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Question About The Once A Day Hot Burn

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fdegree, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    I have been reading a few posts that suggest burning wide open for about 1 hour, once a day, to clean out any accumulation. I understand the reasoning behind this advice.

    I am assuming this is how it is done:
    On the BK, I need to turn the t'stat all the way up...to the 3.5 setting
    Turn on the stove fan to keep the stove from getting too hot.

    Here is where I am not sure:
    Should I do this hot burn with the cat engaged or no?
    Is an hour necessary, or will 1/2 hour suffice?

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Not needed with a cat stove. As long as you have dry wood and burn properly the cat will take care of any creosote making beasties.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The important part is stack temp, not how you get it there. I personally will run the stack up to about 800F for 15-20 min. and then back it down. For a few reasons, I would recommend keeping your stack temp south of 900F during this burn.

    Not sure it would take an hour to accomplish this task, but I guess if you have a tile stack, it could take that long for the temp to rise on the surface.

    Note: I have a very clean stack at sweeping time. Dry wood in a EPA stove will minimize the need for this as Todd stated, but I am kinda old school.
  4. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the fast reply, Todd.

    Unfortunately, I do not have ideal wood this year. There is creosote build-up inside the stove and the glass is quite dark. So far, no build-up in the chimney.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    If your wood is less than ideal then burn a little hotter and longer in the bypass mode before engaging the cat.
  6. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    What type of sensor do you have probe or surface, I can get my tile linned chimney to 5 or 6 hundred( (surface) in about 10 minutes depending on what wood I use, an hour wide open would be a melt down.
  7. pen

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

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    For right or wrong, here is my take on this advice.

    Everyone w/ a glass door knows that a hot fire will clean the glass. However, IMO, there is no way that the chimney is getting hot enough nor is there enough oxygen present here for the same cleaning action to take place (the oxygen is necessary, which is why most doors have the "airwash")

    To me, this idea goes back to the old school practice of this where the thought was a small chimney fire frequently is better than a big one. By getting the stove very hot every day, you are simply finding out if that temp will set the chimney ablaze everyday. If that is a much higher temp than you normally operate, then if you were to have a fire, it'd be small and while you are watching.

    However, if burning a modern stove w/ good wood that is keeping the glass clean (because you are burning nice and hot all the time anyway) then I just don't see this practice as being necessary. I don't think it would hurt, but I don't see it as being necessary if you burn good and warm normally.

    I think this precaution is for the people w/ old stoves that smolder them. If you didn't burn hot frequently and smoldered the stove often, then you'd be set for a big chimney fire rather than a small one.

    pen
  8. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    I am only using the cat probe thermometer. After posting this thread Blaze King Users - Do you use a stove top thermometer??? I decided not to worry with a surface or stack thermometer since it seems they would have little to no bearing on how I operate the stove...or did I misunderstand the responses I got to the linked thread?

    For what it is worth, I did just run the t'stat wide open and fan on high for 1/2 hour after tonights' reload. It has greatly improved the glass. Not sure about the creosote inside the stove...I'll check on that when I reload tomorrow night.
  9. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    That is a very interesting view point. I'm curious as to what others think of this.
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    When I am burning stuff I know isn't ready, I leave the bypass open and let it burn wide open for a while after the reload. Then, when I close the bypass, I let it burn at 3 for a good long while before going any lower. If you fully load the stove, you can do this and still get a good long burn that wont gunk up your stove.
  11. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I concur...rather have a small one while I'm standing there..then a big one when I'm not home or sleeping.

    I always thought that everybody thought that...never for a minute did I ever think it was cleaning my chimney.
    Though my wife thinks that it does.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I quote your whole post just to say "yes!". I have started to type that almost word for word a hundred times. In the last four years since I changed stoves I have not once burned "hot to clean it out". The pipe or the stove. And the liner just has a little black dust in it when I sweep. And I have not a clue what the liner temp is since it is all inside the masonry chimney. I didn't even put much stock in that once a day old wive's tale BEFORE I had EPA stoves.

    If you are burning so dirty that your firebox is gunked up with creosote, start burning all of your fires hotter. By morning my firebox looks like somebody threw a bag of flour in there during the night.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I cringe every time I read that baloney about burning hot for an hour.

    If most people left their drafts open full for an hour they'd probably burn their house down. We usually can not burn with full open draft for more than about 15 minutes before the flue is too hot. I'd hate to think what it would do in an hour of that....

    It is just another of those old wives tales that is bull. Don't do it.
  14. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I do it after reload for maybe 10 minutes or so...always have...let her rip up the chimney..I never would do a hour.
    I should have clarified that.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    HotCoals, that is good that you do it for 10 minutes on the reload but it is not for the sake of the chimney. That just gets the fire established and the wood charred a bit. It does nothing for the chimney.
  16. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    If I tried to burn like that the house would burn up. I've never burned a hot fire for the purpose of cleaning the chimney. My stove has a bypass for start up and reloads, it gets closed as soon as the wood catches.
  17. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I know it won't clean the chimney..but like I said a few post back,I like to kick the flames up the chimney some just to see if it does catch fire...plus it burns some off the moisture off the wood.
  18. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, that advice is helpful.

    Am I correct in assuming this is mainly to evaporate some of the moisture from the splits, not necessarily to clean any creosote build-up?
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Truth be told - this is probably more true of my practice than "cleaning" the chimney.

    For the question above - I use a probe thermo.
  20. Troutchaser

    Troutchaser New Member

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    Want a clean chimney?
    Get a downdraft and leave the air wide open once the combuster starts ripping.
    1350* flue probe.
    Stove top 625*
    :eek:hh:

    But hey, no smoke.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Can I hear an Amen for Brother Pen???

    Burn seasoned wood.
    Burn at the proper temps.
    Run your stove correctly.
    Inspect and clean your chimney on a regular basis.

    End of story.
  22. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    My stove sort of took off in an unexpected way last night and overfired slightly. I could see the dim orange glow on the steel in the blower output (vent on top of my insert). If I burned good wood full open for an hour, it would be a severe overfire- no doubt.

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