In all instances we recommend that with your annual chimney service, that you have a “Smoke Evacuation Check”. This is the one likely to be carried out before, or ideally after having your chimney swept.
What is involved?
Initially, the flue should be warmed. This is to establish a draught. Draught is a result of pressure differentials – the air inside the flue being warmer than the air outside, and therefore lighter. This causes the air to rise – or be ‘pulled’ out from the chimney.
Once the chimney is heated sufficiently to achieve a good draught, the windows and doors to the room should be closed. A smoke pellet (capable of producing 24 cubic meters of smoke in a minute) should then be placed in the fireplace opening or appliance to establish that the smoke safely escapes the room via the chimne, with no spillage. Once this has been established, our engineer will venture outside to witness the smoke ‘evacuating’ the chimney pot, or terminal. We will then visually inspect the chimney stack, roof, flashing, adjacent pots and general chimney structure to ensure there is no visible leakage, or any obvious reason for concern.
If the smoke clears the room and exits the chimney without fault, the test will be passed. If it spills into the room or leaks somewhere it shouldn’t, the problem will be inspected more thoroughly before a resolution is suggested.
Chimney smoke test
At Stillorgan Chimney Sweep, we offer a comprehensive Sweep & Smoke test for just €99. This test is referred to by a few different names:
Smoke test 1
Chimney Integrity test
Full smoke test
Chimney leakage test
Chimney Smoke Test
Whatever the particular engineer refers to this as, the process should be the same if not very similar.
This test is usually carried out at your annual chimney sweep, before an installation of a new appliance, or if you, or the engineer suspect there may be an issue with your chimney flue.
Initially, as with the smoke evacuation check, the chimney should be heated to establish draught. This can be using an electric heater, blow lamp or similar. Once the chimney is heated, a suitable number of smoke pellets should be placed in the fireplace, recess or appliance and ignited.
Once smoke starts to form, the opening or fireplace should be completely sealed, or if it’s a closed appliance, all vents closed down. Once smoke is seen clearing the chimney pot, flue outlet or chimney terminal, the top of the flue should be sealed from a suitable and safe work platform. One this is done, the chimney should be checked along its full length; loft space, rooms that the chimney passes through, adjacent property if chimneys back on to it etc. It should be ascertained that there is no significant leakage, and the test should continue for a minimum of 5 minutes. Once all areas have been checked and no leakage is found, the seals at top and bottom may be removed.
What happens after the smoke test?
If the smoke test is passed, assuming there are no other faults, our engineer will issue your chimney inspection certificate.
The smoke test procedure will include:
Ensuring all windows, doors and vents in the room are closed
Warming the flue with a suitable heating device for approximately 10 minutes, or until a sufficient draught is established
Igniting a suitable number of smoke pellets within the fireplace opening or appliance and then fully sealing off the base of the opening or closing all the appliance vents, door(s), ashpit covers etc
Carrying out an inspection/examination of the full length of the chimney/flue including upper floors, loft space if applicable/accessible and any party wall property
Detailed information on any fault(s) or remedial work required and professional advice
To book a Sweep & Smoke Test, simply call us today on 087 6229562