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First time leaf blower this weekend!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ylomnstr, Oct 21, 2011.

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  1. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    So I've had a lazy flame and cleaned my stove as good as I possibly think I could (St. Croix Hastings). I still have a lazy flame and black soot after a few hours of burning. So I think it's time for the leaf blower trick. Hopefully this will do the trick. I purchased a Toro yesterday from home depot (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053)

    Any suggestions or tips for a first timer? Can I just duct tape the vacuum to the exhaust? I've got about a 16 or so vertical rise, so I hope this blower has enough power.

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  2. mroletta

    mroletta Member

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    That's the exact same leaf blower I used. I went on to the roof and just duct taped the sucking attachment (I only used half of the attachment) to the vent pipe.

    Remember to remove the surgical/latex tubing from your vacuum sensor, as the strong vacuum could blow the diaphragm and cause a bad sensor.
  3. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

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    OK so I couldn't wait till the weekend. I got home and did the leaf blower trick. Not nearly as much came out as I've seen in some videos, but I gave the stove a thorough cleaning already. A decent amount came out, and while it was sucking and I thought it was done, a clump must have rattled loose because then another blast of dust came out as if a clump got sucked up. So I fired up the stove and to my amazement, I instantly noticed my crisp light yellow flames back! I'm so excited and thank everyone for their help.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well amazing, and now it is time to trot out the old tried and true ....

    A clean stove is a happy and safe stove.

    Now you can do some serious pellet burning.
  5. eschills

    eschills Member

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    I also did the leaf blower for the first time this past weekend, and I am happy it was windy. My neighbors might not have been happy otherwise. Seemed to blow a lot of ash even after a good cleaning with the vacuum. Have not fired it up yet, hoping we may have to tonight if the temps drop enough. We will see.
  6. DonD

    DonD Member

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    I was thinking of getting this one: Homelite. It's not much more than half the price of the Toro. Anyone try it? Does it work as good as the Toro? The Toro has more CFM but I wonder if it's worth the extra cost?

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  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    One of the advantages of not being piled on top of the neighbors is that any crud from the vent comes flying out it is on the ground long before it gets to the property line.
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Another trick to help dislodge clumps of ash that get stuck inside the stove is to use a small hammer and do some banging on the back wall of the firebox before turning the blower on, or even after you start.

    CAUTION: This is ONLY for stoves that have steel firebox walls......if you have a cast iron stove, have cast heat exchangers, or aren't sure, then DO NOT do this....you could crack the metal.
  9. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    No pics it didn't happen.
  10. chipsaway

    chipsaway New Member

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    im also about to do the same for the first time. what is this surgical tubing you are talking about that should be removed???
  11. imacman

    imacman Guest

    There is usually a silicone tube running from the pressure switch to either the firebox or to the exhaust port.....it signals vacuum is present and allows the auger to operate.

    When doing the leaf blower treatment, some people feel that the high vacuum created by the blower could/will damage the switch, so it's best to disconnect the tubing from the switch before using the leaf blower.
  12. eschills

    eschills Member

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    I used the Homelite. $39.95 at Home Depot. I found a rubber 3" to 4" adapter in plumbing that fits perfectly inside the Homelite and snugly around the pipe. I was able to hold it and did not need to tape everything together. Seemed to work as good as the videos I saw.
  13. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    I cannot get on my chimney for the leaf blower, I have in the past unhooked the pipe from back of stove and hooked up leaf blower to blow upwards, now i'm thinking why not use my Shop Vac with a Sheetrock Filter to suck the stove out and then the pipe?
  14. stellep

    stellep Member

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    I think any leaf blower(electric) would work fine. I have the Toro, just because it was the cheapest when I got it. My exhaust has a horizontal through the wall, ending in a 45 pointing down. I just held the intake of the blower up to the 45 no adapter, tape or anything. I had just done a full clean, vacuum etc. While I had the combustion motor out, I made a cardboard template to cover the hole. When I fired up the blower, it blew big ash for about 30 sec and little ash for another minute. This is what I must have left behind for years.

    When I looked inside the stove, it was like brand new. I did disconnect the vacuum hose.

    Thanks to all for this great tip!
  15. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Who the heck would clean a pellet stove with a leafblower?... never heard of such a weird idea!!!!

    Dam internet rumors....
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    ^^^^^^^^ LOL, from the horse we hear ....
  17. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I think I can dig up an old post or 2! Ya know, The the person that's dealer showed him and he inturn came hear to show us!

    I believe he's from WI and really likes Hot Rods!
  18. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    hang on
  19. ChrisWNY

    ChrisWNY Feeling the Heat

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    That's the one I use, the HomeLite works perfectly, and the bottom flips right up so you can insert a PVC adapter to fit your PL vent pipe. You can buy a PVC 5" to 4" sewer adapter and it'll fit around your 4" pipe almost perfectly. I used mine this past Spring and not too much ash came out, most of it was white/gray in color, not the thick black stuff I've seen in videos on YouTube. Last year was my first year of burning, had about 1 ton through the stove, so that's probably why the leaf blower didn't suck out as much ash as it could have had I burned 2+ tons.
  20. stellep

    stellep Member

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    You think that's weird. I heard some folks actually use these things to blow leaves.

    But seriously, my next project for this technology is the dryer vent! The possibilities are endless.
  21. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Never trust a Cheesehead!
  22. chipsaway

    chipsaway New Member

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    is it just possible to either plug or tape the hole in the stove so the leaf blower doesnt hurt the switch???
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Which hole in the stove? If you have removed the tubing from the switch then you can tape the end of the tubing if you think doing the leaf blower routine will hurt the vacuum switch, if you removed the tubing from the barb on the stove you could tape that end of the tubing or the barb on the stove.

    Personally I just take my termination cap off of the venting, attach the leaf eater, turn it on, wait for the air to clear, turn it off, remove the device, button things back up, go inside and see how many pellets are now sitting in the burn pot that were at the end of the auger flight when I started. But that is just me. I also do a regular scraping, pounding, brushing, emptying routine on the stove first.
  24. RSica

    RSica Member

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    NE Upstate NY
    Putting a piece of temporary duct tape over the vacuum pressure switch works for me on the Big E;
    I don't then have to pull a side panel off to get at the hose.

    As ChrisWNY mentioned in his methodology, I have a very similar setup thats worked great for 3 years.
    So good in fact that when I do what now for me is "annual maintenance" in removing and cleaning the combustion blower,
    it has very minimal ash on it......a quick air compressor blow off is all thats necessary.
    I bought a cheaper Weed Eater at our local True Value, a 5" to 3" PVC adapter and a rubber 5" septic connection
    collar. the rubber collar fits over the vacuum and adapter ends and is held tight with 2 big hose clamps. The 3" end fits
    tightly over the end of my duravent pipe, which incidently is vertical out the wall from the stove(About 3') to a 45 degree cap.

    I clean the stove once a week thoroughly and do a leaf blower treatment when finished. It may be overkill and a bit anal, but
    the Big E runs flawless all season with this maintenance. The only failure I've had is the common bearings in the
    convection blower, and with all the great advice here I not only found a superior replacement but also the bearings to rebuild the original.

    Randi :)
  25. ingy243

    ingy243 New Member

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    Hudson Valley, NY
    I have a Harmon Advance and i am looking to try the leaf blower cleaning. My question is where can I find this vacuum tubing that is to be disconnected? Any help would be appreciated.
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