Obligatory chimney sweeping

We all probably know that it is obligatory to have the chimney swept in order to comply with insurance terms & conditions. I wonder though about the value of the certification the ramoneur gives.

Do they need to be registered with their professional body - or with the chambre de metiers?

I have just had my chimney swept and notice on the facture / certificat that it bears the name of the "entreprise" but only a mobile number - no address and no siret number. I wonder if this certificat is actually worth anything at all.

finally, what is the going rate? I just paid 70€



Thanks so much Rob - we are a bit isolated here, so the Brico Pro/Marches are not so good. I'll just drive slightly further afield (only 50 mins probably). But your clear instructions are most useful and you've given me tacit confirmation that I do, indeed, need this to get my certificate. Thanks for taking the time to reply!

as I understand it, it is illegal to have a 90° bend in the extraction system. 45° is the maximum.

I find it hard to believe that you can't find a fitting T-junction. I expect that the pipe that comes out of your stove at present does so with a 90 degree angle to continue upwards. The flue will be of a standard diameter, so you should be able to find a fitting T-junction to replace the 90 degree angle piece.

Make sure you get a steel one, and not aluminium for that might melt. (Alu only suitable for gas fires)

Remember that pipes should fit INTO the lower pipes (like a funnel) and NOT the other way around. The draught should make it impossible for fumes to leak out, and the funnel-like installation makes sure you don't get nasty tar-like condensation running down the pipe, or dripping where you don't want it.

The lid at the lower part of the T-junction is there to catch and remove any falling soot, thus diminishing the risk of a chimney-fire (or so they say) .

We had our chimney swept last year by a professional. Very nice man, but when he gave me the certificate he had added that our woodburner didn't have the little T junction at the back of it - this had become regulation under a new law in (I think) 2012. Presumably that 'lack' on our part invalidated the certificate. He told me that they were easy to get/fit. I can't find them in local Brico Marche/Brico Pro and the company that fitted the stove has gone out of business. Any comment?

this seems to be very clear Rob. Done twice per year, by a proffesional.

This is quite illuminating because we have all been talking about the requirement being made by the insurance company - however what you have linked to says it is the commune which dictates what it required.

I knew this topic was unclear - but I never realised that it is this unclear. I fear that very many people are leaving themselves exposed.


My neighbour/friend Gérard, who worked for AXA once called his secretary to ask her to look up where in their rules it said that the "ramonnage" was obligatory or that the job had to be done by a registered professional. She couldn't find it so it was OK if I did it for him. (Not a registered professional chimney-sweep, but in possession of the necessary tools and experience)

Later I had a look on the internet and found this :


I would say that this states quite clearly that the job is to be done regularly and by a pro.

I don't know. I do it myself, and at least twice a season.

In the early years in France our wood was less well seasoned and we had a chimney-fire twice (in two different houses). My wood is dry these days, and I make sure the flue is impeccable at all times.


Last winter I experimented by using a powder called DMO which you chuck in the fire at the beginning & every 10 fires thereafter. Judging by the stuff that's fallen down the chimney & I've removed via a cap on the bottom it's working well. I'll know more when I finally work up the enthusiasm to "Rampage me Conduit" (It's an in joke) :-)

Beware of the muppets who turn up at your door in Summer dressed in Ramoneur tshirts. They make an announcement at the Mairie in our village and then go round knocking on doors. We had a poele a bois and they had no idea how to clean it. They actually stuck the brushes up the chimney surround not the pipe! We did get a certificate - with address and mobile phone no & siret but I was concerned more about the fact they'd not done a proper job for their 50 euro so I called one of out the yellow pages who specialised in Poeles and also who installed them just to be sure.

Many friends use the Buche de Ramonage - we bought these and always used one at the beginning and mid season too but that was us going overboard probably.

it is not quite true, you do not require your chimney swept annually, it is the insurance companies advising you to get it done, there is no law stating that you have to have it done.

but being prudent it is advisable to have it done after the winter season and then in autumn before you have your first fire.

that looks to me vic like they suggest that this certificate would be acceptable.

however my logic tells me that this cannot be so because there is no proof that the product was actually ever used. It makes no sense to me that an insurance company would accept it.

It would be fun to see just how many hoops you have to jump through to get certified. I'm betting you'd lose the will to live & choose to pay a ramoneur ;-)

Lots of folk around here use a Buche de Ramonage with the insurance certificate supplied & send this off to their Ins. Co. as a record, after sweeping.

Is that OK? Dunno, they seem to think it is but as none of my mates have had a fire I'm going to find out! :-) Have a look at this http://www.explic.com/13129-ramonage.htm

yes I too have just been thinking of this. Even to set myself up under the AE system as a ramoneur and then certify myself. (my wife says I should have done this years ago - getting certified I mean!)


Like you Vic, I sweep my own chimney twice a season. In a previous life I used to install wood burning stoves and part of this was to ensure that the flue was clean and in good repair, as well as making sure it was fit for purpose i.e. suitably lined. So I feel I know what I'm doing with regard to sweeping the chimney. However I have wondered about the insurance thing and the need for a certificate. As Geoff has pointed out, there was no real information on the certificate given by the sweep, so would it be acceptable to make my own as a means to record when it was done, even if it was done by me?

Knowing Ins. Co's you're probably right Geoff but I still believe even they would have a hard job declining a claim for a kitchen washing machine fire 'cos the lounge chimney wasn't swept by a "Pro" ;-)

I agree with your comments Vic, but it is the insurance company's job to avoid paying out and in the event of a five howsoever caused, I am sure they will use your lack of a certificate as part of thier armoury.



The going rate at Chez Nous is a couple of Ricards for my mate who helps with the rods when I do it myself. I had my two lined chimneys swept once by a "Pro" & had to do it again myself as he left more soot etc than he displaced. It would have been "interesting" to see the ins. co. wriggle if we had a problem soon after. I do It twice per season & know I'm not going to have any chimney fires.