Have you personally had success with chemical chimney cleaning?

loger_gwNovember 11, 2010

Have you personally had success with chemical chimney cleaning? I have a friend using the Chimney cleaning logs due to his approximately 20' sheet-metal chimney pipe. I tried a chemical (granular in a hot fire) years ago but did not document the results. It has always been a yearly inspection and mechanical cleaning in my case. My case easy is easy in my opinion due to only 60" of pipe to clean (with 12-18" of the 2, 30" section extending above my 3:12 pitch roof (1 story). Plus, my pipe is 14" ID and 16" OD filled with insulation (easy to sweep with an extended wire brush). I'm sure his is a 6-8" triple wall pipes on a 12:12 pitch roof (2 stories). At least it appears not too high for him to stand and use an extended brush/ball to clean. This is their 2nd season to use the fireplace and was surprised to see what fell onto the damper (after I stressed the inspection/cleaning yearly.) loger

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dmullen(Southern CA)

I have been thinking about using these too but was not sure how well they work.

My problem is that I have been having my wood burning stove cleaned annually by a cleaning service but just found out that I need to have 30 of my roof tiles replaced because they are badly cracked. In the future, I do not want anyone walking on the roof so must figure out an alternative.

I am not sure that they can be used in my wood burning stove because the instructions say not to use packaged logs but if they can and work well, they would be worth a try.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:38PM
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Feedback from a personal friend related to his approx 30' chimney. We are just getting into building good fires in North TX (which caused my post on stove joints sealer that w/n harden).

"I just want to mention to you that the creosote sweeping log really works...the more I use the fire place the more it cleans. It causes the soot to flake off as you continue to burn wood. I like it and it cost less than $20."

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Run the stove wide open for about 15 minutes a week and you wont have any creosote to worry about.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:06PM
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i have 20' chimney and have used the chimney sweeping logs for four years now.... they work for me but i need to clarify.... they will only chemically loosen the creosote not eliminate it so you can clean it out easier. that being said it is still not a cure for getting on the roof and scrubbing....get a good hot fire up and insert the logs... i do this once every two months. let it burn until its out.... you will hear some chunks falling down the chimney, the rest will be loose enough to quickly clean out. i give them the thumbs up....

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 8:25PM
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I've been heating exclusively with wood for 33 years. I burn the stove hot, at least temporarily at 600+ every time I stoke it and have never had any creosote. I used to check the chimney, but it's never been cleaned or needed cleaning.

If you burn hot once a day and keep the flue temperature above 350 most of the time, you won't have creosote problems.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 7:16AM
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I have found mixed reviews within the effectiveness of chemical logs . Personally I would go with Bays recommendations . Proper wood stove usage is the key . All flue pipe should be sized and run properly with the least restriction to flow as possible. Next only seasoned wood should be used and damper use to ensure at least 300 F Stack temps. Follow these and your creosote issue will be negligent and cleaning nominal . I use the old secret method of Potato Skins once a mth . Once your coals are red hot mix in some skins (two cups) and open the damper wide . Let the coals and skins burn down and out . This Seasonal Trade Secret has been tried and proven for decades here in the Great White North for Yrs. However the best policy is as Bay and I have stressed previously good wood and proper damper usage .

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 8:44AM
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Never heard of potato skins in the stove before. Alot of the powder chemicals appear to be heavy in tri-sodium-phosphate (TSP).

I forgot one thing. I always use seasoned wood, dry for at least one year. But about 90% of all wood I have ever used was/is pallet wood.

Since the steel scrap price is high right now, I'm going to sort out the hundreds of pounds of nails I get each year.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:10PM
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Baymee , what do you cut up the palettes with? I used to burn palettes when I got them. I cut them up with a circular saw. I got a lot of nails and often re-use them.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Well, I can say I never reused a single nail!

I've had many methods over the years, but now I use a chain saw to cut the pallet in half or to 27" sections. I made a 4x8 table top of 1/4" plywood with supports to go over the table saw. Just cut from there.

This is my first year that I'll be using coal in the harshest part of the winter, when I would otherwise burn a full Gardenway cart per day of wood.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:29AM
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Other than that, I burn wood every day of the year for either heat or hot water.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 6:30AM
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"Never Heard of the Potato Skins in the Stove before" Either had I until my Grandmother told me as a teenager.I actually did it to make her feel good. However either skins or proper heating practices to this day always provide fine gray ash never any creosote within any Wood Stove I have used lol . Heard rumours of Aluminium cans being used effectively , something about Aluminum Silicate having a drying effect...etc. Don't know , don't want any xtra chemicals within my Stove ! lol .

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 8:39AM
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Now It Clicks! I have seen thermometers attached to some stove-pipes/stacks and had no idea as to why. Now I see 300-350 is good stack temp and 600 is really stoking/burn-out. I use 2-3 thermometers on and in my BBQ Pit trying to hold to a general Slow & Low Temp (225-250). Before is the stoked burn-out of grease and etc. probably at about 600, w/o thermometers. A good burn-out will cause the grime to flake off or easily clean off. During one project pitâÂÂs burn-out (stoked full of kindling and vented good) I found aluminum that had melted into the ash. LOL. I adapted an AL Grill with most of the bottom cut out except edges (for the Al Top), to a plate steel fire-box for depth/door/water-pan areas. Have Fun! Loger

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 5:51PM
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Has anyone put a digital camera on video mode, hung it on a string, and lowered it down the chimney? I would have to tape the camera to my worklite to see anything, but it might be worth the effort.

My chimney does not seem to carry the smoke away properly.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:22PM
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A little more from the top since my friend and I have experimented more on what we see as flakey soot.

1. We benefited some due to some soot flaking off and h/n seen any creosote deposited that we know of.

2. Both of us had or did the old wire brush sweep which is easy in my 6â of 14â ID pipe (his 20 ft requires sections).

3. Your video idea should work tweak as needed. My 6âÂÂof 14â ID pipe takes good camera shots from top and bottom.

4. My smoke will not stay chimney high and drift as I felt it should and the ext wind is all I can see affecting it.

5. We have always had this affect since mid 70s with some signs of smoke in over-hang vents vs a sudden change.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:32PM
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