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Soot Eater on a VC Vigilant?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Kenster, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Texas- West of Houston
    I've considered buy a Soot Eater to use on my Vigilant. Just wondering if anyone has tried it and, if so, do you just shoot it up through the main damper?

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  2. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Templeton, MA
    I've never owned or operated one, but everyone who uses them seems pleased with the performance. I'm thinking of buying one too, i'm not familiar with the Vigilants, but,I'm sure putting it up the damper is the easiest way to get to where you need to clean.
  3. docdan

    docdan New Member

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    Feb 23, 2011
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    Loc:
    Central Vermont
    Excuse me here, but waht is a soot eater? I too have a Vigilant.
  4. mkling

    mkling New Member

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    Dec 3, 2009
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    I use a soot eater on my PB150 pellet boiler. It is a very simple but great product and for those that don't know it is a set of whips that can attach to a cordless drill to run through your chimney for cleaning. The rotary action of the whips really gets everything off of the walls. I run mine up through the bottom of my chimney pipe from inside the house and then suck everything out with a leaf blower. My boiler has a removable panel on the combustion fan that allows me to run the sooteater up and out (I don't have a vertical stack outside because my system is a direct vent). Don't bother buying their replacement whips, instead save yourself a ton of money and go buy a spool of weedwacker cable with the largest gauge you can find. I have to replace the whips each time I use it but that only takes 5 minutes to remove the old ones, cut new 4.25" ones and put them in. I also bought two of the extension rods, note that these rods are not standard brush rods (1/4-20 threading) they are 3/8" and the rods themselves seem a little heavier duty than the ones I have for my pellet vent brush. There is another thread about the soot eater at the link below:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/67583/

    Of course I have the pellet vent version but I assume the standard one works just the same with larger/more whips.
  5. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Jan 21, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    Kenster,

    I have a sooteater that I used to clean my chimney. I am pretty certain you could go through the damper to clean the chimney, but I removed the stovepipe and went in through the thimble. Not certain if you have your exhaust set up for a top discharge or a rear discharge, but either way I think it might be difficult to guide the sooteater through the 90's in the piping.

    I really liked the way the sooteater cleaned, but i would remind you that you are burning an older stove that, at least for me and my grandfather before me, produces a bit of creosote unless burn conditions are all good. You want to be certain that you can see up the pipe before/after you clean it to do some type of inspection. The sooteater will not necessarily eat through glazed creosote (a wire brush most likely will not either for that matter) so be sure you can have a look up your chimney. I would also encourage you to have a professional sweep at least once a season to do a thorough inspection from the top. I cannot remember if you have an SS liner or not.

    I do say go with the sooteater- enjoy the 15-20 minute sweeps!
  6. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    Thanks, Remmy. My pipe goes straight up from the back of the stove, right up through the roof. I'm guessing about 28 feet total. I plan on having a pro out once a year. The soot eater would be for in between cleanings.

    Not sure what a 'thimble' is.

    I need to replace the gasket on that back, angled connector piece. Sorry... the terminology escapes me sometimes. Maybe I'll get me a Soot Eater and clean up through the pipe while I have it disconnected to replace the gasket.
  7. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    My pipe passes through a cinder block wall to the chimney- the metal piece going through the wall is the thimble.

    I would say in your situation, where the pipe goes straight up, you could go through the damper to do your cleaning. Should be an easy straight shot through the stove. I would recommend you use the sheeting they provide and also perhaps have a shop vac or hepa vacuum going at the stove for ash/dust collection.

    As I said earlier, the only thing I would be concerned about would be inspection of the pipe. Not certain if you would be able to utilize a mirror going throught he damper.

    Good luck however you decide to go. Let me know how things progress. Although I have retired my Vigilant, i will always have a soft spot for those old workhorses!

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