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glass cleaner and burn strategy

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dggreen, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. dggreen

    dggreen New Member

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    is simple green a good cleaner for dirty stove glass? i just installed a castine; been burnin straight for the last week or so and the glass is dirty.
    also, i have been shutting the stove down before bed round 10 and up at 6. there are coals at that point which is great but my concern is that the stove is prob running around 200-300 degrees for a fair portion of the night which could be causing some creosote issues.
    thoughts on how to ensure that this doesn't become a problem? thanks!

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  2. weezer4117

    weezer4117 Feeling the Heat

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    the best way to clean your glass is to take a damp newspaper and dip it in cold ashes, wipe clean!!!! what kind of wood are you burning? seasoned? dry? alot has to be looked at in order to get a longer burn time. after 8 hrs 200-300 degree temps arnt terrible. i dont see a major problem as long as your wood is seasoned and dry...
  3. pen

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

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    the stove going to 200 or 300 is no problem so long as it's at the end of the burn stage (no real active flames or recognizable logs of wood).

    What color is the glass?

    If it's turning white over the course of a week, then to me that's par for the course.

    If it's turning dark brown / black over any course of time, then you aren't burning hot enough.

    pen
  4. dggreen

    dggreen New Member

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    the wood has been kd, debarked and seasoned; should be the cadillac package!
    the 200-300 is at the end of an 8 hour cycle with the vent all the way down with coals left over.
    the glass is dark; black flecks that do seem to burn off when i hit up in the 500-600 range.
    pen - any thoughts on cleaning the glass in addition to the newspaper method?
  5. dggreen

    dggreen New Member

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    here is a pic of what it looks like.

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  6. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

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    Wet wood issue....my thought!
  7. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Yech! That doesn't look right at all!

    Did you say your wood is kiln dried (KD)? Hmmm... I'd swear that black was from wet wood.

    Have you done the dollar bill test on the door gaskets?

    Shari
  8. pen

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

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    if the wood is indeed dry, then the air is getting shut down on the load too early.

    pen
  9. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    If I keep a good fire going, the glass stays clean. When I throttle down at night - admitting little air - the glass is dirty in the morning. Note: I usually just let the fire burn down at night, so my experience might be different if I really loaded it up. In particular, the glass gets dirty behind the metal decorations on the front of the stove and in the lower corners next to the metal frame. Through conduction, the metal presumably keeps the temperature lower than "open" glass.

    I usually just burn on the weekends when I am not working, so the glass is usually cleaned once a week. If I can score more wood, I would be happy to have longer and more frequent burns! The future should be better. I have been somewhat wary of collecting pine, but my reading on this forum indicates that should be added to the mix.
  10. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

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    I generally use Ceramabryte to clean glass. I find that it is less effort than newspaper and ash.
  11. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    Wet wood or not burning hot enough. I usually use magic earasers but I have had black stuff that wouldnt come off from a split falling against the glass. Easiest thing I have found for the real thick stuff like you have in the pic is a couple really hot fires back to back. 600 to 650 degrees.
  12. dggreen

    dggreen New Member

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    shari - the dollar bill test? and yes, supposedly it has been kiln dried.
    pen - think that may be the issue... shutting down the air to soon. i have a intelligent moisture meter (md 918) that i got from agricultural solutions out of ME that has been giving readings in the 20% range. the wood seems dry enough; not heavy.
    any other ways on how to tell if the wood has been seasoned long enough?
  13. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    Do you have a thermometer on the stove?
  14. dggreen

    dggreen New Member

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    yes. indicates the burn zone between 400-600. typically its around 200-250 when i wake up in the morn.
  15. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    Given what you've shown us on the windows, you've also got a lot of nasty crap deposited in the flue, and really need to change tactics.
    Near-term I'd plan on a series of hot, clean fires to loosen up the flue deposits, encourage them to drop, and make it easier to clean the flue soon.
    Whenever you're trying out a particular tactic, you don't need to wait until morn to evaluate it, just go outside and look at what's coming out of the chimney.
    You may need a flashlight to see what's happening up there; it's important to look now. Any smoke is BAD; do what you've got to do to clear it up.

    Anyone with a new/modified installation will want to inspect/clean the flue multiple times per year the first season. You may want to up that some.
    I'd certainly have brush & wands in hand.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Some good advice has been given. I'll second the way to clean that glass is dampen a newspaper, dip it in the ashes and wipe the window clean. A very simple, cheap and easy solution to that problem. But what about preventing that problem? Of course you can use other cleaners. Even after the cleaning with newspaper and ash, you can finish the job with windex and paper towel too.

