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Thread: Icicles on Woodstove Stack

  1. #1

    Default Icicles on Woodstove Stack

    I put in a new Blaze King Princess this year and have noticed quite a few large icicles forming around the cap. Does anybody know what is causing this and what to do about it? I'm going to go up on the roof tonight and pull the cap to check the creosote in the stack. I've had it running for 2 weeks now non-stop and it works great. I've cleaned out the ashes once in that timeframe and will do it again today. My stack is about 6 feet of the single wall in the main room and then it penetrates into the attic and through the roof for 18 feet (double wall stainless). The wood isn't green, and I've been checking the stack daily to make sure that it's not blocked at the top. I appreciate any ideas or help. Maybe it's just something I'll end up knocking off every few weeks.

  2. #2
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    Default dripping off the cap

    18' of chimney, the flue gas is cooling down and there is some miosture in the wood. If the ice is some what clear then there is not a problem but if it is black then that is 2nd or 3rd degree cresoot and could cause a chimney fire in time.

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
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  3. #3

    Default

    I got up and checked it last night. The icicles were mostly clear, with a bit of soot on them. I checked the stack for creosote, but there was hardly any. I noticed that the cap was pushed down fairly far and there was just about 1/2" to the first opening area where the flashing is. I pushed it up to aboue 3" and I think that might help with the smoke coming out and not condensing on the thing. I checked my wood again and it all has checking on it and appears dry. Thanks for the help, I'll keep you all posted if I find anything else out about it.

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default

    I have the same stove, and the same thing happens to me. My chimney is a wall-exit, which is of course harder to keep warm. The icicles are always mostly clear, though, and the inside of the chimney is very clean. I wouldn't worry much about it unless you start seeing other signs of creosote or inefficient burning.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks

    Great, that's good news to me as I'm always watching the stack, stove and everything else to make sure it's safe. It's still fairly new and I want to make sure it's all working safely. I appreciate the information walk-in.

  6. #6
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default Same here

    We have the same stove and same problem. The colder it gets the more icicles you will have. We've been burning this stove for 5 years and it happens every year. With two year old split and seasoned wood it occurs less but still happens. Also seems more frequent when we turn the stove down so it smolders very slowly. We keep our stack clean and check it more often when we do let it smolder.
    BK

  7. #7
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Default

    Same thing here we just put the Blaze King Ultra with the cat. converter, The pipe inside the house never gets over 300 ,But it sure keeps the house a nice 80 all day. The ice is clear with a slight stain, About the same color my underwear turns when I'm exploring new areas in my airboat and the water runs out
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  8. #8
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    Same thing here we just put the Blaze King Ultra with the cat. converter, The pipe inside the house never gets over 300 ,But it sure keeps the house a nice 80 all day. The ice is clear with a slight stain, About the same color my underwear turns when I'm exploring new areas in my airboat and the water runs out
    I was looking for a way to describe that color....you nailed it.

    The good thing about a Blaze King is that as long as the burn indicator on top of the stove says that the catalyst is active, you should be burning very cleanly and not need to worry too much about creosote. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't check your chimney from time to time, but as long as the ice is clean and you're staying in the "active" zone, you should be OK.

  9. #9
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Same stove, same issues...the only thing that has caused me problems with the icicles is that after a while they will build up to the point that they choke off the openings in the cap. Then the stove will not draw right and will smoke out the door when you open it.

    I would say I usually go up on the roof every year in about march and knock the icicles/creosote off. Makes a huge difference. Then again we burn alot of not so dry birch sometimes and that is the main problem.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Take the cap off for the winter, problem solved. Unless you need it for a spark arrester. I pull my cap off in the fall and put it back on in the spring.

  11. #11

    Default

    This is partly an educated guess, partly a shot in the dark, and a complete possibility of being totally off base. I've never had a problem with icicles on my stack, but it sounds like the flue gas is hitting the cap and cooling enough to have some water condense out before leaving the chimney and this water is what forms the icicles. I wonder if insulating the top of the cap would help prevent the water from condensing? Some commercial buildings use large louvered vents on the roof and the top of these vents are usually insulated with at least an inch of insulation. You may be able to insulate the cap and then take it to a sheet metal shop and have them wrap the top of the cap and the insulation with stainless to make it look nice.

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