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How much black glass is normal? St Croix Prescott EXP

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by momof2nutlings, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. momof2nutlings

    momof2nutlings Member

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    I understand some coloring of the glass is normal on a pellet stove, but how much would indicate a problem? When looking at the glass on the door, there are two small \ / sections in the lower corners where the glass is getting brownish, especially when run on low (and since this winter is bizarrely warm yet, we're running it on low more often than not). I'm pretty good at keeping her clean, however not the the point of climbing to the top of the chimney with the leaf blower. Sounds fascinating, but if God meant me to be hovering 35+ feet up in the air I would have wings, not feet. LOL

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  2. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Lower burn will always leave more soot. The brand of pellet is the main factor in all this. There is really no 'normal' for a stove, but rather a stove + pellet + burn conditions + air + etc etc etc.

    Ultimately, don't worry about it. Look more at the flame. If you're getting a good tight burn and not a lazy flame, you're probably ok. If it's lazy, you may need more air via damper.
  3. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    A low burn is not as efficient as a higher setting... these stove like to be warm and stay warm.

    Having a t-stat will help when burning during warmer temps... just remember that a stove 'dirties up' faster when running on low, too. You will hve more soot and ash to clean...
  4. unklechuckles19

    unklechuckles19 Member

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    Sounds about normal. If you want to clean the glass while it's running you've got 90 seconds to open the door and wipe the glass with a wet rag (just water) or paper towel before the vacuum switch will shut it down. If you get spots that won't wipe off with just the water, best time to clean those is when the stove is shut down for a cleaning. Ash will build up in the lower corners first, and make it's way towards the middle in the / pattern you've described. As others have said, burning on low will product more ash on the door, and burning higher quality pellets will reduce the ash overall.
  5. DneprDave

    DneprDave Burning Hunk

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    I just use a dry, crumpled newspaper to clean the glass on my running stove, it only takes a few seconds to wipe the glass clean.

    Dave
  6. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I'm really leery of hitting hot glass with a wet rag. I use a dry cloth, or wait until cleaning day, when the stove is cold.
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I agree......if it's hot, just use a dry cloth.
  8. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    I use a razor scraper on mine when hot. It takes about 20 seconds.
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I'm going to try that!
  10. dafollweiler

    dafollweiler New Member

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    i shut mine down twice a day to brush the ashes out, i clean the glass then if it needs it.
  11. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    WOW, that's alot. I got rid of my Englander because it required a daily routine, never mind twice a day.

    What kind of stove?
  12. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    I use a dry paper towel once a day on the door while the stove is running.
    With some pellets it doesn't get all of the residue off though.
    Don't forget to wear the proper gloves so you don't get burned.
  13. momof2nutlings

    momof2nutlings Member

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    Well I got in there and started cleaning her out, my normal weekly routine, and noticed some black shiny build-up behind the two clean-out flaps. I called the installer, who told me not to run it until he can come out and look at it.

    It's supposed to be COLD tonight and we haven't yet turned on the oil beast. I am so sad. :(

    Any thoughts on (1) if I really shouldn't run it like this? (2) How it got like this? and (3) How to clean out that creosote myself? I've been running Lignetics in it, which the installer recommended (and sold to us). Also had it professionally cleaned about 3 months ago. Never had a problem with it until the guy "adjusted" the draft flap in the back - and managed to get it hung up on the screw in the back in the process - which I just found last week. Not sure if that's behind my problem, but it's been so trouble free up until the cleaning...
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Playing with the draft is the easiest way to foul up a burn, too many folks rush the process.
  15. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    My Afton Bay manual says to close the damper down on a pencil, and leave it (the damper) there for most situations. My installer said to leave it wide open, but I get much more heat and no crud in the stove with it at the factory recommended setting.

    A good hot burn, highest heat level for at least ½ hour a day is recommended in the manual. That should burn off any creosote and unburned ash in the stove. Burning at a low rate, as already stated, will tend to gum up the stove.

    The damper may be closed too much, which could give you a dirty burn. The digital control adjusts both fans speeds according to your desired burn rate, thus controlling the draft, which I believe makes the damper adjustment less critical.

    As for not running it, it's your call. If it were my stove, if the flame looked good on a high burn, I'd run it there for a while, keeping an eye on the stove just in case.

    If you have any doubts about the stove, safety should trump disappointment, so play it safe. We don't want to read about you in the news...
  16. dafollweiler

    dafollweiler New Member

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    Fmsm Its an old whitfield around 95. it has a nice size ashpan but the ash all seems to sit around the pot and then starts falling back into it. Not sure if i need to clean it as often as i do but it makes me feel better, i replaced all the gaskests and talked to the original dealer about it. he never said i had to clean it as often as i do but never said i did either so im not sure if its necasarry. my glass is usally clean and dont need a cleaning but i usally do that to. Hey if nothing else it looks nice and beats the oil prices out there
  17. momof2nutlings

    momof2nutlings Member

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    Once I found the draft was hung up on the screw I did close it down to a pencil (which is what I read on here) - will try and open it up a little and see if there's any improvement. Apparently it wasn't working well where I had it!

    Flame looked fine on higher settings, was very small on 1 - which is where I had left it last night as the house was warmish anyway - it was 53 here yesterday!! I think that's when the worst of the accumulation happened - the glass was sooooo much darker this morning that it had been previously - which is why she got her cleaning today when she wasn't due for a few more days.

    Guess I'll see if installer can get here to play with her tomorrow, if not then I'll be giving the dear thing the cleaning of her life (minus the blower, no wings as I said LOL) based on what I've read here. I'm also planning to sweep the chimney while I'm at it - it's only been a few months but why not. Then I'll put her on high (after making sure it's not rush hour so the VFD can make it here quickly if needed :gulp: ) and see what she does.

    As for tonight we're cranking the wood stove, thank goodness for backups!
  18. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    I have an old Whitfield from the mid- late 90's, it is still going strong! I don't use it much anymore but when I was burning 1-2 tons a year n it I only had to clean it once a week.
  19. wwert

    wwert Feeling the Heat

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    I feel that if that stove is cleaned properly and the damper adjusted properly the should be almost no black soot even on low setting. I have 2 St Croix stoves that did the same thing when I bought them used and found the ash traps were partially clogged. Once they were thoroughly cleaned the black soot was no longer a problem. I burn on 1 or 2 almost always and now have just light ash which wipes off with a dry paper towel. Be patient when you adjust the damper, start with it closed to a pencil width and slowly make changes from there but only once the stove has run a while. Hope this helps.
  20. momof2nutlings

    momof2nutlings Member

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    wwert- once the stove has run awhile may be the problem!! I know the guy who came and cleaned it just turned it on then adjusted it, and I'm not sure how long I had it on before I adjusted it (down to the pencil height). Will have to try this when it's been on and do a little more research to figure EXACTLY what I'm looking for when adjusting the damper. I have to say I'm not 100% certain if I'm looking for the right things...
  21. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    momof2nutlings,

    Just for your comparison purposes;

    Right now I'm running my Afton in hi-low with a 'stat. On these warm days, it runs at #1 a lot, then kicks up to #4 for heating. I get quite a bit of brown ash on the glass, but nothing black. The brown ash just wipes right off, since it's just dry ash.
    When the stove runs mostly at #3 or #4 in colder weather, the glass does stay cleaner longer.
  22. wwert

    wwert Feeling the Heat

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    The stove manual does a pretty good job of showing a good burn pattern as opposed to a bad one. The manual is available on the ST Croix website if you don't have one. Also crappy pellets like Infernos could add to the problem.

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