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Chimney safety updates

I grew up with a wood stove for heat. I love fireplaces! This house has two!

The upstairs fireplace is an open face monster. Way different than a wood stove. The first I fired it I walked outside to check the chimney. Lots of sparks were flying out the top. Not desiring to burn down my neighborhood, the fire was put out and I called the great folks at Pristinr Sweeps to come take a look.

Aaron, the owner, glanced into the fireplace and let out a gasp as hit eyes travelled up the rear, to the chimney opening. He said it was one of the dirtiest chimneys he had seen! Aaron set to work and spent a lot of time cleaning. Then went onto the roof to inspect the brick and masonry. The damper was rusted out, and there was no cap on top to arrest sparks. The previous owner had a cap built to cover the three flues, however those can be problematic as smoke builds up in them. If one chimney is exhausting and the other is cold it is possible to have a down draft and suck all that back into the house. I had a new damper and cap for the upper fireplace flue installed.

The second fireplace is downstairs and has a wood stove insert in it. Aaron took one look at it and said he would not be able to work on it as the insert was not legal. Further inspection revealed it was incorrectly installed and did not have proper ventilation or exhaust. Whoah, there were no plans to use it, but I sure am glad I had it looked at and learned that!

I am happily sitting in the living room, enjoying the smell and crackle on a satisfying fire.

reminder, have your chimney inspected yearly. Junk can build up inside and cause a chimney fire. That will ruin your day pretty quick!


Burien House repainted master bedroom

Repainted bedroom

Alix first ever paint stroke

First strokes

Alix first ever paint stroke

Alix patching them walls

Last night, as she prepped a room for painting, Alix learned the fine art of patching holes in drywall. Pretty in pink!


Kitchen sink plumbing update

Kitchen sink plumbing update

A couple weeks ago I noticed the kitchen sink seemed to be draining slowly. It has a garbage disposal and I figured the previous owner had left something in there without chopping it up. I flipped on the disposal switch, instead of a satisfying grinding noise all I heard was a low hum, then a pop and acrid smoke filled the room. The disposal had given up the ghost. 

Now I had a non-draining sink and a bad garbage disposal. I was already working on the floors and did not have time to worry about the sink, so it sat, for a week, half full of water. Boy did it stink when I finally got a hose to siphon the water out. 

The city of Burien has a strong composting policy, in fact they require you to compost and provide a second bin in the driveway, next to the garbage can, just for compost. So I ripped the disposal out, removed the sink drain, and re-plumbed it all into a straight drain. Food scraps go in the compost, not the sink. Simpler, less moving pieces to break, and one less potential fire hazard in an already overloaded electrical system. 

Happy sink drain. 

Kitchen sink plumbing update - annotated

Total cost: $25

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