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Creosote Removal Products - Anyone else use them?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MnDave, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    From http://www.woodheat.org/qa-maintenance.html
    Q&A About Maintenance

    Do chimney powders work? Are there any dangers?


    How effective are creosote powder cleaners? The brand I have is [****], and the active ingredient is cupric chloride. Are there any dangers to the use of this material, and are the ashes of concern as far as toxicity is concerned?
    Thanks for your help, James
    Hi James,
    Here is an excerpt from the Wood Energy Technical Training reference manual, part of the Canadian training and certification system for wood heat technicians and inspectors:
    " Chloride-based powders, containing copper, zinc, or other metals, are the oldest form of chimney chemical. The active ingredients in these powders are the heavy metals and chlorides which have the corrosive qualities of salt. Chloride-based powders are effective only at high temperatures, so they are sprinkled on an intense fire. Tests have shown that this form of anti-creosote powder is not particularly effective and the chloride-based powders attack steel and cast iron. Therefore, chloride-based powders are not recommended."
    I would also point out it has been found more recently that the combustion of organic materials (like wood) in the presence of chlorines/chlorides, such as salt, bleach, plastics and so on, promotes the formation of the toxic pollutants dioxin and furan.
    The best way to remove chimney deposits is through brushing. If deposits form quickly or are difficult to remove, the problem is fuel quality and firing technique.
    If you really must use a chemical treatment, look for manganese based liquids. They actually work somewhat if used correctly.
    John

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  2. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    Sorry hockeypuck. :)

    I thought honeypuck was kind of a weird name.

    MnDAve
  3. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    If the temperature of the metal is cool enough to cause the gasses to condense then that is the temperature to stay above. I am guessing 230F.
    And since the stuff can run down the chimney and reach hotter and hotter surfaces then it would be best to prevent it from forming anywhere in the chimney.

    Personally I try to run with the stovepipe temps above 300F measured at the base of the stovepipe. Also, this is only when the gasses are burning. I don't worry about the temp while in the coal stage as the creosote forming gasses are reduced.

    My pipe is insulated but it is on the exterior of the house. I can imagine that uninsulated pipe needs more consideration especially if it is installed on an exterior in a cold climate like mine.

    I make extra sure that I brush out the horizontal sections of my stovepipe.

    MnDave
  4. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    So is it then a good idea to run full out and open the baffle control all the way to let the heat get up the pipe for 15 min or so?
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,355
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    I would and do most of the time,if not longer once in awhile.
    Also if the chimney catches fire it hopefully will be a smaller one.
  6. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,343
    Loc:
    south central WI
    Your baffle control is to facilitate top-loading on your IR, so that smoke doesn't come into the room.

    Running your stove with wide open primary air for a reload or primary air/startup air on a cold firebox will bring you quickly
    up to good temps if you have seasoned wood.

    I have never used crosote removal products because I don't get much creosote, and it doesn't take me very long to sweep the
    chimney.

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