Woodstove Installation Tiny Beaches

Woodstove Installation in Tiny Beaches area.

Customer loves their woodstove!

Purchased locally in Midland, and heats their home in a much more efficient manner than their previous stove.  Uses much less wood than before!!   Chimney had to be supported to roof at same time as install to ensure all was code compliant.

Moving a chimney!

Yes that is right .. moving a chimney.   Something we did today for a home that had sold and was not code compliant.  Actually the chimney clearances were not the only problem, but they were all addressed as well.  

Moving a chimney is not the easiest job in the world, however it is possible with the right tools and experience.

Now having said that this is a Factory Built, stainless steel chimney and not a brick or stone masonry one.  The masonry ones are much more difficult and much more than a days work, even a very long day.  The masonry chimneys are much more closely attached and integrated into the structure of the home than is a factory built chimney.  

If you are buying a home, have recently bought one or just want peace of mind – call today to have your system inspected.  We love to help and want to provide peace of mind!

Best Vacuum For Chimney Sweep

Vacuum cleaners are important to a Chimney Sweep. My goal is to keep your place clean and to leave with it as clean as it was when I arrived.

Now that sometimes can be a challenge and requires drop cloths, sometimes several of them. It also requires methods to block as much dust in the chimney as possible, generally by blocking off area of entrance but this can vary depending on if fireplace, woodstove, insert, etc.. and also vary by chimney type and other factors.

But also an important tool is the dust collector. To accomplish this we use the best we can find, yes we have the traditional Chimney Sweep RoVac with HEPA filter and dust control bag. But we also use a Makita VC4710 with dust control bag and HEPA filter. The Makita is not as powerful, but still a very capable vacuum and is better suited to go onto boats and island work or into tight locations. We also use the Dust Deputy Deluxe Separator, which keeps the dust or at least most of it from even getting to the vacuum cleaner!! On top of that we have long hoses, and generally try to keep the vacuum itself outdoors.

There really is nothing more one can do to control dust, dirt and other nasty things that can come out of your chimney. Yes these are expensive vacuums, and some of the best in the industry, but there is a reason we use them and that reason is YOU.

Who to hire for a stove install?

Well a tough question for sure as there are many who claim to do it.

Just did a sweep out New Lowell way and the install was obviously not done by anybody who was WETT Certified.  There are reasons to hire a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep for all your stove need!  Why?  Well they are the most advanced and highly trained individuals with WETT Certifications.

Yes there are Certified Technicians, but they have only a week of education, the same as a SITE Basic Installer!  Yes they should know codes, but that is about it.  But at least look for a Certified Technician as the minimum and no less!

So the heat shield silliness continues!

Just had a customer in Tiny who had asked a woodstove installer from Midland how to install a heat shield.  This individual apparently sells wood stoves!  Does he know the code and rules?  I would say yes.  But he does not clearly know material names.

He told the individual to use resilient channel, which he did.  But resilient channel is only 1/2″ of clearance.

Code states 7/8″ is required!!  Oops..

What you need is called Furring Channel which does provide the 7/8″ clearances.  So if in question get furring channel.. and measure it to ensure it is 7/8″ and you won’t have to do it over.

There were some other problems with dimensions of heat shield as well, which he had to make wider; if you don’t know the rules please save yourself time and simply ask.

What is a Rumford Fireplace?

Well a Rumford fireplace.  To put it simple the most wonderful fireplace in existence!   An amazing fireplace actually and there are a couple of masons who are able to build amazing fireplaces of the Rumford design.  I sweep a few and can get you in contact with customers where you may be able to view them.

What makes them different?  What makes them special?  Well a Rumford fireplaces is quite tall and the hearth is much more shallow than a typical fireplace, a design that allows it to reflect more heat into the room.  Design wise they also have a very streamlined throat, reducing the air turbulence normally present in a smoke chamber, allowing them to remove less heat from the room as the smoke exists.   The Rumford fireplace originated in the 18th century and were quite commonly used as heating appliances at that time.   Rumford worked hard designing better fireplaces, ones that would efficiently radiate heat into the room.

Modern fireplaces are built for aesthetics alone without any concern for efficiency or even for the amount of air drawn out of the room.  The Rumford can fix this, although getting the local Building Inspector officials onboard is sometimes challenging.

It can get scary!

Did a cleaning of chimney and woodstove in MacTier area recently.  Looking at installation and talking with customer, asking questions, came up with some interesting observations.

Insurance company, believe it is State Farm, had a consultant look at property as I understand.   Sadly the person said the install was okay, clearances okay, chimney okay.  All good.  A huge liability to the insurance company in this case.

