How to clean stainless steel flue pipe

Written by g.k. bayne
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How to clean stainless steel flue pipe
Clean all flue pipes at least once a year. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Stainless steel flue pipes offer a chemical-resistant and high-temperature solution for exhausting wood stove gases to the outdoors. Over time, creosote and soot build up inside the flue. This obstruction decreases the ability of the wood stove to draw air for complete combustion. The chimney needed cleaning on at least an annual basis, depending on the type of wood being burnt. In all cases, the best method for cleaning a stainless steel chimney is brushing the interior flue with a stiff-wire chimney brush.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Chimney brush for stainless steel
  • Extension rods
  • Powerful flashlight

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Ensure the fire is out and the flue is cold before attempting to clean the chimney.

  2. 2

    Access the top of the chimney. Remove the chimney screen cap by pulling the screws with a screwdriver. This will open the chimney cavity for cleaning.

  3. 3

    Attach the chimney brush to the first extension rod. Push the brush down into the flue from the top. Secure a second extension rod to the first. Push the brush deeper. Continue to add extension rods until the brush reaches the bottom of the flue.

  4. 4

    Pull the brush up and out of the flue opening. Push the brush back into the chimney flue to the bottom. Continue to scrub the stainless steel flue in this manner several times until the sides of the flue are clear of creosote and soot.

  5. 5

    Shine a powerful flashlight down inside flue to inspect the sides for leftover debris. Scrub the flue again if required.

  6. 6

    Remove the collected debris from the lower clean-out door at the base of the flue. Replace the screen cap to the top of the stainless steel flue pipe.

Tips and warnings

  • Flexible stainless steel flue pipe, when installed correctly, expands and contracts to remove built up creosote that collects on the inside of the flue. Consult the manufacturer's specifications for any type of periodic cleaning.

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