Saturday, 3 September 2011

The squirrel and the chimney sweep

Come on then, own up, who hasn’t swept their chimney yet ready for winter…? A friend of ours was telling us about how it should be done properly, so came round today with his chimney brush. Dave took all the bits out from inside the stove - with some caution seeing as he’d never done it before…
 
For newcomers to the blog, we only had the Squirrel installed early last December, and we kept it lit for almost 3 months over winter. (Many people did). But we’ve hardly used it since then…
S
o cleaning today involved:
  • Removing the 3 fire bricks.
  • Removing the 2 cast iron plates at the top of the stove inside, to expose the hole in the roof of the fire where it joins to the flue. [No doubt someone will remind me what they’re called.]
  • Removing the door.
Then the two of them got on with the fun (but very messy) job of jiggling the brush up and down the flue via the chimney outside. Before they started the job, the inside of the fire looked about as clean as is possible, no sign of potential for anything much to have built up anywhere…
 
It was hard to believe how much soot came down, the ash bucket was empty before they started the job, but check this out. We burn coal and use wood as kindling to fire it up, (excuse pun). But none of us expected this much sh*t to have built up in the flue / chimney…
 
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Dave finishing off putting everything back in it’s place afterwards…
   
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A happy Squirrel after having had colonic irrigation…

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As for Dave himself, well that’s a different matter, he played the role of the original chimney sweep character very well, ended up with a black nose and forehead. I didn’t say anything for a while – thought I’d wait till he noticed, but he didn’t. Needless to say when I eventually mentioned how daft he looked and asked to take a photo of him, he declined the offer… 

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