So on the weekend Hubby set about lighting the fire for it's test run. But try as he might it would not light, even the paper would not stay lit. Not only would it not light but the smoke was not going up the chimney it was coming straight out the door. The whole house was filling with smoke and there was clearly an issue. The smoke could not get up the chimney.
So we started to check all the possible areas that could be causing the issue. We knew the chimney itself was clear as it had been cleaned out last year, so hubby climbed on the roof to check that there were not any critters somehow blocking the top chimney cap. It was clear too.
The last place to check was inside the fire itself. Once it had cooled down we were able to work out that this is where the problem was coming from.
The way the fire works can be seen in the picture below. A heavy metal plate (top plate) stops the flames from shooting up the chimney and the smoke is sucked in at the front and back (the picture is a side view)
|A side view of the fire working as it should|
|A side view of a blocked fire|
Below you can see a picture of what was sitting on top of our top plate. Ours has a triangular catch are that the chimney sits into but not touching the plate. And as you can see it was full of an inch of soot.
Now that we have that sorted we are set for a nice cosy winter. We will probably not have to do this for another 2 years now but it is worth checking every year and the fire is more efficient once done.
What fire maintenance do you do at your place.