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Carbon Build up in pellet stove burn pot

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by TedNH, Nov 6, 2006.

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  1. TedNH

    TedNH Member

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    My XXV is building up carbon in the burn pot at an alarming rate.
    I scraped it/vacuumed it Sat am REALLY well. Last night (Sunday) it shut down so I opened it up and checked it out...carbon buildup...
    What gives?
    Im using Energex Premiums. I think I burned maybe a bag between cleanings..

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  2. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    carbon buildup is normal, but depending upon several factors, you'll see differing amounts....factors such as elevation, rate of burn, and type of pellet.....
  3. tundraSQ

    tundraSQ New Member

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    I have the same problem..I would prefer not to have to be powering this stove down every 3-4 days to clean this carbon build up. I have no problem getting in there once a day to scrape the burnpot, but that does not seem to be keeping up with it. Any tips on burn rate to keep this problem under control?
  4. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    I think the key is to scrape often and thoroughly. I scrape mine once a week, thoroughly, WITH the fire burning, usung a mechanics' prybar....the right angle with a chisel point works great. I additionally pwer down the stove once a month for a more thorough cleaning.
  5. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I think you may find that it gets better when the stove is really burning. This time of year the flames tend to stay low in the burn pot, and really add to the buildup.
    Everyday when I get home from work while it's running I'll give a couple of good scrapes to the bottom and sides of the burnpot, Thats it......It only takes about 35 seconds. later in the burning season I usually switch to every 2-3days and maybe scrape a bit more until the scraper doesn't catch on anything anymore.
    Those energex pellets from what I remember the clinkers break up pretty easy, but the ash was more like sand in some cases, maybe this has something to do with it.
    Please tell us that you guys are not still using the scrapers that came with the stove to clean the burnpot :cheese:
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I agree on the early and late season issues. My Countryside has real issues keeping running on low and its a lot worse in the Fall and Spring. It prefers like most things to be merrily chugging along. Issues are in my case burn pot getting snuffed out by excess corn or being able to burn out faster than it can replenish over time. Sometimes it takes a lot of experimenting. In my case I have to leave one of the slide gates open to kill some of the draft. Currently I have some very dry stuff from last season and have to completely remove the slide gate so it burns poorly enough to keep running. I am betting you have to change a little something in order to keep it running cleaner. Generally the hotter and more lively the flame the cleaner it burns. You might benefit from burning a different brand of pellets too but its still going to burn cleaner when its running hard in a month or so. If you think yours gets cruddy try burning corn. I get volcanic ash in mine to scrape off and dump out every couple days.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Dang, I cleaned my burnpot once every two weeks whether it needed it or not. Burning hot on/off on a thermostat sounds like the way to go.
  8. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    What do you mean by that?
    And yes I still use the scraper that came with the Accentra.
  9. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Im fairly sure GVA is alluding to the fact that the scraper which comes with the Accentra is vaguely useful but marginally so....there are many MUCH better things to use to complete this task which make the job much simpler and easier.
  10. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Cool,

    What would sugest to help clean the burnpot easier?
  11. TedNH

    TedNH Member

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    I find that the included scraper works just fine.
    I would be leary of using something else and damaging the stove and then asking Harman to cover it.
    But thats just me.
  12. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    It's just an accepted practice for these, it's easier to clean also.
    Here's a site to check out for some new harman owners on cleaning your stoves The XXV is not listed yet but i'm sure it will be there soon.
    It's a bit more in depth than the manuals. :)

    http://www.homewarmth.com/maintenance.html
  13. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Ask your dealer what he recomends.....Mine said a hammer and a big screwdriver, :bug: the link I posted says the same for hard buildup. To me that is a bit extreme Harry has said what he recomends there was already a post out there on this subject. That buildup can be a bit%h some times.
  14. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I can't speak for the Harmon but with my Countryside I just get in there with whatever scraper does the job. The little T tool works ok for basic scraping. For the auger I just attack it with a bigass screwdriver and light hammer . Chisel it gently trying to separate it from the steel, its not hard to do. Thats for when there is a serious buildup which I seldom get. As for cleaning them if they aren't all clogged up I just leave it alone and it as often as not breaks itself off eventually. The only problem is when it gets so thick that it pulls all the corn all over the pot and puts the fire out. I have had to resort to the 4" grinder with stainless steel brush a couple times but it was rare. That cleans the hard stuff off really good though and doesn't seem to do any damage to the stainless knobs. Yjou really shouldn't have to do that very often unless you are burning really garbage wet corn. I thought those Harmons came with 2 complete changeout burn chambers so you could change it like the hot barrel on your machine gun. I hear they put it in the sink and soak it over night and the stuff just falls off.
  15. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    "I thought those Harmons came with 2 complete changeout burn chambers so you could change it like the hot barrel on your machine gun. I hear they put it in the sink and soak it over night and the stuff just falls off."

    Driz,

    That is the PC45 corn stove with 2 burnpots........
  16. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Uh, no, but you can buy an extra one.
  17. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    Uh, yes, 2 corn burnpots are included with every PC45.
  18. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Fraid not.........and not with the sum total of the three Ive sold....not a one has had your fabled "extra" burn pot.
  19. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I must be mistaking it for another model. Last year someone was talking about their harmon cornstove having a quick change burn pot that they just changed out and soaked in water till the clinkers just fell off. It seemed like a neat idea.
  20. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    You are correct Driz......
  21. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yes, the burnpot changes out pretty quickly, but they dont include a second with the stove.
  22. timjk69

    timjk69 Member

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    I sharpened the tip of a large screwdriver, like on a wood chisel. I found I can scrape the really hard builup off this way. Most of the time I can get the edge started an give it a twist.

    Harmon Advance
  23. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yep, Tim, that would work well. Almost anything is better than the scraper that comes with the stove. Im considering buying something different and selling them instead.
  24. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Yeah but the one that comes with the stove looks so nice........Till it gets bent and twisted from reefing on that carbon buildup ;-P
  25. tundraSQ

    tundraSQ New Member

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    Or until you set it down to pick up a flash light and then reach down and grab the "hot" end because you forgot which end you were using last....DAMHIKT :)
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