Cleaning a woodburner flue, DIY or not?

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  • Cleaning a woodburner flue, DIY or not?
  • Premier Icon benji
    Subscriber

    Is there access panels in the bends?

    Used to have to sweep our rayburn flue from the top, as the bend was too tight at the bottom to get the rods in. 6″ brush sounds about right for the size flue you describe. You can get short flexible wire wound brushes as well which are ideal for tight short areas.

    Have heard of bits of holly bush tied on a rope being used successfully as well.

    sweepy
    Member

    You’ve seen him do it, what do you reckon?
    I used to do our stove flue, now I do the chimney, both pretty easy in our case but the flue was easier.
    £45 is ripping the arse out of it in my view. Rods are just sticks with a thread at the ends, and i’d go for a brush slightly larger than the flue, but with a bit of flex.
    Just remember to twist the rods clockwise on the way up and down so you dont unscrew the brush.
    All of this with the caveat that I am a cheapskate rather than a master sweep.
    Edit: or a master sweepy

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    I do mine (woodburner and furnace) each year. £30 for 6m of rods and a 150mm nylon brush head. I lend it to my mates as well.

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    Sweepy, it’s like a lot of things, you watch a ‘pro’ doing their job and it always looks easy? It would have to be swept through the stove but once he got the first section pasts the bends it seemed easy enough.

    Cheers Stoner, would drain rods be ok or would I need something more flexy?

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    theyre usually the same thing.

    sweepy
    Member

    Fair point mate, invest another £45 and watch him again, now the ideas there you will pay more attention.
    I use drain rods, or if I dont I cant tell the difference. I did buy a soot hoover to avoid buggering the Mrs one but I reckon once you’ve done it twice you will be well in profit.

    sweepy
    Member

    If you have ladders, a mate of mine used to shut the stove and all the vents, sweep down from the top, then leave it a while for all the soot to settle before opening the door and clearing out the stove. He swore by this method.

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    The time has come to think about booking the chimney sweep.
    But…..it’s got me thinking having watched the guy give the flue it’s first sweep earlier in the year which took all of 5 mins of actual sweeping and ‘looked’ a doddle compared to when he had to sweep the original chimney. This cost £45.

    I know you get piece of mind and a piece of paper that would keep the house insurance people happy but I’m thinking is it worth buying a brush and rods for around the same sort of money and therefore saving dosh in the long run?

    If so what size brush for 150mm flue, 6″ or 7″ and any recommended rods? The outlet pipe from the stove is a swan neck so a double kink.

    Worth thinking about it or leave it to the pros?

    Thanks.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Supposed to do the from chimney down but no one seems to do that. Ours is due and I’m tempted to buy the kit and do it myself.

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    I’d say go for it but be aware that if there is sticky stuff in there you may not actually be cleaning it off.
    Most ‘pro’ sweeps won’t be removing it either though 🙄
    Sweep, then get up on the roof and check down the chimney with a torch to see if it is clean. The dirtiest part should be at the top.

    This one had been swept every six weeks 😯 by a local sweep but the fire was smoking back worse than ever. He told me “there’s a really sharp bend in that chimney, I can hardly get my brush round it” errrm no, that’ll be the build up of tarry crust you’ve never bothered checking out.

    A powersweep with chains sorted it out. This is fine with clay, not fine with steel.

    Pic taken immediately after first sweep had left, 9″ liner looking down with the pot off.
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    Untitled by LOVATSTOVES, on Flickr[/img]

    globalti
    Member

    Just climb on the roof and drop a live chicken down the pot.

    My house insurance wouldn’t be valid if I did it myself.

    boblo
    Member

    @bedmaker. What have you been burning to get it like that?

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    No way I’m getting up on the roof and sweeping it top to bottom that’s for sure!
    Just seen an old thread on this subject and there are a couple of sets of flexy rod & brush sets on ebay for 90 odd quid as well to add to the mix.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    chicken?

    flexi rods and brushes here. I reckon after a couple of years I’ll be sorted, I think what swung it was when the sweep came to do the stoves the last time, there was four stoves in total – never an offer of even a modest discount. Started looking online after that for rods and brushes..

    trail_rat
    Member

    blue “bt” rope – the stuff they use for pulling cables through conduit.

    a 150mm brush head from somewhere like cloud nines link

    a heavy bit of steel/weighty item

    arrange it – heavy weight – rope – brush head – rope

    lower it down the chimney

    pull it up and down the chimney a few times – your weight will need to be sufficient to pull the brush through the crap

    jobs a good un. – this is how the sweep did mine this year – last year i did it with rods from below but my stove was out – even though i have an access T on the bottom i didnt fancy going in from there as the mess would be unbearable.

    will be doing mine as the sweep did next year once ive got a roof ladder sorted out. (when one comes up on gumtree that is) so i can repoint my chimney cap and drop a liner down 😀

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    @boblo – How very dare you suggest that I’d do that to my chimney!

