1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Flame on Stove is very high and out of control...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by md2002, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    I have an Enviro Milan insert. The last couple of weeks the flame in the stove has been acting very strange. When I say strange I mean it is extremely high and for short bursts of time it gets so large that the flame literally covers the back wall of the stove. It's to the point where I think it's a safety issue where the flame may go up into the hopper and set the pellets on fire. I'm not sure if this is possible but I'm still new to stoves. I have this behavior with both my Lacretes pellets and most recently Lignetic pellets so I don't believe it's the pellets. I tried turning the air flow down and it seemed to get worse. I thought by having less air come into the burn pot it would settle the flame but that wasn't the case.
    1)I have noticed that the burn pot is filling with pellets and there seems to be a mass of burning pellets in the middle of the burn pot
    2)When I vacuum the burn pot does have hard ash on the bottom of it and this never used to happen. The pot was always flakey ash that you could vacuum right up
    3)Probably irrelevant but this all started one day when I turned the stove up to High. I never run my stove on high. One day I had it on High for a few hours and it has been happening every since.
    4)This happens regardless of the setting, on low it’s not as bad but I have never seen the flame this high on the stove.
    5)The burn pot seems to have allot of pellets in it
    My best guess is that perhaps I changed the feed rate? I didn’t do it on purpose I know that. Would this cause the issue? I also noticed that there is a TON of ash on the heat exchanger, I’ve never seen this much ash on the exchanger. I did the leaf blower trick but have yet to clean the actual stove. I know this is a long post but I’m not quite sure if it’s safe to keep using the stove until I figure this out.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. requin

    requin Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Montague, MA
    Mine is doing that too! For about the same timeframe (a week or so maybe). I have a Harman Accentra 2. I'm about to call the dealer right now.
    (P.S. I've had the stove for 5+ years, and an old Whitfield for 8 years before that. I'm not new to pellet stoves, but I'm not handy w/ it and don't repair/maintain it myself).

    Oh and mine keeps going to 6 blinks on the status light and the feed stops. It will work fine for a while..then that happens. Then I fiddle with the controls (off then on) and it works again for a while..and the flame gets really high..and the stove seems to overheat even though I have it set about 55 degrees. It never did any of this before.
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Did you reset your controls back to where it was prior to using the the stove on high?

    Please describe how you did the reset.

    Are you running on a t-stat and if so what mode is the controller set at?

    You certainly did change the feed rate when you set the stove to high.

    Did you by any chance hit your damper?

    While you are answering those questions please turn the stove off, place it in manual mode and then start the stove up and as soon as the controller indicates it will accept a change set the heat range (firing rate) to 2 and tell us all about the flame.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME

    Clean your stove and vent system, test your gaskets and replace if needed. 6 blinks is indicative of a poor burn and the stove is crying for attention.
  5. requin

    requin Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Montague, MA
    Yes I admit it needs a professional cleaning. Last time the dealer sent a guy he did a terrible job. They don't take the stove apart when they do a "cleaning". Even I, as a nontechnical person, knows it needs more attention than that. How do you test the gaskets? They never do that when they come. All they do is vacuum out the stove (which I can do, and do) and clean out the pipes. It's aggravating because this is the dealer where I got the stove; I would think they'd service it right!
  6. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Place a bill in between the gasket and closed door. Pull on the bill, it should resist or tend not to want to move. Otherwise, bad gasket. Sounds like a feed rate issue.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Sounds like a dirty stove issue to me, likely the ESP is loaded.

    It is also likely the md2002 has the same issue from an enviro standpoint. But I want a bit more information.
  8. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    Did you reset your controls back to where it was prior to using the the stove on high? No, I didn't do any sort of reset. I didn't touch any settings when I turned the stove to High, except literally hit the button that turned the stove to High. I usually run the stove on 3/4 or 4/5 this particular time I ran the stove on 5. I turned it down after a few hours because the flame was so high. At this time though, the flame is out of control regardless of the setting.

