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Cleaning Pellet Vent Pipe

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ChrisWNY, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    Since I had to seal the cap on the bottom of my exhaust vent Tee (because it was leaking some exhaust), I'm thinking I may try this method of cleaning the pipe at the end of the season so I don't have to cut into and remove the high-temp silicone on the end cap...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLRfu4WNaR8&feature=player_embedded

    Only drawback of the "leaf blower" method is that any potential creosote build-up would still remain (though I've heard that creosote build-up in pellet stoves is not much of an issue), but for getting ash or soot out of the vent pipe, this seems a lot easier and faster than using a brush. My exhaust vent pipe has an elbow and is roughly 8 ft. in length, so that alone would make it more difficult to clean.

    Any of you guys have any innovative methods of cleaning your pellet vent pipes?

    [edited because someone had the mistaken idea that I posted a link for marketing purposes]

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad you think that the leaf blower method has only one drawback. It doesn't exactly get all of the crud that gets packed onto some of the surfaces.

    That may be why we have been known to hit the stoves with compressed air, placing wood blocks against some surfaces and taping the wood blocks with hammers, removing various panels and baffle plates and using brushes, hose attachments, vacuums, brass bore brushes, drill bits, Dremel tools, scrapers, etc ...

    How do you clean yours?
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Leaf blower method works best if used AFTER all other cleaning methods are finished, including running a brush up the vent pipe.
  4. rickwa

    rickwa New Member

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    pipe most be brushed first, then suck it out w/ leafblower
  5. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    Anyone have a good link for a decent long, flexible PL vent brush? I found this one (Rutland 20' brush) that seems like it would be good for the job (my PL vent is 4") -

    http://www.northlineexpress.com/item/5RU-17420/4-Pellet-Stove-Dryer-Vent-Brush-20-Handle - Anyone have any opinions on it? Was hoping to find something with a flexible metal handle as I've read the nylon flex handles often break during cleaning.

    Do you just brush the inner vent, or does the gap between the inner vent and outer wall also need to be brushed (wasn't sure how to go about doing this)? Thanks for the responses so far, I'll definitely need to invest in an electric leaf blower that has a vacuum suction port on it.

    My pellet furnace was installed a week ago, so I have yet to clean out my own PL vent (plan on doing so in the Spring each year). I have family with a pellet stove at their place, and I've watched them clean the pipe just by brushing/vacuuming, though their PL vent is only 3-4' long and is a straight horizontal run out the side of their house, no elbows to clean out. Generally their PL vent is quite clean, last year hardly any soot or ash came out (most of it probably blows out of the PL vent from the exhaust fan alone).
  6. kofkorn

    kofkorn Feeling the Heat

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    I actually work the other way. I took the pipe brush and drilled a small hole in the thread. I put a long piece of picture frame wire through it and attached a weight on the other end of the wire. I take the cap off of the tee and put a 5 gal bucket under it. Then I go on the roof and drop the weight through. I then pull the brush down through the pipe and all of the soot comes with it. This should help with your bend, as long as you have 45's instead of 90's.

    It works faster with two people as well, one on the roof, one at the cleanout.

    Good Luck!
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Doing a little self promotion I see.
  8. killayaw

    killayaw New Member

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    Yeah.. he's likely wanting backlinks to improve his google page ranking. I hate internet marketers.
  9. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I will post pics of this soon but the method we use is as follows

    1.) Disconnect all power, thermostats, and venting
    2.) empty hopper of unused pellets and tape over the exhaust so "stuff" does not get everywhere
    3.) Bend at the knees and lift the stove up (back straight)
    4.) Stand and take a step away from the wall
    5.) Shake the stove like you do your step son for about three minutes
    6.) Set the stove down and shop vac accordingly.
    7.) The stove should now look like the day it rolled out of the showroom.


    My wife loves this method and does it approx twice a month.

    Eric
  10. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    Are you referring to my post? I definitely have 0 interest in any internet marketing and hate it as much as the next guy. I posted a link in there that shows a guy using a leaf blower to clean his PL vent, which I thought was a great idea, but wanted to hear from those of you who have done it. I posted other links to get feedback about a PL vent brush I was considering buying - it had a plastic/nylon handle and I was concerned it might break. I'm in no way involved in any internet marketing, I can guarantee you that one.

    I'm new to pellet burners (well, my family has one), and I don't have ANY cleaning equipment other than a Shop Vac. I'm starting from Square 1 here, so I'm gonna post a lot of links about products I'm considering before pulling the trigger because I was hoping for some feedback/direction.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Classic boiler plate verbiage plus a link from a relevant niche site by the link placer to an ad laden page owned by the link placer = Internet marketing in most folks books.

