Over the weekend, Landlady asked me to inspect the stovepipe in the Meadow House. “Because, God help us, you’re the local expert.” So we took it apart, and it was…clean. Absolutely clean.
Granted that she doesn’t use it that much. But still – we installed it a year ago, and the pipe is completely free of soot. Sunday evening I brought my pipe thermometer over, and her collar temperature routinely runs between 400 and 500 degrees. And the pipe is clean.
I’ve been working on getting over my chimney fire phobia, which I too well know is leading me directly to another chimney fire. I can watch the pipe temp get up in the 300-350 range without reaching for the nitroglycerin pills too convulsively. But here, unless the outdoor temps are very cold, I run into an unanticipated problem: It’s only a 200 square foot cabin, and the stove is capable of driving me right out of it. I like winter indoor temps in the high sixties or very low seventies, because otherwise I’m constantly putting on or taking off clothing. Heat the stove where it really belongs, and the cabin becomes like unto a sauna.
So I’ve pretty much resolved that I just need to clean the damned thing often. Fortunately, my pipe is designed for pretty easy disassembly. I did it this morning right after shit-shoveling, and the whole project didn’t take half an hour. Floor needed sweeping under the wood pile anyway.
And of course every time I do it, I get this weird Dick Van Dyke song in my head…