The fire is not drawing properly.

Back to problems

Oh dear that`s not good.

A smoke filled bedroom

In order of likelihood your problem could be:

1.Flue size reduced by lack of effective sweeping/burning wet wood

A flue which is lined with tar

Lack of effective sweeping will soon restrict the flue, has your chimney been swept in the last year?

View of a bloced chimney liner

Did “the sweep” use professional  rods and the correct grade and size of brush ?

View up a filthy chimney

If the answer is no then chances are a good sweeping will improve matters no end.

Coal-Sweep every three months in use

Smokeless-Sweep every year

Wood-sweep every three months in use

2.Partial blockage

View down chimney showing loose bricks blocking it.

Rubble dropped down the flue.

View down chimney pot showing sweeps brush trapped behind projecting slates

Poor workmanship.

On a top of a chimney ball of fouled chicken wire

Chicken wire stuffed in the pot.

showing a brick trapped in flue with nest above

A CCTV survey will quickly reveal the nature of a blockage.Here its bricks and a nest.

Birds nests  are also a source of blockage more on these here

 3.Breech in the flue wall

a hole in the gather part of a flue

Caused by a ham fisted sweep using the wrong brush.

a clay liner with a vertical crack

A cracked liner after a chimney fire.

missing brick in flue revealing a hole behind

A brick landed on the fire grate the result of natural wear and tear

4.Fireplace opening is too large.

Fireplace opening too big

Throughout the 18th and 19th century a smoky fireplace was a common cause of complaint the reason was a lack of understanding about the relationship between the size of opening and the size of flue, the flow of gases through a chimney flue is limited by is size and construction.

inglenook fire place with staining above

When the fireplace opening is too large then the flow increases and it needs a bigger draught at the same time the gases are cooled by the entering fresh air,the draught decreases and smoke eddies into the room.

jetmaster tastefully inserted in stone fire place

Thankfully we now have a much greater understanding of this and your chimney sweep can calculate the maximum size of opening your flue can service.You can install a modern appliance in an older opening.

dog grate and hood

Or you could go for something a bit more retro.

modern appliance set into a inglenook fireplace

Or even a modern wood burner that is designed to run with doors open or shut

Simply removing the fireplace insert to replicate the Georgian fire places is never a good idea, as early as 1797 the Georgians did away with this design in favour of the far more healthy restricted opening scaled to the size of flue.If you do have one of these fireplaces have you noticed that the temperture throughout your house drops by as much as 4-5 deg Celsius whenever the fire is lit?

4.Wrong/fouled terminal

A selection of chimney terminals

Is your cowl one of the above? If so have it removed before using the fire again.

A gas cowl fouled with tar

It takes specialist equipment to clean the inside of a cowl effectively.

A chimney cowl choked with tar

Mesh size is specific to the fuel being burned the wrong mesh size can soon become fouled with tar.

5. Air starvation

A vent removed to reveal small drilled holes behind

All appliances for solid fuel  need a lot of combustion air to function correctly,with a closed appliance 15 – 30 cubic meters of combustion per hour is necessary, a open fire can require up to 250 cubic meters of combustion air per hour, if there is not enough oxygen entering the room the result is incomplete combustion this shortage will lead to the carbon monoxide levels in the room rising rapidly.

A wall vent covered in gaffa tape

With the increasing cost of heating we have become very adept at draught proofing our homes with better quality doors and windows, if you have had double glazing installed or your exterior vent has been covered then this can be detrimental to the safe operation of your fire but don`t be too  hasty with alterations your chimney sweep can investigate and advise on ways of improving ventilation.

6.Only the first eight meters of flue has ever been swept.

A DIY chimney brush kit.

DIY chimney rods and brush have only ten undersized rods and a undersized brush costing as little as £20.We carry over 20  brush`s  and 50 rods of varying grades.Many part time  sweeps only have a one size fits all brush and ten rods.Special rods are required for sweeping liners, using the wrong rods will wreck your liner.It is an all too frequent occurrence as we sweep past the eight meter point and the soot starts falling in vast quantities !

 Back to top

Comments are closed.

Call Now Button