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Old 10-09-2019, 06:29 PM
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Wood stove door gasket


Iíve heard that you should replace the door gasket every year. Iíve had my wood stove 12 years and Iíve never replaced it. I live in Oregon and I heat my house all winter long (about 3 cords) with the wood stove. Am I missing something about the gasket?
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:34 PM
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Is it the glass rope type or something else? How long it lasts is going to be affected by the door design.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:36 PM
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Same dealio here. Heat with wood all winter long with a wood stove.

Every year I ask the chimney sweep if I should replace the gasket. For 15 years, the answer has been, "Nah. It's good."

I don't think you're missing anything about the gasket.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:46 PM
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Give it the "dollar bill test". Close the door with a dollar bill in it and try to remove the bill. If it slides right out, then try tightening the door (if yours is adjustable). If you have tightened the door and the bill still pulls out easily, then it's time to replace the gasket.

Replacing it every year sounds more than a bit excessive to me.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 10-09-2019 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:00 PM
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Every year I ask the chimney sweep if I should replace the gasket. For 15 years, the answer has been, "Nah. It's good."
Iíve never had the flue swept either (I live in a one-story house). I like to burn a hot fire (keeps the door glass clear) and donít load up for the night. You think I still need to clean the chimney?
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:07 PM
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Iíve never had the flue swept either (I live in a one-story house). I like to burn a hot fire (keeps the door glass clear) and donít load up for the night. You think I still need to clean the chimney?
Yeah, that I would do.

I burn like you, hot fire and when it's out it's out. I don't bank for overnight unless it's super cold. Even still, the flue gets dirty over time.

Chimney fires are no joke. You could probably get away with cleaning every other year. When you have it done, ask the sweep. Ounce of prevention and all that.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:34 PM
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Never had your chimney cleaned in 12 years? Yikes!

If you burn unseasoned wood and crappy wood like pine and you don't burn it hot, you should have the chimney cleaned every year. But you say you are burning hot, which definitely helps, and if you are burning well seasoned wood and aren't burning crap wood like pine then you don't need to worry about it so much. But even then you definitely need to have the chimney cleaned much more frequently than once every 12 years. I personally wouldn't go longer than 3 years in your situation.

As Aspenglow said, chimney fires are no joke. It's not like you get any warning signs or anything either. You usually don't have any problem at all, and then all of a sudden you have a major problem.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
I burn like you, hot fire and when it's out it's out. I don't bank for overnight unless it's super cold. Even still, the flue gets dirty over time.
Thanks for the advice. I live in rural Oregon so Iím not sure I can hire someone to do that but I think I can get a brush. Iíve looked down it and it looks pretty clean. I donít like heights.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:50 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I live in rural Oregon so Iím not sure I can hire someone to do that but I think I can get a brush. Iíve looked down it and it looks pretty clean. I donít like heights.
I live quite rural, too. I've found it helpful to mention to tradespeople that they can schedule their service with me when they have enough people lined up in my direction to make it worth their while for the journey. I guess after 12 years you won't be in too much of a rush.

I hear you on not liking heights. I don't like them either. Nothing will induce me to walk around on my roof nowadays.
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:17 PM
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I live quite rural, too
Are you British? I was thinking that you would probably need a tight door gasket if your fire gets out of control so you can choke off the oxygen supply.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:25 PM
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Close the door with a dollar bill in it ...
Best done when fire is out.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:53 AM
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Are you British? I was thinking that you would probably need a tight door gasket if your fire gets out of control so you can choke off the oxygen supply.
I have been presuming this - a wood stove is very different to an open fire, in that you can regulate airflow. I'm not saying that it will put a chimney fire straight out, but surely it must be pretty effective at damping it down? (And, where I live, buy plenty of time for the fire brigade to get there - which may well affect perceptions of how serious a thing a chimney fire (with a stove) is.)

Is my assumption flawed? If so, how?

BTW, we do have the chimney swept regularly - every other year or so of burning seasoned hardwood at about a half cord per year.

j
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:20 PM
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a wood stove is very different to an open fire, in that you can regulate airflow. I'm not saying that it will put a chimney fire straight out, but surely it must be pretty effective at damping it down?
It will definitely slow the fire down, but nowhere near to the point of completely choking it out. You won't have spectacular flames shooting out of your chimney like you would with an open fireplace, but while the fire will be slower, it will still burn very hot inside your chimney. Combustible materials near the chimney (like wooden structure) can catch fire from the heat, and while the flue is designed to have hot gases flowing up inside of it, there are limits to how much heat the flue is designed to handle, and a hot fire inside the chimney can exceed that and damage the flue.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EastUmpqua View Post
Are you British? I was thinking that you would probably need a tight door gasket if your fire gets out of control so you can choke off the oxygen supply.
Not British. I also live in Oregon, although probably to the northwest of the OP if his/her username is accurate.

