What temperature does creosote ignite?

Asked By: Kathy Marro | Last Updated: 5th June, 2020
Category: science environment
4.5/5 (1,134 Views . 35 Votes)
With repeated heating and high moisture content, the ignition temperature of creosote is generally considered to be 451 degrees, the same as paper (also why the book is called Fahrenheit 451). As little 1/8″ to 1/4″ is needed to cause a significant creosote chimney fire.

Click to see full answer


Just so, at what temperature does creosote form?

The smoke that results from incomplete burning contains creosote. When the stovepipe and/or chimney flue temperature drops below 250 degrees F., creosote will condense on its interior surfaces. At very low temperatures (below 150 degrees F.), the creosote deposits are quite fluid.

Similarly, does a hot fire remove creosote? A hot fire will burn out any creosote that may have formed overnight. They either burned the creosote before it could accumulate or kept the chimney temperature above 250ºF so that the smoke escaped without its gases condensing. The burn was controlled by the amount of wood in the stove.

Besides, how does creosote catch fire?

If stage three creosote catches fire, it becomes easy to remove because it leaves behind a spongy residue. But, a chimney fire can too easily lead to a house fire because the intense flames often cause a fire on the roof or damage the flue, causing combustible parts of the home to ignite.

What happens if you burn creosote?

Everyone who burns fires in their fireplaces or wood stoves ends up with a creosote issue, which is a potential hazard. When wood burns, combustion byproducts are produced and expelled through the chimney. Condensation of wood-burning byproducts results in highly flammable creosote on the walls of your chimney liner.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Do potato peels clean chimneys?

In all honesty, however, the old wise tale about burning potato peelings/skins does in fact help. Although you still need to have your chimney cleaned regularly, because even potato peels won't prevent the chimney from getting dirty, but it will help decrease chances of a chimney fire due to creosote.

What wood produces the most creosote?

So while you can clean a chimney with creosote remover, it's wise to use wood that produces less of the noxious substance. In general, hardwoods like oak, ash, and beech are more difficult to ignite, but they last a long time. Softwoods like fir, pine and cedar make more smoke, and therefore more creosote.

How often should you burn a creosote log?

Hirsch says homeowners should ideally burn one creosote log for every 60 fires in order to reduce creosote buildup in the chimney flu.

What dissolves creosote?

How to Dissolve Creosote
  1. Mix a bottle of anti-creosote liquids into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the liquid directly onto the creosote and scrub it clean with a wire brush.
  3. Spray the liquid onto logs and burn the logs in the fireplace.
  4. Burn a specially-treated log in the fireplace.

Can I clean my own chimney?


In many cases, you can clean the chimney yourself and save a few hundred dollars. Removing ordinary chimney soot is pretty simple. But if you have heavy creosote buildup, you'll have to call in a pro. Otherwise, hire a certified chimney sweep.

Does burning an aluminum can remove creosote?

Burning aluminum cans does not get rid of the creosote, it merely turns it to flakes and powder. It remains necessary to physically clean the chimney with the correct chimney brushes.

Why does my chimney smell like smoke?

A: The odor is from creosote. Your chimney may need cleaning. The result is that makeup air is pulled down the chimney, which is a big, unrestricted hole in the house. If that happens when you have a fire going, smoke will fill the room.

Why is creosote banned?

The European Commission has banned the sale of creosote-treated wood after it was found that there could be a cancer risk. Scientists carrying out a study for the commission have found that creosote is much more hazardous than originally thought. The ban takes effect from June 30, 2003.

Is it OK to burn creosote wood?

Although all wood will burn, not all wood is safe to burn. Inhalation of the fumes from burning CCA treated wood can be fatal. Another common preservative is creosote. This is derived from oil, is black in colour and has a distinctive tar like odour.

How do you know if you have creosote buildup?


Signs of Creosote Build-Up
  1. Reduced drafting in fireplace.
  2. Less ash and more wood in fireplace after a fire.
  3. Black soot in and around fireplace.
  4. Very dark smoke from chimney.
  5. You can visibly see more than 1/8 of an inch of soot build-up.

Does burning cardboard cause creosote?

Burning cardboard boxes, regular trash or wrapping paper will cause the creation of excess creosote and put your home and family in danger. While using the correct fuel is important, a chimney fire can still occur even after taking these precautions.

What do you do with creosote?

Some creosote types were used historically as a treatment for components of seagoing and outdoor wood structures to prevent rot (e.g., bridgework and railroad ties, see image). Samples may be found commonly inside chimney flues, where the coal or wood burns under variable conditions, producing soot and tarry smoke.

How do I know if my chimney needs to be cleaned?

The following signs indicate a chimney in need of a cleaning:
  1. Burned wood odors coming from the fireplace when it's not being used.
  2. Fires that seem to burn poorly or that dump a bunch of smoke into the room.
  3. A black damper. Since it sits right above the firebox, the damper is often the easiest thing to see and reach.

What color is creosote?

The major chemicals in coal tar creosote are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenol, and creosols. Creosote is a thick and oily liquid. It is easily set on fire. Its color is usually amber to black.

Will a chimney fire burn itself out?


Any combustion will cease when all the available fuel has been consumed. A flue fire will be extinguished when there is nothing left to burn. Flue fires rapidly reach temperatures in excess of 2000° F. The thermal shock caused by this rapid escalation of temperature will damage ceramic or clay flue liners.

How do you prevent creosote?

How to Minimize Creosote Buildup & Prevent a Chimney Fire
  1. Only burn dry, seasoned firewood.
  2. Never burn artificial logs.
  3. Build hot, clean burning fires.
  4. Make sure the fire gets enough oxygen.
  5. Reduce condensation by warming up a cold flue.
  6. Schedule an annual chimney cleaning and inspection.

What to do if chimney goes on fire?

What to do if you have a chimney fire
  1. Call the fire brigade - 999.
  2. If you have a stove then shut all air vents and flue dampers to reduce the chimney fire's oxygen supply.
  3. If you have an open fire then gently splash water on it to extinguish the fire.
  4. Move flammable materials, furniture, ornaments away from the fireplace.