    You could have used links to the original material and not have them go to your site.
  12. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    I have NO affiliation with "pelletstovepipe.net", actually the site is crappy and looks like it was created by a 14-yr old, but the YouTube video on it is a nice shot of a leaf blower exhausting a PL vent - a Google search for cleaning pellet stove pipes led me there which was where I found the video, so I assumed the creator of that video was affiliated with that website. Actually, if you search within these forums, someone else posted this same link on here like a year ago. Since it's that much of an issue for you, I got rid of the link to the amateur website and replaced it with a direct URL to the youtube video.

    Btw, I suggest you do a WHOIS on the domain pelletstovepipe.net, it's owned by a guy in Mapleville, RI (02839 zip code) - check betterwhois.com if you want to look into it further.

    Once again, I'm not an internet marketer in any way, shape, or form - I just had a Fahrenheit pellet furnace installed in my basement last week which was when I joined the site, so I could get info about everything having to do with pellet stoves. You're quite quick on the accusation trigger though, I'll give you that.
  13. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    Any suggestions on a good PL vent brush with a flexible extension handle made of something tougher than Nylon? The weight idea was a good one but it wouldn't work too well for my particular setup, I'm really looking for a robust brush for a 4" PL vent that is capable of reaching 10-12 ft. or so. Thanks.
  14. mkling

    mkling New Member

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    I actually just started using the SootEater for PL vent and it works better than any brush I have tried to date for cleaning my vent pipes. Just search for it in google and take a look if you haven't seen it before; it is essentially weed wacker for your pipes that you use your cordless drill with. It comes with 9 ft of rods but I ordered extra with mine so I think I have either 15ft or 18ft total. The rods are thicker nylon than my 4" brush rods and I think they have a 3/8" threading on the ends so they cannot be used with standard 4" PL vent burshes that use 1/4-20 threading. One thing I like about the SootEater is that you can literally replace the whips with weedwacker cable since over time the whips will wear down and need replacing. I could not believe the amount of ash and soot I got out of my pipes last weekend when I did my mid-winter cleaning. I am not sure what others think of it but I love it.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Get flexible metal plumbing snake and attach a brush to it, no joints to come undone.

    I use a lint eater with flexible threaded sections, one section allows me to do the short horizontal section and two allow me to do the vertical. Nothing gets jammed and nothing needs to spin.
  16. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    The SootEater looks like it might be a winner - just checked out their website and watched their product video, seems to go through elbows and bends without an issue. Ordered it through Amazon with 2 extension rods, great suggestion, thanks!

    Does the brush simply need to be run through the inner pipe only, or do I also need to concern myself with cleaning the gap between the inner pipe and outer pipe? I plan on running the SootEater first then following up using the leaf blower method to blow all of the loosened ash and soot out of the pipe.
  17. FordMastertech

    FordMastertech Feeling the Heat

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    Just curious about the size of the threads on the Soot Eater rods. I have a Lint Eater for my dryer vent cleaning and the size of the threads on it are 5/16 -18. I see some places where you can just purchase the replacement Soot Eater brush and if the threads are the same, 5/16-18, thats what I will do.
    If you could measure the threads on the rods of the Soot Eater I would be grateful, Thanks.
  18. mkling

    mkling New Member

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    I will check the thread sizes today... They very well could be 5/16, I just was guessing because they are larger threads than my 1/4-20 rods.
  19. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

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    Dude, what are you thinking? This is a family website. You can't put stuff like that on here.
  20. mkling

    mkling New Member

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    Yes, agreed that thumbnail has no place being on this forum... But to answer your question the threads are 5/16.
  21. killayaw

    killayaw New Member

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    The site is crappy because it's only focusing on improving it's google page rank score. It does that though creating backlinks (which you provided for him) and content optimization. Glad to hear it's not your site, and sorry for the accusation!
  22. FordMastertech

    FordMastertech Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for checking the size of the threads. I kind of figured Gardus INC, manufacture of the Soot Eater and Lint Eater wouldn't have changed the rod thread size on these type of things to keep costs in check.
    Thanks again, FMT
  23. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    Understandable, that sort of thing drives me batty as well, but it's not always a good idea to accuse someone of running a site just because they paste a link to it. Since that site was so full of Google Ads as well as poor grammar and plenty of misspellings, I figured it was being run by a punk kid or something, so I removed it and linked directly to the YouTube source of that video.

    What was the deal with someone's thumbnail being inappropriate? I must've missed that one.
  24. killayaw

    killayaw New Member

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    No idea.. I missed it also.
  25. mkling

    mkling New Member

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    Female anatomy... with the face of Homer Simpson. Kinda funny, but not appropriate at all.

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