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Fall Chimney Cleaning

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by chris2879, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. chris2879

    chris2879 Member

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    I just cleaned my chimney with the soot eater. I was surprised how much creosote came down. Since the last cleaning, i burned about 1-1.5 cord that was seasoned for about 9 mo, which was mostly silver maple. The creosote that came down was black powder, no big chunks or anything. The stove is a PE Summit insert, and has a 6" SS liner on an outside chimney about 30 ft tall. The pipe was clean until about 9-10' or so, then the creosote started falling.

    So i naturally have a couple questions. Should I have been concerned of the amount that was in chimney for fire purposes? Are there different types of creosote?

    I am not sure if this amount is normal or not, but i always run the stove >500 deg on the stove face and it seems to be burning well with good secondaries.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    From the look of the bricks you are burning hot enough. That is around what I get after 2.5 to 3. cords of pine and oak in a season. Frequent restarts and wood just dried 9 months is gonna cause accumulation. You are burning hot enough to keep it from turning into glaze from the moisture in the wood.

    What you have is first stage creosote. Powdery soot. Second stage would be when it gets gummy. Third stage is when it has dried into a hard glaze. What did the cap look like?
  3. mikesin

    mikesin Member

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    Brotherbart - educate us. What do you see with the bricks?
  4. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I don't think it is what BB sees, it is what he does not see. The firebrick is very clean, no buildup, which indicates to me that the fire is not smoldering.
    pen likes this.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You got it. He is burning good and hot so there is no crap on the bricks.
  6. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    The bricks are clean, so the stove is burned pretty hot.
    That's about 2x the amount I get 1/2 way through the season in an older stove. It's not terrible, but I'd guess the wood might still be a bit wet.
    Is the liner insulated? If not, the exhaust could be cooling enough to do that.
    The real pros should be along any time.
  7. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Papa....some of my thoughts exactly. I would wonder if the liner is insulated all the way up, and if not that 9-10 foot mark is where the gases are cooling. The type of creosote he is getting indicates to me a generally good burn, and I guess I would be focusing on a possible flue issue.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A cord to a cord and a half in the season kinda says occasional, not 24/7, burning. Restarts cause a lot of accumulation. That is what happens here in the tropics of Virginia a lot. When you can just load and go for months at a time you get a lot less accumulation than when you do a lot of cold start-ups. He is doing fine and ain't gonna see a chimney fire doing it like he is doing it.

    Just the usual advice. Check it monthly until ya get in the groove. I was doing a mid-season cleaning every January until this year and just went the full season for the first time this year. And got about what he got. And would have in a mid-season cleaning.

    We all don't get just a small tea cup full. And my wood dries top covered for three years before it sees the inside of a stove. Soot happens.
  9. chris2879

    chris2879 Member

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    From the ground the cap looks fine, it is a multi flue cap. I can not get to the top, i have a 10 pitch roof and the top is about 8 ft above the roof, and it about 30 ish feet off the ground.

    I do not burn 24/7, but do have a fire on most weekday evening (2-3 loads), and will burn all weekend long when we are around. Therefore, i have a fair amount of cold starts...

    The liner is not insulated. The stove installer didn't recommend it, looking back after reading on this site as much as i do i regret the decision of not lining it. O well... i ll just have to deal with it now. I will do a mid season cleaning for sure, probability in January sometime.

    Thanks to everyone for all the replies.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't sweat not insulating. You are doing fine. Burn and enjoy. Top down starts will help with the accumulation because it heats the liner fast. I accept the trade off since using Super Cedars and no kindling means I don't have to mess with kindling. But when I was doing top down starts with kindling on top of the load accumulation was a lot less when doing cold starts.

    Either way you are doing fine.
  11. chris2879

    chris2879 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! I think i'll be firing it up in the next couple days. The nights are supposed to fall into the 30s up here.

  12. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Ah, part time burner syndrome.
    BB's Spidey sense is strong tonight.:cool:
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Chris, don't forget the fuel. You now know that 9 months is not much time for wood to dry. Depending upon the type of wood you have, it could have required a lot longer. For instance, if we burn oak, we will not put it in the stove in less than 3 years from the time the wood is split. btw, was that silver maple split and stacked outside in the wind for 9 months? Was it covered? Top covered only? If you have time, pay a few visits to the Wood Shed forum here on hearth.com for more information on wood. Lots of good knowledge there.
  14. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    Hey....Not trying to HJ this, and I will PM if it does annoy anyone.
    Chris 2879, what do you think of the PE Summit insert? I am looking at a new/larger insert and this is one of my choices.

    Thanks in advance...
    WP

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