Fireplace 1 causes smoke in fireplace 2

CT, United States   

I have an old colonial that was renovated (spray foam, very tight).  I had a moron mason rebuild the center chimney.  I have a large kitchen fireplace that has two flues and a brick oven (separate flue). 

Behind it in the parlor is another fireplace (separate flue). 

Upstairs I have two bedrooms each with a small fireplace (each has its own flue). 

When I light the kitchen fireplace I can smell smoke in one of the bedrooms. 

The chimney has new dampers on the top of the chimney.  Smoke can be seen in the flue. 

If I open the bedroom flue smoke pours in. 

I called a chimney sweep and he indicated the top dampers look sealed and suggested installing a liner in the big fireplace because the clay pipe might be cracked and its leaking into the chimney. 

Does this sound correct? 

I already paid a ton of money on the chimney. there is an air vent in each chimney put it does not appear to be pulling air in.


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by ChimneyChick | November 25, 2016 ChimneyChick's avatar
Midland, Ontario

Totally feasible explanation. If the chimney shatres different flues and one flue channel has cracked tiles, smoke will find a way into the most minute crack and migrate tothe other flue.
Also, as you say your home is TIGHT so the house may have a breathing problem when you have the fireplaces on with any other item that pulls air OUT of the home envelope. IE another fireplace, bathroom or kitchen fan, the dryer, etc etc.
The chimney being the largest opening in the home will be the one the house breathes air into the home thru,
So when you put on the main floor fireplaces the house inhales thru the upstairs chimneys.
Best to have them all sealed with Locking Damper type caps.
If the problem persists then you may have a cracked interior chimnmey and that means employ a Qualified Sweep to Scan the interior of the chimneys with their video equipment

Smoke Signals: Have a question about your chimney?