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"Lifetime" Chimney Options?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bill 700, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Bill 700

    Bill 700 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    NC
    I'm just finishing up the floorplan for an addition to our house (den / guest bedroom & bath / woodstove) and need to make some decisions on the chimney for the woodstove.

    My wife and I will live in this house for the rest of our lives, so the guest bedroom and bath are designed for accessibility if ever needed.

    I'd like to put this same kind of forethought into the chimney, including cleaning the chimney. The roof will be a 10/12 pitch. I would greatly appreciate any ideas on chimney systems that might be cleaned without getting on the roof while we are in the design stage.

    My initial thoughts are:

    1) A top of the line ss insulated chimney system from the ceiling up. Take the stove pipe down to clean/inspect. Take a short piece of stovepipe with a T on it and rig a connection for a large shop vac on the T. And a cap on the bottom of the stove pipe that the rod can fit through. Pass the rod through the cap, attach the brush, attach the cap to the bottom of the short section of stovepipe, attach the shop vac to the side of the T. Etc.

    2) Fabricate a chicken ladder that stays on the roof, raised above the roof surface about 6" on heavy gauge stainless steel Z shapes so that the shingles cover the fasteners into the roof framing, on the back side of the house. (My wife will probably shoot this idea down.)

    3) Building an interior masonry chimney (possibly an Isokern chimney with brick veneer) with the stove pipe connecting to the chimney at about 7' above the floor (9' ceiling) and an air tight cast iron cleanout in the side of the chimney at least 4' off the floor through which the chimney could be cleaned. The dimensions for required clearances combined with the length of the cleaning rods might make this impractical though.

    Your thoughts on cleaning and on the best lifetime chimney choice would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,268
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    You forgot one option - calling the local chimney sweep when you get much older......

    I don't like #2, so scratch that.

    #1 is a good option, IMHO. A straight up chimney works extremely well, costs less than the isokern and shouldn't get very dirty with a newer cleaner stove.
    There are lots of easy ways to clean - removing interior pipe (use a slip connector to install)....I know sweeps who used to put a heavy plastic bag around the bottom of the stovepipe slip connector (up near the ceiling) and already have the brush inside the bag with the rods coming out the bottom through a small hole in the bag. They could then push the rods right up, with only a little spillage on a drop cloth underneath.

    Given a newer stove, the cap should hardly ever get clogged - and the brush from the inside or another tool on the ends of the rods can probably clean that anyway......

    I say go with 2.
  3. Bill 700

    Bill 700 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    NC
    Craig,

    Thanks. The heavy trash bag is a very good idea.

    I have a wood stove in my office building with a ss metal chimney system, and would agree that the cap clogging would not be an issue.

    I'm assuming that you meant to say go with 1.

    So the next question becomes, what chimney system to go with?
  4. Bill 700

    Bill 700 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    NC
    I found a post from last month by Detector$:

    "Being an engineer and a compulsive researcher. I chose to go with the ICC Excel .... http://www.icc-rsf.com/en/iccrsf/icc-rsf-home but your mileage may vary. In my opinion they have the best materials, manufacturing process, attention to detail, performance, and best selection or parts/pieces/accessories. It is slightly more expensive. My second choice would would have been Simpson DuraVent http://www.duravent.com/ . "

    Further opinions and comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Bill
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Why not a brick and liner chimney with a cable operated brush?

    I can't think of the company name, but one of the guys I went to school with, his uncle invented it.

    There is a frame and pulley that goes on the top of the chimney and a cable runs on it. Down at the bottom there is a setup where the brush hides into. Just a crank/gearbox setup, and you turn the crank and brush goes up, switch gearbox and brush goes down.

    Might be someone from Maine that can fill you in on the details of where to buy. I know they are really common when I grew up.
  6. Bill 700

    Bill 700 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    NC
    Nate,

    A traditional masonry chimney with a clay liner takes a long time to heat up. Here in NC I would likely be building just one fire a day on a lot of days. If I were in a climate where one would tend to keep a fire going for most of the season I would probably consider it.

    The Isokern system has a pretty high R-value, and would help shorten warm up time and reduce creosote formation.

    What is your daylight length this time of year in Palmer?

    Bill
  7. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Not really if it is inside the house, I have one and it heats up quickly, I would still go with the SS metal chimney.

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