5 Problems to Avoid when Installing a Chimney Pot

chimney with old fashioned flue pot vent

So you've decided to install a chimney pot. You have all the tools, and you know how to do it, but you still have some questions. What do you do when you encounter some common problems that occur when you are installing the chimney pot? Here are five common problems that you might face.

1. Finding a Chimney Pot at the Right Size

If your chimney pot is the proper size, it will not hang over the flue liner by more than 3/4 of an inch at the corners. To make sure you get the right size, measure the flue opening and note the widest dimension. Your chimney pot needs to be at least as wide as this. If you want to enhance the draft and have a chimney pot that tapers inward near the top, then the top dimension will need to be as wide–or even wider–than the flu liner's widest dimension.

2. Using One Chimney Pot for Multiple Flues

If you have two adjacent flues, you may consider simply using one extra-large chimney pot for both of them. Although chimney pots are largely for architectural accent these days, they still serve to improve airflow and draft. Using one pot for multiple flues can disrupt this process and cause turbulence, making your hard work more trouble than it's worth. Use one chimney pot per flue.

3. Your Chimney Does Not Look Proper For a Large Chimney Pot

You can handle this by placing a grid on top of the flue, which you should cut even with the chimney top first. You can then add two or more small pots onto your grid instead of one large one. You can also look into one of the newer styles of pots, which are larger on the bottom and taper up into smaller tops.

4. Excess Flue Tile

If you have excess flue tile that extends over the top of the chimney, this can cause water to become trapped in the area between the chimney pot and the tile, which could in turn freeze and expand and cause serious damage. To get rid of this, use a masonry blade and a circular saw.

5. Applying Mortar

The mortaring process is one that needs to be done carefully to avoid problems down the line. Chimney pots rarely need replacing as they are quite sturdy, but the mortar can crack and erode over time. When applying the mortar, you will want to make sure that it tapers up nicely to the chimney pot. To do this, you can use a trowel. This way, when it rains, the water will slide down the slope rather than risk becoming trapped between chimney and mortar. As mentioned above, trapped water can freeze and expand, and that can cause serious damage to your chimney pot over time.