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Englander 25 PDVC Outside Air, gaskets, and other little tinker troubles

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Tom Bentley, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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  2. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Thanks Harvey,

    Because of space issues I'm going to have to rtv the stove exhaust to the vent tee. Yesterday put aluminum tape on the suspect 90 at the top and managed to get the hole sawed in the exterior wall to hook up the OAK before my drill ran out of steam. Charged drill all night and today will complete OAK install thru interior wall. Since I ordered Englander's blower motor gasket and exhaust housing gasket (they come as a package deal) I will replace them as soon as they arrive (hopefully by the weekend). Gonna do a test run before putting the gaskets in just in case all these other little fixes cure the prob and I can save the gaskets for another thorough cleaning.

    Between you and Smokey I think i can get a handle on how to do this right and the next cleaning should go much smoother. I'll keep you posted on the results of the latest "cures".

    Thanks to you both,

    Tom
  3. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    OAK is now installed. Taped the 90 at the top. Fired it up and ran on low burn and disappointed -- still smelling smoke. Did the incense thing again and still only get incense smoke from inside bottom of stove -- I don't think the incense thing works for any exhaust leaks does it -- after all there is no draft pushing anything up thru there to my thinking.

    I have not put rtv on the stove to vent tee yet -- if I do - how am I supposed to take the Tee off on any regular basis for cleaning?

    I have both black and red rtv (black to 800 deg and red to 600 deg).

    I'm getting pretty disappointed taping up seams and rtv'ing pipes onto the stove -- i thought the joy was to be able to pull these things apart if ya wanted to. Also of note -- my one up section is an "adjustable" which makes things easier to move around but perhaps they are prone to leaks and need to be taped as well.

    All this said, if I run the stove hot I don't get that smoke smell but I don't want my room to be at 90 deg either. I'd like to be able to run at a low burn of 1 with lower settings somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-6-1 and use the upper settings to increase heat when i need it. I can do that now and obtain a lively, low flame idle situation on upper 1, lower 3-6-1, but then along comes the smoke. As far as pellet quality goes I'm using Dry Creek.

    Once the smoke smell is resolved I'm going to try and remove the lower auger for a good sanding but am not 100 percent understanding how to pull just the auger. Do you have to take motor and auger off at the same time with the four bolts but then no disconnect the auger from the motor -- am I logicing that out right?

    I feel like I should send u guys a check!!!!!

    Thanks - Tom
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You don't take the tee off they have a clean out cap which you use the tape on.

    You should not need to remove any of the venting to clean it, that is why there is a clean out with a cap.
    smoke show likes this.
  5. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Talk about disappointing ..... Thought I'd solved it all -- the adapter was working great and no smoke smell to speak of. Was just going to fine tune seals etc. when weather got milder and of course still waiting for exhaust blower gaskets from Englander to arrive that were order LAST WEEK already (hurricane here today). Started it up about 3 p.m. at the start of our hurricane here cuz it got cold, and at 9:30 went off to bed with stove running nicely on 2=4 on the top with lower three magic windows at 2-6-1. All was well. Now its 2:00 a.m. and I am up with heavy smoke smell in the room again!!!!!! I changed nothing. The only thing that happened during this time was it warmed up somewhat outside -- its now 50 degs out there instead of low 40's. The wind is still howling in the 20/30 mph range and some rain but much milder than it was earlier when i went to bed.

    What the heck -- why would it suddenly change -- is the outside temperature just tooo warm now to burn clean? The OAK is installed so I assume that meant all the draft was created with the exhaust blower and the air intake from OAK or am I wrong and a stove will smoke back in warmer weather?

    Any thoughts?

    Tom
  6. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    If I were you I`d seek out someone in the area who is really knowledgeable and experienced with pellet stoves and the venting of them. Is there is a good stove shop in your area ? Do you have a friend who owns a pellet stove one that might be handy and able to assist you find the leak?
    You might have a reasonably uncommon problem that requires a bit more knowledge and problem solving skills than most inexperienced homeowners might have .
    Here you will find unequalled expert advice but not being right there can sometimes make elusive stove problems hard to solve.
    smoke show likes this.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Were you venting into the wind?

    Can you provide pictures of the outside of the house in the area around your venting?
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Now here is something you need to understand when burning pellets smoke is usually only produced at start up, you are likely starving your fire with the low fuel feed set to 2 and the low air at 6 this can also result in the fire burning down to almost coals and then the fresh fuel getting dumped in smolders for awhile before catching.