    Are you running on a t-stat and if so what mode is the controller set at? No Tstat on the stove

    You certainly did change the feed rate when you set the stove to high. How would this happen? There are buttons on the stove to change the feed rate. I have never touched these buttons, not knowingly anyway.

    Did you by any chance hit your damper? I'm not sure what a damper is but I can look at the manual.

    I will try your suggestion when I get home tonight. It also sounds like I should look at the manual and if there is a way to reset the stove to default settings I should do that?
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    When you hit that button to turn your stove on high you in fact did change the feed rate and the combustion air flow rate and the convection blowers flow rate all with one little button likewise when you hit that button to run that stove at 3 or 4 you changed them again that is what that button does, go up and produce more heat by burning more pellets per unit time, burning more pellets per unit time requires more combustion air or else things start backing up and the flame she no look so hot anymore (gets more reddish and large and loopy).

    A damper is a device that allows one to cut down the airflow through the stoves combustion air system, on a pellet stove this is located somewhere on the stove prior to the combustion blower. It can even be on the air intake. The normal damper setting on your stove is set by using a device to measure pressure differentials when the stove is first installed. This is done with a clean stove and vent system and in high burn. After doing the set up any minor changes are usually handled by the stoves trim settings. When the burn starts going bad it is time to clean the system.
  10. requin

    requin Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Montague, MA
    Well I called the dealer, and as usual got a young woman on the phone (not one of the techs), and she doesn't listen to much; i said the main problem is the 6 blinks, so she immediately puts me on hold to set up a time they can come service. When she gets back on the phone I say, "Do you want to know about the other things it's doing?" So I told her, but she wasn't paying attention. She said the burn pot probably needs cleaning. That's all they ever say at this place!! I cleaned the burn pot really well so I don't think that's it, but I agree w/ you guys that the problem (or part of it) is the rest of the stove (pipes, vents, whatever) need cleaning. No doubt they do.

    They're coming Fri morning. I need to find a way to learn how to service/clean the stove myself..I could probably do a better job than they do (if I learned how).
  11. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
  12. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    I understand this but when I lower the stove shouldn't it have gone back to the way it was before this started to happen? So what it sounds like I need to do it give it a good cleaning (I already cleaned the chimney pipe) and then try this turn the stove off, place it in manual mode and then start the stove up and as soon as the controller indicates it will accept a change set the heat range (firing rate) to 2 and tell us all about the flame.

    Ok, so I know where the damper is. Mine is behind the ceramic wall and I have tried to lower the air intake and it hasn't helped. Maybe something happened to the damper when I did the leaf blower thing over the weekend? I will take the walls out tonight and see what I find. I will keep you informed. If I do not get to the bottom of this, do you think it's dangerous to keep the stove running like this? Is there anyway for the fire to get into the hopper?
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Why did you change the damper setting at all?

    The stove would need to first have burn pot build up then it can have a pellet trail from the fire pot to the auger flight and into the hooper. Even this doesn't mean you'll have anything happen in the hopper. I don't have a picture of your stoves hopper setup.

    You should never operate a stove that is having burn-pot build up except to verify you have located and corrected the cause of the build up.

    Closing a damper reduces the air flow available for the fire and past a certain point it alone can cause build up along with things like large flames etc.
  14. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    Why did you change the damper setting at all? Well to be clear when I refer to damper I mean a little lever on the front of the stove that I move to the left and right and that opens up a door behind the wall to let more or less air in. This door is in from of one of the combustion fans ( I think that's what it's called). The lever never really moves but lately I have been moving it to the right and left to try to mess around with the air. That being said the installer (dealer) marked where it should be and I have moved it back to that spot when I'm done messing around and I get the same issue.

    Is more or less air recommended for this issue. I have been giving it more air and it calms the flame down a little. I thought less air would calm the flame down though?
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    More air or fewer pellets, but the solution is a proper cleaning of the entire stove system.

    Does your stove have any trim controls on it (these are used to adjust for the usually minor differences in pellets)?

