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421malibu

flu fires always in the back of my mind

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cant help but worry , have never had a bad one , smoke chamber has been burning before and its pretty un nerving , I have a new air fireplace that burns 36" wood think its 300,000 , its a very sealed unit and that makes it develop a lot of creosote , flue is 13x13 clay about 30' tall surrounded by concrete block 2' all way around , box is 10' wide 12' high and 4' deep , I burn it hot as I can and use only white and black oak split on stack for 3 years , I use the anti creosoot spray and it helps , anyone else battle this ? I try to rotary clean every 20 to 30 days but with cold snaps like this its hard to wait a day for cool down to clean , guess with age comes paranoid lol ,   Greg

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I had a minor chimney fire with no damage and have since switched to an outside wood stove. It was always a concern for me

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6 minutes ago, bitty said:

I had a minor chimney fire with no damage and have since switched to an outside wood stove. It was always a concern for me

My family is the same way. My parents  had a minor chimney fire when I was still in high school. Dad a couple of years later installed the first outdoor wood boiler on the farm. We now have 4 of them. 

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Mine wsa tight and burned too cool so I added an extra screw air bleed with two 3/8" holes.  Flue doesn't drool now and really doesn't burn any more wood.  I usually heat flue up every day for 30 minutes by cracking the ash door to clean it out.  Outdoor burning is the way to go, mess is outside and no worries about fire.  Course You have to go out to feed it so.....

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red211,has it right, increase the temp in your chimney by allowing a bit more draft, and you won't have near the creosote forming..  

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A cold flue is a sure thing for creosote build up, so get it warmed up. My Dad would start the fire and as soon as it got burning he'd close the draft down and twice a month I'd be up on the roof cleaning the chimney! Advice fell on deaf ears plus what does a kid know anyway!

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by tight I meant I can shut it down and kill a fire in smoke chamber I do run it pretty hot when I am here , I do blame a lot on beattle killed oaks during summer still having sap in tree , it stands dead a year or 2 then cut and split on stack for 2 yrs , this all started 10 yrs ago dead trees and creosote , Greg

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Insurance and escape plans, people!  I have an outside wood boiler too, as I hope to never need either of the above.  The house I grew up in burned down in early 2010, probably a chimney fire, but folks were out for the evening, came home to a fully engulfed house.  Dad had just cleaned the chimney several weeks before too.

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We had a minor chimney fire too, unfortunately it was a result of a family member burning a pizza box. I extinguished it very quickly with a blast of dry chemical up the flue. You could hear a roaring sound but it looks ok inside but outside the 4'th of July was coming out the top of the chimney!

As said a hot flue means a clean chimney and wood is burned efficiently, we have a HS Tarm indoor wood boiler located in the garage. The flue thermometer typically shows a temperature of 450 to 700*F When I clean out the flue pipe in the Spring I typically get no more than a  handful of grey ash and no sign of any creosote.

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From what I've read online, it seems a minimum temp of 400 degrees is recommended in your chimney, to prevent creosote build up.. 

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1 hour ago, north of 60 said:

From what I've read online, it seems a minimum temp of 400 degrees is recommended in your chimney, to prevent creosote build up.. 

Not sure on the creosote build up, but we see the newer boilers not being set up right and the exhaust running to cool, which leads to condensing in the flue, and when the byproducts of combustion are added it makes an acidic liquid. Like sulfuric acid.  Then you have new chimney destroyed in just a short time, worst I saw was a new stack rotted out in 3 years, which was leaking into the house.

 

A lot of people install stoves and boilers that are to large.  This leads to a throttled back output, and then you can get creosote or condensing exhaust. Please maintain your system, AND GET A CO2 ALARM please

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ya monoxide detectors on all floors smoke alarms the same , large extinguisher by fireplace and garage smaller in kitchen , what stumps most sweeps I have talked too is its the first 3 sections of tile that are the worst also firebox , upper 20' takes little cleaning all of flue tile concrete and stone is inside room except top 6' , the first part of it should be hottest correct ? will try to bring infra red home next week and see , seems plenty warm its heating near 4000 sq ft 6 degrees outside 15 mph north wind , 82 in here lol ,,,,,,,,,Greg

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With gasification type boilers there is never any creosote to deal with , they burn it as a gas so there's nothing left. When we got ours' it saved us 6 cord of wood compared to what we had before.

