Ash Vacuum Review, Chimney Sweeping & Cleaning Wood Stove

Chimney Sweeping Brush & Rods

During that season I cleaned the chimney with a poly brush on a long and awkward metal pole. I used a shovel and steel pail to clean out ashes from the stove. This year I decided to make this task a bit easier.
The poly brush I was using was too tight in the stove pipe and made it difficult to sweep.

6" wire chimney sweeping brush
6″ wire chimney sweeping brush

I decided to go with a 6″ steel brush, and instead of the long metal pole I wanted to try a three piece flexible rod set.

Chimney Brush attached to flexible rod
Chimney Brush attached to flexible rod

They screw together easily and tighten with two wrenches. As you are sweeping you can add more lengths of rod as you go along.

Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Review

I find the high efficiency stoves create more creosote buildup so I wanted to try out an ash vacuum to make stove cleaning a bit easier and less messy.

Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Review
Shop-Vac Ash Vacuum Review

I decided on the Shop-Vac model as I have other Shop-Vac products and find they are reasonably priced, work well and it’s easy to find replacement filters.

Steel pre-filter and HEPA cartridge filer
Steel pre-filter and HEPA cartridge filer

This vacuum has a stainless steel tank, a HEPA cartridge filter, a metal pre-filter, and a 6 foot power cord. The 4 foot hose is vinyl covered flexible steel with a round metal nozzle and crevice tool.

Durable hose - Ash Vacuum test
Durable hose

And the hose locks into the motor housing. The motor is rated at 6.3 Amps.

Timber Frame Woodshed

As we are heating the house with wood and we need a wood drying and storage shed as close to the wood stove as possible. There’s a perfect spot right beside the house that has easy access through the front or back door of the house.

Woodshed as close to the wood stove as possible
Woodshed as close to the wood stove as possible

It’s also close to the driveway for easy loading. Last summer we built this timber frame style woodshed. See the complete build video and download the plans.
My wood stove has a bypass handle that you engage when the stove reaches a temperature that the catalytic converter runs at.

Bypass handle on right side of stove
Bypass handle on right side of stove

This handle closes a door for the stove draft and directs the smoke and hot gasses through the fine honeycomb-like metal mesh that is the catalytic converter.

Inside view of bypass door closed
Inside view of bypass door closed
Catalytic converter sits behind this protective metal screen
Catalytic converter sits behind this protective metal screen

Before sweeping the stove I turn this handle to make sure the door is open and the creosote flakes fall into the stove and not pile up against the door.

Sweep the Chimney

Up on the roof I remove the four screws that secure the rain cap.

Remove rain cap from chimney
Remove rain cap from chimney

Then I insert the round brush into the chimney and run it up and down and lower and lower toward the stove.

Brush going into chimney
Brush going into chimney

This flakes off the hardened creosote deposits so they can fall down into the stove.
I then add another rod and continue doing this until I reach the stove.

removing the sweeping brush from the chimney
removing the sweeping brush from the chimney

When done I pull the brush up and out then scrape the underside of the cap to remove any deposits on it.

Scrape inside of chimney cap
Scrape inside of chimney cap

The cap gets reattached and this part of the job is done.

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