Another Wax Firestarter Disaster, Wood Stove

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Old 03-06-03, 01:39 AM
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Exclamation Another Wax Firestarter Disaster, Wood Stove

Wood Stove Users Beware!!!


I thought I would add a post warning about wax firestarters since I can not add it to RothGlenn's warning (the thread is "closed"). The following were my emailed questions to him. There doesn't seem to be much on the net on cleaning wood stoves for DoItYourselfers.

Anyone have any ideas?

Copy of Email:

Dear Glenn:

Last night I sent a copy of your "wax firestarter warning" post to my nephew who has a Vermont Castings Wood Stove, just to let him know of your experience. He wrote me back and said too bad I hadn't sent it 2 days ago, as they just had the same thing happen. The house filled up with smoke, and he says there is oozy liquid coming out of the cracks.

He is only a semi-handyman, so he is perplexed as to how to properly clean up the mess. They used a wax firestarter (don't know the brand) a few days ago, and then apparently also put in a Duraflame Log sometime after that (probably a day later). They are in Marblehead MA, so they are using the stove all the time in the playroom (cold like where you are in NJ).

I was wondering if you could inform me how you cleaned out the stove. You said it only took 2 hours?

You said you cleaned out the whole chimney and that the "waxy" buildup was terrible. Do you mean you cleaned the "whole" chimney all the way to the roof, or do you mean just the chimney part from the stove that goes into the ceiling or fireplace? Their chimney pipe goes into a fireplace with a masonry chimney (2 stories high).

Was the waxy buildup in the chimney or the actual inside of the stove? Theirs seems to be still inside the stove according to their "ooze" description of a mysterious "liquid."

What did you use to clean out the chimney?

How did you clean the wax from inside of the stove? Did you use any type of cleaner or just wiping and wiping and wiping?

Their wood stove has one of those catalytic combustion things in it. I downloaded their manual and apparently it is normally cleanable by blowing out the accumulated ash, but what should they do if it has wax in it? Any suggestion of a safe way to remove wax if it is on the catalytic thing?

Did you just know how to clean it or did you get info from somewhere on the net, or just your own common sense? Any particular tools you used?

They pay at least $150 for a chimney sweep, which I don't know if that includes cleaning the inside of the wood stove as this is the first year they have used it. They live in a 1764 house with 8 fireplaces!!! They started using the wood stove due to the high gas and oil bills. I feel so bad this happened to them. They just had a baby and also have a 2.5 year old.

Any suggestions you could provide me would sure be appreciated. The stove is a Vermont Castings Intrepid II. It worked great until this deal. I can't find any advice on the net and I have been searching for hours.

I assume what they need to do is:
1. Clean out ash pan thoroughly and see what is in it first.
2. Clean out underneath it and wipe inside of stove.
3. Clean out chimney parts they can get to.
4. Open out the place where the combuster thing is and see if it is clogged.

What should they do to remove the "wax" (paraffin) film? I read that one brand of those things really breaks down to oil and not wax. I am concerned about the inside of the stove the most as I don't know what kind of surface it has and the proper way to maintain or clean it without harming the finish (if it is anything special).

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to try to explain our dilemma in hopes you can give us your 2-hour method. It sounds like a 2-day job to me!!! It is cold in Massachusetts. I am in Mississippi and can't help them with this DIY project.

It was odd I sent your post to them just as it happened!!! Guess it is family ESP.

Thanks a lot and stay warm in front of your stove (hehehe). Don't toss in any candles.

Peace and Warmth,

Your Post:
For those you with a wood burning stove, DO NOT USE WAX FIRESTARETERS. sPENT 2 HOURS CLEANING THE WHOLE CHIMNEY , TAKING IT APART AND PUTTING IT BACK TOGETHER. The waxy buildup was terrible. Also, woke up to a house full of smoke last xmas. Had to cart out burning logs outside. So much for heeding the retailers warning. Pay attention.
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Old 03-06-03, 03:49 AM
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**since I can not add it to RothGlenn's warning (the thread is "closed").**

The first 4 forums are non-interactive...they are for more to give information/tips/cautions/ect, rather than questions.

I found the above that -might- help with cleaning/maintenance.

Fireplace forum...might be of some help....

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