    Eventually if you keep giving it more air you'll run out of that as a option.
  16. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    Yes, I have trim control but have never touched it. The dealer said 99% if the time you should never have to touch this. I will do a full cleaning and report back. Thanks for your time. I will let you know how it goes.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  17. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,808
    Loc:
    central ct
    If you have a big lazy flame, you generally need more air.
    open the damper up and make sure the exhaust and flue passages are clean.
  18. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    It's a big flame but it's not lazy. It's yellow and it's bright!
  19. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    I probably should actually be "working" while I'm at work but I looked up the Enviro manual on line and found how to adjust the Feed Trim rate. Looking it over it is possible that my wife may have changed the feed rate by accident.

    . FEED RATE TRIM BUTTON: Used to change the feed rate trims
    in 1⁄4 second increments for all feed settings. When this button is
    pressed, all the light will light up on the Heat Output Indicator except
    for the one that shows the current setting; the default setting is the
    number 4 light. To adjust the setting hold the Feed Rate Trim button
    down and press the Heat Level up or down buttons to adjust the
    setting.

    My question is that the default says it is set to (4) it's seems easy enough to change it back if it did get changed. If the feed rate is at the default and I continue to have the problem should the number go up or down to try to fix it. In other words I think I need less pellets coming in from the hopper. So does the higher number mean it will dump more pellets or less? And if you change feed rate do you have to change combustion trim rate?
    Greg T likes this.
  20. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    99% of problems are because of a dirty stove. ==c Ok, I will never ask for help again without doing a good cleaning! I didn't understand how a dirty stove would make the flame so high and out of control but I guess there's a reason. I did the leaf blower trick but I guess that wasn't enough. I went home last night and did a full cleaning of the stove and the flame seems to be back to normal. Not all is well because the flame is still bigger than usual at time but that may be because I am using Lignetic pellets now which are hardwood and longer than the softwood and shorter LaCretes I was using. I'm ganna play with the feed rate a bit and see if that helps but all seems well now.

    Thanks for all the help!
    SmokeyTheBear, briansol and The Ds like this.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    I love it when a plan comes together.
  22. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    Looks like I spoke to soon. I am still having the issue with a very big flame and build up in the burn pot. When I clean the burn pot now I get a mass of hard ash on the bottom.

    Next up is to change the door gasket. The one on there now is missing a piece on the bottom of the door from the gasket fraying and me cutting it. I looked in the manual and on line and aside from a website which sold the replacement gasket I could not find the size of the gasket I need to replace it.I found a site that sold a 5/8 inch replacement gasket so I'm assuming that is the right size. I just haven't found any manuals that give me the information.
  23. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,808
    Loc:
    central ct
    what pellets are you burning?
    how long (bags) does it take to get the clinkers build up?
  24. md2002

    md2002 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    225
    Loc:
    United States
    At this time I'm burning Lignietics (hardwood) but I just recently bought a ton of those. I was burning LaCretes (softwood) before that. The funny thing is this ONLY happens when the stove is running at the 4 setting or higher. I'm not sure the amount of bags it takes to clink up. I have an insert so I clean it about every 2-3 days and when I go to clean it the clinkers are there. I've been running it on 3 the last 3 days because it hasn't been that cold and everything was fine when I cleaned it last night. The last cleaning, when I ran it at 4 for the day I got the build up. I tried lowering the feed rate and that hasn't helped.
  25. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,095
    Loc:
    NH
    clinkers aren't entirely abnormal, and the tall flame isn't necessarily abnormal...is the overtemp switch tripping? Assuming the stove is clean, and none of the safeties is tripping, the unit should be within "operating range"...i can understand your concern for the tall flame, but if it happens consistantly on 4 or higher, and does so with any pellet, in a clean state of operation, its likely normalish. the high temp sensor on that unit I thi ks is along the hopper, so if it does get too hot, it will shut down. I dont usually run many of the units I deal with on high to notice, but some of the ones in my showroom can get pretty furious on higher settings, and its normal.

Share This Page