How to Clean a Chimney With a Bend

To clean a chimney with a bend, use a chimney brush with a flexible handle to reach the curved areas and remove debris effectively. Now, let’s explore the step-by-step process of cleaning a chimney with a bend.

Cleaning a chimney comes with its challenges, especially when it has a bend. However, with the right tools and approach, you can ensure the chimney remains clean and safe to use. A bend in the chimney can make it difficult to clean thoroughly, as debris tends to accumulate in the curved areas.

Therefore, using a chimney brush with a flexible handle is crucial to reach those hard-to-access spots and remove any buildup or blockages. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning a chimney with a bend, ensuring a well-maintained and efficient chimney system.

Table of Contents

Understanding The Importance Of Chimney Maintenance

Proper maintenance of your chimney is essential for both performance and safety. Neglected chimneys can lead to a range of issues that can not only compromise the efficiency of your fireplace but also pose serious risks to your home. Regular cleaning is, therefore, crucial to ensure your chimney functions optimally and reduces the chances of accidents, such as chimney fires.

Common issues with neglected chimneys

When a chimney is not properly maintained, it can accumulate a variety of substances that can hinder its performance. Some of the common issues that arise from neglected chimneys include:

  • Creosote buildup: Over time, the byproducts of burning wood, known as creosote, can accumulate on the chimney’s interior. This sticky substance is highly flammable and increases the risk of chimney fires.
  • Blockages: Debris such as leaves, twigs, and even small animals can find their way into chimneys. These blockages can obstruct the flow of air and smoke, leading to poor fireplace performance and potential smoke and fire hazards.
  • Improper ventilation: A clogged chimney can interfere with the ventilation of your fireplace. This can result in the production of harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, which can pose serious health risks to you and your family.
  • Deterioration of chimney structure: Neglected chimneys are more prone to structural damage caused by moisture, freezing, and thawing cycles. This deterioration can affect the integrity of your chimney, leading to leaks, cracks, and even collapse in severe cases.

Why regular cleaning is crucial for chimney performance and safety

Regular cleaning plays a vital role in maintaining the performance and safety of your chimney. Here’s why:

  1. Preventing chimney fires: The accumulation of creosote on the chimney’s interior is a leading cause of chimney fires. Regular cleaning removes this highly flammable substance, reducing the risk of dangerous fires that can damage your home.
  2. Ensuring proper airflow: Blockages in the chimney can disrupt the flow of air and obstruct the expulsion of smoke. Regular cleaning helps remove debris and ensure optimal airflow, preventing smoke from backing up into your home.
  3. Minimizing health risks: A clean chimney minimizes the presence of harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, which can be released into your home if the chimney is not properly maintained. Regular cleaning helps ensure the safe ventilation of these gases.
  4. Preserving chimney structure: By regularly cleaning your chimney, you can prevent the buildup of moisture and other factors that can lead to structural deterioration. This helps maintain the integrity of your chimney, reducing the risk of leaks, cracks, and collapse.

Understanding the importance of chimney maintenance is the first step towards enjoying a safe and efficient fireplace. By addressing common issues and regularly cleaning your chimney, you can ensure its optimal performance and enhance the safety of your home.

Assessing The Bend In Your Chimney

Identifying the Location and Severity of the Bend

Before you begin the process of cleaning a chimney with a bend, it’s crucial to assess the location and severity of the bend. This will help you determine the best approach to cleaning and ensure the safety and efficiency of your chimney.

Locating the Bend:

The first step is to identify where exactly the bend in your chimney is. This can usually be found by visually inspecting the chimney from both the interior and exterior of your home. Look for any visible signs of a bend, such as a protrusion or a change in direction.

If you’re having trouble locating the bend, you may consider using a chimney inspection camera. These cameras are designed to navigate through the chimney flue and provide you with a clear view of any bends or obstructions. Remember to take note of the exact location of the bend for future reference.

Assessing the Severity:

Once you’ve identified the location of the bend, it’s important to evaluate its severity. Chimney bends can range from slight offsets to sharp angles, and the severity of the bend will affect the cleaning process. Mild bends may only require some adjustments during the cleaning, while severe bends might necessitate professional assistance.

