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now what...

Post in 'The Gear' started by OhioBurner©, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Well aint this embarrassing. Not sure if this is the best place for this question but finally getting around to cleaning out the flues and got the brush stuck in one of them (its the first time its been done). Any suggestions on getting it out? I'm not particularly big of a dude and strength alone isnt getting it out. The brush is all the way to the bottom in the tee of my liner. I think the only way is back out the top. Chimney comes through near the peak of the roof (masonry). Maybe I can rig up my combo ladder across the roof and get above it so I can put my legs into it instead of arms. Not sure how stable putting a ladder up there will be though.

    I'd appreciate any ideas!

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Steel or poly?
  3. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    so....you have it on a rope or a pole or fiberglass rods?? that might be a tough one. got to get the bristles bent back the other way. is the brush metal or plastic? i think i'd wave off the ladder on top of the chimney to get leverage. that might not be a good idea. i fell only about 11 feet right on to my back and had 6 fractures. at least have someone up there with you if you do.

    cass
  4. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Oh sorry, details... its a poly brush on fiberglass rods.

    I didnt take a pic but if its any help here is a pic of the installation of the liner. Just imagine its done, and there is a foot of rod sticking up through the top. Atleast thats what the roof and chimney look like.
    [​IMG]
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking maybe a couple of 2x4's across the top of the chimney, two guys. One holding the wagon jack, loop a short cable between pole and jack, and the other jacking it up? i know it sounds redneck. same idea of pulling posts out of ground, but a little trickier. You'll only need to change the direction of the brush. Oh yeah, beer after it's finished, not before.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I had to clean a chimney for a fellow once and got the brush stuck bad. I could not pull it out and the roof was steel with a very steep pitch to it. Scary. We had tied ropes and then tied the ropes to ourselves so we would not fall and two of use could not budge it. Finally I got 2 pipe wrenches and put on the rods and we pulled on the wrench handles. Thankfully it finally broke loose. That one was really scary and the worst part was that we were doing this all in the dark. Bad memories.
  7. Monosperma

    Monosperma Member

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    Is there any way to connect the rod to a small automobile jack and let it do the work? Or maybe even a bumper jack, if you need some clearance above the chimney. Just make sure your rods are screwed in and screwed to the brush tightly, because if that sucker comes unscrewed, your problem will go to the next level.
  8. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    Can you open up the tee/thimble area, & remove from the bottom by chance? A C
  9. sebring

    sebring Member

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    get a soot eater for next time.. cant get them stuck.. You could also trim some of the bristles on your poly brush to make it easier to use next time.

    I could see how it could get stuck. pulling a fiberglass rod from neck height isnt easy.
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Get a pipe T and screw on the end of the rods. Cut a notch in the end of a short 2x4 that will fit over the T and with some other miscelaneous lengths of blocking as a fulcrum point , lever it out of the chimney.
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Get on the interwebs and order you a new brush. Light a small fire and in about 10 minutes, go up and pull the rods out. Throw the old burn up poly brush away and swap on the new one. Call it a day. 20 bucks for the new brush is hardly worth the strain, headache and danger of getting this one out. If you catch it at just the right time, the poly may soften and you can pull it out intact.

    Alternate 1: is there any chance you can push it in further...possibly into a space where it can 'reverse' and be pulled out? Sometimes they 'lock' in the direction you insert it and need a little space to reverse direction.

    Alternate 2: you might try twisting and pulling on the brush at the same time. Sometimes the twist is enough to help the bristles reverse direction. Just remember to twist in a 'tightening' direction, otherwise you will have rods AND brush stuck.
    ScotO and Monosperma like this.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Cut a 2x4 about 24" - 36" long, drill a hole in the center just big enough to get the rod through, put the rod through the 2x4, put a washer on then thread a nut. Not you have a "T".

    Invite a buddy over for a beer and trick him into getting up on the roof with you (I would suggest challenging his machismo by betting him he can't or telling him he's too scared). Each guy gets on one side of the T and pulls or get under and push with legs.

    Get off the roof and give the buddy a beer for his services.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Just watch out with all that pulling. You don't want to yank the dang thing from the stove collar.

