Got a chance to test the stovepipe mods today.

Haven’t cleaned the chimney since March, and pretty soon I’ll want to fire up the wood stove. So today I tried the mod my neighbor J and I installed back in March. Prior to that, it took two strong men to take down the stovepipe for cleaning, and I plan to be very scrupulous about cleaning the chimney.

Works great! Unscrewed the pipe sections, slid the whole thing down on the telescoping part. Pulled the stove away from the ceiling box and I had no trouble unshipping the pipe from the stove.

Good thing I did, too. I was already getting creosote build-up. This must be the most inefficient chimney in the history of burning wood. Plus, since my stove has this steel plate between the top of the firebox and the chimney, creosote that falls down the pipe lands on that plate instead of into the firebox. It had already started accumulating in there. Pretty sure that’s how February’s fire started.

Anyway, the chimney mod makes doing it myself quite possible. So it’s all cleaned up and ready to go now.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Got a chance to test the stovepipe mods today.

  1. Bear says:

    What’s with the steel plate in the firebox? Is it large enough to make the top part into a secondary combustion chamber, or is it just something small at the stovepipe hole (some sort of internal spark arrester, maybe)? If it’s small and a problem to clean, can you cut it out?

    Or, long term, do you have enough space (and money eventually) to offset the stove and put in a clean-out section (like so: That would give creosote somewhere to fall that probably isn’t going to catch fire.

  2. Joel says:

    I’m not sure what the point of that steel plate is supposed to be. It slopes downward toward the rear of the stove and has slots along the sides and rear to allow smoke to escape. Possibly it’s meant to prevent flame from directly entering the chimney, but as I said what it accomplishes is to provide a shelf for the accumulation of loose creosote. The evidence is that February’s chimney fire started there. It also helps prevent the chimney from achieving a proper temperature, and promotes creosote accumulation on the stovepipe. The stove has other problems as well: I think it was originally designed to use forced air, because its air inlets are completely inadequate. The only way to get a good fire going is to leave the door open.

    Your idea for a clean-out is interesting, but it would cause space problems and I believe my money and effort will be better served in finding a replacement for the stove and the eight-inch chimney. Installation of a better stove will be quite easy, since the ceiling box is made for six-inch pipe and any more modern stove will use six-inch.

    The problem, of course, is money.

  3. LJH says:

    Joel, have you ever heard of rocket mass stoves/heaters? They’re similar to masonry heaters but even more efficient and uber-cheap to DIY. I have a (contractor-built) masonry heater and didn’t think anything could top that but if I had it to do over, I’d seriously consider a rocket mass stove.

  4. Joel says:

    LJH, you’re the second one I’ve seen (even though I think you were actually the first) to recommend I look into those, and I’m doing that. It’s an interesting idea.

To the stake with the heretic!