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How Much Creosote, Is A Lot ?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by HDRock, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I cleaned out the chimney before I started burning in October , before that I hadn't burned anything in the stove for 2 years, I cleaned it out again today and I got , It looked like, about , almost half a gallon of crap.
    I really don't know if that's a lot for a smoke dragon, or not.
    Some if what I have been burning was good n dry, and some was not.

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    It's virtually impossible to say. How long is the chimney, what is the inside diameter, what are your ambient weather conditions, how much burning did you do, how long is the season, etc - all of this will have a large effect on the amount of creosote recovered.

    Two people could burn perfectly identical stoves, but one hooked to a 30' outdoor flue and one hooked to a 15' indoor flue - and they would get different amounts of creosote. Likewise, a 12x12 clay liner has a lot more surface area than a 6" dia stainless steel liner - getting a gallon out of the clay flue might not be much, where that same amount may almost choke the 6" stainless liner completely off.

    The general idea is to clean before you 'really' need it, as often the first sign the flue really needs cleaning is the crackling roar associated with a chimney fire. I clean once around christmas/new years and once at the end of the season, so I am ready for the next.
    ScotO and Defiant like this.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What Corey said.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How much wood have you burned since the cleaning in Oct.?
  5. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Sorry ! I should have included this info before.
    I have burned About a cord, of mixed wood.
    Flue pipe & chimney are 8" and 16ft total

    I had no sign that it needed cleaning ,I just thought I should ,check, and clean.
  6. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I sweep my chimney every two to three months whether it needs it or not. Its a 'piece of mind' thing that keeps me cozy at night. Rarely see much stuff at all (usually less than a handful, its mostly soot), but I like the piece of mind. I'm not about to chance anything when it comes to my family.
    zap likes this.
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Like Scotty we clean ours just for P.O.M., just did it yesterday before the rains hit, just some fluffy ash.
    ScotO likes this.
  8. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    What was in there was easy to sweep out , and that's exactly what I was thinking after it was clean,and I started a new fire, cozy , 'piece of mind' :)
    zap and ScotO like this.
  9. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Seems like nobody answered what I thought was the original question, i.e. how much? How thick a buildup in a pipe is considered "bad" or dangerous?
    HDRock likes this.
  10. milleo

    milleo Feeling the Heat

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    Nothing much over 1/4 inch. But if shiney then beware, is very dangerous.
  11. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    depends on the consistency, if it is tar like even a thin layer can result in chimney fire

    edit- Milleo beat me too it
  12. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    The only shinny, flaky ,sticky,tar like stuff was on the chimney cap
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well, it's dirty but there have been worse cleanings. Burning drier wood in shorter hot fires will help keep that build up down.
  14. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I think what U R saying is that amount of creosote, is a lot for that amount of wood and the chimney size, is that correct ??

    That amount seems like a lot to me ,but that's why I ask cuz ,I am still learning whats what.

    I run it between 300 and 450 degrees , never less than 300, that's the temp on the single wall flue pipe, once I get the fire box hot, when I go look there is none, or very little smoke out the chimney.
    I also let it go out every night, and also if I'm gone for a long time during the day.
    I gotta burn what I got, mixing in good n dry with not so dry, but I will keep it cleaned out
  15. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    The number of cold starts don't help ether.
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I can't say how much you can expect, but I can tell you what I get from mine.

    I have a 1984 (Pre-EPA) Blaze King King. It has about 36" of DSP connected to an outside CLASS A (exposed to the elements) with about 13' to daylight. I burn wood that has been c/s/s for at least 24 months.

    After about 6 weeks of hard burning 24x7 heating this shack I burned about 2 cord of wood. The last cleaning yielded about 1 cup of brown powdery soot from the DSP, about 1-2 cups of ash and some flaky creosote from the 24" horizontal run of CLASS A through the wall, and about 4-6 cups of flaky creosote from the vertical portion of the chimney (most of which came from the top 24"). The cap had quite a bit of shiny black tar.

    This is more than I would like to see, but I run it hot and burn dry wood. My stove is less than ideal as is my chimney (outside and a long-ish horizontal run). I just have to keep on top of cleaning. I usually do it every 4-6 weeks...it takes about 20 minutes start to finish.

    Your mileage will surely vary, but hopefully this gives you some idea.
    HDRock likes this.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's not great, but passable if you sweep after every cord burned. With good wood you could probably cut that in half or better. Switch to an EPA stove with good wood and you would be cleaning once a year.
  18. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Well ! That's the plan, when I am able to make it happen, cuz what I,m doing now is a real PITA, but for now, I'm warm and as long as I keep on top of things, I think I will be safe, and have peace of mind :)
    tfdchief and pen like this.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    For now keep cleaning after every cord burned and try to minimize the less seasoned wood usage.
  20. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    All good advice. Use it and you will be fine. There is no question an EPA stove is easier, but the old ones can be safely burned too. Just takes a little more diligence and work....See my Avatar. ;)
  21. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    This should help with creosote , and the single digit temps coming my way .
    Picked Up a half a cord of good dry wood, Mixed-Oak, Hickory, Cherry, Black Locust, Maple, Ash, paid $75 , stored inside.

    Hay what does Black Locust,look like ???
    Arbor Tree Serv.jpg
    milleo likes this.
  22. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    if there's bark on it... black locust has this insanely deep grooved bark that kinda/sorta has the pattern of expanded metal... the wood itself is fairly dark color with an insanely twisted grain...

    in your picture, in the bottom third, towards the center there are two pieces of wood that are darker... to my eye, those look like locust.
  23. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Wow, that looks like more than 1/2 a cord!
    HDRock likes this.
  24. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Some of the splits I looked at , that I didn't know what it was, were brown to reddish brown in color with big pores in the wood ,I'll put up pics later
  25. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    That looks like more than 75 bucks ;lol

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