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Chimney Sweeping
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Dave NE



Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 10 8:13 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

I think it was 4 x 4 who mentioned door glass cleaning, an easy and free way is to use a damp cloth and dab it onto the ashes, the soot/crud will come straight off with little effort, buff with a dry cloth and job done, cheers Dave NE

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6517
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 10 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use newspaper instead of a cloth...then when its done i just pop it in as lighting material (and no need to clean a cloth)

County4x4



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 80
Location: Carnforth, Lancashire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 10 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's a trick best done with wood ash - coal ash can sometimes be a bit abrasive and scratch your lovely glass!

Andy

Mithril



Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 1755
Location: wessex
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry to jump in, but as there are at least two sweeps on this thread...

How essential is it for a chimney to be lined? I'm pretty sure one of my chimneys isn't (house built in 1929). It's just an open fire place, no wood burner or anything.

The other working chimney has a parkray fitted and is, or rather was, lined, but I'm pretty sure he last sweep didn't realise until too late and pushed the liner to the top! (Haven't been able to use it since as I can't afford to have someone in to get it out).

I'd really like to use the open fireplace this year - it's only had two years off since the house was built and no problems so far.

chicken feed



Joined: 27 Aug 2009
Posts: 2677

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

we usually do ours ourselfs but this year due to beeing rushed here there and everywhere we decided to get someone in, i left 5 messages on different sweeps answer machines only 1 phoned back he came last week and did his job 29 per chimmney


i wont bother phoning round next time if they cant get back to me they cant want the work.i will be recomending the guy we used.

County4x4



Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 80
Location: Carnforth, Lancashire
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sweeps not returning calls is not at all uncommon unfortunately - I always make sure our answerphone is cleared before bed time and a lot of people sound really grateful that you've bothered to phone them back!! Can't figure out why people advertise and then don't return calls - but there you go!

As far as chimney lining goes - many stove installers will not fit a stove to an unlined chimney. There is a common misconception that this is a case of the installer trying to screw more money out of the job. In many cases, it's the installer covering their back against the custy phoning up two years down the line and saying they have tarry stains and smells in their upstairs bedrooms - and what's the installer going to do about it!

There is a far smaller amount of draught going up a chimney from a stove than from an open fire - which will chuck multiple roomfulls of gas out the chimney pot every hour. You may have noticed that smoke from a chimney serving a stove looks very "lazy" as opposed to an open fire which may well look like a steam train chimney. Because there's a lot less draught, and less heat in the upper reaches of the flue, smoke from the stove - particularly if burning wood at less than optimum moisture - can easily condense inside the chimney, and the condensates can gradually eat their way through the mortar joints until they get to the inside of your bedroom.

So - if you're having a stove in that particular flueway - a liner is the best way to go, even if you have a "perfectly good chimney that's been in use for the past 80 years without any problems" or whatever. If you're keeping the open fire, providing the flue is in good condition, a liner is not so necessary. The gas tightness can be tested with smoke pellets. A proper test is NOT lighting a pellet in the fireplace and watching the smoke come out the pot - all that demonstrates is a draught - though it may show up any major leakage points. A proper test involves sealing the bottom and top of the chimney once the smoke pellet is burning - the smoke then pressurises the flue slightly and shows any leaks. There is also a more expensive test where everything is sealed up and then a pump pressurises the flue - and any pressure drop over a period of time is recorded digitally. The machine then issues a pass or fail result.

I'd always recommend using a proper sweep - though it has to be said that going for one having a certificate or two does not necessarily mean you'll get a good job or good advice for that matter. I've followed one local HETAS registered big company onto four or five jobs in the past year, and some of the advice they've dished out has been frightening. They've also condemned a liner less than three months old as being breached - when it was nothing of the sort. The neighbour had a great big hole directly into the flue at the back of his airing cupboard - which was where the chimney smell was coming from - NOT from my custys brand new liner! Big company never even spotted that. They would have been very happy to come out the following week and charge him 700 to replace it though! They also swept my custys chimney and knocked two holes in his wall to inspect the liner before condemning it - 120 please. I swept it three days later and got what I'd consider a normal amount of soot for a years burning out of it - my customer was not very impressed with the service they'd given to say the least! I also did a proper smoke test - they'd just draught tested it - not a whiff of smoke anywhere. Been back to him today as it happens to fit a pot and I'll be going back again come burning season.

