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Need a chimney sweep in the Minehead area.

 
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adam2
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Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Need a chimney sweep in the Minehead area. Reply with quote

Is anyone able to recommend a chimney sweep in the Minehead/Dunster area of Somerset.
I have previously always had this done by a local firm, Ben Bowman, but they have ceased trading.
There are numerous fairly local chimney sweeps listed on line, but I would prefer a personal recommendation rather than one selected at random.
Last night my carbon monoxide alarm operated for no obvious reason, and whilst I do not suspect a blockage in the flue, I do not intend to use the stove again without investigation.
Meanwhile I am back to the old Tilley infra red radiator, which the cat regards as a very poor substitute for the stove.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Need a chimney sweep in the Minehead area. Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Is anyone able to recommend a chimney sweep in the Minehead/Dunster area of Somerset.
I have previously always had this done by a local firm, Ben Bowman, but they have ceased trading.
There are numerous fairly local chimney sweeps listed on line, but I would prefer a personal recommendation rather than one selected at random.
Last night my carbon monoxide alarm operated for no obvious reason, and whilst I do not suspect a blockage in the flue, I do not intend to use the stove again without investigation.
Meanwhile I am back to the old Tilley infra red radiator, which the cat regards as a very poor substitute for the stove.

Have you looked up the chimney yourself? A small mirror stuck in through the clean out door or the pipe thimble will give you a view of the flue to the sky. Done mid day there should be plenty of light from above so no flashlight necessary.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I tried but could see nothing.
It is an old stone chimney that been lined with a semi flexible stainless steel flue liner, this has slight curves and prevents looking up it.

Meanwhile back to the Tilley infra red radiator which is not entirely adequate, and that the cat considers to be a very poor substitute for the stove.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chimney now swept and stove back in use, much to the delight of the cat Smile

It did however seem a lot of money to pay for what seemed like 30 minutes not very hard work.
Is there any reason why I should not do it my self in future and save about £50 ?
I already have a set of drain rods, and flue brushes to fit same are sold everywhere at modest prices.
I do of course have dust sheets and an industrial vacuum cleaner.
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is one of the easiest trades to learn. There are professional courses and accreditation s that are required for house insurance acceptance, but these only require a week or two of training. I did consider it as a late career switch.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same brushes and rods the cleaners used will certainly do the job again.
£1.5 a minute? Nice work if you can get it.
I have a double forty foot chimney with a large wood burning furnace working on the right flue. It has occasionally had green wood burned in it but other then taking a bushel or so of soot out of the clean out doors yearly I have yet to clean it or have it cleaned in the thirty years sense I built it. The trick is to build a very hot fire at least once a week that gets the chimney above 250 degrees F. all the way to the top. Any built up creosote boils off to dry ash and falls to the bottom leaving a full clean cross section. In practice I give it a good burn every morning getting the house up to temp before HRH gets up and gets ready for work.
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Little John



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Chimney now swept and stove back in use, much to the delight of the cat Smile

It did however seem a lot of money to pay for what seemed like 30 minutes not very hard work.
Is there any reason why I should not do it my self in future and save about £50 ?
I already have a set of drain rods, and flue brushes to fit same are sold everywhere at modest prices.
I do of course have dust sheets and an industrial vacuum cleaner.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N1uUA4KZ2g
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
Chimney now swept and stove back in use, much to the delight of the cat Smile

It did however seem a lot of money to pay for what seemed like 30 minutes not very hard work.
Is there any reason why I should not do it my self in future and save about £50 ?
I already have a set of drain rods, and flue brushes to fit same are sold everywhere at modest prices.
I do of course have dust sheets and an industrial vacuum cleaner.

I do mine myself every 6 weeks over the winter (boiler stove, so it burns cooler and makes more soot), and have it done professionally once a year so I have a certificate for insurance purposes.

But I'd recommend against drain rods - I tried them, and they aren't very flexible. My sweep recommended nylon rods, and I bought a set and a brush from the company he recommended:
https://www.thewakefieldbrush.com/collections/rods/products/superflex-nylon-rod

They're incredibly flexible, easily go through the back of the stove and turn the corner up into the stovepipe.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The paid for chimney sweeps used drain rods, but as you point out, they are not ideal for this purpose.

My chimney is hard to sweep from the stove, the usual but potentially messy approach has been to remove one section of vertical flue pipe, and then sweep from there.
The joints are then remade with fire cement.

The more flexible nylon rods featured would probably permit of sweeping from within the stove. Remaking the flue joint with fire cement would still be prudent after the disturbance.

I have carefully kept the certificates or receipts from previous chimney sweeping but the insurance company have never asked for them.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our chimney sweep uses nylon rods. I found that sweeping through the stove makes much less mess - our stove pipe has an access hatch at the base, so I take that off and fasten a bag over it, while sweeping through the stove. All the soot just drops into the bag...

Our stove uses fire-rope to seal the join between the stove outlet and the stovepipe, rather than cement - easy to push back on if it comes loose during sweeping.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
The paid for chimney sweeps used drain rods, but as you point out, they are not ideal for this purpose.

My chimney is hard to sweep from the stove, the usual but potentially messy approach has been to remove one section of vertical flue pipe, and then sweep from there.
The joints are then remade with fire cement.

The more flexible nylon rods featured would probably permit of sweeping from within the stove. Remaking the flue joint with fire cement would still be prudent after the disturbance.

I have carefully kept the certificates or receipts from previous chimney sweeping but the insurance company have never asked for them.

I'm having a hard time picturing your setup. Usually there is at least a 24" length of pipe and one elbow between the stove and the thimble where the pipe enters a chimney. Is yours set into a old fireplace by chance?
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RenewableCandy



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you actually do train as a sweep you can also hire yourself out, in full smutty regalia, to bring people good luck at weddings Very Happy
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adam2
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:

I'm having a hard time picturing your setup. Usually there is at least a 24" length of pipe and one elbow between the stove and the thimble where the pipe enters a chimney. Is yours set into a old fireplace by chance?


In my case, the flue pipe exits the top of the stove and ascends vertically for about a meter, then passes through a 45 degree bend, this connects to a second 45 degree bend that is set into the stone wall. Within the wall, the second 45 degree bend is connected to the semi flexible flue liner which ascends more or less vertically to the top of the chimney.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:

I'm having a hard time picturing your setup. Usually there is at least a 24" length of pipe and one elbow between the stove and the thimble where the pipe enters a chimney. Is yours set into a old fireplace by chance?


In my case, the flue pipe exits the top of the stove and ascends vertically for about a meter, then passes through a 45 degree bend, this connects to a second 45 degree bend that is set into the stone wall. Within the wall, the second 45 degree bend is connected to the semi flexible flue liner which ascends more or less vertically to the top of the chimney.
Curious and curiouser. Usually pipe connections that need to be taken apart for routine cleaning are secured with three to four sheet metal screws per joint not furnace cement. Brushes should work up through a forty five with no problem as I can work them through a six inch thimble into an eight inch square flue. (terracotta inside concrete block) which amounts to almost a 90 degree bend.
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