This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum. Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Homesteading. (Note that this BB is part of a three-part choose your own adventure list BB called Big List. You must complete three Badge Bits in the Big List.)
If you have a traditional wood stove or fireplace, it is often recommended to sweep out the chimney annually. The complexity of the job is highly dependent upon your particular stove installation and roof access. Let's clean out our chimney!
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- clean a chimney for a wood stove or wood burning fireplace
- including any horizontal runs to the stove
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must provide photographic or video (less than 2 min) evidence of:
- tools you used to clean the chimney
- cleaning in progress
- the collected ash/soot/cresote
- a description of how you cleaned your chimney, what you had to uninstall and any hurdles you overcame
I swept out the chimney the other day. I have a SS liner in a block chimney. In the basement there's a "T" and it exits the wall and then 90's down to the wood stove. First I have to unscrew the cover plate around the chimney where it goes through the wall. Then I lift it off the stove and wiggle the L shaped pipe out of the wall and carefully take it outside. Then I tape a plastic bag over the open chimney hole and go up on the roof. I take the chimney cap off (thumbscrews) and assemble the brush. I run it up and down the chimney a few times. Once back in the basement I carefully remove the plastic bag and scoop the ash out into the bag. I keep track each year of how many cups of ash I get so I can see if things are getting better or worse over time. After cleaning the "T" out I sweep the "L" shaped pipe in the back yard and then reinstall it and screw the cover plate back on.
Sweeping my chimney isn't too difficult because my wood stove has a bypass damper that provides unobstructed access to the chimney from inside the stove, so no need to climb onto the roof and remove the chimney cap. The stove does get clogged with soot though above the firebrick in the ceiling of the stove, so about twice per winter I have to remove the ceiling firebricks and clean out the soot. I just reach up there with my hand and clean it out. Then with the bypass open I can use my cordless drill to sweep the chimney from below and the creosote just falls down into the stove box. The chimney sweep has many sections that connect, so i attach one, run it up the chimney, attach another, run it up, and repeat until I hit the chimney cap. I clean out the ash and soot, but spread the creosote out in the bottom of the stove for the next fire to burn.