Does Burning Anthracite Eliminate Creosote From the Flue?

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italia899
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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 5:36 pm

A coal supplier stated that anthracite does do that. Is there any truth to that? I know burning anthracite does not produce creosote. I would like to know this because next fall I plan on burning wood on warmer days then switch over to anthracite when the temps dip into the low 40's.

Thanks


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gambler
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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 5:53 pm

I am no expert, actually I am a coal virgin. but I don't see how burning coal will remove the creosote unless you are running really high stack temps. Just my thoughts, maybe an expert will post some actual findings.

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coaledsweat
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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 6:18 pm

Antracite does not produce any creosote. It does give off a little flyash, which amounts to a very fine ash similar to cigarretes. It will over time remove the creosote from clay tiles, you'll find a pile of black dust at the cleanout after the season. I have no idea if it will do the same with a steel stack but would assume so.

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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 6:36 pm

Yes it does. I did this for many years. It will clean the chimney out quite nicely, if you burn it long enough. I used to have a terrible problem with creosote in my chimney for some reason so I would burn coal for a few weeks then switch over to wood for a week or two. Ackually the wood would heat better, but with more trips to the furnace. Less labor in coal and longer burn time. Wouldn't trade my stoker now that I have one. for nothin.

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gambler
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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 7:16 pm

That is very interesting!! What causes the coal ash to make the creosote come loose from the chimney? Some kind of chemical reaction?

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sparky
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Post Thu. Apr. 05, 2007 10:26 pm

I know a family who had a tall clay lined chimney and burned exclusively wood for many years.
They switched to a coal furace and were warned by their coal supplier that the coal exhaust WILL loosen all of the remaining creosote. After a period of time it did loosen all at once and ended up plugging the chimney at the bottom. Everyone woke up very sick and lucky to avoid a disaster.

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coal berner
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Post Fri. Apr. 06, 2007 12:28 am

THATS why you are supposed to CLEAN YOUR CHIMNEY at lease once or twice A YEAR with wood more like twice a year depending on what kind your burning SAFETY FIRST :shock:

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Post Fri. Apr. 06, 2007 7:20 am

gambler wrote:That is very interesting!! What causes the coal ash to make the creosote come loose from the chimney? Some kind of chemical reaction?
I think that is the case, but it is not the fly ash, I believe it is the acidic nature of the gases.


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Richard S.
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Post Fri. Apr. 06, 2007 7:33 am

I'd imagine the heat would have something to do about it too.

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Post Fri. Apr. 06, 2007 1:59 pm

Being a professional chimney sweep I can tell you that it is basicly a chemical reaction thing. I have many customers that I encourge to burn coal along with their wood to help clean up problem flues. Burning coal is not a substitute to having your chimney inspected annually.........

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Post Wed. Nov. 27, 2013 2:55 pm

i live in a home that has coal burning fireplaces , I was wondering does coal burning have a higher or lower risk of chimney fire , I have worked with wood burning fireplaces but never one of these little coal burners before, I am like any one else afraid of house fires , I live in an old home with very tall chimneys the house is 3 and 1/2 stories tall so I assume the chimney to be about 40 feet or so up . I actually have 2 chimneys which in total have 9 flues so my other question is if im only using one fireplace do I need all the flues cleaned or just the one to that fireplace , I wasnt sure if there is any heat transfer between them that could cause a problem if an unused one is dirty . thanks for any help

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Post Mon. Oct. 10, 2016 3:24 am

italia899 wrote:A coal supplier stated that anthracite does do that. Is there any truth to that? I know burning anthracite does not produce creosote. I would like to know this because next fall I plan on burning wood on warmer days then switch over to anthracite when the temps dip into the low 40's.

Thanks
I have been trolling around looking for a quote like this concerning creosote and coal. I am still relatively new to coal burning --2.5 years now... love it... I have heard no creosote from coal... I will say I have not experienced anything BUT my neighbor who owns a OWB that I now own.. says he gets creosote .... I have looked in his boiler it does appear to be creosote... he burns coal only... wood only used to start a fire and most of the time he never lets it go out (almost never) So what is this substance that looks like creosote if coal does not produce. Granted not anthracite... it is sub bit coal... could it be the tar from this type of coal condensing on the boiler jacket. It really is not that bad overall considering the amount he burns.

thoughts

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Post Mon. Oct. 10, 2016 5:33 am

Sub-bituminous contains a lot of volatile gasses, some of which can condense in the boiler. Anthracite is a different beast.

I cleaned a lot of creosote out of my chimney after switching to anthracite. It dried out and fell to the bottom.

Chimney Cleaning

NJJoe
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Post Mon. Oct. 10, 2016 2:19 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
gambler wrote:That is very interesting!! What causes the coal ash to make the creosote come loose from the chimney? Some kind of chemical reaction?
I think that is the case, but it is not the fly ash, I believe it is the acidic nature of the gases.
I also was going to post this. Seems logical to me. Coal gases are corrosive and they attack the creosote lining the flue.

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Post Mon. Oct. 10, 2016 3:30 pm

For what it's worth,.....

Because of the top cap being to restrictive, I always ran my fireplace hot, or any wind gusts would overpower the weaker draft and I'd get smoke puffs into the living room. That running it hot, plus using well seasoned wood, never let the creosote build up to a wet and thick gooey layer. The next season it would flaked off easily with a brush. There's never been any coal burning appliance hooked into that chimney.

The same happened in my range.

Last Spring, I took Rev Larry's creosote rust prevention advice and burned a couple of firebox loads of wood as the last fire. The creosote build up throughout the stove's flues was black, thin, and dry.

When I started the range two weeks ago on coal, all of the creosote layer that was not close enough to the firebed to get hot enough to be burned off by the coal fire, had scaled off shortly after starting the stove due to the heat expansion. I was able to easily brush off whatever didn't flak off and vac it all out of the flues.

I saw nothing that would lead me to believe the coal flue gases removed any of the creosote. Just burned it off in the flues closest to the firebox where the temps run 400F and above, and in cooler places it flaked off from temperature changes expansion/contraction.

Paul


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