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ICC manual advice: Sweep within 48 hours of stove shutdown

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rideau, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I was reading the ICC manual online (was not given any literature by my installer 8 or 9 years ago when the pipe was installed). They advise that one should always sweep WITHIN 48 HOURS of shutting the stove down for the season. I'm sure this is to prevent any creosote present from converting to the shiny hard to remove dangerous creosote, and suspect that this advice is reallly important to follow if you tend to get much creosote in your chimney.

    So, it is probably also really important for anyone with significant build up to sweep during the heating season, prior to leaving home and shutting the stove down for in excess of several days??

    Wonder if the recent poster, who had shiny creosote for the first time, despite no change in burning technique, had shut his stove down for any period without sweeping.

    ICC also states the stovepipe/chimney is safe for continuous operation up to 1200 F, although they recommend MUCH lower flue temp for good burning technique.

    That 1200 F continuous fire safe temp makes me feel really good, because I think I got mine up to 1050 once.

    The other thing I notice about ICC chimney, is that I get NO cresote or soot anywhere except at the sliding joint of the adjustable stovepipe. ICC says their insulated pipe keeps flue temps high to minimize cresotoe deposits, and I guess it really works. I never have gotten any deposit near the cap, during 9 years of burning, and my flue (interior) is exiting into really cold temps often.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I have a hard time believing that the fluffing, chunky stuff converts to the hard shiny stuff over time.
  3. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I agree. But that chimney sweep article seems to suggest it can (atmospheric moisure with cold temps?), and ICC certainly requires immediate cleaning of the pipe in their manual. I've never had anything but light soot, and have as I stated gone long without cleaning without a problem. But maybe if you have deposits that are not as light as mine, you have more trouble. And, amybe if you have the bad stuff, and sweep promptly, you can remove it. Don't know whether it will come off if not allowed to get cold.
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    When I ran the Vigilant, it was a dirty burner. I got my fair share of build up. I would check out the pipe at the end of the season and wouldn't clean the pipe until the fall. I saw no difference in the texture, buildup, anything.
    rideau likes this.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    As a general guideline there could be some merit to this. There are some very dirty burners out there, much worse than older VC stoves. Often they heated with smoldering poorly seasoned wood. OTOh, Most of the stuff I have seen in our flues over the past 20 yrs could be cleaned with a toothbrush a season later. If you are burning dry wood cleanly and keeping the flue warm enough, then this is much less of an issue. We went 5 yrs between cleanings on the old flue. I checked it every year and the decision was, well maybe next year.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    With my smoky furnace, the chunks would be washed down to the cleanout cap by the end of summer, if I didn't brush it in the spring. I burned it as clean as I could, though, and had dry wood. I could see it worsening an already borderline bad buildup.
  7. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Aren't creosote "removal" products supposed to loosen hard creosote to make it easier to sweep? Maybe using those would help even if creosote did harden over time.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Back in my creosote buildup days it was always better to let the stuff stay in the tiles over the summer. It was always easier to brush out after a long drying out spell. In fact lots of it would just peel off by itself over the summer.
    corey21 and BrowningBAR like this.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That 48-hour recommendation may have more to do with corrosion than hardening of the creosote.
    PapaDave, corey21 and jeff_t like this.
  10. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I would think the chances of light, fluffy creosote spontaneously converting to hard, slick creosote in a 48 hour period are about as good as opening a bag of charcoal and finding it has converted to diamonds. Though I DO know fluffy creosote can chip/flake off over time. Further, if there is enough of it, the flakes may build up above the stove baffle, in a "T" or an elbow section and lead to additional issues. So overall, seems like decent advice but for the wrong reasons. Plus, I probably wouldn't kill my self to get it done in the 48 hour window, though sometime in the early weeks after full shutdown might be good.
  11. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    My guess is that the advice is in case the existing deposits are not fluffy or chunky, but a more liquid coating that could eventually harden into the hard stuff. They're talking to people who don't know what their creosote looks like, and erring on the side of safety.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It is supposed to chemically "dry" it. Much like a sponge, as it dries, it shrinks. This has a tendency to pull it away from the walls allowing for it to be mechanically swept away.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Maybe they're worried about long term corrosion and just trying to cover their butts?
  14. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Don't know. They have a lifetime warranty on the pipe.
  15. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yep they're more worried about it causing rust i think.
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  16. bryan

    bryan New Member

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    That would make an easy out of the warranty. "Sure your pipe is corroded, but did you always sweep 48 hours after you stopped burning for the season. You didn't? Well that's the reason it corroded"

    What if you leave the house for a week for the holidays and then come back and start using the stove again? It would have been over 48 hours since it was last used.
  17. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I haven't had any experience, but doubt ICC is like that. Have spoken with them, and they are very responsive and helpful on the phone. Make the "RSF"(if I have the initials right) stoves and the Renaissance Rumford Fireplace a well, and those have great warranties and seemingly are every solidly built, designed to last a lifetime. ICCs pipe is certified for three 30 minute 2100F fires....good pipe. Probably just trying to keep people safe and their pipe in good shape, and , as others have suggested, are probably recommending that cleaning schedule because there will be some with bad creosote...
  18. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Only other thing I could think of is the pipe would still be warm and you could still get in all the "cracks"? Once it cools and contracts the connection spots might have creosote left in them.

    I know I have a lot more crap flying in my face if I sweep my liner while it is still warm, the draft sucks it all up in my face, maybe they find more gets out if done while it is warm?
  19. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The warranty is a limited warranty with a prorating. I don't think they are trying to avoid warranty claims, but perhaps they are trying to reduce them.
  21. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    "Only UltraBlack is covered by a true, no questions asked, 100% lifetime replacement warranty" is the way it is worded at the site.....
    The Excel chimney warranty is much longer, but says it guarantees the chimney against any defects in material or workmanship for the original purchasers lifetime, including any damage from chimney fire or corrosion, and will replace any defective/damaged parts resulting from normal wear, including from chimney fire.
  22. colin.p

    colin.p Burning Hunk

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    I have always gone by the tried and true method of cleaning my chimney, after shutting down for the season, when I "get-a-round-2it". My chimney rarely has much of anything in it. But then again, the 4 or 5 birds that selflessly clean my chimney every summer do such a bang up job. I just thank them profusely, as I let them out through the front door.
  23. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Squirrels and bats here. Unfortunately they don't survive the trip....
  24. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Is this the 1" pipe? I'm not sure I've seen it around here (in the typical DIY stores, anyway). Sounds like a great product.

    "The CAN/ULC testing standard S629 is considered to be the toughest residential chimney standard in the world, requiring a chimney to withstand three 30-minute chimney fires at 1150C (2100 F), have a continuous operating temperature of 650C (1200F) and is tested for 1 hour at 925C (1700F)."

    "EXCEL is the only 1 inch wall insulated chimney to pass the ULC standard."

    Amazing that they could do that with a 1" pipe.

    AFAIK the Supervent 2100 2" pipe sold in Canada is also tested to CAN/ULC S629. I hope I never have to put it to the test myself.....
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yes.

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