DO NOT leave your Chim-Scan® in your truck or any vehicle overnight.
When closing the case, do not hit the LCD screen or leave anything on the reeler
Do NOT leave it near a door or window when in a building.
Keep your Chim-Scan® at room temperature at all times.
Reasons: Like any other piece of electronic equipment, Chim-Scans do not like dramatic temperature changes. Condensation builds up inside the unit, and that only spells trouble. Simply treat your Chim-Scan like you would treat yourself. IF you are cold, it's getting cold, and the same with Heat. If this happens to you, open the case up, set out the unit (when possible), and let it come to room temperature before you try to use it.
Practice setting up your Chim-Scan® before you take on a job. This will lower your frustration level and look more professional to your customers.
Do not hit the LCD screen or leave anything on the reeler when closing the case. This will damage the screen and then it will have to be replaced.
If you have an AFT (autofocus tilt) camera, put it in the "home" position when putting it in or pulling it out of the chimney. If you don’t put it in "home," you will break the tilt gears and or motor, and it will have to be sent back for repair.
Do not unscrew the front camera reflector plate to change light bulbs! Read the manual that comes with your unit on how to change light bulbs. That’s what the small black tube is for. Rotate the tube Counterclockwise to remove the bulb; clockwise to tighten the new bulb.
For any other problems, check out our YouTube Videos.
Just go to www.youtube.com and search for ChimScan1643.
Four Pathways to Chimney Damage.
In the course of your day to day field observations on chimneys, the customer may question on how or where damage originated from. Sometimes it appears to be a chicken and egg situation. Did the crown wear out and let water in, that started the spalling of brick and mortar, or did the mortar weaken first, letting the crown to settle causing the crown to crack letting even more water in. Or does the mortar hold the bricks together or does it hold them apart? This might be a good debate at a convention but when you’re standing in front of a customer, the bottom line is somebody needs repair work done, and you don’t have all day to explain it to them.
The ability to explain to the customer a logical process how it all happened and the consequences of the disrepair can be the difference whether you are doing the repair work or someone else is. The worst case scenario is you don’t make the repair compelling enough for them to take action, without the drama and sales scare tactics many resort to.
Then the situation gets complicated when your customer asked the age-old question whether their chimney is safe to use or not. You the field technician, are strapped with the concept of how all this happened and try to place a timeline on this, and ultimately what the cost to repair is going to be.
The best way I’ve found to uncomplicate all the many minor or major deficiencies that all of us see, I learned to break it down into four principal pathways that destroy chimneys. You might have a chimney with open more joints, a worn crown, and an abused rain cover. It comes down to the age-old question of how to eat an elephant; one bite at a time.
The first pathway is latent defects. Those are the defects that were built into the system at the time of the installation, that are usually not seen readily. Although manufactured systems such as prefabricated fireplaces and chimney pipe are designed and built at a factory with an installation guide, many of us have seen where creative uses of the material or poor workmanship have caused material not to be in its ideal condition. With masonry, the list can be long, hearth extensions, firebox limitations, dampers that are inoperative, unparged smoke chambers, and then the liners, open mortar joints, missing liners etc.
The second pathway is from regular wear and tear. This is the time to chimney has spent exposed to outdoor temperature swings, or interior temperature swings have caused a chimney to wear out over of time.
The third pathway is moisture. Of all the pathways this one can create the most havoc. It can be very subtle, and yet totally destroy chimney over a period of time.
The last pathway is from a sudden occurrence. Usually in the form of a lightning strike, an appliance malfunction, high temperature fluctuations like a chimney fire, and other assorted events that appear sudden.
By breaking down chimney degradation into four pathways provides me a way of putting things into perspective for the customer. Because many times you will see all four pathways into one system at one time. Because of one deficiency can lead to another deficiency and to another, so by breaking it down I can explain to the customer how it all happened and where they need to concentrate their efforts especially when the repair will need to be done in stages, whether monetary or climate considerations.
More on this subject to come.
Tom Urban has worked in the Chimney and Hearth industry for 40 years. He's been an inventor and manufacturer for 35+ of those years.