    The smoldering results in the fire box having smoke in it, this can then exit through the stoves air wash.

    Also contrary to what some people think you need a good gasket on that combustion blower if the gasket isn't good and the blower motor isn't uniformly seated there will be enough of a pressure difference for smoke to exit that area.
  9. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Smokey I think u have hit the nail on the head -- probably my head. In my efforts not to produce toooooo much heat for this weather I try and run extremely low fuel feed. The- factory sets of 6-4-1 are way too high and not only provide too much heat btut gobble up pellets like crazy. My smoke smell will come and go in tandem with the burn happening at that moment - i.e., nearly coals, then dump a few pellets, and 15-20 seconds later the start of flame. I have been trying to balance the feed manipulating both the regular buttons 1-9 and the magic buttons at the bottom. I wish i could get a more even feed and if i had to rethink a stove I'd probably go with a single auger model rathen than dual augers as it seems you could better tailor the feed rate to amount of heating desired. I'd certainly do more research before buying again-- not knocking Englander -- it has been and continues to be -- a great stove especially for the price.

    Did a little test this morning by running magic 3 buttons at 1-7-1 and the heat index at 3 and room blower at 4. I didn't get the smoke that much but i got a little more heat than I really needed but in colder weather it would be fine.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on my manipulations -- maybe I'm logicing this out incorrectly. You have been so much help. I did watch a video on utube last night that showed me the correct way to install the appliance adapter and it started to make sense -- except the drilling part -- is that drilled thru the little 1 inchish part that goes on the stove collar or thru both the inside and outside pipes and the stove collar? Also -- do you pierce the stove collar or just get up against it?

    Thanks as always

    Tom
    Master Chief PO likes this.
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The pilot hole is drilled through the inner pipe of the adapter and the exhaust pipe of the stove at the stove end of the adapter and a dab of sealant placed into the hole and where the screw head will sit once the screw is inserted and tightened. The screw mechanically joins the adapter to the stove so it can't be knocked loose.

    All of the sealant makes it gas tight.

    The thing to understand about the smoke issues is there is more than one place they can leak, and sometimes it isn't the leaks in the stoves venting that cause the smell.

    If the air flow is through the stove and is high enough all of the smoke goes into the exhaust system. Otherwise it can come out things like the air wash, cleaning rod penetrations, and even the air intake.

    An OAK drastically cuts the volume of air needed to get the exhaust going in the right direction as well as provide non oxygen depleted air for the combustion process in addition if there is enough difference in height between the OAK's vent and the stove's vent it provides a natural draft effect.

    Now even after one gets the smoke going in the correct direction and inside the venting and outdoors it can still find its way back into the house. That is why I wanted the outside pictures, even though you may have things at the minimum clearances or perhaps better things like local temperature inversions or changes in humidity can lead to smoke smells where they normally wouldn't be.

    It takes very little smoke smell to be considered a heavy smoke smell.

    Some houses don't have their windows and doors well sealed and even improper installation of a vent or OAK can provide a path for smoke to enter the house.

    Having a high flow air mover running can overwhelm a combustion blower especially when running on low. A house with multiple stories can produce a chimney effect that can cause smoke to be pulled into the room via the air wash and so forth.
  11. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    I think I'm getting there thanks to all of you and your advice. I didn't sent any pics of the outside of the house for two reasons -- #1 I don't have a cell phone or digital cam -- lol -- I'm a little behind the times there and I live very rural so there's not cell signal anyway so why have the phone. #2 My house is a "work in progress". It started as a 1950's trailer here on a small small lake called "Cranberry". I am putting together rooms one at a time and sawing pieces off the trailer and I add. I know it sounds getto but its really pretty cool actually. I', down to about half a trailer now and 3/4 completed of a house -- family room downstairs (first addition), then up an open turned stairs to the main level which is at road level who houses the Kitchen (complete with marbel floors and foyer) with a vaulted living room and half-bath (master bath is downstairs off the family room (completed) and two bedrooms awaiting construction and finances lol). The living room upstairs is 1/2 completed with the vault rising up but not back down the other side yet which will house a one car garage and the rest of the living room with a wrap-around deck down the side and across the back (really the front towards the lake) in the next two to three years. The actual bedrooms will be added downstairs first to enable the upstairs to be finished. Sounds pretty confusing but it has taken about 5 years now to get this far (I'm a waiter by trade and its being built with tips kind of a piece of sheet rock and a 2X4 at a time) but there'll be no mortgage!!!!! The garage (which is doubling as a full living room for now) is completed with carpeting now and has vinyl siding across the entire front and down the completed side. However, the two story section Family room and master bath with kitchen and 1/2 final living room and 1/2 bath above it is not sided yet and is sort of pieced together with bits and pieces of cheap stuff to keep the rain and wind at bay and since this is the section that my stove vents thru is probably inviting a fair amount of smoke back in I would bet. This is the first year I've experienced smoke smell but the house on that side is less tight than it was 5 years ago and obviously much will be replaced when the final construction of that side of the house goes in.

