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Top Mount Chimney Cap Measure

Top Mount Chimney Cap Measure Guide

How to Measure for a Top Mounted Chimney Cap:
Top Mount Chimney Cap Measure Guide for Chimney Caps that Attach to the Crown

 

Top Mount Chimney Caps (typically used with multiple flues but also used with chimneys with a single flue) mount on the concrete crown of the chimney.  They can also be used if you have only one flue on the chimney.

You can attach a top mount chimney cap either with 1/4” Tapcon screws (using a 3/16″ Tapcon drill bit) that go through pre-drilled holes in the chimney cap flanges and then into the crown, or you can attach it with Construction Adhesive that affixes the chimney cap flanges to the cement crown.

Top mount chimney caps attach to the chimney crown with flanges.

Whether you are using a top mount chimney cap for one or more flues, here’s how to measure for and select the right chimney cap to fit:

What to Measure for a Top Mount Chimney Cap

You need to take three measurements in order to choose the correct top mount chimney cap.

•     First, measure the length and width of your entire chimney, as shown by the red dotted line in the diagram below.

•     Next, measure the length and width of a rectangle just big enough to include all the flues on your chimney, as shown by the black dotted line. This is the minimum screen size.

Multi Flue Chimney Caps - Measure for Size

•     Last, measure the height of the tallest flue above the top of the chimney, as shown by the blue dotted line .

Multi Flue Chimney Caps - Measure for Height

Your chimney cap can be any screen size between the dotted red rectangle and the dotted black rectangle.

Most chimney caps have mounting flanges that add 1 1/2 inches to each side of the screen. So, for example, a top mounting chimney cap with a screen size of 13 by 17 inches will cover 16 by 20 inches of the top of your chimney. Some top-mount chimney caps can be installed with the mounting flanges inside the screen (facing toward the flues) or outside of it (facing toward the edges of the chimney.)

•     If your goal is to protect the top of your chimney from deterioration caused by weather and acid rain, choose the largest screen size that will fit within the red dotted line.

•     If your goal is to be as economical as possible, select a chimney cap the size of the black dotted line.

•     If your goal is to get the maximum protection for the top of your chimney for the minimum price, select a chimney cap size midway between the red and black dotted lines.

Some chimney caps are taller than others. The height of the screen part of a chimney cap is the screen height. There must be at least 5 inches of clearance between the top of your tallest flue and the lid (or roof) of the chimney cap. Select a chimney cap with a screen height 5 inches above your tallest flue (at least 5 inches taller than the blue dotted line.)

 

Which Metal is Best for a Top Mount or Multi-Flue Chimney Cap?

Multi-flue chimney caps are manufactured from stainless steel, copper, and black galvanized steel. Stainless steel is the best value for the dollar. Copper is the most elegant, especially for historic or upscale homes. Stainless steel and copper chimney caps come with a lifetime warranty. Some stainless steel top mount chimney caps can be powder coated with black or colored heat resistant finish. Galvanized steel is the least expensive and the least durable. Galvanized steel chimney caps are painted black.

A copper top mount chimney cap is not recommended for light colored chimneys. Stainless steel is the preferred metal for salt water climates due to its rust resistance.

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance Tagged with: ,

Single Flue Chimney Cap Measure

Single Flue Chimney Cap - Measure

How to Measure for a Single Flue Chimney Cap
to Fit a Square or Rectangular Flue:
Single Flue Chimney Cap Measure Guide

 

Single flue caps attach to the flue. For chimneys with a single square or rectangular flue, select a chimney cap like those shown below. Some single flue chimney caps that attach to the flue with clamps. The majority of single flue chimney caps, however, attach to the flue with set screws that press against the flue.

Chimney Cap Measure - HY-C Adjustable Clamp Chimney Cap Single flue chimney cap that attaches to flue with set screws
 Attaches to Flue with Clamps  Attaches to Flue with Set Screws

Here are examples of chimney caps for single flues that attach to the outside of the flue with screws:

What to Measure for a Single Flue Chimney Cap

To measure for a single flue chimney cap, measure the outside length and width of your flue.

What to Measure for a Single Flue Chimney Cap If the Flue Does Not Stick Up at Least an Inch

If your single flue does not stick up at least one inch, you can use either a top mount chimney cap (also known as a multi-flue chimney cap) or a single flue chimney cap with a set of “legs.” The legs fit down inside the chimney flue and securely hold your chimney cap in most situations. We do not recommend the use of chimney caps with legs especially in areas with high winds. A top mount chimney cap is always a more secure choice if your single flue does not stick up at least an inch.

Single Flue Chimney Caps with Legs

•     If your flue does not stick up at least one inch and you want a chimney cap with legs, measure the outside length and width of your flue.

•     If your flue does not stick up at least one inch and you want a chimney cap that mounts to the top crown on your chimney, follow the measuring directions for top mount chimney caps (also known as multi-flue chimney caps.)

