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10-CPM: Pellets not burning efficiently

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by xavblk, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    Hello - I have a 10-CPM stove that is now burning Stove Chow pellets (used Maine Wood pellets last year). These pellets are not burning efficiently and are starting to quickly accumulate to the top of the burn pot (fan speed 5/5 and above), is there anything I can do to make them burn faster? Last week I used a remaining bag of Maine Wood pellets and experienced no problems even with fan speed of 7/8. My current stove setting is 1-4-1. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  2. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe damp pellets,... try another.
  3. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    may need to clean behind the firewall possibly if the heat exchagers get loaded with ash it slows air down and causes the pot to load up
  4. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    Mike - do I have to access the rear of the stove to do that or is that the removable wall behind the burnpot?
  5. jrsdws

    jrsdws Feeling the Heat

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    Remove the firebrick panel. At the bottom of that back wall on each side you'll find two little covers. Remove the screw from each and get in there and vacuum that all out behind the wall. Take a mallet and tap around gently on that back wall and watch the ash drop. Tap until it stops falling and vacuum everything, including the heat exchanger.

    When was the last time your venting was cleaned?
  6. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    The vents and the stove was cleaned one month ago, the two covers mentioned were also removed and vacuumed but I failed to use the mallot and tap to get that ash to fall. I will make sure and do that once more. Would modifying the settings from 1-4-1 to 1-5-1 allow the pellets to burn hotter (if the pellets have moisture)?
  7. jrsdws

    jrsdws Feeling the Heat

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    Well I don't honestly know how or if they'll burn if there is moisture. Bumping LBA to 5 or 6 will put more air through the burn pot, thus making the fire hotter, but you won't have the most efficient heat exchange either.

    After another cleaning using the mallot you can try it. If they have moisture I'd think you'd need to mix them with a good pellet at the very least.

    Assuming you have the OAK installed, check the screen at the inlet on the house to make sure it's not all crudded up and the tube isn't plugged, etc.. Mine had some off season crud built up on it and it burned way better after cleaning.
  8. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    Can you explain why bumping the LBA to 5 affects the efficiency of the heat exchange? Really appreciate it. I am currently testing the stove at 1-5-1...will let you know the results. I do have an OAK installed and will check the tube for any obstruction, thanks for the tips.
  9. jrsdws

    jrsdws Feeling the Heat

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    It may or may not at 5, but the higher you go with it the more heat you'll put out your exhaust as opposed to in your house.
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep.. The higher you set the LBA, the Faster and livelier the flame. But it also means the air is moving faster through the stove.

    If raising it to 5 works, then leave it. But build up in the pot at factory settings, lead me to believe that something is slowing the airb (ash, OAK, vent, etc).
  11. imacman

    imacman Guest

    In my experience, and also from talking to Mike H last year, the LBA can be increased, but if you go over 6, you start sending the air through the stove too fast....less time to absorb heat, and also send what heat it does get up the exhaust.

    IMO, I'd try a setting of 2-6-1 and see how that works out.

    Once again, make SURE the OAK is clear. A quick test is to remove the OAK connection at the rear of the stove just to see if the fire gets more lively. And DO use a small hammer or mallet to get all the caked-up ash inside out, as mentioned above. If you can do a leaf blower cleaning at this point, that might help too.

    Also, are you sure the ash pan is firmly seated against the stove? Both ash trap doors are tight down against the sliding ash drop doors? "Dollar bill" test on the front door gaskets?
  12. Indiana

    Indiana Feeling the Heat

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    I had a similar issue at the end of last season. My oak screen was 95% clogged. That with a complete cleaning, she runs like new. Mike mentioned tapping on the back plate to dislodge the ash. This takes 5 mins. But the results are wonderful.
  13. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    Thanks for the great tips everyone, I am taking some time tonight after work to follow up on all of the advice that has been posted. Last night I used the 1-5-1 setting but there was no change, the problem still existed. So a thorough cleaning of everything will be conducted tonight.
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Make sure to check the gaskets. Especially the Door gasket as imacman mentioned.

    An airflow problem can be upstream or downstream (intake/exhaust) or on the banks (gaskets/clean out door)

    That flame has to be very lazy if its building up? Does the flame visibly look any different to you?
  15. sculptor

    sculptor Member

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    I have the same stove. I had the same thing happen and found it was one or two causes...or both. Poor quality pellets or the burnpot needs a good cleaning.
  16. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If you saw NO change after going to 1-5-1, then there is an airflow problem somewhere. Dirty insides, plugged exhaust, clogged OAK intake, loose ashpan, or something similar. As you know, I have the same stove and have NEVER had the pellets fill the burn pot.......and as many people on here know, I let that stove get pretty dirty a few years back, and it still ran as normal.

    Don't forget the things I mentioned above to try.
  17. xavblk

    xavblk Member

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    Hi Folks - I pulled everything apart, followed all tips that were given and found the problem - an air flow problem. Due to the lack of time I had this past summer I had a stove contractor (he installed the stove) perform the annual cleaning of the stove and vent; when he removed the ash trap doors for cleaning he re-assembled it by installing the ash trap doors first followed by the sliding ash drop doors...that mistake prevented the sliding ash drop doors from moving all the way forward into place allowing a 3/4 inch gap of airflow to exist behind the trap doors on both sides. After I corrected that and also after using the mallet to tap on that back wall as JRSDWS advised (a whole lot of ash fell from that action) I restarted the stove with excellent results...I now know what a "lazy" fire is in relation to an "active" fire, the difference is amazing. The pellets are now burning efficiently with a lot of heat being generated, even noticed that after 24 hrs of burning pellets the glass was still clean. This has been quite an experience and am now really understanding how an airflow issue along with a dirty stove can negatively affect how this stove is supposed to work, I thank you all for taking the time to assist me with this problem. I am so happy that it turned out to be a problem with the stove and not the pellets as I had already purchased 2 tons and stashed them in closets on 2 floors throughout the home.
    Question - the round inlet mesh of the OAK was clean, but just in case that ever becomes clogged what is the best way to clean it? Does that round mesh pop out for cleaning?
  18. jrsdws

    jrsdws Feeling the Heat

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    Good job! I used a small flat screwdriver and popped that mesh cover off to clean it. Mine had collected some webs and a subsequent dust and debris.

    Keep looking for places to clean and add them to your regular cleaning and the stove will perform well for you.
  19. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Glad you found the problem, and you learned a lot about your stove in the process.

    As for your pellet storage locations, you're our kinda guy! ;lol

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