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Englander 25-pdvc advice. please help!!!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Odiep, Dec 21, 2007.

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  1. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    OK, let me first say that I adore my little PDVC. I will never live in another home that does not have a pellet stove of some type in it.

    However, my PDVC is pissing me off! I bought a house that had this stove in it and it was the light of my life for three years. I am in my fifth year here. Last year it was a little "moody". This year it is being a complete groan!

    Here are the symptoms: It WILL NOT stay lit. it runs for four or five hours and goes out. Loading up the burn pot with pellets. ( I know I'm being cheap but those things are expensive!)

    It is burning REALLY dirty. when I first starting using it it had this really nice white ash that I could clean out once a month. Now, I might as well be burning coal. Big clumps of slag.

    It used to burn small...I mean, the actual "fire" would burn in the pot and the flames were these quaking, 4 inch flames. I was amazed to see how much heat came from those little flames. Now, I have a freaking blaze in there. I'm doing well to keep a fire going and the flames are HUGE. When it does burn, it burn CRAZY hot. the things actually makes this rumble sound that makes me feel like it's going to explode!

    I have contacted Englander. They told me to set the three buttons at the bottom (I did this...although I can't remember the settings they told me...I'm on another computer.). It does a LITTLE bit better. still have black ash and the glass has now turned black.

    I ordered all new gaskets. from the window to the burn pot. Haven't got them yet. (please tell me this is the problem and it will be fixed when I get them!)

    I am using a good quality pellets. I use Lignetics. I tried that pennington stuff and developed nasal problems due to the dust and they burned Crazy hot!

    I also ordered a new impingement plate. The back of the burn area is warped because of the heat. My impingement plate is burnt away about 3/4 of an inch up into the plate and about 2 inches wide. I can see the flames sucking up behind it.

    I have cleaned this thing and done everything I can think of. I started it this year and it just started to go lame.

    This one little stove is the main source of heat for my family. I have to stay up to make sure that it stays lit. I have to baby the thing to keep it going. Please help. Englander has sent me a reply but it doesn't seem to do the trick. Please tell me that the gaskets will cure this!

    Thank you,

    Odie Parkins
    Cottageville, WV

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  2. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    I also should say that this thing is, when it is running, is going through pellets like they are going out of style. I usually (last year when it was running) was going through two bags per day and that was with the heat range set at 3 and the blower speed set at 3. Is this normal? Englander's web site say that pellets should last 16 hours plus. It's using more and more pellets.

    Thanks,

    Odie Parkins
    Cottageville, WV
  3. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    if you have time , call me at the office and we can go through this thing if it fed normally before it will again. just need to know what is causing it. i'll be in til 6 today eastern, ask for mike when you call
  4. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    Wow... Sounds like gaskets to me, but I'm sure Mike and his crew will get you straight. Please post the results when you get 'er fixed up.
  5. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    Sorry for the late reply Mike. I appreciate your quick reply to my post. I have been out of town since I posted that message. I will certainly call you when you get back to your office after the holidays.

    My order of gaskets and impingement plate came in today. The old impingement plate was literally burnt away. I just started it up and will baby it through the night and give myself and family a Christmas gift of newly installed gaskets and see what that does. I'll call you ASAP.

    Thanks again. Cross your fingers.

    Odie
  6. mrmojo

    mrmojo New Member

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    I had similar problems after using mine for 3 years, Englander came through with phone support. I do not know of another company that deals direct with the customer this well. After some setting changes, I added a restrictor plate in the hopper, it is running great for being online 5+ years. I think some of the settings get out of wack from electrical spikes and such. Oh yea I also changed the hoses on the vaccum sensor which were dry and cracked. When this thing gets retired to a garage heater I will by a new Englander.
  7. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    OK, i worked all morning yesterday. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I replaced door and window gasket. I replaced the burn pot gasket. I cleaned the burn pot holes and the chambers on the sides of the burn pot. I used a hose to clean back in the baffle. Replaced the hopper gasket and added new hopper lid latches. I ran out of time to clean much in the back of the stove...(it was christmas!)