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4 hours ago, augercreek said:

With gasification type boilers there is never any creosote to deal with , they burn it as a gas so there's nothing left. When we got ours' it saved us 6 cord of wood compared to what we had before.

I've heard that they are very picky on the moisture content of the firewood.  Is that your experience too?

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Alot depends what you use for wood weather or not you get a build up

even with our pellet boiler certain brands booger up the flame tubes and others do fine just leaving fly ash

 

Mike

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This stuff works great! I used to turn the flue damper back and forth to break the creosote in the damper, but now there is none! Just sprinkle a capful on a low hot fire every couple of days. 

IMG_20180101_114232.jpg

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1 hour ago, ihfarmer1586 said:

I've heard that they are very picky on the moisture content of the firewood.  Is that your experience too?

They do better with seasoned wood, cut and split for at least 6 months. On mine there is an adjustable damper that regulates the air from the draft fan. You need to increase the airflow with less seasoned wood and it does not burn as well or get the boiler water as hot. With well seasoned wood particularly oak and hickory the fire burns hot and easily maintains 190* water temp.Once up to temp the fan cycles on and off as needed, a load lasting 8 to 12 hrs depending on the temperature. A colleague of mine from years back always cut green wood in the winter for his outdoor boiler, that won't work in a gasification unit.

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I dunno if I’d ever burn wood inside again after having an outside boiler. Don’t get me wrong, but I think the nicest thing about wood is able to quickly thaw out after being outside in the cold. The dust, ashes, and smoke I can live without. The fact that I can have a hot fire and not worry about a chimney/ flue fire, priceless! 

I had a vt castings stove that made dry creosote daily, filling the stove pipe with it. I don’t know why or how anything could soot up as much as that stove did, I’d suspect not enough draft for it, but the stove it replaced was fine? I sold it to someone and it’s working great for them.

Sid

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19 hours ago, ihfarmer1586 said:

I've heard that they are very picky on the moisture content of the firewood.  Is that your experience too?

As with any wood burning the drier the better. In order to burn anything you have to dry it first. I burn mostly aspen dried 7-9 months split fine not big chunks, works very well. With poorer grade wood you have to use more of it. Pound for pound BTU value is the same whether Oak or Aspen. Volume amount is where the difference is. We have a Garn 1500 that heats our home, shop, green house ( when running ) and domestic water.

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1 hour ago, augercreek said:

As with any wood burning the drier the better. In order to burn anything you have to dry it first. I burn mostly aspen dried 7-9 months split fine not big chunks, works very well. With poorer grade wood you have to use more of it. Pound for pound BTU value is the same whether Oak or Aspen. Volume amount is where the difference is. We have a Garn 1500 that heats our home, shop, green house ( when running ) and domestic water.

 

That's about right -  at the same moisture content   pound for pound BTU value is the same whether Oak or Aspen.

I cut and sold osage orange while a forestry student years ago.  It would produce good heat when green, but when dry would warp the doors on some stoves.  The local Sears stores advised buyers not to burn it.    

 

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WOW I'd like to have some of that here! The only wood that will burn green is Ash and fairly well too.

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This type of crazy talk makes me like my anthracite even more...............cleaning the flue stinks!

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6 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

This type of crazy talk makes me like my anthracite even more...............cleaning the flue stinks!

I would not mind a wood coal stove....id get a load or to a year. For cold and lazy nights or maybe teach my wife to stoke a stove before she goes to bed because she's up way later than I am....:ph34r:

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We are going to be doing a serious remodel to the house in the next 2 years.  I currently have an indoor wood furnace in the basement (fuel oil backup), but have seriously considered going with an OWB as part of the remodel.

Then again for the same or not much more, I can put in a geothermal heat pump and get AC.   

Dont know which way to go.  Good points to both.  

Either way I don’t think there will be a wood stove inside after the change.  It’s amazing how much of a mess wood inside the house makes (smoke, ash, bark, etc).  Maybe a small wood burner (stove or fireplace) for ambience.

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Never realized how lucky we are here in PA.

We have ample natural gas to access, bituminous AND anthracite coal, plenty of fuel oil, firewood everywhere.

I pity those with only propane as a heat source and little/no access to wood/coal/gas. 

Have never had any chimney issues with bituminous. 

Switched to wood years back when she complained about dirt with coal and had many chimney issues. 

Back to coal and bought her a new sweeper. 

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