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Spring cleaning the stove...required?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tahoostas, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. tahoostas

    tahoostas Member

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    Ive only burned one season and I'm wondering what peoples opinions are about spring cleaning the stove. I have an alderlea t5 and i swept the chimney (super easy chimney setup) after the season. I spoke with the dealer i bought the stove from and they said there shouldnt be any other required cleaning other than the chimney. I asked about humidity concerns and whether i should be scrubbing off the baffle and interior metal parts. The reply was ...nope.
    Am i ok going with their advice? The manual for the stove doesnt mention any other cleaning if i rember correctly.
    Thanks.

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  2. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Most give the stove a good cleaning inside and out. Remove ash vaccuum etc. I did this for the first time ever this spring, been burning for 30 years, new to EPA. I also raised the pipe up at the slove top (slip joint single wall) put a piece of plastic over the pipe, then lowered it back into posotion. Trim off excess plastic with knife- to stop any down draft/air leaks/smells that might occur.
  3. tahoostas

    tahoostas Member

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    Thanks for the reply! Is there a reason the new epa's need more cleaning than older stoves? I dont recall my dad doing a thorough cleaning on his 1980's vermont castings either.
  4. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Probably not. Other than I cleaned my cat too. Good time to look everything over/inspect. Old stoves were tanks, couldn't hardly hurt them. We're probably just paraniod.:(
  5. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Edit: I've never had glass in the doors, now I'd have to look at the mess in the stove all summer.....
  6. tahoostas

    tahoostas Member

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    Ahhhh. Ive got a bit of the paranoid ocd in me too. I've found a place to call home! :)
    fox9988 likes this.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    The plastic over the pipe is a good idea...just remember it's there, and make sure anyone else who might fire up the stove knows it's there. Keeps critters out of the stove/mosquitoes out of the air. In the right (wrong) circumstances they can come in massive numbers down a chimney. Sure some could find their way into the home from the stove. Have neighbors who have had to light a fire in mid-August to combat the downdrafting mosquitoes.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Early VC stoves required cleaning too. Maybe your dad cleaned it when you weren't around? The good news is that your T5 is much easier to clean. FWIW, I usually clean our stove when I am sure I am not going to be burning in it for a month. Usually that is August.
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I honestly think that most folks give their stoves a good spring cleaning to a) make it look nice during the summer months since a dust-covered, ash-filled woodstove just isn't that pretty, b) reduce the chances of having a creosote smell in the home and c) to get the stove ready for use in the Fall since you may find problems with broken parts, fire bricks, etc. while doing a thorough cleaning.

    I figure too that a few minutes spent cleaning it now cannot hurt it . . . although I also suspect that the ash and creosote inside will not be that bad for the two or three months we're not burning in the stove. Some day, when we stop burning and it warms up here, I'll do my final cleaning and stop burning.
    Heatsource, Highbeam and Joful like this.
  10. tahoostas

    tahoostas Member

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    Wow. Still burning?! We are in AC season now. How cold is it getting at night there?
  11. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Lately we've had a bunch of cold, wet rain . . . temps at night have been going down into the 50s . . . without a warm, sunny day the house isn't able to get much solar gain/heat. I am in hopes that the cold, wet days are behind us . . . although after today we'll be back into the rain.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    We were in the mid 40s this morning. A little brisk for the motorcycle ride but the blue sky made up for it. Indoor temps are in the 60s so we are not done burning yet for the year, but soon.

    I mainly clean the stove to be sure that I am ready for the next season. We don't get birds or bigs coming down the chimney and even if they did, the bugs would harmlessly die in the firebox or maybe make their way through the outside air intakes. Nothing will enter the living space of the home. I am not a fan of any sort of chimney pluggage for the summer. This is a metal tube with corrosive creosote in it, I want air movement through that thing.

    You do not need to do anything except sweep the chimney each year. The rest is just being obsessive about our wood burning hobby.
  13. BrianN

    BrianN Burning Hunk

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    The only thing that I do, and my dad has told me that ever has to be done is clean the chimney. Of course, we clean the ash out and clean the glass over the summer. Knowing that the glass will be back to black during our first burn in fall.
    My only other concern is birds making a nest in the chimney, but, a quick look up before first burn will be done.
    We are still burning here. About a fire per week. Just enough to take the chill off. Daily highs up to 18::C and overnight lows to 5::C. Our house gets very little sunshine to heat it during the day.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With every spring or summer cleaning there should also be a close inspection of the stove. Items to be checked are: gaskets, firebricks, burn tubes, interior and exterior examination for cracks in welds or castings, control operation (especially in the case of bypass dampers), cat cleaning and inspection.
    Heatsource likes this.
  15. Bluezx636

    Bluezx636 Member

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    I was just away for a month and noticed some rust! I'm assuming this isn't normal? ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370884698.187746.jpg
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes it happens, particularly if the weather has been very humid or if the stove is in a damp location like a basement. No big deal unless it gets soaking wet in there.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Spring or summer cleaning. Clean the chimney and the cap. We do not vacuum the ashes but do remove what we can by hand. Check all gaskets and if any need replacing, this is a better time to do it than just before your first fire in the fall. If you have a catalyst, this is also a good time to clean that. That's about it.

    I do know some folks who put kitty litter or something to take up moisture should some get inside the stove. Some also block the chimney to stop any birds or rainfall.
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    On the BK, I make sure to open the bypass when the stove is not to be used. Just imagine if a bird came down the chimney with the bypass closed. He would fall into the cat chamber and thrash around in there until death. Probably die up against the back of the cat trying to head for the light and his death juice would ooze into the cat. Then, come fall you would try to open the bypass and that dead bird would be up in there maybe jambing up the process but for sure doing bad things to cat lightoff.

    Leave the bypass open so he can fall into the firebox for removal.
  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I think it's a great habit to get into.....when you do a good inside/outside cleaning of the stove, you can give it a scrutinous inspection....look at the corners, the bricks, the secondary air tubes, the baffles, etc......

    I do a spring cleaning AND a fall inspection of all parts again, including the flues.....yep, it's Overkill alright. But my name states my habits.....
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  20. tahoostas

    tahoostas Member

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    Thanks for all the tips. Appreciated!
    ScotO likes this.
  21. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    Every year I have plans to brush the chimney right after the last burn. The problem is I just did a evening burn to take the chill out of the house, two weeks ago. By the time I get around to do a top down cleaning the roof shingle are to soft. I end up doing it in the early fall. Maybe this year I will get it done early. I need to replace the side door gasket as well.

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