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Help! Pellets backing up in firepot

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mrowsell, Feb 16, 2008.

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  1. mrowsell

    mrowsell New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
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    Loc:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    I have a quadra-fire castile. The stove doesn't seem to be able to burn the pellets as fast as they are being fed. The auger feed rate seems to be fine (2-3 seconds of rotation with 5 seconds rest). The fuel has been working fine until a few weeks ago. I replaced the auger motor at christmas. I clean the stove daily because the $#@%^$ pot is full an smoking. I generally run the stove for 10 hour phases with the gas furnace taking over for 2 hours, this is when I clean the pot and check for ash buildup. My venting is clean (out and up). I have attached a photo of what is happening. The fire seems good right after I clean the pot but it gradually becomes taller and lazier until it pretty much turns into a traditional woodstove because of all the pellets in the pot. Help - I am really frustrated. This is the 3rd winter of use, with no problems before the auger motor was replaced.

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  2. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
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    985
    Loc:
    CT
    the stove is needs to be cleaned it is dirty it should be cleaned every 1-3 days
  3. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    madison hgts. va
    i agree with 13 , the unit is obviously starved for combustion air , is it feeding the same rate , do not go by the fuel in the pot , but the fuel leaving the hopper, unless you have an auger motor rated to a much higher rotation rate , you are seriously under air. check the flue, take the stove down and do a complete cleaning make sure that the stove can breathe. you shold get back to burning at the rate they are coming in , the soot all over the brick panel on the back and up in the top of the unit is the tell tale sign. you have a blockage in your air path between the fire and the end of the flue pipe. clear that blockage and you will be right back in buisness
  4. Kernel Klinker

    Kernel Klinker New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Hubbardston, Michigan
    Sorry Dude,
    Oops can't call you dude....
    Cops hate that. Especially punk skateboarders.
    I hang at another Forum. They helped me.
    I personally run my cantankerous Dell-Point at full output for WEEKS at a time without problems or shutdown!!
    The guys there will fix you up (at a personal risk of my being banned here)
    Quad forum linked below, not all great info, look it over before posting.
    Good Luck, KK
    Link Removed....So Sorry
    Video of my fire:
    http://s262.photobucket.com/albums/ii114/kernelklinker/?action=view&current=MVI_0516.flv
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
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    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Well, Kernel, it certainly isn't good forum to have 2 posts here and yet send people elsewhere! Tens of thousands have been helped here, and we do send people to those forums at certain times. I have no problems with links, but at the same time I discourage members who are here with the purpose of promoting something else. As you can imagine, that would soon make these forums a free-for-all.

    I'm not accusing you of doing so, just making certain that your future participation keeps that in mind.

    And I do get the skateboard reference......
  6. Kernel Klinker

    Kernel Klinker New Member

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    Loc:
    Hubbardston, Michigan
    Sorry Mr. Administrator.
    I did ask for it.
    But in "My Defense" :red: ....
    I don't even own a Quad but if you just changed the auger motor and troubles appear, it would seem that a possible diagnosis would center around either the board (slightly toasted when the auger motor went) or the auger motor replacement (wrong RPM).
    When I'm feeling helpful, I will seek an answer and post it without outside links.
    KK
  7. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    WOW! That is one seriously neglected stove. Read section 9 of the installation manual. You need to remove the top and rear baffles and clean out behind them. Also check the exhaust vent as it probably needs a good cleaning as well.

    Did you replace the auger motor with an OEM part? Why did you replace the auger motor?
  8. Kernel Klinker

    Kernel Klinker New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Oxygenrace's stove looks like it has a fake set of logs under all that pellet ash.

    If he ran for 3 years without cleaning hidden parts of his stove he done good.

    Perhaps not as efficient as it could have been.

    KK
  9. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Yeap there are logs in there.

    KK is it necessary to post that giant picture for no reason in your post? It makes it hard to read the rest of the thread.
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Carver, MA.

    Hello Craig,
    I know this is off topic but I want to thank you for providing one of the best forums I have ever been to! If you can't get a friendly answer here then you won't get one anywhere! It's amazing that so many walks of life come here from woodchoppers to executives.. But we all have one thing in common and that is alternative heating.. I started burning wood about 20 years ago and stopped about 5 or 6 yrs. ago but with the high cost of oil it opened my eyes to my old friend my woodstove.. Last yr. I burned during a cold week and this year it has been for a month straight so far.. I will be burning for many years to come and it feels good to be back in control..

    Thanx for everything!

    Ray
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    Thanks!

    I certainly enjoy the forums myself.

    Wow, I didn't even notice those log parts - thanks for pointing that out KK.

    Time to get rid of the logs and take that thing apart. It is amazing that it worked for this long.
  12. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    No need to get rid of the logs, they are an accessory for the Quad units. Just need to take them out and clean out all the ash everywhere, and then put them back again.
  13. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    873
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    Southern Maine
    I have the log set and it doesnt look not even close to that. lol. I take my log set out daily and thoroughly clean. Knock on Pellets(wood)......I have not had even one problem with my Quad since they installed on Jan. 8th :) Love it......and excellent quality stove.
  14. mrowsell

    mrowsell New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for all the help. I will check the baffles. I do clean the stove regularly but have not cleaned the section of flue that goes straight out the back. The exhaust goes out to a T connector (and then up 5 feet) which allows me to clean out the ash that collects that far but doesn't give me access to the straight run out of the back of the stove.
  15. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    What about JTP's question?
    Why did you replace the auger motor and did you use the Quad part?
  16. Fire

    Fire Member

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    NYC
    You need to scrape your burnpot. Your pellets may be a poor quality or damp.
  17. shawnjhawn

    shawnjhawn New Member

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Loc:
    western pa
    when cleaning the pot pay attention to the four small air holes on the bottom rear of pot. Take a wire or hanger and clean the holes. The manual doesn't explicitly instruct on them, but they apparently play a key role in the carburetion. You may not even notice them when scraping as this process can still keep them obstructed with ash. Keep the fEed rate LOW. while your in there clean the igniter holes on the front side.



    Quad castile owner
  18. mrowsell

    mrowsell New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    First, the auger motor was replaced because it was faulty. it was replaced by an authorized reseller with a new part from quadra-fire. the problem with the stove was lack of air. the air was not being pulled in because the exhaust fan was blocked. I had to remove the right hand fire brick panel. Ash had built up around its perimeter thus inhibiting air from being sucked through the holes at the bottom of the burn pot. There was a lot of ash built up in the baffles as well.
  19. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Chazy, NY 12921
    Nearly all the lazy flame burning poorly problems are caused by a dirty stove. Seems like they all have a special little nook that is just out of sight to trip you up. Mine is behind the burn pot area in back of the phony fire brick , behind a knockout plug. See if yours has something back there like that. Some how some way your air is betting blocked. I have heard of not having an outside air duct causing this sort of thing in tight houses with very good insulation as well. I suppose you could check that easily enough leaving a window open and watching it. Personally I would go with the dirty stove option.
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