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First Flue Cleaning

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by El Finko, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. El Finko

    El Finko Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Mason Dixon Line
    I'm sure I'm overlooking a previous post or a sticky or something, but can I get a laundry list of supplies I can take to my local stove shop so I'm ready for my first cleaning?
    And how long into this burning season should I go before that first cleaning? Burning seasoned red oak in a 30NC.
    I have 6" rigid stainless for about the top 20', then some flex stainless tied to the tee with a clean out, and then double-wall stove pipe.
    Thanks.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Long list.
    1. Brush
    2. Fiberglass poles; make sure you have enough for length as some sell "kits." Those kits might or might not be long enough.
    3. Wire brush.
    4. Other things you need you'll already have, like something to put the crap in that you get from the chimney, something for cleaning up, etc.

    How long into the burning season? I always suggest monthly checking and clean as necessary. After two years of burning you will settle into more exact timing but please be aware that things can change drastically every time you get a new batch of wood. Or say you've been burning hard maple but then switch to oak; beware at those times especially when burning oak because oak just needs a long time in the stack before burning. It isn't so much that it has excessive moisture but the fact that oak gives up its moisture very, very slowly.

    It also depends a lot on the stove. For example, we used to clean our chimney several times (3-4) per winter but when we bought a new stove we rarely clean it now. We did clean it after 2 years but only got about a cup of soot and no black creosote at all. That was 3 years ago. We'll keep checking regularly anyway and at any time it needs cleaning, it takes only 10-15 minutes to do and that includes putting the tools away afterwards.
  3. El Finko

    El Finko Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Mason Dixon Line
    Thanks Savage.
    I thought I read that I shouldn't use wire brushes on stainless flue; I should use a nylon brush. It seemed odd to me but what do I know?
    As far as inspection goes- you say check monthly. How do I check? Just pull a brush through and see what falls out or climb up top and look as far down as I can with a flashlight?
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Mixed opinions on this. I had a wire brush but after listening to a man who had installed stoves and chimneys for the past 40 or so years, I bought a poly. He said it would make the chimney last longer. As for the wire brush that I listed, you can use that on the cap and the stove. It really comes in handy during your annual summer cleaning of the stove.

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