Flue liners are an integral part of any chimney, not only do they ensure that your fireplace works safely and efficiently, they also increase the life of your chimney. With that in mind, when picking out a flue liner you will find that there are two types to choose from, the 316 and the 904.
The Difference between 316 and 904
Put simply, the difference between the two grades is the quality with the 904 being the ‘better’ of the two. You’ll find that the 904 grade has a higher grade of stainless steel and therefore is likely to last longer and not suffer from any rust or corrosion. The 316, on the other hand, is a good liner if you are looking to keep within your budget and only burn dry seasoned wood. However, it is not made of a high material grade and so is unlikely to last as long as the 904.
There are some liners available that are a mix of both 904 and 316-grade liners with the 904 on the inside and 316 on the outside. You will find that most specialists will have these type of liners in stock as they save money and perform well. The inner area of the liner protects from any corrosion whilst the outside which is most likely to collect condensation will protect from rust.
When deciding which grade is best for your home you will have to consider the size of your home, the cost and whether or not you are self-installing. Whilst the 316 grade doesn’t last as long, if you are self-installing you may find it easier to buy a cheaper liner and then replace it yourself when necessary. Whilst self-installation does not sound too difficult you must also consider the size of the property. If you are installing in a bungalow it may be a quick and relatively easy job as opposed to a multi-storey property with various twists and turns. For this type of
If you are installing in a bungalow it may be a quick and relatively easy job as opposed to a multi-storey property with various twists and turns. For this type of job, you are likely to need scaffolding which may cost you more than its worth. In this instance, you may want to consider hiring a professional flue installation specialist who can not only ensure that the work done fits the standards of UK Building Regulations but is also likely to save you money. Also, with a larger property in regards to long term costs, installing the 904-grade liner is likely to be more cost-effective.
It is not practical to replace your flue liner every few years in a large property if you have to pay out for the liner and installation all over again. The 904, on the other hand, is estimated to last 30 years plus if properly maintained and cleaned.
Whatever grade of flue liner you decide on, it is advisable that you purchase from a well-established specialist company, preferably that offers installation. Whilst it is tempting to buy a cheaper model online, you will find that in the long term it will not perform as well and is likely to break during installation.