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My SootEater review

Post in 'The Gear' started by atvdave, Dec 27, 2008.

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  1. atvdave

    atvdave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Loc:
    Newburgh, IN
    Today I used my SootEater rotary chimney cleaning system for the first time. The system comes with a chimney whip (good for 18” diameter flue), 6 flexible rods at 3’ long each, 1 drill adapter, 1 hex key, and a sheet of plastic 52” x 48”.

    http://www.gardusinc.com/chimney/

    The kit comes with some very easy to follow directions that most anyone can understand. To trim the chimney whip to your flue/liner diameter there is a simple template you lay on a table and trim to your flue/liner diameter. (very easy to use). OK, so after I got the whip trimmed for my 6” liner I grabbed my 18v cordless drill, some rods, and a screwdriver to remove my rain cap, and up to the roof I went.

    It was a nice day today so I decided to clean from the top down, mostly to keep the dust out of the house. I removed my cap, and spark arrester and inserted the first rod into the drill. It took very little time before I had to stop and put the 2nd rod on. To put more rods on you must push in a small button to release it from the other rod, or drill adapter. I found that just pushing in the button with the hex tool provided was somewhat difficult. I ended up using my flat head screw driver I had up there to remove the rain cap with and once I got the button pushed all the way in, I took the flat part of the screw driver and wedged the flat part in between the two pieces to help push off the connection. It works a lot better than using the tool that they provide.

    Back to adding more rods, and getting everything clean. As I keep adding more rods and going deeper into my liner, I suddenly fill my drill trying to lock up and going crazy. I let off the power right away and try to back out the rods. It’s locked…. I can’t pull the rods back up. I get off the roof and down to my insert, I see a bunch of tangled rod inside my insert. I get the rod untangled and back to the roof. I put the drill in reverse and start pulling out the rods keeping the drill running to help clean more. As I get to the last 2 rods, I notice the whip head just going nuts, beating the heck out of my liner. So I pull the last to rods out and find that the first rod is bent very badly from when it got all tangled up in my insert. The operator’s manual say you can tell when you reach the end of the liner due to the whip will spin more freely because the whip will have less torque on the rods, however I didn’t fell a thing till the drill just about locked up. I now have a bent rod I can no longer use. (They tell you in the OP to run a rope down the liner first to get the right length for your rods which I did not do,…. My fault.)

    How did it do? Well my liner had about a 1/8” of soot build up. The SootEater I thought did a very good job on cleaning the soot off, and if you don’t count the time the rod got stuck, the total time was around 10 to 15 minents. I think it did a very good job and my drill had plenty of power, and still does. The only part of my body that got soot on it was my hands from handling the rods.

    Pros:
    Easy & fast to use.
    Don’t have to stand over the liner/flue so no soot blowing up into your face.
    Did a good job on cleaning the liner

    Cons:
    Rods are kind of hard to disconnect when you have your hands full.
    If you bend a rod too much, it won’t bend back.

    Attached Files:

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  2. sl7vk

    sl7vk New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    262
    Loc:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Thanks for the review. With my setup, on a ladder, I'd be nervous with the thing catching, and the torque of the drill throwing me off balance. Interesting concept. Being that I've never swept before, I'll have to see how doing it the old fashion way works...
  3. atvdave

    atvdave Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Loc:
    Newburgh, IN
    Actually it was designed to work the other way. From the stove up. I just used it from the top down due to not wanting to tape off the insert with plastic, and deal with the dust.

    But you can use it anyway, TOP or Bottom.
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    Thanks Dave...no chimney cap here so the opportunity of cleaning from the bottom up is appealing.
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