5 months into season, black glossy creosote

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Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Hey guys I appreciate your advice here. This is my first year with a wood stove (insert) and the liner was brand new in August. Pretty straight forward - no elbows or bends really other than when it goes up the smoke shelf. The liner is insulated.

I got up on the roof today just to check out how it looked as I had not been up there since the day it was installed. I see there is barely a film on the liner (I think? you guys are the experts) but it looks like the creosote film that is on there is the bad stuff and I'm really worried now.

It was hard to tell but it looked the worst at the top few inches, which is just stainless exposed to the cold, so maybe that is normal since it isnt insulated? I touched the stuff and it smells like railroad ties, and was super slick and gummy. When I really applied pressure and rubbed it, i got it to 'goo up' a bit.

Anyway, I just want your advice because now I'm worried something is majorly wrong. I always run the stove hot (in my opinion, too hot as it often climbs to 800+ on the stove top). I'm burning my own firewood that varies - first half of season was 5 year old oak at 18% but recently shifted to walnut that was dry but some pieces may have been climbing into the 21-23% range.

So my questions are:

1. Is this normal? If not, is it dangerous? Dont want a chimney fire happening my first year, or ever!
2. How do I stop this? Is this just the cause of wet wood?
3. How do I fix this? I planned to sweep my chimney before next season, probably in the fall. Can it wait? Should I burn some of that creosote-stop powder? Or this this level of creosote beyond just a simple sweeping?

Thanks guys. attached pics.

Edit: also wanted to add I constantly am babysitting this stove as it's my first year. I never see smoke coming from the top of the chimney (thought I was burning clean) and I keep the stove really hot. This buildup is all while only burning about 1 cord of wood.

Creosote 1 30Jan2021.jpg Creosote 2 30Jan2021.jpg Creosote 3 30Jan2021.jpg
 
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Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Wanted to share an update. I got back on the roof as it was bothering me haha. Took a steel wire brush and pretty easily rubbed off the creosote within the liner area I could reach that is insulated. It looks like the only area that actually has the thick, glossy glazed creosote is the exposed area of the liner, and maybe 2 or so inches down.

I suppose it makes sense this area would be the worst case spot, being uninsulated, exposed to the cold air, and the farthest from the hot stove so coolest exhaust. Still couldn't get that creosote off with the brush though - it kind of just gooed up.

I'm buying some of that Rutland Creosote remover powder and going to use that a few times between now and the end of the season and hope for the best.

Thanks all.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
Wet wood will certainly do that. It seems you concerns about running to hot were probably not correct either. If you were running to hot that certainly wouldn't be there.
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Wet wood will certainly do that. It seems you concerns about running to hot were probably not correct either. If you were running to hot that certainly wouldn't be there.

Thanks for remembering me. Yup I'm starting to think that too - I actually was up there to try putting on this reducer to slow my draft. Needless to say I am NOT doing that now haha.

Is a layer of that glazy creosote normal on the cap/end of the liner though? Do I need to stop using the stove or is this kind of expected?

I am letting my walnut set until next year and I have a month's worth of dry oak at the back of the property I can ration
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
Thanks for remembering me. Yup I'm starting to think that too - I actually was up there to try putting on this reducer to slow my draft. Needless to say I am NOT doing that now haha.

Is a layer of that glazy creosote normal on the cap/end of the liner though? Do I need to stop using the stove or is this kind of expected?

I am letting my walnut set until next year and I have a month's worth of dry oak at the back of the property I can ration
It really doesn't look to bad at all. It certainly could be better but not anything to be very worried about
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
That puts me at ease. Thank you Bholler, always a help

PS just noticed youre in Central PA! Wish I was back that way. What area? I'm outside of Philly but have finally found a piece of 'rural' land
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
That puts me at ease. Thank you Bholler, always a help

PS just noticed youre in Central PA! Wish I was back that way. What area? I'm outside of Philly but have finally found a piece of 'rural' land
Pretty much directly between Harrisburg and Williamsport
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Ha! I was born in williamsport. Miss lycoming county. Very cool. You're in God's country man
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
Ha! I was born in williamsport. Miss lycoming county. Very cool. You're in God's county man
We are in snyder county. We work on Williamsport occasionally
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Very cool. I used to do a lot of camping in Bald Eagle State Forest.

Small world. Thank you for your help
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
Very cool. I used to do a lot of camping in Bald Eagle State Forest.

Small world. Thank you for your help
I am a few mins from a couple different areas of bald eagle
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,868
central pa
Here is jacks mountain out the back and the mountains by Herndon out the front. Shade mountain is to the right out front just out of view.
 

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Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
318
PA, USA
Wow don't make me jealous! Gorgeous spot you got
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,390
Lackawaxen PA
Keep an eye on whats building up on the insulated chimney, What you have going on is wet wood and an uninsulated cap metal. I assume the cap was even worse with gooey tar. Burning wet wood hot is not a solution. It will get better ever year as you burn seasoned wood.