Creosote build up in burnpot

mascoma Posted By mascoma, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:49 AM

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  1. mascoma

    mascoma
    Feeling the Heat

    Jul 23, 2008
    326
    3
    Loc:
    Upper Valley NH
    Hi everyone, installed a Harman P61A a month ago and after running about 10 bags of pellets thru it, I have a question.
    I'm getting a creosote type build up in the burn pot when burning Energex hardwood premium pellets. It seems to clog the air holes in the pot after 1-2 bags. I have run some Granules LG premium softwood as well and do not seem to have the issue with these. Energex seems to leave MUCH more ash as well, almost a sandy consistancy and heavy, while the LGs leave almost no ashe.

    Is this build up normal at all? The ash? Do I have to look forward to scraping out the pot every 2 bags?

    Thanks
     
  2. packerfan

    packerfan
    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 2, 2007
    375
    0
    Loc:
    frozen tundra
    When I am burning my stove 24 hrs. a day, I usually scrape the burn pot twice a day. Once in the morning when I get up, and then again at night. To me, this is no big deal at all as it only takes about 5 seconds to do, and it does help to make my stove burn better.
     
  3. swalz

    swalz
    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 2, 2008
    272
    0
    Loc:
    Newark, DE
    I had a lot of build up using Energex and notice I had to scrape the burn pot more often or it would start to block the air holes on my Harman XXV. I avoid Energex now and just bought 4 tons of Hard Wood Heat from TSC and they seem to burn a lot beter and I notice very little ash build up in the burn pot. I have only been burning the stove at night on auto right now and have only used 4 bags so far but they do seem to burn a lot better. My glass would aslo dirty up quicker with the Energex pellets.
     
  4. djarseneault

    djarseneault
    Member

    Oct 5, 2008
    234
    0
    Loc:
    Eastern Connecticut
    Definately not normal. Harman pellet stoves should be able to run for about a week before you need to clean the burn pot. The sandy ash content makes me think there is probably some "filler" in those pellets. Once upon a time Energex made a real nice pellet, nowadays, not so much.
     
  5. mascoma

    mascoma
    Feeling the Heat

    Jul 23, 2008
    326
    3
    Loc:
    Upper Valley NH
    This in not stuff that comes off with a 5 second scrap, it's probably 1/8 inch thick and hard as coal.
     
  6. mascoma

    mascoma
    Feeling the Heat

    Jul 23, 2008
    326
    3
    Loc:
    Upper Valley NH
    Yes, the glass gets dirtier as well.

    Glad I only got a ton, of energex, hot NEWP is better, Have 5 ton coming soon.

    The ashe really wouldn't bother me if by itself it's the other build up that is a pita. My father in law has used energex for several years, will have to see if he notices a difference this year.
     
  7. MSmith66

    MSmith66
    Feeling the Heat

    Feb 5, 2008
    404
    26
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Could be carbon build up. Which is normal for harman stoves unless you have the 4 hole in front of the auger tube ( newer models).
     
  8. eernest4

    eernest4
    New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    603
    0
    Loc:
    ct
    I noticed that energex sooted up my glass sooner and I had clinkers build up in my firepot grate that i needed to clean off once or twice per bag.

    Opening up the cold air intake to allow more outside air into the stove will give cleaner conbustion with less soot and creasote build up in the fire pot grate but do not open up the fresh air control so much that pellets are blown out of the fire cup by too much air. This is called popcorning, Also, maybe not all pellet stoves have a manuel outside air intake adjustment. I suspect some higher end models may have an automatic fresh air intake adjustment not opperated by the owner.

    Energex is the only brand of pellets that are on my do not buy ever again list
    because they are the dirtyest filthest pellet it has ever been my mis fortune to burn.

    What is the difference, just this. I went from cleaning my grate twice per bag with Energex to cleaing my grate once every 3 or 4 bags of other brands of pellets.

    Grate cleaning suggestions.
    I start by taking out the grate, when it is cold & empty the loose stuff into the waste basket, then I run it under the water of the kitchen sink until the black water stops. Next. I put the fire grade on a piece of old newspaper & scrape the inside & outside of the grate with a wood chisel or wide blade screwdriver
    until I have cut through the creosote accumulation. if you are really fussy,
    the final step would be to use a brillo soap pad to polish off the job or a choir boy stainless pad if you need coarse cutting power.

    The main point is to clear all the air slots and air holes of creosote buildup.

    Make sure that the ash trap under the firepot is cleaned of ashes if your pellet stove is so equiped. I usually pull a quarter of a facial tissue box of ashes out of there, if i have burned 2 bags of pellets since the last cleaning.

    happy pellet burning.
     
  9. slls

    slls
    Minister of Fire

    Jun 9, 2008
    1,497
    53
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    Are your Energex hard wood or soft wood, I am burning soft wood and they burn clean.
     
  10. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 23, 2007
    1,643
    8
    Loc:
    South Coast MA
    Energex is one of the brands I used last season. I was not thrilled with them
    as they created tons of clinkers in my stove compared to the others I have tried.
    I still have about 10 bags of them leftover from last season to use up.
    They burn very hot but also very dirty.
     
  11. GVA

    GVA
    Minister of Fire

    Sep 4, 2006
    2,140
    0
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Energex as with most pellets are different year to year and batch to batch...
    Last time I burned them they burned HOT but left this funky ash that was like coffee grounds.......Problem from this it was heavy enough to fall through the holes of the burnpot rather than blow away, and choke the airflow to the stove...........
    NEWP hardwoods used to leave horrible clinkers but has gotten better since they added corn starch and other products to the mix....
    IMHO softwoods clinker less ....
    And with My advance I learned scraping it quickly everyday after work led to it running better...
     
  12. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 23, 2007
    1,643
    8
    Loc:
    South Coast MA
    Yep- same here.
    My routine is scraping the burnpot once a day and cleaning out the stove once a week
    just to keep the stove running at top performance.
    Some call it prevention - some call it obsession ;-)
     
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