1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Almost a Disaster... what might have caused this?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by cntbill, Feb 9, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    I was at one of the Lowes near by and noticed that they had the Pennington pellets that I read about in another post. So just out of curiosity thought I would try a couple of bags to find out if they were the dark or light ones and being that the price was @ $4.30 /bag, $179 /ton.

    Turned out they were the light ones. So figured I would just burn them up and set the stove to 9-9, but ran into a problem, about 2 1/2 hours later, the better half wakes me (I dosed off watching the news) and says that there is a terrible smell and her eyes were burning. I knew the smell, paint, metal smell and went down to check the stove. Well it looked like it was out, glass totally dark, so I figure ok the fire was out and that there was a bunch of smoke as to the reason why I didn't see any thing. So I pressed the Off button and gave it a couple of minutes, but the smoke didn't seem like it was clearing out... I decided to open the door a crack to peek in... Bad mistake... Flames came shooting out.... Holy Crap!

    The door was just covered with soot was the reason I didn't see anything. I made sure it was in Shut down mode and sat there and waited about 5 minutes and peeked in again but there still was quite a fire going. So gave it a few more minutes and checked it again, fire down a bit and then I could see that the burn pot was filled and over flowing.

    Just prior to setting the stove to high I emptied the ashes because I was experimenting with air flow, and I wanted to get back to the defaults. I am pretty sure that was not the fault as I returned all the settings to the previous ones.

    So what caused this and why didn't the stove shut down? as I am sure it was in an over heat condition.

    I am afraid to run this till I get a chance to call tech support, but I am half tempted just to take it back to Lowes.... lol

    Oh.... stove is a Summers Heat 55-SHP10

    Went and got the camera and took a couple of pictures, a couple were taken about five minutes after I put the stove in shut down peeking in the door. The picture of the Closed door was taken while the fire was still going. The others showing the filled burn pot.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. bret4

    bret4 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    To me your stove seems to have a lot of ash in it. Not just the burn pot but in the sides. Did you give it a look below the burn pot plate? If it got a lot of ash under there it could be that it just wasn't getting enough air to burn the pellets. That would have made a rich burn and made the window black.

    If you did start with a really clean stove and the ash on the sides, in the burn pot and under the burn pot is all from one bag of pellets, then I'd say try some other brand of pellets.

    What I have read about Pennington they sound like they are hit or miss. When I see them in the store I pass them by. Some people say that some batches make a lot of ash. Maybe you can burn them at a lower setting of say 6 6. Maybe that will not over feed them and give the stove a chance to burn them up.
  3. blanc12

    blanc12 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I would also pull the pipe off the back of the stove and make sure it is not restricted by ash. I run the same stove on 9/9 all the time and have only seen this when something is restricted. Give it a good cleaning, make sure it is clear up through the pipe and it should be fine.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,293
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Did this happen while you were running that "boost air" into the intake like you have been talking about?
  5. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    bret4 - the ash on the sides is from 2 days worth, pictures make it look like more. The burn pot and under the ware plate was cleaned and scrapped when I started with these pellets, and Yes a lot of ash and a lot not very well burnt pellets.

    Blanc12 - the stove has only been in service for about three weeks now, I would hope the pipe would not be restricted from ash already, but good point I'll check it out.

    BrothreBart - No not running the boost air, as from what I found with that the stove will not run any higher then the low, 1 setting when the extra fan was on, and to run it on 9 had to of turn it off.

    Yes I am leaning towards the pellets as because of the ash and incomplete burn just too many to fast with no where to go.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I don't think it was the pellets or the stove. I think the stove was set too high and this resulted in higher temps which ended up burning more of the paint and oils off certain areas of the stove. It is very typical for pellet stoves NOT to be able to run at all settings. It is the responsibility of the user to determine where the stove runs best, and any different settings and new pellets should be experimented with to see where that is.
  7. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    Yes Very Good Point,

    Very Good advice using new pellets, advice that I will defiantly follow from here on end. The "burn in" that the manufacture recommends is a medium level of 5 which I did for at least 4 hrs. I've previously ran the stove at 9 but only for about an hour and with different pellets and now I am learning that there can be large variations between manufactures.

    Since this is my first experience with a pellet stove, I am learning a lot, and StiLL have a lot to learn. Sort of a crash course when you do things yourself, and this site has given me a lot of insights that I would have never received and or understood, along with helping me calm down.

