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Is My Chimney / Stovepipe Damaged ?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by leaf4952, Jan 15, 2009.

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  1. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
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    113
    Loc:
    The Pocono Mountains upper plateau area, PA
    I know what you're gonna say.... when in doubt get it inspected by a proffesional. I've already scheduled my chimney sweep to inspect it next Tuesday (its Thursday today). I just thought I'd get some feedback from the cumulative knowledge & experience of my fellow Hearth.com members. Following is the sum of it:
    It's my 3rd winter new to woodburning and in my own house. My woodburning stove is an Altlanta Stoveworks Huntsman (circa 1979) with about a 25 ft new fancy stainless stovepipe with the top installed by my chimney sweep at the beginning of my 3 winters here. The stove, pipe, chimney, placement, & fire safety precautions are all up tight & alright. BUT...
    I noticed today a brown stain I never saw before on the house side of my chimneys exterior siding (it's T-11 siding). I do not know why this stain is suddenly here after 3 seasons of my standard burning behavior.
    AHHHH, but alas...there was that day I came home from work to find the stove temping DOWN at 600 degrees ! My 15yr old had been tending the fire. My younger 12 yr old son called me at work afraid that the stove was too hot. I gave the expected phone freak-out & follow-up at home hollering to my 15 yr old.....but even after all that - I made no specific effort to inspect in depth beyond checking for obvious exterior signs of fire which I saw none. SOOO I dont know when this stain appeared & if this is the reason and if its a slow response to that incident or WHAT ?
    So my question more specifically is: Does anyone know about chimneys made of T-11 siding surrounding stainless steel stovepipes and how well do they work together ? Is the T-11 siding prone to brown staining under any circumstances ? Could it be simply a minor issue causing a cosmetic stain or is it an indication of internal damage indicative of these two materials used in combination? The Huntsman stove has a large firebox and I dont know how high my kid got it up to !

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  2. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Your first inclination is correct with the chimney sweep and I can't tell you about T-11 and the stainless chimney but I do know it has been cold and I have had water drip from my chimney cap that is discolored. I used to have a wood furnace that got pretty hot from time to time with black pipe going into triple walled stainless. There were a few times (following mfg open draft "hot fire" suggestions to limit creosote) that the black pipe turned red. I have had that same chimney for twenty years. Some of it has gone bad but that was from the cap coming off and my negligence to replace it (water & creosote=acid=holes in the chimney stainless and all).
    The amount of time your chimney was hot is probably just as important as how hot it got as the rating for the chimney is based on a temperature/time equation usually something like 2100 deg. F for one hour. The discoloration you found may have been from the chimney getting hot but it also may have been from the amount of wood loaded into the stove and the moisture in the wood and, as a result the smoke, leaving the chimney faster than it could dissipate so it dripped. Wish you the best....
  3. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Where is the stain with respect to the chimney cap? Is it possible that it might be from water washing creosote and other deposits off the cap and down the side of the T-111 chase? I'm assuming that the stainless chimney you are talking about is a "Class A" multi-wall chimney, not some sort of liner intended for a masonry unit?

    I have a stainless liner in a masonry chimney, which I know has gotten plenty hot, but it's over 15 years old (except for the tee connecting it to the stove) and still good...

    Obviously you should go with the sweep inspection just for your peace of mind, but I'd be surprised if there was any problem from the stove over-firing (though there might be an assembly installation issue - but I doubt it) My money is on some kind of dripping from the cap, or other non-problem source.

    Gooserider
  4. leaf4952

    leaf4952 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    The Pocono Mountains upper plateau area, PA
    Turns out there was no damage to my double lined stainless steel stovepipe. The chimney sweep inspected it. He believes it is a case of dripping creosite. In fact he was amazed at how clean my pipe was since last visit ! He reccommends oven cleaner when I get around to painting that part of the house and maybe a coat of KILZ paint before the house paint. Thanks for the advice here.
  5. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    That's good news. Costly repairs are never fun. Of course the reason the chimney was so clean may be because it got hot enough to burn out the creosote that could have been there. On the US Stove Company unit I had they recommended a daily short term "hot", full open draft, fire to retard the collection of creosote. When I found it difficult to get full draft I knew it was time to clean the chimney. Back then though I wasn't as picky with moisture content either and creosote was just something I had to deal with.
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