A1 Flues
A1 Flues


A1 launches You Know Where You Can Stick It campaign

A1 Flue Systems has launched a new campaign to expose poor-quality grades of stainless steel that are being used in the manufacture of flue systems.

We are launching the You Know Where You Can Stick It campaign in response to a rise in the number of recent cases where we have been called in as an independent industry expert to inspect failing flues, only to find that one of the main culprits is the poor-quality materials used to make the chimneys.

As part of our campaign, we are giving contractors small magnetic cards that can be placed on existing flue systems. If the fridge-magnet-sized card sticks, then it is an indication of poor-quality stainless steel – which, in turn, could also be an indicator that the flue system may not be performing correctly. 

Our Director John Hamnett said that, in most cases, the recommended grades of stainless steel that should be used in the manufacture of commercial flue and chimney systems can’t magnetise, so A1’s cards will not stick to them.

“It’s a very quick and simple test to determine the quality of stainless steel, and we want to encourage all contractors and building & facilities management firms to do the check – for peace of mind as much as anything else,” said John.

“Responsible flue manufacturers will typically use either 304- or 316-grade stainless steel for two simple reasons: quality and durability. And anything less means that a contractor has knowingly gone for a substandard product or they’ve been hoodwinked into thinking they’ve got 304 or 316 grade when in fact they haven’t.”

We have had a batch of the credit-card-sized magnets made up, and our engineers, installers and regional sales managers are giving them away when they’re on site in plant rooms or meeting contractors, architects and specifiers.

John added that A1’s status as an independent industry expert that is called out to cases where flue systems are either underperforming because they’re not fit for purpose or, worse, don’t work at all means that it has a sense of the scale of the problem.

“We have seen some real horror stories – such as in hotels and food manufacturing plants – where the flue and extraction systems are costing those companies money in downtime because the systems cannot operate at full capacity, and the root cause in many cases is poor-grade stainless steel,” he said.

“The adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ has never been truer, but our You Know Where You Can Stick It campaign aims to weed out instances where contractors think they’ve ordered the correct specification of flue system but the supplier has cut corners, including in the quality of materials used. 

“Anyone who has any concerns can use our magnets – or even a run-of-the-mill fridge magnet – to do the simple test and get an immediate indication as to the quality of their system. This may then be the first step in a process of enabling those responsible for the management of offices, schools, public buildings, hotels and food manufacturers to challenge the installers of their systems.”