    Naturally the wood is suspect. You state kiln dried and debarked, but was it also split? What kind of wood is it? If it was kiln dried (but to what moisture content?) there is no way that glass should get black.

    On getting the stove ready for the overnight burn, I do hope you are letting the fire get good and established before turning the draft down. Most often folks have the best results with dialing the draft down in stages. For example, if you dial it down to maybe 1/4 open, then it is full open on the loading of the stove. After the fire gets going good and the wood becomes charred, you might dial down to 1/2. Then after maybe 15 minutes or so, dial it down to your normal night setting.

    When you arise in the morning, if your stove temperature is 200-300 degrees, you should smile. That is good. Now you just run the rake through the coals and put some wood in it and all is fine.


    With the glass being black, that also signals you to keep a close watch on that chimney. Check it monthly at least. Clean it if it is dirty.
  17. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    To me that looks like wet wood. On my stove i can close air down and run at 400 to 450 stove top and not get dirty glass just some very light haze.
  18. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I also would question the wood.

    But I also think that you could be choking it down too soon too. Is the Kiln Dry store bought? Like "Hot Sticks". Usually good dry wood has a feel and sound to it. Kiln Dry wood is obvious when burned. The stuff takes off better then pallets or wood scraps. There shouldn't be any black with Kiln Dry - the fire would burn very hot and the glass should be clean.

    I also suggest using ash to clean the glass, although I use a kitchen sponge over newspaper. The reason I wouldn't use a cleaner is that over spray can eat the paint or finish off the door and stove.
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Random thoughts . . .

    70% of the time . . . black glass = wood isn't seasoned enough.

    42.4% of the time . . . person has cut off the air too soon and smothered the fire.

    33 1/2 % of the time . . . person has not got the stove hot enough and has cut back on the air.

    12% of the time . . . split or round has rolled up in front of the glass blocking the air wash and allowing the glass to go black.

    10% of the time . . . bad gasket.

    Of course this isn't an exact science ;) . . .

    ---------

    As to the original question . . . there are a variety of commercial cleaners you can use -- including Simple Green -- but honestly the cheapest and easiest method is to use damp newspaper . . . and dip the newspaper in wood ash if you have a lot of black that will not come off . . . of course you can also get the stove up to the proper temps and let the secondary burn cook the black off like an oven with a self cleaning feature.
  20. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

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    I just had this exact same problem in week one of heating my home with a new wood insert. The glass was a dark brown around the edges, and a hazier brown in the middle. I cranked up the fire, and the glass returned to its previous luster. My underlying problem is that my wood isn't sufficiently seasoned, and therefore it is much more difficult to get the stove really rolling.
  21. roddy

    roddy Member

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    you said your wood was kiln dried but also stated mc reading around 20 % those two do not jive...kd for hardwood is 6-8 % softwood in the area of 10 %
  22. pen

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

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    Was this a new castine or used? If used, perhaps a door gasket is leaking.

    Also, I agree w/ roddy that 20% is suspicious for kiln dried wood.

    Something is amiss.

    pen
  23. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    +1 and I would also add that, at least in my case, you might to make an adjustment to your stove. I adjusted the air wash plate gap on my stove to the factory specs and plugged a small air hole in my ash pan housing and my glass has been very clean since. I am burning hotter too, but not all the time and I am having better results. My stove is a Woodstock Keystone, so it is not the same as yours. More heat = more air across the glass too.

    Good luck,
    Bill
  24. Whitman

    Whitman New Member

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    Bill, how did you adjust the air plate to factory specs? Please keep in mind that I am not very handy (dummy explanation would be appreciated). My Keystone develops soot near the adirons on a consistant basis. Thanks!
  25. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    When you look inside the stove, you see the plate/screen that protects the cat. It is held in place by one screw. Once the plate is removed, you can see two screws that hold on the air wash plate. There should be a gap between the glass and that plate (per Woodstock) of 1/4 inch. I used a 1/4 inch drill bit as my gage. Loosten the two bolts and the plate has slots in it for adjustment. Set the distance - from end to end across the glass and gently tighten the bolts being sure that tightening does not move the plate out of position and re-install the cat protector plate/screen.

    The other mod that I did, which Todd turned me onto, was to close the little air hole in the ash pan housing. It is located at the rear center of this housing and is maybe 1/4 or 3/16 inch in diameter. I just used some black stove pipe cement, I think Todd used a screw. This mod ensures that all of my incoming air is coming across the front of the glass and washing it and I am getting a nice front to back burn.

    With the above adjustments and turning the stove damper open a bit more (to overcome what I think is lack of draft for my chimney set-up) has transformed my stove and the glass is really staying clean.

    Thanks,
    Bill

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