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Ash output - is it normal?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by bobmwsc, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. bobmwsc

    bobmwsc New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    central Mass
    First I'll say that I have absolutely no prior experience with any type of wood burning or pellet burning appliances - so thank you for keeping a resource like this message board available for people like me!

    This season I acquired a new to me pellet stove. It's a 1991 Lopi Heritage Bay (Pioneer Bay) Insert. It had been sitting unused in a friends basement for a few years and had some surface rust so before I installed it I did a bit of work to it - all new paint (twice), all new gasketing.

    Seeing how it seemed pretty straight forward, I did the install myself - running a 4" stainless chimney liner up my existing chimney making sure to use excessive amounts of silicone and the high temp aluminum tape at the tee connections. No smells of a leak and no readings on the CO meter that I placed on the mantel next to the stove.

    The question I have though is what exactly is the ash output supposed to look like. It seems to me like I'm getting an excessive amount of ash from the pellets. I've tried multiple different brands from lowes, home depot, and tractor supply. I know they're probably not the most premium pellets but they're affordable. I've recently been purchasing stove chow - they seem to give the best heat output and lowest (by comparison) ash. The ash that I'm getting is pretty dark and very fluffy. I've tried adjusting the the damper and the flame itself will adjust but it doesn't seem to affect the ash output in the least. Is there anything I should be looking for or is that just the nature of the stove?

    BTW - I do a thorough cleaning of the stove about one a week but have to empty the ash box about every 3 bags of pellets because it's close to overflowing into the burn pot.

    DSC01061.JPG

    after one bag the ash box is about 1/3 full of this fluffy ash. The flash from the camera made it appear much lighter than it really is.

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  2. bobmwsc

    bobmwsc New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    central Mass
    and here are some of the photos of the stove itself... before and after

    DSC00248.JPG
    how it came.... chipped, rusty and tarnished

    DSC00264.JPG
    door dismantled.....

    DSC00273.JPG
    This was after the second round of painting. The first time around I used steel wool to sand down the old paint but when I repainted you could still see ridges where the bare spots were covered up. Plus I wasn't happy with the flat black paint. I went back and stripped all the paint off - down to bare metal. base coat of the flat black with 2 coats of metallic black stove paint.

    DSC00305.JPG DSC00312.JPG DSC00313.JPG
    The surround was in pretty rough shape to - on both sides. I didn't want the surface rust spreading so the panels were sanded on both sides and re-sprayed with the same metallic black.

    DSC02095.JPG
    Here's the stove as it stands now... I was happy with the results!
  3. The Ds

    The Ds Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    335
    Loc:
    Western PA, USA
    Not sure on your ash question, since we have a different type of stove.... but you did an awesome job! It's beautiful!
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
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    12,218
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
  5. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    889
    Loc:
    MA
    Ash looks right to me.
  6. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    933
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    I second that, beautiful job with the restoration. My first thought is that your ash is relative to the quality of the pellets. The other factor for possible high ash is running the stove on a low setting. At higher temperatures you will get a more complete combustion with generally less ash. I can tell you that I generally have more ash (relatively speaking) in the shoulder heating months, than the dead of winter. Typically, with wood, you will have 0.5 to 2% of the burnt mass as ash. So over 3 bags you are looking at 0.6 to 2.4 lbs of ash. If you have a small reservoir where that will end up , or you are getting the really fluffy stuff it will fill up your stove. I found that the newer stoves generally have larger ash pan capacities which help keep things running longer. In other words, I don't think what you are getting is unusual.
  7. bobmwsc

    bobmwsc New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    central Mass
    Thanks for the info- glad to know that the ash output seems normal. Thanks for the compliments too! The stove itself was a pretty good deal I think, $500, so I felt I could invest some time and effort into making it look nice.

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