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

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!
Ya, make sure air get pulled in and goes up. Also 2nd the suggestion to have a look up the pipe.
 
I think we’re going to be ok!

Outside looks good…no flames coming out of the roof vent.image.jpg

Inside the attic looks fine and the pipe is cool to the touch up top, but warm enough I know the stove is venting all the way up.

There aren’t any ‘hidden pipes’ that are tucked in wall cavities or anything and I had already put eyes on the entire system many times before. Was mainly concerned with blockage, but there doesn’t seem to be any to speak of. image.jpgimage.jpg

I think Hank has changed his mind about the whole thing. image.jpg
 
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IMHO, I would not use it until I got it fully inspected and cleaned out ..... but that is just me.

.... and I'm always late to the party

And I’m always rushing into doing stupid things and there’s no one here to tell me I’m an idiot for doing so. My dogs English is horrible and I can barely understand him half the time.

I regret half of what I do, but I’m on board with this decision so far. I’ll be up late getting drunk tonight, so if anything happens I’ll at least be able to get my dog to safety.

I’m sitting right next to it now monitoring it until I’m comfortable it’s not going to burn my new house down (and all of my ammo/reloading components).

When the wind blows outside, I can hear the stove RIP/ROAR for a couple of seconds then it dies back down. The outlet connector isn’t even ‘pinging’ or showing any signs of getting red or overheating, so I think I might be in the clear.
 
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Atta boy, nobody likes a coward. If it was plugged up, you never would have got a good draft going. Looks like a good install. Buy a brush and clean it yourself. Don't get a metal brush, get the plastic (or whatever it is) brush.

We had a squirrel move into one of the chimneys one year, boy he was pissed when the wife started a fire.
 
IMHO, I would not use it until I got it fully inspected and cleaned out ..... but that is just me.

.... and I'm always late to the party

And I’m always rushing into doing stupid things and there’s no one here to tell me I’m an idiot for doing so. My dogs English is horrible and I can barely understand him half the time.
ABSOLUTELY get it checked, and also lookup the stove model. See if it can burn coal.

One, you'll piss off Greta.

Two, in your region you should be able to buy a few tons cheap and park it until needed. The stuff has an amazing shelf life.

I actually never even considered if I could burn coal in this stove, but I’ll definitely look that up. There’s a train that runs coal about a mile from my house…every single car is heaping when I see it. I can probably start a mine in my back yard!
 
Atta boy, nobody likes a coward. If it was plugged up, you never would have got a good draft going. Looks like a good install. Buy a brush and clean it yourself. Don't get a metal brush, get the plastic (or whatever it is) brush.

We had a squirrel move into one of the chimneys one year, boy he was pissed when the wife started a fire.

My dad had f***ing BATS one year! He opened up his stove for the first fire of the season one year and they flew out into his house, lol. His wife had a f***ing meltdown!

I was living in a camper in his back yard at the time (about 100’ from his house) and I heard her screaming from out there!
 
My dad had f***ing BATS one year! He opened up his stove for the first fire of the season one year and they flew out into his house, lol. His wife had a f***ing meltdown!

I was living in a camper in his back yard at the time (about 100’ from his house) and I heard her screaming from out there!

One year, early in the season, my son and the Mrs were in the living room kicking back and there was this weird noise from the stove. He opens the door and this poor little bird flops out. He scooped it up and let it outside, where it must have perished.

He was telling me the story and I asked what sort of bird it was. What color, etc. Wanted to know if it was a nuisance bird like a pigeon or something tragic like a Robin.

When I asked the color he said... In a forlorn voice... Gray...
 
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?
It could be bad enough to where your house burns down as a result. But often times the fire department can put it out before it extends. It also might be somewhat clean and not caked in creosote. But how would you know which one it is if you don’t look? You won’t know. You could also burn tonight and not have an issue even though it’s caked, and give yourself a false sense of security so you keep burning without cleaning this season and next thing you know, your house is a torch.

You should disconnect the pipe near the stove and inspect before burning. Looks like it might be easy enough on your set up.
 
My dad had f***ing BATS one year! He opened up his stove for the first fire of the season one year and they flew out into his house, lol. His wife had a f***ing meltdown!

I was living in a camper in his back yard at the time (about 100’ from his house) and I heard her screaming from out there!
We get bats every year. Wife keeps a tennis racket in the living room and knocks the shit out of them.
 
In the time it took for you to type out the question here on the board, you could have pulled the screws on the pipe from the stove and two sections up, removed it and looked up the pipe to see its condition.

You also started a fire with way more fuel than you could have easily put out if the pipe was blocked or full of creosote. Disrespect your stove and it will break it off in your ass one of these days.
 
And I’m always rushing into doing stupid things and there’s no one here to tell me I’m an idiot for doing so. My dogs English is horrible and I can barely understand him half the time.

I regret half of what I do, but I’m on board with this decision so far. I’ll be up late getting drunk tonight, so if anything happens I’ll at least be able to get my dog to safety.

I’m sitting right next to it now monitoring it until I’m comfortable it’s not going to burn my new house down (and all of my ammo/reloading components).

