Gross amount of creosote

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Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
My wood burning furnace was sold with the home but as is because the previous owners diddnt ever you it they claim. Fair enough?? So here I am with chimney repairs and a cleaning. This is a install from 92' of a charmaster wood furnace.

It appears to have 3rd degree build up within the fire box. And some other build up..reminds me of a softer crystal type build up. That's in the fire box. Then follow to the rear head exchanger and elbows...appears to be some extreme build up. And continue out the foundation wall...some more build up. Looks nearly closed shut. Anyone have any opinions or words of advice on how to get this back to working out. Almost seems to be a good amount in the base of the chimney too...
 

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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
671
Southern WI
Oh my. Is that galvanized pipe? And installed upside down? I say remove and do it correctly.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
My neighbor has a charmaster...hate to say it, but that's pretty typical on those furnaces...the only way they don't plug things up is if you have a drafty old farmhouse and it can run hard frequently...and then they use truckloads of wood!
And yes, get rid of that backwards galvanized pipe!
Make sure you burn truly dry wood...as in cut, split, stacked for 2-3 years (depending on species) that will help reduce creosote buildup, and excessive wood usage (as much as you can with that model) and using the oil burner every day for a while can help burn off buildup somewhat too...make sure the stove pipe and chimney is up to snuff since you now know that thing is a creosote factory. I would probably want doublewall stove pipe and have an insulated liner in the chimney...or a class A stainless steel chimney.
 
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Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Ok thanks. Yeah it seems it's the nature of the beast. Although in the manual charmaster says it is intended to operate unlike other furnaces (of its time). Says little flame and 2sq ft of a coal bed- other techniques it says will lead to issues. It even suggests using "green wood".

Anyways. I'm too new for all that anyways. I will scrape, clean, and suck it up the best I can. As far as the outlet installed upside down.. do you mean the middle 'T' needs to be flipped so it sits inside the duct rather than allowing the liquid creosote to escape- which I diddnt even know was a thing... liquid creosote?? Lol

Thx
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
Although in the manual charmaster says it is intended to operate unlike other furnaces (of its time). Says little flame and 2sq ft of a coal bed- other techniques it says will lead to issues. It even suggests using "green wood".
Yup, total load of BS...they should be called Creosotemaster...green wood and a slow smolder is exactly what NOT to do! ;lol
As far as the pipe...all the pipe from the chimney down to the furnace should be "male end" down, or male end headed toward the furnace. When liquid creosote runs down the inside of the pipe it stays inside this way, instead of running down the outside like in your pics there...major fire hazard.
This furnace will certainly heat your house, and like I said, truly dry wood (under 20% moisture content when measured in the middle of a freshly split face of a 2-3 year old piece of firewood (and measured at room temp, and with pins parallel with wood grain) will help limit the creosote as much as you can with these...and like I said, if you have a high heat load it will be better too...the more the furnace "idles", the faster the buildup.
Loading small loads of low BTU wood will help keep it from smoldering along all day too, more work though. Woods like poplar, pine, box elder and soft maple (silver maple) basswood etc. can be your friends for keeping the fire from smoldering but not overheating the house too much...like I said, more work though. The other thing you could try if someone is home all day is to get a good bed of hot coals built up and then just throw a split or two (3?) in as needed...that works ok for some too...not great, but ok for these old school units.
Maybe a Charmaster owner will chime in and offer better advice than me...but I am somewhat familiar with these from having a Yukon Husky wood/oil (similar furnace by another company) and from talking with my neighbor about his CM...from which I see a lot of smoke throughout the winter.
And just FYI, Charmaster is out of business, so if proprietary parts are needed, other than commonly available parts like Honeywell switches, and the oil burner, like Beckett for example, you may be SOL, unless you can find NOS somewhere (ebay, etc)
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,783
Nova Scotia
Ok thanks. Yeah it seems it's the nature of the beast. Although in the manual charmaster says it is intended to operate unlike other furnaces (of its time). Says little flame and 2sq ft of a coal bed- other techniques it says will lead to issues. It even suggests using "green wood".