Note: If you’re unsure about the severity of the bend or lack experience in chimney cleaning, it’s always advisable to consult a professional chimney sweep before proceeding.

Determining if Professional Assistance is Required

While some chimney bends can be cleaned using DIY methods, others may require the expertise of a professional chimney sweep. To determine if professional assistance is necessary, consider the following factors:

  1. Severity of the Bend: If the bend in your chimney is severe, such as a sharp angle or a complete obstruction, it would be wise to seek professional help. These types of bends can be challenging to navigate and clean without the proper knowledge and equipment.
  2. Experience and Expertise: If you have limited experience in chimney cleaning or are unsure about your ability to handle a bend, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. Chimney sweeps have the necessary skills and understanding to assess and clean bends effectively, minimizing the risk of damage or accidents.
  3. Safety Concerns: Cleaning a chimney with a bend can be hazardous, especially if you need to climb on the roof or work with heavy equipment. Professional chimney sweeps are trained to adhere to safety protocols and have the appropriate tools and protective gear to ensure their safety and the safety of your home.
  4. Time and Convenience: If you prefer a hassle-free and timely cleaning experience, hiring a professional can save you time and effort. Professional chimney sweeps have the experience and resources to efficiently clean bends, allowing you to focus on other priorities.

Remember, ensuring the cleanliness and proper function of your chimney is essential for the safety and efficiency of your home. Assessing the bend in your chimney and determining if professional assistance is required will help you make an informed decision and maintain a well-maintained and functioning chimney system.

Gathering The Necessary Tools And Materials

Before you embark on the task of cleaning your chimney with a bend, it is crucial to gather all the essential tools and materials. Having the right equipment at your disposal will make the job easier and ensure effective results. In this section, we will discuss the essential equipment and recommended cleaning agents that you will need for a successful chimney cleaning.

Essential equipment for cleaning a chimney with a bend

When it comes to cleaning a chimney with a bend, certain tools are indispensable. Here is a list of must-have equipment:

  1. Chimney brush: A chimney brush with flexible bristles is essential for removing creosote build-up and other debris. Ensure that the brush is suitable for your specific chimney dimensions and has the ability to navigate bends effectively.
  2. Rods and connectors: You will need a set of flexible rods and connectors to attach the chimney brush and navigate it through the bending points of your chimney. These rods should be durable and long enough to reach the entire length of the chimney.
  3. Dust sheets: Cleaning a chimney can be a messy task, so it’s vital to protect your surroundings. Dust sheets or tarps will help to minimize the mess and make cleaning up easier afterward.
  4. Protective gear: Safety should always be a top priority when dealing with chimney cleaning. Make sure to wear protective gear such as gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask to shield yourself from the soot and other harmful substances.
  5. Vacuum cleaner: A high-powered vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is an invaluable tool for sucking up the loosened debris during the cleaning process. This will help prevent dust and soot particles from scattering around your living space.
  6. Flashlight: Chimneys can be dark and hard to navigate, so a reliable and bright flashlight is essential for better visibility. You can use it to inspect the chimney and ensure that all areas are thoroughly cleaned.

Recommended cleaning agents for effective results

To achieve a thorough clean, using suitable cleaning agents is crucial. Here are some recommended options:

Cleaning Agent Description
Chimney cleaner solution A chimney cleaner solution specifically designed to dissolve and dislodge creosote build-up can be effective for more stubborn obstructions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate usage and dilution ratio.
Vinegar and water solution A natural cleaning solution made by mixing vinegar and water can help remove lighter deposits and provide a gentle clean. Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for an eco-friendly option.
Biodegradable chimney sweeping logs Chimney sweeping logs are designed to help break down and reduce creosote build-up without the need for manual scraping. These logs are convenient to use and can be inserted into the firebox to assist with cleaning during regular use of the fireplace.

Using the right cleaning agents will ensure that your chimney is thoroughly cleaned and minimize the risk of chimney fires caused by excessive creosote accumulation.

Now that we have covered the essential tools and recommended cleaning agents, you are well-prepared to take on the task of cleaning your chimney with a bend. In the next section, we will discuss the step-by-step process of cleaning the chimney effectively. Stay tuned!

