Cleaning a Woodstove Pipe
Knowing how to clean a
woodstove pipe is an essential routine maintenance requirement to maintain
stove burning efficiency and reduce the risk of a chimney fire. How
often you clean your stove pipe and chimney depends upon the
quantity and quality of wood you burn. Ones a year is adequate if
you are burning dry hardwood in your wood burning stove, however, if
you are burning more than three cord of wood a year or you wood is
softwood and the wood is not dried to less than 20% moisture by
weight, you probably should clean your pipe more often.
The best time of year for
cleaning a stove pipe is right after the wood burning season. This
will give the pipe all summer to dry and will reduce any odor that
can emit from the pipe during the summer season. Use of a wood stove
requires regular attention to a few maintenance procedures and
proper cleaning of the chimney and stove pipe to remove creosote
deposits. Creosote is an inevitable by-product of burning wood.
A more specific rule to
follow for how to clean the woodstove pipe and chimney is whenever there is
a 1/4 inch or more creosote buildup on the walls. This is an easy
DIY homeowner task that can be performed by using a stiff wire brush
designed for the purpose.
Cleaning a woodstove pipe and the
chimney can be a messy task because of the creosote deposits that
are scraped out of the pipe and chimney. Take care to prevent dust
and creosote from settling in the house. Wear a face mask when
cleaning the woodstove pipe to avoid inhaling the creosote
Check the wood stove installation
at least once a year to be sure that there is no hazard created by
the stove and that clearances from combustible surfaces are
maintained. The stove pipe is
subjected to high temperatures and will corrode in time. It must be
checked periodically and replaced when it appears to be corroding
beyond safe limits. Cracks or holes in woodstove pipes and chimneys
can cause a house fire.
The pipe should be thoroughly
inspection for corrosion and holes while you have the pipe
disassembled for cleaning. If there are any suspect areas of damage
the pipe should be replaced before the next burning season. Keep in
mind that the pipe is constantly going through expansion and
contraction cycles during the burning season. These heat cycles will
cause wear in the joints and screw holes.
Unfortunately cleaning the pipe
is a messy job. With a little bit of precaution the mess can become
manageable. Refer to our EBook section for detailed instruction for
how to clean a woodstove pipe and inspection of the pipe.
Chimney Sweeping | How to Clean a Chimney
Wood Burning Stoves
Fireplace and Woodstove Safety