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How to clean & inspect the flue

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by melissa71, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    Ok, I'm a complete newbie, and feel like an idiot asking this. I know these questions are going to sound utterly stupid to some of you, but please bear with me. :) I need to learn how to check and clean my flue . I'm going to buy the sooteater set up. I have a Woodstock Progress Hybrid, that's hooked up to DuraVent Class A double wall, telescoping pipe. What is the best way to take it apart for inspecting for creosote and cleaning? I'd like to clean it from the bottom up. I'm guessing that I need to take the screws out of the stove top adapter, and then the screws that are attached to the next section, and then slide it up. Is that how you do it? I just don't want to do something @ss backwards and regret it. I worry...a lot. Is there a tutorial on this somewhere? Flue cleaning for dummies? ;)

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  2. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Yes - to all your questions. Simple as that. Just take out the screws and telescope down or up and remove it carfully to not get a bunch of dust all over the house. I take mine out onto the deck and run a brush through it into a box. I then tape a fitted box up to the chimney with my brush head poking through the bottom and start adding rods as I go up. I give a little up down herky jerky action on the way up and bonk the cap a few times lightly for good measure at the top. Then pull it back down and carfully reverse the process. Vac up the area with a shop vac and your done. Much less mes than I had expected and really easy. About 20-30 minutes total from start to finish I would guess but have never timed the process.
    melissa71 likes this.
  3. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    Fantastic! I was hoping it was that easy! Thank you, Bob, I appreciate it. I was worried that it was going to be a big pain in the butt. :)
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Same thing here, but I just tape a heavy duty trash bag to the bottom of the pipe above the removed telescoping piece. Make a small hole near the top of the bag and insert the brush, then proceed as detailed above. When finished take tape off pipe, seal bag and throw out. Very, very, very little soot ever spilled. Quite clean procedure. Keep an extra can of stove paint around, and spray the pipe anywhere it got scratched, after reassembly. Painted my pipe the same color as my stove..light grey. Looks nice.

    I think we are going to find that these PHs need very, very, very little cleaning.
    melissa71 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If you just want to check the flue then you need only to look inside. My flue is a permanent ceramic tile flue and I can hold a mirror inside the cleanout door on the bottom and look up the flue. If there were any accumulation I could see it. This doesn't allow me to see creosote that could be thinly coating the sides, but it does give me an easy, quick way to inspect for major blockages.

    I should say that I assume I could see any accumulation - so far either I don't have more than a few flakes of ash OR there is a bunch of crap in the flue and I just can't see it. After I brush the flue, the ash I saw is gone, so I assume I am doing things right.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Melissa, please refrain from putting those things that are in bold above into your posts. It simply is not so. You are only asking good questions here. Glad you got them answered too.
    melissa71 likes this.
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Melissa, both you and the members here at Hearth.com deserve more credit for understanding, willingness to listen and to learn, and general courtesy than you're giving any of us...and you, of course, are one of "us". And we're glad you are. Ask all the questions that pop into your mind...there are no stupid ones. :cool: Rick
    melissa71 likes this.
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well once in a while I ask a really, really stupid question . . . but the folks here are even pretty tolerant of me ;) . . . so continue to ask away.
    melissa71 likes this.
  9. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    Thank you all for your help, I needed the moral support. :) I have a habit of worrying about a worst case scenario. Everyone here is so friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, I'm so lucky that I stumbled across hearth.com.
    I'm now waiting for my sooteater to be delivered. Plus my new toy is coming Monday! I'm getting a Ramsplitter Vertical/Horizontal 16 ton electric splitter. :D I'm feel like a kid at Christmas! All I need now is a milk crate. ;)
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds great! What sort of drill do you have for rotating the Sooteater? Is the splitter you're getting wired for 110v. or 220v.? In either case, the circuit you're planning to use to provide the power needs some scrutiny/verification as to its suitability/safe capacity. Selection of extension cords (length & wire gauge) for this application is quite important, as well. Folks here have lots of knowledge & experience with all of these aspects of your new adventure...so stay tuned, and keep those questions pouring in! :) Rick
  11. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    Thank you, Rick. I have an 18 volt cordless drill I'm going to use for the sooteater. And the Ramsplitter is going to be wired for 110v. I'm planning on running a new 20 amp circuit to the garage. I want to put a few receptacles in for a little work area anyway, so it'll work out perfectly. If I decide to go the 220 route, I'll have my raceway from the panel to the garage all set. Now I just need to find the time, lol.
    fossil likes this.
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you've done your homework well :) ...looking forward to hearing how it all works out for you. Rick
    melissa71 likes this.
  13. Tallweeds

    Tallweeds New Member

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    Great tips! I hope to use these in the future. Thank you.
  14. bambam

    bambam Member

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    sense we are on the subject of the sooteater I am looking for a way to clean my chimney from bottom up and this looks like a great way to do it, I was wondering if any one that uses one ever used one on a stainless steel flex liner, I was wondering if it is ok to use or will it damage the pipe at all
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It should do no damage bambam. Go for it.
  16. bambam

    bambam Member

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    thank you

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