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Old 08.04.2012, 14:40
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Am I being ripped off with my chimney

I have an appt that I have owned for 5 years. Every year the rammonage man comes and inspects the chimney which is fine and gives it the OK.

We have never had a fire and this year were surprised to have received a estimate for nearly 4000 chfs to do work.
What is interesting is that our rammonage is a different one, as by all accounts the previous one had some hassle with our management company but I don't know what about.
Since we have had the appt we noticed there is a hairline crack a little way up but persumed that as it was checked annually and as we don't use the fire it is not a problem.
So how do we stand - the rules on canton VD website do not give me the answers.
As we never have a fire do we have to have this work done? We understand that rules are rules and if need be it will have to be done but the estimate seems to be for 18 hours work.

It seems that some fire cement, a putty knife and half an hour would sort out the problem.
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Old 08.04.2012, 14:41
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

Will have a look for the ramoneurs in your town - perhaps a good idea to ask him to come over next Friday (could join you then) and give an independent opinion. Could also ask my ramoneur friend in Fl... for a recommendation.

As you know it is compulsory to have ECAP fire protection insurance in Switzerland, and strict laws have to be followed, especially in a apartment building. they will say that perhaps you might lend the flat to family or friends, and they might make a fire, and if it destroys the building, blablalbla.
But I'd certainly arrange for another ramoneur to come and have a look. It could be the superficial crack is cause by a much deeper problem below - perhaps one which was not declared at the time of the sale.

My dad sang in a choir with the local ramoneur - a guy from Bern who'd come to settle in our area to peddle his trade. His Bernese accent was very thick and strong. One day my dad said to him 'you are very lucky with your trade - you have the right to come into people's homes twice a year and charge anything you want ..!' his reply came fast 'Behh André, t'avais qu'à faire raaamoooneuur!'. End of discussion His grand-son I was at school with is the local ramoneur now- a nice guy actually and he would come to give you advice- but like his grand-dad, he is very close to his purse strings and would charge for it- time + petrol and kms!

Last edited by Odile; 08.04.2012 at 17:53.
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Old 08.04.2012, 14:57
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

The chimney has to be in good, safe working order, immaterial as to whether it is used, to satisfy the cantonal fire insurance requirements.

Unfortunately, they rely on approved kaminpflegers to make the assessment.
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Old 08.04.2012, 15:56
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

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Will have a look for the ramoneurs in your town - perhaps a good idea to ask him to come over next Friday (could join you then) and give an independent opinion. Could also ask my ramoneur friend in Fl... for a recommendation.

As you know it is compulsory to have ECAP fire protection insurance in Switzerland, and strict laws have to be followed, especially in a apartment building. they will say that perhaps you might lend the flat to family or friends, and they might make a fire, and if it destroys the building, blablalbla.
But I'd certainly arrange for another ramoneur to come and have a look. It could be the superficial crack is cause by a much deeper problem below - perhaps one which was not declared at the time of the sale.
Canton of VD has obligatory fire insirance, ECA, and the it needs to be swept minimum 1 per year, arguable 2 or more if you use the fire or chimney a lot. It has to be done by the local sweep who has his own well defined territory to work in.

You can almost certainly have the work done by anybody, but the acid test is who checks and signs it off and the anser is....The chimney sweep of your district.....

Yes, it's a fantastic rip-off being a chimney sweep in VD is similar to a notary, it's a license to print money.

The upside, very rare to have chimney fires and in a country where houses were primarily built of wood when the law came into existence, it does make sense. The law needds to catch up with reality, but this is unlikely to happen.
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Old 08.04.2012, 17:48
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php...ce-de-ramonage

Smackerjack, this is from the Association of Chimney sweeps in Vaud and explains what they have to do, etc...(in French).

On this page, you can also look up the sweeps for your commune:

http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php...-des-ramoneurs

If your commune has more than one (some do, some don't) it might be worth getting a second opinion from a local guy.
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Old 08.04.2012, 18:42
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

In my Gemeinde at least, there is a well-defined apparently impartial procedure for resolving problems with the sweep. Sweeps have a monopoly usually, but if they abuse that, they've lost their livelihoods.
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:04
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

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http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php...ce-de-ramonage

Smackerjack, this is from the Association of Chimney sweeps in Vaud and explains what they have to do, etc...(in French).

On this page, you can also look up the sweeps for your commune:

http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php...-des-ramoneurs

If your commune has more than one (some do, some don't) it might be worth getting a second opinion from a local guy.

Thank you Snoopy - on the ramoneur list the chap who name is on it is the one who used to do it!!

