I discovered a 12" diameter concrete pipe traveling vertically from the basement to the attic of a one story house. The pipe is lined both internally and externally with metal. I would like to know if it can be safely removed as it is in the middle of an internal wall that I want to open up.

My best guess is that this was an exhaust pipe for an oil burning furnace or similar device where flames and combustion were a bigger concern as the house was built in 1952. Currently the pipe is positioned directly above the water heater and the modern metal pipe running through the middle of the concrete pipe is what is used for the water heater exhaust. At present the furnace exhaust is piped in a different direction out the side of the house.

I've attached photos of the pipe looking down from the attic, looking up from the basement, and looking at it running through the first floor. Can anyone confirm what this pipe might have been used for?

top of pipe

bottom of pipe

middle of pipe

  • 1
    any remains of soot on the inside of the pipe? – jsotola Dec 26 '18 at 21:11
  • 1
    Could you add a picture of the bottom end of the pipe? – Daniel Griscom Dec 26 '18 at 22:01
  • @jsotola it was unclear if it is soot or very dirty as I'm guessing it wasn't cleaned in 75 years – Mike Stumpf Dec 28 '18 at 15:18
  • @DanielGriscom I added photos of the bottom of the pipe and the middle of the pipe. I hope it helps! – Mike Stumpf Dec 28 '18 at 15:19
  • 1
    Looks like you've analyzed it correctly; it used to be the furnace exhaust (before direct-vent furnaces came into vogue), and was opportunistically reused when the furnace and hot water heater were replaced. I'm not experienced enough to be certain it's safe to remove, though; perhaps one of our experts will answer. – Daniel Griscom Dec 28 '18 at 17:53

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