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Broken Furnace Flue

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Very early yesterday morning (like 3am) I was woken up to the news that there was "a noise" every time the wind blew. It was a very windy night, I think I heard about 60mph gusts. Once I was awake enough to think about what I was hearing I knew it was the old flue for the original furnace. There was a rain-cap on it and the wind popped 2 of the 3 rivets holding it on so it would flap in the wind banging around all night.

In the morning I saw this from the ground:

broken flue

Eventually during the morning it disconnected completely and I found it on the ground in the back yard.

So I collected all the tools I needed and went out to get the right sized cap to seal it off and formulated a plan for getting up on the roof. I've never been on the tallest part of our roof, and getting up there was not easy. I needed to go out my bedroom window onto the garage roof and then use a ladder from that roof onto the big one. For that, I needed someone to hold the ladder. There were still some very strong wind gusts and my ladder is not very sturdy. I called around to a few friends and finally got someone who could help me out for 10 minutes.

open flue

capped flue

It might look like a nice day up on that roof, but it was about 20 degrees with very high winds. And to add a level of urgency to the whole situation, it was supposed to start snowing later that day and with the cap off there was a direct 7 inch conduit from outside into my basement.

This flue was for the original furnace that has since been replaced. The only thing this flue is used for is for running cables (cat5 and coax) from the basement to the attic to get them into the upstairs bedrooms. Sometime in the near future I'm going to take this flue out (at least the part through the roof) and I'd like to install a hatch for roof access. My dad put one in his roof and it's very handy for things like cleaning gutters.

I'm happy with the way this turned out, and the fact that I didn't die on the roof, but I would have liked it if this happened at 8am rather than 3am keeping Rachelle up all night.


Tags: diy repair wind

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