New and definately need advice

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New Member
Mar 27, 2009
Oregon Seaside
Ok before anyone gets carried away I freely admit that I don’t know what I’m doing.

I have a quarto stove insert (Model ? one of the bigger ones for 3,500 sq feet) that was installed last year. After reading a little bit in this forum know now that I have been doing a lot of things wrong.

1 Some of the wood may be still a little green. Mixed wood alder, hemlock, cedar, fir. Had been cured for 1 year or so. Getting a moisture meter.
2 Have not built shed yet so wood only protected by tarps and being in stacks. Its Oregon so things are always damp or wet.
3 Did not have Theo meter so did not know how hot stove was burning. Have one now so know that have been running way to cold and definitely tamping down to hard and early.

So now stove simply stopped drawing because of blockage in flex pipe. Went up to roof and found 1 ½ gal of creosote on cap. No longer had any opening. Then pulled flex pipe out of chimney and have cleaned 11 gal of creosote out of pipe. Had to flex the pipe and drop onto lawn as well as pound with hand to break up original deposit. Then cleaned with chimney brush. Most of the creosote was located in first 8 feet after a joint. The pipe is made of 2 pieces is 6in diameter and maybe 25 30 feet long.

In the process of removing because the pipe was so heavy I ended up with a dent in the pipe near this joint. Maybe 1 ½ inch inward. The flex pipe bent over during removal. Can I just bend it back out or should I replace this section of pipe?

The other thing I want to know is there a better cap system? Mine has the flex pipe screwed onto the cap/weather vane. The flex tube is free and unsecured inside the chimney. To remove the cap you must pull the cap and flex tube up and unscrew the flex tube from cap. In the process of doing this I ended up accidentally pulling the flex tube out of the fireplace insert down below. I obviously need some way of easily checking and cleaning tube. I’m having the company that installed the insert come by Tuesday to check things and to put it back together, and would like to know what to ask for.

The company also loaned me a steel brush to clean the flex pipe with. Is this ok or should I use a nylon one? Should these brushed cost $200? The woman working the front desk quoted me a vague price ,but I think she is new and does not know much. The ones I have found on the net seem to be a lot less.

Thanks for any help and I’m actively educating myself using this forum. Wish I had found it earlier. The quick lesion I was giving during install was definitely insufficient.


Feeling the Heat
Mar 30, 2007
Chester Springs, Pa
Welcome to the forum.

Yes wood drying is a criticial part of the drying process, the dryer the wood the better it burns (but too dry and it will burn way too fast), a moisture meeter is important to have but not required. As long as the wood is split and covered it should dry out in a year or so, but as you say tarps sometimes are good and sometimes bad as they do keep rain and snow off but if the air itself it damp may tend to keep moiture in the wood. As for the temperature gauge I do not have one but probably will get one just to know what I am running at.

Wow that is alot of creosote. I had a similiar issue my first year of buyning. I invested in a nylon brush and flex rods so that I can clean the SS liner myself. Last year I cleaned the liner once during the burning season, this year did it twice. I have resolved that I will be cleaning the liner every 6 wks during the burning season just to assure that the liner remains clean.

I do not see a problem with straightening out the dent in the pipe, should be fine, but I would like to hear what others have to say.

My cap system has the liner attached to the chimney cap and the pipe cap is attached to the chimney cap. I just remove the pipe cap and the line stays in place.

As for the liner attached to the stove there is connector that attaches (mechanically via screws) to the liner and then is attached (also mechanically) to the stove so there is little chance of seperating the liner from the stove.

Iwould not use steel brush on a liner, the is the possibility of poking small holes in the liner. I use a nylon brush. Yes they are much less that that on the net, just look around and find a brush for your sized liner and enough flex poles to allow you the clean the entire length of the liner. I even found one cleaner that works like a weed wacker the has a couple nylon whips that spin. This one may actually be my favorite as it is easy to maneuver.

Also I would consider performing the cleaning more often. And it sounds like your wet wood is a problem.

If you would like I can look around to find the links to the cap and cleaning items that I installed am using.


Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
Northern IL
Its a good idea to have the pro's come out and take a look. A dent is not too scary, but a crease in the pipe is not a good thing. It WILL weaken the pipe at that point. To what degree ??? Depends on the crease.

Thats a whole lotta gunk coming from your stack and cap. It sounds like you are on the correct path to re-learn the burn. Thats good.

You should NOT have to remove the entire liner to clean it. You shouldn't even have to lift it off of the stove to get to the screws for the cap. While the pro's are there, show them. There are several ways (including a short extension to the pipe) that can fix that for ya.

If your buying - get a poly brush for your liner. I doubt that your gonna hurt it with a steel one, but why take the chance.

Just one dudes opinion.


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
If you could supply the Quadrafire stove model, that would help refine burning recommendations. This sounds like the big bay window 5100i. How comfortable were you this last winter? Was it adequate or did you always want it to be warmer? Or did big fires drive you out of the room? How large is the space the insert is in and what is the square footage of the house?

It's far better to burn smaller half loads of wood in the stove at a higher temp, then to burn full loads smoldering and cool. For certain, dry wood and adequate stove temps are the best place to start.

Also, is this an interior or exterior chimney? Is there room in the chimney to insulate the liner? That could help the flue stay hotter and cleaner.
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