Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I had the chimney cleaned, but am unsure how well they actually did it as the chimney cleaners didn't actually look up it, just ran the brush up and down a few of times and were gone. They got some soot out. It's a brand new woodstove of last year and was professionally installed. I am just worried that the creosote is a glaze so I am going to check it myself from the ground as getting on the roof is not an option, too high and steep. How will I know if it's a glaze or if it's actually very clean? I'm assuming it's be shinier if it's a glaze and should I check it on a sunny day? I will be using a flashlight. It's just a stove pipe, no cement flue tiles. Thanks Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,943 Posts
Dried creosote is more crumbly than a glaze. If the inside of your chimney looks smooth all the way up, it's okay. If the inside looks rough, it's more than likely creosote buildup.

If you had a new high efficiency woodburner installed last year along with a new chimney, chances are you didn't need the chimney cleaned. Unless, of course, you had many slow, low oxygen, burns over last winter.
 

·
Green Woman
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
chimney fires are amazing and won't go out even with a stop stick.

One winter of burning less than seasoned firewood will make the creosote very nice and burnable...

But it does bring 12 good-lookin' firemen into your home.

Hubba Hubba.

sick and rong, I know...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Last year over the winter I used it everyday as it was my only heat source at the time and was cutting wood the night before so a lot of it was green. Now I have 3 cords drying. Next sunny day I will check the stove pipe. Thanks Chris
 

·
Green Woman
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check it soon.

Wanna know what I grabbed from the house? While I was pretty certain it would burn to the ground?

the cat.

Threw him in the car and watched the flames shoot out 6-8' above the chimney. Amazing roaring noise! Woo Hoo! We had a party! Those firemen really worked for their pay that evening!

Cracked the lining and it will be $1600+ to replace it. I intend to sleeve the chimney with pipe instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
If there is still a warranty on the installation, have the company you bought it from come out for a courtesy check on it, they should have a competent person on staff to show what to look for, or have a different chimney sweep come out and check it.

I use a brush on our masonry chimney, six strokes down/up, gets it clean. Dry sooty buildup is rather unlikely to burn at all, it's the wet tarry stuff that ignites easily, and burning green wood, other than Ash, will create buildup rather quickly, especially if the woodburning appliance is damped down for a long burn.

I had a chimney fire in my smoke pipe, yeah it's loud, scary too, I put it out before the fire made it to the masonry chimney, it was the damper setting over the course of two weeks that built up enough creosote that it ignited. Two weeks after cleaning the chimney, poor burning habits will catch up to you quickly.

DRy wood makes a clinking sound when banged together, too wet and it makes a thud sound, if you keep two days worth of wood loosely stacked a few feet from the stove it'll help dry it out that much more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,059 Posts
My advice was going to be find yourself a different chimney sweep. A couple passes with a brush and not looking into the flue?? I'd pass on that kind of job. I like to check the thing out from the top to the bottom. Is the flue screen still intact? Cap tight? If it's a masonary flue is the crown wash cracked? Any cracks in the flue? Is the flashing still secure around the pipe? Did they clean off the smoke shelf? Is the damper sealing and operating as it should?
None of that is rocket science, but all of it is important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
749 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
No they didn't look up the flue after, I have cleaned my chimney at my old house every year, it had a clay flue, this one's a pipe. I just had them do it this time since it was a different pipe, now that I saw them do it, it's simple for me to do. Say if there is creosote and it's glazed, what product do I get to loosen it? Thanks Chris
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,383 Posts
Don't worry about the glazed stuff. It's harmless and just about impossible to remove. I cleaned chimneys for 5 years. Depending on the set up I could sometimes tell from the top if the flue was clean or not. I also carried a small mirror and used it to look up the flue when I did the cleanout. It is my experience that some flues never really needed cleaning while others needed cleaned several times a year. Creosote condenses out of smoke at around 240 degrees. If the smoke is hotter than this when it leaves the chimney, or cooler than this when it leaves the stove there will be minimal buildup. As CF said, if you have an efficient stove operating way below capacity (slow burns) you will have increased risk of significant buildup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
Nothing cleans a chimney out like a good chimney fire. If you have a metalbestos liner you don't need to worry about cleaning it, it can handle the heat as long as you have a spark arrestor on the chimney so your roof doesn't catch fire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
To clean a chimney we have used this product in the spray bottle with success. It has turned a glazed creosote in a 25 foot steel chimney into more of an dry ash. Just follow the directions on the bottle. You should be able to find a similar product in your area? Use only with your stove damper open and catalytic bypass open if your stove uses a catalytic converter.

http://www.imperialgroup.ca/product.cfm?navcategory=5&category=16&product=364

To prevent the glazing in the future, which I'm not sure is really something to ignore as glazed creosote in my mind would have more oil or flammable material than not, make sure that a) you aren't burning green wood loaded with water and b) with every new load of logs added to your stove, let your stove burn quite hot for 15-20 mins with the damper open at first and then even the damper or air control is partially closed. Do this before you turn it down to a slow burn. This type of burning is very important to getting the chimney hot enough to help keep sticky creosote from forming. Creosote though will want to form whenever the chimney temp gets low enough, such as overnight, no matter what kind of stove that you have, so burning it hot 15-20 mins with every new load of wood will help to remove and prevent that. I would not recommend a chimney fire to ever clean out your chimney, even if in jest.

