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Old stove and creosote

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by westkywood, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    My brother has an old Baron stove. Don't know how old it is, but its a beast. He's only heating about 900 sq ft. This stove would probably heat 2000 sq ft.
    He cuts his wood, throws it in a pile in an open shed and burns it after 1 year. He has to clean his flu about every 2 weeks. I tell him its his wood, but all i get is "it heats my house just fine".
    My question is, considering the same stove in the same house but with 3 year seasoned wood, how often would he have to clean his stove? I'm asking because I have nothing to really compare it to. I have an EPA stove and use good seasoned wood and I clean my flu once a year but I know part of that is because of the baffle in my stove. I think his stove is also way too big for his house.
    Like to hear from people that have older stoves that burn 3 yr old wood........

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    The problem is, even with seasoned wood, if he's running a large stove very slowly to try and keep from overheating that small of a space, he's going to get creosote.

    A stove needs to stretch it's legs on each load to keep a chimney clean. Can't stuff a big firebox and let it smoulder for 10 hours and keep a chimney clean no matter what the fuel is.

    pen
  3. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    I agree , but burning unseasoned wood has got to contribute a lot to the problem. I'm thinking if he was burning 3 yr old wood he could cut his cleaning in half. Just a guess
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Changing habits could definitely make an improvement here. Dry wood makes a huge difference. If he is burning oak, then 2-3yrs are needed to season. If the stove is then allowed to burn hot at the beginning before throttling down the air it should help too. Another contributing factor might be the chimney setup. If the stove is dumping into a large throat, exterior chimney then that will cool down the flue gases quickly causing creosote condensation.

    So how open minded is he, will he listen to reason?
  5. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    He's open minded in general, but when it comes to burning wood, he's like grandpa, set in his ways. He doesn't get the stove up to a certain temp before shutting down or anything. I understand what contributes to creosote build up ( thanks to this site ) and I've told him. ;hm . My main feed back I'm looking for is how much difference just the seasoned wood would make in an older stove. I dont see him changing his burning habits.
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If he's running the stove as low as possible all the time, being it's a large stove in a small place, it honestly won't help much.

    If he ran the stove as it was meant to be run, it would be a huge difference.

    In some cases, dry wood can actually produce more creosote. With wet wood, even when running the stove cool, he'd need to keep the drafts open a bit more to keep the stove at X temp, with truly dry wood, he'd need to cut the air back even further to keep the stove at that X temp.

    I'm not advocating burning wet wood at all, but rather pointing out he has multiple issues to deal with. At least he's smart in doing lots of cleanings.

    In general, folks don't like to be told how to do things. Once given information, it's up to them if they want to change or not.

    pen
  7. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    Good point....
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i run a stove that is to big for this house but don't have to much problem because i run it with care. run a 1/3 to 1/2 load with lots of air for the stove to be run at 600 degrees. at night i put in a little extra but still running it at 600 and the house gets a little warmer than normal but we're sleeping and don't know it wake up to a house that is starting to cool and in most cases it's comfy. sometimes i have to pay for adding 1 split to much and wakeup to a house that is cooking. but because the house (walls, ceiling and floors) are warm it takes a long time to cool off to the point where i need to relight. he could probably cut it down run good dry wood running hot and if he can do the relights with top down start and cut the cleaning down a bit..i'm not running green wood but this last cord of hardwood is not the driest and because of burning hot it hasn't caked up the chimney. if he doesn't want to take any advise the only way he'll learn is a good chimney fire. that might get the spark in him to change his burning habits. i know it did for me.
  9. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Life is a trade off. He doesn't have to stack all that wood and store it for at least 2 yrs. So he has to clean his stuff more often, maybe its a trade off. But then there's that chimney fire thing!
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like my brother.
    His favorite response is "it runs just fine", or words to that effect. He's got an old Grizzly step-top.
    No matter that his flue is too short, he's burning less than ideal wood (he's gotten a bit better about this since I've bugged him), and he's just plain lazy.
    I can't wait to get my new stove, get good at running it, then have him over. When he hears how long the stove's been running on the load of wood inside, maybe....just maybe, he'll "see the light".
    Nah.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Like my brother too. For years he ran an old Vigilant with a busted bypass damper wide open instead of just fixing it.

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