    I'm sure this is hard to picture but all in all its gonna be pretty cool when its all said and down. All my woodwork has been cut from local trees, then sawn by the Amish here into boards, cured and finished with stain and varnish by me. My next door down the lake neighbor is an older gentleman who worked with my granfather as a carpenter and does amazing things with a router -- just hand him a tree and he turns out beautiful things like my staircase which is all natural - high gloss - and made from several different mixes of trees hand worked into rustic beauty.

    I am sure if I sent pictures at this point you'd think -- what the heck is this crazy fool doing anyway!!!!!! the side of the house the stove vents thru is really the ugliest part of anything right now.

    Today I did add a 12 inch piece of duravent to the run outside the thimble carrying the termination cap a good 2 and 1/2 feet away from the house in hopes of that helping a little as well.

    Sorry this is so rambling but i thought it might give you an idea of what's going on up here in the boonies of Cranberry Lake and offer some more substance other than total stupidity about stoves to the probs I've been experiencing.

    Thanks again for your help - I'm totallly clear on where where to drill now with the appilance adapter and god knows I've got enough rtv of every temperature range for 300 to 800 at my fingertips. It's really pretty neat stuff so I don't mind having the extra -- my lastest tube is 700 degree copper. I think I'm only missing the grey to complete a set haha.

    Tom
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hey I've heard of doing things a bit at a time, in fact one of my 8th grade teachers did the build a new house project summers.
  13. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    I ran all night (12 hours now) with settings magic buttons 1-9-1 and heat index 3 blower 3 with no smoke smell. I burned about 3/4 of a hopper load during the 12 hours. I need to start with an empty hopper and a full bag of pellets to get a handle on how long a bag is gonna run me on these rates and settings. ItsToasty warm here in the "family" room a bit more toasty than necessary 75 degrees and upstairs living area 66 degrees. I have one small corner fan in the open stairwell pulling up but its not enough i think - going to put another on in on the other side of the opening for the stairs to boost air moved upstairs. I really think what I need here to move the heat up there are old fashioned "floor registers". I grew up in a two story built by my grandfather. We had a propane furnace in the middle of the living room floor and then only registers cut in the floor between the living room and upstairs bedrooms and it worked fine. You wouldn't break a sweat upstairs but you were plenty warm enough. Since my upstairs right now is carpeted awaiting completion of house for hardwood floors a couple of holes with register covers wouldn't hurt now would it.

    Tom
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I don't know where you are, but cutting holes between floors for use as registers is a no-no in most building codes unless they have thermal fused auto closers (and I'm sure even those may not be to code in a number of places).

    By cutting holes you are creating multiple chimneys that will aid in flame spread if there is a fire.
  15. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Thanks Smokey -- I never thought about that. As always you're on the ball. I guess 55 years ago or so code wasn't so important.

    Tom
  16. imacman

    imacman Guest

    As for your stove settings, put the lower 3 buttons at 4-6-1 and pretty much leave them there. Only tweak them a little, if too much heat go to 3-5-1. Do your heat changes with the upper heat and blower settings.
  17. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Oh, and here's a pic to confirm for you what Smokey was saying about where to drill the appliance adapter:

    Attached Files:

  18. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Thanks imac especially for the pic. But believe me -- with my Englander -- even 3-5-1 would create way too much heat. My 83 year old mom (who lives with me since she has been ill) would be sitting around in a string bikini and we don't want that now do we :). Last night I ran on magic windows 2-9-1 and heat index and blower at 2-4. Ouside it was in the 30's and inside family room 72-73 and upstairs 66-67 ish - there always seems to be about a 6 deg difference which isn't too bad i guess. Not sure of amount of pellets burned yet - will look at them again about 4:30 p.m. today and see whats in the hopper -- like like it may come down to about 30 hours per bag but we'll see.

