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Aluminum cans and Creosote?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Pete Clark, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Pete Clark

    Pete Clark New Member

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    What is your experience? Does this actually remove creosote or is it just a way to get rid of a few cans?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Somewhere on the site there is a very technical description that explains why this doesn't help, but even after searching, I can't find it right now.

    Best thing I can say is, if it sounds too good to be true..........

    pen
  3. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Creosote doesn't bother me much anymore. I think those of us without storage and the resulting idling deal with it the most and now in the 4th season, other than the sticky damper door, I don't think it affects my boiler much. I do remember someone posting a year or two ago about burning a potatoes once in a while to clean up their boilers. Don't know about the Al cans, but hopefully someone else will chime in about the magic of potato burning. Totally forgot about putting a potato in my fire until you brought this up. Anyone remember the potato discussion? I may try it just for grins.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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  5. KenLockett

    KenLockett Member

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    I concur with Tennman. Tried the aluminum cans in the very beginning. Made absolutely no difference in the firebox. You will always have a buildup of glazed creosote in the firebox if you idle. Manufacturer says this is normal. Also have a bottle of Rutland creosote remover that I spray in from time to time. Don't think it really makes any difference but I feel like I gotta get rid of it. Like everyone on the forum continually emphasizes, clean your boiler on a regular basis and you shouldn't have any problems.
  6. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    I was wondering if pen would volunteer to help me empty some of those beer cans.
    pen likes this.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Works well. Crush the cans, sell them for fifty cents a pound and buy Anti-Creo-Sote with the money.
  8. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    ;lol I wish I had thot of that answer Bart. Geez.... almost 21,000 posts!!! I'm gonna be about 109 when I reach that mark.
  9. S.Whiplash

    S.Whiplash Member

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    Tenman,
    I'm currently struggling with a sticky damper door with my BioMass 60. What's the cause and what's the solution?
  10. Tennman

    Tennman Minister of Fire

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    Whiplash, I'm betting you don't have storage yet. Am I corrrect? If you don't have storage the solution is a 6' long pole that you use to tap the damper door when the damper handle is resistant. It's a toss up which boiler tool I use the most, the bent rod poker for stirring coals or my "tap the damper restriction adjustment fixture (T-DRAF)". Within a few weeks of the first season of running the boiler I disassembled the left side of the BioMass presuming the damper linkage had bound up. After MANY years of fixin' stuff I now force myself to look for the SIMPLE source of a problem first. This season will be my last without storage, but this season I've been running my boiler hotter at higher fan settings between idling periods (which without storage is unavoidable). Now on days when it's colder... less idling.... hotter boiler.... I find myself using my T-DRAF less. That tells us both EVERYTHING. After 3 years of use, last October I removed the panel to clean the upper chamber. If you read the Tuning BioMass sticky you'll see that I used my boiler for 3 seasons with knowing about cleaning up there!! ;em SO for the first time in three years I cleaned that uppper chamber AND was able to scrape off about 3/16" to 1/4" of built up crud on my damper door!! So for the first ~2-3 weeks this season the damper handle worked sooo nice, but now I'm back to reguarly using the T-DRAF. So... sorry so long winded, but I wish someone had told me this 4 years ago.... the solution is running wide open and hot or make a T-DRAF. Mine's a 1"x2"x6' pole that has one end slowly burning to a point from going into my upper chamber a bunch. I may copy this post into the BioMass sticky.

    AND now I remember.... it was Potato peelings!! So anyone... does it work?
  11. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Even if potato peels or beer cans worked in the old days, they more than likely wouldn't work in the upper chamber of a down draft gasser. The upside down fire is the perfect scenario for producing tar and moisture on the walls of the chamber. Hot coals on the bottom igniting cooler wood an inch or two above them then another inch or two of "baking" wood, then cooler wood on top of that with no burning gasses above to perhaps burn some of the crap that's outgassing. You know whre it's going to go. Right onto the wall that has water behind it. I'm able to open the door on my unit with a minimum of smoke and have observed the progress of the fire. Of course, when the door is opened the fire erupts and starts to burn upright but I've been able to see it happen. When my fire has burned down to a six inch thick bed of glowing coals (assuming dry wood) it starts to dry the walls of the firebox and crisp up some of the deposits.

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