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Code question of the day concerning Cleanouts

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Nov 29, 2005.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Code requires cleanouts for every flue except fireplaces. However with the installation of an insert, this now changes the open fireplace former use. Is a cleanout access now required? I know of a couple of towns that, interpret the code to mean a cleanout must be cut in the masonry chimney to pass the insert installation inspection. The idea is appealing, as it would allow access to the rear of the insert connection, allowing cleaning without removal. If done before the installation, it would also make the final connection easier. With masonry blades readily available, the task is much easier to do than, the hammer and chisel routine. Another part of the cleanout code that gets overlooked its location in garages. You know the setup, where there is a chimney starts in the garage, for that family room fireplace. Garage cleanouts are forbidden for a couple of reasons. One,so gasoline fumes do not travel to the open fireplace. Two, Carbon Monoxide gas from car exhaust, escaping into the cleanout exiting into the living space. These cleanouts should be relocated outside.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,122
    Loc:
    Midwest
    With all due respect, I do NOT find the idea of hacking a hole through my masonry chimney very appealing at all. But then again, I don't see the use for a clean-out in my situation, either. I simply run the chimney brush down the flue, through the gentle bends required to thread around the smoke shelf and damper, then directly into the fireplace insert. Any bits cleaned from the chimney drop directly into the firebox of the stove (I have already removed the top baffle for cleaning)

    I guess if one had a 90 degree elbow directly out of the insert because the pipe comes out the back instead of the top, it might help, or if the chimney isn't fully lined, but that would seem to put the regulation on a stove-by-stove or install-by-install basis rather than a blanket rule.

    Just my .02

    Corey
  3. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Hey Elk
    I'd be curious to know what the code says about cleanouts for below grade installations. My existing masonry fireplace is in a lower level of a back-split, therefore the hearth is about 5 feet below grade, therefore there is no cleanout. (and as you point out, none required for the fireplace)

    The P.E. Summit I am having installed (yes, still waiting) was chosen partially for the ability to remove the baffle and brush right down into the firebox.

    Willhound
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I posted this topic for general discussion. Part of confusing code written, and how it can be interpeted differently
    As part of my seminar to the building inspectors next month, I wanted to post some questions simmilar to this one for imput.
    I too welcome any code topics that can be discussed and I can decide to use them as well. My seminars, I try not to preach but to draw the audience into general discussion. Many times written code is confusing and damn right un enforceable, in the field. In the audience are the state inspectors, If a lot of confusion over interpetation of witten code is occcuring amongst the inspectors, then what better way to expose it to the state. I have asked the state inspectors present for imput. I mean I learn as much from the seminar as everbody else.. In my state we inspectors have to obtain so many continuing eductaion points or contact hours. Almost all inspectors are on salary. These seminars are an excuse to get out of the office earn point and get a meal. I am paid per inspection basis no salary$25. For me to attend a seminar, It cost me a days pay taking the hammer, out of my hand. For one or two contact hours, loosing $300 is not good for my family. To prove that I have continued my education, I give the seminar. And if I do a good job I have 200 plus witnesses that can attest, I have enough knowledge to remain being an inspector including the state. This way I loose only one day.
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