    Tom
  19. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    Okay guys I'm back !!!! Just letting you know that my stove is finally running like a champ. Lower settings seem to work best for me on 2-6-1 with upper settings on 2-4. Getting good heat, even flame, clean burn, clean glass and no smoke smell! Its great!!!!

    I do have another question though. Prior to this season and all the help from your forum, my daily cleaning was very extensive. I shut stove down completely twice each day, vacuumed all ash out including removing baffle, scraped the burn plate, cleaned the glass (which before advice on here got black very quickly). Now with proper install, good settings, OAK in, my glass stays great, no clunkers, minimal ash, etc. So I'm wondering about that total shutdown. It always seemed to me that cold start twice every day made for a lot of lost heat in the house and always having to start over to get to the point where the house was "warmed" up. I've seen a couple of threads on here describing a daily "quick clean" which consists of just opening the door when the flame is at its lowest, pulling the ashes off the burn pot forward and pushing to the side, quick wipe of the glass and slam it shut again and let it go ----- never shutting down the stove or touching the "off" button. I've tried this for a couple of days only shutting the stove down to a cold start once daily but was just wondering how everyone else was doing it. Thinking maybe I could run a few days without ever shutting down - my ash is minimal at best and are now never any clunkers - just soft dark ash and very little of that. Also no smoke smell anymore since adding the appliance adapter, re-sealing the cleanout Tee, and extending outside cap 12 more inches from house.

    So thought I'd pose the question to you with more experience and see what kind of "daily" cleaning schedule you were maintaining.

    Thanks for any input regarding your cleaning rituals.

    Tom
  20. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I only shut down my stoves once a week for a thorough cleaning. I may empty the ash bin on the Mt Vernon every few days (as needed), but I don't do any daily fussing with the stoves other than feeding them pellets. The Englander is used intermittently so I toss the old ashes into one of the side pockets when I restart it.
  21. ericofmaine

    ericofmaine Member

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    My usual routine, at least on the Englander, is to shut it down once a day, usually coinciding with a hopper refill (most times its because my wife let it empty during the day when I'm at work) is to empty the burn plate, give the area where the burn plate sits a quick brushing, reinstall and fire it back up again. I only pull the baffle, thourough cleaning about once a week or so, depending on usage. It's been running great for 4 years now!

    Eric
  22. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    How the heck do you have those numbers set so slow and getting good heat. I have been trying that setting this evening and can't even keep a flame going....
  23. imacman

    imacman Guest

    That LBA setting is WAY too high...most of your heat will just go through the heat exchanger and out the exhaust so fast it won't have time to get absorbed. Stick with the "6" setting, or lower.
  24. Tom Bentley

    Tom Bentley New Member

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    IMac - maybe you read an earlier post ... I tried it at 2-9-1 when I was having so much trouble with smoke. Since that was cured with the appliance adapter, re-siliconing the clean-out Tee, adding 12 inches further from house, and oak properly installed, I've been running 2-6-1 or sometimes 2-5-1.

    Chrisassist -- Beats me but I know my house is not well sealed, we should be having very similar outside temps since I'm in the Painted Post/Addison/Corning area and on top of a mountain where the wind blows just cuz it can. I'm certainly not breaking a sweat in here very often but in the room with my stove I run usually 66-71 when in the mid 20's outside and upstairs runs about 4-6 degrees cooler than downstairs where the stove is located. I am burning Dry Creek pellets and running about 24-26 hours per bag maybe a little longer. I have noticed that sometimes they just seem to burn hotter than at other times and attribute this to variance in each bag of pellets. I'm working on getting better air flow to the upstairs with fans but haven't completed the project just yet ... thinking a ceiling fan turning very slow in the stairwell leading up to living room area which is actually street level. Sunny days are really good for me with a tin roof and lots of big southern exposure windows which let in lots of natural heat when its sunny.

    What kind of numbers are you running and what's your bag burn length -- just curious.

    Tom
  25. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Tom, on those days it seems that the stove isn't putting out the same heat as before, try bumping the LFF to 3 or 4.....makes a big difference on my 10-cpm, especially with the lower grade "shoulder" season pellets, not so much with the better ones.

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