    I went ahead and started it up and it worked GREAT! until....

    I came home later in the day and had that enormous pile of unburnt pellets in my sparkling clean stove. I was pretty bummed.

    The fire had seemed to be burning correctly. Small flames, shuddering flames...like it was drafting well. It smoked up the glass after a few hours, but it always did that.

    I restarted and filled the hopper. this was at around 10:00 pm. It ran on setting 3/3 and when i got up this morning...it was out and the hopper was empty. It used every stitch of pellets in there. 40 lbs in 6 hours. something is terribly awry here I do think.
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    call me and only me , ask for me by name (mike) or call my extension (131) at work , number is 800-245-6489, im here for about another 45 minutes (til 6 eastern) but will be back in the office at 8 tomorrow. ive watched this post long enough without talking to you.

    call me , i'll fix it
  9. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    Thanks Mike, I'll keep trying. Englander's line was busy all day on Wednesday and it seems that you guys are pretty busy there today as well. I know you have a day job. Don't kill yourself to get my problem fixed...We'll get it eventually.

    A quick update about what is going on with it now. I noodled with the settings on the three buttons and it actually stayed lit all night. Still burning pretty dirty though. I have been informed that it piled pellets up today after it went out though. The ash is still very black. over a period of about three to four hours, I get a large clump of glowing slag in the pot. It fills up the entire burn pot. I open the door to toss the slag over into the sides and the heat is crazy hot. Like doorway to Hades hot!

    I cleaned out the chimney pipe last week so it couldn't be full. I have replace the exhaust blower last year. The room blower seems to operating properly. It just doesn't seem like the air mix is right. Absolutely nothing has changed in the setup of this unit in the past four years that we have used it. but now it is burning really dirty when it does burn and it is using huge amounts of pellets. I actually tried it on 2/2 the other night and it had these huge piles of pellets rolling out of the auger tube. Those would burn away and leave nothing....poof, out.

    Hope I'm not droning on about this. It truly has me stumped. I'll keep trying to call you Mike. Thanks,

    Odie
  10. becausemywifecanoperateit

    becausemywifecanoperateit New Member

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    boscawen nh
    sounds like a runaway feed auger (upper) to me.........mike will help ya
  11. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    Uh-Oh! found a bad vacuum line to the exhaust blower. the vacuum switch has two nipples on it. there was only one vacuum line. should there be two lines? I think I may have found the main drain on my brain that caused my strain.
  12. blanc12

    blanc12 Member

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    Loc:
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    I think there is only 1 line to it. the other side has to be open so the internals can move with vacuum. Call Mike He will make it all better.
  13. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    There's only one vacuum line to each switch (theres a switch on the exhaust motor, and a switch that senses the front door open or closed). I think that if either one of those switches was bad, you wouldn't get any top auger feed at all. If the exhaust switch is tripped, I think it shuts down the whole unit, and if the door switch is tripped, it shuts off the top auger.
  14. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    OK, I managed to get a new vacuum line on it. Now, here is how it's going.

    Mike advised methat my burn air (middle button on panel) should be set at 1 rather than 9 where it was set.

    He told me to clean out the room air blower, check the collar on the top auger, and generally clean the thing out.

    Did all that. I have to say...it DOES NOT burn out now! It isn't burning quite so dirty. It now runs at setting 1 which it has NEVER done.

    It is still really hot. I haven't moved it from setting 1 or 2. It still uses a 40lb bag in 9-10 hours. But it burns! Still not burning that nice, white ash. But it burns.

    Ideas? still burning a little dirty. Still using lots of pellets. still burning crazy hot.

    Thanks for your help on this Mike!