Preparing For The Cleaning Process

How to Clean a Chimney With a Bend – Preparing for the Cleaning Process

How to Clean a Chimney With a Bend

Ensuring safety precautions are in place

Before you start cleaning your chimney with a bend, it is imperative to prioritize safety. Working with a chimney can be dangerous, especially if you are not well-prepared. Here are some safety precautions you should take:

  • Wear protective goggles and gloves to shield your eyes and hands from debris and soot.
  • Make sure you have a sturdy ladder or scaffolding to safely access the chimney.
  • Consider wearing a respirator mask to avoid inhaling harmful particles.
  • Check the weather forecast. Cleaning a chimney can be risky during windy or stormy conditions.
  • Inform someone else about your chimney cleaning plans, so they are aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

Protecting surrounding areas from soot and debris

Cleaning a chimney with a bend can result in scattered soot and debris. To safeguard your home and surrounding areas, follow these steps:

  1. Cover the fireplace opening with a durable tarp or plastic sheeting.
  2. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to secure the covering and prevent any gaps.
  3. Place an extra layer of protection, such as old newspapers or drop cloths, on the floor beneath the chimney area.
  4. Remove any flammable materials or objects from the vicinity to minimize the risk of accidents.

Removing Obstructions And Debris

Removing Obstructions and Debris

When it comes to maintaining a chimney, one of the most crucial tasks is to remove any obstructions and debris. A chimney bend is a common area where blockages can occur, so proper cleaning techniques are essential. In this section, we will discuss effective methods for loosening and dislodging these unwanted objects, as well as the appropriate tools to use for a thorough clean.

Techniques to loosen and dislodge blockages in a chimney bend

To effectively remove blockages in a chimney bend, there are a few techniques that can be employed. These techniques help to loosen the obstructions and allow them to be dislodged, ensuring a clear and safe chimney.

1. Wire brush: A wire brush is an invaluable tool for cleaning a chimney bend. This brush features stiff bristles that can scrubs away loose debris and build-up in the bend. By gently moving the wire brush back and forth, you can dislodge any blockages and create a clear pathway for air and smoke to flow.

2. Flexible rods: Flexible rods are another handy tool for cleaning a chimney bend. These rods can be inserted into the bend, allowing you to reach areas that may be otherwise inaccessible. By attaching a brush or scraper to the end of these rods, you can easily dislodge any obstructions as you sweep the bend clean.

3. Creosote removal agents: If the blockage in your chimney bend is caused by creosote build-up, using a creosote removal agent can be highly effective. These agents work to break down the creosote, making it easier to remove. They are typically sprayed or brushed onto the affected areas and left for a short period before being scrubbed away.

Using appropriate tools for effective cleaning

To ensure a thorough and effective clean of your chimney bend, it is crucial to use the right tools. Using inappropriate tools can not only make the cleaning process more challenging but can also potentially damage the chimney. Here are some tools that are highly recommended for cleaning a chimney bend:

1. Chimney brush: As mentioned earlier, a wire brush is an essential tool for cleaning a chimney bend. When choosing a chimney brush, make sure it has bristles that are long enough to reach into the bend. Additionally, ensure that the brush is the appropriate size for your chimney to ensure a snug fit.

2. Flexible rods: Flexible rods are highly versatile and enable you to navigate through the bend of your chimney effectively. Look for rods that are made from durable materials yet lightweight, as they will be easier to handle during the cleaning process.

3. Safety gear: Cleaning a chimney can be a messy job, so it is important to equip yourself with the appropriate safety gear. This includes gloves, goggles, and a dust mask to protect yourself from debris and harmful particles.

In conclusion, removing obstructions and debris from a chimney bend is a vital part of chimney maintenance. Using the right techniques and tools not only ensures a thorough clean but also promotes the safe and efficient operation of your chimney. By following these steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can keep your chimney bend clear and enjoy the warmth and comfort it provides for years to come.

Please, let me know if I can help you with anything else.

