Opinions on chimney not yet swept this year

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Dec 1, 2022
New Hampshire
Hi all, I have a Lopi answer that was installed last year. Burned about 3-3 1/2 cords through it last year. I have a sweep scheduled for next Thursday but it’s been awfully cold and itching to fire it up, but not sure if I should wait until it is swept before I light it for the first time this year.

Very simple set up, the entire chimney (flue)? Is about 15 feet from top of stove to cap, straight shot no bends. Single wall (although installer said it was double wall, I don’t believe it is) from stove to roof penetration, class a double wall chimney through the roof and above.

Burned around 450 average temp last year, lowest temp any extended burn was about 350, highest about 600.

Does it look safe to burn, or should I wait for the sweep? Sorry about the unclear pictures, really tough to get a good shot from the top, but hoping for some opinions. Pictures taken from top of chimney…Looks to be mostly fly ash with a bit of crusty creosote around the top, half of the crusty stuff appears to have fallen off and is sitting above the baffle board/mineral wool blanket. Thoughts? Personally I “think” I should be fine, but I’m anxious by nature and wanted to run it by you guys to see what y’all think..

I know my setup is not sexy, however the clearances to the wall are 2-3 inches greater than the recommendations all around, so I believe I have a safe (albeit ugly) install, my concern is of course chimney fire.

IMG_6822.jpeg IMG_6823.jpeg IMG_7219.jpeg IMG_7223.jpeg IMG_7224.jpeg IMG_7220.jpeg
Looks ok to burn for a week or two as long as the firewood is fully seasoned.
Thanks begreen, appreciate the response, especially from you sir. Again, I truly believe it will be fine to burn (yes fully seasoned under 20% mc) wood in there for a week or so, but wanted seasoned vet opinion to relieve my anxiety a bit. Thanks again
Have you thought about getting a sooteater or rods and a brush and doing this yourself?

Why do you think the stovepipe is single-wall?
Have you thought about getting a sooteater or rods and a brush and doing this yourself?

Why do you think the stovepipe is single-wall?
Yes, absolutely will do this going forward. Mentally I have this idea that you must have it swept by a professional, it’s just a thought I must have formulated as a youngster and has just been a belief I’ve clung to. Will have it swept next week (mostly for peace of mind), then will do myself next year. Seems to be working just lovely btw, burning off the dust and webs now. 👍

I think it’s single wall just because if I tap it, it sounds very “flimsy”, I could be talking out my rear though. Is there an easy way to identify if it is single or double without taking anything apart?

There is a telescoping piece near the top.

One way would be to check diameter. Single-wall will be 6", double-wall will be more like 6 1/2".