How Often Do I Need To Clean My Chimney?

Do I need to clean my chimney? Cork chimney sweepToday we had a visit from Declan O’Donoghue of Cork Chimney Sweep. Declan called in and met the Boru team and received a detailed walk-through of all our stoves. This ensures that Declan can offer the best possible service and advice to his customers. We asked him, ‘How Often Do I Need To Clean My Chimney?’ Declan is a Professional Certified And Registered chimney sweep working in Cork and he answered this and many other chimney sweeping related questions we had for him. Read our blog below to find out all about keeping your chimney clean.

How often should I get my chimney cleaned?

You should get your chimney cleaned at least once a year. If you are using a stove I would recommend cleaning the flue twice a year. Stoves usually have a smaller flue than traditional open fires. This means creosote can build up faster and needs to be cleaned more regularly.

What is Creosote?

Creosote is usually the cause of a chimney fire. It is a by-product left over when burning fossil fuels like wood, peat or coal. As the smoke rises in the chimney it begins to cool and deposits this carbon rich residue on the inside of the chimney. If the air flow to the fire is restricted, like when closing the vents on a stove, this can cause a greater build-up of creosote. As this then builds up on the chimney the problem is compounded. Not as much air is being drawn through the stove to fully burn the fuel.

So a dirty chimney can affect the performance of my stove?

Yes, without a doubt. As the creosote builds up, this reduces the draft in the chimney, meaning less oxygen getting to the firebox. Less oxygen means the fire will not burn as hot or as efficient and thereby causing greater creosote build-up.

I haven’t cleaned my chimney in years and I’ve never had a problem. Why should I worry now?

A chimney fire can happen at any time, regularly cleaning your chimney can help reduce and prevent a chimney fire. Creosote burns at a very high temperature. In many cases heat and sparks from the chimney cause the fire to spread to roofs and surrounding buildings. A chimney fire is difficult to extinguish, and the call out for the fire brigade to a chimney fire is €700. In many countries EU regulations are in place obliging homeowners to have a professional sweep the chimney annually.

Do I need to clean my chimney by law?

Most EU countries already have in place regulations that require home owners to have their chimneys cleaned by a professional at least once a year. These regulations will very soon be enacted in Ireland as the act of chimney sweeping is deemed a public safety service.

I always clean my chimney myself, why should I get the services of a professional?

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, around 40 people a year die in Ireland due to carbon monoxide poisoning. We provide a full inspection of your chimney and flue using CCTV. This helps us identify and then repair any problems we might find. This CCTV inspection should be performed by a professional at least once a year, and everyone should be using a carbon monoxide alarm. Stoves will often have tight angles in their flue setup and traditional sweeping kits are not a safe or effective means of cleaning. We use the latest equipment to make sure we don’t do any damage to the chimney flue or stove during our work.

Declan can be found at CorkChimneySweep.com. Or email corkchimneysweep@gmail.com

Changing The Glass On Your Stove

One of my favourite things about a stove is the fact that you can maintain the cosy ambience that you get from an open fire. From time to time however, accidents can happen. Many of us will find that we need to replace cracked, or cloudy glass. Luckily changing the glass on your stove is relatively straight forward and simple. Cloudy glass is often caused by burning fuel with a high moisture content, or paper, cardboard or plastics that contain chemicals. Only ever burn trusted fuel in your stove. One of the main causes for cracked glass is overloading the fire box. A stray log can crack the glass as the door is closed, or as logs shift during a burn they can fall against the door. Being careful loading fuel and cleaning your glass regularly will help to ensure that your glass will last for years.

In this handy guide, ‘Changing The Glass On Your Stove’, we will walk you through the simple process of removing your old glass and then fitting the new glass. This is a very simple process and should take no longer than 30 minutes. You will need, a 6mm spanner. A pair of tough gloves for handling broken glass. 12mm x 3mm self-adhesive stove rope. High temperature silicone adhesive and the replacement stove glass. All these materials should be easily obtained from your local Boru Stoves Stockist. If you have any problems finding these parts you can contact Boru Stoves directly for assistance. Remember to always use genuine Boru Stoves parts to ensure you do not invalidate your warranty.