Also, now that you've lived with your new woodstove, have dry wood and might have a reasonably clean chimney now and or if you use a product like the above to add some cleaning, I'd also recommend that you read over your stove manual now and then, as it will have good info on how best to use your stove, get the most heat from it and to prevent creosote problems in the future, or it should. Every new stove is a bit different and their manuals usually have lots of good info in them these days.
 

·
proud to be pro-choice
Joined
·
2,691 Posts
Just don't be like the seller of the house we recently purchased - not only did he NEVER clean his chimney, he burned styrofoam, painted boards, treated boards, newspaper slicks/glossies and anything else he could. Our chimney cleaner said it was the worst he'd ever seen - one inch of airspace left. Had a novice woodburning person moved in or the sellers continue to live, they'd be dead. We removed his insert and had major work done to the chimney. And creosote stinks!! We still have bits fall down from the chimney but it is decreasing. Gross and disgusting is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
881 Posts
Tinknal, perhaps you would know something about this. A while back I read that it's a good idea to keep a bag of ice in the freezer in the winter time. If you have a chimney fire you throw the bag onto the fire in the fire box and the steam from the ice melting goes up the chimney and puts out the fire. Any truth to this? Can you damage your flue?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,383 Posts
blue gecko said:
Tinknal, perhaps you would know something about this. A while back I read that it's a good idea to keep a bag of ice in the freezer in the winter time. If you have a chimney fire you throw the bag onto the fire in the fire box and the steam from the ice melting goes up the chimney and puts out the fire. Any truth to this? Can you damage your flue?
Never heard of this and I'm not so sure it would work but I can't see how it would hurt anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
blue gecko said:
Tinknal, perhaps you would know something about this. A while back I read that it's a good idea to keep a bag of ice in the freezer in the winter time. If you have a chimney fire you throw the bag onto the fire in the fire box and the steam from the ice melting goes up the chimney and puts out the fire. Any truth to this? Can you damage your flue?
It's better than nothing while you are waiting for the fire dept to arrive. Also a good wet towel (or similar fabric) or soaking wet newspapers help. The object of the ice and wet paper or cloth is to cause steam which in sufficient quantities will help control the fire and will not damage the chimney.

Other alternatives for DIYers while waiting for help may be a small plastic bag (Ziplock type bag) of dry chem such as Purple K that you can toss into the stove may or may not help - depending on the amount of draft.

While we were waiting for a pumper to arrive (sometimes a 30+ minute wait our rural district is so large) we used to toss a bag of dry chem down the chimney if we could get safe access to the roof, or a dry chem extinguisher up the flue - we used to carry these in our vehicles to use while waiting for the pumpers to arrive. Not for the novice and not recommended except for trained firefighters who are wearing proper gear.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,383 Posts
Best way to stop it yourself (be VERY carefull) is to have a large concrete block or flat stone (big enough to cover the entire flue) strategically placed on the roof. Just cover the flue with the block.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
if you have any old fire ext. laying around that have dry chemical in them.... I learned this trick from local fire dept. Fill quart baggies with the stuff.......they tossed them in chimney, fire melted bag......chemical went down and put out fire.......better yet just don't burn wood inside.

Scott
 

·
zone 5 - riverfrontage
Joined
·
6,691 Posts
Last winter we burned green wood, lumber, cardboard, lots of peat moss and a bit of coal. Mostly we started the fires with greenwood, and then shifted each night to peat and coal.

In the bottom of the stove, where the ash piles up, we always get a lot of ash. About three weeks ago, our son opened up the stove's secondary combustion chamber and cleaned it out, really he got a fairly small amount of stuff.

About a week ago, I took down the pipe. It is four sections of pipe. I think that I got about a one gallon pail of stuff out from it.

Which I would consider to be a small amount.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,383 Posts
ET1 SS said:
Last winter we burned green wood, lumber, cardboard, lots of peat moss and a bit of coal. Mostly we started the fires with greenwood, and then shifted each night to peat and coal.

In the bottom of the stove, where the ash piles up, we always get a lot of ash. About three weeks ago, our son opened up the stove's secondary combustion chamber and cleaned it out, really he got a fairly small amount of stuff.

About a week ago, I took down the pipe. It is four sections of pipe. I think that I got about a one gallon pail of stuff out from it.

Which I would consider to be a small amount.
My guess is that your smoke is still over the condensation temp when it leaves the chimney. I have noticed that creosote tends to slough of and fall into the stove with the metalbestos chimneys.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top