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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To anyone who burns wood for heating their home, please check or have checked your chimney!
In three years my chimney has always burned clean. I have always checked my chimney with a mirror bout every month (through the clean-out door) for creosote build up and never had any trouble until now. Two days ago when I checked it mine was nearly plugged solid so I proceeded to clean it with the brush and rods like you're supposed to, and got more crap out than I have ever seen from a chimney! it was clean and ready to go so I restarted my stove and all was good.......so I thought!
Yesterday, the inside of my chimney caught fire, it rumbled and burned for more than four hours, scaring the hell out of me, as I stood by with the jumbo extinguisher.

What's worse is I now have fairly wide vertical cracks throughout the upper half of my chimney and most of the chimney needs to be torn down and rebuilt if not all of it! It's bad enough worrying about your house burning down, now I worry the chimney could collapse.


Then, I find out that our fire department has be called to more than 30 chimney fires in the last six weeks!


For your families safety and your piece of mind, take a mirror and check your chimney through the clean-out door when your stove is down to clean burning coals! Look for clear sky with no obstructions.
Or have someone else check it for you.
 

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I am guessing it is because it is so warm out. I noticed ours has more buildup inside the top door lately. I did clean it out a month ago, but I only had to clean a bit in the pipe, and right above where the flue enters the chimney. That was a pleasant surprise. We have a Harmon Oakwood stove and it has a gas secondary burn chamber in the back, which burns most/all the crud before it leaves the stove. It is amazing how well it burns! The stove pipe temp is always below the "burn zone" on the thermometer I have on the pipe, but that is normal for this particular stove given how it runs. I will check out chimney though in the next day or so.

When you had the chimney fire, did you immediatly shut down every orifice on your stove to starve the air supply? I am assuming you did. I was told by a reliable source that is what you are supposed to do and that the chimney is designed to take the heat if need be. When hell breaks loose is when the fire dept dumps cold water into the chimney and it breaks from the temp difference. I am not saying you did anything wrong, as I have no idea what your circumstances are. It is just a good thing to get this all out so we can learn from each other to prevent bad things from happening. That of course is why you warned everyone though! Like I said above, I bet it is because it has been warm out and there has just been a lot of creosote buildup because of it. It is a pain to burn a woodstove in the spring and fall...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I shut everything down when I heard it start to rumble! This is exactly why you should by the heaviest stove pipe you can find! So it won't collapse during a chimney fire!
Fairly warm temps until February then cold the warm again is what I figure caused it. Now I'll use a window or two for thermostat and run the stove a bit hotter.
 

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Yeh, last fall was a pain too. We had a new house (used), new woodstove, and warm temps. It was a bit tough to learn how the stove was going to run when it was 45 every day! Now I know how to run it though. I had a couple stressful incidents that turned out to be nothing, but when playing with fire and your house, you tend to get stressed a bit quicker than in other situations!!
 
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