1. Remove The Door Of Your Stove

You should begin by removing the door of your stove. This will make removing the old glass and fitting the new glass much easier. Wearing tough gloves, open the door and ensure that any loose pieces of glass are removed before removing your door. The door of your Boru Stove can then be removed very easily by lifting it off the hinges [Fig 1] [Fig 2] [Fig 3]. Ensure you have a suitable surface to place the door on to work without damaging it.

Changing The Glass On Your Stove, Lift the door up and off the hinges

Fig 1

Changing The Glass On Your Stove, Lift up the door out of bottom bracket

Fig 2

Changing The Glass On Your Stove, Pull the bottom of the door out

Fig 3

2. Remove The Broken Glass

Using your 6mm spanner, you should remove the nuts holding the clips in place [Fig 4]. A lubricant such as WD-40 can help to loosen sticking nuts, then fully remove the clips. You should then be able to safely remove any remaining glass [Fig 5]. You should now remove the existing rope seal that may be left behind after removing the glass. Once removed, be sure clean the area where the old seal was placed to remove any dust or debris [Fig 6].

Remove the nuts holding the glass in place

Fig 4

Remove the old broken glass

Fig 5

Remove any dust or debris

Fig 6

3. Apply New Rope Seal

You are now ready to apply the new rope seal. Using a 12mm x 3mm self adhesive high temperature rope seal, begin in the bottom right hand corner [Fig 7]. Be sure to extend the seal beyond the edge of the opening by around 12mm [Fig 8], this will allow you to create a snug seal with the other end of the rope, ensuring you have an airtight stove. Work your way around the rest of the door taking time to follow and contours or curves that the door might have [Fig 9]. Finally, if needed, trim the rope so that the two ends meet and create a snug seal. You should place your glass on the seal and make sure that the seal is within the edge of the glass and that there are no points where the glass will not be sealed against the stove door. Once you have made sure of this, you can put the glass to one side.

Apply your new seal

Fig 7

Leave an overlap of the seal past the edge of the glass opening

Fig 8

Apply the rope seal around the edge of the glass area of the door

Fig 9

4. Fitting The New Glass

When the seal is in place we need to apply a small amount of high temperature silicone adhesive. Apply a small amount onto the entire length of rope seal that you have just fitted [Fig 10]. You can then sit the glass into place, be careful to align your glass correctly before making contact with the prepared seal. Apply a very small amount of pressure around the edges of the glass to ensure a tight seal with the adhesive [Fig 11]. You should now replace your clips, if any clips or nuts are damaged or missing, you should be able to obtain these from a Boru Stoves Stockist. Once the clips are in place, you should add a washer and then tighten the nut into place [Fig 12]. The nuts should be finger tightened only. Be very careful not to over tighten the nuts, if in doubt, err on the side of caution. The glass is fragile and concentrated pressure can easily crack the glass, the glass is heat resistant, not impact resistant. With the glass now fitted you can hang the door back onto your stove.

Apply a small amount of high temperature stove seal adhesive

Fig 10

Place the glass onto the seal

Fig 11

Tighten the nuts into place

Fig 12

Changing The Glass On Your Stove

The glass on a stove is a part that is commonly replaced, similar to the windscreen on a car. Many factors can effect the life of glass in a stove, and accidents do happen. If there is damage to the glass on your stove, or the seal has degraded to allow air in, this will effect the performance of your stove. To ensure your stove is operating safely and at optimum efficiency, you should check the glass and seals on your stove once every six months. If in doubt, replace the glass, it is relatively inexpensive and with just a small amount of DIY you should be able to ensure that your stove operates efficiently and safely for many years to come.

If you have any questions with regards to this procedure, or if you are having problems finding replacement parts, please contact us here at Boru Stoves and we will be happy to help.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Stove

A Boru Stoves double sided Carraig MorIt is important to ensure that your stove is properly cleaned and maintained. Failure to do so could result in an invalid extended warranty. The process of cleaning and maintaining your stove is very simple and should not take long. Done regularly, proper cleaning and regular maintenance, should prolong the life of your stove and ensure that you have a stove that operates at peak efficiency.

