Creosote Issue?

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
I am replacding my wood burning stove with a gas insert. I've been told i have third degree creosote in my tile flue, probablay from a flue fire prior to having a SS liner installed. Will be removing the SS liner for the gas insert installation. Will there be a problem with the creosote? None of the gas insert people I've talked to can give me a definite answer. Most just say it shouldn't be a problem as the temperatures in the direct vent liners for the insert won't be hot enouhg to ignite the creosote. I was also told by the sweep that installed the SS liner that there were a few cracked flue tiles from the flue fire as well. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,160
Michigan
Why not just run the new smaller pipe right through the existing chimney? Safe and and easy. What diameter is your new chimney?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
Yes the creosote needs to be removed. It should have been removed before the Woodstock was installed.
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
Yes the creosote needs to be removed. It should have been removed before the Woodstock was installed.
When the stove was installed there wasn't any cresote. It came after the flu fire. The flu was cleaned as good as possible before the stainless steel liner was installed. We have had fires in it with the stainless steel liner with no problems.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
When the stove was installed there wasn't any cresote. It came after the flu fire. The flu was cleaned as good as possible before the stainless steel liner was installed. We have had fires in it with the stainless steel liner with no problems.
Ok I am confused where is the creosote?
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
It is in the area behind the insert with some up in the tile flue. They were able to clean the chimney section where the tile flue is enough to see the cracked tiles so they knew it needed to have a SS liner installed. Originally, the insert was just "inserted" into the concrete keyway in the foundation in the basement with no direct connection to the tile flue. That's why I had the flue fire and creosote issue in the first place, improper installation of the original insert. I have burned many fires with the SS liner inside the tile flue with no issues and I've been told a wood fire is much hotter than a gas fire. I would like to remove the 7" SS liner and have them install the 2 heavy gage aluminum vent pipes for the gas insert. What started all this was we had the SS liner cleaned out one last time before we had the gas insert installed. We were hoping to have the new vent pipes run inside the existing SS liner but they won't fit. That's why i'm wndering if I need to worry if I remove the exisitng SS liner and just have the 2 new vent pipes in the original tile flue. The sweep that did the cleaning scared us a little by saying he wouldn't do anything without getting rid of what he said was third stage creosote inside the entire original chimney.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
All of the crosote needs to be cleaned out of the system before any insert is installed. As I said before it should have been done before the wood insert was installed. What you have is extremely dangerous and you are lucky nothing happened
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
Originally when the wood burning stove was installed in the 80's the fireplace was new with no cresote. The improper installation caused it to have a flu fire. The insurance company had a chimney sweep clean it as good as they could. They said some tiles were cracked from the fire. They then installed a stainless steel liner. We burned a few fires in it over the years. Everything was ok with no issues. We now want to install a gas insert going up through the stainless steel liner. We are not sure if the cresote will be an issue. We have been told the gas inserts burn cooler than a wood fire and the fires we burned with the stainless steel liner had no issue.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
Originally when the wood burning stove was installed in the 80's the fireplace was new with no cresote. The improper installation caused it to have a flu fire. The insurance company had a chimney sweep clean it as good as they could. They said some tiles were cracked from the fire. They then installed a stainless steel liner. We burned a few fires in it over the years. Everything was ok with no issues. We now want to install a gas insert going up through the stainless steel liner. We are not sure if the cresote will be an issue. We have been told the gas inserts burn cooler than a wood fire and the fires we burned with the stainless steel liner had no issue.
Again all of the creosote needs to be removed before any insert gas or wood should be installed. This is a code requirement and a good one because leaving it is very unsafe. I am sorry if that is not the answer you want but it is the right one according to code. And it is the right one to ensure your safety.
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
Okay, you're right that's not what i want to hear. So how do you remove it short of demolishing the chimney and foundation of the house? The only solution I have been able to find is to spray the entire chimney/foundation and build a small fire, but without a fire box what will contain the heat from the fire in the area it needs to be in to break down the creosote? the opening in the basement is wide open. And i've also been told this may not even work!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
Okay, you're right that's not what i want to hear. So how do you remove it short of demolishing the chimney and foundation of the house? The only solution I have been able to find is to spray the entire chimney/foundation and build a small fire, but without a fire box what will contain the heat from the fire in the area it needs to be in to break down the creosote? the opening in the basement is wide open. And i've also been told this may not even work!
Can you show some pics? I am still not understanding exactly what is going on here.
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
Here are some pics. One is with the Buck Stove Insert in place. Two shots looking up the flue and 2 more with closeups of the walls. You can see where the walls have been chipped when they removed the creosote before installing the SS liner. The SS liner is a Heat-Fab Inc. Saf-T-Liner with Saf-T-Wrap insulation installed. At this time we are planning to install the two 3" vent pipes for the gas insert inside the existing 7" SS liner. The SS liner has been recently cleaned, there was only soot according to the sweep. We hadn't burned for many years but wanted it clean for the install of the gas insert. Not necessarily for the installers convenience but to try and make it safe and keep as much mess out of our house as possible during the install. BTW - This is the guy that scared us by stating he wouldn't use this for ANY type of installation but after he was done cleaning he did state it should be OK for a gas insert.
Everyone we have talked to at the various gas insert stores we have visited while shopping for the new insert has stated that the new gas insert will not burn as hot as a wood fire in the old Buck Stove would have burned so there shouldn't be a problem. We don't have any CSIA Certified sweeps in Utah so having someone local with the right knowledge isn't possible. The City's building inspector also stated there wouldn't be a problem. He even stated if the new inserts vents were double walled the SS liner could be removed entirely.
With all the different opinions, we are just very confused.
Thank you for all your time.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
Yeah I would not have installed an insert in it like that. I would have chemically cleaned it. They are right the gas will burn cooler but that doesn't change code. By code that needs to be cleaned much better.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,198
central pa
Thanks, I guess we will fade back and put in an electric insert. What do you think about that?
That is fine. Or you could find someone to properly clean that
 

disfanjt

New Member
Nov 2, 2019
9
slc
So just how does a chemical cleaning work? Someone mentioned something about spraying the flue and then building a fire. Is that what you are talking about?