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creosote remover/destroyer

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by treesrgreat, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. treesrgreat

    treesrgreat ArboristSite Lurker

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    Is there something that can be used other than the commercial products to help keep creosote flakey and lose in the chimney?
    Thanks.
     
  2. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I can't condone the use of aluminum cans but they do work.
     
  3. ziggo_2

    ziggo_2 ArboristSite Operative

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    Good hot fires
     
  4. Felman

    Felman ArboristSite Member

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    I've read powder laundry detergent but never tried it.
     
  5. logbutcher

    logbutcher Banned

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    Yes, hot fires once a day, usually for the morning fire let it go full blast. Not over heating the stove or furnace.

    Of course, try to use dry AND seasoned wood.

    Don't damp down your fires until the wood begins to coal.

    If you need 'cool' heat, use less wood in the firebox.

    Listen to us self-appointed 'experts' about how to burn.:potstir:

    Oh: empty those ashes often, even if you have the magic-stove-that-cures-STDs.:hmm3grin2orange:
     
    olyman likes this.
  6. wudpirat

    wudpirat ArboristSite Operative

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    Tsp

    A scoop of TSP on a hot fire will soften the hard creosote and make it fall off the flue lining.
    A brush will finish the cleaning .
    TSP can be found in the Paint Dept at LOWES, Painters use it to clean greasy walls prior to painting.
    The only drawback is when I use it, it makes my cigar taste funny. :biggrin:
     
  7. benp

    benp AboristSite Guru

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    I will have to try that. Thanks.

    I use a scoop of pulverized lime every time I fill the stove. It keeps every thing nice and flakey. My dad has been using this since the 70's with good success.

    I also kick up a hellacious burn once a week to really clean things out.
     
  8. treesrgreat

    treesrgreat ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the info so far. Yes, we do season our split firewood. One of our favorites is ash. It splits good, dries good. We also use some oak, maple, walnut, and on a good day I 'll find some red elm.
    We harvest our wood in the fall when the tree has gone into its winter mode. We dry our split wood for at least two summers out in the open where it is stacked on pallets in single rows on a hill top for max exposure to the sun and breezes.
    We do use a creosote remover product that you spinkle on top of the fire, and it has been doing a good job of the small build up we get. It keeps it loose/flakey for easy sweeping of the chimney. I have wondered what the active ingredient is in that stuff. Anyone know?
    I have of heard TSP and aluminum cans, but I haven't tried them. Does the aluminum can completely burn/melt?
    We have a Daka wood furnace, and it does a good job for the most part, but I wonder how efficient of a stove it is.?? I have heard of other brands of wood furnaces that's 80% plus efficient, but I can't recall what brands. What would be a better wood furnace? We are heating a 30 X 30 house that is insulated good with the wood furnace in the basement. We heat the main floor and upstairs too with the wood heat.
    Thanks.
     
  9. 1project2many

    1project2many ArboristSite Operative

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    Active ingredients vary from mfg to mfg. Manganese Nitrate, TriSodium Phosphate(TSP), Ammonium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, and Calcium salts are all possibilities. One product is "particulated wood," copper, and sodium chloride. That's table salt and a tiny amount of copper plus a combustible binder / filler. It looks like creosote is slightly acidic and the goal is to produce a basic reactant which will form a neutral salt in the chimney.
     
  10. Toxic2

    Toxic2 ArboristSite Operative

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    I just put a couple cans into my basement stove 1/2 an hour ago and they are gone..There is a pretty hot fire in there at the moment..

    Never heard of the TSP but i do have a cartoon of it and will try it..usually with the creoste busting "logs" , The stuff takes a few days to fall to the base of the chimney..
     
  11. Misfit138

    Misfit138 ArboristSite Operative

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    Interesting. If that is the case, baking soda (a salt, and slightly alkaline) sounds like it might fit the bill. Anyone tried this?
     
  12. treesrgreat

    treesrgreat ArboristSite Lurker

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    measurement of TSP

    For those of you that use TSP, how much do you add when you use it?
    Thanks.
     
  13. Marc

    Marc Addicted to ArboristSite

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    With such excellent seasoned wood, how in God's name are you getting creosote build up in the first place? I've been burning the same quality wood for four years, and my father for forty years. All we ever got out of the chimney when we clean it twice a year was maybe a couple cups (measuring cups) full of dry, powdery soot. And most of it is at the bottom of the chimney in the clean out before we ever run the brush up and down it.
     
  14. 1project2many

    1project2many ArboristSite Operative

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    Prolly the same way my wife does it. Slow burns at low temp with the drafts turned down.
     