Top-Mount Chimney Cap on Single Flue Chimney

Top Mount Chimney Cap on a Single Flue Chimney

 

Which Metal is Best for a Single Flue Chimney Cap?

Single Flue chimney caps are manufactured from stainless steel, copper, and galvanized steel.

•     Stainless steel is the best value for the dollar. Stainless steel is the preferred metal for salt water climates.

•     Copper is the most elegant, especially for historic or upscale homes. Copper is not recommended for light colored chimneys.

•     Galvanized steel is the least expensive and the least durable.

Stainless steel and copper chimney caps come with a lifetime warranty. Some stainless steel caps can be powder coated with black or colored with heat resistant finishes. Galvanized steel chimney caps are painted black.

 

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance Tagged with: ,

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide

How to Select and Measure for Any Round Flue Chimney Cap

Look at the 7 illustrations of flues below and click on the one that looks like your round flue.

clay round flue Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide of Rigid Pipe Round-Flexible-Liner-200x13 Double_Walled
Clay Pipe Rigid Metal Pipe Flexible Liner 2 Concentric Pipes
with Air Space Between
Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Covered Insulation Flue Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Exposed Insulation Flues Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Triple Walled Flue
2 Concentric Pipes
with Covered Insulation
2 Concentric Pipes
with Exposed Insulation
3 Concentric Pipes
with Air Space Between

 Round Clay Flues

Below is a Clay Flue , a terra cotta pipe also known as a Masonry Flue.

clay round flue

 

For Clay or Masonry Flues, you have your choice of

  • chimney caps that attach to the outside of the flue or
  • chimney caps that slip into the flue

 

 

The chimney caps below fasten to the outside of round clay flues.
What to Measure: Measure the outside diameter of your flue to select the appropriate size chimney cap.

The chimney caps below slip into round clay flues. (If your clay flue protrudes less than an inch above your chimney crown, we suggest one of these.)

What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of your flue to select the appropriate size chimney cap.

Single Metal Round Flue Pipes

Below is a flue that is a Single Metal Pipe such as a Stovepipe.

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide of Rigid PipeFor Single Metal Pipe Flues such as Stovepipes, you have your choice of

  • chimney caps that attach to the outside of the flue or
  • chimney caps that slip into the flue

 

 

Each round flue chimney cap below fastens to the outside of single metal pipe flues such as stovepipes.

What to Measure: Measure the outside diameter of your flue to select the appropriate size chimney cap.

Each round flue chimney cap below slips into single metal pipe flues such as stovepipes.
What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of your flue to select the appropriate size chimney cap.

 

Round Flexible Flue Liners

Below is a Flexible Metal Flue Liner

Flexible linerA Flexible Metal Flue Liner requires a chimney cap with a base that inserts into the flue, such as the ones below.

 

 

What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of your flue to select the appropriate size chimney cap.

 

Round Double Wall Flues

Below is a flue that is a cut-away illustration of a Double Walled Air Insulated Flue or a Double Walled Air Cooled Flue.

Double Walled FlueA Double Wall Air Cooled flue is also known as an Double Wall Air Insulated flue. These have one pipe inside another. Air circulates in the open space between the two pipes to cool the flue. This type of flue requires a round flue chimney cap specially designed to allow the air circulation that is needed.

 What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of the innermost pipe and the outside Bottom Collar and Inner Diameter of Innermost Fluediameter of the outermost pipe; the bottom collar of the chimney cap should be large enough to cover the outermost pipe.

Select a round flue chimney cap that is nominally the same diameter as your innermost pipe. (Example: a 6 inch flue uses a 6 inch Weathershield or Vacu-Stack chimney cap). The bottom collar (indicated by the red arrows in the diagram to the right) of the chimney cap should be large enough to cover the outermost pipe of your chimney.

Enervex Fan with Adapter for Round Flues

Enervex Chimney Fan – Use with Air Cooled Adapter

 

 Round Solid Pack Flue

Below is a cut-away illustration of a Solid Pack Flue, also known as a Double Wall Insulated or Solid Pack Insulated Flue .

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Covered Insulation FlueInsulation within the flue distinguishes a Solid Pack flue, also called a Double Wall Insulated or Solid Packed Insulated flue.
In many, the actual insulation in covered, as shown in the cut-away illustration to the left, and, therefore, not visible as you look down into your flue.

What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of the innermost pipe(the flue).  Select a chimney cap that is nominally the same diameter as your flue. (example: a 6 inch flue uses a 6 inch Weathershield, Homesaver Pro, or Vacu-Stack chimney cap).

 

Exposed Insulation Solid Pack Round Flues

Below is a cut-away illustration of an Exposed Insulation Solid Pack Flue.