My wood stove has a damper rod that allows me to control the air flow to a fire. But I don't think it would be effective in choking down a chimney fire fast enough to prevent damage.

That said, my chimney is made of a wall of thick rock cemented together, with a stainless steel flue attached to the wood stove through the chimney itself. It is converted from an open fireplace that never worked worth a damn. I probably don't need to worry too much about damage from a chimney fire.

Still, I have the same concerns as Treppenwitz as regards outside assistance from the fire crew. Not a chance I'm willing to take.

ETA: Well, exactly as engineer_comp_geek describes. Those flues are expensive! I never want to replace one.

Last edited by Aspenglow; 10-10-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:16 PM
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The door gasket is important for the air flow.

I have a pellet stove, which is not quite the same as firewood burning stove, and the airflow is critical to efficient operation. I replaced my door gasket and sealed the leaks in the stove pipes and the difference was impressive.

The glass stays cleaner, the stove works much better, and the gasket material is fairly cheap and easy to do. A leaky door gasket is sucking air from the wrong place, the door. If you seal the door the stove will draw air from where it is supposed to. My pellet stove draws the air from under the house. There are many stove designs. But the stove really should not be drawing its air through the door gasket.

Something to think about.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:39 PM
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I always burn well-seasoned wood, fir to start, then oak and madrone. I like to try to engineer the fire. Once the fire’s going, if you can see smoke from the chimney, it’s not efficient.
Does creosote sublimate, or oxidize without catching on fire?
I tried those compressed-sawdust fire bricks, and that got hot enough to scare me. I keep a close eye on my wood stove.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treppenwitz View Post
I have been presuming this - a wood stove is very different to an open fire, in that you can regulate airflow. I'm not saying that it will put a chimney fire straight out, but surely it must be pretty effective at damping it down? (And, where I live, buy plenty of time for the fire brigade to get there - which may well affect perceptions of how serious a thing a chimney fire (with a stove) is.)

Is my assumption flawed? If so, how?

BTW, we do have the chimney swept regularly - every other year or so of burning seasoned hardwood at about a half cord per year.

j
In the 80's, wood was our sole source of heat for about a decade. The stove design was a top discharge w no converter, and the flue (triple wall stainless) was a straight shot up thru the roof. If it burned, in the stove it went, but mostly green hardwood. During this period we had three or four (to my knowledge) chimney fires. While they were definitely attention getters, in the end there was no harm done. Each episode lasted about 45-60 seconds and was over... calling the fire department would have been pointless in our case.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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Its been years since i retired from the local FD, but was on the roof many times dealing with chimney fires.
A good shot of water into the stove will steam extinguish a ripping fire!
Another way we would fight them is to drop a bag of ANSUL powder down the chimney. Discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into the firebox is very effective also.
Any water poured down a chimney is sure to crack the liners if they haven't already cracked.
Another thing about chimney fires is the building materials surrounding
the chimney can, with time reduce their auto ignition temp by several degrees. Or so we were taught in sectional school. So that means Season your wood, burn hot and keep an eye on your flu and don't overlook the pipe between the stove and chimney!!
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:16 PM
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"Discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into the firebox is very effective also." For a chimney fire?
Irrespective, you guys must have had an exceptional response time.
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Last edited by gogogophers; 10-11-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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Not counting calls to the fire department as a reasonable precaution to potential bad outcomes, does anyone here have experience getting the F.D. to come and actually extinguish a chimney fire in progress?

Last edited by gogogophers; 10-11-2019 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by gogogophers View Post
"Discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into the firebox is very effective also." For a chimney fire?
Irrespective, you guys must have had an exceptional response time.
Quote:
Not counting calls to the fire department as a reasonable precaution to potential bad outcomes, does anyone here have experience getting the F.D. to come and actually extinguish a chimney fire in progress?
I would find it very odd that a fire department would not respond to a chimney fire?

