Frequently Asked Questions
Rotary power sweeping is the natural progression of the traditional chimney sweeping method. It requires the use of a drill and specifically designed rods and sweeping heads, reducing the time it takes to clean a chimney, while giving a far superior finish.
Extensive research was done between 2004 and 2012 into finding a more comprehensive way to clean flues and liners, not only for removing more soot, tar and creosote than ever before but also being less abrasive to the structure of its target, this is why rotary power sweeping has progressed into the preferred method of sweeping by the industry as a whole, including; existing sweeps as well as liner manufactures.
Rotary power sweeping has lifted many of the restraints that were in place from traditional sweeping. No longer do you have to only sweep with a clockwise motion, due to the Click lock system you can sweep both clockwise and anti-clockwise giving you more freedom to clean than ever before.
Due to using a drill and centrifugal force rotary sweeping has taken a large amount of the physicality out of the job, meaning it will help prolong the career of a sweep, taking away the wear and tear on the body that is associated with manual sweeping.
With power sweeping you can clean a bird guard while sweeping from the bottom.
Power rotary heads are designed to sweep a variety of flue sizes this is because as the drill spins the strands expand to fit the flue therefore a small number of brush sizes will cover the full range of flues and liners being swept. European flues start from 80mm (3.15 inches) up to 900mm (36 inches) and above, whereas traditional sweeping requires the head to match the flue size exactly meaning you could have upwards of 20 heads on your van during your working day.
Another advantage of using rotary power sweeping, is that the speed of the drill actually dictates the pressure exerted on a flue, so a single sized whip/head/brush as actually equivalent to a soft bristle brush when rotated on a slower speed, and equivalent to a stronger hard bristle brush, when on full speed of the drill.
Firstly, Confirm the type of material the rod is made from.
Nylon is a commonly used material with rods, however it has issues dealing with the elements, in summer it is not uncommon for the rods to heat up especially if left in a van overnight, this results in the rods becoming floppy and to unstable to push the head up the flue/liner.
In the winter if the rods get cold they become brittle and have an increased chance of snapping when navigating a bend, or applying pressure in sweeping.
The ideal material is a copolymer. It takes the best attributes of Nylon, which is its flexibility, toughness and durability, but does not suffer any side effects from the elements giving you confidence your equipment will not fail you whatever the weather.
The majority of rotary power heads are made from Zinc plated steel, you should aim to look for a head where the strands prevent the head from being able to touch the flue when in use.
Having the most strands does not necessarily mean a cleaner result. For a Moderately dirty flue 4 strands split into 8 sections is the ideal amount.
If the flue has a large build-up of tar or creosote you should use a head that has forward facing strands combined with 8 strands split into 16 sections this will remove even the most stubborn build up as well as birds’ nests.
Check that the company has a range of heads to cover all eventualities, this is the hallmark of a true specialist in rotary power sweeping.
The Ideal strand should be a copolymer with a hexagonal shape, this strand type is more durable than its rivals, this is because it has 6 individual cutting sides which naturally cuts though soot with ease without damaging the liner underneath.
Some companies use a round nylon strand, which does not have the cutting ability of the hexagonal strands, but rather forces through the debris, and wears out quicker.
Power sweeping company’s should have an approved by section on their website, with a singed off declaration that each manufacture has approved the use of the equipment within their liners.
You can always double check with the liner manufacture that they have approved the equipment.
Avoid any rod that has a home repair option. All high quality professional rotary sweeping rods are expertly engineered and manufactured to industrial standards.
All power sweeping companies should have a full warranty return system that you should utilise if required.