It appears that I’ve installed the flue pipes upside-down! When you burn any wood a certain amount of creosote is produced, as I’ve found, which should then funnel down the flue pipes and back into the stove. To do this, the ‘male’ end of the tube above needs to be inserted into the ‘female’ end of the tube below it, not the other way up as I’ve done it. Simple common sense when you know and an easy (but stupid) mistake to make when you don’t. The clue was which end of the tube packaging the labels were on ie the tops, but I was thrown because I thought the bottom tube fitted over the wood burner’s outlet whereas it doesn’t, it goes inside it.
So I’ve now got to allow the fire to go out and the flue pipes to cool before removing them all, cleaning off the mess on the top of the wood burner and replacing them the other way up. Fortunately I haven’t got to worry about the dried black mess on the outside of the tubes, except for removing the excess to prevent it melting and running downwards again, because when they’re back, nobody will ever see them. It’s just the top of the stove itself that’ll need most attention and hopefully that won’t need too much effort to clean up so long as I do it soon – like tomorrow maybe? Bummer, I want to go flying tomorrow – so maybe do that while everything’s cooling down, eh?
Yes, last night I closed both the upper and lower vents and the fire in my new stove did stay in, so I was pleased with that, this being a new thing for me. However, because I was using the old wood that the previous resident left behind, I seem to have been plagued with the same problem as they were, namely a surfeit of nasty black oily liquid that’s come dripping down the flue. Now I know where the black stains came from on the side wall of my fireplace – from the same liquid as I’ve got, oozing out of the flue tube that had been inserted in the wall, that I removed the other day. I was also a bit disappointed to find that much of the glass in the door already has a black coating on it when the stove was advertised as having ‘clean glass’ technology, but perhaps I was expecting too much, especially if I am burning ‘dirty’ wood.
Not knowing about these things, I don’t know if the nasty liquid that I’ve got is a general problem or is something to do with the quality of the wood that I’ve been burning, but in just one night it’s turned out to be very messy. The reason is that as well as emerging out of the bottom joint, where the flue pipe sits on the top of the stove (which quite frankly, is not a good joint because until I fit the securing bracket at the top of the chimney, the flue pipes are leaning back a bit), the liquid has also come running down the outside of the flue pipes and has then dried on the side of the pipe in large unsightly globs. It may be that the problem will solve itself when the whole job is completed and the flue insulated with Vermiculite so it is hot enough for the liquid to disperse out of the chimney without condensing inside it, I don’t know. I think this will help because when I added some more wood this morning and opened the vents a bit to get the fire going, there was a bit of a surge in the liquid flow which indicated to me that condensation in the cool flue is a problem until it begins to warm up again.
But in any case, I think I may have a little bit to learn about the art of running a ‘poele a bois’ 🙂