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Re: Chimney Flues

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The UBC rules for chimneys and fireplaces are in Chapter 31, in volume 1 of
the 3 volume set.

The chapter includes a chart for sizing flues based on the chimney height
and fireplace opening size.

I've seen old fireplace/chimney systems with more than one fireplace served
by a single flue, and I don't see a rule against that in the UBC.  The rules
imply a flue serving a single fireplace, but it doesn't seem to be stated
explicitly.  My concern would be the possibility of an odd draft condition
drawing smoke from the chimney into a room with an unused fireplace, though
it seems unlikely since smoke should rise in the flue rather than fall into
a cold fireplace.

James Amrhein wrote "Residential Masonry Fireplace and Chimney Handbook"
published by Masonry Institute of America.  It covers everything you need to
know about building the kind of fireplace and chimney that has become
conventional in the western U.S.

Also check out for information on the Rumford
fireplace design -- quite different form the conventional design, plus lots
of general information on fireplaces and chimneys.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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