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Chimney cleaning question

Old 12-10-2008, 10:53 AM
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Default Chimney cleaning question

I've been burning my woodstove for about 10 days straight until today, all the pipes are new. I went up on the roof andran my chimney brush down into the stove and back up once, the pipe looked very clean after that, in the stove I had a pile of very blackashy creosote probably about the size of a baseball. It's all metalpipe 14' long straight up from the stove. Is this about right as far aschimney build up, I'm burning mixed wood

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Old 12-10-2008, 10:59 AM
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I get mine cleaned every other year. We use it a lot, even though we live in Fl. When the guy cleans it, he usually gets a pile about the size of 3 or 4 baseballs. I burn oak only. I hope that helps.
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:09 AM
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Depends on how long since the last cleaning. I have seen the creosote build up across the flue liner but be a very thin layer. I have gotten as much as the equivalent to 2 gallons before. Green wood will leave more build-up for sure. I usually run the brush up and down several times after I get the sides and all cleaned off. Glad I saw this post. I need to do mine!
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Old 12-10-2008, 12:06 PM
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I burn every day, from mid-afternoon to bedtime. The stove is a big stove that can handle 24" logs, and is "airless" in the respect that you can shut off the air coming into the firebox. There's also a damper in the flue, a foot above the stove. It's an 8" flue, straight up and out, 25' long. I have it cleaned by a pro annually, and that's enough. I usually burn maple and oak, and, if I can get it, ash (which doesn't require seasoning). I let it go over 2 years once and had a fire in the flue pipe (close the firebox intake and close the damper to cut off the air) in the third year. So, once a year is enough, but if it's convenient to you, a second time in mid-winter is more than adequate.

This year the sweep took the pipe off the top of the stove and cleaned the plenum of 20 years' worth of soot and creosote plus the foot of pipe between the plenum and the damper. It's a messy job and was worth the expense..
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Chimney cleaning question

Every cord or 2 if fine unless you like your local fire department to wash it out for you. I normally have a really hot fire every 30 burn days of use. There's nothing in there right now that would have survived those temps last weekend. A temp gauge on your flue pipe can keep you in the proper heat range to avoid build up as it's the colder fire temps that mostly create it.

Dry hardwood is the only thing you should burn in an airtight.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:23 PM
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I try for the dryest wood I can get. This stove is 20 years old, still solid as a rock, 80,000 BTU, 2 speed blower. and is (of course) discontinued. The manufacturer has no record of it (original mfr has been sold). It's been just great!

Just under the door are five 1/2" holes for adjusting the air.


Here's a great tip! To clean the glass (actually clear ceramic) doors, get DAWN POWER DISSOLVER, spray it on, leave it sit for 15 minutes, and wash it off. Put down paper first underneath it where it will drip. The product is hard to find, but I buy it by the case at Ace online, and they deliver it free to my local Ace.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Chimney cleaning question

t3rockhall - 12/10/2008 2:23 PM

Here's a great tip! To clean the glass (actually clear ceramic) doors, get DAWN POWER DISSOLVER, spray it on, leave it sit for 15 minutes, and wash it off. Put down paper first underneath it where it will drip. The product is hard to find, but I buy it by the case at Ace online, and they deliver it free to my local Ace.
I have an Xtec with the "air wash" to keep the glass clean. It doesn't. Thanks for the tip on the power dissolver. I hate using oven cleaner.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:08 PM
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http://www.dawn-dish.com/en_US/powerdissolver.do
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Chimney cleaning question

If you started out with new pipes and have only been burning it for 10 days, that may be a little much, but it depends on how you've been burning it. The secret to minimizing creosote buildup is to use good, dry wood and burn it hot. Its good that you can clean your chimney yourself, it'll save you a lot of money. If i could do that, i'd try to sweep it at least once a year - preferably twice. I also add some trisodium phosphate (TSP) to the coals once in a while and i think that also helps dry out the creosote.

Here's a link to the stuff i use to clean the glass on the woodstove - it works great and dissolves the mess fast!!

http://www.amazon.com/Spray-Nine-158.../dp/B000C6KJ9Y

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Old 12-10-2008, 04:06 PM
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Save 50%! The Dawn Power Dissolver is only $3/ bottle. Probably the same thing. Some people say that Dollar General has a similar product for only a buck.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:24 PM
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Been supplemental heating with partial wood for 30 years and have decorative firepalce fires from time to time. Last 2 years I used mostly wood stove heat. I have never cleaned any chimney or flue. I clean the stove pipes at the end of the season. I do burn real hot fires from time to time to keep the flue and pipes clean. There is a slight black buildup but never had a fire and it looks clean to me. I have one air tight stove - that one especially needs to be opened up and roaring from time to time or it will get abuild-up. Some of my friends swear by those creosote eating logs. I only burn real dry wood I cut and split and age myself. Maple and Birch and Poplar with some Oak when I can get it from off the side of the road. My glass seems to clean itself whenever I burn a real hot roaring fire. I think if the wood is very dry and you add plenty of air until you get a good bed of coals creosote formation stays pretty low. Smokey stinky fires will plug up your pipes. Stay warm. If heating oil goes below 2 bucks I am going back to that. I actually clean my oil furnace pipes more often than the wood stoves. I use a very small nozzle in a realtively large boiler and the flue gas is pretty cool.

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Old 12-11-2008, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Chimney cleaning question

Have been burning wood over 30 yrs all kinds of air tight stoves and most every type of chimney masonry flues are the best to keep it clean I burn it hot twice a day over 700 degrees for 10-15 min this should only be done if thru flue is in good shape!When the chimney guy comes he looks at it and says that it is clean 20.00 I do this just for insurance reasons. Burn seasoned wood don't smudge the fire let it burn hot few times a day ie. if the flue is in good shape. Old Vermonters swear that banana peels burnt help with the creosote problem.I also use a mirror to look up the chmmney to see how its doing easy!
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:09 AM
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I burn my stove mostly every night and all weekend long most of the winter.

I clean my chimney yearly myself. However, I clean the stove and pipes 1-2 times over the winter when I detect a build up in the pipes. I detect this be either hearing the build up crackling or by tapping on the pipe and hearing the buildup drop in the pipe. My pipe rises about 2' out of the stove and turns 90 Degrees through the wall and into the chimney. I thik this tends to produce more buildup then if it was a straight shot out of the chimney. I only have about 6-7' of pipe total so it only takes me about a hour to celan the pipe and stove. I don't have windows so no cleaning there.
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:07 AM
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this is even easier, spray windex on a handful of paper towel wet a spot about 3 - 4 inches around dip it in the cool ashes from the stove and smear them around on the glass, after doing this once or twice, they should clean right off.
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