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Beca Sunshine Needs a Little Help- Leaf Blower Trick

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by becasunshine, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    The stove has been burning dirty despite regular cleanings and a "break down/pull the combustion motor" cleaning at the end of last year.

    It doesn't seem like it should be time for a cleaning so soon this year, but there it is- the stove is burning dirty.

    We vacuum the exhaust vent out from outside the house regularly, etc. so we thought we were getting away with not doing the Leaf Blower Trick. We didn't have a leaf blower that would work in that capacity (long story) so we tried vacuuming from the outside as an alternative.

    But the stove is now burning dirty despite it all.

    I bought a Black and Decker leaf blower this afternoon, and some PVC fittings, and I'm ready.

    I know that you guys disconnect the vacuum switch and/or remove the vacuum hose before the LBT. The trouble is, my manual is not overly helpful in this regard.

    Here are two pictures. I can take more if necessary 001.JPG 002.JPG . What do I disconnect here?

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  2. Woody1911a1

    Woody1911a1 Feeling the Heat

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    the vacuum switch is the round black thing that small grey hose attaches to on the left . just pull the hose off at either end . done . just remember to hook it back up after .
  3. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    Hello, Woody, and thank you!

    I tried to remove the hose from either end but it's being a little stubborn... I wanted to make sure that this is what I do before I do it and I can't put it back. Just pull that hose off of either end, right? OK, here goes...
  4. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Did you get the hose off? Sometimes you have to twist it to break the seal, after it should pull right off. Worse case, slit the sucker, pull it off then cut it back to good hose when you reinstall it. It looks like you have enough hose. Remember, take pictures of the blower cleaning. (a video would be better) We love them!
  5. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    OK, got the hose off, did LBT. Because Mr. Sunshine had supplied a piece of flexible plastic tubing that fits with another piece from the ash vacuum, I was able to hook the flexible tubing up to the Shop Vac and feed it into the baffles. I'd sucked a lot of that ash out of the baffles before the LBT so it wasn't all that dramatic, but it did put out a nice poof of ash.

    NOW NEXT PROBLEM.

    In the process of messing with the outside end of the vent pipe, I managed to twist it loose on the other end, where it connects to the 45' elbow that leads to the stove.

    The two pieces of pipe just came undone. They interlock and twist. There does not appear to be any sealant residue on either end of the pipe.

    Are these two pieces of pipe supposed to be sealed by some sort of non-flammable sealant? Something is tugging at the edge of my brain about that but I don't know the answer.

    We can put them back together, easily, but I don't have any sealant here. If I need sealant, would Lowe's carry it?
  6. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    I remove my pipe a couple of times a year. Same thing, quarter turn then wiggle apart. When I remove the diffuser outside, half the time the pipe disconnects inside the house. No sealant, no gasket. Yet, no leaks ever. I remove the end cap off of my T every other week and have never had a leak. Maybe I have a freak pipe? The only sealant I have is at the adapter at the back of the stove. I would try putting it together, making sure it's firmly engaged, then try the stove and see if it leaks. Do you know what make of pipe you have?
  7. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    ChandlerR and Woody1911a1, thank you, you two and stoveguyesw/Mike Holton are blessings to us right now.

    ChandlerR, it's Simpson Duravent pipe, 4", and yes, it connects to the 45' elbow in exactly the same way that it connects to the diffuser- slide one end over the other end by aligning the notches, the twist to interlock.

    I am remembering something about the install, and about conversations about installs, and sealants, but I'm not remembering the entire conversation/information, and I'm concerned about doing this right. We have a CO monitor right next to the stove but I want to do it right before we fire the stove back up.

    EDIT: Ok, well, *all* of these sections Simpson Duravent interlocking pipes are moveable, and apparently have no sealant. There is sealant inside the stove, where the beginnings of the exhaust pipe connects to the combustion fan exhaust chamber. That's the red stuff on the pictures I posted. It looks like it's supposed to be this way.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  8. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Ok, same as I have. Being a pressurized exhaust, I think you would smell / see a leak. I check mine with a flashlight with the lights out. It's been apart at least 8 times, and I mean all apart, and no leaks, no smoke, no smell. I am very careful that the pipes are connected properly. I make sure the pieces are all the way together, then turned until it stops. I usually have one of my boys inside holding the pipe while watching to make sure I have it connected properly.
  9. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    My husband came home right in the middle of this process. HI HONEY! :) So he was here to help with the pipe and to help finish putting the stove back together.

    I wonder if I did the LBT right? I still had the combustion motor pulled when I did that- so there wasn't a "closed track" to the area behind the firebox wall and to the baffles. Also, of course, the stove was wide open- door opened, ash pan removed. So I'm not sure how effective my first attempt at the LBT was in cleaning the baffles behind the firebox wall.

    On the other hand, I'd fed that flexible tubing from the combustion motor chamber into the stove side of the exhaust path, up behind the firebox wall, into the baffles from the combustion motor side. When I did so, it knocked additional ash down into the bottom of the firebox, where our little access doors are located, one on each side, from which we are supposed to suck the ash that falls from the baffles. So, evidently, I was clearing that path as well.

    Do y'all do the LBT with the combustion fan in place, to have a "closed loop" on the exhaust path through which to suck the ash out from behind the firebox? Or does the LBT work pretty well with the combustion motor pulled and out of the loop?

    Other arriving home after a long day at work to find his wife wearing his headlamp, covered in soot and looking like a coal miner, with a wire brush in one hand, a mallet in the other, his socket set opened and on the floor, the Shop Vac and all the attachments strewn about the room, the house cold and the stove in pieces, my husband was thrilled to come home and find A NEW LEAF BLOWER!

    Fortunately we have home made beef stew for dinner. :) :) <:3~
    The Ds and CenterTree like this.
  10. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

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    We don't disconnect our vacuum tube. We just crack the door
  11. Dgopetactical

    Dgopetactical Feeling the Heat

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    X2
  12. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, probably didn't get it just right this time. I think I saved myself from my self by sending that flexible tubing back up the stove side of the combustion vent tract while attached to the Shop Vac. I'll do it better next time.

    On the happy side, the stove sure is burning clean now. :) :)
  13. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    I disconnect the vacuum hose, leave the door closed and fire up the vac. While it's trying it's best to suck the insides of my stove out, the wife opens the door, then shuts it, opens it, then shuts it. She does this several times, She then shuts my combustion damper and opens it, repeating several times. Every time she opens the door or the damper, a huge cloud of soot comes out. When there's no more soot, we're done. She says she's amazed at the noise of the air rushing into the stove when she opens the door!
    becasunshine likes this.
  14. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Hey, it's a learning process. Next time, it will be easier :)
    becasunshine likes this.

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