Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by MarineScott, Oct 10, 2012.
How often should a chimney be cleaned? Can one, so called cheat, using those creosote removing logs?
To much of a risk for me with those logs. when I needed them I would brush after.
I have a wood/coal burning furnace, and I have my chimney swept once per year. It's worth the piece of mind.
Man that's a toughie. I would think a lot would depend on chimney construction, length, wood moisture content, burning habits, etc.
Starting out clean, I sweep ours at least 3 times through the burning season.
We do try to burn mostly seasoned wood. We also have a lot of extended burns with low airflow.
I sweep before the burn season and usually twice more during the winter. We burn primarily oak and almond but we also burn a lot of DF, pine, and cedar. I don't let the soot build up.
I lost a house to a chimney fire. Cleaning the chimney is just common sense.
You should avoid those chimney cleaning logs if you have an EPA unit with a catalyst-apparently the chemicals released from these logs will screw up the catalyst.
I'm going to do ours tomorrow. I check and or brush twice during the wood burning season. I also use the "red devil" creosote destroyer salts before I brush. I have very little creosote in my pipe. It's all fluffy soft soot about the thickness of a paper matchbook cover. I burn 90% pinyon pine and it's loaded with resins. The other wood is a mix of hardwoods as I can scrounge them up. All of the wood I burn is bone dry due to our climate here.
I brush our flue twice per year. First time about halfway through, second time at the end of the season. I much prefer the stuff doesn't lay in the pipes over summer.
It's true, much depends on chimney type, length (height), how well seasoned your firewood is etc. Partially seasoned wood will cause creosote accumulation more quickly than you'd think.
The creosote removal logs are not a substitute for brushing and inspection. What they do is lessen the amount of creosote that accumulates in the flue. They should only be used with a clean flue, not one that needs cleaning.
I just cleaned ours today for the first time since we installed our wood insert in about 2002. We have one of those stainless steel flex tubes, and a two story house. I got about 5 gallons of ash and chips. That stainless tube has ridges that allow build-up. I'll be cleaning more often from now on
I also took the whole insert apart, and cleaned behind the bricks, atop the fireboards and upper bricks, and all the nooks and crannies. What a mess it was. But everything looks good otherwise, as in no holes, fractures, etc. I'm replacing the door gasket too, because the old one was falling out here and there.
I also installed a damper between the top of the insert and the stainless tube. That two story long tube acts just like vacuum sucking the heat out after a draft gets going. I'm going to experiment with the damper this year
Don't put your surround back on if using a black pipe damper (don't think they make stainless), black pipe is not allowed for insert installs so be careful.
The surround has never been on there. The way the hearth was designed originally, the sides stuck out farther than the top, so it just looked wierder than not having it on at all. But why would that be an issue in relation to the damper?
the damper is black iron with that little springy retainer, but I drilled it into a stainless collar
I gotcha, you screwed 2 holes into the appliance adapter then put the cast iron damper inside it, don't think I have seen that done before, does it have enough room to move inside the adapter? Did you use a 5" damper?
I think it's a 6" damper, but it's actual size is probably a little less. It does have room to turn, and I had to work hard at centering the damn thing so it would have equal, or very close to it anyway, room on all sides. My stainless tube is 6", as are the fittings, including the one I bought for the damper. The latter one is a coupling I think, as it seems to be made to connect two equal sizes of tube or whatever together.
I just now finished everything, although I only have a screwable pipe clamp on there holding the tube to the coupler, but I plan to pick up some stainless rivets to secure it all around later today.
All that's left is to replace the door gasket and wait for that to cure up. Should be burning by tomorrow night.
Still can't get over how mush ash and chips were holed up in that tube. Wasn't much creosote, but a lot of ash and chips.
All clean. Did notice the iron floor of the insert had warped a bit over the years. There's a slight hump in the center now
The appliance adapter that connects your flex liner to your stove should look like this:
View attachment 256965
I looked at that one, but it is longer, and would have been a bit more trouble to install. I already had trouble getting that flex tube to conform as it entered the coupler. It's a tight fit as the tube makes those bends through the original chimney. And I chipped away some of the brick just to make the original install many years back
Also, the original coupler that came with the insert was short and the factory instructions call for rivets
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