View Full Version : OT/Learned a new skill yesterday....

12-17-2008, 02:33 PM
Burning wood like crazy with this cold snap...
Figured I better clean the chiminey.....
Shut the drafts down on the stove then headed outdoors to round up chiminey cleanin riggin.... (forgot to tell wife.)
Climbed on the roof (with a ladder of course)...and used a screwdriver to remove the chimily(optional spelling) cap....Ooops...forgot the chimily brush..
Had to actually search for before mentioned chiminey brush...

Finally found the brush and the extensions...climb back onto roof and push the chiminey brush down the carboned up chiminey.
Was very hard to push for the first foot. After that...Holy smoke...it was very easy...too easy :(
I pulled it up and Geez...the thing looked like a spider you just poured battery acid on.. Dang!
While I was running around looking for stuff...the missus felt a little cool in the house so she opened the drafts wide open.
I'm assuming it was pretty darn hot down in that chimily...it melted that nylon brush like you can't believe.
You know...they say that to make a relationship work...you need communication. I believe that now. (See above "forgot to tell wife") :D

12-17-2008, 02:47 PM
Russ, its tooooo cold slippery and dangerous to be up on a roof, well unless you've got 10' of snow so falling is no big deal, can't you clean it from inside?

12-17-2008, 03:55 PM
It's chimney, not chiminey.

If you've ever seen a chimney fire, you'd know why periodic cleaning is a good idea. The one I saw was truly awesome. It looked and sounded like an inverted rocket, with bright orange flame and sparks shooting at least twenty feet above the top of the chimney.


12-17-2008, 03:58 PM
I clean mine from the clean out door on th eground. The brush has steel bristels just like a wire brush. The rods are fiber glass and bend like a fishing poll. My chimney is 2 stories high. The fiber glass rod flexes but goes right up and back down. Ten min job. + I dont have to take the cap off the top of the chimney.

12-17-2008, 05:10 PM
It's chimney, not chiminey.

If you've ever seen a chimney fire, you'd know why periodic cleaning is a good idea. The one I saw was truly awesome. It looked and sounded like an inverted rocket, with bright orange flame and sparks shooting at least twenty feet above the top of the chimney.

Chiminy cricket Rodger...didn't you go to skool? LOL!
Nah...no big deal to get up on this roof. It's pretty flat (ish).
I was really suprised...I actually thought this was a steel brush...it's apparently not. Ya..I do have to climb up there. Not a big deal tho. My shop on the other hand...yeesh...gotta clean that pretty soon too.
I've had a woodstove my whole life and have had a couple of dandy chimley fires.
Yer right...it does sound like a rocket going off.
Makes a lot of steam when you pour a bucket of water down them too :D
Hmmm...new idea...communicate with wife... "Honey...how'd you like to do me a huge favour?? You know the shop chimney??? It's a nice veiw from up on that roof you know???"

12-17-2008, 06:03 PM
My wife's uncle fell off the roof and broke his pelvis cleaning his flue. Be careful up there! Gary P. Hansen

12-17-2008, 07:10 PM
Be careful up there!

Haha, you must have forgot who you are talking to Gary :D

Russ is always careful, unless it intrudes with his fun.

12-17-2008, 07:25 PM
C'mon you guys...you all know how safe I am...look..I used extra duct tape on my shop built climbing spurs :D
And see....I have on a helmet AND gloves...

12-17-2008, 07:33 PM
See, told ya Gary :D

Russ's favorite poem:

I can live with my arthritis
And my dentures fit me fine
I can see with my bi-focal's
But I sure do miss my brains. :D :D

12-17-2008, 07:43 PM
Thanks Ken...you just made me snerk macaroni out my nose...

12-17-2008, 08:26 PM
And see....I have on a helmet AND gloves...

Do you still have the Yamaha trials bike?


12-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Yep..at least I better have it. That pic is only a couple or three weeks old.

12-17-2008, 10:40 PM
Russ,I used to use an old stick with a bunch of feed sacks nailed to it to scrub the chimney out,then I got fancy,bought a 8" wire wheel on sale and welded it to a length on conduit.Damn near professional,could be chucked in a d-handle drill,handy for entertaining the neighbors around Christmas:)

Climbing ladders is for sissy's,next time take the bike up:p

jim davies
12-19-2008, 02:23 AM
Replaced my wood stove chimney with a nice shiny new one
only to have it plug solid after about three months use. Never had any soot or creosote problem in the 5 years before. Still using the same stove, the same bone dry pine and the same use. Instead of single wall stovepipe leading to the insulated pipe, I upgraded to double wall pipe between the stove and the insulated stuff. When it plugged I noticed a lot of fairly large, black flakey stuff in the pipe, and the top cap was plugged solid at the "spark arrester" wire mesh.

