The Chimney Sweep Company's guide to chimneys, flues and their problems...
- How a flue works
- Flue Functions
- The smokey fire
- Primary cause of smokiness
- Secondary causes of smokiness
- Damp in flues
- Diagnosing problems
- Further sources of information
i... Diagnosing problems
This document has given a general understanding of the problems and possible cures. The table below of typical symptoms will give a quick reference analysis back to the relevant section. Smoky fire problems are often caused by a combination of several defects. Isolating and dealing with each one in turn may need some experiment and careful analysis. Experienced advice should always be sought from your nearest National Fireplace Association member showroom before attempting a cure. Many member showrooms will be able to offer a home advisory visit and survey.
|1. Fireplace with large opening smokes all the time.||Opening too large for flue size
Partially blocked flue
Flue too large
|2. Fireplace with standard (small) fire opening smokes all the time.||Flue too large
Flue too small
Badly formed throat
|3. Fire only smokes with doors and windows closed.||Lack of room ventilation|
|4. Fire smokes continuously in certain wind directions.||Chimney in pressure zone|
|5. Fire puffs occasionally in certain wind directions.||Chimney in downdraught situation|
|6. Fire (woodstove) worked well for a time, smoking gradually got worse.||Flue partially blocked with soot/tar build up.
Sweep the chimney.
|7. Fire suddenly started smoking (after chimney was swept)||Flue partially blocked by mortar/mid-feather collapse.
Sweep chimney again