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Englander 55-shp240 pellet buildup

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jerrieric, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    I have had my stove since July 2008. Has run great until this year. Pellets continue to build up in the burn pot after 6 hours or so. I clean the stove daily including removing the back plates in the fire box weekly. I removed the exhaust blower and no ash build up. Cleanded exhaust pipe and checked flue. All have little amount of ash but nothing that should affect the stove operation. Prior to this year I was burning 100% hardwood pellets. This year I am burning Maine's Choice blend .5% or less ash. Reset the factory settings on the control board to 1-5-1m per tech on phone but that did not affect anything. This is a basement install with 2" fresh air intake. I'm starting to think the control board is not working properly. When I disconnect the power the board forgets the 1-5-1 setting and I need to reset. Any ideas?

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  2. HD41

    HD41 Member

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    I see there are mixed reviews on Maine's Choice, this could be a factor and may require different settings to accommodate them however I would take another pass at Englander tech concerning adjustments and control board behavior.
  3. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    I just bought 3 bags of all hardwood cubex. Emptied all pellets from unit and put in the 3 bags. Waiting to see if they work better then Main Choice. Thanks for the reply. Just checked 3 hour burn and pot is full of pellets. I think the board is malfunctioning. Really discouraged, I will call tech support on Monday again.
  4. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    Anyone know how the air intake is controlled? When I look at it, it is just a pipe running from the hopper to the outside venting. I just turned the air flow to 9. Can't hurt trying since it is not working anyway. Boy, I sure don't want to buy a new pellet furnance but I am getting discouraged.
  5. imacman

    imacman Guest

    You could do a control board reset.....puts the board back to factory settings. Also, maybe try putting it into diagnostic mode and check that everything is running/operating as it should.

    BUT, even though you said you clean it, pellet build-up in a stove that's 4 yrs. old normally indicates a lack of airflow through the stove. Check the following:

    1. Are you sure that the OAK is completely clean & clear?

    2. Is combustion blower running at correct speed? (When was the last time it was removed, cleaned, and re-installed w/ new gasket?)

    3. Are you sure the stove is clean inside? (can you you do the leaf blower trick on it?
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    What does that mean? You turned the room air blower to 9, or the LBA to 9? Air flow is controlled by what heat setting you have the stove set at, and the LBA setting.
  7. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    I removed the blower and no ash buildup, put back with gasket. Bang rear plate hard each morning to know down ash per tech. Clean stove pipe with brush, remove plates in burn box left and right and vac, clean vents above burn pot. I am convinced the unit it clean. I put the middle button low air to 9. Just thought I would try that. Tech had me reset panel yesterday to 1-5-1 and that had no affect. I know how to reset to factory defaults, turn off power, turn power back on, press 3 lower buttons at the same time, you will see F S and then enter 1-5-1 in that order.
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Given what you say, only things I can think of are a clogged OAK, or a weak comb. blower motor.
  9. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    Blowers seem to be working fine but no way to tell. Blowing plenty of air into room and no smoke so I assume the exhaust is working ok. When I removed the exhaust fan I ran it and it appeard to work fine. I used the air kit from Englander. It has the outside plate plus the screen over it so not sure how the intake could get blocked. I have the flex pipe that came with the kit married to 2" pvc that I connected into the unit. This is a basement install and the fresh air run it about 7.5'. I know it calls for 3" vent if over 6' but this has been working great for the prior 3 years. Not sure where to go from here. I know others have called tech support with the same issue more than 10 times according to one post with no resolution. I saw another post where they went to the 3" fresh air venting but saw no difference. I set the burn down to 1 and of course, the pellets stopped piling up but I need more heat.
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I'd check the screen too. The mesh is pretty fine, and I had it block-up once last winter from snow.....fire got terrible (lazy), so I knew there was an air problem. Might be possible it's clogged with dust/dirt?

    Easy check is to disconnect the OAK from the back of the stove and see if fire improves.

    I ended-up removing the original screen and replaced it with something with a little bigger holes in the mesh.
  11. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    I will remove from stove. When this all started after a few weeks I did think to check the screen. It was clogged with dust/pollen. I cleaned and the unit worked great for a few days then back to pellet build up. I checked yesterday again and screen was clear. I think I will remove from the unit and see if the flame improves. After setting heat range to 1 the unit is working as it should. I just turned heat range back to 5 to see if I get pellet build up.
  12. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Another thought.....have you done the "dollar bill" test all around the door?
  13. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    Just removed the fresh air intake and saw no real difference. I put the heat range back to 5 and pellets look like they are starting to pile up. Is the dollar bill test close the door on the bill and see if you can pull it out, trying all around the seal?
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yes.
  15. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes....close and lock the door at each test location. You should not be able to pull the paper out easily, or at all.
  16. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    Just did that and cannot pull the bill out. I went to 5 heat range and pellets look like they are building, impatient me just went to 9 heat. I will check in a hour but not too hopefull. My current bottom settings are 1-9-1 heat range and fan at 9. There are only a few moving parts to this unit. What could be wrong except for the control board? I guess I should have bought from a local dealer so I could call them and have them come out to fix.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    While you are waiting would you please tell us what your vent system is made up of?

    ETA: Does the hopper on that unit have a gasket as well?
  18. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes...all Englander stoves have a hopper lid gasket.
  19. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    4" twist lock length 6'with T at stove connection into 6x6 chimney flue, no other devices on this flue. Fresh air 2" pvc from unit attached to metal flex 6' to outside using POAK from Englander. Total length 7'. Again this has worked fine for the first 3 years of operation. Just checked and have pellet buildup. My only guess at this point is, too many pellets are being fed into system.
  20. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    I did the dollar test on the hopper lid gasket. I can easily pull the dollar out all the way around. Is that a problem? I hope so. I can adjust the latch maybe to fix.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That is one possible thing that needs fixing.


    Now about the ash dump covers are both of them tight?
  22. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    They should be but I cannot tell until I shut down. I am fairly confident that they are. I just turned the heat setting back to one to eliminate the pellet build up. Are pellet stoves this sensitive? I have literally checked and rechecked everything and found no issues. I consider myself fairly handy so this should not take much mechanical experience. I think the hopper seal does not do much except maybe prevent smoke back since there is air in the hopper each time you refill it.
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Outside at the top of the flue what is there and when was that last cleaned?
  24. jerrieric

    jerrieric Member

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    Outside flue if nothing, no cap. I also checked with mirror yesterday and flue is basically spotless just alittle ash maybe but fully clean in my opinion. I used to have a wood furnance so I know what dirty chimneys look like. Is the fresh air pipe just that, no mechanics just air is sucked in via normal convection?
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That hopper not having a good seal can cause air to be sucked into the stove and completely bypass the burn pot.

    The air flow goal is all air except what they have accounted for when they sized the combustion fan flow through the burn pot.

    If the combustion blower is pulling 35 CFM of air and there is 20CFM of air coming in the easy way (via the hopper) then only 15 CFM comes in via the OAK and through the burn pot, end result poor burn and pile up.

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