Our new house has an oil-fired furnace vented with a stainless steel chimney. After the first year living here we noticed ‘red’ staining running down the side of the chimney.
Over the past 4 years we have had contractors:
a) check the chimney (everything is now stainless steel even the outside chimney cap .. no rust was found)
b) check the furnace (nothing appears wrong)
c) clean the furnace (get normal efficiency, stack temperature and other readings)
d) replace the entire furnace (no effect on the problem)
e) use different oil companies to supply our oil (no neighbors have this problem)
At this time no one is even sure exactly what the ‘red’ stain is: is it metal rusting, the red dye in the oil and/or something else?
None of the major full service oil companies in the RI area we contacted have ever seen or were able to help us with this matter.
I have attached for images:
1) chimney.jpg: photo of the red running down the side of the chimney
2) debris in bottom of furnace.jpg: red debris collected from bottom of furnace during last cleaning
3) debris in chimney.jpg: debris found inside the chimney collected from bottom of furnace during last cleaning
4) top of chimney close up.jpg: close up of the staining that is running down the side of the chimney
So any thoughts or ideas of the cause and how to resolve our mysterious red stain would be great appreciated?