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18 Common Problems with Chimney Foundations

November 21, 2023

Proper installation of chimney liner elbows is crucial for ensuring the efficiency and safety of your chimney system. Unfortunately, several common mistakes can compromise the integrity of the installation. In this article, we’ll highlight 18 of these errors and provide insights into how to avoid them, ensuring a flawless chimney liner elbow installation.

1. Incorrect Angle Measurement:

Problem: Inaccurate measurement of the elbow angle can lead to misalignment and hinder the smooth flow of gases.
Solution: Use a precise angle measurement tool to ensure accurate calculations before installation.

2. Inadequate Clearance:

Problem: Failing to provide sufficient clearance between the elbow and combustible materials can pose a fire hazard.
Solution: Adhere to clearance guidelines specified by the manufacturer and local building codes.

3. Insufficient Support:

Problem: Lack of proper support for the chimney liner elbow may result in sagging or misalignment over time.
Solution: Install adequate supports, such as braces or straps, to maintain the elbow’s position and prevent movement.

4. Using the Wrong Elbow Type:

Problem: Choosing the wrong type of elbow for your chimney system may impede proper venting.
Solution: Select an elbow specifically designed for your chimney liner and application.

5. Over-tightening Fasteners:

Problem: Excessive tightening of fasteners can damage the elbow and compromise its structural integrity.
Solution: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper fastening torque.

6. Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines:

Problem: Neglecting the manufacturer’s installation guidelines may lead to suboptimal performance.
Solution: Thoroughly review and adhere to the guidelines provided by the chimney liner and elbow manufacturer.

7. Neglecting Regular Inspections:

Problem: Failing to inspect the chimney liner elbow regularly can result in undetected issues.
Solution: Schedule routine inspections to identify and address any potential problems promptly.

8. Incorrect Material Selection:

Problem: Choosing materials incompatible with your chimney’s conditions can lead to corrosion or deterioration.
Solution: Select materials that withstand the specific conditions of your chimney, considering factors like temperature and moisture.

9. Excessive Elbow Angles:

Problem: Installing too many sharp-angle elbows can hinder proper draft and venting.
Solution: Limit the number of sharp-angle elbows, opting for smoother bends when possible.

10. Disregarding Chimney Height:

Problem: Inadequate chimney height can lead to draft issues and poor venting.
Solution: Ensure the chimney meets the required height specifications for optimal draft.

11. Disregarding Chimney Size:

Problem: Using an incorrectly sized chimney liner elbow can impede proper venting.
Solution: Select an elbow size that matches the dimensions of your chimney liner and venting system.

12. Overlooking Clearance to Combustibles:

Problem: Insufficient clearance to combustible materials poses a fire hazard.
Solution: Maintain the recommended clearance distance as specified by the manufacturer and local codes.

13. Using Damaged Components:

Problem: Installing damaged or compromised chimney liner elbows can lead to structural issues.
Solution: Inspect all components for damage before installation and replace any compromised parts.

14. Poor Quality Insulation:

Problem: Using subpar insulation materials can lead to condensation issues and reduced efficiency.
Solution: Invest in high-quality insulation recommended by the manufacturer for effective temperature control.

15. Ignoring Flexibility Needs:

Problem: Neglecting the flexibility requirements of your chimney liner can result in restricted movement.
Solution: Choose a chimney liner elbow that complements the flexibility needs of your system.

16. Inadequate Sealing:

Problem: Inadequate sealing around the chimney liner elbow can lead to leaks and energy loss.
Solution: Use high-temperature sealant to create an airtight seal, preventing leaks and heat loss.

17. Improper Joint Connection:

Problem: Incorrectly connecting joints in the chimney liner elbow can lead to leaks and reduced efficiency.
Solution: Ensure a secure and proper connection of joints following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

18. Ignoring Professional Assistance:

Problem: Attempting a DIY installation without adequate knowledge can lead to mistakes and safety hazards.
Solution: Consult with a professional chimney service for expert guidance and assistance during the installation process.


Avoiding these common mistakes during chimney liner elbow installation is crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient chimney system. By adhering to manufacturer guidelines, local codes, and implementing best practices, you can ensure a successful installation that contributes to the longevity and performance of your chimney. If in doubt, seeking professional assistance is always a prudent choice to guarantee a safe and well-functioning chimney system.

For all your chimney needs, including expert chimney foundation services, turn to Spring Hill Chimney Service. Contact us now to benefit from our comprehensive range of chimney services tailored to ensure the stability and longevity of your chimney structure.
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