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Ashley King 5500 xl problems

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kenMA, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. kenMA

    kenMA New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    North Shore Ma
    I have owned the 5500 xl for three seasons now and I think during that time, I've only had it running well for two or three months before it started acting up. My issues began shortly after running it in the beginning and finding that it just wasn't putting out enough heat. After changing to a better hard wood pellet, we noticed a better heat range but different issues such as; lots of soot on the glass, unburned pellets in the burn pot after only a two day burn. I've worked with US stove on the phone and have tried numerous changes to settings but they keep telling me that there must be some sort of issue with the draft blockage but there is none.

    I have paid to have someone come out and clean the stove because I assumed there was something I wasn't doing right. Not the case. I have cleaned the fins, the piping completely, the entire burn pot area and even taken off the entire back section to clean it so well that it looked as good as new.

    Can anyone give me some suggestions on how to get the stove to exhaust better so that I don't have to shut the stove down constantly? When it does run well, it pushes out a great amount of heat but when it clogs, it's absolutely pointless to run.

    I have the old A B C panel and I'm wondering if I need to replace the exhaust blower?

    Thanks!

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  2. magentaman

    magentaman Member

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Western Washington State
    Sounds to me like your not getting enough air to the fire. Are you running a OAK (Outside Air Kit) or drawing air from inside the house?
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Check all of your gaskets and especially the ash pan system for possible air leaks.

    The above are draft issues but not blockage, they are air bypasses that act exactly the same as a blockage would.

    If there is any way for air to get into the fire box that doesn't force it to go through the burn pot you have a bypass enough of this and the stove will burn like crap.
  4. kenMA

    kenMA New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    North Shore Ma
    Thank you smokey and magentaman...

    I instantly went out and replaced the door gasket when this started to happen and, after talking with US Stove about my pellets, changed to a better brand. I have tried changing the amount of pellets dropped into the burn pot but all that did was sort of prolong the inevitable....in three or four days it was full and I had to shut it down. I'm also getting a ton of soot on the glass with a bad smoke odor after shut down. I'm assuming that smoke is left over pellets in the pot still burning.

    I'm sorry to sound so negative but I've honestly been on the phone with US Stove more than I'd like and they continually tell me they don't really have an answer for me. Should I consider replacing the exhaust blower? I am not using outside air because the stove is in my basement, vented out through the foundation. It's not a long run of pipe since my old Victorian only has a 6' ceiling. The pipe does have three 90's but it didn't pose a problem when I first started running it.

    Thoughts?

    Also - can anyone recommend a stove tech person in the north shore MA? Not looking for a stove cleaner since I seem to have become a pro at this part!

    Thanks again
  5. magentaman

    magentaman Member

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    Oct 28, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Western Washington State
    Do you have a way to let outside air into your basement? I think your fighting a lack of air. If your are, you would know in a hurry by opening a window or vent that will bring directly into the basement.

    I also think that 3 90 deg bends will cut your natural draft way back.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    12,040
    Loc:
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    You are over EVL limits for 3" pipe with the 3 90 degree bends, they are not helping matters at all.

    Now have you finished checking your firebox for leaks, on some stoves folks have found sloppy bolt tightening where various surfaces come together.
  7. kenMA

    kenMA New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
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    Loc:
    North Shore Ma
    Oh man, Smokey, you're killing me. Does that mean any stove with 3" pipe will be unusable in the basement? Of course when I asked US Stove this question, they told me that wouldn't be a problem. It's a 90 at the stove then only up 5' to the next 90 then about 2' to the next then up to the vent.

    I've checked the door gasket and it did look a little skeptical so I am bringing it to the stove company to buy a new one and show them the current one. It may have been taking in too much air so hopefully that will help.

    I'm not brewing any beer but my love of IPA's has been helping immensely. That Australian Bitter sounds pretty damn good.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No that doesn't mean any stove with 3" pipe will be unusable in a basement, how do I know that, check my signature. Yes I use 3" pipe. But I'm not over EVL. I said it wasn't helping matters and it isn't.

    You can test gaskets by using a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill (looks do not count), you close the door on the piece of paper and then pull it out, if you have resistance at two separated points on each side the gasket is good, otherwise the door has to be adjusted or the gasket replaced.

    Basements have other gotchas one is it is apt to be the place with the lowest air pressure in a house because of the chimney effect.

    You need to follow the manual on installation, there are no shortcuts.

    The stove can also have issues caused by shipment such as loose screws and or bolts which can lead to air leaks. Your burn pot can also cause issues if it doesn't sit properly in its receptical or is missing welds, etc ....
  9. kenMA

    kenMA New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
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    Loc:
    North Shore Ma
    At this point, I've given up. I've run the stove for three weeks now and each time it clogs the burn pot even though every part of the stove, pipe and trap were fully cleaned prior to starting. I would have given up last year but I was convinced that the flu must have been clogged somewhere I wasn't able to reach during the snow filled days using it. If it had always run like this I would expect it as well but this stove ran hot as hell for 6 plus days before I had to clean the box. Not sure where things went wrong but it's really wrong now. If anyone knows of a stove repair shop I can try to bring this to or a place to trade it in, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, watch the news for some guy getting arrested for tossing his stove into the Merrimack river.
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    smwilliamson a member here is an independent certified stove technician in MA. Send him a PM http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/fort/18939/ .

    When you cleaned the venting did you use a leaf blower?

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