The house is tall, the roof is metal and 8 in 12 pitch, so I figured out a way to clean out the spark arrester from inside, using a shop vac and some modified pipe. Worked okay for about 2 weeks, then plugged again.

Talked to the supplier, who while denying any knowledge of any such thing happening with their product elsewhere also said that
they didn't reccomend leaving the spark arrester on the topcap. Woulda been nice if they had mentioned that fact when I bought and installed it last summer. Going up on the roof when it is -20, blowing about 20mph and with a foot of snow on the roof is not a very desirable choice, but the only one left...

12-19-2008, 07:39 AM

Sounds like your chimney is running cold and allowing creosote to form inside. Did you happen to upsize the diameter of the chimney say from 6 to 8 inches? I've learned my lessons on wood stoves. Unfortunately your system is now installed and there's no going back it seems (like mine). I gather you had a masonry chimney prior to? They hold the heat very well and help create the draft you need because of that. A larger sized chimney will slow down the draft velocity and help deposit creosote since the smoke now has a chance to cool down and condense on those nice cooler chimnney walls. Ask me how I know. I get at least 2 chimney fires a year with my setup. Yet it's all contractor approaved:) Go figure... The fires are small but avoided if I clean twice a season.

Were's this all going? I would remove your screen as suggested to help the flow of draft. Make sure you really have at least double if not tripple wall pipe throughout the entire chimney. The piece leading to the thimble can be single wall, helps heat the home and makes cleaning a little easier. Many times reducing the diameter of the chimney an inch or so helps with overall draft velocity and stove efficiency.

I've gone through nightmares after having my new house built. The stove was improperly sized for the square footage, the chimney was oversized for the stove, smoke always coming down the adjacent furnace chimney (house is way too tight in terms of airflow), etc.

What I've done to help this:
Removed three blocks off the furnace chimney to simply place the wood stove stack up in the sky a bit more and away from the adjoining chimney.

I drilled holes into the wood stove masonry block every 3ft and filled the space between the liner and block with perlite. That was a MAJOR help in keeping the chimney hot and creosote deposits low.

I drilled a 3" or so hole through the blue stone stove pad and added an external air supply directly to the stove. Highly recommended!!!

I installed a secondary thermostat arrangement in the basement which allows me to turn off the upstairs "zone" and heat the basement shop on biodiesel. Keeping the furnace and it's chimney warm reduced the reverse drafts which starts as soon as the system cools down.

Don't use pine in a wood stove! OK, I know some of you will bark at that but the amount of creosote build up from pine is incredible. Leave pine for the camp fire.

Made the stove system as air tight as possible with new seals (yes they were shot!).

Hope I didn't ramble too much ;) I just my share of wood stove headaches and discovered that most contractors really don't understand chimney functioning and more. To start they should place the chimney in the center of the house to insulate the chimney! But that's a for another thread if i didn't hijack this one already.

To all have a SAFE merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!


Your Old Dog
12-19-2008, 07:39 AM
I had a triple wall insulated stainless pipe on my shop woodstove for 3 years. When I removed it to sell it all and go with propane, the chimlee ( :D ) was damn near spotless. I find a really hot fire at startup keeps it clean. My other shop had a double wall, non-insulated chimmknee and I had to clean it every two weeks. I only burn well seasoned wood. The triple wall insulated pipe works. Also, think the size of the chimney is important. The old shop had 8 inside pipe and the new shop had 6" inside. I think you need enough heat left over by the time it gets to the top of the chimney to keep it clean. Problems don't start till the escaping gases encounter cooler walls of the pipe. That's why cresote is always thickest at the top of the chimney.

My damn spell checker locked up.