    Odie
  15. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    look for a PM odie , im going to check mode, wanted to do it on AIM , but got sidetracked by the missus, need to see what mode your board is in
  16. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    I wanted to keep all of you updated on this in the event that yours does the same thing.

    Mike has walked me through some steps to try to fix my stove and I hope I am getting closer to fixing the problem. My stove is still burning quite dirty and using a lot of pellets but it is burning. It's not going out ever hour.

    Main problem now is that it is not burning all the pellets away as they come out and it is pumping pellets continuously. find in the mornings a whole burn pot full of coals that are "burning" but not burnt away into ash. The draft of the stove is a little off. I cleaned it out, replaced a vacuum hose, adjusted settings. It is pumping heat but I am still getting alot of black ash and now getting 8-10 hours out of a 40 lb bag. Will keep updating as changes come.

    at 10 degrees, at least the heat is nice.

    Odie
  17. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

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    Hey odiep, any updates on this problem? I may have the same....
  18. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    I've been away from the home for a while but it seems as though it does the same thing. the only thing i haven't done so far is put in a restrictor plate like Mike mentioned earlier. I checked my pellets and found they were a little moist. but not too bad. i just purchased a new pallet of a different brand. When i get back home I will try them out and decide at that point whether or not it is the stove or just pellets. It is still not getting anywhere near 20 hours. I am still burning 80 lbs.of pellets (2 bags) in 24 hours. I still get a HUGE amount of buildup in the burn pot. It just isn't burning away.

    What is yours doing???

    Odie
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I know we have been through this before, but 80 lbs of pellets in 24 hours - in cold weather - is just not that much! In terms of weight, that is about 4 good arm loads of wood. If a wood stoves used 4 arm loads of wood in 24 hours, most folks would be very pleased.

    To be very specific, an older stove that is not adjusted to the peak of perfection might be 65% efficient. Burning 3.2 pounds of pellets per hour:
    3.2 x 7500 Btu = 24,000 Btu Input - times 65% = 16,000 BTU output, or less than the output from a kerosene heater (or the equiv of 3 plug in electric heaters).

    That is the reality of the BTUs - there is no magic involved here, despite what literature, your neighbor, the stove dealer, people here or even your own previous experience shows you. At 10 hours per bag, you are probably at close to 20,000 BTU output, or about the output of a small to medium size wood stove.

    Yes, a properly adjusted stove can burn lower and you might get 20 hours from a bag - or more. But the level of heat will be 1/2 or less than it is now.
  20. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    I'm not disputing that. I'm going strictly on what I am told that my stove will burn on the settings that i am using. simply put...I've been told that it should burn 16-20 hours on one bag. it doesn't do that. It burns dirty, it doesn't burn up the fuel that feeds into it. can't figure out why. I always thought that two bags per day was usual until I was told differently. But my stove burns different this year than any year before and I've worked on everything.

    Not trying to cause a dispute here. But I can't think of anything other than getting a different stove if this one won't work. Would you use one that burned twice as much as the manufacturer states it should?

    Cheers,

    Odie
  21. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    My Castille uses maximum 1 bag per 24 hour period sometimes less! :) And we are not freezing either. I would be concerned too...dont blame you. How big is your house?
  22. Odiep

    Odiep New Member

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    House is only about 1600 sq. ft. But that really doesn't come into the problem. It's an old farm house. so...it's cold. no two rooms arethe same temperature. That's acceptable in itself.

    I run the stove at no higher than setting 2 on the heat range and it uses this amount. low fuel feed is now set at 3 I believe.

    Look, I've piddled with this things for a few months now. I've just resigned myself to the fact that it isn't going to work correctly. Maybe, it's the fuel...we'll see in a few days when i get home.

    Thanks,

    Odie
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I hear ya!
    And I agree that it should be able to burn lower, with this caveat - that if it burns at one bag every 24 hours it will put out 1/2 the heat that it is doing now. I know that should be obvious, but sometimes it is not.
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