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Warmed up today, tried out the Sooteater.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Motor7, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    East TN.
    I have a clean-out T above the H1 which has a top exit. I blocked off the opening leading to the stove baffle with newspaper, stuck the shop vac hose in there and whipped the Sooteater up the flue - all 24'. I got less then half a gallon of creosote, & most was in the 8' right above the stove. I knew I had a air leak at the T cover and it was evident on the backside of it....a heavy coat of creosote. I ordered some thin gasket tape to seal it off better.

    All in all the Sooteater worked perfect & I had the whole job done in about 45 min.....sure beats climbing up on the 10/12 pitched roof[​IMG]
    jharkin, corey21, pen and 1 other person like this.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ya got that right, especially mid-winter.
  3. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Putnam, NY
    Read a lot about the Sooteater yesterday on this site and the web. All that, and seeing your review this morning, convinced me that I need to get one.
  4. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Is the sooteater flexible enough to clean bottom up without taking the pipes apart?
  5. Bluezx636

    Bluezx636 New Member

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    Long Island NY
    I just tried mine for the first time yesterday and it really is simple to use and does a good job getting creosote out... I would say the hardest part was removing my Clydesdale secondary burn tubes but even that wasn't to bad.
  6. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    East TN.
    Yes, that's the whole idea. The 3' rods are fiberglass, so you can not bend them 90 degrees, but you bend them into a big arch and shove them right up the flue. I did mine this way & I found it easier to put 12' together at a time, then start on the other side of the basement, and just walk towards the stove while spinning the drill. Walking back & forth gets it clean, then add the other 12' and continue on up.
    The angle of the rod is in red:
    [​IMG]

    If I didn't have the "T" I would have to take the baffle out of the stove. It's not a bid deal only two bolts, but it is time consuming and messy.
    dentman4411 likes this.
  7. dentman4411

    dentman4411 New Member

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    for my install, yes. i just open the damper on my defiant and let 'er rip. i would guesstimate its bending at about 60 degrees or so max. it helps if you have several extra feet of rod so your spinning the sooteater from 5-6' away and keeping the drill down low to the ground. the lower the drill the easier the angle is on the rod.
  8. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    East TN.
    Begreen, winter or not, my flue cap is in a bad spot. When I stand on the porch roof, I can't reach the cap so I have to screw stops on the roof to stand on. If i slip an go off the porch roof it's about 40' down to a steep embankment, then 100' down to a creek. Needless to say I don't like being up there even though I am the one that built it.........::-)
    [​IMG]

    Not the best pic, but the flue is just to the left of the big windows.......
    ddddddden, keninmich and charly like this.
  9. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    love your place - the top rails and posts are really cool....
  10. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Thank you all for the reply's. I am thinking about getting a sooteater let's hope it will work cause i have to have help taking my pipe apart.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... I think I need to install T's on my stovepipes. I had thought about going up thru the bypass door in the stove, but that may be too tight a bend. Also, doing so would mean all creosote rains down into the catalyst area in the stove... not something I can get at to clean without taking the stove apart, I think.
  12. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

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    Eastern ON, Canada
    I really like the look of this tool/cleaner (and also your house and railing Motor7). I've already put in an order on northlineexpress and shipping up here to Canada is a pain, wish I had seen this before!
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    That might not be such a bad idea. I have a telescoping pipe which many of the folks here will use to facilitate cleaning. But it's a bear to pull up off the flue collar on my stove - i think it's actually easier to pull the burn tubes and baffle bricks, then go get the ladder and go up on the roof. A T would make life easier for sure....
  14. Barky McLog

    Barky McLog New Member

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    I saw this thread like 10 minutes too late. Thanks for answering about 5 of my concerns for me all at once though!!
  15. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

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    SE Mass
    Did the same today - only I found a crack in the stove <>
  16. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    The "T" ain't pretty but it sure is functional. Barky did you just come down off the roof? B of H thanks, the most fun part of the build was scouting the woods for cedar logs/sticks that wanted to be a post,railing or baluster then building them. The corner post are cedar blowdowns from a storm at least 15 years ago. All the sapwood was gone leaving just the red heartwood.
  17. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Yes
  18. chris5150

    chris5150 New Member

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    East Central WI
    Why can't you put a drill on a regular fiberglass rod? my parents used do this with the success back in the 80's?
  19. dentman4411

    dentman4411 New Member

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    Pittsburgh, PA
    no reason you couldn't... the convenience of the sooteater system makes it worth the 60 bucks though. the hard click locks resemble a ratchet/socket type lock so its not going to come apart 20' up in your chimney, also the head is designed to custom cut to fit your type and size pipe and its replaceable with heavy guage weedwacker style plastic tines. no im not related to the company :)
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I just purchased two sooteaters last night, as buying a second sooteater was basically the same price as buying all the extra rods I'd have needed. Should be here Monday. I'm wondering, can I perhaps get away with running this up the flue thru the bypass door on the stove, or am I better off disconnecting the stovepipe? In both cases, my block-off plates are 8-9 feet off the floor, up inside the fireplace chimney above the stove, and not super easy to access with a stove in the way.

    One thought was to bend up a piece of sheetmetal joist spanning (used for HVAC return ducts) to sit in the bypass door, and direct all crap falling out of the flue into the firebox. Then, scrape it thru the grate into the ash pan, and voila... job done. Not sure how well these rods will transition that sharp bend from the bypass damper up to the flue, particularly when I need to feed it up 29 feet of flue.
  21. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    Joful post a pic or two. Remember they are fiberglass and they can break, so harsh bends are a no no.
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Will do! Gotta wait for the fire to go out first, though.
  23. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    Thats what's stopping me 3-90 degree bends & about 24 sheet metal screws .Thinkin' just too much abuse
  24. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    I agree Jack, your going to have to disassemble......90 degree-ers ain't gonna work.
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I just wish the pieces were a bit easier to pull apart. Everytime I use the darn thing I get pissed to the point that I'm about ready to throw it out the door!

    I have a telescoping pipe on the stove so I just slide it up, stick the shoteater in the pipe, put a trash bag over and run it up and down the pipe.

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