Pellet stove issues


  #1  
Old 11-22-05, 07:20 AM
snapshotmd
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Pellet stove issues

I have a Whitman pellet stove that I started to use last year when I moved into my house.

The problem I'm having is severe buildup of ash/creosote? in the burn pot.

Last year, I used Hamer and haven't had any problems with accumulation; the pot is almost free of ash and residue.

This year, I bought a ton of Hamer and I'm getting buildup so severe that it's literally filling the pot with ash (it doesn't fall thru the grating of the burn pot). I have some theories but I'm not sure if they hold water.

1) the pellets were delivered on a rainy day and I noticed that the bags were wet, not soaked.

2) I just happened to notice one of the pellets had foam in it, yes, plastic rubber foam. Could be a bad batch?
 

Last edited by snapshotmd; 11-22-05 at 07:45 AM.
  #2  
Old 11-22-05, 10:46 AM
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Yearly maintenance by a professional is recommended for pellet stoves. Exhaust ducts need to be clean, fly ash vacuumed from inside stove, exhaust blower and vents need to be kept clean. There should be no air leak around door, glass, or ashpan.

Tight houses may mean not enough air for the stove to properly vent and may result in excess creosote buildup. This is usually indicated by an orange, sooty flame or dark smoke out of vent at startup or before shutdown. If it flames like a blow torch, there is too much air. Soot on glass, smoke spillage, and reduced heat output usually indicate a need for maintenance of components or vent system or need for depressurization of the house.
 
  #3  
Old 11-22-05, 11:16 AM
snapshotmd
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I just had the pellet stove cleaned/swept 2 months ago by a professional. Could it be that he screwed up?
 
  #4  
Old 11-23-05, 02:25 PM
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It's not likely that the person who cleaned the stove messed up, unless stove is not operating as it was prior to cleaning. Chances are greater that your stove is not getting enough air to proper vent, especially if you have a lazy flame. Try opening a window two or three inches in the room with the stove and see if there is improvement. If the stove is getting too much air, then flames will be aggressive. Check for air leaks around door and ash pan.
 
  #5  
Old 11-26-05, 02:27 PM
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Everyone seemed to ignore this little tidbit of info, you pellets should have nothing but pellets. If your've got foam rubber in there I'd get a hold of your supplier immediatly.
 
  #6  
Old 11-26-05, 09:04 PM
yooperlou
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Lower grade pellets, (containing more than .05% ash), produce more fines, burn less efficiently, and require more cleaning. That being said even the lowest grade pellet shouldn't give the problems you describe. Check to make sure your auger is not over feeding your stove. You can tell this if you have partial-burnt or whole pellets in your cleanout. Also check to see if you have any "foreign" matter in the box. Not familiar with your particular brand of stove or pellets but knowing the pellets I use, (Pinnacle, Kentucky Komfort), there should absolutely be nothing coating/inserted in them. Look at your vent pipe, is it smoking much? and if so, is it dark in color or more the normal white-ish puff. Rain shouldn't matter if they are plastic bagged, at least that is the way I buy them. Also do you notice any kind of wierd smell? I would think that if they have some kind of bad pellet/coating you would notice a chemical odor. From your post I gather it ran fine prior to the latest shipment of pellets. I suspect the dealer has some answering to do. Hope this helps
 

Last edited by yooperlou; 11-26-05 at 10:39 PM. Reason: because I can
  #7  
Old 11-27-05, 05:49 AM
snapshotmd
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Could it be that the auger was reset or knocked out of "calibration" while it was being cleaned?

Nothing has changed in the house to make it more air tight since last winter.

Here's another theory;
I typically run it till the hopper is empty and let it burn out. My settings are usually high heat and high fan and I monitored the progress of the burn thru the evening. Not much accumulation of non-burning pellets in the burn pot, the burning pellets are about 1-2 layers from the bottom of the burn pot. The fire is roaring. I'm thinking that when the hopper runs dry, the fan actually blows out the flame. I notice that there are unburnt pellets and a whole lot of ash in the burn pot.

Does this sound likely, or is this theory blowing smoke, so to speak.
 
