Bought my first house and now I'm a wood burner!

jtmargeson Posted By jtmargeson, Nov 9, 2018 at 3:10 PM

  1. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    The previous owner assured me he cleaned out the chimney. The first fire I had in the wood stove resulted in a chimney fire. The following day I took the stove pipe apart. I attached a before and after of the thimble. Thank GOD my family wasn't living in the house.

    The chimney is an old 30' masonry chimney with clay tile inserts. Thankfully, it's still in good enough shape and there will NEVER be another chimney fire. Unlike the old owner, I take this very seriously and I will keep it clean myself.

    The wood stove is really old thermo control ultimate wood burning system. I'm not sure which model, but it's OLD. The stove is necked down from 8 inch to 6 inch before going into the thimble. I've heard some talk about how this is a no go, but I've been firing this the last 3 weeks without any issues. Drafts fine, burns fine. The hardest part of being a newbie is not understanding the importance of good, seasoned wood. Burning soggy wood sucks, and of course, you have to be vigilant about keeping the system clean. I look forward to being a member of this community. Any beginners advice is welcome!
     

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  2. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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  3. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    Jan 2, 2015
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    Welcome!! I suggest you stop burning for now. If the second picture is "after cleaning", it doesn't look "clean" to me. Have a certified sweep inspect the chimney and the stove. Ask for advise and start reading the posts on this site. If you already know you are burning unseasoned wood, try to get better wood and buy a moisture meter. Res-plit a split of wood, keep it at room temperature for 12-24 hrs and measure the moisture content. Best is below 20%.
     
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  4. Ludlow

    Ludlow
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    Jun 4, 2018
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    Perhaps he did pull the plug and clean the stack. Maybe just too dumb to look through the connector into the stove.
    Are you assuming people know WTH they are doing? That be your first mistake and possibly your last....

    Hope you have a great future in burning the stove!!!!
     
  5. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    Nope, the Chimney was really clogged too. He did not have a proper brush. Instead, he had a chunk of railroad beam that 'fit' down the chimney, and would just run that up and down it. I don't think he ever cleaned the stove pipe. I invested in a chimney brush, and I ran a camera down the chimney (after cleaning the ever loving chit out of it). It would be ideal to have a steel liner installed (along with a clean out door in the basement), but the tiles aren't in super bad condition.
     
  6. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    He doesn't seem to have a liner either.
     
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  7. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    I'm not scared. It's a 30 foot masonry chimney, with a clay flu. I have full access to the roof and a small clean out in the basement. The wood stove isn't my primary heat method either. I've been watching the chimney very closely, and the stove is burning very clean. Hardly any creosote build up. I burned through most of my seasoned wood (I just moved in 4 months ago, so I don't have a surplus of seasoned wood yet). I appreciate the concern, but I'm not worried about the condition of the chimney or the stove.
     
  8. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    I've done loads of research and the two main things I have discovered is the importance of dry/seasoned wood, and the fact that lots of people take it all a little TOO serious. A clean chimney won't catch on fire.
     
  9. edyit

    edyit
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    Nov 30, 2014
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    get a sweep in to inspect your chimney and clean it if need be before you continue burning, also seriously consider upgrading your stove to a much newer epa compliant stove, tells a little more about your house, square footage, open layout etc and you'll get some good suggestions, also if you plan on burning get ahead on fire wood so its seasoned or look into these

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/redstone-wood-fuel?cm_vc=-10005
     
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  10. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Nov 28, 2014
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    OP said he has a clay liner.
     
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  11. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    Jan 19, 2017
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    Welcome.. we wish you the best.. i would do what the others have suggested.. get some seasoned wood also
     
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  12. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    I did have a chimney sweep inspect the chimney. He didn't clean it (because I did, and he confirmed I did a good job of it). He ruled it safe, but he did suggest I patch a hole where an old gas powered hot water tank vented in to the chimney (AGAINST CODE). I like it though. I put a cap on it, and I can remove that cap and use a mirror to inspect the chimney from the bottom up. At that point, he just tried up-selling me on buying a new steel liner. I'm going to do it, but I'm not going to pay their ridiculous prices. I priced it all out for under 1500 (6 inch, insulated).

    I was really nervous at first, but after getting to know how everything works you get comfortable with knowing a clean chimney can't catch fire.
     
  13. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    I know, but I was referring to a SS liner.
     
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  14. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    Yep, and it's not in bad condition. Some of the tiles have hair line cracks.. but nothing that really worries me. There have defintely been some chimney fires. I suspect the old owner cleaned the chimney by firing it. It bums me out, because I really like the clay liner - but ultimately I'll be running a steal one down that old masonry beast.
     
  15. bholler

    bholler
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    Jan 14, 2014
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    Your clay is not in good shape i can see cracks directly across from the crock. And there are probably more up through the chimney.

    This is a good example of why you should always inspect a chimney new to you before lighting a fire.

    The idea that you will never have another chimney fire is great. And it is a fantastic goal to have. But the reality is if you heat with wood there is always that possibility. This is why it is so important to make sure your entire system is up to par. That means a good liner a chimney with proper clearances the stove and connector in good condition with proper clearances. Stuff happens even to the most conscientious wood burners just make sure if it does you will be safe.
     
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  16. bholler

    bholler
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    I agree some here do take things a bit to seriously at times including my self. But is seems you are not taking it seriously at all. You chimney has a compromised liner. It probably has tons of creosote on the outside of those clay liners which can catch fire. And no a clean chimney cant catch fire but with the condition of your chimney i doubt you will ever be able to get it that clean without removing the clay.

    And with wet wood and an old stove like yours you can get allot of buildup really quickly.
     
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  17. jtmargeson

    jtmargeson
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    Nov 9, 2018
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    I really do appreciate all of the feed back. We are getting a new gas furnace installed within the next 7 to 10 days (if all goes as planned), at which point I will be shutting down the wood stove. The Chimney Sweep wasn't worried about the flu condition, so that's why I had confidence firing it up. I've been up on the roof several times since to brush out the chimney. Last time there was nearly no difference in the amount of creosote (none had built up whatsoever), plus I monitor the temperature of the stove, stove pipe, and the outside of the chimney constantly (those inferred guns are fun to play with) so I feel safe! But none the less - maybe I'll hold off from firing it back up until we have the liner installed - which won't be until next season.

    Sorry if I sounded a bit too cocky. After all, my first time resulted in a chimney fire! I appreciate your guys' experience, and your opinions!
     
  18. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    No problem, just be safe and look around at CL for a used "younger" stove in good condition. You should be able to find something between $300 and $600, depending on your needs, floor size etc. Keep us posted.
     
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  19. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    Jan 2, 2015
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    Depending on where in PA you are, member @Ashful has plenty of seasoned wood and it seems he gives it away to new members for free.
     
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  20. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    BHollers generous too.
     
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  21. edyit

    edyit
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    it's a fire in your house, so yeah its should be taken serious...
     
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  22. Rich L

    Rich L
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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I think you got to that chimney in the nick of time.It looks good from where I sit.Good job.
     
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  23. bholler

    bholler
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    Jan 14, 2014
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    It is not good i can see substantial cracks through the crock and the sweep said there were more it is not a safe chimney.
     
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  24. Jay106n

    Jay106n
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    Apr 1, 2015
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    Wow, even photo #2 looks dirty in my book. I can’t even believe you burned with #1.

    Beginners advice: Don’t burn soggy wood.
     
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  25. Rich L

    Rich L
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    Jan 25, 2008
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    I simply agree with the chimney sweep who deemed it safe.Fire it up.
     
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