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Creosote question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by abracadabra, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. abracadabra

    abracadabra New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Folks-

    I've looked all over for the answer to this question, but I can't seem to find any real info.

    I've read tons of info about creosote and how its formed, wet/green wood, low flue temps, etc.

    Up until last week I ran my stove without a flue thermometer. I just let the new loads get good and hot and used seasoned wood.

    So I always just made a point of looking at my chimney, was there smoke? I only ever noticed smoke when I had a fresh load in or had some pieces of wood in that may have been less seasoned.

    Now I picked up a flue temp gauge because, well, everyone I know has one. Figured I should have one.

    Its been pretty neat using it as a reference, basically it allows me to not open the door as much to check the fire between loads and gives me peace of mind that I'm not overfiring.

    Now here's the question: does creosote only form at startup, when you have new load of wood in that you're burning the water out of? And as well, once the flue reaches temps the creosoted won't form?

    The reason I ask is, I just went to put more wood in because my gauge was getting to the "creosote" zone and I opened the door to find a huge bed of hot coals. I thought why not leave the coals since I didn't need the heat at the moment, and I even went outside and looked at my chimney and I didn't see any smoke! So, no smoke, no creosote? Can creosote form during the hot coal stage?

    thanks!

    mark

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,357
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    No reason to reload if you can still heat with the coals so no prob. Cheers!
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,688
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    No, creosote doesn't form in the coal stage.
    I don't know what stove you have, but the smoke dragon stoves(pre-epa) will build creosote up until the coaling stage and need to be ran hotter to help prevent build-up.
    New (epa) stoves, run hot as well, but the flue temps are often much,much lower than the old stoves. They don't build up creosote because of the cleaner burn. If burned improperly, they will build up just as badly as an old one though. So, on the new stoves it's better to have the thermometer on the stove rather than the pipe. Typically, old stoves only stop smoking when they are running wide open, or out of wood, building creosote the whole time. New stoves should only smoke for a few minutes after a fill up, then never smoke again even when the air is reduced to low.
  4. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    384
    Loc:
    East TN.
    Keep flue temps above 250....below that creosote can form although I doubt that you will get any from coals since creosote is in smoke and coals don't smoke.
  5. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    750
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Flue temp is not the only indicator for creosote build up, it is just how the thermometer reads as it does not know what burn stage you are in. The coal burning stage is a clean burning stage with no creosote emitted to speak of.

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