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Chimney Cleaning Results

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Steamer, May 25, 2013.

  1. Steamer

    Steamer Member

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    I was wondering how this compares to other wood burners so any feedback would be appreciated.

    Chimney - 36 feet outside masonry 6 inch round tile
    Wood stove -mid 80's Nashua with blower- heats well but needs to be fed often
    Wood used - 3 cord air dried 2 years
    Clean from bottom with soot eater - works great
    Clean once year - 1.5 gallon of creosote

    Should I clean it more than once a year?
    Would a new more efficient stove work with the outside chimney without the expense of a liner?

    Thanks in advance

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  2. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    I'd say you need to get on the roof and look down your flue to know the answer to your question. With such an old stove and tall tile lined chimney it's quite possible you could have some of the stage 3 creosote up near the top that a Sooteater won't touch. When I recently cleaned my large clay tile flue (11" x 18") prior to installing my SS liner for my new stove I had quite a bit of stage 3 that would only come off using a chisel and hand held wire brush. Chimney sweeps sometimes you a Sooteater like device on steroids that spins chains instead of nylon string to clean this kind of creosote. Of course, you could be just fine, but you need a visual inspection to know what your situation is. If the chimney is clean and you are getting the amount of creosote you mentioned I wouldn't worry about a SS liner unless I got a newer, more efficient stove and I wanted it to work as well as possible.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    New stove would help so long as you are burning good wood. Still, it seems that chimney would struggle to stay warm. Yes, I would advise cleaning it at least 2 times per year.

    In addition, it is not enough to say you used 3 cord of 2 year air dried wood. That is sort of like saying you drive a car. In other words, not much information. What type of wood. When are you counting as drying time? Has the wood been split? Where and how was it stacked?

    fwiw, drying time is normally not counted until the wood has been split then stacked outdoors. Preferably in the windiest spot you have. Needs to be off the ground too. Two years can be good and even excellent for some types of wood but not all. We won't even attempt to burn oak until it has been split and stacked for 3 years. Yet we can burn soft maple after only 6 months; split or unsplit. So there is a tremendous difference in different types of wood. Hop on over to the Wood Shed here on hearth.com for more information.
    BoilerMan and etiger2007 like this.
  4. Steamer

    Steamer Member

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    I have cleaned my chimney from the top with a wire brush for years and decided to try the Sooteater 3 years ago. I had my chimney exterior resurfaced last year by a mason and the top round tile was replaced due to some deterioration of the top block. I inspected the flue from the top as the mason had scaffolds built and the tiles were clean except for a very thin film on the top tile. I think I burn hot enough without overnight idling. Thanks for input - I do need to get a more efficient stove and I am definitely considering a woodstock stove - fireview or progress. Do you think I will need a liner for proper operation ?
    Thanks
  5. Steamer

    Steamer Member

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    Most of my wood is White Ash, Black Cherry , Soft and Hard Maple. I cut standing dead and blow downs only on my wood lot. I cut it 16 inches stack it off ground on 4x4's two deep and drying time is 2 years from stacking in fall to burning. I think I will start running brush midway through season. Time for new woodstove as the Nashua is 28 years old and heats great but needs a lot of tending. Hard to part with a good heater that has not had one problem in all those years - kind of like an old friend you know well. Thanks for reply
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Steamer, you might find that your old friend the Nashua has been letting you down a bit. For example, we burned good wood with our old heater but still cleaned the chimney 2-4 times every winter. We also had to close off part of the house attempting to keep it warm enough; we were not warm enough but got by. Usually burned 6 cord of wood and remember one winter when we went through 7 1/2 cord. Then came the Fireview.

    1. The first thing we noticed was that we no longer had to close off part of the house.
    2. We stayed warm for a change all winter long.
    3. We no longer had to continually clean the chimney. (We've cleaned once in six years.)
    4. We cut our wood needs from 6 cord to 3.

    A couple years ago we did some remodeling and added a room. We added insulation, put in new doors and new windows. The first winter after doing this we burned around 2 1/2 cord. This burning season we are up around 3 cord again. Still only half of what we used to burn.

