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OT- Tin can prevents creosote ?

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  • OT- Tin can prevents creosote ?

    I was told that throwing an empty " tin" food can into a wood burning stove once in a while will prevent creosote from forming in the chimney. Offhand, it makes no sense to me, but perhaps there's some truth here. Maybe it's the iron oxide that has an effect. Any comments ?

  • #2
    Burning seasoned wood will also prevent creosote.


    • #3
      I seriously doubt it. There are of course chemical concoctions for sale one can put in a woodstove to allegedly control creosote, but I have doubts about their effectiveness too. And an empty can? I see no way it would do anything.

      The best way I've found to control creosote buildup is to let the stove BURN, not smoulder away in an attempt to save wood.
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        "Tin" cans are plain old steel, same as the stove. Just another rural legend.

        To stop buildup burn the stove hot for the first half hour every time you fire it up. Then close it down. That will burn off the creosote each time. Don't just start doing this without cleaning the chimney first though.
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        • #5
          I moved into a place once where there was a combination oil-burning and wood-burning stove. I figured it would be good to get the stove going and clear the pipes out, so I got a wood fire going good and hot, then threw in the recommended amount of something called Red Devil. After about an hour, nothing seemed to be happening, so I added another tablespoon of the stuff. Not long after that I could hear the pipes starting to snap and crackle. The parts of the pipe that I had not reached to dust off were smoking, and the pipes were all slowing getting red hot. The layer of smoke in the room started to build up in thickness and grow downwards towards the floor. When the level got too low, I got myself out of there.

          There was stuff shooting out the chimney, glowing red and looking like a fireworks display. All I could do was hope that the inside of the house didn't start on fire- outside I hosed the roof down in case anything burning settled on it. There was lots of glowing stuff shooting out the chimney and landing on the roof.

          Eventually it settled down, but I couldn't go in the house for awhile. That stuff sure did get the pipes cleaned out- two tablespoons of it was all I put in the fire, with only one being recommended.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            This is just my experience from burning wood for 40 years:

            Dry wood will "STILL" produce creosote, not much , but it will build up if left.

            A very hot fire every morning will help prevent "MOST" of it. Note Most.

            Do NOT ever trust your,e home to any of these instant or "Magic" chimney cleaners.

            Simply,,,,,,,, CLEAN THE CHIMNEY yourself, and then you know it,s clean!!!

            Buy a chimney brush and do it regularly, how often? Depends on the stove, chimney and the wood type you are burning.
            There are a big bunch of variables here,,,CHECK it Regularly, then you'll know when it's getting time to clean it.


            • #7
              Built a cabin in the UP. 10miles of 2 track the 6miles of dirt rd to to the blacktop. Way back. Anyway set up the stove & long pipe because of the cathredral ceiling. Built a big fire, we're all happy until I heard a creak & look up to see the top pipe unlocking at the joint, then the whole pipe fell down. Had to carry a very hot very full very heavy stove outside. Funny now, not funny then.
              "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
              world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
              country, in easy stages."
              ~ James Madison


              • #8
                10miles of 2 track the 6miles of dirt rd to to the blacktop. Way back.
                Around here that is a lot of people's driveway.
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                • #9
                  I just sold the Sno-cat & 6x6 duece. The back just couldn't take the shake anymore.
                  "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                  world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                  country, in easy stages."
                  ~ James Madison


                  • #10
                    i would suppose that a hot flue would be the answer as when we make coal by products at the coke ovens at work we cool the pipe aka condenser, bear in mind that a lot of by products can have nasty C forming stuff in them!
                    the twin walled insulated chimney might be good, Sn [tin] does not stop chimney gunk [the whole plethora of bitumous craplike tar] nor does the average low carbon steel can, otherwise the steel chimney would be a very clean place, its all about the volotile content of the fuel, excess or deficient air supply and temperature, you could chuck a little coke [not the drink!] in to raise a bit of temp, it will eat away at your furnace bars though!
                    [we used to be allowed 6 bags of coke a week from work for home heating, thats been stopped though, we still take a bit home off the floor though and they ignore us, when they sold it to us they found they were liable for accidents arrising from its use!] the coke does help with the problem a bit.
                    The best timber i have ever had in the stove was an old apple orchard that was 'grubbed' out as the owner called it [diseased trees], fantastic smell


                    • #11
                      I have enough trees on my property that we can get all the wood we need without going anywhere else. It can easily supply maybe 20 or 30 cords per year sustainably. It is nearly all douglas fir with a little bit of poplar a few birch trees. The pines all died from beetle kill and we are burning the last of them this winter.

                      I wish we had some hardwood up here but aside from the odd birch this far north is just about all softwood. I hate fir because it carries a gray mold called Botryotinia fŔíckelinana that makes splinters fester badly. You have to wear gloves always to handle it.
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                      • #12
                        What you burn really is dependent on your location. Here Pine Fir poplar are let in piles and burned in farmers fields. Nobody wants to do the work to take it home when Oak ash and other hardwoods are all over the place. Of course the Emerald ash borer has provided a huge supply of trees for firewood. Probably one of the cleanest burning woods around. Hot fires easily to cut and split.


                        • #13
                          I burn mostly pine and aspen - the aspen is a good added combo for keeping the pipes clean as its a very non-pitchy wood,
                          I have some cedar this year too and that stuff burns very hot,

                          I had my stove hooked up for over 3 years now and haven't cleaned the pipes yet - I look down them every summer and they look about the same.

                          I only have about 3 ft. of high quality show pipe inside the house, then the rest of the pipe runs up the center of the chimney so It's a very safe set-up.

                          I DO let my stove roar a little upon fire up - you don't have to do it every time but the more the safer...

                          the type of wood you burn and the way u burn it has everything to do with creosote build up...

                          Most stove pipe should be able to handle "most" internal stove pipe wall fires but some may come uncorked like with flylo's experience -- this is an absolute nightmare so keep in mind that you can do more instead of just locking the pipe sections together with screws (a must do) You can also drill through the seams vertically and install screws this way too - that way the pipes cannot physically unlock vertically,
                          my show pipe that I have inside the house was like 2 or 3 times the price but it comes pre-assembled as a pipe and is not only incapable of this kind of failure it's also thicker wall thickness and really stylin looking.
                          It's coupled to a show elbow - the elbow is the only thing that is screwed and it's from the inside where it connects to the standard pipe half way into the chimney brick - all the pipe in view around the stove is screwless - yet it cannot come undone - it would take an earthquake at the exact same time a chimney fire was going off - very unlikely where I live, it was a real hat trick scooting the stove into place while working that heavy duty elbow joint at the same time...
                          Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 12-03-2011, 11:00 AM.


                          • #14
                            Back in the '70s I lived in an old rental house in central Seattle. The furnace was extremely inefficient so I installed a wood stove, punching through the brick furnace chimney to run the wood stove's stack into. I commenced to burn 6 or 8 cords a year of firewood. After a few years I decided to call the chimney cleaner. They were there for many hours and took nearly eight full drums of creosote out of that chimney. Said it was down to the diameter of my wrist in the middle, and that if it had ever caught fire the whole house would have gone up for sure.

                            I doubt all that buildup was from the wood stove, but whatever the cause it was frightening.



                            • #15
                              I have some cedar this year too and that stuff burns very hot,...
                              Yeah, kind of like flash powder and it last about as long too.
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