Cresote Dripping from Smoke Pipe in EKO 60 - OK?

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New Member
Jun 4, 2008
upstate NY
I have been running our new EKO 60 with 500 gal of storage for about 2 weeks now. After some adjustments and a learning curve, it has performed perfectly. However, I noticed tonight that there is some liquid cresote dripping from the smoke pipe at the back of the boiler. The weather has been fairly warm, so the unit has definitely been on idle for long periods of time. I also notice if I load wood while there is still a significant amount in the upper chamber, the fire flares and goes out the back up the smoke pipe. The secondary combustion chamber is doing its job, and all I have is a fairly small quantity of fine ash.

Should I be concerned that there is any visible cresote in the smoke pipe near the boiler? Should I change the firing routine, to let it die down further before re-loading? I have been taking for granted that the wood gasification will do its job, and despite the tarry mess in the upper chamber, that the secondary chamber will burn everything before it gets to the smoke pipe and chimney. Am I assuming too much here?

I will shut the boiler down tomorrow, and take the pipe apart for inspection and cleaning. Any advice on what to expect from the unit, or how best to operate it for maximum safety, are appreciated.


Moderator Emeritus
It sounds like you're getting condensation in the stovepipe. There are two possible contributing factors. You've mentioned the first - excessive idling. The second factor is the moisture content of the wood that you're burning.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this is not good. Condensate is corrosive, and the EKO is not designed as a condensing boiler.

There's not much you can do about the moisture content of your wood at this point, but you can reduce idling with a little practice. Try loading the boiler with less wood, and wait until there's only a bed of coals before you reload. You won't get your condensation problem when the wood has burned down to mostly coals.

In the long run, drier wood, colder weather, and/or storage will help.
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