  15. Toxic2

    Toxic2 ArboristSite Operative

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    I dont know about others but i am gonna treat it like the actual creosote busting powder and use a tsp or 2 every so often..I will also put it on a bed of coals as oppose to an open flame..
     
  16. wudpirat

    wudpirat ArboristSite Operative

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    Answer for Marc

    In my case, it's the chimney, a large masonary with three flues. It takes a long time for the flue to come up to temp so the creosote will build up from the top down.
    I burn a lot of pine and junk wood durring the shoulder season, saving the good stuff for the really cold weather.
    Many years ago, I lost the draft, checking things out, the flue was blocked. Creosote had built up and flaked off in large sheets, blocking the flue. A length of logging chain on a rope down the flue broke the creosote into small chunks. I must have taken a five gallon pail of chunks from the clean out.
    Now with the TSP treatment,, the build up is small flakes that fall to the bottom and get scooped out the clean out. I use a mirror stuck onto the cleanout to check for build up. Nothing so far but the chain on a rope is not far away, you never know.
    I use about five pounds of TSP a season, cost about ten dollars, cheap insurance for a clean chimney.
    If you check the MSDS on Rockland chimney sweep, you will notice it's mostly TriSodiumPhosphate with some other trace chemicals.
    Heating that large masoary chimney has some bennies, it gives back some heat and keeps the basement warm.
    Got to cut up some junk wood (windfalls and blow downs) to feed the furnace durring this mild weather, gonna save the seasoned Oak and Maple for the brutal temps later in the year.
    Keep the chain sharp, wear your PPE and cut safely.

    FREDM, the old wood pirate

    Happiness Is scoring a load of FREE wood, almost as good as scoring a free chainsaw.
     
  17. gtsawyer

    gtsawyer AboristSite Guru

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    I had a fairly heavy coating of glazed creosote, which I was able to get rid of by doing two things: using Cre-away (which may have exactly the same ingredients as the other commercial stuff folks have already mentioned), and NOT dampering-down the air supply. The last time the sweep visited, he said the chimney was now looking good.

    The newer Cre-away stuff is in an easy-to-use powder; you just squeeze the bottle and shoot a puff or two directly up the flue (which I do every 2-3 days or so). Seems to go a long way, with the fine powder likely reaching all the way to the top of the chimney.
     
  18. lampmfg

    lampmfg ArboristSite.com Sponsor

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    Get a Kuuma VaporFire and if burned properly (easy to do) forget about the creosote completely... :smile2:

    .45 Gr/Hr. Emmission
    99.4% Combustion Efficiency
    99% Smokeless Burns
    >80% Overall Efficiency

    How often do I clean the furnace?
    Once a year I use a rake that comes with the furnace to scrape out the heat exchanger. I proceed to vacuum through the clean out cover. Finally, I take the pipes off the back and blow them out outside. I've run this furnace for 28 years and never clean out the chimney as a matter of fact I don't even own a chimney brush
    (NO SMOKE=NO CREOSOTE).
     
  19. 1project2many

    1project2many ArboristSite Operative

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    I tried it tonight. The only place I see any buildup is on the cap. So I checked before lighting a fire to get a baseline. I've got a few 1/4" creosote "icicles" that started at the outer portions of the cap (first time I've seen those there) and some powdery buildup on the screen grates. We'll see if I notice any difference over the next few days.
     
  20. treesrgreat

    treesrgreat ArboristSite Lurker

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    response to build up

    We have some build up, and I just wish to keep it in check. Last year we didn't have much build up at all, I swept chimney once or twice. The year before, (our first year of burning)I was on the roof sweeping the chimney every 3 weeks. I had to due to the fact our wood simply wasn't as seasoned as it should have been. Now, this being our 3rd year our wood is better seasoned. We monitor the flue pipe from the wood furnace by simply flicking it with our finger. A hallow sound is good. If it sounds solid, I sweep down chiimney and sweep out the flue pipes going to the chimney. Our chimney is square brick with a clay liner in it. Do they build up creosote more than a stainless steel one due to its shape and that it is brick?? When I do sweep it, it is lose and flakey for the most part. I have run out of commercial creosote destroyer and that is what prompted this topic. Where I used to get it they are discontinuing it. So we are going to try the TSP.
    I could see where it sounded a bit odd by the way we dry our wood that I am worring about creosote control. I guess I just dont want a problem.
    The first year of harvesting wood, my wife and I cut/split a bunch of wood. In part because the loggers had just finished taking huge tree trunks and leaving the tops, and I also wanted a bunch ahead to start drying.
    Definately got the Husky 350 broke in.
    We now have 3, maybe 4 year supply of wood.
    I hope to harvest more this winter yet. We have access to two rows of ash trees that are 40 years old that we can take down at our leisure for the years ahead.
     

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