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Leaf Blower Trick St. Croix (and others) Tips

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by The Other One, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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    Ok. First, if you are a St. Croix owner and have not used this trick yet, you are wasting your time. I have spent hours with all the other tricks doing what took me 5 minutes today.

    I apologize if this has been listed before. I am sure others have definitely experimented with it.

    I started by just unhooking the tube from the vacuum switch and not cleaning the stove at all. I left ashes in different parts of the stove to see what got cleaned. I found that after I did the leaf blower trick this way, all the hard to clean places were cleaner then they had ever been. (All those places behind the ash trap doors). Ash was left near the burn pot and by the heat exchange tubes.

    Next, I experimented with doing it with the ash trap doors off. Then with the plate below the heat exchange tubes off. Then combinations of the two. Each time more ash was coming out of the blower. I always kept the door to the stove closed. It would be interesting to try different things like this when you apply the trick.

    I would have to note that my vent pipe has never been cleaner. I am wondering how often I will actually have to remove the combustion blower in the future. When I clean in the spring, I am going to do the leaf blower trick first to see what other maintenance is no longer necessary. I probably won't need the rubber mallet or plumbers snake.

    By the way, I found this cheap blower/vac at Lowes that fit perfectly over my vent pipe and rested right up against the wall to hold the suction. I only used half the vacuum tube. (It got bad reviews because the bag rips when used as a leaf vacuum, but for $40 and never planning on using it that way its great. 235 MPH & 380 CFM).
    [​IMG]
    http://www.lowes.com/pd_126753-53393-25193_4294747189_4294937087_?productId=3140771&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL;=/pl_Blowers_4294747189_4294937087_?Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&facetInfo;=

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  2. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Every spring after the LBT I pull my comb blower, then I remember that I shouldnt bother cause its always spotless.

    Never hurts to check it, I guess.
  3. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    The best way to clean the stove is to use the leaf blower AFTER the rest of the stove is as clean as you can get it normally....the leaf blower trick is the "icing on the cake".
  5. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    I have the st croix and have the leaf blower
    but have never and will never use it on the stove.
    Why?
    My exhaust goes in my fireplace and up the chimney
    and this girl doesn't climb up on roofs.
    That's the first reason. Second reason. Stove has always
    performed outstanding after cleaning. Never a weak flame,
    never any blinking light errors from a plugged stove.
    Never a need to mess with the leaf blower. If I was
    having problems with the stove I suppose I could
    get some guys to shlep it outside and run the blower
    through it that way but...meh. Why bother when
    it runs A+ with the way I clean it. Seventh year now.
    I think guys just like to complicate things and have excuses to buy
    more shyte to play with cuz they're bored. :coolsmirk:
    hehe. Since the majority here are male I'm ready for
    the flaming but it doesn't phase me as for several
    years I've been Admin on a busy Harley motorcycle forum
    so yeah. Go for it and enjoy your leaf blowing!

    Attached Files:

  6. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    In my situation the LBT is the only option IMO.

    Freestander with top vent adapter located in carpeted room. Vented vertically.

    If I were to brush the pipe then open up the clean out door on the top vent adapter, it wouldn't be pretty.

    So it all comes out the top, no mess in the house=happy wife. ;-P
  7. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    I've been doing the LBT for six seasons now on my St Croix Pepin. I find you still have to clean the combustion and room fans... the combustion blower still gets hard crusted deposits on it and the room fan gets dust bunnies...
  8. rickwai

    rickwai Feeling the Heat

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    ohio
    The Other One,
    I went out and bought the leafblower you suggested. It worked great!! I pull my stove out once a year and pull fan motors off and do a deep cleaning. I used the leaf blower today and it pulls some serious air throught the stove! alot of ash blew out. I cleaned pipe and stove first to see how much would come out from the areas i cant get to w/out pulling motors, it was amazing. This blower seems like a great bargain for the job. It has the same cfm as the toro and less cost. Thanks again for sharing.
  9. PA_Clinker