  #8  
Old 11-27-05, 06:57 AM
yooperlou
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I suppose anything is possible but not being familiar with your particular stove can't say for sure the auger is the problem. With my stove, in order to set everything back to factory standards (calibrate) all you do is unplug the unit from the outlet for a few seconds then plug back in. When you say that there are unburnt pellets, are you talking in the actual burn pot or the ash bin on the bottom? If in the ash bin you probably have the feed rate too high. If in the burn pot this is normal as not all will compelety burn when the fire goes out. Go out and buy one bag of new pellets and try it. See if it makes a difference. If it does return all the bad ones for another batch. Letting the fire go out should not cause any problems.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 02:27 PM
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Just out of curiosity, what is the reasoning behind running the stove till it's empty? This doesn't provide any benefits that I can think of.
 
  #10  
Old 11-27-05, 03:44 PM
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This is probably blasphemous, but I let it go thru the nite while we're asleep.
 
  #11  
Old 11-27-05, 06:28 PM
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My Harman runs pretty much 24/7, except for about 2 hours of down time every other weekend for cleaning.
 
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Old 12-05-05, 06:52 AM
snapshotmd
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Follow-up

I'm just following up on my pellet stove problem.

The problem were actually the pellets. I tried another brand and they burned pretty good. The hearth store clerk where I bought the pellets and they said that clumping is common with Hamer pellets and Hamer puts out an inconsistent product. Some batches are good and some are bad. I just got a bad batch.
 
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Old 12-05-05, 01:49 PM
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I'd make sure to make it my last batch of that brand.
 
  #14  
Old 12-07-05, 07:42 AM
yooperlou
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I'm curious to know what the ash content was on your problem pellets along with the moisture if you still have the bag. I've been goofing around with several different grades of pellets and the difference in btu's and ash is quite noticeable compared to what I normally run.
 
  #15  
Old 12-07-05, 08:37 AM
snapshotmd
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Hamer Pellets

Dimensions: Diameter 1/4" - 5/16"
- Ash Content: Less than 1%
- Fines: Not more than .5%
- Bulk Density: Not less than 40 lbs.
- Sodium: Less than 300 ppm
- Length: None longer than 1.5"
 
  #16  
Old 12-07-05, 06:06 PM
yooperlou
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Thanks for the info, my dealer gave us several bags of different pellets to try out and the ash/moisture is much higher than I normally use and what your hammer pellets are. No wonder there is such a difference. Thanks again.
 
  #17  
Old 01-27-09, 12:04 PM
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pellet feed

I have an Enviro EF-IV that seems to be feeding too many pellets too fast. Many of them miss the burn pot and burn later on the "floor" of the burn box. Is the auger adjustable to turn down the speed of the pellets falling?
 
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Old 01-27-09, 12:40 PM
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Holy dead thread revival batman!
 
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Old 02-23-09, 12:13 AM
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Huh?

But Davejb, we cant know all the answers batman.
 
  #20  
Old 02-23-09, 05:09 PM
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Just an FYI - These are the best pellets I have burned. I get almost no ash. 50 bags = 3/4 full ash pan in my Harmon XXV stove. Too bad I can't get them around here any more.

- America's Best Pellets
 
  #21  
Old 11-11-09, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fcl147 View Post
I have an Enviro EF-IV that seems to be feeding too many pellets too fast. Many of them miss the burn pot and burn later on the "floor" of the burn box. Is the auger adjustable to turn down the speed of the pellets falling?
Has anyone ever messed with your feed control if not then it is a good call on your part
 
  #22  
Old 01-22-12, 11:17 PM
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Fly Ash Bricks Manufacturer in Chennai

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  #23  
Old 01-27-12, 04:01 PM
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For the original question, a pellet stove needs to be cleaned bi weekly and thoroughly cleaned monthly. It's still a wood stove and the ashes still need to be cleaned out venting and all.
 
  #24  
Old 01-27-12, 04:07 PM
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The EF 4 go to your manual or the Enviro website in the archive section. They have a pretty good walk thru troubleshooting guide. Or contact the Techs at Enviro.
 
  #25  
Old 01-30-12, 05:18 PM
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my breckwell

i have a breckwell insert that fires up fine but after an hour or so it stops blowing then the fire goes out . but the pellets will keep feeding..any ideas
 
 

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