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Cleaned the flue today - the OAK came in real handy

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by semipro, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Nights have been chilly and I've been getting the urge to see the Oslo in action. Having run it for two seasons already I decided to clean the flue.
    Before going up on the roof I attached a shop vac to our OAK inlet on the outside of our house and turned it on. I also opened the air control on the stove all the way.
    I then went up on the roof, removed the cap, and found a healthy flow of air going down the 6" solid stainless liner. I brushed out the flue without inhaling a bit of creosote as I have when cleaning flues before.
    I replaced the chimney cap then went down to the Oslo, removed the oval top plate, and vacuumed out the creosote that had accumulated at the stove outlet. I set the oval plate back in place (no fasteners needed) and went outside and shut down the shop vac.
    My wife who had been sitting near the stove the whole time doing some paperwork never saw anything exit the stove during the whole cleaning process.
    We're enjoying the season's first fire now.

    I just added one more thing that I like about OAKs to an already long list.
    Backwoods Savage and fox9988 like this.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Neat! Never heard of this idea before. You may just start something here.
  3. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    Dumb question, would that be pulling dust into the sec. burn system and air feed, or do you clean them out when your done with the chimney ? can't learn unless one asks.
  4. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Hmm, good question. The OAK inlet on the back of the Oslo does feed both the doghouse inlet at the front of the firebox and the secondary burn tubes so I guess its possible. However, the secondary tubes are located at the top of the firebox below a smoke shelf so its hard to imagine that the heavy creosote would stay airborne in the stove long enough to rise and enter the tubes. It was apparent once I pulled the top oval plate that most of what had fallen down the flue ended up near the stove outlet.

    I did not collect much if anything in the shop vac connected to the OAK inlet outside. But the negative pressure it created in the stove and flue was enough to keep ash and creosote under complete control during the cleaning, something I've never been able to achieve before.

    I can tell you that the secondaries seemed to work very well last night. In fact, they seemed more active than I remember from previous seasons. The vacuuming may have cleaned them out some.

    I've included before and after photos. You can see the creosote that was brushed/sucked down in the 2nd photo both in at the stove outlet and within the stove. The 3rd photo shows the cleaned outlet area. The white fluffy stuff is the insulation blanket that sits on top of the burn shelf.
    stove flue cleaning.jpg before.jpg after.jpg
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Oh great. Now I have to blast a hole through the back of the fireplace for an OAK. :confused: You did the wood stove version of what the pellet burners do with a leaf blower on top of the chimney.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    This reminds me that I tried another similar method when cleaning our other (basement) flue years ago. I put a big fan in a doorway blowing into the basement to pressurize the house. The idea was to prevent any ash or whatever from entering the house via the stove.

    I then went up top to brush the flue. The house stayed clean but as I brushed, the lighter detritus blue out the top into my face as I worked.
    I then disconnected the stove pipe from the thimble and cleaned out what had accumulated there. The fan pressurization did keep things clean there as I worked.

    The shop vac on the OAK worked out much better.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    We just tell guests that the furniture was grey when we bought it. ;lol

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