As for your 1st question, why would you question response time in regards to a chimney fire??
We have an large rural area where 15 miles is not uncommon. and many chimney fires are still burning when we would arrive on scene.
The bags of dry chemical was more convenient because of the cost of recharging an extinguisher was eliminated.
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Old 10-13-2019, 08:19 PM
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I would find it very odd that a fire department would not respond to a chimney fire?
This question was not not posed by me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
As for your 1st question, why would you question response time in regards to a chimney fire??
In my experience chimney fires were over in about a minute, so do the math time-wise: first discover the fire, then have the presence of mind to call 911, then wait for the guys to gather @ the station, then wait for them to arrive at the residence, so F.D. response time is a valid concern. In my cases, the excitement was all over 30 minutes before the F.D. could have possibly arrived, at best.

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We have an large rural area where 15 miles is not uncommon. and many chimney fires are still burning when we would arrive on scene
.
Interesting. Apparently some stack fires last longer than I have experienced. Thank you for your insight.

However your upthread statement: "Discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into the firebox is very effective also." and my question: For a chimney fire? remains un-addressed. Yeah, the firebox may be suppressed, but the chimney?
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:53 AM
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This question was not not posed by me.
That was my comment on your post; Here[Not counting calls to the fire department as a reasonable precaution to potential bad outcomes, does anyone here have experience getting the F.D. to come and actually extinguish a chimney fire in progress]?


In my experience chimney fires were over in about a minute, so do the math time-wise: first discover the fire, then have the presence of mind to call 911, then wait for the guys to gather @ the station, then wait for them to arrive at the residence, so F.D. response time is a valid concern. In my cases, the excitement was all over 30 minutes before the F.D. could have possibly arrived, at best.
In answering, please do not be offended.
I have worked chimney fires that burned for more than 30 minuets.
Just because flames are not seen coming out of the chimney does not mean the fire is out. how it burns is controlled by the amount of oxygen the fire can get. Most systems have a barometric draft damper Here This device needs to be closed off or the fire in the chimney will sound like a jet engine and will burn at over 3,000 deg.
Then depending on the amount of creosote buildup, the burn time could be extensive.
We would use ball and chain to open the flue but if tried too early the chain can burn(melt) off. On opening the flue we have remove 10-15 gallons of hot embers.
Today most Fire Departments do not open the flu like we always did, but once the fire is out the home owner would be responsible with orders to not use chimney until it is cleaned and most times repaired.
.
Interesting. Apparently some stack fires last longer than I have experienced. Thank you for your insight.

However your upthread statement: "Discharging a dry chemical extinguisher into the firebox is very effective also." and my question: For a chimney fire? remains un-addressed. Yeah, the firebox may be suppressed, but the chimney?
The dry chemical does in a chimney fire just what it does in every fire its used on, by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle,
which means smothering the fire.
That is also what water in the firebox will do when it turns to steam.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:27 PM
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The dry chemical does in a chimney fire just what it does in every fire its used on, by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle,
which means smothering the fire.
That is also what water in the firebox will do when it turns to steam.
And what if the fire has already worked its way out through a crack in the chimney (which it may have created) and into the rafters?

I'd strongly recommend cleaning the chimney. Much better not to have the fire in the first place, than to have it because you thought you could count on putting it out easily.

Last edited by thorny locust; 10-14-2019 at 12:27 PM. Reason: than's not then
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:31 PM
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When I worked for Servpro, we got called out to do a dryout and clean up from a chimney fire. Damn quickly too, the Fire Dept was still there putting out the half of the attic that burned through a hole they cut in the roof. Clean yer stack people, a few hundred dollars pounds euros pesos rubles whatevers is well worth the thousands saved in damage costs. And there is nothing shittier than having all of the insulation taken out of the attic and a whopping big hole in your roof right over the living room in the winter. Chimney fires are sneaky bastards, someone already said it, you don't have a problem until suddenly you do.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:46 AM
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And what if the fire has already worked its way out through a crack in the chimney (which it may have created) and into the rafters?

I'd strongly recommend cleaning the chimney. Much better not to have the fire in the first place, than to have it because you thought you could count on putting it out easily.
Most all chimneys (Masonry) have a flu liner either preformed in <>3' sections or the popular Slide Casting systems.
The liners help prevent buildup and protect the masonry blocks from extreme heat.
You quoted me in the What If, well that is why our area always responds Code 3 to all fires because of the possibility of further damage. And like i posted earlier, building materials can, with exposier reduce their auto ignition temp.
I remember one chimney fire, it was in a metal-bestos chimney where the insulation had started to oxidize and i called down from the attic for a pitcher of water and suppressed that one.
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:38 AM
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I excised below what you mistakenly attributed to me that should actually be part of your post #23.

