To heat their own homes, many res­i­dents of our vast, use stoves, boil­ers, fire­places and oth­er indi­vid­ual heat­ing devices that run on gas, sol­id and liq­uid fuels. Their reli­a­bil­i­ty and per­for­mance depend not only on the ser­vice­abil­i­ty and qual­i­ty of fuel com­bus­tion, but also on the draft in the smoke ducts.

The prob­lem of using indi­vid­ual heat­ing instal­la­tions is that, regard­less of the fuel, the chim­ney soon­er or lat­er becomes clogged with soot. The soot lay­er on the walls of the chim­ney reduces its cross-sec­tion­al area, which leads to a decrease in draft. In addi­tion, soot burns quite well, increas­ing the risk of fire. To ensure the qual­i­ty and safe oper­a­tion of heat­ing appli­ances, the chim­ney should be cleaned. About clean­ing the chim­neys of stoves and fire­places from soot, meth­ods for remov­ing block­ages, the tools that are need­ed for this, and will be dis­cussed in this pub­li­ca­tion.


Why is the chimney clogged?

Smoke ducts can become clogged, and there are a num­ber of rea­sons for this:

  • Trash. Most often, foliage and “ubiq­ui­tous” plas­tic bags fall into a chim­ney that is not equipped with an umbrel­la or deflec­tor. These items burn beau­ti­ful­ly, but the stove and fire­place require draft to ignite, which they reduce.
  • Bird nests. If you rarely use stove heat­ing, then such a pro­tect­ed place as a chim­ney can be cho­sen by birds for breed­ing. Birds fly away, but nests remain.
  • Soot. It inevitably set­tles on the walls of the chim­ney dur­ing the com­bus­tion of fuel. When burn­ing gas — less is released, when burn­ing coal or fire­wood (espe­cial­ly tar­ry rocks) — more.

The chim­ney can also become clogged from burn­ing raw fire­wood and house­hold waste, espe­cial­ly poly­eth­yl­ene, in the fur­nace. The rate of soot over­growth of smoke chan­nels is also affect­ed by the design of the chim­neys them­selves and the qual­i­ty of their man­u­fac­ture. Any ledge or cement build-up increas­es the con­cen­tra­tion of soot in that area.A gathering of birds in the chimney shaft

When does a chimney need to be cleaned?

Clean­ing the smoke paths from var­i­ous kinds of block­ages is nec­es­sary for the high-qual­i­ty removal of com­bus­tion prod­ucts and for fire safe­ty pur­pos­es. The main signs of a clogged pipe are:

  • The flame from a lit match is deflect­ed towards the room.
  • Dif­fi­cul­ty in light­ing the stove. You should know that a large fire­place insert allows you to kin­dle fire­wood even with poor draft.
  • Smoke from the com­bus­tion of fuel exits the com­bus­tion cham­ber into the room. Acrid puffs of smoke are not just a nui­sance, they are a sharp increase in the con­cen­tra­tion of car­bon monox­ide in the room.
  • Smoke col­or. White and almost trans­par­ent smoke comes out of a clean chim­ney. Black smoke bil­lows from a smok­er clogged with soot.Black smoke as a sign of chimney cleaning
  • The col­or of the flame in a stove with clean smoke ducts will be light orange. Sat­u­rat­ed “orange col­or” says that the chim­ney must be urgent­ly cleaned of soot.

Many of our com­pa­tri­ots do not know how and how to clean the chim­ney from soot and debris.

Basic cleaning methods

The main and most cor­rect action when ser­vic­ing a chim­ney is to con­tact a spe­cial ser­vice that will car­ry out all the nec­es­sary prepara­to­ry mea­sures for your mon­ey and do the “dirty work”, more­over, with a qual­i­ty guar­an­tee. If you are not will­ing to pay “your hard-earned mon­ey” for the work that you are able to do your­self (in your opin­ion), then you just need to get acquaint­ed with a few of the most com­mon meth­ods for clean­ing flue pipes.Manual cleaning tool

Mechanical cleaning

Do-it-your­self clas­sic chim­ney clean­ing involves prepara­to­ry work and the use of spe­cial tools.

Prepara­to­ry activ­i­ties:

  1. Close the com­bus­tion cham­ber tight­ly. If you intend to clean the chim­ney of an open-hearth fire­place, then cov­er the com­bus­tion cham­ber with a damp cloth to pre­vent soot and debris from enter­ing the room.
  2. Pre­pare a safe­ty rope in case of a fall from the roof.