I looked at chimney and told homeowner I did not think it was tall enough, although they had been told it was.  I took ladder off truck and went onto roof to make some measurements.  Well it seems this person who is a consultant does not know the building codes, B365 or any clue on woodstove installations.  Chimney needs to be either 3 feet (or 900mm) above roof where it comes out of the roof, good there.  They may have known this point.  Chimney also needs to be 2 feet (600mm) higher than any part of structure within 10 feet (3 metres).  Chimney was on lower roof than main residence, and was not that far from the other wall.. in fact at closest point around six feet and around eight and half feet to the peak!   Meaning it needs to be 2 feet above peak of main structure.  And it needs support to the roof as it is over 60 inches tall (factory built chimney).

Then inside, stove needed 17 inches clearance from combustibles at rear and had 9 inches clearance.  Now it did have a faux brick surface on wall, which consultant said allow reduction in clearances.  Wrong again.  Yes masonry can provide a 50% reduction, if it is away from wall with air space behind it; if it has airspace at bottom and top as well thereby allowing airflow on each side.  (measurements of distance from wall and distance from floor and ceiling are critical)  But this had none of this, simply attached to combustible wall.

And it had missing fasteners at stove pipe joints, another code violation.

The really bad part is these individuals are providing incorrect information to insurance companies, thereby increasing liability.  May cause a serious discussion between homeowner and insurance company if anything were to happen, as insurance company may argue it was okay and something had changed.   And is putting families at risk due to their confidence in these individuals and the information they provide.  Reality is it is happening.  When you get your chimney cleaned, hire a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep who can point out these violations and recommend how you can fix.

Why do the bricks in a wood-stove crack.

Most solid-fuel stoves (wood-stoves) built today and in use have fire bricks, or refractory bricks around the sides, bottom and some even on the top of the firebox.  These are made from clay and they crack.  This is nothing to be worried about it, it is a normal process as the bricks are constantly being taken from hot to cold temperatures which causes expansion and contraction to occur on each of these temperature cycles.
This is nothing to be alarmed at. Infact, when you think about it, it’s something to be expected.
Replacement of the bricks, rope gasket seals, stove glass and baffle plates are all consumable items in any wood-stove.  The brick may or may not how sign of wear but still may be weakened through.  This is why a Chimney Sweep should check the bricks and replace them if needed and why it is a great idea to always have a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep provide your WETT Inspection; especially in a home purchase!   Most sweeps will either replace the bricks as part of the service or charge a nominal fee of perhaps $5 or $6 per brick; with a small upcharge if bricks need cutting.  So brick replacement should not be something to worry about as it is simply part of normal service and maintenance process of owning a wood-stove.  Always hire a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep!

Powersweeping – the good, bad and ugly.

Power-sweeping what is it, why use it and what are pros and cons.

First if you look through history the sweeping has changed a lot and design technology has improved to make it better, safer and sometimes even less messier; all be it often at a much higher cost for tools.

The older push brushes did work, to a point.  But virtually any Certified Sweep today will have and use power sweeping is simply does a much better job.

Now initially power sweeping was okay, but limited in selection of tools for the job.  That has changed, with whips, mole brushes, chains, cable, etc.. a lot has changed.  From masonry tiles, stainless steel factory built, a tool exists for any job.  Rods also come in various sizes for fireplaces, liners, tile breaking, etc.

Frankly none of the earlier brushes are better than the newer ones in 99% of the situations.   There are a few situations in very old masonry chimneys where hand brushes offer some value, but most are able to be cleaned as well or better with the proper brush.  Part of challenge for sweeps in the variety of brushes needed and the cost which can be huge compared to the old style brushes.  Yes into the multiple thousands of dollars!

But do they work!  If your sweep does not use then you may wish to tell them to consider as you are not getting best job technology can provide.

As far as pros and cons there are many pros; actually virtually any aspect is better.  The cons are cost, the amount of items you as a sweep need to do properly and the risk of damage you can cause if the right tools are not used!

What are best tools.  Well there are a few the most well known being AW Perkins and SnapLok.  I have had and used Perkins for some time, but have switched to SnapLok as I find they have a much better assortment of heads and overall better suited to do the job.

Can a home owner do it themselves?  Difficult to answer but best answer is often not really.  The company who makes SnapLok does make a consumer version but only a single whip head is available.  The rods are no where near flexible enough to do the job well and the head is suited to a limited chimney design.  So it may work reasonable well in some but you have no idea how well in yours and is useless with anything other than the easiest to remove creosote.  They may work, they may not do a great job or worst case may cause damage.  Use at own risk and with discretion.