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Verifying chimney


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7 minutes ago, Muddy42 said:

...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.

Hmm ..point(s) taken. 

thanks

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I wouldn't even consider using an old brick flue for a solid fuel burner. If the mortar hasn't decayed to powder yet, it will at some point. A liner will avoid future headaches. Doubly important in a terraced house because you could potentially emit fumes and carbon monoxide into a neighbour's property with all sorts of ramifications. 

Also, brick flues hold a lot more soot and debris than stainless liners and log burner produce a lot more heat than open fires. A solid fuel burner in an old dirty brick flue ups the potential for a chimney fire. Get it lined. Plenty of people on here who can help with the best specification and HETA regs etc.

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1 hour ago, Muddy42 said:

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

 

By all means then bring in a professional before you use the fire properly and so your @rse is covered with youhe camera footage isn't that helpful, it won't be able to see the kind of small cracks that let smoke out for example.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reply Gimlet

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2 hours ago, Gimlet said:

I wouldn't even consider using an old brick flue for a solid fuel burner. If the mortar hasn't decayed to powder yet, it will at some point. A liner will avoid future headaches. Doubly important in a terraced house because you could potentially emit fumes and carbon monoxide into a neighbour's property with all sorts of ramifications. 

Also, brick flues hold a lot more soot and debris than stainless liners and log burner produce a lot more heat than open fires. A solid fuel burner in an old dirty brick flue ups the potential for a chimney fire. Get it lined. Plenty of people on here who can help with the best specification and HETA regs etc.

Well, I have run two stoves and two open fires, all with original clay lining.  Touch wood, I have never had a chimney fire but I am scrupulous about keeping the fires small, cleaning the flues (twice a year for the open fires), creosote treatment and always using dry wood.  The flues are long with corners, difficult and expensive to reline.  I know the risks but would rather manage the situation until they need attention. 

 

To be clear I didn't recommend the OP use the flue without lining, just that he should check it himself before paying for help. Don't get me wrong, I am not against re-lining when the flue is actually leaking, another open flue is scheduled for an expensive furnaflex lining later on in the year. If you go for stainless steel watch out for cowboys and be prepare to replace the liner in <10 years.

Edited by Muddy42
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2 hours ago, Muddy42 said:

To be clear I didn't recommend the OP use the flue without lining, just that he should check it himself before paying for help.

I'd agree with that but most people will be paying for installers and the relative small cost of a sweep as peace of mind to do a check I think is worth it. Not sure of minimum quantities for things but might be that a smoke 'grenade' has a minimum order of say 10 (at retail prices) (when OP only wants 1), plus the cost of a set of brushes for the brick flue... plus the extra for smaller brush for liner, and if OP wants to send a camera along it, that hire cost - all adds up and getting a professional in to do it might not be a lot more.

 

So yes I would do a quick check first - assumed most people here at a minimum would chine a torch up to have a look and perhaps a -small- newspaper fire (smelly smoke) to see if the chimney draws - maybe that is just me and what I would do assuming others would do the same.

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I had mine swept in October. A sweep, camera inspection, stove service, smoke test and CO test and certificate was under £100. Not worth faffing around yourself for that price And if you're in a semi or terraced house and a neighbour ever tries to claim that your flue is unsafe or leaking into their property, at least you can prove that you've had a professional inspection.

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