Outdoor Furnace: The Most Overlooked Maintenance Items

The Most Overlooked Maintenance Items

It Would Be CRAZY To Buy An Outdoor Wood Boiler, and NOT Know How To Maintain It
Hawken Boilers

Do You Have One?

You pull this handle - the "Pull Rod" - before opening your outdoor wood furnace door so that the smoke does not blow in your face. (See photo above.)

If you don't have a Pull Rod, read below for urgent and important info.

You might think: "Yeah, so what?"  

But did you know that EACH MONTH, you should use the pull rod to clean your top air channel? This is often overlooked, and potentially FATAL to your outdoor boiler. 

How Is This Done? 

Simply pull the Pull Rod until it hits the stop. Normally, you should pull the Pull Rod about 18 inches before it hits the stop. Then twist the Pull Rod clockwise about one-eighth of a turn, and you can continue to pull it out much farther! Several more feet!

If you do this with the front door open, you will see a poof of white powder drop down inside the firebox. This is how you clean out the top air channel (we call it the "D-Plate").

How Else Can I Clean The D-Plate?

You can also clean out the top air channel with a cleaning brush we call the "Cleaning Brush - D-Plate" (available HERE). With the furnace off and cool, simply remove your chimney cap, pushCleaning Brush the wood handle down the chimney and point the handle towards the front of the furnace. 

Push it until the wood handle hits the front wall. Go to the front of your outdoor wood stove, open the door, and reach up to grab the wood handle and pull the brush through. Do this several times until sufficiently clean.

It is also recommended to use a shop vac to remove ash from the top air channel by reaching the shop vac hose down the chimney.

 Shop Vac

If My Boiler Doesn't Have a Pull Rod?

Then you MUST obtain a "Cleaning Brush - D-Plate" and follow the directions above to clean your top air channel at least once per year or as needed. More cleaning instructions can be found in the product description of this cleaning brush HERE. 

Maintenance FAQs

  • How often do I need to Inspect my Chimney/Flue

Inspect chimney and flue monthly and clean as needed. Clean chimney and flue annually. Perform cleaning and maintenance only when no fire is present in the firebox and ashes are cooled completely.

  • How do I Clean the Lower Ash Chamber?

Use caution. Only open the lower back door when the furnace is switched to the off position. Using the provided cleaning/scraping tool, remove ash from the lower chamber as necessary, at least every week. Always remove ash into a covered, non-combustible container.

  • How Important is the Door Rope/Seal?

Inspect door seal fire rope monthly or as needed. Make sure the door seals properly to prevent air from entering the furnace; this will cause the furnace to overheat and can cause serious damage to the furnace. If necessary, replace the fire rope. If necessary, adjust the door for proper fit.

Never operate your outdoor wood burner with a fire in it with the door open, except for brief periods while loading wood or removing ash. When replacing the fire rope or adjusting the door for a proper seal, be sure to remove any fuel from the furnace to prevent overheating, since the door may be open for more than a few minutes.

For more outdoor wood boiler parts visit our online store OutdoorBoiler.com or call our office Monday-Friday 9 am - 8 pm EST at (231) 861-8200.