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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Rock Salt in Wood Stove?

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01-07-2013 06:56:04

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I burn one of the inserts that has the catalytic elements in it so even when the fire is hot the gases that exit up the flue have been cooled quite a bit on their journey through the elements and out. As a result I knew I was going to get some creosote buildup and wanted to cut down on it as much as possible. I've never heard of the rock salt deal, and I've never tried one of the logs either. Instead I buy the crystals made my Rhutland that are designed to do the same thing the logs do. I typically throw a scoop on the fire at least one or twice a month and it seems to keep things in check.

That said, the last few years have been crazy as heck for me and I got neglectful and didn't clean my flue for 4 seasons. When I did it this year I found it had a bit more buildup in it than I like, which I expected given the circumstances. The good thing was all of the buildup was dry as powder and brushed right off with no problem. Too there was no actual tarry creoote buildup left on anything. In other words the creosote remover stuff doesn't so much actually remove the creosote as it does dry the oils out of it and turn it into basically a sooty ash that isn't going to burn like the tarry buildup will. Looking at the ingredients on the package, one of the main ingredients is TSP and breaking down greases and oils is one of the things it does well, which is probably why the stuff works so good. Beyond that all I know is I've been using the stuff for going on 10 years now and my flue looks as good with the insert burning 'cold' as it did with me keeping a roaring blaze in an open firebox for nearly the same amount of winters.

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01-07-2013 11:20:31

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 Re: Rock Salt in Wood Stove? in reply to NCWayne, 01-07-2013 06:56:04  
I put a little TSP in every couple of weeks. Catch it when it"s burned down to coals, stir them up just enough to get it drawing well and put a couple of tablespoons of TSP on the coals. I leave the bypass damper open for 5-10 minutes so that the chemical goes up the chimney.

I"d like to say that I went from having to clean 2-3 times a season to it not really looking like it needed cleaned when I ran the brush up it once a year, but I also burned it a little hotter* shortly after I started using the TSP and I"m sure that helped also.

*I have a flue thermometer on the stove itself (since the pipe is double-wall). I used to keep it in the 250-500 F range, but now keep in the 400-750 range). Also, we had a lot of (well seasoned) cottonwood and it"s probably more ash and "other" lately.

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