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Verifying chimney


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Hello, I recently moved into an old miners terrace cottage with two flues, both with vents in 'plate'? just above lintol inside flue. I am considering using one for a wood burner. What would be a simple method to determine if the flue is still potentially useable. I am wondering if removing vent and placing coloured smoke 'bomb?  would at least indicate there's a through passage?

 

Any comments, thoughts appreciated.

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Chances are the chimney will be pretty well blocked,  get a proffesional chimney sweep in to clean it.

 

If you do install a stove the mortar between the bricks will likely have eroded and would allow smoke into you or next doors property,  therefore please make sure a stainless steel flue liner system is installed.

 

A

Edited by Alycidon
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If you haven't used the chimney before and not sure when it was last used I would get a professional in to sweep, smoke test and inspect it - mine wasn't that much more than just a basic sweep, They should be able to spot potential problems.

 

if you are getting a stove in I would get a liner in the chimney too, so the inspection might sound pointless however it might also show any serious problems you might miss doing it yourself. if using a liner then the flue is more than likely to be OK for that.

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7 hours ago, Steven P said:

If you haven't used the chimney before and not sure when it was last used I would get a professional in to sweep, smoke test and inspect it 

 

 

Thanks for this. What did the inspection of the chimney consist of?  Yesterday I started to wonder whether there are now remotely controlled 'crawlers' with lights and cameras as are used in drains.?

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3 hours ago, StillHere said:

Thanks for this. What did the inspection of the chimney consist of?  Yesterday I started to wonder whether there are now remotely controlled 'crawlers' with lights and cameras as are used in drains.?

Camera on the end of a sweeping pole,  linked to a tablet or laptop.

 

A

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If I were you (and you are reasonably handy) I would still sweep and smoke test the chimney before you pay for a professional. 

 

- If there is a birds nest, you will easily disturb it

- If there is rubble blocking the chimney it will be pretty obvious.  Also try without the brush or a smaller brush.

- If there is lots of loose mortar this will be obvious from the soot.

 

Sweeping a chimney is not difficult, just keep screwing the rods "on" so they don't separate. Use the correctly sized brush. Also you could brush from the top if you can gain access safely.  Then shine a torch up. Then prime the chimney with a heater and smoke test. If its all good, then light a small kindling fire (in the daytime) and check outside and inside for any smoke where it shouldn't be. Check the fireplaces and chimneys that share the same stack.  Check attics and lift a few floor boards.

 

By all means then bring in a professional before you use the fire properly and so your @rse is covered with your house insurance.  But you won't have wasted your money on the obvious stuff. A steel liner is a good idea for a stove, but make sure its done properly, the cheap ones can cause fires.

 

I'm afraid I have not been happy with the last two sweeps I have used.  One left a lot of soot in the chimney and both weren't diligent enough.  They sweep at a distance with the vacuum running and don't have a "feel" for what is happening to the rods.  The camera footage isn't that helpful, it won't be able to see the kind of small cracks that let smoke out for example.

 

 

 

 

 

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