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I had "high-efficiency" furnace installed in 2009. In 2011 chimney required full grind-out and repoint job, and chimney saver solution was applied to prevent water damage. Service lasted only 18 months. Company now informs me that they missed identifying a faulty furnace liner, as mortar is coming away from chimney, although there are cracks throughout including front of the chimney alongside the fireplace stack. Is this likely, or is it possible that previous pointing work did not cure because of rain following day? They state that the new furnace is creating moisture and liner is in need of replacement.

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What kind of fuel does the furnace burn? –  Tim B Aug 9 '13 at 12:31
    
It is a gas furnace, Trane XR80 high efficiency 100,000 BTU –  Paul Roman Aug 14 '13 at 15:30
    
Also, had installed Trane power humidifier at same time –  Paul Roman Aug 14 '13 at 15:39
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1 Answer 1

Rain a day after pointing work will help, not harm, the cure. Freezing weather would harm the cure.

High efficiency furnaces output low-temperature flue gas - more heat in your house, less up the chimney = higher efficiency.

Flue gas is always moisture-laden, and starting at a low temperature and then dumping into a cold masonry chimney means the moisture will condense out inside the chimney, rather than exiting as a gas and condensing outside the chimney. Depending on the gas quality, this condensate may be somewhat acidic, thus corrosive (attacks mortar, steel etc.)

It would be worth checking your furnace manual for chimney recommendations - many of the very high efficiency units actually want to be vented into PVC that's sloped to let the moisture drain out (or at least has a drain at the bottom, if vertical.) The temperature (on those furnaces) is so low that PVC is perfectly adequate for the temperature, and it has good chemical resistance. A stainless steel liner would be another possible option - a masonry liner might well not. In any case, what you use should comply with what the new furnace wants, which may not be what the old furnace had (or needed.)

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