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Lazy flame on Enviro EF-II

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Highspeedlane, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
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    Loc:
    New England
    I have an Enviro EF-II stove that is about 6 or 7 years old. I've been reviewing all the troubleshooting tips for lazy flame here.

    Mine was running fine through the past couple of weeks (good pellets, they burn great in my other pellet stove), then late one afternoon the pellets were incompletely burning and backing up in the burn pot.

    So I figured I'd replace the combustion fan assembly. While that improved it a little (the pellets are burning somewhat better) I'm still not getting efficient combustion.

    I have cleaned out the flue pipes, vac'ed out the inside, and most recently pulled the little ash clean out doors on the right and left of the burn pot. The area behind the clean out doors was completely filled with years of ash build up.

    I haven't been able to relight the stove since vac'ing out the clean out doors because in the process of removing the screws that hold them in place, I had several screw heads snap off due to being weakened by corrosion. So I'm going drill them out and replace them with some self tapping stainless steel replacement screws.

    In the process of pulling out the the facing of the firebox, I removed the old fireproofing insulation (it was crumbly and could not be reused) so I have more of that on order.

    On this particular Enviro, I notice the sliding damper plate (which I normally run nearly wide open) does not completely close. It will close off about one third of the opening, then stops. Is that normal? In other words, if I push the damper rod inward, should that plate completely shut off the air flow?

    Sorry for the newb questions, but there is little info on these out there and having a forum like this is awesome. Thanks in advance.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    You likely still have ash inside the stove,

    That damper likely should close down enough such that rod is fully in (a stop on the rod may prevent this) and there is a very little opening left.

    Air compressor or a nice leaf blower treatment after further reaming and wall thumping might send a large nasty ash cloud into the air.
  3. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane New Member

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    Loc:
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    Smokey thanks for the tips. I have to do more cleaning and wait for the heat barrier to come in, try to get it all back together and will test out and see how it functions.

    What I'll try to do tomorrow is get a pic of the damper if I can squeeze a camera in there (have to take off the exhaust blower first) and post it up for your evaluation. Something is going on with that as it seems to "hard stop" when I try to push it in, covering only about a 1/3 of the opening.

    Thanks again for your help.
  4. johneh

    johneh Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Lanark Ontario Canada
    Pull the front of the stove apart fake brick and panels behind .
    There is an ash trap back their and you will find passages to the damper gate I'll bet its full of ash
    Brush and vac it out will burn a whole lot better
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Funny thing about ash, it gets everywhere and does not so funny things in some spots.

    Number one cause of all pellet stove problems is ash still in the stove somewhere.
  6. chico

    chico Member

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    Loc:
    Onterio Canada
    X2
    That worked for my ef3 ..... Burns perfect now
  7. chamas

    chamas Member

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    EF2 has a habit of jamming the damper plate. If it feels like it is not closing all the way, and gets stuck in that position: Loosen the bolts holding the combustion blower housing to the frame (rear of the firebox area) and you should see further (and freer) movement of the damper plate.

    I had to remove mine and file down the burrs on the edges to get it to function properly, as it would jam itself again after retightening the bolts. The whole area was clean clean clean.

    I think the plate gets a little warped over time and gets jammed in the slot.

    ALTHOUGH: Your symptom apparently points to the opposite problem-- not enough combustion air?
  8. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane New Member

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    I want to thank everyone for your tips and suggestions. Here are a few pics.

    Pic below is the firebox area. Arrow 1 is the area I pulled out all the fireproofing insulation (I didn't know what was behind it), so more of that on order so I can get that back. Arrow 2 shows the clean out covers. Both were completely jammed up with ash:

    [​IMG]

    Pic below, with combustion motor removed, shows the damper opening with damper door fully open:

    [​IMG]

    Pic below shows how far I can get damper door to close. With damper pushed in as far as possible, the door is still about half way from fully closing off this opening:

    [​IMG]

    Arrow 1 above is the opening edge and arrow 2 is the damper at its most inward position. Does that look right?

    Also thanks to the great info I have gotten here, I have leaf blower vac I intend to adapt to vac out the ash from this as well as my other pellet stove. I've been burning for 10 years and had never heard of doing that, but it looks like a fantastic idea!

    This may take me a few days to get all back together but I believe I will have a better air flow afterward and look forward to getting her back to normal.

    Thanks again everyone!
  9. nailed_nailer

    nailed_nailer Minister of Fire

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    There are 4 fasteners (IIRC) that hold the damper assembly to the back of the firebox.
    If you loosen the two on the Convection motor side the damper should close fully.
    On mine it would get stuck about where yours is in the closed down position.

    Since you will have it all apart you might as well blow it clean with compressed air (Move it outside).

    It will run much better after that.

    ---Nailer---
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Those ash traps behind the clean outs go all the way to the top of the plates and sometimes when you get what you can see removed at the clean outs there is still stuff jammed packed all the way to the top. The ash in the exhaust (and there is quite a bit) goes above the plates and drops down behind them following the exhaust gases out of the stove. All such areas are called hidden some are easier to get to than others.

    If you keep up with the ash removal say following every ton of burning with application of the leaf blower those areas don't get a chance to cause trouble.
  11. chamas

    chamas Member

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    Damper plate should be able to close almost all the way shut. Remove the bolts (7/16"?) (you can see one in your last photo, hiding there at the bottom, below the orange vac tube) to allow you to remove the exhaust housing. The damper plate will fall out and you can inspect for any burrs or warpage that needs to be addressed. You'll need a simple socket set/ratchet with a longish extension.
  12. chamas

    chamas Member

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    Bolts verified 3/8" on my EF2.
  13. Gordy

    Gordy New Member

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    How far should the damper slide fully in and out? If you look on the second picture her has, it looks like the damper only closes about and inch past the holes, looks to be fully extended out. That seems to be about the same mark mine has for sliding in and out, which is only 1.5", is that not correct?
  14. Gordy

    Gordy New Member

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    I think I just answered my own question, it is not right, should go almost all the way in.. I guess I need to take mine apart and try and clean it more too.
  15. Highspeedlane

    Highspeedlane New Member

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    Hey this is just a follow up to say thanks for all the great tips and advice I got here.

    And whoever originally thought of the idea of a using a leaf blower to suck the crud out of the pipes was a GENIUS. I finally managed to figure out how to adapt mine in a way that worked and after a treatment with the leaf blower it burns like the day I first fired it up. It gets out crud from places you just can't reach with ordinary vacuum cleaning (or at least I couldn't). AMAZING!

    The damper I've decided to let go for now because it's not really a big deal where it's sort of stuck at. I just can't get over how little I knew about properly cleaning a pellet stove.

    Thanks again to all!
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  16. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    Try some Liquid wrench with Teflon in between the slide plate and the stove frame. I had your problem with my VF -100 (same mechanism) and after I slid the damper plate a few times, it moved freely.

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