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I'm Getting a New Pellet Stove! But My Dealer Doesn't Like It!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by WKB, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    We've run our Wittus/MCZ for two years and have off/on problems. They're taking the stove back and now we're on the hunt for something new. I like the Italian made models for their looks and (reported) performance. But my dealer is apprehensive to go back to an Italian made product (this is the second Wittus stove pulled from a homeowner).

    I'm looking at the Palazzetti, Ecoteck, and Piazzetta brands. Any thoughts or experience with these, with particular regard to their reliability?

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  2. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    A few members here have Italian stoves and love them.

    You can check Eased Edges in Laconia NH. I bought my BGE there a few years ago and the owner was raving about the Piazzetta line. He had one burning while I was there in February 2011 buying an Egg. Very impressive. They carry several brands so I would think that the owners have a feel for how they have held up against the others over time.

    Good luck !
  3. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    The Palazzetti actually has a pretty good rep on here from what I've read. pricey, though.
  4. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Have you had a conversation with Neils Wittus? The Palazzetti stoves are pretty nifty. Have you considered the new Lopi AGP? How about a Rika? Enviro Maxx-m? Why is yer stove shutting off? I would be interested in looking at it. When it shuts down is it a power loss or controlled shut down?
  5. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    Thanks! We may drop in sometime on our way up to the Whites.
  6. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    Yes, I'm in contact with him and getting some information. They have quite a few stoves on the market.
  7. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    We have had many conversations with Neils, and Adam. And Peter. I wish we could have found the solution, because I like the design and efficiency. But no one can adequately assess, or explain, the problem. The dealer's tech is baffled. It shuts down in a controlled fashion anytime the outside air kit is installed, giving alarm codes that the air intake or exhaust is blocked. The air intake volumes dropped insidiously over many months. The smoke fan RPMs have always operated much higher than what was normally expected. And the ratios of each fell outside of permitted tolerances, according to the service manual. Replacing the air sensor actually made the problem worse. The stove, air intake, and flue is clean as a whistle and I've only burned Cleanfire Pacific pellets. We don't detect any air leaks. There are no rodents or other creatures burrowing into the system.

    Thanks for the recommendations on the Lopi AGP. The design is on the right track, but I'd like something taller rather than wider. The Enviro stoves were recommended by our dealer, but I can't find something of their brand that looks more contemporary. Their inserts, on the other hand, are gorgeous. I suggested Rika to our dealer, too, but he's had bad luck with these and their service folks, who gave him the runaround whenever problems arose.

    I'm determined to continue a green form of heating! Just wish I hadn't had such bad luck this first time around.
  8. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Stopping in would be great in the burning season to see first hand operation, but you need it before that. Unless passing thru soon, call and tell them you are looking for a new stove. They carry other quality brands so talk with them about differences, pros and cons. You dont need to tell them you are in Boston and out of their area. It might be advantageous to get other opinions to make an informative decision.

    http://www.easededges.com/stoves_index.cfm

    IF in the area on a Saturday, stop by they are usually cooking up some meats to demo their grills making this a delicious and informational stop :)

    Good luck !
  9. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    IT is entirely possible that your OAK is installed in an area (leeward or windward) where there is a negative pressure existing already. Does the problem resolve itself when the OAK is removed? Additionally, you didn't reduce the intake to a smaller diameter than the collar on the appliance?

    There are two things at work here. So I think. Has anyone tried jumping around the air flow sensor altogether? Not that you would want to operate the appliance that way, but it would be interesting to see whether the sensor is at fault of if somehow the IC circuit (hall sensor) on the combustion motor is tossing out bad RPM parameters. That would be my guess. The IC circuit and the air flow sensor are both motoring the air stream but in different ways.

    You say that this is your second unit and it's doing the same thing?
  10. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Hall Sensor! I imagine the RPM's are actually just fine, but the hall sensor is whacked and thinks its spinning aster than it is...the computer then makes a voltage adjustment which actually slows down the RPM (and air flow) and then your air flow switch opens.

    You need a new combustion motor or some how the IC circuit needs to be adjusted up some...

