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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    64
    Location
    Central Adirondacks
    Tractor
    Kubota L2850D

    Default Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Thought it might be a good chance to clean the chimney owing to the mild weather. Have about a 25' block chimney that used to have 8 1/2 by 13" flue tile. Had a chimney fire that damaged the tile 15 years ago, so we relined the bore with 6" stainless tubing. The corrugated tubing makes a seamless tube from top to bottom. Insulation was poured around the tube to hold it in place. Owing to irregularities the tubing is not perfectly straight but meanders a little, something you can feel while brushing it. By the way, there is no cleanout... the pipe turns a fairly sharp 90 degrees into the cellar.

    So standard procedure for years has been to climb up the roof, insert a plastic 6" round brush and then screw on fiberglass rod sections as the brush advances down the tube. Only this time was different, as my son was scrubbing with short strokes and had the brush and one section (we later learned) came unscrewed and stuck in the chimney about 14' down.

    This is a real problem... how do you get a chimney brush out of a chimney? Tried a few things first: tried to drop a line and sinker down hoping to get a line through the brush to the chimney base. Sinker would not go through. We cable clamped a couple big hooks onto the rod and tried to snag the brush to lift it out. No go... could push the brush down a little and lift it up a little, but not effective. Plastic bristles and too much give.

    After some discussion and prayer we came up with an effective solution and would like to share it. There are probably other and better ways, but this is what we did:

    Hose clamped a 6' piece of 1/2" PVC pipe to a fiberglass chimney rod section. Found a 5" carriage bolt that just slipped inside the PVC pipe. Tied braided fishing line just under the bolt head and wrapped with duct tape. Inserted the bolt into the PVC (so only the head is visible). Held onto the line, inserted PVC end into the chimney, maintaining tension on the line as it descends. Screw on another rod, drop it and the line down, letting the weight of the rods be taken by the taut line. And so on. Always letting the weight of the rods be born by the line, which in turn was tied to the bolt inserted into the PVC pipe.

    Son could feel the PVC pipe bolt carrier touch the brush, gave a push and the entire pipe unit pushed lengthwise through the plastic bristles. Continue pushing downward until well below the brush, release the line and the bolt fell free and rolled to the inside base of the pipe where I could reach it in the cellar. Extract the rods.

    Again, the purpose of the PVC pipe was to hold the bolt captive so it could be pushed through the bristles of the stuck brush. Twine or rope would just sit on top of the brush so we pushed the roped bolt through the bristles and could then grab the bolt at the bottom.

    With a line from the top, I tied another stouter line on the bottom end and he drew it upward. We now had a continous line so we could tie something on either side to either push or pull the brush in whichever direstion was easier. At the time we had not counted rod sections and noticed that a rod was attached to the brush, we thought that it was only a brush and that we could possibly even pull it downward... that of course would not have worked with a rod attached.

    A line knot snagged on the brush (as it happened) and let us pull the brush upward with a little assistance from a hook attached to rods. But once the line was passed through it was all over with for the brush and we regained control of the situation. Otherwise had planned to attach a disk to the line and use it to pull the brush upward. Hope this could help someone in similar circumstances... punch a line through the brush and you will own it.

    Chris Thompson

  2. #2
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    4,028
    Location
    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
    Tractor
    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Well Played!
    Hazmat

  3. #3
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    6,279
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    BX 25, ZD 326

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    glad you got it figured.

    There are professional sweeps tools made for just this thing (recovering brushes, bricks, dead animals etc)

    Chimney Sweep Tools and supplies, rods, brushes, glaze removers

    http://www.chimneysupply.com/docs/pr...&subCat2ID=102

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    18,007
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    An Overshot type tool would let you thread back on to the lost brush.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Super Member JB4310's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,645
    Location
    Central CT
    Tractor
    J.D. 4310 E-hydro

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Sounds very complicated, but at least it worked. We have cork screw type retrieval tools, but it is a major PITA to get something stuck in a chimney.

    You should have a tee in there. Also in the future if you can get a line down thru, you can use that to move the brush thru the pipe.

    JB
    JD 4310; E hydro, 300CX, 48 BH, 60" box, 72" rake, 72" rear blade, cast pallet forks, 48", 61"HD & 73" high volume bucket.
    FORD 1700; 2 WD, 2600 hrs.
    JD 320; Hydra lift, 48" deck and 48" snow blade.
    2007 Dodge Ram 3500, Cummins 6.7L, Aisin 6 speed, 9ft utility body.

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
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    Oct 2004
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    16,854
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    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastinlet View Post
    This is a real problem... how do you get a chimney brush out of a chimney?
    Don't fret Santa will be along in a few days.

    Sorry I Coulden't resist.
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Dec 2007
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    1,461
    Location
    Eastern Ontario
    Tractor
    Jinma 284(Spirit fel), MF 135 (MF200 fel)

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    You forgot the duct tape
    Being a Red Green fan, I now use duct tape on the joints of fiberglass screw together rods like the chimney cleaner and wire fishes. Having had to retrieve pieces from chimneys, trailer tubing, barrels etc. I find it pays to put a safety tape on the joints -- of course hindsight is 20/20. -- Glad you were successful!

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Nov 2011
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    277
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Tractor
    Kioti RX6010C

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Hi all

    Good inventive solution and thanks for the tip on how to fix a stuck brush.

    I had a similar problem a few weeks ago. Instead of a brush stuck in a chimney I had a drill stuck in a fence post. Was drilling in horizontally into a 18 in dia post to make a hole for a gate fitting. Was using a 1/4 inch drill (about 4in long) with a series extension rod held by a grub screw. The rod slipped and stripped the hex end of the drill and so had a 4 in drill stuck 6 in into the post!

    Took me ages to drill in from the other side accurately enough to hit the end of the drill so I could then hit out out with a metal rod and hammer.
    Have now bought a long series drill.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    64
    Location
    Central Adirondacks
    Tractor
    Kubota L2850D

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Interesting replies. I appreciate learning that there are chimney sweep tools for removing stuck objects like brushes and animals. A stuck coon is in some respects a bigger problem than a brush if you think about it. I have never seen those tools before, and it looks like they aren't magic but make removal possible with a little cussing.

    My particular chimney without a cleanout or tee is not uncommon in old homes. It is definitely not a good place to lose a brush (or a coon). I never thought this would happen to us since we have done this for decades without incident.

    Studor has a good point, if nothing else secure your joints with duct tape, I will do that from now on. I suppose you could be ultra neat and drill a hole through each joint and slip a hair pin clip through, but duct tape is more my style.

    My final thought is to drop a line down through into the cellar before lowering the brush. It's there is you need it and causes no inconvenience to the operation. I will be doing this.

  10. #10
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    east wells,vt
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    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Lost chimney brush in flue solution

    Quote Originally Posted by LBrown59 View Post
    Don't fret Santa will be along in a few days.

    Sorry I Coulden't resist.
    Good Evenin LBrown,
    Or we could lower that white little fur ball pictured down the flue also to retrieve, although it wouldnt come back out white..

    Sorry, couldnt resist !
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

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