End off burning season

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Itslay90

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2022
432
Upstate,NY
When does everyone starts to clean out their wood burning stove, at the end of the burning season. Do you take all the bricks out so you can get all the ashes out the stove ?
 
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The bricks stay in. There's no need to remove them.
 
the most important thing is to clean the flue pipe, and understand the state of the soot, whether dusty, or solid
 
I like to remove mine, to get all the ashes out,
Why? I just replaced 3 back bricks last fall. That is the first time they have been touched since new, 14 yrs. ago.
 
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First year burning. Having my flue cleaned by my sweep early May. Want to see what the buildup looks like if any. I shoveled out my ashes and will use a shop vac to get the rest. Bricks stay in.
 
I usually say I am going to do it in the spring but it usually waits until I want to start a fire in the fall
 
I just like to get all the ashes out that fell in between the bricks
I have never done that on any of my stoves or any customers stoves. There is no reason to
 
I remove everything in the spring; the bricks, the secondary burn tubes, the baffle. Gives me a chance to inspect the entire stove. Found delaminating bricks last year. I beleive ash is coorosive. Why let it sit against metal a full humid spring, summer, and fall? I like to start the season with a 'fresh' stove.
Might have started too soon this year. Cleaned the flue last week when it was 70F. Yesterday, last night and today....cold, blustery, and snow. Could have used a fire. Had to use the furnace.
 
Clean out my stove? Never. I've got too much other critical equipment that needs maintenance.

Clean the stove pipes - sometime between now and next fall.
 
I remove everything in the spring; the bricks, the secondary burn tubes, the baffle. Gives me a chance to inspect the entire stove. Found delaminating bricks last year. I beleive ash is coorosive. Why let it sit against metal a full humid spring, summer, and fall? I like to start the season with a 'fresh' stove.
Might have started too soon this year. Cleaned the flue last week when it was 70F. Yesterday, last night and today....cold, blustery, and snow. Could have used a fire. Had to use the furnace.
And those bricks would have lasted years more if you had just left them alone. The only time I might consider it is if it was in a very damp basement. Otherwise I see no reason
 
And those bricks would have lasted years more if you had just left them alone. The only time I might consider it is if it was in a very damp basement. Otherwise I see no reason
When you do a cleaning for customers do you leave the baffle alone? My PE manual said I don’t need to remove the baffle. I have a slip joint on my double wall connector pipe.
 
When you do a cleaning for customers do you leave the baffle alone? My PE manual said I don’t need to remove the baffle. I have a slip joint on my double wall connector pipe.
That depends. If I can just clean through the stove I pull the baffle. If I have to pull the pipe no I dont
 
I remove everything in the spring; the bricks, the secondary burn tubes, the baffle. Gives me a chance to inspect the entire stove. Found delaminating bricks last year. I beleive ash is coorosive. Why let it sit against metal a full humid spring, summer, and fall? I like to start the season with a 'fresh' stove.
Might have started too soon this year. Cleaned the flue last week when it was 70F. Yesterday, last night and today....cold, blustery, and snow. Could have used a fire. Had to use the furnace.
When the ashes get moisture it can do a lot of damage
 
I have hit wasp nests while cleaning the flue. I clean it in fall so I don’t have any flue blockages come burn time. I can’t see how a spark and a wasp nest made of tissue paper can end well.
 
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This is my typical maintenance schedule.

Spring: clean out fire box, shovel out ashes, remove bottom firebricks, vaccum out stove completely, clean glass, wipe down exterior of stove and wife uses stove as plant stand during summer. I find a lot of ashes between an under the bricks. It's easy-peasy to remove them and put back in. Also removing bricks allows you to inspect them. I don't know how you do that without taking them out.

Fall: remove top of stove, sooteater up pipe, put stove back together and ready to burn. May also replace any gaskets at this time.
 
I try to live by K.I.S.S........keep it simple stupid. I am going to clean my flue, as ive done every month....I might shop vac out the inside, but I might not....Im putting wire mesh over my flue to keep birds and whatever out of the flue. Wipe down the outside, then start thinking about the upcoming winter....keep the wood flowing.
 
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I always think I might do a few more burns. One of those cold rainy days. So the cleaning never gets done. And then the roof is to hot to get on it with ladders.
 
I have never done that on any of my stoves or any customers stoves. There is no reason to
The company that sold me these two BK's insisted on doing the first year's cleaning back in 2015/16, to see how I was burning. I finally conceded, and they showed up while I was away at work. My wife let them in, and I arrived about half way thru their job. I found the one guy hammering away inside the stove with a hammer and chisel, which my wife said they'd been doing for some time. Apparently he wanted to get every brick out, but I'd just finished several straight weeks of low and slow 30-hour burns on that stove, so the firebox itself was a crusty mess.

I interrupted and asked what he was doing, and he started complaining the firebox was a creo mess. I asked him how the chimney looked, and he said it was clean, "no problems there". I asked him why he is chiseling away at my stove, and he said they need to remove all of the brick to make sure everything is clean. :rolleyes: Then he made several comments about how dirty the firebox was, as if that's somehow unique to me. I believe these two stoves were the very first BK's they had ever sold or serviced.

I haven't invited them back, since. Nor have I had any need to remove firebrick, unless broken. These guys are great at chimney work and stove sales, but at least this one tech had no idea as to how dirty the firebox gets on a stove that routinely runs 10 hours per cubic foot of wood, nor that this is normal for that burn mode.
 
And those bricks would have lasted years more if you had just left them alone. The only time I might consider it is if it was in a very damp basement. Otherwise I see no reason
Ok, I'll bite. Please explain to me how removing the bricks and cleaning the interior of the stove degrades the firebrick. Be detailed. The bricks slide out and back in easily. They clean easily with a wide flat putty knife. I stack them flat on a tray in order. (I am a bit anal. I have to put each back in the spot it came from.) After interior is cleaned they are gently placed back in their location.

The stove was only used for two season when two firebrick showed delamination.
 
Ok, I'll bite. Please explain to me how removing the bricks and cleaning the interior of the stove degrades the firebrick. Be detailed. The bricks slide out and back in easily. They clean easily with a wide flat putty knife. I stack them flat on a tray in order. (I am a bit anal. I have to put each back in the spot it came from.) After interior is cleaned they are gently placed back in their location.

The stove was only used for two season when two firebrick showed delamination.
It doesn't degrade them necessarily. But it's easy to crack a brick that would otherwise have been perfectly fine for years to come by pulling them. Even if they are cracked as long as they aren't moving and there are no pieces missing there is no need to replace. Then you have the floor brick. The majority of the time I need to destroy at least one to get them started up because of packed in ash.
There is nothing wrong with pulling them if you really want to but there is also really no benefit at all. And I can guarantee I would have customers pissed off at me if I was constantly replacing perfectly functional brick because I removed them.
 
Hey Tom, what do you think you're gaining by removing them? I think there can be a good argument to be made for inspecting, getting your eyes on what's behind them to look for rust or cracks. But if the purpose is to just get the stove "clean", what's the point of that?
 
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Hey Tom, what do you think you're gaining by removing them? I think there can be a good argument to be made for inspecting, getting your eyes on what's behind them to look for rust or cracks. But if the purpose is to just get the stove "clean", what's the point of that?
I want to look behind the firebricks to see what is going on. Any rust, any corrosion. I want to know what is happening with my stove. I do not want a 'surprise' someday when I don't need it. As I mentioned before, I believe ash is corrosive. I want to know what has happened during the heating season. I also do not want to leave the corrosive ash there during the non-heating humid season.
I have never had any problems removing bricks. For me it is easy to remove and replace them without damage.

But.....To each his own.