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Posted By BIGDADDY,
Jan 1, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Thee years what a mess
Well I think I know why you had such a build up . . . you installed your stove upside down.
Wow thats some serious buildup. Now that you know how bad it was, how often are you going to clean now?
Also, how much total volume did you get out of there?
You are one lucky guy.
I would thoroughly inspect that chimney after cleaning.
OK. That is the stovepipe. Did you clean the chimney?
Just like the old days, take a bath once a month wether you need it or not.
"I sure hope you realize how lucky you have been" is a statement that may show up in this thread but that statement is NOT meant tongue in cheek.
Sorry for saying it this way, but dumb luck has been known to be fatal.
Did you clean it because it wouldnt draw anymore??
Is that glass in door of that stove? It looks almost opaque.
so what exactly is it that you burn, or should i ask what ;don't you burn? because surely you aren't burning seasoned wood!
Well we now have pictures of why to regularly inspect & clean the chimney & stove pipe.
I see soot & creosote.
I can see a few things that could be contributing to the problem.
Big one is the long horizontal stove pipe. It acts as a choke to the exhaust draft & with all the connections you have a good chance of several leaks.
2nd is the amount of single wall pipe from stove to chimney, flue gasses cool down before getting to the chimney.
I'd add to the seasoned wood thing,
not that your wood isn't seasoned but it could season a bit longer until it got drier.
Wood sellers sell seasoned wood, but that in no way means it is dry wood
Hope you have & test & check the batteries in the smoke & CO detectors regularly
(Plural on detectors, at least 2 )
very scary pictures
got any pics of the outside chimney ?
Never said there wouldn't be any creosote. Ive been burning 5-6 cord a year for the last 15 years and never seen 1/100th of that in the stove pipe. Once a year shouldn't bring 1/10' of what you have coming out of the stove. worst case scenerio would be less than 1/3 of what you have there over a three year period. Single wall pipe or not, either your wood isn't seasoned like it you think it is or you need to re-evaluate your air/draft situation. Are you choking it down all the time? something clearly isn't right. creosote should not be forming that heavily right out of the stove. Creosote forms from the flue gasses rapidly cooling. usually in a properly operating system you will have 90% of your creosote in the top 1/4 of the chimney because the gases have cooled so much by the time they get up that high. i'm glad you caught it before...honestly i can't believe you haven't had a cherry stove pipe yet from that creosote igniting.
What kind of wood are you buring? How long has it been seasoned? What are you burn times like?
You are correct, even the best wood will still leave some creosote in the chimney, but holy crap!
Those couple pics need to go up on a wall of shame somewhere!
BTW, it's not code legal to have a shut off on the hot side of a water heater.
That is a lot of build up, Big Daddy!
I think you realized that when you posted the pictures. Not much you can do about the past except learn from it and make some adjustments now for a safer tomorrow. I roast coffee and have seen very similar build up in the pipes of coffee roasters. On a coffee roaster this type of build up is normally found off of the cooling tray in which very smoky air is introduced by force to what is essentially a cold pipe.
What can you do to shorten that horizontal span?
It might even be worth the plumbing cost to move over the water heater and stuff to get that sucker closer to the wall.
Glad that things worked out for you, BD. That could be a dangerous situation. I clean my inside pipe two to three times a season, depending on weather etc. I cleaned both my flue and my stovepipe last evening, not too bad at all. Collected around a mason jar full of soot and fly ash out of it, not much creosote at all. I usually clean the flue once.every month, whether it needs it or not, just to check on things........
Haven't swept the NZ3000 flue yet as I've only been burning it a little over a month, and they've all been short hot fires. I DID check it on New Years Eve, however, and of looks clean. I'll sweep it in another month or so.
Stay safe, check your stovepipe several times a season.......especially if its single wall. That single wall pipe condenses MUCH faster than the double wall stuff.
That's pretty outrageous. Thanks for the courage to share it- I hope some folks learn from this
That's what the stovepipe looked like on the stove in my house when I moved in. I probably got a gallon out of the the 8"x30" horizontal connector. I tapped on it and it make a "thud" instead of a high pitched "ping". Glad I didn't light it!!
As others have said, that long horizontal run isn't doing you any favors. I would consider ditching that 90 and putting in a couple 45's up to the wall (which will probably mean you have to move the stove too). Also, you really shouldn't have single wall pipe passing through any wall, combustible or not. The concrete making contact with the pipe is literally sucking all the heat out of your exhaust and causing the smoke to condense and form creosote....so if you really want to to it right you should get an approved thimble with the right kind of pipe to pass through the wall.
Judging by the amount of creosote oozing from the chimney clean-out you've got some issues there too (water infiltration and heavy creosote accumulation). If nothing else seal up that door with a bead of silicon (open the door, lay down a bead, let it dry, then close the door).
Do you have 18" of clearance from the top of the pipe to the ceiling? Your ductwork looks close too. Hard to tell from the pics.
Even with the best wood your going to find that your stove isn't going to draft well (unless you have a mile of chimney on the other side of that wall) and you are going to get a ton of build-up.
Not trying to knit-pick, but just trying to point out some safety issues. If the worst were to happen (house fire) you at the VERY least want to make sure your insurance company isn't going to deny your claim for an improperly installed stove.
I'd get a cap on that chimney (can't see one from the pics)...that would probably cut down on the mess coming out of the clean-out door.
You have the exact same house that my buddy just bought.....we just installed a Drolet stove in his place...
I agree with lukem, a cap will keep the snow and rain out of that flue and might help with keeping the funk out of the cleanout.
I suspect that long run of single wall pipe is cooling down the flue gases too much. Still, that is no excuse for not checking this annually. You're lucky this didn't turn out to be a tragedy. I'm really glad it didn't and thank you for posting. Moving this to the hearth forum. More folks should be seeing it.
How much creosote did you see then? By all means clean it again now.
That would scare me enough to check it every month. I'm glad you caught it before something bad happened. BTW I only see one chimney, where does your heater vent?
Good lord that is a lot of buildup.
Thanks for posting these photo's. It is a good lesson for all of us.