The stovepipe leading from your fireplace or stove directs smoke out of your house and up through your chimney. The crimped ends that form the fittings on these pipe sections usually perform well enough to keep the smoke inside the pipe and prevent outside air from leaking in and reducing the draft. Allowing outside air to enter the joints in a stovepipe can also cool the smoke and allow creosote to build up prematurely in the chimney. Sealing an ill-fitting joint is easy and should be done before the heating season.
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Things you need
- Wire brush
- Mild detergent
- Heat-resistant caulk
- Utility knife
- Caulk gun
Clean the outside of the pipe joint with a wire brush. Remove any rust or scale from the outside of the pipe above and below the joint. You can skip this step if you are installing new pipe with a clean surface.
Fill a bucket with warm water and a mild detergent. Soak a rag in the detergent solution and wash the outside of the pipe around the joint thoroughly. This is important even with new pipe, as it will have a thin coating of solvent or oil from the manufacturing process.
Cut the end of the caulk tube with a utility knife and pierce the inner seal with an awl or ice pick. Insert the tube into the caulk gun.
Apply a uniform bead of caulk completely around the joint you wish to seal.
Allow the caulk to cure completely before using the stove or fireplace. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for curing time.
Tips and warnings
- Reliable high-temperature caulk is available at most home improvement stores or speciality fireplace and hearth shops. Avoid using fireplace cement on stovepipes. This cement is heat-resistance but becomes brittle and has a tendency to crack and fall out of the joints during the heating season. Caulk will retain it flexibility and stay in place longer.
- Allow the caulk to cure for the full period of time recommended before using your fireplace or stove. Heating the caulk prematurely may weaken the bond between the caulk and the stovepipe.
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