12-19-2008, 07:40 AM
Old dog you were thinking the same things I was :)

12-20-2008, 11:21 PM
Geezuz...I was reminded of this thread tonight. I almost fell off my damn shop roof. Down 18 feet into a bunch of tire racks.
I was on that thing a dozen times last winter and it was fine.
We had a big dump of snow...then it rained and froze the snow to the roof for the whole winter. It's a 4/12 pitch metal roof.
Not so this year apparently....
I stepped from the flat part onto the pitch and immediately fell on my ass and started sliding down the roof. The snow let go instantly.
LOL! I was hanging onto a couple of sheetmetal screws with the arse of my pants there for a few seconds.
Already had the "drop" part done...just needed to complete the "roll" part...to the side and the safety of the flat part of the roof.
Needless to say...I wimped out...reached over as far as I dared and pushed the new METAL chimily brush down the pipe a few times and called it good.
Took the chimney apart near the ground and got it as clean as possible.
Damn..I'm sick of winter already..and it's not half over yet..
Hillbilly Hollow is hard on horses, women and body parts...

12-21-2008, 08:27 AM
Hmmm...now it seems I get to be reaquainted with my old plumbing skills.
Geez...what is it with Sundays?
Last Sunday spent under a frozen Jeep...
This Sunday...frozen water pipes...
Well...now I know why all the insulation under the floor has been disturbed.
I wonder what are the chances that I'll get to hear that dreaded "Pssstfffttt" sound as a water pipe thaws out...and reveals the big crack in it???
But what should one expect...buying a hillbilly place...built by a hillbilly :D
Ahhh...life in the country... reminds me of home...LOL!

12-21-2008, 10:26 AM
Yeah I hear ya Russ, winter sucks!

Unfortunately I too am familiar with the frozen pipe bs, although with me it's been a long time. Spent two consecutive new year's days under a crawl space with frozen hands, a sore head, and a propane torch that wouldn't light cause it was too friggen cold. After the second time I made damn sure it would never happen again. But you are in a new place and have to find all those little treasures all over again, hope it goes easy for ya.

I thought I was going to have a fun weekend in the shop as I had a couple of projects lined up and no friends or family to bother me...wrong!

My shop has two sides to it, the new well insulated clean side where I keep my lathe, mill, and all of the clean stuff. Then there is the old side where I keep the welders, grinders, and all of my fab stuff. I spend more time in that side than the other, and even when I'm on the lathe or mill I still depend on it for just about everything.

Anyway, I had not been out there for a few days so got up early yesterday to fire up the wood stove and damn, it's minus 32c out! Ninety percent of the time the stove is a little too big for the shop but I got twenty thousand pounds of stuff to warm up. Farted around all day haulin firewood and moving fans around in order to speed up the process, and the only thing that was running at the end of the day was my nose!

Go in there this morning and the only thing the shop is good for today is to hang meat!

By the way YOD is right about the fast fire to clean out the pipe. Every time I start my stove it roars for about a half hour, pipe temps usually about 600F when I do this and I haven't had to clean it for years, although I usually give it a thorough inspection at least once a year. It is stainless and insulated right up to the cap.

Looks like today I'll have Dr. Jack Daniels over as guest speaker at my winter anger management seminar.:D

12-21-2008, 10:44 AM
There is a type of rigging for cleaning out that nasty hole that looks and works like the reverse of a steel animal trap. You drop it down with the "trap closed and then pulling it up make the trap jaws open outwards to scrap the side. That is assuming you have a square flue liner. Aught to be something similiar for round pipes. Or you could just use an aproapitely sized ice auger!


12-21-2008, 10:47 AM
Willy...your shop sounds just like mine...and your temps too.
I never had any of these problems last year. Water never froze...shop was pretty warm except for one day as i recall. This year...I just cannot get it warm. Forget machining...it's so cold you can see your breath. I WAS going to insulate the overhead door better today...that'll have to wait.
And I am not going to have frozen pipes next year...I don't care what it takes...it'll get fixed.
I'm suprised how cold it is over your way...you guys have it a bit warmer than us as a rule.
Hillbilly Hollow is a very cold place. I'm at the bottom of a mountain that blocks the sun for the whole winter. Then we are at the bottom of a long mountain valley...the wind just howls down from the north. LOL! I had an old guy come up here last summer...he told me he was going to buy this place at one time...but decided it'd be too cold in the winter for him.
Smart ol' bugger...

12-21-2008, 02:27 PM
Ummm...this kinda harkens back to the building inspector thread a few days ago.
Nice of the old owner...replaced his own frozen pipes...covered it all up with nice shiney plastic.... WITH NO INSULATION!!!!
"Gee Maw...I replaced them thar pipes...but I left that pesky insulation out...so it'll be easier to get at next time they freeze" Oh well..I got lucky...no broken pipes!!!!
Maybe Sundays are OK! :D