    Yes, there is much to be said about the newer stoves.
  7. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Burnt a Nashua for a little over 30 years and did not get a half a gallon a year more like a quart, not sure why you are getting so much, burnt that stove with a stack temp gauge for guidence, few times I skipped a year.
    I would clean that chimeny about 3 times a year or change your burning habits.
    Well maybe with a 36 foot outside chimney you are burning as good as it gets.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "I think I burn hot enough without overnight idling."
    You think, do you burn with a stack temp gauge?
  9. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Here's a picture from 1 yr. of burning 3-1/2 cord in my Oslo:

    [​IMG]
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Nice Shari, you must be burning nice and hot:cool:
  11. Steamer

    Steamer Member

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    Any thoughts on Fireview vs Oslo
    I really don't want the expense of a liner in the chimney
    Would either stove work OK without a liner
    Draft from Chimney is really good

    Thanks
  12. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    6" round clay tile, 36', in good shape?
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Both are excellent stoves. Naturally I favor the Fireview but that does not decrease the Oslo in any way. For sure one big thing you would have going with a Fireview is that 6 month guarantee. Not enough stove? Don't like it? Something wrong with it and you decide to go with something else. Do it within 6 months and all is well. This is how confident Woodstock is with their stoves and rightfully so. Very, very few ever get returned simply because they are so good. There are some that get returned because they decided on the newer Progress Hybrid stove. Probably will get some of the same thing happening when the new Union Hybrid hits the market. But that is a really big stove and one would need a big house because that thing will no doubt throw some serious heat with a 3 cu ft firebox. The Union is also the stove that is one of the finalists in the Popular Mechanic's contest. It will certainly be an interesting stove from what little I know about it.

    But back to the Fireview. I actually laughed when I first saw the size of the stove and did not seriously think it would be large enough to heat our home. Now I laugh when I think back to that day because of all the clean heat we get from it and the ease of operation. Besides, I also think it is the prettiest stove on the market and it looks just fine sitting there all summer; just looks like a fine piece of furniture.

    As for the liner, it would probably be the ultimate but it seems to me that you have enough chimney there that you should not have problems. I would love to have a tall chimney like that.

    One thing I don't recall asking is do you burn 24 hours per day or do you do a lot of cold starts? The reason for asking is those who do a lot of cold starts will tend to have more creosote simply because it takes some time to warm that chimney and until it is warm it does not have a great draft. But once that warm air gets going, then all is well.

    As for how long you can expect a good fire, that all depends upon the wood. For example, we have been heating mostly with white ash these last several years because we have so many that were killed from the emerald ash borer. Still, when it gets down to say, 10 degrees and colder during the night, that is when we start burning oak for the overnight fires. Until then, the ash does just fine. During the daytime we will be burning ash, soft maple, elm, cherry and a few other odds and ends we might cut in the winter months.

    I just finished splitting the wood we cut last winter and it is mostly white ash, a few elm, some really old white oak plus some red and pin oaks that blew over in a storm we had last summer. Now to get it all stacked. This will probably be our 2018-2020 firewood.

    Split pile 2013c.JPG Splitting-2013b.JPG
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Need a new brush? ;lol

    <ducking under the desk>
  15. Steamer

    Steamer Member

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    I should correct this
    It is 36' from basement clean out to the top of the chimney
    The stove thimble to top of the chimney is about 26'
    The tiles are in great shape - never had a chimney fire
    I really don't want to spend money on a liner
    Thanks
  16. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Nothing wrong with clay liner, thats what I had until I removed it about 3 years ago.
  17. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Well part of the secret is having the stove sized right to alow you to do that, you dont have to burn all that hot to have a nice clean chimney just dont smolder it. I would say Shari has everything right.
    Defiant likes this.
  18. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    My Oslo is rated to run between 400-600::F. I normally run it up to 450, shut air to 1/2, then, when it gets up to 500 I shut air down to 1/4 or a little less. Temp may still rise to around 550 and cruise for awhile.

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