When the wind blows outside, I can hear the stove RIP/ROAR for a couple of seconds then it dies back down. The outlet connector isn’t even ‘pinging’ or showing any signs of getting red or overheating, so I think I might be in the clear.
You should be good. When it starts getting plugged up a little you'll know when you open the door, you'll start getting smoke back at you. You'll also know if you have a chimney fire, sounds like a train. Had one once, and put it out. Drank heavily afterwards to get heart rate back down.
 
In the time it took for you to type out the question here on the board, you could have pulled the screws on the pipe from the stove and two sections up, removed it and looked up the pipe to see its condition.

You also started a fire with way more fuel than you could have easily put out if the pipe was blocked or full of creosote. Disrespect your stove and it will break it off in your ass one of these days.
I did pull the pipe and inspect as instructed earlier sir. I’m not a total wreck loose.

I’ve had two house fires in my life when I was younger…one in my teens and one in my 20’s. Luckily too young for ‘starting over’ to mean too much but I lost almost everything both times.
 
And to be PERFECTLY clear, I had EVERY intention of NOT running this stove this year and was going to rely on my household geothermal system and focus on wood production for next year.

But this cold has my heat pump running almost constantly and I’m worried it’ll shit the bed if it doesn’t have a chance to cool down a bit.

I will absolutely be buying brushes next week and cleaning the damn thing when the temps warm back up to 50+ like it says in the forecast.

@Uzi2 have you ever seen temperatures this cold here? I imagine this is rare because I don’t think it got this cold in Indianapolis the past 3 years I was there. I’m not sure how long you’ve been here either though.
 
And to be PERFECTLY clear, I had EVERY intention of NOT running this stove this year and was going to rely on my household geothermal system and focus on wood production for next year.

But this cold has my heat pump running almost constantly and I’m worried it’ll shit the bed if it doesn’t have a chance to cool down a bit.

I will absolutely be buying brushes next week and cleaning the damn thing when the temps warm back up to 50+ like it says in the forecast.

@Uzi2 have you ever seen temperatures this cold here? I imagine this is rare because I don’t think it got this cold in Indianapolis the past 3 years I was there. I’m not sure how long you’ve been here either though.

Been here 10 years now and yes, seen temps like this here several years ago, usually in mid/late Jan/early Feb and they stuck around for almost two weeks. People's pipes were frozen everywhere.

Not meaning to be disrespectful above, but don't ever second guess the wood stove, the results can catastrophic very quickly.

I clean my chimney pipe at least 5 times per season just out of an abundance of caution, seen lots of chimney fires in my years.....not good and totally preventable.

I can do it from inside unless the cap has to be removed which is rare. The rain usually keeps the holes clean.
 
Sounds like if you inspected it earlier and didn't see a blockage or creosote build up. If that is the case, then you should be good to go. I'd burn away.
 
I haven’t read all the replies but if it were me, I’d have a professional check it out and give it the once over. I’ve been burning wood for many years and I would not feel safe burning in a stove that has not been professionally cleaned and inspected in quite some time. Who knows what the previous owners burned in that stove and what condition the stove, pipes, flue are prior to a hot burn. It’s well worth the couple of hundred bucks to get a good nights sleep while the fire is burning. JMO!
 
The flue looks a little short on clearance above the stove but it's typical of what I've seen in the field. Should have 18" of clearance from combustibles around the single wall pipe. I'd replace the section of single wall pipe that goes through the floor with all -fuel pipe like you have in the attic.
 
The flue looks a little short on clearance above the stove but it's typical of what I've seen in the field. Should have 18" of clearance from combustibles around the single wall pipe. I'd replace the section of single wall pipe that goes through the floor with all -fuel pipe like you have in the attic.
It’s like you can read my mind. That’s been on the running list since I bought the house. Even a 12”-18” section will do I think?

To reiterate though, I had zero intention of even running this stove this year, so it got pushed back on the priority list.

I had to prioritize getting cattle in my pasture this fall…cattle that could possibly die from the cold tonight 🫤
 
I’m going to sleep.

If I don’t post in the morning, come and get my dog please. I’ll drop him off at the dollar general less than 200yds from my house if the place burns to the ground…I’m sure their heaters are working just fine over there.
 
I’m going to sleep.

If I don’t post in the morning, come and get my dog please. I’ll drop him off at the dollar general less than 200yds from my house if the place burns to the ground…I’m sure their heaters are working just fine over there.
Dream of angels. Sounds like all’s well, and stay warm.
 
That's a cute house and a lovely dog.

If you're concerned about chimney fires keep a large ziploc bag of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) close to the woodstove. If you have a chimney fire you toss the bag into the stove and close the door. The baking soda decomposes under heat to large volumes of CO2 which will extinguish the chimney fire.
 
I’m going to sleep.

If I don’t post in the morning, come and get my dog please. I’ll drop him off at the dollar general less than 200yds from my house if the place burns to the ground…I’m sure their heaters are working just fine over there.
Must still be sleeping in front of the stove with the pupper.
 
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