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Attack of the killer clinkers

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Estarrio, Dec 6, 2007.

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  1. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Mass / RI
    Hi all!

    I wish I had lurked here longer before making my purchase, as I'm learning so much after the fact...

    I installed my pellet stove (Enviro EF3 free standing) about a week before Thanksgiving. I've been running it 24/7 as my primary heat source. I give the stove a very thorough cleaning every two days...with a max of three days if I can't get to it. I burned some bags from Home Depot to get started and then had 2 tons of Energex delivered from my local dealer.

    Aside from burning through the Energex pellets quicker than I'd like, things have been running very well. That is, until last weekend...Despite my efforts to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny, the performance has started to decline. I've noticed a dramatic increase in the formation of clinkers. In fact, they are taking over the burn pot in as little as 24 hours. By day two, the burn pot is overflowing. I've also noticed that the ash around the stove and up in the heat exchangers is darker, with almost an oily property. The burn pot now takes a good twenty minutes to chisel the hard ash masses away...might need a file and an ice pick if this keeps up.

    The owner's manual suggests that an overflowing burn pot would be the result of poor cleaning practices or poor quality pellets. Unless I am missing some key detail regarding cleaning, I'm not sure that this could be the case. I'm also confused about the pellets as they started off just fine. I store them in a large, dry closet in the finished side of my basement. I also moved them into the house as soon as they were delivered in their weather resistant covering.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,892
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    may have gotten a bad bag and sooted your pipes, check the tee and see how much stuff has accumulated, i generally tap out and brush pipes about twice a ton , but im anal about it, might be time to clean them. and a bad bag or two can really accellerate the buildup. remember "a dirty burn begets an dirtier burn" hope this helps ya
  3. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    I got 44 tons of energex at the end of last winter and EVERY customer and in every stove we burn they clinkered up and overflowed the burn pot.
    the only thing you can do is clean it out every day or so and try different air adjustment.
    Im using what is left of the energex in my Enviro Multi fueled Omega now.
    Glad it has the self cleaning pot because thees pellets SUCK!
  4. cantman

    cantman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm glad you said that about the "Energex". I thought it was just me. My Harman XXV
    did not like the "ENERJUNK". Overflowed the burn pot and clinkered up. Has anyone tried the
    "LG" softwood pellets? I have tried a few bags and seems good except for lots of fines in
    the bags.
  5. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,509
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    I ran 2 tons of the LG brand through my stove the first
    year. The stove ran good with them but yes, I pretty
    much had to sift them before dumping into the hopper.
  6. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    Mass / RI
    Thanks for the advice all...

    I will check the T and see if that alleviates the situation at all...

    This will teach me to buy 2 tons without trying a bag or two first.

    Aside from buying bags at big box stores, is there a way to get bags of other brands before making a major purchase?

    Edit: Also, what exactly are "fines"? Are these the sawdust and runt pieces in the bottom of the bag? If so, I'm getting a considerable amount in the bags that I purchased...would spending more time sifting these out increase the performance?
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