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Creosote check this weekend.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by CHeath, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    I ran the ol go pro camera down the chimney yesterday to do a 30 day check because a lot of guys here said that I was building a lot of creo because I was burning wet wood at low flue temps. As most of you know the chimney is 30 years old, clay, square 7x7. No actual buildup was found as far as creo closing up the flow so to speak. However, the Interior lining was black and NOT chalky like some I've seen. Instead, it was shiny, dark black and did not live a residue on your hands when touched. Honestly, it looked like a new paint job on a car. Will a chimney brush clean this?

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  2. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    What you have is the worst kind of creosote. It's glazed creosote, which also has a fancy stage number that I don't remember. I don't think you're going to have much luck just brushing it. You may be able to clean your pipe real well if you take it apart and you absolutely should. You have a dangerous situation there. If you get enough of that crap and it ignites, your going to have one heck of a chimney fire.

    Try getting those "creosote removal" logs or the powder. They don't really remove the creosote, but they help prevent the glazed creosote so your chimney is easier to clean. Now that it's almost spring and you know you're gunking up your chimney, you may want to just hold off burning until next year when you'll have better wood. Be safe!
  3. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Get some of the powder from HD or Lowes or where ever that Rutland makes and burn a hot fire with a couple scoops in the coals. Then do another check of the flu - this will be a great experiment for, "does the stuff work" question?? I throw a scoop in every few weeks or so when I think about it as a bit of insurance but have no clue if it helps or not. The goal with it is not to stop cleaning - just makes cleaning easier, allegedly.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    Ditto what Waulie said. Back when we got that glazed "stage 3" build-up, nothing I did mechanically could remove the stuff. A friend suggested ACS (anti-creo-soot) a manganese based spray from a company in Vermont, I think. That was the only thing which had any effect- but you have to use ALOT of it.. like three times as much as the directions said. I would not even consider it in a cat stove, for fear of poisoning the cat. Rutland makes a version of the same stuff, but I don't think theirs is as strong as the ACS.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    Well I just fired it up and have a nice fire. I'm not shutting it down but ill keep and eye out. I was afraid of this.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Keeping an eye out isn't going to help too much if you get a real chimney fire going. I'd try to clean that clay.
    You really do have a potentially dangerous situation on your hands, and should seriously and aggressively try to resolve it. Have you searched for ways to get glazed creosote off clay tiles?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    It's just a thin layer and yes it looks as the chemical such as sprays and one powder that had some good results but no have had a chance to try any. Ill try to post the video later.
  8. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    VIDEO

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  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Looks typical of the old clay chimneys. Bad..... Time to think about installing a liner in that thing.
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  10. pen

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

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    Oh yea, that's a whole lot of not good at all.

    First, take your brush and scrub the poo out of it. Might not be able to remove all of it, but it won't hurt. Then start using some creosote remover as others referenced you to above, but above all, you need to change your burning habits.

    Don't be mislead by that being a thin layer, that's dangerous stuff.

    pen
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  11. pen

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

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    Yep, and adjust the burning routine / fuel.

    I hope that's at least an 8x8 in square chimney.

    pen
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Fiirst post he says 7 x 7.
  13. pen

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

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    Yep, still trying to be optimistic ;lol

    I know the trouble I had with getting a 6 inch liner down my chimney that measured 7.25x7.25. If I had to line a similar chimney again, a 5.5 in liner would be going down it.

    If it's a true 7x7, and assuming there are some misaligned tiles after looking at the video, I'd say a 5.5 is his only option AFTER that chimney is cleaned spotless.

    Or, have a pro mechanically remove the clay flue tiles ;hm

    pen
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  14. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Good advise no doubt. But I wonder Pen, if you could possibly burn a wood stove hot and clean enough in a clay tile chimney to not get some glaze creosote?
  15. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Not arguing with that at all, but how could you possibly do that?
  16. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Why certainly you can! I do it myself. I also have a 7X7 clay flue. This place had an old smoke dragon for the first 28 years and I used it myself for 5 miserable months. I couldn't keep the chimney clean without having the stove and pipe so hot it was scary. The good news is that the chimney has always been cleaned. A new stove and dry wood and there's nothing in my flue at all!

    Some of that creosote powder and a good chimney sweep should fix it right up. The OP's chimney has never been used and I personally wouldn't abandon it just because he's having bad luck with wet wood.
  17. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    I am totally bummed. In just one month, this has happened. I've killed myself gathering,splitting and stacking wood. I will stop burning before I install a liner in a chimney that's been used one month. That's defeating the entire purpose of me burning wood (to save $)
  18. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Good. Glad you are able to do that.
  19. pen

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

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    Use the chemicals to help (while using dry wood) and scrub the crap out of it is the best you can do.

    Also, if he shuts things down and lets things wait until fall, it's amazing how much of that will clean out of the chimney after it's had summer's humidity (and some moisture down it if there's no cap).

    pen
  20. pen

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

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    Running wet wood is like trying to run gas through a car with water added to it.

    Once your fuel source is up to par, you might find that chimney doesn't give you this much of a problem.

    In the meantime, you need to really considering whether it is your fuel, burning habits, or both that's causing the mess. With what looks like an interior chimney, if those habits / fuel are up to par, there is no reason that chimney you have couldn't serve you well for decades with less concerning creosote build-up.

    But, if you keep going the way you are operating that thing and don't want to improve the habits / fuel, then it needs to be lined.

    pen
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  21. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    What will it cost to run your other source of heat?
    The first year is always tough, unless you've gotten your wood well in advance.
    Keep your eye on the prize.....next year and subsequent years will be much better now that you've seen the result of burning less than ideal wood.
    ScotO, tfdchief and pen like this.
  22. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like a good plan to me. I don't know much about the chemicals. I have used them but didn't see much effect. But I have certainly found that leaving it all summer loosens up a lot of the crud. I never could keep my old Buck from glazing up the chimney until I direct connected it to a SS liner. Now I have no trouble at all.
    ScotO, Locust Post and pen like this.
  23. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    Same here Chief.......wanted a liner and then a small chimney fire was the final motivator. No harm done.
    ScotO and tfdchief like this.
  24. pen

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

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    Yep, that's one way to make sure the chimney is clean before putting a liner in!

    I even know one fella (may or may not be a member here, lives south of the Mason Dixon line yet East of West Virginia, might even burn an Englander 30 in a fireplace :p ) crazy enough to self induce a chimney fire before installing his liner!

    Takes a pretty high level of swagger to do that though. Definitely not the recommended approach.

    pen
  25. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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