Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHIMNEY COMPONENT DEFINITIONS
CHIMNEY FIRE ACTION / PREVENTION
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTION
HOME HEATING SAFETY
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
SAFETY RECALLS CHIMNEYS VENTS HEATERS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
Chimney & flue sizing tables by type, BTUH, building codes, and other factor: this article describes the size requirements for chimney flues for different categories of heating appliances. We include excerpts from UMC tables along with additional commentary to assist in sizing metal or masonry chimneys according to chimney diameter, height, materials, and the input BTUH of the appliance(s) to be vented.
As with most building inspection and safety topics, this material may be incomplete. Check with your local building code officials for local building code requirements when designing, building, or installing chimneys and vents.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Sizing of Metal & Masonry Chimney Flues, Flues, Vents - Category I Draft Hood and Fan Assisted Appliances
NFPA 1992 (7.5.3) states that draft hood appliances, Category I appliances and other appliances that use Type B vents must have a
The 1992 GAMA vent sizing tables for single-wall metal vent connectors attached to a tile lined masonry chimney uses Table 8. The result of those calculation using a 38,000 BTU water heater with a 3" draft hood and a 37,500 BTU boiler with a 4" draft hood connected to a 20' high chimney is to use a common flue with an area of 28 square inches or a 6" flue vs a 5" flue in the previous examples.Details about factors that go into calculating the size of a chimney or flue are discussed separately at CHIMNEY SIZE FACTORS.
Tables of Chimney, Flue, or Vent Size Requirements vs. BTUs of Appliances being Vented
A Guide to Chimney Sizing Tables for Venting Heating Appliances: Which Chimney Sizing Table to Use
Here is a quick guide to the UMC's chimney sizing & BTUH venting capacity tables when sizing a metal or masonry chimney diameter to match the total input BTUH of the heating appliances (boiler, furnace, water heater) being vented. Note that different chimney sizes are required for venting fireplaces and woodstoves. Masonry fireplace chimney size requirements are at FIREPLACES & HEARTHS.
Table C-9-A (Excerpts): Single Appliance Venting, B-Vent Chimney Capacities for Venting a Single Heating Appliance where a Single Wall Metal Flue Vent Connector is Used Between the Appliance and the Chimney
BTU Color Coding Note: in the tables below we use colors to indicate where an example-approximate appliance BTUH vent capacity rating falls across various chimney parameter combinations. The Gray color indicates that this chimney height and diameter combination cannot be used.
Table C-9-B (Excerpts): Single Appliance Venting, B-Vent Chimney Capacities for Venting a Single Heating Appliance where a Double-Wall B-Vent Flue Vent Connector is Used Between the Appliance and the Chimney
Table C-9-C (Excerpts): Single Appliance Venting, BTU Capacity of Masonry Chimneys where a Single Wall Metal Flue Vent Connector is Used Between the Appliance and the Chimney
Table C-9-D (Excerpts): Multiple Appliance BTU Vent Capacity of Type B Double-Wall Vents where a Double Wall Metal B-Flue Vent Connector is Used Between the Appliance and the Chimney
Watch out: the first portion of Table C-9-D specifies the maximum input BTUH capacity of any individual heating appliance that is to be vented along with other appliances out through a single chimney. The continuation of C-9-D below gives the chimney specifications for the total input BTUH of all of the appliances, combined.
Table C-9-D (Excerpts Continued): Multi-Appliance BTUH Venting Capacity of Type-B Double-Wall Vents [Chimneys] with Type-B flue vent connectors
This table gives the chimney specifications for the total input BTUH of all of the appliances combined and joined into a single vent when the flue is a Type-B double wall metal chimney and when the flue vent connector (between the appliance and the chimney entry point) is also a Type-B double wall unit.
Table C-9-E (Excerpts) Multi-Appliance BTUH Venting Capacity of Double-Wall B-Vent Chimneys where a single-wall metal vent connector is used between the appliances and the chimney
This two-part table gives the chimney specifications for the total input BTUH of all of the appliances combined and joined into a single vent when the flue is a Type-B double wall metal chimney and when the flue vent connector (between the appliance and the chimney entry point) is a single wall metal component.
Table C-9-F (Excerpts) Multi-Appliance BTUH Venting Capacity of MASONRY CHIMNEYS where a single-wall metal vent connector is used between the appliances and the chimney
This two-part table gives the chimney specifications for the total input BTUH of all of the appliances combined and joined into a single vent when the flue is a masonry chimney and when the flue vent connector (between the appliance and the chimney entry point) is a single wall metal component.
Details About Chimney Cross Sectional Areas and Effects on Venting Capacity of Masonry Chimneys - Translating Rectangular Chimney Flues to Round Flue Equivalents
The UMC Appendix C Table C9-G, "Masonry Chimney Liner Dimensions with Circular Equivalents" translates square or rectangular chimney flue inside dimensions into an equivalent "round" flue diameter and into equivalent square inches of venting capacity.
Why does this translation matter? The venting capacity of a rectangular or square masonry flue, if translated directly into actual or measured square inches of cross section, is less than a round chimney flue of the same square inches of venting capacity.
For example an 8" x 8" square nominal clay chimney flue tile liner has inside dimensions of 6 3/4" x 6 3/4". Just muliplying these dimensions together (6.75 x 6.75) = 45.56 sq.in. But chimney experts and draft measurements show that in a rectangular flue not all of the cross-sectional area is equally effective in developing draft. The effective square inches of venting area, translated to an equivalent round flue, would be less - or aboutd 42.7 square inches.
So when calculating the venting capacity of a square or rectangular clay chimney flue tile or liner by looking at its cross section, we use the UMC's Table C9-G of "round chimney flue equivalents" to get the effective chimney flue vent cross sectional area before we enter the masonry chimney BTUH venting capacity tables 6-9-C (single wall flue vent connectors and single heating appliances) or 6-9-F (single wall flue vent connectors and multiple appliances).[Note: pending clarification, we have not provided excerpts of Table C-9-G because, frankly, some of its data is confusing. - Ed.]
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Try the search box just below or if you prefer, post a question or a comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.