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Help - Pellet Stove Black Soot

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by pcnwildwood, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. pcnwildwood

    pcnwildwood New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Upper Peninsula MI
    Purchased a new Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon Pellet Stove in October. Using good quality pellets used by many in area with out complaint. Vented six feet up through wall, air intake 1 foot below exhaust. Clean weekly according to manufacturers instructions. Worked great for 2 months then noticed dark window quickly after cleaning. Then black soot on tv screens, window panes, walls etc… in house. Outside wall where exhaust is tons of black soot, at least 4 foot diameter around exhaust pipe. Black soot on/in exhaust pipe/screen. Tech came out, put new panel in, new fake wood (old model may have caused poor air intake??) Still have the problem. Scary with the soot in house. Please help, any advice and/or wisdom will help as we wait for tech to come out again. He is 250 miles away, left message and waiting for call back.

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  2. humpin iron

    humpin iron Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Loc:
    Northeast
    drop the fireback and vac. Need to pull the exhaust motor and clean in there also, you will NEED a NEW gasket to put the motor back. Also ch the end of you vent system make sure its clean. Your stove is not breathing, thats the only problem.
  3. pcnwildwood

    pcnwildwood New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Upper Peninsula MI
    Thank you for the quick reply. I do vac the fireback and check end of vents. I'll do exhaust motor and see if that works. Thanks!
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

  5. humpin iron

    humpin iron Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Loc:
    Northeast
    your answering your own question "stove ran great for two months" then sooted, the only thing that has happened in those two months is a build up of soot inside the exhaust system. Also double check all your fittings just to be sure no leaks
    When I say drop the fireback, you are removing the two roll locks on the upper left and right and pulling the fireback out of the stove correct??
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yep, you said it.

    How many tons of pellet have you run through the stove since it was new? When the tech came, did he check to make sure the stove was REALLY clean? There are places in these stoves that the owners manuals don't always talk about....maybe try the leaf blower cleaning method mentioned elsewhere in this forum.
  7. pcnwildwood

    pcnwildwood New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Upper Peninsula MI
    Thank you so much for your help, we appreciate it very much. Yes, we removed the roll backs and have cleaned several times and we have also (with a long tool) cleaned out the heat exchange areas. My husband is cleaning the exhaust fan/area as I'm typing. He is going to reseal all connections on exhaust piping too. A question for you. The exhaust piping exits the pellet stove via a "T" with a clean out on bottom (which we clean out often) then goes 6 feet up the inside wall to a 90 degree elbow that exits the inside wall to a 2 ft horizontal pipe to the outdoors. He has cleaned the 2 ft piping from the exit outdoors but does not have a tool to clean the vertical 6 ft piping on the inside. Does that need to be done also at this time?? Again, thanks, it sure brings us peace of mind. It was a very expensive unit and although we heavily investigated pellet stoves via internet it's mechanics are surely way beyond us.
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes, if at all possible it should be cleaned just in case.

    Go to a stove shop, get a stove brush that is the right diameter for your pipe (3" or 4"), and has a long extension wire, and run that down from the outside with a shop vac (that has a HEPA or drywall dust bag filter in it) at the bottom of the "T"....put the nozzle up into the pipe a little and stuff rags around it to make a tight seal, or seal w/ duct tape. Brush up and down while vac is running, and hopefully that will get it nice & clean.
  9. pcnwildwood

    pcnwildwood New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Upper Peninsula MI
    We have run 1.5 tons thru the stove. Yeah, the tech cleaned it out well ( but it wasn't all that dirty cause we did it consistently) but not the exhaust fan area. He did say we had to clean it out but not to hurry as it usually is done end of season. Just as I'm typing my husband called me down and showed me the soot in the exhaust fan. Yeah, it was quite dirty. Pray tell us.... is this typical for an exhaust fan at 1.5 tons of pellets? I really would like to know a "true maintenance program. We clean out the firepot daily, we clean out the ash pan 1-2 times a week as needed. We clean out the heat exchanger once every ton and now the exhaust blower too. Should we be good to go??? Will it be easier from here on out?? It's not a big deal cleaning, just want to make sure we do it right!
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    In general, the weekly cleaning include the firepot, ash traps, ash pan if it's small, behind brick or impingement plates (if you have them like Englanders), glass, and anyplace easy to get to. Some people get some small (3/4") plastic tubing from HD or Lowes, and duct tape that to their vacuum to reach up inside all the little cracks & crevices during weekly cleanings.

    After 1 ton of pellets, the exhaust pipes, blowers, and any other place that's harder to get to should be checked/cleaned, and the hopper should be emptied or allowed to run out of pellets & vacuum all the fines out of the auger.

    As mentioned elsewhere in this forum, a lot of people are starting to use a leaf blower connected to the outside exhaust pipe, and are sucking the soot/ash right out of the stove during the 1 ton cleanings...it seems to get ash that you can't see or get to normally.

    Remember, 80% of all pellet stove problems seem to come from dirty stoves.
  11. Reyn

    Reyn New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Southwest Michigan
    We received our Mt Vernon in October 2008 also. Have used two tons of pellets thus far. Due to a fan issue our dealer was out at the beginning of this week and mentioned that we had typical build up of soot. I have been pulling the baffel and cleaning the heat exchanger every two weeks to try and avoid any issues.
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