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Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
In answering, please do not be offended.
I have worked chimney fires that burned for more than 30 minuets.
Again, thanks for the insight. No offence taken.

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Originally Posted by Gbro View Post
Just because flames are not seen coming out of the chimney does not mean the fire is out. how it burns is controlled by the amount of oxygen the fire can get.
Well, sometimes. It is not controlled exclusively by the amount of oxygen. Fuel and heat are also prime factors. If no indication of flame is evident coming out of the stack, it should be obvious that one of the three factors necessary for combustion (fuel, heat, oxygen) are deficient to maintain a full blown chimney fire. This doesn't discount the possibility of a smoldering potential in the stack for further combustion, but it significantly diminishes the possibility of raging fires 30 or more minutes after initiation when the fire department manages to show up .

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Most systems have a barometric draft damper Here This device needs to be closed off or the fire in the chimney will sound like a jet engine and will burn at over 3,000 deg.
I will flat out say you are wrong concerning barometric draft controllers. It is the rare occasion where in house barometric dampers are employed in wood stoves, and furthermore it is generally accepted that they are a dangerous mis-application of technology for in home wood stoves that are actually designed for oil and gas boilers. As you mention, if such a device is employed on a wood stove, a chimney fire would be exacerbated by a barometric damper because of it's design flaw in dumping more oxygen (draft) into the stack during a fire, not to mention it's propensity of shunting carbon monoxide into the living area. My chimney fires were loud, but I save the jet engine reference for when I've been drinking. I'll also ask for cites that verify sustained 3000 degree stack temps during a fire... heck, even instantaneous temps of this magnitude. Under the conditions we are all familiar with here, this sounds unreasonable.

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Then depending on the amount of creosote buildup, the burn time could be extensive.
We would use ball and chain to open the flue but if tried too early the chain can burn(melt) off.
Come on. Let's keep in mind the finite amount of fuel, oxygen, and residual heat available 30 minutes after the chimney fire's inception. The initial heat would be the greatest, and the residual smoldering heat would be much less. Were you guys using plastic chain? I worked in the electrolytic steel industry pulling broken electrodes from a molten bath of metal with chains, (the chains would be red to white hot and stretch like hell lifting thousands of pounds) and certainly at higher temps than an exhausted chimney fire, but with no problem... so you're saying your chain melted in a relatively exhausted/cooled wood stack fire by simply suspending a couple of pond ball?
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:22 AM
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The dry chemical does in a chimney fire just what it does in every fire its used on, by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle,
which means smothering the fire.
That is also what water in the firebox will do when it turns to steam.
Yeah, I get the fire triangle concept.
My question was related to how DRY CHEMICAL application to a firebox would have significant affect on a stack fire. Use of dry chemical extinguishers to put out a firebox is not disputed here... My question is to your assumption as to it's effectiveness on extinguishing a CHIMNEY FIRE. In my experience dry chemical extinguishers are very effective in suppressing appropriate fires in-situ,(such as the firebox) but not for associated residual fires (such as the chimney).

Unlike dry chemicals, water in the firebox will indeed create steam, rising into the stack, extinguishing flue fires.

At work we use steam for extinguishing duct/stack fires in susceptible areas because steam avoids the time transition problems between liquid water and steam, and the fact that steam instantaneously deprives combustion of necessary oxygen.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:57 AM
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In RE the OP:
Not rocket science here...Just close off your air control. If the fire remains too hot, you have an air leak, (gasket issue.)
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:53 AM
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water in the firebox will indeed create steam, rising into the stack, extinguishing flue fires.
Wouldn't dumping water in the overheated firebox risk cracking the stove, thereby not only ruining the stove but also allowing the fire to escape directly into the living quarters?
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:13 PM
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Wouldn't dumping water in the overheated firebox risk cracking the stove, thereby not only ruining the stove but also allowing the fire to escape directly into the living quarters?
I suppose anything is possible. The conditions are so variable, it's difficult to say with certainty exactly what may happen. I've doused stoves with water that were running flat out (in non-panic situations) and never had any problems, though it usually caused some creosote to drop out of the stack onto the stove baffle, which I took as a good thing... better there where I could remove it before I fired up again, than have it remain stuck in the stack. YMMV
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