Do not car­ry out any work in rain, ice or windy con­di­tions.

Work tool:

  • Scraper.
  • Brush for clean­ing chim­neys with a type-set­ting han­dle.
  • Ershik. The most com­mon­ly used met­al brush­es and brush­es. The diam­e­ter of this device should be sev­er­al cen­time­ters larg­er than the diam­e­ter of the chim­ney.brush
  • Cable or rope with a load of 2–3 kg.
  • Scoop for shov­el­ing soot through the inspec­tion holes in the chim­ney.

Clean­ing should begin with an inspec­tion of the pipe. If the soot lay­er is small, then only a brush can be used. If the soot lay­er is more than 2 mm, then it must be removed with a scraper, and only after remov­ing the main lay­er, use a brush. If you find that the chim­ney is tight­ly clogged with debris and soot, then ini­tial­ly use the weight tied to the cable. Fin­ish clean­ing with a brush and brush.

All work is done from the top of the chim­ney, grad­u­al­ly length­en­ing the han­dle of the tool used. After clean­ing the pipe, soot should be removed from the chim­ney through the revi­sion holes. Last­ly, the com­bus­tion cham­ber and ash pan are cleaned. After clean­ing the flue duct mechan­i­cal­ly (clas­si­cal­ly), check the draft and fire up the stove.

contactless method

Clean­ing chim­neys with this method involves the use of chem­i­cals to soft­en cre­osote, which turns soot into a durable and mono­lith­ic lay­er.

To date, there are many dif­fer­ent prod­ucts for clean­ing chim­neys from soot, which are avail­able in the form of liq­uids, pow­ders and tablets. They are used in dif­fer­ent dosages, depend­ing on the degree of con­t­a­m­i­na­tion of the chim­ney. But the most pop­u­lar means for clean­ing chim­neys from soot among our com­pa­tri­ots are spe­cial logs and bri­quettes, which include chem­i­cal reagents that decom­pose (as the man­u­fac­tur­er indi­cates) resins that hold soot togeth­er.Funds from manufacturers

Using such logs is sim­ple: just put them in the fur­nace com­part­ment, set fire to it and after a few hours of burn­ing, the smoke with chem­i­cals will soft­en the resin on the pipe walls, and the soot will set­tle in the fur­nace com­part­ment.

Some experts argue that such prod­ucts can harm the integri­ty of met­al chim­neys, since dur­ing com­bus­tion, the tem­per­a­ture of the exhaust gas­es ris­es above 1000 ° C, and all met­al smoke ducts are designed for tem­per­a­tures not exceed­ing 650 ° C. We can­not con­firm or deny this fact, we sim­ply urge you to care­ful­ly read the instruc­tions before using chem­i­cal clean­ers and remem­ber the pos­si­ble con­se­quences.

Many stove-mak­ers rec­om­mend turn­ing their atten­tion to the Czech prepa­ra­tion Kominichek.Kominicek from the Czech manufacturer

When burned, the chem­i­cals from this bri­quette cause the soot to burn at a low­er tem­per­a­ture, mak­ing it the­o­ret­i­cal­ly safer for met­al chim­neys. Accord­ing to the man­u­fac­tur­er, the chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion of the bri­quette is com­plete­ly safe for human health.

Folk remedies

In the old days, to rid the chim­neys of soot, our ances­tors used aspen, well-dried fire­wood. When aspen is burned, a per­sis­tent and hot flame is formed, due to which the soot burns out. But this method is quite fire haz­ardous due to the pos­si­ble over­heat­ing of the walls of the chim­ney.

Anoth­er way that came to us from ancient times is the burn­ing of dried pota­toes in a fuel cham­ber. Pota­to peels for chim­ney clean­ing are by far the safest (and cheap­est) option for those who do not want to use hired spe­cial­ists for this pro­ce­dure and are afraid to use chem­i­cals. But as prac­tice shows, this tech­nique is inef­fec­tive, but as an aux­il­iary tool, it has the right to exist.

And as a con­clu­sion: clean­ing the chim­neys of stoves and fire­places is a com­plex, rather dirty and trau­mat­ic process that is best left to pro­fes­sion­als.

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