Using Chemical Cleaners For Stubborn Build-Up

When it comes to cleaning a chimney with a bend, sometimes stubborn soot and creosote build-up can be quite challenging to remove. In such cases, chemical cleaners can be a lifesaver. These specially formulated cleaners are designed to dissolve tough deposits and make the cleaning process much easier. However, it is important to understand when and how to use these cleaners safely and effectively.

Understanding when chemical cleaners are necessary

Chemical cleaners should only be used when there is a significant build-up of stubborn soot and creosote in your chimney. This could be indicated by visible black or brownish stains, a strong smoky odor, or difficulty in getting proper airflow. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to consider using a chemical cleaner.

Safely applying cleaners to remove stubborn soot and creosote

To ensure your safety while applying chemical cleaners, it is crucial to follow proper guidelines:

  1. Choose the right cleaner: Select a chemical cleaner specifically designed for chimney cleaning. Look for a cleaner that mentions its effectiveness in removing stubborn soot and creosote.
  2. Protective gear: Before handling any chemical cleaner, put on rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a face mask to protect your skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
  3. Read the instructions: Carefully read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions provided with the cleaner. Follow the recommended usage and application guidelines precisely.
  4. Prepare the chimney: Clear out any debris or loose soot from the chimney before applying the cleaner. Use a chimney brush to remove loose particles.
  5. Apply the cleaner: Dilute the chemical cleaner as per the instructions. Using a sprayer or a paintbrush, apply the cleaner on the interior walls of the chimney. Take care to reach all the nooks and crannies.
  6. Wait and scrub: Allow the cleaner to sit for the recommended amount of time, ensuring it doesn’t dry out. After that, use a chimney brush or a scrub brush to loosen the stubborn deposits.
  7. Rinse and inspect: Thoroughly rinse the chimney with water to remove any remaining cleaner. Inspect the chimney for any signs of remaining soot or creosote. If needed, repeat the cleaning process.
  8. Dispose of waste properly: Follow local regulations for proper disposal of the waste generated from cleaning the chimney. Do not pour the chemical cleaner or rinsate down the drain or onto the ground.

By following these guidelines, you can safely and effectively use chemical cleaners to remove stubborn build-up in your chimney with a bend. Regular cleaning and maintenance will help keep your chimney functioning efficiently and reduce the risk of chimney fires or smoke-related issues.

Manual Brushing And Sweeping

When it comes to maintaining a clean and efficient chimney, manual brushing and sweeping are essential tasks. These techniques allow you to reach the tight bends and corners of the chimney, ensuring that no dust, soot, or debris is left behind. In this article, we will discuss the proper techniques for manually cleaning a chimney bend and the recommended tools and brushes that can help you achieve effective results.

Proper techniques for manually cleaning a chimney bend

To effectively clean a chimney bend, it is crucial to follow proper techniques. Here are some steps you should consider:

  1. Step 1: Preparation – Before starting the cleaning process, ensure that the fireplace and chimney are cold. Also, cover the surrounding area with a drop cloth or plastic sheet to prevent any mess.
  2. Step 2: Inspect the chimney bend – Take a good look at the chimney bend to identify any potential blockages or buildup. This will give you an idea of the extent of cleaning required.
  3. Step 3: Insert the brush – Carefully insert a chimney brush into the bend. Make sure to choose a brush that fits properly and can reach the bends and corners of the chimney.
  4. Step 4: Brush in upward and downward motions – Start brushing by moving the brush upwards and downwards. This motion will help dislodge any buildup and ensure a thorough cleaning.
  5. Step 5: Repeat the process – Continue brushing in upward and downward motions, gradually moving the brush upwards in the chimney. Repeat this process until you reach the top of the chimney bend.
  6. Step 6: Clean the brush regularly – As you clean, the brush may accumulate debris and soot. Regularly clean the brush to ensure efficient cleaning and prevent any blockages.

