Chimneys and flues: Don't forget the neighbours!

16.01.2018
Blog Post
Collection of chimneys

Diagram 17 from Approved Document J - chimneys and flues

Approved Document J outlines the precautions needed to ensure that smoke and gases from appliances can be safely discharged. Diagrams 17 and 18 highlight the outlet heights needed in relation to traditional roofs and easily ignited coverings such as thatch and shingles.

In general, outlets need to be at least 600mm above the ridge where they are on or within 600mm of the ridge itself (A). If the flue or chimney is elsewhere its height needs to be lifted until the termination point is 2300mm from the roof covering when measured horizontally and at least 1000mm high or at least as high as the ridge (B).

Extract from Approved Document J - flues and chimneys

What have the neighbours to do with it..?

There are also requirements if there are other buildings within 2300mm of the ‘regulated building’.

So adjoining buildings less than a drive width away from the chimney also impose a requirement to raise the outlet at least 600mm above any part of the adjoining building (D).

This could cause problems on sloping sites or on infill developments with the chimney or flue needing to be higher than normal. Don’t forget that Approved Document A also places a structural requirement for chimney height to be no more than 4.5 times its width (2D1 and Diagram 20).

So the higher a chimney, the larger it needs to be. There is also a requirement (AD J 2.8) for flues to be at least 4.5m measured from the highest point of air entry – which could be the top of a fireplace opening. For bungalows this means that termination may be significantly higher than 600mm above the ridge. 

Further information

Building Regulations Part J 

Building Regulations Part J (Wales)

Guide to installing solid fuel stoves

 

Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the user’s professional judgement. It is the responsibility of the dutyholder or person carrying out the work to ensure compliance with relevant building regulations or applicable technical standards.

Comments

Wood burners

Submitted 1 flwyddyn 8 mis ago

We have one of these units next door the smoke enters our bungalow we feel the chimney is to low on our side and also to close to our property ,Could you give us the the distance the chimney should be from our back door also height it should be .
Thanx Mick.

Reply

Submitted 1 flwyddyn 4 mis ago

Hello there - thanks for leaving your comment.

Relevant dimensions are indicated in the table shown in the article and will depend on the height above the opening together with the horizontal distance. We would advise you to discuss the matter with your local authority for further information.

Kind regards,
LABC


Reply

Submitted 1 flwyddyn 3 mis ago

Hello there

Apologies for the delay getting back to you on this one. Here's the reply from our technical team:

Relevant dimensions are indicated in the table shown in the article and will depend on height above the opening together with the horizontal distance. We would advise you to discuss the matter with your local authority for further information.

Kind regards
Julie, LABC

Log burner

Submitted 1 flwyddyn 4 mis ago

Our Neighbour has installed (unqualified) a log burner. Its less than 2.5 mtrs from our bedroom window from which smoke enters the bedroom But worse than that the embers have melted holes in our polycarbonate conservatory roof panels. What can I do?

Log burner on a neighbour's wall

Submitted 7 mis ago

Next door neighbour has installed a wood burner up against the wall, which when lit for a wee while will burn your hand if you put it on the wall. Surely something like that is illegal, apart from being utterly dangerous..?

LABC response

Submitted 6 mis ago

The guidance contained in Approved Document J – Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems (2010 edition incorporating 2010 and 2013 amendments) provides guidance in support of Building Regulation requirements J1-J7 (inclusive) of Schedule 1. In particular Requirement J4 is relevant. In Wales the guidance is similarly contained in Approved Document J (2010 edition incorporating 2010 amendments).

Protection of building J4.
Combustion appliances and fluepipes shall be so installed, and fireplaces and chimneys shall be so constructed and installed, as to reduce to a reasonable level the risk of people suffering burns or the building catching fire in consequence of their use.

Section 2 of the guidance deals with appliances burning solid fuel, with a rated output up to 50kW and in particular the guidance in paragraphs 2.32 and 2.33 and that contained in diagram 30 (inserted below for information) is relevant.

page 42 of Approved Document J | Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200135/approved_documents/72/part_j_-_combustion_appliances_and_fuel_storage_systems

Best,
LABC team

Wood burning stove

Submitted 6 mis ago

Hi, can you clarify the 2300 mm distance please? Our neighbours have a new stove and it’s stinking our house out. It’s 2500 from their wall to ours but only 2200 from our wall to the outside of their flue pipe liner. They have gone about 600 over their roof but are meters below the pitch of our roof. Consequence of this is that smoke is bellowing straight into our bathroom. Thanks.

LABC response

Submitted 5 mis ago

Hi,
Thank you for your enquiry. Relevant dimensions will depend on the flue termination height above the adjoining building together with the horizontal distance as indicated by Point D in the table and diagram of the article. We are unable to comment on individual situations and would advise you to discuss the matter with your local authority for further clarification.

You can find the contact details of the relevant local authority by entering your postcode in the search box at the top right-hand side of our website.

Best,
LABC team

Flue Living Fireplace

Submitted 6 mis ago

Hello,

Any help would be appreciated. My parents' neighbours have installed a 'living fireplace' with a flue located about halfway up the side wall of their property. It is positioned directly between two windows of my parents property (with a distance of about 2 and a half metres between the windows of my parents' home and the flu). Is this legal?

Best wishes,

Tim

LABC response

Submitted 5 mis ago

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your enquiry. The article highlights guidance given for the termination of flues serving solid fuel appliances within Approved Document J which can be viewed by following the link above. Relevant dimensions will depend on the height of the flue termination above the adjoining building together with the horizontal distance as indicated by Point D in the table and diagram of the article. We are unable to comment on individual situations and would advise you to discuss the matter with your local authority for further clarification.

You can find the contact details of the relevant local authority by entering your postcode in the search box at the top right-hand side of our website.

Best,
LABC team

Ychwanegu sylw newydd

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Sign up to the building bulletin newsletter

Over 48,000 construction professionals have already signed up for the LABC Building Bulletin.

Join them and receive useful tips, practical technical information and industry news by email once every 6 weeks.

Subscribe to the Building Bulletin