The estimate I have is from someone who is not in the commune.

Am I allowed to get an estimate from the other guy who used to do our building as I did not give permission for the new one. He seems to be the one who looks after the building now.

Do you have to use the one that now cleans the whole building?
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:07
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

Are you being ripped off??

Most definitely, everything is a rip off here aside from cigarettes and wine.

But the salary is good
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:08
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

[QUOTE=JordanBarrZurich86;1533738

But the salary is good [/QUOTE]

Not for us- we are paid in British pounds
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:23
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

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Thank you Snoopy - on the ramoneur list the chap who name is on it is the one who used to do it!!

The estimate I have is from someone who is not in the commune.

Am I allowed to get an estimate from the other guy who used to do our building as I did not give permission for the new one. He seems to be the one who looks after the building now.

Do you have to use the one that now cleans the whole building?
Interesting that the guy who has quoted is not in the commune. I would speak with the old guy and see what he says. If he quotes and the amount is much lower then I would argue the case with management. If you can't reach an agreement on the necessary scope of work, call the sweep association and see if they can recommend an expert.
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Old 08.04.2012, 19:40
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

I checked the list for the person who sent me the estimate and he is not a chimney sweep.
It seems to be from an cheminee artisan/builder who seems to build bbqs and pizza ovens- now I need to find out who did the check.
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Old 08.04.2012, 20:07
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

Salut Smackerjack.
I think there is a comunication problem here more than anything.
Why do you have this chimney checked every year.
The Swiss Law says that all chimneys which are part of the main warmwater and heating system, must be cleaned at fixed times. 2X in the year, 1X in the year or 1 time in 2 years. See here http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php/reglements
Living room chimneys do not fall under this law. You must make an agrement with the chimney sweep on this point.
Our sweep has checked our living room only 1 time in 16 years and it was while I asked him to.
Hairline cracks are normal in cement chimneys and are normally not a problem.
If the house is less than 50 years old it will have a double wall chimney.
The firestones in the fireplace are normally the biggest problem, the cement holding the stones drys out over the years, even though the fire is not used.
What are they going to repair for this Fr.4000?

Salut Zämma
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Old 08.04.2012, 20:52
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

Spot on BB- but there could be something in the PPE building contract that says it has to be done twice a year- very different from an individual house in a block of flats of owners. Something does smell fishy - is the guy a mate of your concierge?
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Old 08.04.2012, 21:43
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

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Salut Smackerjack.
I think there is a comunication problem here more than anything.
Why do you have this chimney checked every year.
The Swiss Law says that all chimneys which are part of the main warmwater and heating system, must be cleaned at fixed times. 2X in the year, 1X in the year or 1 time in 2 years. See here http://www.ramoneurs-vd.ch/index.php/reglements
Living room chimneys do not fall under this law. You must make an agrement with the chimney sweep on this point.
Our sweep has checked our living room only 1 time in 16 years and it was while I asked him to.
Hairline cracks are normal in cement chimneys and are normally not a problem.
If the house is less than 50 years old it will have a double wall chimney.
The firestones in the fireplace are normally the biggest problem, the cement holding the stones drys out over the years, even though the fire is not used.
What are they going to repair for this Fr.4000?

Salut Zämma


The list is quite long but includes-

Sas de protection 1 - 500 chfs
Raccordement inox 250 a 350 - 850 chfs
Main d'oeuvre - 1275.00 chfs
Evacuations des dechets - 350.00 chfs
Pyrobore - 450.00 chfs


To be honest we don't know what most of the things are .
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Old 08.04.2012, 21:50
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

I Google pyrobore and .... found this thread!

I'd say make an appointment with the local ramoneur for next Friday, any time, and I'll come over and we will have a good chat about what's what!
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Old 09.04.2012, 12:12
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Re: Am I being ripped off with my chimney

Salut Smackerjack.
I take it by the things you listed that they will repair the entrance to the inside of the chimney.

Sas de protection 1 - 500 chfs "Protection of floor and dust wall around fireplace"
Raccordement inox 250 a 350 - 850 chfs "This is the new inside of the chimney. It is strange that the diameter go'es from 350mm to 250mm"
Main d'oeuvre - 1275.00 chfs "Working hours"
Evacuations des dechets - 350.00 chfs "Waste depot"
Pyrobore - 450.00 chfs "This is I think is the use of a large drill to make room for the inox 350mm pipe"
It is very hard to give an better opinion from these details.
If you could PM or Email me a copy of the estimate perhaps I could help you to understand this problem.
A foto from the entrance to the chimney would also help.

Salut Zämma
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