Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Woodstove Safety

When we first got our float cabin, I was a little afraid of the wood burning stove. It was hard for me to get used to a fire burning in a small metal box in the middle of my living room. I had no prior experience with such a thing in my Los Angeles city-folk life. But when the nights (and days) got cold, we quickly overcame our trepidation and started using our Kozi stove.

Wayne's chimney pipe cleaning tools.
When our friend John built the cabin he installed our stove to minimize fire danger, but it's up to us to keep it that way. We watch the stove's components to make sure they are in good condition and replace any that seem worn or damaged. So far, we've replaced the door gasket twice. Fortunately, stove supplies can be found in most hardware stores, at least here in the north.

Wayne on the porch cleaning out the horizontal wall and exterior chimney pipes.

Cleaning the inside chimney and sealing a joint.
Chimney sweeping is crucial for safe wood stove use. Even with our thermometer to monitor fire conditions, creosote and ash build up in the chimney pipe and on our stove's smoke shelf. On a sunny fall day (at least a non-rainy one) we don't build a fire.

First, Wayne goes up on the porch roof to clean the exterior pipe and chimney cap. Next, we go indoors to disassemble and clean the interior pipe and the stove's smoke shelf.


I'm amazed how much buildup there is in just a few short winter months. But on the other hand, our trusty stove is running almost 24/7 that time of year.

If you have a woodstove, do you have any installation, care or maintenance tips? Any funny, or even scary stories? Let's hear them.

Want to find out more about our float cabin living? Try reading Up the Lake. If you use a Kindle or e-book you can get a copy for free at Amazon or most online booksellers.

For more information about all of the Coastal BC Stories books visit our website at PowellRiverBooks.com.


Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

And Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. Gathering the wood is work, but well worth it. We get exercise while it's happening and warmth when we need it. - Margy

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  2. Keep an eye on the place where the chimney goes through the wall or ceiling. My daughter had a bad fire when the heat from the fire somehow started a fire.

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    1. We do. Wayne cleans that horizontal piece when the outside pipe is off and also checks it when the inside one is off. Ours is a heavy duty double sided pipe for that section because of what you said. - Margy

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  3. I love a wood stove, don't have one but had one my entire youth. Our dog used to lie so close to it we had to move him to put more wood in for fear he would catch on fire. Silly dog, but he loved the full on warmth

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    1. Growing up in the city and only tent camping during summers I never had an experience with a woodstove, but when you get cold you learn quick that it is a good thing as long as you are careful with installation and maintenance. - Margy

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  4. I love our woodstove. It is getting on in years now and has a few quirks but still safe and efficient. Like you we are keep on top of maintenance.

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    1. One thing I forgot to mention was that John got our cabin woodstove used from someone's trailer home in town. He refurbished it with a good cleaning and new fire bricks. We check our bricks at each ash cleaning to make sure they remain in good condition. - Margy

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  5. I guess you cannot call in the local dude to clean and inspect it, like we do!!!! We have a wood insert in our fireplace. The house was originally built with a wood furnace, then changed to oil, we changed it to propane. It's been a journey. Still, a lot simpler than yours!

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    1. Actually we could. Our neighbour across the bay is a certified woodstove installer. He does lots of work on the lake and would be glad to help out, but it's easy enough for us to do it on our own now that we know how. Propane sounds like a better choice than wood or oil for you, but for us it would be difficult. Carrying 40-pound tanks up and down the lake is a chore for our fridge and stove. For heating it would be extra hard. - Margy

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  6. We don't have a stove, but do have and use a wood-burning fireplace in our Greek home. After reading your post I knew you'd appreciate our tale of last year when we began asking who could we hire to clean our chimney . . .each time we inquired, we were met with blank stares. Then the flue fell out and we were telling our plumber that we needed to find a chimney repair person and one who cleaned chimneys. Our plumber promptly got on his back (soot and ash covered when he came out) and put our chimney back together at no charge. But cleaning. Who needs to clean, he asked. So I guess when the smoke starts billowing into the room we will be forced to find a cleaner until then, "Who needs to clean?" (Happy Thanksgiving, US style)

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    1. Funny they don't clean chimneys in Greece. I would bet almost all of the homes have legacy wood-burning fireplaces in your area. - Margy

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  7. When we lived in New York we had steam heat from radiators and no fireplaces. Here in Colorado we have hot air vents and three fireplaces, but all the fireplaces are gas so they run on and off with the flick of a switch. Our son had a wood burning fireplace and would have his chimney cleaned every year for safety. A messy job!

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    1. Our town condo fireplace is gas as well. It's still fun to watch and a good way to heat our small space. - Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy