View Full Version : Those fireplace logs thingies...
Oct. 19, 2009, 05:14 PM
Does anyone know if those logs that supposedly take care of creosote in your chimney actually work? Just wondering. We're thinking of getting one. Of course, it wouldn't replace an actual professional coming and doing the usual yearly inspection and cleaning, but just wondering about using in between times. Experience with it anyone? :D
Oct. 19, 2009, 05:52 PM
They do. We use them a few times during the winter in our woodstove. I don't know exactly HOW they work, but they do what they are supposed to - eat up/liquify?/dissolve creosote.
Oct. 19, 2009, 05:58 PM
They do. I usually use one at the beginning, middle and end of the fireplace season just to be on the safe side.
Oct. 19, 2009, 06:02 PM
Although I live in Fl I use the fireplace as much as I can in the winters...and have NEVER cleaned the chimney!! 21 years
Whats the name of these logs? I should check into it soon.
Oct. 19, 2009, 06:29 PM
yep they do. :yes: They work pretty well. Although every 5 years or so a good chimney cleaning keeps the chimney and flue working best,
On a side note, has anyone ever swapped a wood fireplace for a gas log one? I'd love to have that done, but not sure what it entails and online searches have yielded bupkis for info. My chimney needs relining if I want to burn wood in it, but the fireplace is more for ambience than heat. I'm thinking no storing wood and no cleaning ashes and being able to turn on and off the fire would be a good thing.
Oct. 19, 2009, 07:05 PM
I used one a few times last year, (we only burn at night)
This year we had a chimney fire on our second fire.....not fun!
I think the fire was actually started by a nest (DH closed off the entry point now....), but upon taking apart the chimney to clean we found lots of stuff in the chimney on the walls, so not sure how well the log worked... Of course, it's hard to know when the last owner had it cleaned.....could have been 20 years of stuff in there...
Now we have the brushes to clean and will do that. But I'll still use the logs as back-up.......
Oct. 19, 2009, 07:27 PM
Misty-do you have a gas service to the house? Because if you do they run a feeder line to the chimney box, and install the gas logs. If you don't have gas service you can get propane tanks to run it, but the first couple of hours of burn time (on the first year) stink from the additive they put in the propane. The remote controls never seem to work very well, but you can get a wall switch that works without power to turn it on and off during power outages so it's a nice back up to keep the house warm in case of major power failure. You don't have to use the chimney if you get the ventless logs, you just have to leave the glass doors open during use. And if you want to you can have your chimney removed and the top of the flue capped off-I did that and it eliminates the leaks around the chimney/roof joint and since the roof is now solid eliminates that worry. Plus I don't have to worry about anything coming down the chimney. And if you just want ambience you can get the nice electric logs that put out heat and light don't require anything but an electric plug nearby.
Oct. 19, 2009, 08:14 PM
There's a big advantage to gas logs that don't use electricity. When (not if, when) the power goes off, you still have heat, and the ventless models keep all the heat in the house.
A fast-talking salesman talked a friend into one of those fancy remote-controlled jobbies. Along came a Winter storm and -- frosted buns! To say she was p*ssed was an understatement.
Oct. 19, 2009, 09:34 PM
No, I don't have gas service but I do have a large propane tank outside for my cooktop. (I hate electric cooking) I could swap it out for a larger one for the fireplace, not sure this one is big enough.
I was wondering how it vented...the reason we never use the fireplace now is mostly due to the fact that the chimney is cracked. I thought I heard someone say once with a gas log type you can just run a pipe down the chimney to vent it. Didn't think of the ventless ones. But I also am not thrilled with the idea of a propane stinking house either.
I'm not overly worried about power outtages...we have a generator. Best anniversay present evah. :yes: Hubby still thinks I'm insane when I ask for generators or power tools for presents though, LOL! He didn't think I was too insane when we had an ice storm and everyone else had no power for days while we were watching TV, baking, on the computer and had heat and lights.
I just really like having a fire on crisp fall nights and cold winter ones. Just don't want to do major expensive repairs to the chimney and have to start buying wood, storing wood, cleaning out ashes and praying the fire was totally out before I go to bed.
Oct. 20, 2009, 07:28 AM
There is NOTHING like one toasty spot after working outside for a while. Instant comfort. Our house is a tiny cape, so sometimes the upstairs is a bit more than toasty, even though we have a small woodstove. We usually buy a cord or two( cut/split), but our neighbor has been clearing his yard, so for the past year he's been dumping logs here for us. He does cut them to length, so we( Mr CB/TB!) just have to split them. We do have a log splitter, which is a big help. We still have a few trees that have to come down here, so we are pretty much set for a while. We heat with oil, but only need 2-3 fillups a year, and usually , like this year, start the season with a 3/4 full tank. I can cook a mean turkey soup on the woodstove- and we LOVE hot brandied cider( Apricot brandy) on a stormy night- kept warm on the stove.
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:39 AM
LOL...I agree that there's nothing like a toasty house after doing barn chores for a few hours in sub zero weather. And even better if I can get shnockered on hot brandied cider. :winkgrin: :lol: :winkgrin:
I wouldn't mind a wood stove in the least although I prefer the ambience of an open fireplace, but hubby hates them with a white hot passion.
We don't have a log splitter and when it comes to manual labor...I'm the shiznit. With two arthritic shoulders, so even though we have way too many trees that could use clearing I'm not about to go cutting down trees, debranching, chipping branches, cutting and splitting logs, stacking and drying. Just don't have the time between weed wacking, manure pile turning, seeding and fertilizing, mowing, pruning, driveway raking, leaf blowing, acorn and hickory raking, snow removal, digging new and clearing old drainage ditches and swales, pot hole filling, rock wall repair, stone patio repair, trim painting, fence tensioning, post repair, tractor upkeep, truck upkeep, hubby's car upkeep, lawnmower upkeep, generator upkeep, etc. Not to mention the last few working parts of my body would probably revolt and fall off if I added in firewood. :eek: :D :eek:
But I would love, love, LOVE having a working fireplace that was low maintainance so I can enjoy the look and feel of a roaring fire without all the work and worry. One of my main criteria for buying any house has always been "has to have a fireplace." This house is the first one we've had where the fireplace needs work before using so I haven't enjoyed a fireplace since we moved here almost 6 years ago. *sigh* I miss it, but not willing to spend a small fortune rebuilding or repairing the chimney and then laying in wood. I'd love to have one *easy* thing to enjoy, LOL!
Oct. 20, 2009, 08:57 AM
Don't know about the logs, but when we had a woodstove, we used a spray on the logs and then was sure to get the fire good and hot at least twice a day. Burning a ling, slow fire is what builds the stuff up in your chimney.
When we took out the woodstove, we went with an electrical unit because gas fireplace can be bad if you have allergies/asthma, plus it leaves a film on everything (bad for the computer) and I have a hard enough time keeping the house clean.
Oct. 20, 2009, 09:45 AM
On the fireplace side, I haven't used those special logs. I have a chimney cleaner come each fall. Late winter is full of chimney fires in our area! Too risky! You get a lot of buildup especially if you burn wet or green wood.
I have a propane "fake wood stove" in our office/studio building. It is wonderful. It stank terribly for the first few months (I think the surface of the metal needed to cure), so I had to keep all the windows open while it was running. Now it has stopped stinking.
I would NEVER use "ventless". There is no way that is possible! You are going to get a slow buildup of fumes or something, no? Ours has a short vent that goes straight out the wall behind it. You can vent them up through a chimney, too.
The fake wood stove is turned on by a little switch and then it heats the room to like 80 degrees in about 45 minutes, so I open windows... :D
I didn't want a real fireplace down there because I am not in the building all the time, and don't like to leave logs etc burning unattended. Plus wanted to avoid the mess of ashes and wood scraps, as that building is for my office with lots of delicate computer equipment and we try to keep it dust free and super clean.
Oct. 20, 2009, 09:50 AM
a properly vented and installed woodstove or gas stove or gas fireplace does not leave soot or a film on anything in the house because all the smoke goes up the chimney. If you are getting residue in the house, something is wrong.
As for the OP, I've never used those chemical soot remover logs in my woodstove and have the chimney sweep in every 2 years. I once had a chimney fire in another house-where we had just moved in and I suspect the chimney had never been cleaned. The roar of the freight train in the chimney as it starts up is unmistakable! Fortunately, the fire in the firebox was good and hot and we poured a gallon of water into it to create steam, which smothered the chimney fire. Unfortunately, the chimney sweep did not re-install the critter screen at the top of the chimney and I kept having to rescue birds from the woodstove the following summer.
It kind of depends what sort of wood you are burning too. Here the most common is cedar or fir and both are sappy softwoods that leave a lot of residue. We go to a lot more trouble to get hardwood to burn to avoid the creosote buildup in the chimney.
Also, most brick chimneys are no longer code around here and to get insurance, you have to retrofit with a double walled or triple walled flue liner or else not use the woodstove. So if you have a leaky brick chimney ( which is will be if it is more than 30 years old and hasn't been repointed...) there is an easy ( but not cheap) fix.
Oct. 20, 2009, 10:12 AM
We would always have a chimney sweep come in the fall before we started burning and he was the one who would give me the spray to keep it clean.
The best wood to burn is oak because it burns hot and dry (no sap). Poplar will burn but doesn't put out much heat and pine has too much sap.
Even a properly installed/operating vented or vent free gas fireplace will cause a film to build up over time on surfaces around the fireplace and is not recommended for anyone with asthma/allergies.
Oct. 20, 2009, 01:01 PM
So if you have a leaky brick chimney ( which is will be if it is more than 30 years old and hasn't been repointed...) there is an easy ( but not cheap) fix
Yeah, that's pretty much what I have. :no:
Oct. 20, 2009, 01:23 PM
How about a pellet stove? My brother in Maine has one and it's pretty neat. The pellets come in 40-50?lb bags , about the size of the equine pelleted bedding. I think his has an electric start( could that be right? Don't know much about them) and I think if it's not already on if a power failure, they can't start it unless they have a back up battery unit- which I think they have. H ebuys pellets by the ton and the place will store his order and he picks up so much every few weeks, as needed. The stove is a glass fronted one that shows a nice flame. It does keep things pretty cozy. He has it vented through an outside wall.
Oct. 21, 2009, 11:09 AM
Lots of input to answer the OP's question, and as this isn't horse or really even farm-related, we're going to close the thread.
Off Topic Day coming at some point over Halloween weekend. :)