masonry chimneys, especially those already suffering from unrecognized by DIYer/handyman/homeowner-issues, and neglect. Oversized masonry flue +no draft/slow prime/copious moisture dumping, freezing - its no wonder.

    Lets see those promised pictures, but wait until the roof is dry please (safety first), looking forward to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Berger
    About a year ago a red stain started appearing around the top of my chimney. I assumed it was creosote from my woodburner. I had a guy come to clean the chimney and he informed me the flue for the woodburner was fine and did not need cleaning, but he did tell me that the red substance was caused by the clay pipe in the other flue breaking down. It used to be the flue for the old oilburner (i guess) I now have gas and the only thing in that side is the exhaust from the hot water heater. That stain now covers the top of the chimney and part of the roof. The worst part is on windy days I find it blows around a bit and left red stains on the plastic bumpers of my wifes new car. This will not wash off and the car needs to be repainted. A friend told me he read something about the exhaust gas from the gas breaking down the oil residue from the oilburner and causing this problem. Does anyone here know anything about this and how I can correct it. Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Berger
    Ok, the car has already been repainted. I will get some one here to look at an insert. Is there anyway to clean the outside of the chimney and roof shingles? Any thing that will breakdown the acid? I tried various cleaners but nothing works. And by the way, I just learned about this this morning and my wife loves me. LOL
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Berger
    Bingo, you have it correct. The way I see it, I have two choices. install a stainless pipe down the old flue or revent the hot water outside and seal the other flue pipe. Unless you have another idea? The red dye sounds like a reasonable answer, but Ive been in this house ten years with no problem until the last year and gas has been present the whole time Ive been here. I called the old owner to see if he knew when the changeout took place. I will be up on the roof today and will take some pics and post them later today. Thanks



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