    Hook a 1/2" drill to the darn thing. Once it starts spinning, pull up.
    ScotO likes this.
  14. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Hey, take all these ideas and make a video, please. It would go viral...make Red Green proud.
    f3cbboy likes this.
  15. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    THIS is why i never clean my chimney! :cool:
  16. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've never had one stuck like that. Are the bristles too long? sounds like it's "directionally handcuffed' into the ridges of your liner, it may pay you to shorten your bristles just a tad (not so much that it doesn't clean your flue, but enough so that it won't get jammed in there). I kinda like Jags' idea with the 1/2" drill, just be careful NOT to beat the crap out of your liner with that long fiberglass pole.....I can see that thing trying to flex when I run this job through my head.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Scott, the time we got stuck it was not the fault of the brush but we ran into a whole lot more creosote that we figured, That thing was almost plugged 100%. If it weren't for the fact that it was a relative, I would not have done it.
  18. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Can you give us a pic of the setup and where your T is located? I'm thinking the drill route to somehow spin it loose...anyway you can get some sort of lubricant down there....just was thinking dish soap or something.....gotta be a way to get it loose.
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Is the brush size the same as the liner (6" brush in a 5.5" liner)? ?

    I like the drill idea also. Once its spinning, it should be easier. Just take it slow.
  20. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Wow thanks for all the ideas fellas.

    Its a 5.5" liner and I searched long and hard for 5.5" brushes. Found a couple but the comments from reviewers stated something to the effect of it just ebing a 6" brush. Found one that had positive reviews. When I got it it did look a tiny bit smaller than my 6" brush. My 6" would not fit in the liner at all. This one did, but it was kind of tight. I should have tried to reverse it before I got it all the way down into the tee.

    I think once I get it out I'll have to trim down the bristles some more - negating the whole reason I shopped around until I found a proper 5.5" brush. Should have went with a soot eater, but I was already set up with brushes and rods for 2 other chimneys. Of course when I got the brush it was a larger size and I had to go out and buy some adapters still. This silly thing has turned into a big mess.

    Dont have anyone around really to help, so looking for a solo solution if I can. Most of my friends are over an hour away since we moved here. Might try getting it spinning with the drill first, but I have my doubts my drills are strong enough.

    Lee - I think your idea I'll try next (or perhaps even first).

    Corey - 1] its all the way to the bottom of the tee where its capped off. Cant move any further (well it might be against an inch or two of creosote that pilled up under it. 2] if I try the drill thats what I will do. By hand it isnt budging.

    Lukem - if I cant get it by myself then that sounds like the next step. Just not that easy to get someone over here. Besides me being in the middle of nowehere I also work a rotating shift. People dont like to drive for hours in the evening to help me do something on a weekday when they have to work in the morn, and I dont get many weekends off (not another one for 3 weeks anyhow).

    Jags - it goes through a tee through the thimble, I suppose yanking is going to put pressure on the snout and perhaps on the top plate. Not sure if I should be worried about damaging those but thanks for mentioning, I didnt think about the possibility that so much leverage might damage things.

    Flying cow - it might either show up on red green or this years darwins nominations...

    Daveswoodhauler - well not much to see when its inside the wall but here is a pic after I installed the liner & stove last year... [​IMG]
    The tee is a foot and half behind the bricks, and the bristles are bound up basically in that area.
  21. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You may have to get a fire going in the stove and "warm" the brush up a bit, it will come out then. don't let it get so hot it melts and catches on fire, but maybe let it get warm where it will come out of the flue. You'll need a new brush when finished, but at least you won't need a new liner or thimble too. Make sure to either get a smaller brush or trim your brush to fit your liner from now on......
    JoeyD likes this.
  22. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1
    I agree with Jags. Get it spinning with a drill & pull on it.

    2nd, if a drill don't work.
    Since it's poly, I'd melt it before breaking or ripping something apart. New brush would be cheaper than the repair ;)
  23. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    Late update but have been out of town for a work conference for a week. Last weekend, the day before leaving, my cousin from out of state happened to be around and stopped by. The two of us were able to get it out, I took a scrap 2x4 maybe 3 or 4 foot long and drilled a hole in the center. We basically made a T handle, and rigged up a nut to hold it on (I didnt have anything that would fit, but found its the same threads as air fittings). The two of us still couldn't just lift it out, but we used the setup like a slide hammer - dropping the 2x4 down then lifting it up fast and slamming the nut on the end - we would get it to raise up about 1/2" with each slam. After maybe 6 or so we were able to just pull it out like normal. So everythings good now and no damage.

    Guess I'll just have to trim the brush down. What a PITA. Its like a heavy duty one and has twice as many bristles as my other brushes. It would probably work great if it was an external chimney that I could open the T and pass it straight through. I might just try one of those soot eater things.
  24. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    If you can't open the "T", how do you get the brushed down stuff out?
  25. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

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    I just used the same shovel I clean the ashes out of the stove with. Was debating on getting an ash vac to get every last bit but since the part under the snout of the tee is very shallow I can pretty much get it all out, maybe a half to one cup of stuff left in the bottom of the tee.

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