Thursday, March 26, 2020

Basking in the glow

Sorry, no pictures.

We struggled with getting the 6" diameter, corrugated, stainless steel chimney liner past the damper.

Looking from the bottom, the chimney appeared to have two ledges. The one to the west was about 15 inches higher than the one on the east. In retrospect, the one on the east was the damper. Getting the end of the liner to miss the higher ledge caused it to be trapped behind the flue i.e. the second ledge.

Mrs ERJ and I tried about four times the other day. Me feeding from the top and Mrs ERJ guiding as best she could from the bottom. It was a losing proposition. Mrs ERJ could not reach up far enough into the chimney to grab the end of the pipe and snake it through the obstacle course. The pipe was simultaneously too stiff and too springy and too slippery.

We aborted the effort when the wind velocity picked up.

We talked it over on our daily walks. We waited until Belladonna was not studying for a test.

I dropped a rope down from the top.

We brought in a coil of 4" diameter, corrugated plastic drain pipe that I happened to have in stock.

I cut a small hole in the side of the drain tile about a foot from one end. Then I ran the rope inside the pipe to where the hole was and then threaded the rope through the hole to the outside. It was much like tying a leader onto fly line although the scale was much, much bigger.

I went up the ladder. Mrs ERJ fed the 4" drain tile up from the bottom. I pulled on the rope. In a thrice we had three feet of plastic drain-tile sticking out of the top of the chimbilly.

Then ever lovely and handy Belladonna was called into play. She stabilized the chimney liner assembly while I slid the stainless steel liner OVER the plastic tile. Mrs ERJ, who was inside the house, secured the plastic tile by sitting on it where it spilled over the hearth.

We had one snag. Bella went down the ladder to assist Mrs ERJ. Bella had to wiggle the flexible, telescoping pipes around to tease them past the obstacles. Fortunately, the plastic pipe had enough rigidity that she could horse both of them. Then.....the stainless steel pipe was within her reach.

She donned a pair of gloves, gripped the end of the pipe and smoothly pulled that puppy down.

Did I mention that Belladonna wants to be a midwife?

There was other fiddly stuff. I had to glue the top-plate to the tile flue liner. I ran a ratchet strap around the top of the brick chimney and lashed the top-plate down so it would not whip around in the wind before the RTV cured.

It was a totally backazzwards way of solving the problem. We couldn't get the steel pipe through the obstacles but we could push it over a smaller pipe that we could snake past the damper and ledge.

I am sure the professionals have some easy-peasy trick, but that was the best we could come up with.

And now I am basking while Mrs ERJ is savoring. And Belladonna is back to studying.


  1. The problem is solved now. An elegant solution in two weeks is that much too late. Well done all!!

  2. If it's stupid but it works....

  3. Excellent job. I doubt I'd have come up with something that worked as easily.


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