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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Woostove and chimney, cleaning and inspection



I've been using my new wood fired cookstove pretty heavily since I purchased it. Now only do we do all our cooking on it, we rely on it to heat the house. It's running 24/7. I figured it was time to see how dirty or clean it's been running.

The first thing I did was to buy two 5 gallons jugs of off road diesel. Huh? Since I was going to let the woodstove go out, I needed something to heat the house with. My oil furnace works, but I don't want to invest in a tank of heating oil. The minimum purchase is 125 gallons, which is a fair piece of change. Off road diesel is a pretty good substitute for heating oil and I didn't have to buy a whole lot of it.

Then I checked the weather. Might as well do the job on a mild day when it's not snowy and the roof all slipery. Cleaning a chimney is bad enough without having to worry about slipping off the roof.

Once the stove was cool all the ash was cleaned out and disposed of outside in a metal bucket. The top of my Hearthstove cookstove is removable, so that came off. A small amount of ash had built up on top of the oven and was cleaned out. Some creosote had been deposited in the stove pipe. Tapping it a few times with a poker knocked it loose where it could then be cleaned up. Once the stove was reassembled I gave the outside a good cleaning.

Here's the dangerous part. I borrowed my wife's good makeup mirror while she wasn't looking. I opened the chimney clean out. Using my wife's precious mirror I looked up the chimney to see how clean it was. Much to my delight, it was very clean. There was no need to climb up on the roof with my chimney brushes.

Now that the stove has had a good inspection, I've got some idea how often it will need a complete shut down and cleaning. Looks like it won't be all that often. That being said, every month or so, my wife's mirror will disappear for a bit so the chimney can be inspected.

-Sixbears

11 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness man are you crazy?? I think I'd almost rather risk a chimney fire than borrow my wife's good makeup mirror.

    One other part I wasn't clear on, "all the ash was cleaned out and DISPOSED OF outside", is that shorthand for "spread over an area where I wanted the soil pH/potassium level raised"?

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    1. Yes, that's the shorthand. The garden needed it.

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  2. Maybe you should buy your own make-up mirror. I'm sure the clerks see things like that all the time these days! ;-)

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    1. I keep losing the other mirrors I pick up. I don't dare lose my wife's mirror.

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  3. Back when we had our homestead in Idaho. We had a regulation fireplace with heatolater metal insert and masonry chimney. I ripped out the metal fire box then expanded the hearth. Relined the old fire box with stone work and shoved 1/4 inch thick 8" diameter pipe all the way up to a foot past the old chimney.
    This being done...I'd just wait until the roof had a good layer of fire prevention (snow) and build a huge melt down fire in the old stove, causing an on purpose chimney fire.
    Cleaned that sucker right up !

    Not to be done without this type chimney set-up mind you he he

    Preferably done on a cold assed day, cuz it'd sure make the house toasty !

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    1. You still took a chance. When I was a firefighter I saw a fair amount house fires caused by that cleaning method. All it takes is a hole in your pipe and it becomes a blow torch. Then there were the guys who thought a masonry chimney could stand up to a chimney fire -most won't.

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    2. Guess ya didn't comprehend the quarter inch wall thickness on the pipe which was a solid one piece construction, with welded fittings at the base.
      Of course I did fail to mention the high pressure water line that also was plumbed into the pipe at the roof and at the base lol.
      Engineers tend to overbuild and equip multiple fail safes ya know...
      Knew that being a former Fire Fighter that would make ur ears perk up ha ha

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    3. Yours was an exceptional piece of work. Most people will end up burning their house down. Yeah, you did push my buttons.

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  4. Using the wife's good makeup mirror hmmmmm, and you thought she wouldn't catch you. Well um, I hate to mention my friend doesn't your Sweet Wife read your blog?

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    1. She rarely reads my blog. She gets enough of me as it is. :)

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