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Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

Posted by loger (My Page) on
Wed, May 7, 14 at 16:45

Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop because the .5" sewer cable snapped (at a slow speed). The stainless heavy duty screen wire (1/16" thick 15" wide in the 14" dia chimney caused the .5" sewer cable to flip and snap). I felt the cable would be better than solid .5" hot rolled rod but now I know. It will be a direct fit rod for cable later because it cleaned it good for next winter. It was a good experiment and I had no ides the cable world snap vs bend.

I'm Repairing/Reinforcing vs Rebuilding/Replacing our 1970s Chimney Cap. I thought it was stainless vs coated steel due to the life of and appearance. It did not appear that deteriorated due to the needed cleaning. I dropped it 10' to start the cleaning. The drop snapped many of the non Stainless Steel pop rivers with 1-2 river holes showing age. My plan was to rebuild a simpler SS cap but the design and time has lasted well for a reason.

I'll hope to find stainless rivets since that was the main weakness. I added heavy galvanized wire in the 90s to sandwich the 3 section cap back together w/o noticing the rivets were failing. I felt the strong wind was the cause.

There are 3 ribs assembling the 3 leveled cap design (with the 2 bottom open 12" and top closed on the 14" i.d. dia pipe x 16" o.s. X closed vs vented). To handle blowing rain IMO, approx 20" o.s. dia X all 3 levels. The initial ribs are inward, I'll add 3 SS ribs/straps riveting outsides from 3 levels to the pipe's mount for more rigidness and years of service.

Pacing My Projects (in mid 80s degrees). LOL!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

Looking back at my chimney sweep experiment that failed (flopped, snapped sewer cable). That was too much pipe dia (14”) to keep the cable from flopping. In a 4” sewer line the cable should not have flopped.


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RE: Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

Loger why not utilize conventional Chimmney brush of appropriate size ?


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RE: Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

Repairing the Old Chimney Cap took a turn that I feel will work and was the best option. Disassembled I saw no reason to rebuild the excessive cap vs half that was a 3 hr task. Braces and all went well except for drilling (2 hrs) in the coated sheet metal and my SS braces. The coating has to have hardened the metal. Finally I thought to use self taping screws, a slower speed and oil.

1. The 70s double faced fireplace has had a steel back in one side making it single faced since the 70s for heat vs looks.
2. The 14” damper in the 14” i.d. dia chimney pipe stays 80% closed to resist heat loss w/o smoking. Does a higher cap above roofs affect the draw (1’of pipe then cap)?
3. Reducing should draw as well or there is sheet-metal that can be exchanged with expanded metal if needed on the cap.
4. I feel I saw some creosote in the cap but h/n seen the “Black Glaze” in the pipe.

I hope that is another project off my “No End Of Experiments And PM Chores”. I have to haul off old experiments monthly to make some progress. Some of the PMs will have to go to others with my challenge of getting “Quality Work”. Attached is a pic before it makes a quick trip back onto the roof.

PS. Ewalk, I have not found one locally for 14” i.d.. A wire brush on 10’ of PVC has always swept the 6’ but slower/more energy now. LOL. It was at my side vs this experiment to eliminate time/energy. A rod or pipe should work w/o a problem or time lost. Flakey soot is all I have ever seen that comes off with no resistance vs motion. Thanks/Take Care!


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RE: Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

Before the cable flopped and snapped the chimney was cleaned. I inspected and saw I needed to go 6” deeper vs a real need. I knew the cable at this point was not rigid enough but thought going slower would finish the job but it snapped. The resistance of the stainless sweep/screen or etc at the bottom were not the faults vs the cable in the large dia. It will be a rod/pipe/tube in the next 2-3 years. Attached is what the mild need looked like afterwards.

It will be a short wait to see the draft affect. A short wait because a week is like day and causing my backup on projects (before I expected this mode and frustrating).


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RE: Cleaning our 6' deep fireplace chimney was a Flop

1. In the last two weeks I finished stocking firewood to season, which included a Log Splitter repair. I added a plate under the wedge on the 4” rail to help hold the wedge down.
2. Tuned my 1972-73 reduced/modified Blackhawk floor jack's frame that will need small leather pump seals soon. Who’s a source?
3. Modified and replaced the reduced chimney cap (attached).
4. Plenty Auto/Small Engine PM work is waiting that works well in the garage or on drive mornings.

There Is No End But Some Breaks If You Maintain


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