Things that go down a chimney are usually things that need to be removed or thrown away, like ash, soot, and other debris that builds up in the chimney when wood or other fuels are burned. Animals or other things can sometimes fall down a chimney by accident and get stuck.
On the other hand, things that go up a chimney are usually things that are released into the air, like smoke and gases made when fuel is burned. These things go up the chimney and are let out into the air.
You might also be thinking of the phrase “up the chimney,” which is often used to say that someone or something has gone away or been thrown away.
For example, “He threw the old coat up the chimney and out of sight.” “Up the chimney” means the same thing in this case as “away.”
Let’s Dive In!!!
When it Rains Does The Water Go Down The Chimney Stack
If it isn’t covered by a hood or a cowl and there isn’t a fire burning underneath, then yes, it does.
Most of the raindrops will hit the walls of the chimney pipe if they aren’t falling almost straight down and the wind isn’t moving the water around inside the pipe.
If there is a fire in the fireplace, the smoke will rise, usually at a rate faster than drops falling. The heat would also cause them to evaporate.
It most definitely does! My chimney pots are not “covered,” so when it rains hard, I usually find all kinds of junk in the fireplace. But many chimney pots have a cowl or hood that is either built in or added later.
This can change the way the exhaust stream moves and stop rain from coming down the chimney.
Rain wouldn’t fall straight down from the chimney all the way to the grate. Instead, most of it would fall at an angle to the vertical and hit the inside of the chimney pot or the top of the stack.
If you always had a fire going, it wouldn’t have been much of a problem because the inside of the stack would have been warm enough for any rain that got in to evaporate.
On the other hand:
Shouldn’t happen. Most chimneys have a “Stack Hat” and a back-flow damper. Some of the older ones were drop shafts. The smoke would go in sideways, and any water would fall to the bottom and into a drain or catchment.
How Does Rain and Snow Not Go Down a Chimney
Rain and snow usually don’t go down a chimney because they are made to keep water out of the house. Most chimneys have something on top called a “rain cap” or “chimney crown” that keeps rainwater from getting into the chimney.
The rain cap is a sloping cover that sits on top of the chimney and slopes away from the opening. This moves water away from the chimney and into the gutters.
In addition to the rain cap, most chimneys also have a flashing system to keep water from getting inside. The flashing is a set of metal strips that are put around the chimney’s base and along the roofline to keep water out.
Proper insulation can also keep snow from getting into the chimney. If the chimney isn’t insulated well, cold air can get in and melt snow on the roof, which then freezes again in the chimney.
This can make an ice dam that blocks the chimney and stops snow from melting and running down the chimney. With the right insulation, the chimney will stay warm enough to melt the snow and keep it from building up into an ice dam.
Overall, a rain cap, flashing, and the right amount of insulation help keep rain and snow out of the chimney and prevent water damage to the house.
Why Doesn’t Rain Come Down a Chimney When Smoke Can Get Out
Rain does fall out of a chimney. Most chimneys, though, are not straight up and down. Most of the time, they are bent because the flues from two or more fireplaces connect to a single chimney shaft and have to move sideways to do so.
Even single chimneys usually have something called a “smoke shelf,” which is an inside ledge that helps smoke rise.
Rain that falls on the opening of the chimney has to go around a few things before it can get into the fireplace. Even less rain gets into the flue if there are chimney pots or a cowl.
Also, if the chimney hasn’t been cleaned in a while, the inside is likely to be covered with soot, which soaks up a lot of water, including raindrops that are falling down.
It can, and it does, because the chimney is straight from the top of the flue and there is no cowling. I have seen water on the bottom of fireplaces when there is no fire. If the fire is going, the heat will likely cause the water to evaporate.
How Can You Enter A House Via The Chimney Like Santa
First, you would have to be able to climb up on top of a roof without falling. If it’s like Santa, you’d have to be able to do this in the middle of the night without waking up the neighbors, which is hard to do. At the very least, you might need a ladder and a flash light at this stage.
Second, the chimney will have to be big enough from top to bottom for a grown person to fit through. Modern homes don’t always have old-style fireplaces and chimneys. Many only have a sort of vent at the top of the house.
Assuming it’s big enough to fit a grown person from top to bottom (which I would check by putting a large potato sack or a crash test dummy in it, if I had one), you’ll want to make sure there’s no fire already going.
The easiest way to do this is to look and feel for smoke or heat.
Now that you know the chimney is wide enough and there is no fire at the bottom, you should probably use a rock climbing harness and rope to rappel down the chimney or slowly lower yourself.
You would have to first learn how to properly anchor yourself, which requires at least outdoor rock climbing training, and then use a small device made just for abseiling to lower yourself at a slow enough rate that your hands don’t get sore.
This is safer and takes less strength than just going down a rope. From there, all you should have to do is slowly let yourself fall until you reach the bottom.
If you get stuck, you should be able to get out pretty easily if you know a little bit about rock climbing and are strong.
Even so, it sounds like a trick a myth buster would use to see if it can be done. It would be silly for a potential thief to try it, since there may be a locked grate or something else meant to stop that kind of entry.
Plus, there are easier ways to get into an empty house without a motion sensor alarm.