Recommended tools and brushes for effective results

Using the right tools and brushes can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of chimney cleaning. Here are some recommended options:

Tool/Brush Description
Chimney brush with flexible rods A chimney brush with flexible rods is perfect for navigating the bends and corners of a chimney. The flexible design ensures that every nook and cranny is reached during the cleaning process.
Bendable wire brush A bendable wire brush can be useful for cleaning tight bends and angles. The flexibility of the brush allows you to reach areas that are otherwise challenging to access.
Vacuum cleaner with chimney cleaning attachment A vacuum cleaner with a chimney cleaning attachment can help you remove loose debris and soot that falls during the cleaning process. It ensures a cleaner and tidier workspace.
Protective gear Wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a mask, is crucial to ensure your safety while cleaning the chimney bend. It protects you from harmful substances and minimizes the risk of accidents.

By following proper techniques and using the recommended tools and brushes, you can efficiently clean a chimney bend. Regular cleaning not only enhances the efficiency of your fireplace but also ensures the safety of your home. Make sure to set a cleaning schedule and stick to it for a well-maintained chimney.

Inspecting For Cracks, Damage, And Wear

Inspecting your chimney bend for cracks, damage, and wear is an essential step in keeping your chimney functioning properly and ensuring the safety of your home. Over time, the intense heat and weather can take a toll on the chimney structure, causing cracks to form and parts to deteriorate. By identifying these potential issues early on, you can prevent further damage and avoid costly repairs.

Identifying potential issues in the chimney bend

When inspecting your chimney bend, there are several key areas you should pay close attention to. These include:

1. Mortar Joints Check for any gaps or deterioration in the mortar joints. Cracked or missing mortar can lead to water penetration and weakened structural integrity.
2. Bricks Look for any cracked or broken bricks. Damaged bricks can allow moisture to seep into the chimney, leading to further deterioration.
3. Flue Liner Inspect the flue liner for any cracks or gaps. A damaged flue liner can pose a serious fire hazard as it may allow hot embers to escape and ignite the surrounding materials.

Assessing the need for repairs or maintenance

Once you have identified potential issues in the chimney bend, the next step is to assess whether repairs or maintenance are necessary. It’s important to take action promptly to prevent further damage and ensure your chimney continues to operate safely.

  1. 1. Severity of the issue – Consider the severity of the cracks, damage, or wear. Minor issues may be easily remedied with simple repairs, while more significant damage may require professional intervention.
  2. 2. Safety concerns – Evaluate whether the identified issues pose any immediate safety concerns. If there is a risk of fire or structural collapse, it’s crucial to address the problem promptly.
  3. 3. Regular maintenance – Even if no major issues are found, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance for your chimney bend. This will help identify and address minor problems before they escalate.

By thoroughly inspecting your chimney bend for cracks, damage, and wear, you can ensure the safety and efficiency of your chimney system. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs are key to maintaining a functional and well-maintained chimney, so don’t overlook this essential step in chimney cleaning.

Final Cleaning Steps And Maintenance Tips

Welcome back to our guide on how to clean a chimney with a bend. In this section, we will walk you through the final cleaning steps and provide you with some valuable maintenance tips. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure that your chimney remains clean and in good condition, preventing any future build-up. Let’s get started!

Clearing remaining debris and soot from the chimney

Once you have completed the initial cleaning steps, it’s time to focus on clearing any remaining debris and soot from your chimney. This step is crucial to ensure optimal chimney performance and to prevent chimney fires. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Put on protective goggles and a dust mask to protect yourself from any debris or soot that may still be present in the chimney.
  2. Use a chimney brush, specifically designed for bends, to carefully remove any remaining soot and creosote.
  3. Start from the bottom of the chimney and work your way up, gently scrubbing the walls of the chimney to dislodge any debris.
  4. If necessary, you can also use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to suck up any loose debris or soot.
  5. Continue this process until you no longer see any debris or soot falling down from the chimney.

Tips for ongoing maintenance to prevent future build-up

Now that you have successfully cleaned your chimney with a bend, it’s important to implement some ongoing maintenance practices to prevent future build-up. Follow these tips to keep your chimney clean and safe:

  • Regular inspections: Schedule regular chimney inspections by a professional at least once a year to detect any potential issues or build-up before they become problematic.
  • Use quality wood: Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods in your fireplace or stove. Avoid burning wet or green wood, as it produces more creosote and increases the likelihood of build-up.
  • Install a chimney cap: Consider installing a chimney cap to prevent debris, animals, and rainwater from entering your chimney.
  • Monitor smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning properly and providing early warning in case of a chimney-related issue.
  • Keep the area surrounding your chimney clear: Trim any overhanging branches or vegetation near your chimney to prevent leaves or debris from accumulating and potentially igniting.
  • Schedule professional cleanings: While you can clean your chimney with a bend on your own, it’s also advisable to hire a professional chimney sweep every few years for a comprehensive cleaning.

