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Burnpot Filling Up

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by djs_net, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    I have an older Breckwell P2000 insert. The flame and heat appear to be fine but the burnpot is filling up with ash after 12-15 hrs to the point that unburned pellets are falling out and collecting in front of the burnpot. My guess is that there isn't enough air flow to eject the ash from the burnpot, I've adjusted the damper and even open all the way doesn't seem to be enough.

    A few notes: I have been testing different pellets this year, maybe burned 15 bags total since the last full cleaning. This issue is happeneing with all different kinds of pellets, I have mostly been burning Barefoots and Spruce Pointes. I also have taken a chisel to the burn pot and cleared up any plugged holes.

    I'm wondering if an OAK would solve the problem? I'm not sure what the best way to install an OAK in a chimney insert? I didn't have this issue last year. Almost every issue I've encountered with this stove has been solved by cleaning but I don't think that's the case this time.

    Once again: after cleaning, the stove seems to run great with outstanding heat and an active white-ish flame. Over time the ash starts to collect in the bottom of the burnpot and eventually the flame becomes less active and the burnpot fills all the way up.

    Any ideas? Having to shut down every day to vaccuum out the burnpot kinda sucks.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How long has it been since the termination cap was cleaned?

    They get crudded up and make a mess of burns.

    Also try the dollar bill test on your door gaskets and if your stove has them the ash pan gaskets.

    Something may need a little adjustment.
    save$ likes this.
  3. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Dollar bill test = passed
    No ash pans on my stove
    Termination cap is not really accessable based on the height of my chimney. I could pay someone to get up there if needed. I've burned about 5 tons total since the stove was installed last year.
  4. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    5 tons and the vent was "not" cleaned? Sounds like this could be the problem. Your vent should be cleaned minimum once a season. Most here will recommend once every ton to 1 1/2 tons or so. Many also use the leaf blower after a cleaning to be sure they have removed all the crud from the stove!

    There are a couple of doors on either side next to the burnpot on the back wall(inside the stove). Have you removed and cleaned behind them?
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If you have any binoculars take a look through them.

    Then I'd also check the clean out tee if you have one on that insert venting.
  6. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Yes cleaned behind the doors etc. I would love to use the leaf blower trick but my chimney is way too high. I regularly clean the exhaust vent with a brush (at least the bottom 9 feet of it I can reach with the extension). I may be wrong but it seems that the large majority of the crud and ash collects in the very bottom of the vent...I'm sure the cap isn't crystal clean but do you think it would be dirty enough to block the air flow enough to cause my problem?
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well in one word, yes.
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  8. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    I'm curious what others who have inserts with tall chimneys do? I can't imagine paying someone several times a year to clean the cap.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    They don't, a lot of them have long enough brushes to get all the way to the top, a number get up on the roof as well. Also if one has a 4" flue you don't notice the build up until things get quite bad a 1/8 layer on a 3" vent is one thing and that is not even noticed on a 4" so it is likely you are now at the point where the buildup is noticeable.
  10. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Thank you for thr responses. I'm heading out to Lowe's to buy more extensions for my 3" brush so I can clean all the way to the top. I'll let you know if it solves my issue. I also plan on recleaning the combustion blower when I have it apart.
  11. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    I clean my venting every 30 bags or so. Easy enough in my situation because I have an up and out install through the wall.

    My termination nozzle had a screen with it that had 1/4" square openings. (WMS) I eventually just took it off and threw it in the garage. No need for it because I use a pipe cap to cover the end of the venting outside.
  12. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    The P-2000 is know for the door not sealing correctly. Make sure you remove those panels and beat the heck out of the back firewall. If your liner is that tall I would bet that is the main issue. With a 4" liner you should only use 35'. If it is a 3" it should not be more than 25'. I am not going by EVL just common sense.


    Eric
    save$ and SmokeyTheBear like this.
  13. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Well, Lowes gets $10 for every 48" of extension = $50 to reach the top in my case.
    Because I'm frugal (cheap), I bought 25' of flexible tubing @ .20/ft = $5. The existing rod and brush fit perfectly inside the tubing and should do the trick for me.
    Now, I'm just waiting for my stove to cool down so I can give it a try...
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How is it going?
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    That cap could/should be crudded up pretty bad.

    But a removal of the Comb blower and a deep cleaning of ALL ash traps and exhaust passages is a must. IMO
  16. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Thanks guys (as usual). I did clean the vent all the way up to the cap, it didn't seem that dirty. The real issue was the combustion blower.

    My wife has been pretty good at taking turns cleaning, she's not afraid to get dirty and does a pretty good job at it. I realized that she didn't take off the combustion blower when she cleaned the stove before we fired it up for the first time this season (last month), I figured that was my issue. When I took off the blower, not only was it badly in need of cleaning, the gasket wasn't sealed properly.

    The blower is now spotless, the gasket repaired, and the stove is burning much more efficiently. After 6 hours, there is no significant ash buildup in the burnpot. I'm warm and happy.
    becasunshine, save$ and kinsmanstoves like this.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That is good news.
  18. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    I'm reviving this earlier thread rather than starting a new one. I'm still having burn issues with the burnpot filling up with partially or unburned pellets when I have the feed level above 2 (out of 5). Previously, I thought I had cleaned the vent all the way to the cap but recently realized that the brush wasn't getting there.