    Thanks for the advice :)
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    :)
    There is a lot of stuff that falls under the "a stove is not a toaster" category (quote from Gulland!)
  9. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area

    :) ROFLMAO
  10. steveh50

    steveh50 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    central pa
    I burn the same pellets and have no problem with them. I have posted as to what I have done with the air intake and taking all the exhust pipe of and running straight out the wall. I use to have a bunch of ashes on the sides. I just cleaned my stove and had just some dust on the sides and under the burn plate. Everything is burnning up, complete burn. I have my stove on a thermostat. I have low feed at 1 and most of the time regular feed on 5 to 7.
  11. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Doesnt the Summers Heat or most stoves for that matter have an overheat switch that trips? My Castille does....just curious if most or all stoves have them?
  12. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Where is Mike Stoveguy to answer the stove specific question about now? This isn't a new stove correct? I thought it was only certain stoves in certain fuel types of conditions that any limits apply. For example my Countryside will churn all day long on max 5 with pellets but its restricted to 4 using corn due to the higher temp of the burn. It should be capable of running full throttle without problems unless the blower fan got stopped somehow. That would cause it to get hot and smell. Still the high limit switch should be cutting it out and stopping the pellet flow. I have had mine get so hot that it smells a couple times but not enough to burn anyone's eyes. Is there something on that stove that makes the blower motor kick off or is it completely automatic. I would keep a close eye on that particular thing while using it for a while and not run it unattended for more than a few minutes. Try running it on lower settings and working it higher , just keep an eye on it for changes in smell . May be you ran it hotter than ever before and it got a tad stinky. At any rate Mike should get with you eventually and give you the best info on that model. Good luck
  13. galen

    galen New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    NW Missouri
    I kept my newest stove on low or medium for the first 8-10 burns. Then set it on high to see just how hot it would burn. The burn pot was cherry red. I don't think I would leave my stove on high and go to bed. Just one little thing mess up and anything could happen. I don't trust my stove that much.
  14. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    Mystery Solved! :)

    blanc12 - Well double checked the exhaust vent and Yes there defiantly was a restriction. Go figure ;-)

    When I purchased my stove one of the guys suggested to put a vermin screen on the exhaust, so I found a screen that goes in gutters and thought that would work… well.... that was plugged up with soot… I would not have thought it would have had plugged up in 3 weeks or so, but I guess because I've been running the stove on low most of the time as to why the extra soot build up and then all of a sudden switch to 9 might have had something to do with it. Attached is a photo of it but the soot all fell out when I removed it..

    Driz - I've been running the stove most of the day today and yes keeping a close watch on it. I'm thinking or at least hoping that maybe I caught it just before it would have shut down on its own. I think I will be calling tech support when I get some time to find out how I could check For Sure if the automatic shutdown is functioning properly. But in the mean time keeping in on the lower settings... and testing when I switch pellets from now on... Live and Learn :)

    Attached Files:

  15. blanc12

    blanc12 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Glad you got it worked out.

    take care.
  16. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    mike the stoveguy just got back from vacation , (week of golf at myrtle beach) so i didnt see this til just now. guess im late for the game of "clue" i see that it was the "vermin screen" in the exhaust with the asphyxiation :) as for the unit running on high it will, although i usually recommend it as a "sprint" setting , to warm the space quickly then throttle back for maintaining heat. yes it does have an "over heat limit" which stops the top auger until the unit cools at the sensor to a more realistic temperature , it may have been so loaded up from the restriction and the high setting that even with the top auger no longer cycling it still had a bunch of available fuel to burn. the last thing you want with that large an amount of fuel in the ifre is to just shut down, it has to burn whats there and cool before completing a shutdown so looking at the pictures and the pile that was in the front of the pot i understand how the unit was still burning after more than likely tripping the high limit.
  17. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    by the way , with that screen in the flue pipe , i'd feel confident that any brand of pellet could cause this happening , this wasnt the fault of the pennington pellets , as for a rodent screen , i'd think about maybe installing it in the end of the season and take it back out in the fall, but no self respecting rodent is going to crawl down the vent of an active p-10 unless maybe its a lost lemming who couldnt find a cliff to jump off of, or maybe he saw a few movies and decided "its better to burn out, than float away" :)
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Ha, mike - proof positive that the longer you leave 'em to their own devices, the more likely they are to "figger it out" themselves!

    That, IMHO, is the best customer service.

    You must have froze in SC!
  19. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    Mike - Welcome home... :) Hope your vacation went well.

    I really don't use the 9 setting, usually don't need that much heat, even though I have the unit connected to a thermostat. With the thermostat most of the time I have the stove set for 3 - 5, but the last couple of days because its been windy and a little chilly I set it for 4 -6, plenty enough to keep the house between 67-70* (currently 16* but calm). I just wanted to burn up the bad pellets in the hopper so I could replace them with the better ones and at the same time warm up the house a bit with out having to waste good fuel.

    The "over heat limit" - Just for my sanity is there a simple way of testing it? I was thinking of setting the stove up to like 5 and after it had a pretty good fire going turn the room blower down to 1. I would imagine the blower not cooling it would kind of create that scenario ?

    Lemming's, some of the levels are tough trying to figure which ones to sacrifice. And yes after I removed it thought it best to leave it out since I don't think anything would likely crawl in there till around April or so. :)

    Craig - LOL :)
  20. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    SHHHHHH!!!! im training a whole crop of unwitting service techs ;) actually i get a kick out of my customers posting tips it makes me feel better knowing that its getting out there where it helps.

    as for last week in SC it was 70's all week , was a great getaway , played 7 rounds in 8 days with my dad, it doesnt get any better than that.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page