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Hi, I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and it is the time of year again to start thinking about cleaning your chimney. Whether you are a frequent burner or an infrequent burner, cleaning your chimney is definitely something that you need to take care of. Today we are going to talk about how to clean your masonry chimney using the Pulley Method also called the Dual Line Method.

Video Highlights: 0:14 The Pulley Chimney Cleaning Method 0:30 Choose a chimney brush 0:46 Measuring your flue opening 1:15 Features of the perfect brush 1:34 How the Pulley Method works 2:17 Measuring the chimney length 2:28 Tying on the rope lengths 4:25 Remove the Chimney Cap 5:01 Cleaning with the Pulley Method 6:47 Checking to see if the chimney is clean 7:26 Finishing touches 8:19 When to call a Professional

Using the Pulley Cleaning Method

This cleaning method requires two people, one on the roof and another at the fireplace opening. In the Dual Line cleaning method you will connect two ropes to the brush, one on the top and one on the bottom. The brush is going to be operated from both the roof and the fireplace. Assemble the pulley system with the brush. Have one person take it up a ladder to the roof. The person on the roof should hold one end of the rope and drop the other end down the chimney to the other person waiting below leaving the brush in the middle. Working together, use the ropes to pull the brush up and down, scrubbing the entire chimney flue. This cleaning method will also be a messy one as you cannot close off the fireplace opening.

  • Chimney Brush
  • Loop Adapter for threaded end of the brush
  • Rope – 2 lengths
  • Work gloves
  • Drop cloths
  • Broom and Dust Pan
  • Ash Bucket or Container
  • Ash Vacuum

Step by Step Pulley Chimney Cleaning Method

    1. You will want to start by laying the drop cloths over all furniture and flooring in the room where the fireplace is located to protect it from being damaged by any soot that gets into the room during cleaning.
  1. Attach the loop adapter to the threaded end of the chimney brush. Then tie a length of rope to each end of the chimney brush. Now you are ready to begin!
  2. Put all of your protective wear on before you begin the next step in the cleaning process.
  3. Drop one end of the rope down the chimney to the person waiting near the firebox. Insert the brush into the chimney flue opening.
  4. Then have the person near the firebox begin to pull the rope until the chimney brush is all the way to the bottom of the flue opening.
  5. Now the person of the roof will pull the chimney brush back up to the top of the flue opening.
  6. Repeat this process until the chimney is completely clean.
  7. Once you have scrubbed the entire length of the chimney you can pull the brush completely out of the chimney.
  8. Remove the debris that has fallen into the firebox from the chimney with the broom and dust pan.
  9. Use the Ash Vacuum to clean up any ash or soot that was left behind
  10. Now you can dispose of all the debris and pick up the drop cloths

Tips for Choosing a Chimney Brush

There are many types and sizes of chimneys so before you choose a chimney brush you will need to measure the inner dimensions of the chimney that you are going to be cleaning. If your chimney is a metal Class A chimney, prefab chimney, or a masonry chimney that has been relined you will need to remove the chimney cap then measure the distance across the inner diameter of the round chimney flue. The best chimney brush for a metal flue is a poly bristled brush this is so that the inner wall of the chimney is not grooved by the metal bristles on a wire chimney brush. If you have a masonry chimney measure the inner flue liner dimensions both directions. You will then choose a chimney brush that matches the measurements as closely as possible. Wire brushes are recommended for the more porous clay or masonry flues to get the creosote build-up off more efficiently. For an oval flue you will measure it the same as the masonry chimney. And again choose a chimney brush that matches the measurements as closely as possible. If you are unable to find a chimney brush that matches your flue openings exact size you would then purchase the brush that is larger but still is the closest in size to your flue. You will have to trim the bristles down to match the opening of your flue exactly; this is the same if you have an oval flue as well. You want the bristles of the brush to reach the side walls for an adequate clean.