Chimney Cleanout Doors: Types, Functions & Location

Here is all about chimney cleanout doors.

Whenever chimneys are built, they’re designed in such a way to help with easy maintenance. Cleaning, among other maintenance actions, is a fundamental requirement that guarantees the smooth operation of a chimney.

If you’re reading this, the guess would be that you intend to know more about this chimney component.

We assure you of doing justice to this topic. You only need to hang on and read to the very end.

Where’s the chimney door located? Is it necessary? What are the types of chimney doors? Can the chimney door be used to inspect the masonry condition of a chimney?

Questions, questions, questions! All of these require the right answers and we’re well capable of doing just that.

So, without further ado, let’s get to business!

About Chimney Cleanout Doors

Chimney cleaning includes clearing the hearth of all sorts of debris including byproducts of combustion such as ashes. Quite a lot of problems will occur when there’s no chimney cleanout door in place.

This makes the cleaning process a lot more hectic than it should be.

The chimney cleanout door must be closed when not in use. Being in use would be when it’s opened for cleaning.

With cleaning completed, the door should be closed. This door cannot be opened when the chimney is in use as it’s bound to generate a lot of smoke.

Chimney cleanout doors come in multiple sizes. This is important during replacement. You shouldn’t just make an arbitrary purchase without taking or noting the measurements of the previous door.

This little action does a lot to make the replacement process a lot easier.

Is It Necessary To Have A Cleanout Door?

It is! From our brief introduction, it’s easy to rationalize the important role played by chimney cleanout doors. These are among the basic additions that must be made by every homeowner.

However, not all fireplaces will need such doors. It all depends on the conditions surrounding its use.

  • It Helps with Chimney Inspection

Apart from cleaning debris and ash from a chimney, a chimney cleanout door also helps with an inspection. You’re unlikely to notice early faults with a chimney flue without the cleanout door.

This provision allows for closer inspection.

Simply taking a look around should show the types of debris (if any) present on the floor. By looking up through the cleanout door, you should be able to see through the upper end. If you can’t, then it’s a clear sign of blockage.

The blockage could be due to many factors.

This includes the animal presence or a sign that parts of the chimney have collapsed. With such signs, you’re able to call a chimney service for more detailed inspections and possible fixes or repairs.

  • Are Chimney Cleanout Doors Necessary For All Chimney Types?

There’s no doubt about the importance of having a chimney cleanout door installed in a fireplace.

However, questions may arise about its suitability for certain fuel types since ash isn’t produced. Some fireplace types are designed for certain fuels such as gas or electricity.

These are considered clean and do not give off soot, creosotes, and ash as byproducts of combustion.

Although these do not, it’s still important to have a cleanout door installed on your chimney to help prevent pest buildup as well as for easy removal of animal nests.

Whatever the case is, it’s important to discuss with a professional chimney sweep what’s best for you. Expert recommendations provided by these technicians go a long way to ensure the smooth operation of your chimney.

Adding Cleanout Doors To Masonry Chimney

Cleanout doors can be added to the masonry chimney.

This is common in situations where a reputable chimney technician recommends such. We advise you to allow such a technician to perform the installation procedure. Chimney construction jobs are best handled by professionals.

DIY techniques are bound to fail when performed on chimneys. Here, the expertise of the professional is being depended upon.

Cleanout Door Location

A chimney cleanout door is often located at the back of a chimney.

Here, rubbish or ash is pushed back and out through the door. You’ll find the chimney cleanout door behind the fireplace or outside the house.

The point of locating such a door is to help with easy cleaning. So, instead of moving circling through relatively long distances to take out ash, it’s simply pushed out the cleanout door without difficulty.

Types Of Chimney Cleanout Doors

Chimney cleanout doors come in varying sizes.

Further distinctions are made by their construction materials. One of the most common materials used in cleanout door construction is cast iron. Other materials include steel and cast aluminum.

Chimney Cleanout Door Sizes

There are also varying sizes. Whatever size best fits your chimney or fireplace will readily be found. Some of the most common sizes include 8”x 12,” 12”x 12,” 12”x 16,” 12”x 8,” 8”x 8,” and so on.

If you’re replacing your chimney cleanout door, then the right or appropriate pick should be made. This involves taking the exact dimensions of the old door for reference purposes. There are times when bigger or wider chimney cleanout doors may have to replace smaller ones.

In such cases, you’ll need professional advice. If it’s recommended by an expert, the right size should be given.

  • Chimney Cleanout Doors Must Be Accessible

It’s important to always ensure that the chimney cleanout door is easily accessible.

By this we mean there should be no unhindered access whatsoever. Sometimes certain installations are performed without proper supervision.

This ends up blocking access. As such, the purpose for which such doors are installed is defeated. With this situation, basic cleaning and inspections cannot be performed anymore.

  • Use The Chimney Door Frequently

When clearing ash or debris from a fireplace, it’s necessary to make use of the cleanout door.

A weekly cleaning frequency may be maintained. Cleaning frequency is entirely dependent on the condition of the chimney. You may have to discuss such details with the chimney sweep.

The importance of chimney cleanout doors cannot be overemphasized.

So far, we’ve seen the uses of this important component used for chimney maintenance. Now that you know, it’s important to discuss your particular needs with a chimney technician.

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