Creosote builds up in the chimney of wood stoves. That is what you hear fall down your pipe at times. If you are heating your home with a wood stove, cleaning your chimney should be a top priority. Do not put it off! My husband does it often. He does not have a set time frame of doing it. Since we burn a lot of wood and our chimney needs to be changed, he has to do it more than some might. We are burning a really dry hardwood this year. It makes a lot of ash in the stove which has to be emptied out when it builds up.
Creosote collects in the elbows of the stove pipe. When it is cleaned up, an old feedbag is placed underneath the elbow of the stove. As the elbow is pulled apart the creosote will fall onto the paper bag. Then you have to reach up inside the pipe, and make the rest of it in the pipe, fall down through the pipe. Upstairs my husband drops a chain down into the pipe and moves it around a bit. It knocks more creosote down. It is a messy job!
Our chimney needs to be changed from 6″ pipe to 8″ pipe. Our wood stove is very large and needs a larger stove pipe. That pipe will go straight up and out, through the roof from the first elbow. The second elbow upstairs will then be eliminated. Straight up through the upstairs, and out the roof. It will work much better that way.
Our rain cap needs to be replaced. Then we will not have rust building up in the elbow. The elbows and pipe are replaced from time to time. Triple wall pipe is in the areas where the stove pipe comes up through the floor and the roof. That way the hot pipe has no contact with the wood of the house. That is VERY important!
We buy extra elbows and chimney parts to have on hand, just in case we need to replace a part in an emergency. We once had our whole chimney pipe fall down from upstairs, on a Sunday night (when the hardware store was not open) and it was dark and cold! My husband luckily, had parts in the barn to fix it. The elbow had rusted and just gave out. Our wood cook stove has a straight pipe and hardly ever needs cleaning. A straight pipe with no elbows is the best. But we love our big wood heating stove! So we prepare and have plans to fix the pipe this year. That’ll make our job easier!
Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole