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Chimney Integrity Smoke Testing

The Chimney Integrity Test is used to check a chimney is sound and has integrity.  You must carry out this test if you are not fitting a stainless steel liner.  Even if a liner is being installed it is a test that you should consider having as it is better to know your chimney is safe with or without a liner.

If there are problems with your chimney that are not known, you could have insulation materials or smoke and gases released through your chimney into your home and/or into your neighbour’s home.

Two people should carry out the integrity check.  The test involves sealing off the fireplace.  The flue is warmed with a blow torch to start the draw.  A large volume of smoke is added to the flue using one or more smoke pellets.  When the smoke is seen exiting the pot at the top of the chimney the pot is then sealed.  The smoke should remain trapped inside the chimney, when sealed, for at least five minutes.

Now the inside of the house, the chimney stack, loft and eaves of the house can be checked.  If the chimney is on a neighbour’s wall, it is best to ask your neighbour for access to their home to check for signs of smoke.

Once the test is completed and the house has been given the all clear, the seal over the pot is removed to see if the smoke has been secured and trapped within the chimney (smoke billowing from the chimney is a good sign this has happened).

If smoke is detected outside of the chimney then repairs must be carried out before the stove is installed.

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