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Cleaning Your Wood Stove + Pipe Chimney | Step x Step + Tools | Mad County Barndominium Build

For today we are talking about the step-by-step process of cleaning a wood stove and pipe chimney. At the bare minimum you should clean your chimney at least once year. The stove I am cleaning is a Regency F5200 which is a pretty big wood stove. I use this along with my radiant concrete floors to heat my house during the winter which means I burn this alot. The Regency F5200 is a really awesome stove because its burn time is almost 30 hours. We have plenty of different videos on our YouTube about this stove so feel free to check those out.

Wood stove in a barndominium

Firstly, let’s talk about the background of this stove. It can hold roughly 96 pounds of logs and it has an ash box down below so you can clean it out. I rarely use the ash box, instead what I usually do is keep like two three inches of ash in the firebox. When it starts to over accumulate, I'll just bring a bucket in and scoop some out. This house that we're standing in is 4000 square feet, around 2300 square feet on the main floor and the rest is upstairs. This can pretty easily heat our house up to 75 degrees in the middle of winter. I really do love this stove. When you own a stove similar to this, one of the most important things is to do an annual cleaning on it. I'll show you how I do that and what tools you will need. 

So our stove is pretty dirty. I need to get the glass cleaned up, get all the ash out, clean the firebox, and clean the chimney pipe. Before you start cleaning you want to make sure you pull out your thermometer for the pipe. You don’t want to forget to pull it out, because it can break during the cleaning process. The first step is to get all of the ash out. 

How to clean a wood stove

There are two different ways you can get the ash out. You can either just scoop the ash out with a shovel like I do, or most of them have caps on the bottom that you can remove and push all the ash through that hole. I don’t find that the hole is necessary to have, if your stove doesn't have one, it is perfectly fine to just scoop your ash out. Ash is a great fertilizer so I usually take all my ash and dump it in the garden or across my lawn.

You can see some charring on my stove and that is because last winter, I burnt a lot of wood that was damp. That is not necessarily good but it’s all I had to work with. Before I clean the chimney pipe I go ahead and check to see how full my ashtray is, and if I still have room I will leave that underneath or next to the stove and go ahead and get started on the chimney pipe. I want to make sure my damper is open so that when I'm pushing the brush down, the creosote or whatever is in the chimney falls down into the firebox. 

Wood stove cleaning tools

The things you will need include a drill, whatever size bit or fitting you need to get your chimney cap off, enough rod to get all the way down your chimney, and then you need the proper size brush. I have an eight inch chimney so I have an eight inch brush. I also wear my Cougar Paw boots because I have metal roofing and these boots have magnets inside that give me a little bit more grip on the roof.

You’ll want to start by taking your chimney cap off. Then you’ll get your rods and brush and begin feeding those down. Each time you screw on a rob you can bush the brush further down. One thing you need to keep in mind is as you are pulling this rod back out and you start unscrewing each piece, you have to make sure you have one hand on the piece that you're unscrewing the other one on the piece attached to the brush. What could happen if you just start turning the rod is you might unscrew it down in the chimney. If you do that your brush and however many rods could possibly be stuck in there. sp be careful not to do that. The next step is to clean the cap and get the firebox all swept out. The cap is usually covered in carbon so you might need to give that a good scrub before you reattach it.

Clean your wood stove

To reattach the cap, you put the cage on so animals can’t get in and then stick the cap on top and line up the holes so you can put your screws back in. I always try to keep all my chimneys straight with no turns. Anytime you make a turn there's a greater chance of build up and a greater chance that the stove won't draw right. 

Using a wood stove in a house

To get the firebox cleaned out, I’ll vacuum up any remaining soot or ash. To clean the glass, I like to use magic erasers. You just wet them and then lightly wipe the window, let that water soak in, clean the eraser, and then wipe the window again. You might have to do it a couple times but that should get it perfectly clean. If you have any really stubborn spots, you can go in with a razor and it should come right off. When it is all done you want to make sure you don't forget to slide your thermometer back and close your damper. Hopefully you found this useful in learning about cleaning your wood stove or chimney pipe.

Thank you,

MR Post Frame

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