By following these ongoing maintenance tips, you can enjoy a clean and efficient chimney all year round, reducing the risk of chimney fires and ensuring the optimal performance of your heating system.

Monitoring And Regular Chimney Inspections

Once you have successfully cleaned a chimney with a bend, it is crucial to prioritize monitoring and regular inspections of your chimney. Scheduling these inspections is of utmost importance to ensure the ongoing efficiency and safety of your chimney. In this section, we will discuss the importance of scheduling regular inspections after cleaning a chimney bend and how to recognize signs of further obstruction or damage.

Importance of Scheduling Regular Inspections after Cleaning a Chimney Bend

Regular inspections are key to maintaining the overall health of your chimney. Afterall, a clean chimney bend is only a temporary fix. With time and usage, soot, debris, and creosote can begin to accumulate once again. By scheduling regular inspections, you can ensure that any potential issues are caught early and addressed promptly.

Regular inspections not only aid in identifying the accumulation of creosote or debris but also enable professional chimney inspectors to assess any structural damages, such as cracked bricks or deteriorating mortar. By catching these issues early on, you can prevent costly repairs down the line and safeguard the structural integrity of your chimney.

Recognizing Signs of Further Obstruction or Damage

While regular inspections are essential, it’s also crucial to be aware of signs that may indicate further obstruction or damage between inspections. Recognizing these signs can help you take immediate action and avoid potential hazards.

  1. Excessive Smoke: If you notice excessive smoke entering your living space while using your fireplace or stove, it could be an indication of a blockage or flue damage. This requires immediate attention to prevent smoke inhalation or potential fire hazards.
  2. Unusual Smells: Foul odors, particularly those resembling a strong, acrid smell, can be a sign of a chimney blockage or creosote buildup. These odor-emitting substances can also increase the risk of chimney fires and pose health hazards to your home’s occupants.
  3. Difficulty in Draft: If you find it increasingly difficult to establish a proper draft or if you notice fluctuations in the intensity of the flame or heat output, it may be indicative of an obstruction or damage within the chimney. Proper airflow is crucial for efficient and safe fireplace or stove operation.
  4. Animal Sounds or Debris: The presence of animal sounds, nesting materials, or deceased animals within your chimney can obstruct proper ventilation and pose a potential fire hazard. If you hear any unexpected sounds or notice debris, it’s essential to address the issue immediately to prevent damages.

By regularly monitoring your chimney’s condition and promptly addressing any signs of further obstruction or damage, you can ensure the safety, efficiency, and longevity of your chimney system. Remember, prevention is always better than dealing with the consequences of neglect.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Clean A Chimney With A Bend

Can You Have A Bend In A Chimney Flue?

Yes, a bend can be present in a chimney flue for routing purposes without causing any issues.

Can You Clean A Chimney From The Top Down?

Yes, you can clean a chimney from the top down.

Can You Clean A Chimney From The Bottom Up?

Yes, chimneys can be cleaned from the bottom up, ensuring effective removal of debris and build-up.

Can I Sweep My Own Chimney?

No, sweeping your own chimney is not recommended. Professional chimney sweep services ensure safe and thorough cleaning.


Cleaning a chimney with a bend can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it can be done efficiently and effectively. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your chimney is free from debris and functioning properly.

Remember to always take safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear and using the proper tools for the job. Regular chimney cleaning is essential for maintaining a safe and functional fireplace or wood stove. By keeping your chimney clean, you can prevent the buildup of dangerous substances like creosote and reduce the risk of chimney fires.

So, don’t neglect your chimney cleaning duties – take the time to clean your chimney with a bend and enjoy a warm and worry-free winter season.

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