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Breckwell P23 Problems - Smoke and now water from Vent pipe

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by pelletdrew, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. pelletdrew

    pelletdrew New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    NH
    Background: Breckwell P23 stove - have had for about 4 years, bought used. Has worked fine. Did a full clean-up prior to starting it up this year.
    Recently it ran out of pellets and I used the opportunity to vacuum out the flyash. I did NOT vacuum behind the small doors since it has only been running for 2 weeks or so. Loaded pellets into the hopper and turned it back on - heard an unusual "crunching/grinding" noise - don't think it was because of pellets in the auger but not sure. Stove ran for about 10 seconds, and I noticed that the auger was not turning as long as "usual" at startup. When the auger motor started to kick in a second time, the stove shut down. Waited a while and started back up again and this would happen again.
    Thought I may have damaged the air-flow switch when I vacuumed out the stove, so I put a jumper wire between the lines going to the air switch. Turned the stove on and it stayed on - and noticed the auger 'on-time' was longer than when it had been shutting off. Got the usual bit of smoke around the vent pipes when it was initially firing up and the then the pellets fired up. BUT - the flame looks "different" than in the past - kind of a lazy flame. And the smoke continued to leak around the vent pipe. Tried changing the damper setting but not much difference wherever I set it. Let it run for several hours, and then noticed a puddle of black water under the vent pipe near where it goes through the wall. And although we had a lot of rain recently, the stove was working fine during and after Hurricane Sandy (we didn't get hit that bas here in NH)
    The gasket to the door and pan appear to be fine - and again - this stove was working fine 2 days ago. No smoke leaking etc.
    The combustion fan seems to be working fine.
    The glass is getting soot and blackening up very quickly.
    Any thoughts or ideas of what's going on/what's wrong would be appreciated.

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,772
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    gonna be an airflow issue to start. with water dripping from pipe seams i'd check the cleanout to make sure with al the wind and some rain you may have had your pipe "washed" by it assuming that the pipe may have had some buildup in it possibly the accumulated ash is buit up down at the base of the pipe possibly restricting it. this would possibly affect the vac switch as well dirty glass is another tell tale of air deficiency. smoke leaking around the pipes is another.

    definately check the flue system. i may be wrong but its a good start
    DAKSY likes this.
  3. btanoue

    btanoue New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    CT
    Keep me informed. I will inherit one from a family member and he said he had the same problem.
    No water, but very dirty glass and weak flame.

    I also think he said he couldn't run it on 5 for long.

    I'd like to understand if you fix it before I decide to put it in or not.
  4. doublewide

    doublewide Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    121
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Here is what I would do. Unplug the stove and vacuum switch. Clean the stove again including behind the doors. Use some Romex 12-2 wire to scratch away behind the vent doors where your vacuum can not reach. Also lightly tap this area with a hammer to knock loose any ash. Burn the stove when you can be there to monitor it for about 6-8 hours (this should dry out the vent pipe and any other moisture). Let the stove cool and then clean the vent pipe. You can try and air dry the old vacuum switch if you see sign of moisture. If the old vacuum switch is not working replace it. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

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