Sooteater question

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jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Hey all-

I just got my first Sooteater in the mail (I have a short straight shot with a 45 inside the insert, and have been using a regular brush for years). Got the sooteater so I could try cleaning from the bottom up (my brush won't do the 45 inside the insert).

My question to y'all: I am planning on using a drill so I can set the clutch, but I have impact drivers too. Which is better? The impact is tempting but I don't want to break any rods.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
Hey all-

I just got my first Sooteater in the mail (I have a short straight shot with a 45 inside the insert, and have been using a regular brush for years). Got the sooteater so I could try cleaning from the bottom up (my brush won't do the 45 inside the insert).

My question to y'all: I am planning on using a drill so I can set the clutch, but I have impact drivers too. Which is better? The impact is tempting but I don't want to break any rods.
Just use a drill
 
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Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
I just use a 18V Milwaukee drill...10-15 minutes start to finish on my straight up system taking my time...
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
I use corded if I have power nearby at all. It is to hard on the cordless stuff
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
I use corded if I have power nearby at all. It is to hard on the cordless stuff
I am only running a straight up 13 feet...never noticed any strain on my 18 volt drill...it actually seems to handle it pretty easy...45s and much longer runs may be a issue...
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
I am only running a straight up 13 feet...never noticed any strain on my 18 volt drill...it actually seems to handle it pretty easy...45s and much longer rus may be a issue...
You also aren't cleaning 5 to 10 chimneys a day. If I was just doing my own I would just use cordless for sure
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
I use a corded drill. Had to buy an extra rod set so I have enough length to hit the cap. I use all the rods to get there so it's a fair bit of kit in rotation.

Do you all modulate the speed or just let it rip? I tend not to run the drill flat out in favor of revving it up and down and keep it on the slow side mostly because I'm a afraid I will damage the liner. Am I worried for nothing?
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
You also aren't cleaning 5 to 10 chimneys a day. If I was just doing my own I would just use cordless for sure
True enough! lol I wasnt looking at it from a sweeps perspective! I am only using mine 2-3 times per year tops...
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
I have been cleaning mine with a soot eater for 5 years now...I start off slow at the beginning of the system and then let it rip till I get close to the cap...I marked a rod so I know......I dont see how it could damage it...
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
I use a corded drill. Had to buy an extra rod set so I have enough length to hit the cap. I use all the rods to get there so it's a fair bit of kit in rotation.

Do you all modulate the speed or just let it rip? I tend not to run the drill flat out in favor of revving it up and down and keep it on the slow side mostly because I'm a afraid I will damage the liner. Am I worried for nothing?
That depends on what liner you have
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
Been using mine since 2011. I'm down to once a year but used to do it more. Mostly I'm worried about the metal connections getting pressed against the sides as the whole setup flexes under its own weight. Maybe I'm over thinking it.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
That depends on what liner you have
Have to say I don't remember anymore if I ever knew. I think I had a spec for it on the quote but not sure about the brand. Assuming its cheapo anything I can do to avoid damage?
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
The orig receipt says 2 ply 3/16 but no brand.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
The orig receipt says 2 ply 3/16 but no brand.
I will not run a rotary cleaner in them unless absolutely nessecary anymore after damaging 2 of them and having to replace them. I will only run a soft bristle brush through them. If it has glaze I make the owner sign a waiver that I am not responsible for damage due to cleaning
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
I will not run a rotary cleaner in them. Anymore after damaging 2 of them and having to replace them. I will only run a soft bristle brush through them. If it has glaze I make the owner sign a waiver that I am not responsible for damage due to cleaning
Thanks. It's a little late in the game but I will have to read up a bit on liner types. Not sure where the 2 ply comes in.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,947
central pa
Thanks. It's a little late in the game but I will have to read up a bit on liner types. Not sure where the 2 ply comes in.
It has an outer wall like a normal light wall liner and an inner layer that is only supported on the top side. That bottom edge can get snagged by a stiff brush or if there is any puckering a rotary cleaner can snag it as well.

I have had to eat the cost of replacing 4 of those liners now. 2 I installed and they failed warranty denied. And 2 I damaged.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
It has an outer wall like a normal light wall liner and an inner layer that is only supported on the top side. That bottom edge can get snagged by a stiff brush or if there is any puckering a rotary cleaner can snag it as well.

I have had to eat the cost of replacing 4 of those liners now. 2 I installed and they failed warranty denied. And 2 I damaged.
Thanks for the info, I'll just have to be as gentle as I can.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I used it for the first time yesterday, as it was 60 outside.

I think I spent significantly more time than I do with a brush, but the top section where it's always dirtiest came out cleaner than usual.

(I let the stove sit all day and cleaned it just before bedtime, at least 24 hours from the last reload, and the durn thing was still too hot to put the inpection camera in when I was done. I went up on the roof and put the inspection camera down a few feet from there.)

One unexpected gotcha was that when I pulled it out, it hit the pile of sweepings and flung them around behind the cat, and my bypass didn't close right because there was debris right there where it closes.... so I need to either stop the drill sooner or (better yet) just pull the cat and vac behind it when I do a sooteater sweep.

Overall, it seems to be a cleaner sweep than a brush but (for my setup) it takes longer and is messier.

I'll probably stick to the brush in future, and use the sooteater once a year in the summer when I can do it top-down with the stove door closed. That's not to say that I didn't like it- it seems like a good tool!
 

highanddryinco

Burning Hunk
Aug 2, 2014
122
Denver, CO
I put a box fan in a window blowing inward. Slightly pressurizes the house and any fine dust or ash goes out the top on my bottom-up cleaning.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
985
MA
I use corded, too, with the speed turned down.

I only have an early 12V battery drill. It can't handle it, as mentioned above. I need to run almost 30 feet in.

My instructions actually say not to use corded, as the speed can be too high. There is a caution statement about potentially damaging the liner with too high speed with a corded drill. As I said, I turn the speed down.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I have 20 feet of pipe, and my rain cap is 12 feet above my roof, the Sooteater makes cleaning for me possible. I've only used it a couple times and I couldn't imagine cleaning without it. Of course when you're new to something and learning, you hope you're not causing damage.
 

Valhalla

Minister of Fire
Have used a Sooteater for almost 12 years and in 18 foot, 8' pipe with a cordless drill... all to keep me off the roof!
Would not consider cleaning without one.
 

Brookwood

Member
Feb 14, 2012
14
Mountain Brook, Alabama
Love mine. I was 1 rod short of reaching the cap and didn’t want to buy another set. Went to Lowe’s and bought 1 piece of a cleaning rod they had. It attaches on one end to the Sooteater.

When I’m cleaning and on my last extension, the end of the Lowe’s rod goes into my cordless drill straight into the chuck and tightened down. Never high speed. I put blue painters tape around rod to mark when I’ve reached the cap

I tape plastic sheet sheet over opening with big vac hose inside to catch dust.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
583
NE Missouri
I like my sooteater, but the biggest pain for me is removing two of the secondary burn tubes so I can remove my baffle. The tubes are held in place with a cotter pin and getting it back in can be a pain. There's got to be a better way to secure it.