This month of September, we have seen a rise in “New Customers” calling us from the Sevenoaks, Kemsing, Westerham, Sundridge, Ottford, Orpington, Bromley, Gravesend and Rochester areas.
As usual, A BigThankyou, to you all for your custom.
Due to our location on the edge of West Dartford we have extremely easy access to all the major road networks. Being no more than 2mins from the A2, 5mins from the M25 and 10mins from the M20 means we can get to areas 30 or so miles away in a considerably short amount of time.
The reason I am putting a bit about our location in this month’s blog is that if you are reading this and were thinking of making Contact but felt “We are probably too far away for clivescottchimneysweeps to come to us” the answer in fact is you are more than likely well within distance for us to visit you.
Ok back to the blog!
This month I have seen my fair share of “Bad Stove Installs.
I had one where an Installation Company had fitted a Stovax Stove, with a top exiting Stove Pipe, into such a tight opening that it was impossible to gain access to sweep it. The company, according to the home owner, did a smoke draw test and stated that the Chimney was OK.
No Smoke Sound/Pressure Tests or CCTV Inspection was undertaken in either her property or that of the adjoining premises.
The Stove was situated on a Polished Granit Hearth and had a surround of more Polished Granit. The clearance around the Stove’s external parameters was of no more than 10mil to the top or sides. Access to the Chimney could only be gained via dropping the Stoves baffle/roof plate’s and up through the 5inch Stove Pipe. The internal size of the Chimney was approximately 14 – 16 inches.
To insert a Brush or any other Sweeping Device of the appropriate size to Sweep the Chimney correctly through the Stove pipe would have only achieved in the sending any Soot or Tar deposits down onto the Register Plate and access to the Plate was not obtainable. “The situation of these deposits being left on the Register Plate is a recipe for a Chimney Fire to occur at some in the near future.”
To gain access to the Register Plate would have meant the removal of the front Granit surround and also a 5ftx4ft Granit Plate above it. “These were both bonded to the wall of the Chimney Breast.”
The next thing to do would have been to lay on your back and try to release the Stove Pipe from its seating on the top of the Stove, push it upwards and set it onto the Register Plate and then try and remove the Stove without damaging the Granit Hearth. The removal of the Stove Pipe would have had to have been done internally through the Stove
With the Stove in-situ it was not possible to see the Register Plate so I’m assuming there was one!
Had the Stove been installed with a Liner running up the length of the Chimney this would have been a pretty standard sweeping job.
The Customer was pretty upset when I explained everything to her. And in this case I am in no doubt that she would have insisted on a Liner being inserted at the time of the install had she been fully informed by the company who had fitted it.
The Stove was used every day, since being fitted, for about 6 months last winter to supplement the heating in her mid-terraced cottage.
Before I left I gave her advice and my opinion of what works needed to happen to solve the situation and on her authorisation made a couple of phone calls to one of the very few Stove Supply and Installation Companies I recommend, “Natural Fires” in Maidstone. I explained the problems in detail to them and after speaking directly to the Customer an Appointment was made by the Team at Natural Fires to visit the Customer for the very next day.
Hopefully a happy conclusion to this problem is not too far away.
Until the next time Clive from Clive Scott Chimney Sweeps.