    Twas a clients’ one. Burning lots of wet wood and coal. slumbering the fire for long periods.

    I haven’t swept either of my chimneys for a couple of years now, nothing there to clean. Burning only properly seasoned wood does that 🙂

    trail_rat
    Member

    agree bedmaker – rarely get much out of mines tbh – maybe a couple of cup fulls. took the guy longer to get his ladder off the van than to sweep the chimney.

    once i get a ladder itll be a 20 minute job start to finish – worth it for peace of mind though.

    winds me up something rotten when i watch friends slumber their fire as par for course to “get more heat into the room” then watching their windows cloud over black and wondering why.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    trail_rat – RE the mess, I use an old pillow case, gaffer taped to the end of the flue so that it hangs down like a ballsack. A small hole just below the flue opening for the rod to stick out. Then brush away with all the soot falling into the pillow case.

    boblo
    Member

    Aaaahhhh, ok. Ta.

    I’ve not swept my chimney (well 1.0m x 0.7m ‘hole’ straight up to the roof) in 15 years. I only burn very well seasoned wood and probably 1-2 chords p/a. Should be reet….. what could possibly go wrong?

    trail_rat
    Member

    boblo your not alone – my granddads been burning wood for the 27 years ive been alive + more – when i asked him when he last had his chimney swept he said – he had it done in prep for when he/we fitted the liner 6 years ago – got very little out of it.

    that was the first time since they moved there he said.

    i believe he moved to the house when my dad was 14. they always burnt everything – pallets , construction waste , tanalised timbers , good wood (he was a tree surgeon) – but it was their only source of heating and always burned hard and hot.

    im a little more cautious than them – i am in a semi detatched house so it affects more than just me so not worth the risk.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    The best ‘mess free’ method I’ve seen was a chimney sweep using a large foam block, with a hole in the middle. He shoved this up the chimney a few inches, swept through it, so all the much landed on top of it and then fed the vacuum through it to suck it all up. My current Chimney Sweep uses a spring loaded sack thing, but it’s no where near as good. Can’t remember who the first guy was, otherwise I’d use him again.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Well just done mine with thanks to cloudnine for the links to toolstation. Dead easy it was trickiest part was the first rod to get into the stove after they followed each other, nice clean flu now.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    we got an access door in one of our flues, so that one was easy peasy. have yet to do the other flue, should probably do it before winter sets in properly

    didn’t get much crud out of the first one though, despite previous owner reputedly burning some very smokey coal/wood

    winds me up something rotten when i watch friends slumber their fire as par for course to “get more heat into the room” then watching their windows cloud over black and wondering why

    if only they knew they were actually getting less heat into the room, eh?

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    I ended up getting THIS SET, a bit pricey but 3 sweeps and it’s paid for itself.
    Cleaned mates flue nicely, the flexi rods got round the 45 degree bends pretty easily.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    Yes, looks pricey, but if the greater flexibility than drain rods is what you need then it should do you well.

    slackalice
    Member

    Top tip: Purge the stove before going to bed, ie burn it with vents open. That will reduce your soot build up and CO emissions. Also don’t use tantalised timber.

    A proper sweep will also include checking the fire bricks/liner within the stove, the fire rope seal and general condition of your stove too.

    Do this once a year and the job is relatively straightforward.

    To start dissing someone that they charge £45 or whatever for doing it when they have to travel to you, run a van, dispose of the soot and make sure your room is not covered in soot… And your hourly rate for sitting in front of a PC is what exactly? 🙄

    Tradesmen who get their hands dirty charge not nearly as much as white collar workers shocker!

    Premier Icon granny_ring
    Subscriber

    Calm down Slack just my opinion!
    If you feel that charging that amount for that length of time sweeping is good business sense then that’s fine, I dont and think they have made a poor decision doing that.
    If the well know franchise sweeping company had a different price for the easy sweeping of flues as apposed to chimneys then I doubt I would have even gone down this road. Reckon they will be losing business with the ‘one price charge’ up to them though isn’t it?

Viewing 29 posts - 1 through 29 (of 29 total)

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