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Chimney Cap Cleanout Port/Hole

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by aaron1, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    This might be a crazy idea, but I was wondering if anyone has ever put a cleanout cap or port into the roof of their chimney cap? I have two flues in my chimney, so I decided to get a SS cap made specifically for my chimney that is similar to this one instead of one that can be taken off of my SS liner easily!!!:
    chimney cap.jpg

    I drilled holes in my chimney crown and screwed this cap in with masonry screws. I don't want to have to move my stove out of the way (hearth installation with too little room to clean behind stove) to clean it from below (don't want to kill my back!) So, I want to clean it from above, as I have no fear of heights ( I know, natural selection may run its course, but I'm not a breeder anyway....) But, I don't want to ruin the screw holes in my cement crown by taking the cap off completely every year and screwing it in again. Has anyone else put in some sort of a cleanout port or hole into the chimney cap so that they can take it out and put a cleaning brush down the chimney from above?

    The other option is just to suck it up and have a chimney guy come and clean it from below every year by moving out my wood stove from the hearth (not a terrible option, just a little more pricey.

    I don't think my cap has the "X" pattern in the photo above, just a flat cap, so I thought I could cut a hole in it :) and then just use some kind of caulk to secure a plate of stainless to it each year. I could also use some sort of special fastener that allows me to crank down the plate if I knew what to use.

    Thanks for any advice or rebuking. Actually, I just thought of an option. I could extend my 6" SS chimney liner up through a round hole in my cap and then put the cap that came with the liner onto that. It would look weird, but it would allow me to clean it out. Maybe I'm overdoing this?! Help the economy, hire a chimney sweep to do it from below?

    Aaron

    PS I can't wait to replace this Vigilant, so I don't have to worry about cleaning my chimney all of the time!!! Oslo, here I come!

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Could you drill the holes a little bigger and use some type of insert for the screws to grab?
  3. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    I believe you are referring to something analogous to drywall anchors, but used for masonry? Like this?

    masonry anchor.jpg
    My only question to you is why I'm too stupid to think of something like that, which seems perfect, myself? Thanks!!!
  4. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    My only other dumb question is the appropriate way to drill holes in masonry. I went through, like, 2 bits doing it last time, as they went dull very fast. I think I should have used water or something else to cool the bit. It turned blue, so I think I overheated it and ruined it. Should I be lubricating the masonry bit or something? Maybe the bits that come in those TapCon kits are crap?
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    That's it!
    And your smart to ask questions!
    People that are away from the situation often see things that we miss that should be obvious!
    Been there ..done that.
    Hate it when the wife pulls that on me though! lol
  6. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I have used tapcon bits before in concrete with no problems.
    I do use a hammer drill though..makes a huge diff.
  7. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    I'll borrow my friend's hammer drill. My regular electric drill, much less my nonexistent hammer drill, is pretty weak. No puns intended. :)
  8. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I'm on a different page here, but the cap pictured in the first message can be easily accessed for cleaning by removing the four knurled thumb screws on the lid, iinm. I would think just about all of them provide a similar means for cleaning by removing the lid, leaving the bottom part attached to the chimney crown.
  9. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    Unfortunately, I don't think mine has that option. That's a good point though. Maybe I just overlooked that as well! Thanks for the heads up!
  10. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    When using a hammer drill on your cement crown you might want to take your time and drill through the mortar on the top using your carbide tipped bit in the regular drill mode until you clear the mortar. I say this because the hammer feature can easily crack thin mortar and then you have a much bigger job on your hand to fix. Once you are through the soft mortar and into the brick below it you can switch to the hammer drill feature without as much risk of cracking the top crown.
  11. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    Thanks for the tip!
  12. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Any way to put hinges on there with a clasp?
    Time to clean, pull the clasp, lift the cap on it's hinge, and go to town.
  13. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    I need to get up on the roof and see how it is set up exactly still! I think there are bolts welded onto the bottom side of the cap. The bolts are then placed into the frame and nuts are screwed on from the inside. So, I might be able to put on a couple hinges on the inside and then rotate it back, as you say, when cleaning. That's another option. Thanks!
  14. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    edit: nevermind, someone already mentioned the 4 screws that take the lid off...
  15. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    I just need to check and see if the nuts are on top of the cap or on the inside of the cap. I don't remember. I'll try checking when I can get a look at it in the light of day. Thanks for the input.
  16. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    I've cleaned a few of them that look like the one pictured and they just use sheet metal screws, not nuts and bolts...
  17. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    Mine is not exactly like the one in the picture. I put it together and it had welded bolts. I just don't remember if they were inside or outside. I hope it's outside!! it may be now that I think of it!!! I just can see up on my roof this time of year during the evenings, so I'll have to wait to Thurs. morning. This may solve my problem.
  18. aaron1

    aaron1 Member

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    I just asked the company that makes the cap (since I can't get up there to see it.) They confirmed that I can just unscrew the four nuts on top and take the top part of the cap off. I apologize for all of this confusion. I had it misconstrued in my mind and haven't looked at it for several months now. I guess I was worrying for nothing! Thanks.
    Heatsource likes this.

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