I’ve been taking my laundry to S&L’s on Mondays lately, weather permitting. Of course to operate a washing machine – and I would imagine especially a dryer – off-grid you need a lot of sun. So this week she said bring it on Tuesday, since yesterday was sunny and Monday emphatically was not.
And so LB and I loaded the hamper in the Jeep and drove out to S&L’s yesterday, and while I was there L asked if I could lend them my stovepipe-cleaning gear when I came back to pick up the laundry. Because S wanted to clean the chimney on their woodstove this coming weekend.
Normally that would be fine, except I had been planning to use it myself later in the week at the turn of the month. But there wasn’t anything going on at the Lair to prevent me from going ahead and cleaning my own pipe yesterday morning rather than Thursday. Doesn’t take more than half an hour, may as well just do it, right? So I did, and then brought the 6″ brush and rods to S&L’s and don’t really need them back right away.
The advantage of this is that it got cold early yesterday evening and has stayed frigid today, so ye olde Vogelzang has been rumbling away every waking moment since yesterday. And since I just cleaned the pipe I don’t have my usual attack of “oh god what if the stovepipe catches fire” paranoia. It’s supposed to stay cold all week, so it didn’t really make any sense to put off the chore anyway. I was just being lazy.
Also may I say that all those commenters back in 2012 and ’13 who kept trying to tell me, “Burn it hot and you won’t get any buildup in the pipe” were of course completely right. It has taken me this long to overcome my chimney fire phobia to the point of being able to really crank up the stove, and yesterday there wasn’t actually any reason to clean the pipe at all. A little non-flammable soot, is all.