    Last week I perchased the Gardus Soot Eater with enough extension rods to really get all the way to the top. The total run is about 22' for a 3" vent. I ran the Soot Eater up and down the vent 3 seperate times today and I'm convinced that the it's finally clean. I thought for sure that the issue would be resolved, but the stove is still burning like crap. There clearly doesn't seem to be sufficient air flow to completely burn the pellets before the burnpot starts to fill up.

    I'm stumped and extremely frustrated. Any ideas?
  19. Gary Gileau

    Gary Gileau Member

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    Just a couple of stupid questions. Are the holes in the burn pot nice and clean? You seem satisfied that the venting and exhaust blower are clean. How about any passages between the firebox and the exhaust blower? I don't know anything about your stove but on mine there are tubes that go from the firebox through the heat exchanger, I run a wire through the tubes to loosen any ash that may be built up in those tubes. You say that it is an older stove, I wonder if the exhaust blower is tired. Have you tried a different brand of pellet? Like I said, I really don't know your stove but it seems like you need more air or less fuel. Keep us posted.
    save$ likes this.
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    How about from the air intake to the burn pot? Dog hair, fuzzier etc. ck with shop vac, vac and blow. This is one case where the Leaf blower would really get to drag air completely through your system.
  21. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Thank you for the responses. Every time I clean the stove, I remove the burnpot and use a chisel to scrape away any built up residue that forms...the holes are as clear as I can get on a burnpot that's 14 yrs old. I also vaccuum out behind the 3 trap doors in the firebox and have recently removed and cleaned the combustion blower. I've considered the possibility that the combustion blower could be "tired" but I kinda figured that those blowers either work or they don't. I'm not sure how to determine if the blower is working at full operation, it sounds normal. I just checked yesterday that the air intake pipe is clear, there are no dust bunnies or dead mice in the line. I'm currently using Barefoot pellets and typically only buy quality brands so I doubt that's the issue. Finally, I wish I could use the leaf blower trick to really clean out the nooks and crannies but that isn't happening with a 25' chimney liner.

    Eric originally mentioned that my model stove was known for the door not sealing correctly, it passes the dollar bill test and seems tight so I don't know what else to check in that regard. He also said to remove panels and beat the heck out of the back firewall, I don't know what that means exactly. My model is an insert and I don't think there are any removable panels (except the 3 small trap doors).
  22. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    So, now the burnpot filled up last night with the stove only set to 2 on the feed rate... meaning it actually is burning worse since the deep cleaning yesterday. The only logical explanation is that the termination cap is plugged and the Gardus Soot Eater made it worse (if that's possible).

    The only thing I can think to do with the tools/equipment I have, is to try to get to the top again, this time with a 3" brush (duct taped) at the end of the rod, instead of the plastic propeller that comes with the Soot Eater.
  23. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    DJS- A coup[e of things- you prob do have a tired exh blower if its the original. For a normal breathing just cleaned P2000 the damper is usually open about 1/2 to 5/8 (sliding to left opens it more). For the three ash doors internally, take them off, tap on the back of the inner stove wall, usually stuck ash will rain down and fill those traps again. Take a brush or cleaning tool and go up into the trap entries, see if theres blockage behind the ignitor and fresh air intake tube area. Also, have you taken the top left (facing the stove) ash door out to clean, if your 98 model has one?? Its adjacent to the heat exchanger tubes if you have it. For the venting, don;t be surprised if the cap is clogged, we see that a lot. A brush, rods and drill usually takes care of it, but sometimes you have to physically get up there. Trying diff pellets is a good strategy to take fuel out of the issue, Barefoots normally a good burning fuel. I suspect the blower or a liner blockage- one thing to check, with liner disconnected from stove, can you feel cool air coming through? It should be noticeable flow, use the back of your hand to feel air.
    Good luck, that P2000 is still a good heater. One more thing, the airwash. Does your model have holes along the bottom of the door? Or is it the hood at the top of the door?? Either way, check the airwash. Also, front height adjustment legs, are they missing or removed? If so, hope a bolt is through those holes?? You would have noticed them long ago, if they were an issue i'd think. Good luck

    Stovelark
    Enviro EF3 FS pellet
    Enviro Empress FPI AC pellet
    Enviro Kodiak 1700 FS wood
  24. djs_net

    djs_net Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to post. The damper is in place and working properly. My stove does not have the top ash door, just the 3 on the bottom. I rigged up a plastic hose to my ash vac and have cleaned out all the nooks and crannies that I can get to, including behind the ignighter and fresh intake area.

    One thing you mentioned that I have not done, is bang on the back of the inner stove wall. When I pull my insert out of the fireplace, the back of it is mostly covered with insulation, I'm not sure where exactly to bang?

    The airwash is at the bottom of the glass and seems to be working normally, the top of the glass gets dirty but the bottom always stays clean. I have no idea about any height adjustment legs, never seen or noticed anything missing.

    Unless someone has new or different advice, my plan is to clean the vent one more time with a brush instead of the Soot Eater. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and spend $200+ on a replacement combustion blower and gaskets. I'm at the end of the road and extremely frustrated.
  25. Murph

    Murph Proud Grandparent

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    What Eric was talking about with regards to behind the clean out panels was open areas on the back side of the burn box wall and suggested
    Pounding on the wall to remove build up. I use a noodle brush that you can get at HD and bend to go on through those panels and clean up the back side and also towards the other panel. A lot of times material gets caked back there.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.

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