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A few more questions...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Mariuch, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Mariuch

    Mariuch New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Southern New Hampshire
    Ok, I was on here a little while ago, trying to figure out some issues with our stove.

    We have it running much better now. One thing we did which seems to have made a huge difference is we are burning Okanagon pellets now, (of course they are the more expensive ones), we were using the NEWP ones before. But I was just reading that a lot of you keep two types of pellets on hand. So is this the case. Soft wood pellets in the really cold weather and some of the cheaper ones when its warmer (like this week)?

    We still did have a minor issue of pellets starting to build up in the pot at like 4 in the morning on a couple of the really cold nights we recently had. It'll be fine at 2 but starting to build up by 4 (hubby is up a few times during the night) Is that just still an airflow problem?

    And also, how often do you clean the ash out of around the burn pot, ash pan, area? How often do you clean out the actual exhaust pipes out the chimney? We clean out the burn pot/ash pan area every day. (We don't run it during the day. I see no need for the house to be 70 degrees when I'm not there.) Do you guys just let it build up in there when you only clean once a week? Doesn't it block any of the magical airflow these things need?

    Thanks for the help.

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  2. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    Do you have an OAK installed? I had a lot of problems with ash/pellet buildup in the burnpot until I installed my OAK. Also helps to stir up the burnpot a bit once and a while. Before I installed my OAK I also had to clean out the burnpot once a day, now its more like once a week unless I am running it on high for an extended period of time.
  3. whlago

    whlago Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    295
    Loc:
    NW Connecticut
    Slow down and deep breath Mariuch!

    So...pellets, yes many people put there pellets into general categories such as "shoulder season" and "cold weather". Everyone has different opinions on this and it is more than just a softwood/hardwood thing, as there are some very hot burning hard wood pellets out there as well. Bottom line it is a matter of what your budget allows you and what burns well in your stove. Best bet is to get some bags of various pellets and try them out. Some people burn so called "shoulder" pellets all winter and love 'em.

    Not sure about the issue with pellets building up in the burn pot. It would be helpful if you put your type of stove in your signature as different stove owners with similar stoves can help with specific issues with your specific stove.

    As far as cleaning the burn pot...again it would be helpful to know the type of stove. I read on here lots of people clean the burn pot every day and lots don't....depends on what your stove requires. Mine is good once a week or so because I have a stirrer that mixes up the pellets as they are burned and clears the ash out of the pot.

    As far as cleaning the vent pipe. Some do it once per ton/ some more/ some less. In my opinion once or twice during the burning season and once in the off season works...but again...to each his/her own and the more you do it the happier your stove is.

    Definitely follow the owner's manual instructions on the cleaning....or more so....

    Just a thought also....if you leave your stove on a low setting during the day to keep your house comfortable...it will be less of a chore to get it up to temperature when you return home and has the added benefit of coming home to a somewhat comfortable house. IMHO it is questionable whether you save money by shutting the stove off during the day and then cranking it to get up to heat when you get home. Also many use a thermostat to maintain a desired temp. in the house with very good luck.

    Good luck Mariuch (love writing that name :)) and stay warm! Now I'll take a deep breath _g
  4. Mariuch

    Mariuch New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Southern New Hampshire
    Thanks whlago! I am breathing!! I usually just build up a few questions and ask all at once! ;)
    I have an old Whitfield Cascade stove. From what I understand its about a 1994 model.

    We sort of got into cleaning it once a day, in trying to get it to burn right for a consistent amount of time. So we just keep doing it because its working fairly well.
    I was wondering if we may need to hook up the OAK. Right now we don't. I don't see a lot in the manual about those things. Do you just get a small attachment pipe to run outside, with some sort of cap on it?

    I wonder also, my configuration has 3-90 degree bends in it. Would that make a difference in airflow for some reason?

    Thanks again.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,061
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    3 90 degree bends is a 15 EVL without counting anything else and if it is 3" pipe you just likely found your primary cause of pile up.
  6. Mariuch

    Mariuch New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Southern New Hampshire
    Smokey, what does 15 EVL mean?? There are two in the 3" pipe & 1 in the 4" liner.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,061
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Equivalent vent length there is a table (actually multiple tables) each elbow has a value as does a foot of vertical pipe and a foot of horizontal pipe.

    The stove manufacturer has sized its combustion systems to be able to push the exhaust through a certain vent length. If you exceed that length you have to increase the size of the venting to reduce the resistance the exhaust gases have to overcome to get them out of the system.

    The normal EVL for using 4" instead of 3" is around 15.

    1 foot vertical = 0.5 EVL
    1 foot horizontal = 1.0 EVL
    1 45 degree elbow = 3.0 EVL (if the angle is taken slowly 2.5 EVL, depends upon the vent maker)
    1 90 degree elbow or clean out T = 5.0 EVL

    You sum them up to get the total EVL of the vent system and then consult the stove maker's manuals to determine if you use 4" or 3".

    If you check about a dozen sets of tables you'll also discover that the elbow figures are for elbows in a vertical configuration. In a horizontal configuration they are higher.

    This is a quick way to size venting and it uses a proxy figure instead of doing a full blown set of calculations or actually testing out things using real venting.

    The cut over limit also depends upon altitude where the stove is being installed.

    I hope this helps a bit (also the change over point is at the stove adapter) if the calculations say 4" is needed.

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