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Exposed Insulation FluesCan you actually see insulation between the two concentric pipes of your flue? Then you have an Exposed Insulation Solid Pack flue. Some chimney caps for double or triple walled air-cooled chimney caps will work for Exposed Insulation Solid Pack flues.

What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of the innermost pipe (the flue).  Select a round flue chimney cap that is nominally the same diameter as your Exposed Insulation Solid Pack’s innermost pipe.VacuStack for Exposed Insulation

 

Triple Wall Air Cooled Round Flues

Below is a cut-away illustration of a Triple Wall Air Insulated Flue , also known as a Triple Wall Air Cooled Flue.

Round Flue Chimney Cap Guide for Triple Walled Flue
Triple Wall Air Insulated flues have three concentric pipes. Cooling air circulates in the open spaces both between the outermost and middle pipe and between the middle pipe and innermost pipe. This type of flue requires a chimney cap that can circulate air between the flues to cool them.

 

What to Measure: Measure the inside diameter of the innermost pipe and the outside Bottom Collar and Inner Diameter of Innermost Fluediameter of the outermost pipe; the bottom collar of the chimney cap should be large enough to cover the outermost pipe.

Select a round flue chimney cap that is nominally the same diameter as your innermost pipe. (Example: a 6 inch flue uses a 6 inch Weathershield or Vacu-Stack chimney cap). The bottom collar (indicated by the red arrows in the diagram to the right) of the chimney cap should be large enough to cover the outermost pipe of your chimney.

Enervex Fan with Adapter for Round Flues

Enervex Chimney Fan – Use with Air Cooled Adapter

Posted in Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance Tagged with:

Stop Fireplace Grate Melt Down

How to Prevent Fireplace Grate Melt Down or Burn Through

Does your fireplace grate look like the one above? Has it burned through in the center? Find out what causes fireplace grate melt down and learn how to make your fireplace grate last longer. Put an end to grate burn-through.

What Causes Fireplace Grate Melt Down?

Heat will oxidize (rust) any metal made with iron. That includes cast iron and steel. Over time, heating your grate again and again will cause the rusting process to thin the metal to the point that it bends or even severs.

How to Make Your Fireplace Grate Last Longer

However, there are things you can do to prevent fireplace grate melt down and make your grate last longer.

1.  After the fire goes out, remove the ashes that accumulate under the grate.
When burning coals fall through your grate and land upon a deep bed of ashes, the coals remain close to your grate instead of falling to the floor of the firebox. Hot coals increase oxidation, especially if they are touching the grate.

In addition, cool air should enter the firebox under the grate and rise to provide oxygen to the burning wood. However, a deep accumulation of ashes under the grate disrupts that necessary draft of oxygen. A fireplace with a good draft also generates less ash than a fireplace whose air flow is choked off by ash build-up.

Removing ashes after every use of your fireplace is the single best thing you can do to prevent fireplace grate melt down and extend the useful life of your fireplace grate. See what to do with those ashes.

2.  Try to move at least some of the heat away from the center of the grate.
Grates almost always fail in the middle because heat is concentrated there and because many grates are not well supported in the center. By distributing firewood and coals over the entire width of the grate, rather than moving them towards the center, you will help prevent fireplace grate melt down and prolong the life of your grate.

3.  Don’t douse your fireplace fire with water.
You may remember from Smoky the Bear or scout training to put out a campfire by stirring the embers and pouring water on the fire. That works for campfires, but the water can rust a fireplace grate. Banking your fire is the best solution. If you must put the fire out, stir the embers and add sand to extinguish your fireplace fire.

4.  Buy a cast iron grate rather than a grate made with welded steel bars.
Cast iron withstands heat better than steel does. Steel begins to soften and bend at about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, while it takes about
1400 degrees to soften cast iron. Oak, the wood most often used in fireplaces, can reach temperatures near 1000 degrees when burning briskly.

5.  Buy a grate with the thickest material you can afford.
It just stands to reason it takes longer for a thick piece of metal to rust away than
it takes for a thinner piece. A grate made with 1” by 1” steel bar has four times as much metal as a grate made with 1/2” steel bar.

Compare the 3/4 inch bar stock on the left with the 1 1/8 inch by 13/16 inch bars on the grate on the right:

6. Get a fireplace grate with a Lifetime Warranty.
When you purchase a grate that you know the manufacturer will stand behind, you can have peace of mind. The Pilgrim brand of fireplace grates, for example, have a Lifetime Warranty against burn-through. The Pilgrim Lifetime Warranty provides one replacement grate if yours fails. The Pilgrim fireplace grates below have Lifetime Warranties:

Buying a cast iron grate or a steel grate with the thick bars and a Lifetime Warranty is the best way to get off to a good start for an enduring fireplace grate. Distributing the heat and properly tending ashes will definitely prolong the life of your fireplace grate.

Posted in Using Your Fireplace Tagged with: ,
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