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.