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  1. Marster

    Marster New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    S. Central Pa
    I have a P23 Breckwell. I've started to sift the pellets when I am at the bottom of a bag. I was wondering where do the fines go that make it into the hopper area? Is there anywhere I should be cleaning on the unit to prevent any future problems? I asked the dealer and they did not say anything about cleaning fines. They just dump full bags in their units. (fines an all) Again I looked in the manual and can not find anything concerning this.

    After reading on this site how the fines can casue auger problems, I started sifting the bottom on the bags. Inside the hopper looks like there's a cover on the feeder tube???. Not sure since the manual does not say a thing about this area or how to clean.

    Any suggestions would be greatly apprecatied.

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  2. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    The fines can collect in the bottom of the auger tube. Since they are not solid the auger wont move them, they just sit there. Over time if you build up a lot it can block a lot of pellets from getting in or cause extra stress on the motor and burn it out. I have serviced stoves that went 3 years without much cleaning and have yet to see any sort of dangerous level of fines in the auger tube.
  3. heb80

    heb80 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    25
    Loc:
    Harrisburg, PA
    I pour the whole bag in, fines and all (and I'm still working my way thru a ton of Nature's Heat pellets... which have been noted to contain alot of fines). I let the hopper run dry every now and then to check the auger tubes. I have yet to see any buildup of fines. I think the pellets themselves help to scrub the auger tubes clean.
  4. Marster

    Marster New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    S. Central Pa
    Thanks for the replies. I like to perform all preventive maintanance that is possible. There is a cover inside the hopper that appears to be to the feeder tube area??? Since I am very new to pellet stoves and can not find anything in the manual. I was wondering what this cover is and if that is where I can clean the auger tube??? I opened the side covers and can not see anything inside that I can gain access to this area.

    I do think the pellets help to clear the tube area as well but still would like to clean if there is such a way.

    Thanks again and if anyone has a Breckwell, please give some advice as to what this area is inside the hopper area.
  5. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    You should be able to get to the auger tube in whatever way the pellets find there way in there. On the Quad units there is a slide plate over the tube that can be adjusted to change the feed rate.
  6. Southbridge06GT

    Southbridge06GT New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Today I went to fill the hopper with a bag of pellets. The bag seemed a little over stuffed but when I looked inside all I saw was pellets. I poured about half the bag in when nothing but sawdust started coming out. I vacumed what I could out of the hopper. I should be OK right?
  7. rap69ri

    rap69ri New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    734
    Loc:
    Middle of RI
    I'm just finishing my 3rd ton of pellets and haven't sifted a bag yet. I pour the fines and all in, and at the end of the season I'll tear down the stove and thoroughly clean the auger tubes.
  8. Philip

    Philip New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    I think you should be okay tho I'm not familiar with your stove so I can't say for sure. I had a similar experience last weekend. When I was stacking bags of pellets one bag that had been at the bottom of the pallet felt solid. I didn't know what it was until I opened the bag and found a mass of sawdust. Didn't even look like pellets anymore. The bag wasn't torn and didn't show any signs of damage, but apparently the pellets got wet in storage or in transport. I had to sift the entire bag to be sure I didn't get sawdust in the hopper. Altho, I think my stove is not as sensitive to fines as other stoves I've read about. I didn't sift the first 25 or so bags that I put in the hopper and the stove still ran okay.
  9. Southbridge06GT

    Southbridge06GT New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    how do you sift pellets?
  10. Philip

    Philip New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    I have a 2'x3' piece of 1/8th inch hardware cloth on a wood frame that has two legs on one end. The other end sits on a 21 gallon Rubbermaid container. When sifting the entire bag, I pour about a quarter of the bag onto the hardware cloth and use a wisk brush to move them to the container. The fines fall to the garage floor and I sweep them up when I'm through. I'm sure there are better ways to do it especially if you have a large quantity to do. There have been other posts on this forum about sifting pellets. You might find some helpful info in them. Do a search on "pellet sifter" of "sifting pellets".
  11. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Since I didn't want to build anything to sift fines, I bought an elcheapo spagetti collander. I put it over an empty pellet bag and scoop pellets into it (about a quart at a time and sift them...then empty sifted pellets into my pellet bucket. At the end of the burning season I have about 1/2 bag of fines and sawdust (from about 3 1/2 tons)....my cats love it in their litter box. Depending on what the pellets look like when I open the bag, it's usually only the last quarter of bag that gets sifted. I just save the quarter bags until I have time to do it.
  12. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    435
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    A small quantity of fines will probably just get pushed through by the pellets & burnt up (pellets will act like a crude brush)

    A big batch all at once will bind your auger
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