What’s the worst that could happen if I fire up my wood stove that hasn’t been cleaned or inspected?

76Too

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Yup…I’m actually asking this question.

I’m asking here because I know NES doesn’t pull any punches when someone is about to do something stupid.

My geothermal system is working overtime with this arctic cold snap and I have some seasoned wood I split back in the late spring when I first bought the house. I have a ‘wonder wood’ stove that’s kinda like an ‘Ashley’ style and I hadn’t gotten around to inspecting/cleaning the flu just yet.

The stove has clearly seen VERY little use and the insulated pipe running up through the center of the house is very good quality.

I realize the danger is what could be inside the flu in the way of buildup that could be an issue, but how bad of an issue could this be?

Should I just throw all caution to the wind and fire this bitch up, or should I hold off and use it next winter after it’s been properly cleaned and inspected?image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
 
What's the worst that could happen?

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I suspect that you already know the answer to your question ... the worst is probably that you have some kind of blockage and it causes an incomplete burn and fills your house with CO that suffocates that beautiful dog ... and maybe some people too. The other thing is that a creosote build up can light off like a rocket motor and the temps in the ensuing conflagration will not be within the design limits of the system, I suppose worst case on that one is you burn down your house.

I have no way of knowing what the odds are for either of these events happening, but those, I suppose are the worst cases. It ain't THAT cold :)

CC
 
got a CO detector?

if you have not been burning pine or other crap that coats the chimney (fire issue) try a small fire in it
So far, I’ve found 3 pine trees on my 72 acre property total…there’s just not a lot of pine in my holler for some reason and I don’t think it’s due to people having burned it in the past…I just think it doesn’t grow very well right here for some reason.

It’s mostly beech, sweet gum, white oak, black walnut, american elm, sycamore and various maple species. image.jpg
 
Start a small fire and see if you get a draft.
To clarify, you mean a draft going UP the flu, correct?

My job as a kid in the winter was running the wood stove at our house, but I had literally zero fear back then and never even thought about burning the house down. Now that this is the last place I plan to live for the rest of my life and not much place else to go if it catches fire, I’m paranoid as shit!
 
See if you can get a draft with a small fire. If you can then probably GTG.
If not let it smother out and have it inspected.
I have a similar setup except the stovepipe feeds a masonry flue.
It hasn't been used in years since it was last cleaned and had a cap installed.
I wouldn't hesitate to use mine.
 
From the posted pics I'm gonna assume the stove is in basement.

Looks like you have some water coming down the pipe and making it all the way down to the first section......

First section looks like it just single wall steel....not stainless......I would inspect this pipe very carefully given the amount of rust.....eff that....I would just replace it......easy peasy

The single wall pipe appears to connect to double wall stainless when it penetrates the floor and runs through the house.

Given the rust/visual condition of the pipe and the fact that it runs THROUGH the house......ie not up into a lined chimney.....I would inspect the pipe from top to bottom and replace the bottom section....its cheap/easy and once you remove it you will get an idea of condition/buildup/when it was last cleaned

But you definately have a problem with water coming down from the top and that needs to be fixed
 
Yup…I’m actually asking this question.

I’m asking here because I know NES doesn’t pull any punches when someone is about to do something stupid.

My geothermal system is working overtime with this arctic cold snap and I have some seasoned wood I split back in the late spring when I first bought the house. I have a ‘wonder wood’ stove that’s kinda like an ‘Ashley’ style and I hadn’t gotten around to inspecting/cleaning the flu just yet.

The stove has clearly seen VERY little use and the insulated pipe running up through the center of the house is very good quality.

I realize the danger is what could be inside the flu in the way of buildup that could be an issue, but how bad of an issue could this be?

Should I just throw all caution to the wind and fire this bitch up, or should I hold off and use it next winter after it’s been properly cleaned and inspected?View attachment 701515View attachment 701516View attachment 701517View attachment 701518View attachment 701519


All I can say is that I grew up with Weimaraners, and they are great dogs! As far as the stove goes, try a 1.5 liters of gasoline and you should be fine! *

Make sure you up your umbrella policy prior!
 
That pipe running up through the house is metalbestos. You should be able to put your hand on it when the stove is cranking and it won't burn your hand.
The pipe in the basement is just standard stove pipe. It is probably really easy to disconnect it. Then shine a light up there and see if it looks clear.

I bet you can find a youtube video on how to run that particular stove.
 
You didn’t ask the status of the stove/flue when you bought the house? If you really feel the need to start a fire, do what others have said, start small in case you have to put it out quickly.
 
I don't get it. You want to know what will happen if you fire up a stove yhat hasn't been cleaned or inspected.
Why not just clean it and inspect it?
It’s not the stove I’m worried about, it’s the flu. Sometimes people have issues with wood stove and fireplace flue where creosote has built up.

It’s -20 wind chill right now. I’m not necessarily very excited about running a brush down there currently.

I know…I should have done this already. I honestly had NO idea it got THIS cold here…EVER!
 
You didn’t ask the status of the stove/flue when you bought the house? If you really feel the need to start a fire, do what others have said, start small in case you have to put it out quickly.
The previous owners are dead. Their grandson told me they used the stove once or twice in a power outrage and that’s it.

My plan is to heat 100% with wood next year and I’ll be doing firewood production every weekend now that the ground is frozen.
 
To clarify, you mean a draft going UP the flu, correct?

My job as a kid in the winter was running the wood stove at our house, but I had literally zero fear back then and never even thought about burning the house down. Now that this is the last place I plan to live for the rest of my life and not much place else to go if it catches fire, I’m paranoid as shit!
Well, if you die in the ensuing inferno, you’ll have actually accomplished your goal🤷🏻‍♂️
 
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