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Help! My pellet stove is exhausting black soot onto the side of my house...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by athamr59, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. athamr59

    athamr59 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
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    Northern Virginia
    I recently installed a pellet stove in my walkout basement. My problem is that I am accumulating black soot on the exterior vent, wall plate (thimble) and the siding. The first several days I burned in it I did not accumulate anything on the exterior. Now, less than a week later I have significant soot on the exterior piping and siding.

    The stove was purchased at Lowes and is a England Stove Works Pellet stove designed for 1500 sqft. Model #55-SHP1OL. It exhausts in the rear and has about a 5 foot rise prior to penetrating the exterior wall at approx. a 2 ft. horizontal. I also have a 2" fresh air hook-up that runs about a 3 1/2 foot horizontal. I have switched pellets a couple of times ensuring the use of premium grade pellets. My electric control panel has heat range and blower speed both range from 1-9 and I operate them at the same rate (usually 4 or 5). Also there are buttons (set at factory) for "low fuel feed", "low burn air", and "air on temp".

    I'm not sure what to do, I will clean out the burn pot tonight and am considering increasing the blower speed to be set at 1 rate higher than the heat range to increase draft.


    1. What can I do to stop the accumulation of soot on the exterior of my home?
    2. Do hardwood pellets burn better than pine (they seem to at least burn slower)?
    3. What are the buttons at the bottom of the control panel for?
    a) "low fuel feed"
    b) "low burn air"
    c) "air on temp"

    Thanks in advance for your help...

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  2. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    Sep 28, 2007
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    Check this thread out to get info on the 3 bottom buttons:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/11888/

    I haven't had any experience with soot problems, but I'm sure someone will give you some advice - you're in the right spot to get help!

    I may have missed it in your post, but does it say how far out from the outside wall (horizontally) the termination of your pipe is?
  3. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    Oh... BTW - Welcome to the forum!
  4. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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  5. athamr59

    athamr59 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I thought that one possible cause of the soot maybe because the exterior vent only extends about 1 foot from the heat shield against the house. Although the first several days I ran it, that didn't seem to be the problem. I've also been keeping a close eye on it and that soot situation has not been re-created. I have been careful to clean out the burn pot more frequently.

    Do you have to power all the way off to clean the burn pot... I do it when the melted mass starts piling up. I don't have a fresh air adjustment... just a electronic blower adjustment. Is there any way to fine tune the air flow for a cleaner burn when all you have is feed control and blower control?

    Thanks for the welcome and the info about the buttons!
  6. brandytab

    brandytab New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    We have a ton of soot outside also. Our power meter box is BLACK (installed the stove about a month ago).

    I thought this was normal until I saw your post. No? Not normal?
  7. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    No, not normal at all. I started my pellet stove in mid November and I have yet to see the first sign of any soot on my house. Sometimes when I first turn the stove on I see smoke coming out the vent, but that's not very often and the smoke doesn't appear to be leaving any soot on the house. My pipe extends 26" out from the wall thimble. If you have that much soot on the house it sounds to me (from what I've read on this forum) that your stove isn't getting enough combustion air.
  8. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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  9. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    nice pictures rod, loved the origional install, wrong cap (thats a vert cap) installed on horizontal, termination far too close to the wall , should be out at about 18 inches at least, and vented under a covered porch. unbelievable , nice fix to it though , proper vent for the situation. very nice indeed,

    reading the origional post, 10 inches is too close for termination, manual requires minimum of 18 inches, also check the vertical rise required. and please look at rod's pictures and the results from installing incorrectly , he fixed that install by venting properly through the overhanging roof of the porch , and im sure the customer did not have issues with soot after that correction was made.
  10. athamr59

    athamr59 New Member

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    Well... that's easy! I'll extend the vent pipe out another foot from the wall. I have just over a 5 foot vertical rise and will soon have a 3 foot horizontal...

    I only get smoke on start up and shut down (incomplete combustion), however is all of the melted bricks in the burn pot normal for pellet stoves?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    By melted bricks, do you mean various black globs of a crumbly substance? If yes, these are clinkers. They are a by-product of burning pellets. The amount of clinkers varies depending on the pellet quality, burn rate and burnpot design.
  12. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    frozen tundra
    This is an extremely bad situation!! About 2 months ago I was on my way home from work, when I noticed a bunch of smoke as I drove through a subdivision in my area. I turned my car around just to see what was going on, and noticed that somebody's wood deck was on fire. It was burning due to an installation that was almost exactly the same as pictured here. The only difference in the installation was that the vent terminated with an end cap that forced the hot air down. This resulted in starting the deck and side of the house on fire. The people that lived there weren't home at the time and are lucky their house didn't burn down! One of their neighbors and me were able to put out the fire with a garden hose that was laying around. The firemen also had to rip apart their walls pretty good with an axe to make sure the fire was out.

    Makes me wonder if they have continued to burn the stove again.
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