Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Sweeping my own boiler chimney

amin1992 Member Posts: 26
edited August 2020 in Oil Heating
Hey there guys. I sweep my own chimney for my wood stove and wanted to look into doing the same for my oil boiler.

The boiler flue runs a few feet where it opens up into a terra cotta chimney - not sure of exact size at this time but it's square, something like 6" x 6".

Anyway, when I do the wood stove, all the soot and such falls into the stove where I can vacuum it all out. However, on the boiler, there is no way to get to the bottom of the chimney. The galvanized flue runs horizontally about 3 feet into the terra cotta, and this is about 4 or 5 feet high.

How would I go about cleaning out all the soot that falls after sweeping? Do I need to? Only idea I have had is getting like 8+ feet of Shop Vac hose and fishing it down into there to suck up what I can, but I'd be going in blind.

Appreciate the help!


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,825
    edited August 2020
    Are you saying where the flue pipe enters into the chimney, it drops 4 or 5 feet into a no mans land?
    They’re should be a cleanout obviously, otherwise I'd fill that opening with cement
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,555
    There should be a clean out at the base of the chimney. Weather there is or not. Shut the boiler down, sweep the chimney then remove the boiler flue pipe, clean it out and put it back up. Restart the boiler. Also vacuum out the base of the chimney as much as you can through the flue pipe opening
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,802
    If you can't reach the base with the hose, you need a soot shovel with a long handle. 
  • amin1992
    amin1992 Member Posts: 26
    Thanks all. Yup, looks like it goes to no man's land down there. Definitely no clean out anywhere. 

    I'll try to confirm this week. Thanks 
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 433
    I did that once, will never do that again. as the mess I was let with cost me more in time than it was worth. Have a pro do it and install a bottom clean out if needed.

  • Bob Harper
    Bob Harper Member Posts: 860
    Reline the chimney and incorporate a cleanout tee or wye. Done. Honestly, cleanouts are for planned failure. The codes require them for masonry chimneys but not listed chimney or vents or liners unless the appliance mfr. specifies one.
Sign In or Register to comment.


It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!