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How to Remove a Chimney Sweep Brush

Updated February 21, 2017

You deserve a pat on the back if you've recently taken on the task of cleaning the chimney yourself. Maintenance is crucial to keep your chimney in good working order and your home free of carbon monoxide build-up. Cleaning a chimney, however, can sometimes be tricky business as simply turning your rod the wrong way can loosen the brush from the rod and leave the chimney brush stuck in your chimney. Luckily, this is a common mistake.

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  1. Cut a piece of rope 6 to 8 feet longer than the height of your chimney. Tie your rope to one of the handles on a pair of pliers. Secure it with a tight knot. Wrap a large piece of packing tape around the knot to further secure it.

  2. Lean a ladder against the side of your house. Gather your rope and pliers together and carefully climb up the ladder to your roof. Lower the rope with pliers down the mouth of your chimney. In this fashion, the pliers should naturally fall open.

  3. Lower the rope foot by foot down the mouth of the chimney. When the pliers get to the stuck brush, they may lock around it or at the very least, you'll hear a clanking or banging sound. Adjust the rope so the pliers continue approximately 1 foot past the stuck brush.

  4. Yank the rope abruptly upward once the pliers are past the brush. The pliers should be open and the two handles, in this open position, will sort of make a large hook, to scoop up the brush. Once the pliers have hooked the brush, pull the rope slowly upward until you can grab the stuck brush.

  5. Tip

    The website Chimney Liner Guides recommending discarding the old brush and buying a new brush that is slightly smaller.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rope
  • Pliers
  • Packing tape
  • Ladder

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."

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