What is a smoke tester?
Smoke testers are small pellets or matches that when lit, produce non-toxic, artificially-created smoke. They allow the user to perform a variety of smoke tests.
What are smoke tests?
Smoke tests are used in many areas of trade and industry from plumbing maintenance to woodwind instrument repair, and from automotive repair to electrical engineering.
The areas that we will be concerning ourselves with are smoke tests within the plumbing and chimney maintenance trades.
In plumbing, smoke tests are used to detect cracks, leaks or breaks in a closed systems of pipes.
In chimney maintenance, smoke tests are similarly used to detect cracks and leaks in chimneys, flues, and fans.
They are also used to determine air flow, direction of flow and whether or not your chimney is drawing.
What is meant by "drawing"?
Drawing is when a chimney pulls ("draws") smoke upwards and out of the chimney top.
This pulling is due to the temperature difference between the hot air in the chimney and the cold air outside. The greater difference between these two temperatures, the greater draw of the chimney.
The height of the chimney is another factor which affects how strong a chimney's draw is.
The taller the chimney, the greater the draw. Heat and height work together to produce the strongest drawing chimneys.
There are a variety of domestic applications for using smoke testers, including testing your smoke alarms.