Can I Relocate My Flue Pipe?
If you are planning to replace your oil boiler, you may also be thinking about the possibility of moving the boiler, or relocating the flue pipe. There are many reasons why may wish to do this, as well as certain requirements and restrictions to be aware of. Read on to find out more.
What is a flue pipe?
The flue pipe is a duct or pipe that channels the waste gasses safely out of the boiler. Although the waste gasses are mostly comprised of water vapour and carbon dioxide, they can also include carbon monoxide, which is extremely dangerous. They may also be hot enough to scald. This means that there are some very important safety regulations to ensure that your flue pipe expels the gases in a manner that is safe enough to avoid affecting the people inside your home, as well as anyone else outside.
What are the boiler flue regulations?
Because flue gasses can be dangerous, flue pipes are subject to strict building regulations affecting their specifications and location. The regulations also affect where in your home a boiler can be located. Read on for a brief overview of the regulations.
Where does the flue need to be?
Although the precise regulations may vary depending on the size of the boiler, as a rule, the flue pipe needs to be at an absolute minimum of 30cm away from an opening, such as a window, if it is to be placed above or to the side of the opening. Larger boilers need to have their flues positioned further away from those openings.
If the flue needs to be placed below an opening, this means that there is more risk of the gases re-entering the house. In such cases, it must be placed at least 60cm away.
When positioning the flue pipe, you must also consider building corners, balconies and flat roofs, and they should also be located well away from soil pipes, drainpipes and eaves.
Some of the most important minimum distances are listed below:
- 2.1 m above ground level if facing public thoroughfare or frequently used pathway
- 300 mm below, above or alongside an opening window, air vent or other ventilation opening
- 75 mm below guttering, drain pipes or soil pipes
- 200 mm below eaves (roof overhang)
- 300 mm above ground, roof or balcony level
- 2000 mm below a Velux window (for a vertical flue)
- 300 mm above roof pitch or flat roof (for a vertical flue)
Protecting your flue pipe from blockage
A vertical flue should have a cover on top to prevent rain, leaves, snow and other potential causes of blocking from entering it, while still letting the gasses escape safely. Horizontal flues generally don’t need a cover, although they are worth considering. For example, if your flue pipe is close to a tree, a guard can help stop leaves from getting into it and ensure that it doesn’t become blocked.
Do I need to move my old boiler?
If the flue on your old boiler appears to be in the wrong place, then you may need to have your boiler relocated when it is replaced in order to satisfy the building regulations. Your installer will be happy to advise you when preparing a quote.
What if my flue pipe is in an undesirable location?
Naturally, your original flue pipe was fitted with the building regulations at the time in mind. This means that sometimes, the flue pipe is located somewhere that not practical or aesthetic, or no longer compliant. There can also be problems if the way a property is used has changed, or even when a new owner chooses to make use of previously unused outdoor space. Although the building regulations are quite strict, there are many options to help get the best location for your flue pipe if you are having a new boiler installed. We would encourage you to discuss this with your engineer.
Do I need to get an engineer to move my flue pipe?
Your boiler flue pipe is considered part of your boiler system and it is illegal and dangerous for anybody other than a qualified, registered engineer to make any alterations. For gas boilers, this means that your engineer must be Gas Safe registered, while for oil boilers your engineer must also be OFTEC registered.
Looking to replace your oil boiler? D.R. Plumbing & Heating have been serving the North Wales region for over two decades and specialise in oil boiler installation for rural properties. We enjoy a reputation for our friendly, professional and prompt service along with excellent workmanship. Call today to book a free, no-obligation quote. If you would prefer us not to visit you at home, we can also assess your boiler and prepare a quote by video call.
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