    These are the issues that Rika stoves had from time to time, problem being, most dealers dont have very qualified techs, bad hall circuits are tough to diagnose cause the present themselves in secondary ways.
  11. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    I understand your point about negative pressure on windy days, but this happens consistently when the OAK is connected, wind or no wind. The diameter on the intake is the same. When we replaced the air flow sensor the unit quit suddenly; the old sensor causes the unit to quit in 15 minutes, which the service manual describes. Still worth trying to jump it?

    The hall sensor is a very good idea. If I'm understanding this correctly, then with further hall sensor degradation, reported RPMs increase but actual RPMs decrease? And then I assume the air sensor is actually reporting correct volume. Now, the stove does not shut down when the OAK is uninstalled, drawing room-air. I wonder if, and how, this decrease in flow resistance changes things so that it, at least, doesn't trigger an alarm.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How long is your OAK run?

    How many bends are in it?

    Is the stove below grade level?
  13. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Is the screen on your oak blocked? It would seem to me that if the appliance work fine with no oak, then there is nothing at all wrong with the appliance. The oak must me investigated. what is the collar size of the oak on the appliance and what is the diameter of your line in vent? Also, how many feet is your oak line in feet? If I'm remembering correctly, the MCZ stoves have about a 1 3/4 inch diameter oak collar, yes? What manufacturer oak kit are you using? A lot of companies (installers) will use the Simpson 2" OAK kit but if the total run is longer than the hose which is supplied...there's your problem, that kits, if that's what your using cannot be longer than 7 feet and should have no bends in it. Also, because it is aluminum and the way it connects to the screen cap, a lot of people crush the vent when they tighten it, thus restricting the total amount of air flow in.

    Welcome to the world of improper installations. Very very very rarely is it ever the stove, especially if it is new.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Rules for venting whether it be an OAK or an Exhaust Flue are:

    Only metal shall be used.

    The run should be as short and with as few bends as possible.

    If it must be longer or have more than the recommended number of bends then the next size up should be used for the entire length.

    Above 36 square inches in exhaust vent cross sectional area usually requires extra help from the combustion blower.
  15. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    The run is about 2 feet. Nothing too long that I would have expected this to cause a problem. There's a few 30 degree bends. Nothing too outrageous. The stove is above grade. What would be the effect of having it in the basement, for example?
  16. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    We checked the OAK kit and it seems patent. It is a louvered screen on the outside, which I thought may have been caked with dust or soot, but I cleaned this and the problems remains. The diameter of the OAK on the appliance and the aluminum pipe are the same. It's about 2 feet long, maybe three at most. There's two bends, maybe 30 degrees each.

    I'm not quite sure what manufacturer made the OAK, but it is a louvered screen.

    But the stove did not have these problems when first installed. In fact, it worked just fine for a year, from this perspective, but with a few other (mechanical) problems.

    The Hall sensor made a lot of sense to me but I wonder how I could explain why the stove doesn't alarm when the OAK is removed.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Remove that screen and try it again. I had this as an issue with my installation.

    Also how far away from the vent termination is the OAK termination?

    Having the air intake below grade usually requires a number of sharper bends and extra length in a lot of cases.
  18. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    What did you use to protect the OAK from rain and critters? Is it just left open? The vent termination is probably within two week of the OAK termination.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You only need to worry about the OAK termination during the off season. Mine gets plugged when the stove is off for the summer, I also plug the exhaust vent during the off season.

    When the stove is running the animals will stay away, if you are worried about the OAK termination you can build a screen that allows unrestricted air flow. My bet is that the critter blocker is just too restrictive and makes the airflow volume remain outside the stoves ability to properly adjust to. I may be all wet but your problem sounds like an airflow issue to me.
  20. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Replace the louver inlet disc with a screen disc. The aluminum louvers actually bend inwards over time and restrict airflow.
  21. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    Thanks, Scott. You and others have raised good points that haven't been considered.
  22. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    The Palazzetti has been a great stove for me. Member Tay purchased one right after me , he was very please also. very efficient and hot;)
  23. WKB

    WKB New Member

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    Have you generally run into apparent electrical problems on European pellet stoves installed in the U.S. because of the transition from 240V to 120V?
  24. Phil Do's fire.

    Phil Do's fire. Minister of Fire

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    NO! The Palazzetti is specifically designed for the North American market. All components are clearly listed as 110- 120 volt a/c current only;)
  25. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    No. The units need to be listed to be sold here so they have been run through the paces

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