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How often should the chimney be swept ?

 
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: How often should the chimney be swept ? Reply with quote

Now that the heating season should be almost over, I wonder if I need to have the chimney at Mothers swept.
The woodstove has been lit almost every day this winter, for an average of about 8 hours. Last year it was used for only a few days.
The stove is a small one, and can burn coal or wood, but only wood has been used.

The flue consists of semi-flexible pipe inserted into an existing brick chimney.

Sweeping needed every year ? Or every other year ?
What is the general view on this ?
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ujoni08



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Chimney Reply with quote

I have ours swept once a year, before the start of the heating season. I do it then rather than at the end of the previous season, as I can then rest assured that any bird nests, etc. that have appeared in it over the summer will also be cleared ready for the start of Winter.

It's a Morso Squirrel, used daily during Winter, with (dry) wood only. I always light the fire and give it lots of air for a very hot soot-free initial burn. The sweep always says how clean the chimney is, but in my opinion, 35 is cheap, when considering the alternative could be a chimney fire.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would do it anually, and if I didn't keep forgetting I would have it done just after it was finished with for the winter. The deposits and the condensate are acidic, and corrode the flue liner, so getting rid of it will prolong the life of the flue.

To stop birds nesting, fit a bird guard.
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ujoni08



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Bird guard Reply with quote

Flue liner and chimney with bird guard are on my list for the Spring. Very Happy

At present, it's an unlined stone chimney in an 1820s cottage. The chimney was refurbished in 1997 and checked for leaks, but I'd rather have it lined, just to be safe...
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also depends what you've been burning.

Well seasoned ash, sycamore and oak produce soot but little tar. Things like willow and poplar seem to produce lots of soot, but it's fairly dry/dusty. Pine/spruce, and even some deciduous woods like maple and birch, produce far more tar -- which is the stuff that will dry over the summer and then catch fire when you relight the stove at the end of the year.

If you've been burning particularly resinous/unseasoned wood, and your chimney is a bit dodgy, it's worth checking how 'furry' the bottom of the flue is (stick your arm up and feel how sticky the residue up there is) half way through the winter, not just in the spring.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had our current stove about five years now and had it swept for the first time last October. Virtually nothing to sweep...we've burnt mainly new ash and very dry beech, with one year of turf...maybe half a bucketful of grunge?

And they recommend sweeping a chimney twice a year. That would polish it!
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our chimneys are of precast insulated concrete blocks and we burn all sorts of wood with a large proportion of resinous soft wood but always at max setting. I've cleaned them out once in six years and that was after the first year when they were really well clogged, almost blocked. I suppose they were still damp from being built. We do get an accumulation of bits at the bottom in the access hatch which we clean out but the actual flue is clean as a whistle.
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Tarrel



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recommendation is once a year if burning wood, or twice a year if you keep the stove banked up over night (the slower burning creates more tarry deposits apparently).

HTH
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Bird guard Reply with quote

ujoni08 wrote:
Flue liner and chimney with bird guard are on my list for the Spring. Very Happy

At present, it's an unlined stone chimney in an 1820s cottage. The chimney was refurbished in 1997 and checked for leaks, but I'd rather have it lined, just to be safe...


If it's been checked for leaks and found to be ok, don't bother spending money on a liner. They are not immune from problems. If you have got money to spare then http://www.landyvent.co.uk/lining is the only one I would consider. Definitely not a flexible metal one.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be wary if you have boilers in the stove, as they make it run cooler and therefore dirtier. Ours is the only source of heat in the house and in the winter I need to sweep it every 6-8 weeks. Part of that may be due to burning a lot of sweet chestnut in it as well. But I bought my own professional sweep DODGY, so at least it isn't costing me to do it more often...

To be fair though, the instructions with the stove suggested sweeping after every 50 lightings of the fire, and in the winter that's once or twice a day for us.
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mobbsey



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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
Be wary if you have boilers in the stove, as they make it run cooler and therefore dirtier.

Alternately get a heavy gauge chrome steel flue pipe, the sort designed for industrial incinerators, and you can let the creosote/tar burn itself clean whenever it wants to Twisted Evil
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal - lagger wrote:
Our chimneys are of precast insulated concrete blocks and we burn all sorts of wood with a large proportion of resinous soft wood but always at max setting. I've cleaned them out once in six years and that was after the first year when they were really well clogged, almost blocked. I suppose they were still damp from being built. We do get an accumulation of bits at the bottom in the access hatch which we clean out but the actual flue is clean as a whistle.


I don't understand this post Ken. If it was almost blocked after the first year and you have only cleaned it out once, are you not at great risk from a blocked chimney? How do you mean your flue is clean as a whistle? Sorry, but your post is very confusing..... Confused Confused
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ujoni08



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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just noticed these extra replies. Thanks to all.
Woodburner: the Landy Vent looks interesting. Any idea of prices? What problems do normal flexible steel liners give? I guess it's something to do with their small diameter and getting clogged?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chimney now swept at a cost of 36.
It seems a simple task and I am confident that in an emergency I could do it myself.
Whilst times are normal though I prefer the reassurance of having it done professionly.
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