Did you just install a new fireplace or stove in your home? If so, there is one more step to the installation process before your new heating appliance is safe to use – the smoke test.
What is a smoke test?
A smoke test, or a chimney pressure test, is required by the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211; the test should be performed by a professional after installing a new fireplace or stove. This test is designed to identify any defects, flaws, or problems in your fireplace system that might allow smoke, gas, or dangerous fumes to leak into your home. Likewise, the smoke test also ensures that your chimney is drafting correctly and if the flue needs to be relined or not.
The process of a smoke test
During the first part of a smoke test, the chimney professional try to establish correct flue draw. To do this, a blowtorch is used to light a smoke pellet that produces a distinctive odor. Once smoke is seen coming out of the top of the chimney, the next phase of the smoke test begin.
After establishing flue draw, the chimney technician seals the top and bottom of the flue along with doors, ash pit covers, and vents. Once the entire chimney is sealed, the technician begin checking the inside and outside your home for signs of a leak. This includes checking rooms adjacent to the chimney, all sides of the chimney, and even adjacent attic and roof spaces. If any leaks are found, recommendations are made on solution for repairs.
The importance of smoke tests
A smoke test might seem like an unnecessary step, especially if your fireplace is newly built and professionally installed. However, this safety test is an important part of ensuring your fireplace can burn safely. A smoke test ensures the chimney has correct flue draw and no leaks, it also helps to prevent future draft and smoking issues. Likewise, it also significantly reduce the chance of chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning in the future. This make your new heating appliance safer to use and give you peace of mind for years to come.
Maintenance after a smoke test
While a smoke test is an important part of preparing to use your new fireplace, it is not the only maintenance your appliance needs. Annual maintenance is the best way to ensure your fireplace continues to burn safely and efficiently year after year. An annual chimney sweeping removes blockages and buildup in your chimney; this helps the fireplace to draft correctly and prevents accidental chimney fires.
Annual inspections are also an useful tool in identifying damage or deterioration before they cause serious problems. If you just installed a new heating appliance or built a new chimney, it is important to perform a smoke test to ensure it is drafting safely. For more information on smoke tests, schedule your appointment today by contacting Jack Pixley Sweeps today at 763-422-0481.