Cleaning Your Stove

Creosote:

When fuel is burned slowly, it produces tar and other organic vapors, which combined with expelled moisture to form creosote. The creosote vapors condense in the relatively cool chimney flue of a slow burning fire. As a result, creosote residue accumulates on the flue lining. When ignited, this creosote creates an extremely hot fire. Inspect and clean the chimney frequently – under certain conditions of use, creosote buildup may occur rapidly. If creosote has accumulated, it should be removed to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

Automatic Stove Damper Channel:

This should be checked regularly making sure it is free from ash build up as this will prevent the thermostat from working efficiently and may effect performance. First you will have to remove the grate from your stove and then you should be easily able to access the channel cover. See the images below for further details on locating the automatic stove damper channel.

Automatic Damper Channel cover

Once the grate has been removed you should be able to access the cover of the automatic damper channel

The thermostat flap

The automatic damper channel is highlighted in yellow, use an Ash Vac to remove any ash build up


The Baffle:

The baffle must be removed regularly to check for soot build up, this build up is a fire hazard and the stove should not be used until chimney is cleaned by an accredited person and free from obstruction. There are two types of baffles in Boru Stoves, a boiler type baffle and a dry stove baffle, further instruction are below depending on the type of stove you have.

*note: These images are examples of our most common types of baffle, in some stoves the set-up might be different, but the principles are the same.

Boiler Stove baffle
Removing the baffle

Remove the baffle and check that it is clean

The baffle

This is a typical baffle in a boiler model stove

Our boiler stoves have a metal baffle which easy to locate and remove. Check that the baffle is clean and clear and then replace it. This baffle is also removed when access for cleaning the chimney is needed.
Dry Stove baffle
A dry stove is slightly different from a boiler stove, in a dry stove, the top fire brick serves as a baffle. The brick is easily removed following the details below. The bricks should be regularly inspected for any damage. The fire bricks are subject to normal wear & tear and will have to be replaced when they become worn or damaged. Using your stove with worn or damaged fire bricks can cause the stove to over fire and invalidate the extended warranty.

raise the top baffle

Raise the baffle at the top of the stove

Lower the left hand firebrick

Lower fire brick the left hand side

Lower the right hand firebrick

Lower the fire brick on the right hand side

lower and remove the top baffle

Lower the top baffle to remove, clean and inspect

Glass:

To clean the glass establish a good fire and use the Airwash System. However there will be times when the glass has to be cleaned by hand. To do this, use a soft cloth and a nonabrasive cleaner. Never clean the glass when the stove is hot. Do not use the stove with cracked or broken glass. If the glass breaks when the fire is lighting leave the fire extinguish itself. Do not open the door until the stove is completely cool. Any broken glass should be replaced by a qualified installer.

Maintaining Your Stove

The following checks should be carried out at least twice a year to ensure you comply with the terms of Boru Stoves extended warranty.

Check for soot and creosote build up and sign of joint damage. Do not use if the flue pipe or chimney is damaged. To check this, the top baffle (clean out plate) must be removed by lifting it up and pulling out. Clean the baffle before refitting. Do not light the stove until the baffle has been refitted.

Make sure the glass is not cracked or chipped and that the rope has a good seal. Failure to replace frayed rope will result in over firing, and thus voiding the extended warranty.

Check that the stove door is tight and well sealed when closed. We recommend that the rope seals be replaced at least once a year, or when required depending on the use of the stove. The door rope is easily replaced by removing the old rope, cleaning out the channel and inserting the new rope. The rope should be sealed in place with suitable high temperature sealant. All part for Boru Stoves are available through our authorised Boru Stoves retailers.

Cleaning and maintaining your stove regularly will ensure that you comply with the Boru Stoves extended warranty. It should also ensure, that you prolong the life of your stove, and keep it working at optimum efficiency. Boru Stoves are always here to help answer any questions you might have about your stove and you contact us through our website.