Archive for November, 2015

Today literally took the biscuit, as you might say. First call today was an open fire. Before brushing I checked the flueway with mirror and light. The owner was beside me. I asked him how long since last clean, as it was seriously congested. It could be 3 years he said. I decided that it required a power sweep. The second I switched on motor a deluge started coming down. I could hear my vacuum  coming under pressure. I asked him again about how long since last clean , maybe it was 5 years he said.  By the time I had completed the clean he thinks it may not have been cleaned since the house was built 10 years ago. The quantity of soot collected definitely points towards ten. He felt embarrased about the whole thing and especially since he had no Carbon Monoxide detector fitted. I told him that he and his family were very lucky.
Next stop another open fire. This house had a tenant,  who was living there for 6 years. The chimney had never been cleaned while she lived there. Another potentially dangerous situation.

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The importance of cleaning your chimney at least once a year and also having a Quality Carbon Monoxide alarm (as shown) cannot be stressed half often enough.
For bookings or advice on CO detectors call Nick 0879501001.

Got a call aa few weeks ago from a gentleman in Ferbane Co. Offaly, who was experiencing a poor draw from his stove, fitted three years ago, and had been working perfectly until now.  The stove was installed with a flexi flue in a large brick built chimney in an old house. He told me that the installers had a difficult job, having to open up the chimney breast , to coax the flexi down. The chimney had not been swept since installed, and as he was using good quality fuels, my fear was that there may have been a chance that the flexi may have travelled in a horizontal position, even over a short distance.  This proved to be the case, I think, as at a particular point in my delicate power sweep ,  a deluge of soot came down.

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I visited a log cabin today to investigate the reason why smoke was billowing back into the room from a stanley cooker and also why a treakle like substance was appearing through flue joints. On first inspection my initial reaction was to ask if he had been using turf.  He told me he was and that he knew the turf was damp. When I opened up the inspection eye in the single wall flue I discovered that the 6″ flue was reduced to about a 2″  flueway, blocked up with a solid tar coating. I advised him that he was a lucky man on many accounts as the single wall flue joined the twin wall flue right at the wooden ceiling, with no respect for combustible distances. If the tar build up within the single wall flue had ignited then the log cabin would have been reduced to a heap of ashes in minutes.
On entering the sitting room I discovered a stove had exactly the same flue system. Neither installation had a ventilated fire stop where the flueway passed through the ceiling and I assume the same applies where the flue passes through the ceiling at first floor. I could not see, as it had all been slabbed up. My conclusion on how to solve this life threatening problem is to remove all existing congested flues and start a refit with new flues in compliance with regulations.