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Anybody with an FPX 33 Plus with a blower?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jjolm, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. jjolm

    jjolm New Member

    Joined:
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    ND
    We just had our stove insert installed Thursday and are getting the kinks worked out. One question I have specific to my stove is the blower - it came installed on the stove and the manual is very vague about it. All it says is that "the blower will turn on once the stove is up to temperature. This is typically 15 to 30 minutes after starting the fire."

    While we have not filled the firebox full yet (still a little scared for that) I am adding logs about every 3 hours, 2 splits at a time. I have got it to a good lazy flame, it appears the secondaries are burning, no smoke out of chimney outside, air almost fully closed, and yet still the blower really does not run.

    After this new load the blower is going maybe twice an hour, for a few minutes at a time. With my last 2 splits, it would turn off for a minute, then turn back on for 5; turn off for 15 minutes, back on for 10. It also seems to make this noise for a minute a two before it starts, and it seemed to get stuck making that noise for several minutes. I adjusted the knob and the blower turned on, then off, and the noise continued. I turned the blower all the way off, and the noise stopped. I'm worried we have a faulty blower in our brand new stove. :confused:

    Is this what I want? Does it turn on when the stove gets too hot, or not hot enough? (We now understand how great it would be to have a thermometer -- that is in the works.) The stove is definitely warming the room without the blower, but the blower really maxes the heat output. Going into this, we assumed the blower would be running much more than it is.

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  2. jjolm

    jjolm New Member

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    Made a video to show the noise I'm talking about...

  3. SpeakEasy

    SpeakEasy Member

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    It sounds a little suspicious, but it's hard to tell for sure. I have essentially the same stove, even though mine is in the form of a zero-clearance fireplace instead of an insert.

    Here's something you need to know: the theromostat that operates the switch that turns the fan on and off is located on the right side of the firebox, near the front. If you build your fire so that the initial burn is in that area of the firebox, the fan will turn on more quickly.

    From the sounds of things, either you have a faulty thermostat OR ... you are burning too cool and too small of a fire. I suspect that it is too cool and too small of a fire. If I were you I would load it up really full with logs that are very well seasoned (important!). Keep the air fully open until the blaze is fully engulfing the logs. By this point, the temperature should be hot enough to kick the blower on. (I seem to remember something about the kick-on temperature being 350 degrees.) Then, back off on the air to slow the blaze down. If you have really well-seasoned wood, you should be able to shut the air down almost completely without the fire going out.

    I have found that the above procedure is about a 15 to 30 minute procedure with well-seasoned wood. With poorly-seasoned wood, I can't get away with shutting the air down at all.

    Bottom line is, when the stove is running the way it was designed to run, the blower will be on all the time until the fire is almost out.

    -Speak
  4. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    You aren't putting enough wood in the thing. You can get away with only burning a few pieces at a time after the stove is up to temp. The stove will run the best with a full load of wood. The wood needs to be seasoned at least a year to get good results.

    Sometimes blowers will just hum at first if they are on low, so when the snap-switch kicks it on, it's not pulling enough current to start the motor properly. Leave it on a medium setting, then turn it down after the room warms up.
  5. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    After watching the video, you might have a mest up blower. I didn't realize you were operating it manually. You should probably talk to the installer.
  6. jjolm

    jjolm New Member

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    Thanks for the replies - and yes we do think we have a messed up blower! We will be calling the dealer tomorrow.

    We were much more ambitious with our burns today and at one point I felt like it was maybe too big, and even then the blower was on, off, on, off, on, off. Again tonight we have a good load of 4 splits going (started on a hot bed of coals) and secondaries are fully going (now that I know what they actually look like) and still blower is going on, off, on, off. Kind of annoying with a brand new stove. :mad:
  7. flyingpig

    flyingpig Member

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    I have the old two doors FPX33. Mine will turn on in about 30 min to the burn and will be on till the temp on the door dip below 100F. It never do the on-and-off thing or never have any sound w/o blowing. From your video, I think you should have enough heat for the fan to turn on so I guess the thermostat doesn't work properly. Time to call the installer.

    Welcome to the forum.
  8. jjolm

    jjolm New Member

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    Thanks! Happy to be here. :)
  9. flyingpig

    flyingpig Member

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    Also I won't try to push the stove too hard w/o fan cause it can get VERY hot. I can see inside those small holes of the primary air intake start turning red and secondary tubes glowing red already when I run it @ 600F. That is not over the operating range of the stove and it burns very efficient that way. But I'd try to be on the safe side and keep it below 500F w/o fan.
  10. Puffins

    Puffins Member

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    So what was the result? I have the same insert and with an IR thermometer, I found that the fan only comes on when the top of the stove reaches 160deg. If your blower was not messed up then you weren't burning hot enough. Once mine comes on, it stays on until at least 6 hrs after last log of the night.
  11. jjolm

    jjolm New Member

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    Hey! The installer was going to come back in and take a look at it, but we are out of town and it was going to be a week, so my husband was actually able to get in behind the surround and make sure all connections were good and secure. After he did that, we have had no further problems! We have gotten much more used to how it burns and love it!! The blower stays on continuous now with no more funny noises, so there just must've been something that came loose during travel or install. But we are very, very happy with it now.

    We anticipated using it on a part time basis, but love it so much we have been burning it quite a bit. Our problem now is we are burning through our stockpile much faster than anticipated, but I suppose this is a good problem. :)
  12. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    When I get mine installed, I plan on removing the surround in the event I am unable to operate the blower (ie power outage, broken, etc). My fire place is more than adequate to fit the unit so I reckon it will just be like having a stove. I've actually been contemplating some sort of custom surround that has some stylish looking slits to allow more air out without the blower. Guess it all depends on the fireplace you're inserting into though.
  13. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Ha ha....sounds like us last year.
  14. Puffins

    Puffins Member

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    Good to hear. Do you find that this insert can handle any amount of wood? What I mean is I do not come near over firing this thing no matter what I do. Highest IR temp I've yet to see on the top (aimed IR laser through the decorative surround) is just under 500 deg and that is with BioBricks. Seasoned oak gets me close too. I feel like I don't have to worry at all. Anyone else have the same experience and impression with the their 33 elite??
  15. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    Ditto.

    I have an older version, 2 door. If you really have it running hard, you can get the top to hit about 600F measured with IR, doesnt seem to go above that with the blower on, actually its clower to 450-550. Of course that is dependent on lots of stuff, including on draft.

    Cleaning out the baffle is horrible. My bypass damper has gotten jammed in the past and required work to keep it from getting jammed. I also bypassed the thermostat switch because it took way too long to turn the blower on. It could easily take an hour or two to get the blower on, something must have been wrong with how the switch was installed. Oh and the doors get seriously covered in black really fast, hot fires wont burn it off either.

    Great fireplace though, burn about 3-4 cords a year, probably makes up about 85% of our heating needs.

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