Anyways. I'm too new for all that anyways. I will scrape, clean, and suck it up the best I can. As far as the outlet installed upside down.. do you mean the middle 'T' needs to be flipped so it sits inside the duct rather than allowing the liquid creosote to escape- which I diddnt even know was a thing... liquid creosote?? Lol

Thx
Dont bother trying to clean it. Replace it with proper non-galvanized stove pipe.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio

Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Oh that's right. I did catch that. Probably alot easier anyways.
But.. for the future.. so.. this all started from a $4500 quote to reline the chimney. Mainly because to get a 8" duct theyll need to remove old tiles. So is there options (next spring/summer) for new modern furnaces that take a 6" flue? I could do they liner myself. And get a sweet modern unit maybe for the same price or so..

Any units or brands to consider? My home in 1200 sq ft.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
671
Southern WI
Really only have 2 options currently if you want a new wood furnace. Kuuma Vapor Fire and Drolet heat Commander. Either would easily heat your 1200 sq ft home.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
So is there options (next spring/summer) for new modern furnaces that take a 6" flue? I could do they liner myself. And get a sweet modern unit maybe for the same price or so..

Any units or brands to consider? My home in 1200 sq ft.
Yes, all of them use 6" now...well except maybe the PSG Caddy with oil burner option...IIRC those are 7"

Good choice to abandon that pig and spend the money on a proper furnace...nothing like throwing good money after bad!
Right now the only two choices you can buy new in the US are the Drolet Heat Commander and the Kuuma VF100...the HC is a brand new model made for big box stores and DIY installs...runs about $2800...the VF100 has been around a long time and is the cadillac of wood furnaces...also DIY install (unless you can find a local contractor to do it) but purchased direct from MFR, and runs about $56-5700...has 25 year warranty though too!
I have, (and do) own furnaces from both brands...no problem recommending either company...just stay far away from the Firechief FC1000e / Shelter SF1000e...disaster of a furnace!!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
Really only have 2 options currently if you want a new wood furnace. Kuuma Vapor Fire and Drolet heat Commander. Either would easily heat your 1200 sq ft home.
Might even be a bit much...unless the insulation/air sealing is lacking...
 

Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Makes me wonder if that's why they installed ducts in the full basement and garage!! I would abandon the whole furnace idea (came with the home) and would love a woodstove (kinda what I always wanted) but my layout doesnt seem right. Not a open floor plan. My home also has a typical propane furnace as well.

Who knows. Snow is only 2 miles away. Itll be here soon! I'll keep working it...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
Makes me wonder if that's why they installed ducts in the full basement and garage!!
I bet you are exactly right.
I would abandon the whole furnace idea (came with the home) and would love a woodstove (kinda what I always wanted) but my layout doesnt seem right. Not a open floor plan.
There are ways to manage the wood stove heat somewhat, but yeah sounds like a good furnace setup.
 

Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
I feel embarrassed by my train of thought. Very common for me to jump to one thing to another. No wood stoves for me. I have a furnace and quite frankly not sure how I'll like them. But let's try the season.. No reason to not start fresh here, clean the charmaster, tidy up the install and do some maintenance while this heavy (1000 lb) beast is secured in my basment already.

With that being said I have located new 8" stove pipe. All pretty cheap $15-30 for each section. I'll chick the galvanized and save my time cleaning it plus the fact of its material. Can anyone chime in on properly installing my stove pipe. Some of this install has sealant between the stove pipe, others have only screws. Is a stovepipe silicone/sealant used on all connections? You mention Male side down which would prevent liquid from dripping but what about smoke raising- wouldnt it escape the joints in the opposite direction?

Thx guys
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
24,436
central pa
I feel embarrassed by my train of thought. Very common for me to jump to one thing to another. No wood stoves for me. I have a furnace and quite frankly not sure how I'll like them. But let's try the season.. No reason to not start fresh here, clean the charmaster, tidy up the install and do some maintenance while this heavy (1000 lb) beast is secured in my basment already.

With that being said I have located new 8" stove pipe. All pretty cheap $15-30 for each section. I'll chick the galvanized and save my time cleaning it plus the fact of its material. Can anyone chime in on properly installing my stove pipe. Some of this install has sealant between the stove pipe, others have only screws. Is a stovepipe silicone/sealant used on all connections? You mention Male side down which would prevent liquid from dripping but what about smoke raising- wouldnt it escape the joints in the opposite direction?

Thx guys
No sealant just atleast 3 screws per joint. And yes male end down. What chimney is this going into?
 

Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Ok. Thanks. I did some additional research and yeah no silicone and rarely pipe cement but seems most seal up nicely if squared up well with just the small self tapping screws. The stove pipe goes into the foundation and expels into a masonry block and clay 6x10 chimney at the outside of the home. It was under scrutiny with crazy quotes but an additional inspection revealed very minor cracks within last top 5ft. Was informed..someday consider a chimney repair/build/class A. Wish a 8" liner (oval??) Would slide in there but been told no go.
 

JMac1999

New Member
Feb 4, 2021
3
St. Louis
Ok. Thanks. I did some additional research and yeah no silicone and rarely pipe cement but seems most seal up nicely if squared up well with just the small self tapping screws. The stove pipe goes into the foundation and expels into a masonry block and clay 6x10 chimney at the outside of the home. It was under scrutiny with crazy quotes but an additional inspection revealed very minor cracks within last top 5ft. Was informed..someday consider a chimney repair/build/class A. Wish a 8" liner (oval??) Would slide in there but been told no go.
I would suggest a FC1000E or the SF1000E as long as you go by the manual, most of the people in this forum think they know everything when it comes to wood burning... Times have changed most of them have been burning wood for 30+ years and think they know it all and won't take any suggestions.. you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.. Not saying the furnace is perfect by any means but if they can pass EPA standards how can they so quickly disown it.. Also not saying these people don't know what they're talking about I read a lot of these Forums and most people do know what they are talking about... you don't have a whole lot of play with the unit {as far as draft goes} but if you have a correct install it seems to work just fine for 95% of people.
 

Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Thanks. My furnace days are long gone. Settled with a free standing pacific energy stove upstairs. Actually just today I was discussing how I'll be removing the old block chimney how how I'll dispose of it @ .06 a lb at the dump...
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,674
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I would suggest a FC1000E or the SF1000E as long as you go by the manual,
I think I just entered the

Times have changed
You are right, the times of controlling a damper manually are over. Computer controlled furnaces are the future, and for some have been around for a decade or more.

Not saying the furnace is perfect by any means but if they can pass EPA standards how can they so quickly disown it..
You do realize that furnace didn't really pass, right? It failed 3 out of the 4 burn categories but someone received certification. You got flat out fooled and lied to, period.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
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salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,437
Northern Canada
Thanks. My furnace days are long gone. Settled with a free standing pacific energy stove upstairs. Actually just today I was discussing how I'll be removing the old block chimney how how I'll dispose of it @ .06 a lb at the dump...
Sell the bricks instead...
People are always looking for salvage materials.
You may even get somebody that would remove it for the brick.
Or it makes great landfill,got a soft spot in your yard,or a mud hole going to your favorite fishing hole.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,674
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I would suggest a FC1000E or the SF1000E

So, what is your job title at Hy-C? ;hm ;lol

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Just joined yesterday at 8:51am and the same day commented on two Hy-C products and that's it. One of them happens to be recommending a product which is known on this forum to have multiple issues from multiple people.

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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,276
NE Ohio
I would suggest a FC1000E or the SF1000E as long as you go by the manual, most of the people in this forum think they know everything when it comes to wood burning... Times have changed most of them have been burning wood for 30+ years and think they know it all and won't take any suggestions.. you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.. Not saying the furnace is perfect by any means but if they can pass EPA standards how can they so quickly disown it.. Also not saying these people don't know what they're talking about I read a lot of these Forums and most people do know what they are talking about... you don't have a whole lot of play with the unit {as far as draft goes} but if you have a correct install it seems to work just fine for 95% of people.
So how long have you owned it?
I would like to rescind/revise my above question to...
So how long have you worked for HY-C?
Seems funny you join up here, the first and only two posts you make you are hawking for HY-C's wares...which that's OK, Hearth allows vendors to advertise here...but just admit it...us "know-it-all's" have some questions for you...we would like to sit at your feet for some tutelage oh Mr Wise One St. Louis JMac.
Question 1
If the FC1000E is such a great furnace, why not make larger versions of it...what happened to the FC1500 & 1700?
And why are there so many of them for sale used (cheap!) and only 3-12 months old most of them...sounds like a great furnace! Buyers remorse much?!

Maybe take some Gatorade to work, apparently there is something in the water there... _g :rolleyes:
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,860
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Sell the bricks instead...
People are always looking for salvage materials.
You may even get somebody that would remove it for the brick.
Or it makes great landfill,got a soft spot in your yard,or a mud hole going to your favorite fishing hole.
I was going to say, dig a hole. Cheaper, easier, and everybody has a low spot that needs filling.
 
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