Back in the ancient days wood stove inserts( a wood stove that has been set into an open fireplace ) were not installed with a stainless steel liner being installed down the length of the chimney, connecting to the wood stove itself.
The above photo shows a flexible stainless steel liner system that would be installed to an insert per the existing code of today. There are woodstoves still in use that have not been lined. An un-lined wood stove insert needs to be pulled out by the chimney sweep in order to properly access and clean all areas of the masonry chimney and fireplace cavities. This also allows proper inspection to determine if any chimney repair needs to occur inside of the house ( rarely is an interior repair needed..)
Unlined inserts were often times installed with a direct connect pan that needs to be removed in order to clean the smoke chamber above the damper. Removing this pan also allows access to the smoke shelf, which is where most of the creosote lands after the chimney cleaning occurs. The smoke shelf is a cavity behind the back wall of the firebox. It is cleaned out by snaking the vacuum hose through the damper opening. Click the following video from our YouTube channel to see a short video showing a direct-connect pan removal:
Here is a video of a rather dirty direct-connect pan drop:
Of course, we do clean un-lined inserts and perform liner installations and masonry repairs. Call to schedule an appointment or estimate. (503) 653-3819.