Hope that helps a bit!
Cheers,

Andy

Mithril



Joined: 22 Jul 2011
Posts: 1755
Location: wessex
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

County4x4 wrote:

As far as chimney lining goes - many stove installers will not fit a stove to an unlined chimney. There is a common misconception that this is a case of the installer trying to screw more money out of the job. In many cases, it's the installer covering their back against the custy phoning up two years down the line and saying they have tarry stains and smells in their upstairs bedrooms - and what's the installer going to do about it!

There is a far smaller amount of draught going up a chimney from a stove than from an open fire - which will chuck multiple roomfulls of gas out the chimney pot every hour. You may have noticed that smoke from a chimney serving a stove looks very "lazy" as opposed to an open fire which may well look like a steam train chimney. Because there's a lot less draught, and less heat in the upper reaches of the flue, smoke from the stove - particularly if burning wood at less than optimum moisture - can easily condense inside the chimney, and the condensates can gradually eat their way through the mortar joints until they get to the inside of your bedroom.

So - if you're having a stove in that particular flueway - a liner is the best way to go, even if you have a "perfectly good chimney that's been in use for the past 80 years without any problems" or whatever. If you're keeping the open fire, providing the flue is in good condition, a liner is not so necessary. The gas tightness can be tested with smoke pellets. A proper test is NOT lighting a pellet in the fireplace and watching the smoke come out the pot - all that demonstrates is a draught - though it may show up any major leakage points. A proper test involves sealing the bottom and top of the chimney once the smoke pellet is burning - the smoke then pressurises the flue slightly and shows any leaks. There is also a more expensive test where everything is sealed up and then a pump pressurises the flue - and any pressure drop over a period of time is recorded digitally. The machine then issues a pass or fail result.
....

Hope that helps a bit!
Cheers,

Andy


It has - thanks

Green Man



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5272
Location: Rural Scotland.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've just bought my wife a new chimney brush and locking rods after we lost the brush up there for a wee while last year. (Didn't really buy it for her, but bought it on her birthday so pretended I had). 'spose I better do them soon, thanks for reminder. Talking of dangers, one summer before sweeping we had a thunder explosion above our house and the soot fell down and filled the room. (not nice) Blooming Thor!

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 6708
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ah well, Thor was looking after you, showing there was soot to be cleaned

Monki magic



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 161
Location: Stockport
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well it's still school holidays I'm sure a few of the kids are getting bored now and all spends are gone. They could be put to use I'm sure

MikeM



Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 76
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

does anyone have a link to the brushes mentioned for cleaning lined chimneys? We had ours done back in the spring (when the log burner was installed) so they won't need doing this year (think we had about 20 burns in all) but they'd be useful this time next year and the way everything seems to shoot up in price over a year I'd rather be prepared now.

Mutton



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 1508

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Because its Saturday night, here's a daft-ish question. Read of putting an (old) shot gun in at the bottom of the chimney and blasting it clean.
Supposed to be especially good for bird nest blocked chimneys.

Any comments?

(Other than don't )

12Bore



Joined: 15 Jun 2008
Posts: 9088
Location: Paddling in the Mersey
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mutton wrote:
Because its Saturday night, here's a daft-ish question. Read of putting an (old) shot gun in at the bottom of the chimney and blasting it clean.

Any comments?

(Other than don't )

That'll teach Santa!

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41988
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mutton wrote:


(Other than don't )


No comment then. (But if you decide to try it I think that you should video it and stick it in youtube.)

Bulgarianlily



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 1667
Location: South West Mountains of Bulgaria
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 11 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Here in Bulgaria every house has several working chimneys. They are built out of special chimney bricks, and you fit them with clean out doors at the base. The stoves fit into the chimneys via a round opening high in the wall and in the summer the stoves move out and a small circular door is put in the hole. As the brick tubes are smooth inside it is easy to clean them, althogh I don't suggest you do as my neighbours do and drop a load of petrol down from the roof and then lit a fire inside the clean out door! All internal stove pipe, i.e. from stove to chimney is taken down every six weeks in the winter and cleaned out with a long handled wire brush. Another brush is sold which has a loop top and bottom, this is dropped down the brick chimney and vigoriously pulled back and forth to loosen the soot.

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