    PA_Clinker Member

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  10. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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    My wife loves it. No big mess when I need to clean. I think this is going to be my monthly cleaning instead of snaking the ash traps. I also have absolutely no black on the glass in 3 days.
  11. PA_Clinker

    PA_Clinker Member

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    The LBT is definitely not just for FUN %-P and should be considered routine maintenance, if your installation allows.
  12. md2002

    md2002 Member

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    So what is the leaf blower trick? Everyone talks about it but I have yet to find someone explaining what it is :)
  13. PA_Clinker

    PA_Clinker Member

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    Here's a NICE pic (not mine) from the link below;

    [​IMG]


    Leaf Blower Trick
  14. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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    You can search for it on the forum.

    Here is how I do it. You need a leafblower with vacuum mode.
    1. MAKE SURE THE STOVE IS OFF, HAS BEEN FOR A WHILE AND HAS NO EMBERS.
    2. I unhook the tube from the vaccum switch. (Many people are afraid the suction would break it. I am not sure that it would, but there is no need to take the chance. Many people just open the door to the stove a crack).
    3. I place the vacuum tube from the leafblower over my vent pipe and turn it on full blast. (Mine fits perfectly. You may have to duct tape the tube to the vent pipe to get good suction).
    4. All the ash that you can't get out of your stove or the vent pipe comes out in 5 miniutes.

    The picture above could not be any clearer.
  15. EviLScotsMaN

    EviLScotsMaN New Member

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    Wow, what a difference a clean stove makes!! :cheese:

    Attached Files:

  16. md2002

    md2002 Member

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    Cool thanks guys... I assume this works on chimney's as well. I have an insert. I would probably have to get a pretty powerful leaf blower to get the ash to go up the 25 foot liner.
  17. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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    Cleanstove is a huge difference.

    Do a youtube search on pellet stove leaf blower trick. It shows it from a rooftop chimney. I don't think it needs to be any more powerful. Ash is light. Just hard to get to.
  18. CTguy9230

    CTguy9230 Feeling the Heat

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    my neighbors would love me forever if i did that....LOL !!!
  19. PA_Clinker

    PA_Clinker Member

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    Between all this talk and the nice weather today, I decided to do a suck. :lol:

    I bought a 4" to 3" DWV pvc adapter at HD which by chance was a snug "fit" into the vacuum side (secured it with some Gorilla tape). From there, a short length of 3" pvc into a 3" by 3" neoprene coupler which seals nicely around the 3" diameter "cough-cough" Duravent pellet pipe. Suction is so good that I have to be careful not to suck the Wegman's re-useable shopping bag through the cap. :p Needless to say, I pull the hose from my negative pressure switch beforehand. Oh, and before anyone says anything...I know I need some high heat RTV at the wall thimble. :red:

    Attached Files:

  20. The Other One

    The Other One New Member

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  21. tchdngrnby

    tchdngrnby Member

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    Depending on your overall usage, I would still recommend a thorough manual cleaning effort at least annually. The St. Croix's have nooks and crannys that will contain ash/crust that must be loosened up via manual methods and can then be removed via the LBT.

    My preference is to run the LB continuously during my cleaning regimine. Keeping the stove under a negative pressure ensures the ash does not find its way into the home. Opening a door or window (upwind of course) allows for make up air to enter the home and into the stove, carrying away any ash outdoors through the venting.

    I do a LBT once per month or once per ton throughout the heating season. After the heating season, I field strip the stove for a deep cleaning, inspection, lubrication and reassembly. Again, this depends on usage and what you are burning. I find that burning good quality pellets goes a long way in determining how often you need to clean the stove. However, one or two bad bags can change all of that. Routine observation of the performance of the combustion process should also que you in that it is time for a cleaning.

    A clean stove is a happy stove. It is up to us to keep it happy by any means neccessary.
  22. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

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    We have to make some kind of adaptor for our leaf blower to try this. we got ours for free, but it is missing the plastic adaptor for sucking.

    We have manually cleaned the pipe with the brush, then stuck the hose of our ash vac into the vent to suck stuff up.
  23. chuckster

    chuckster Burning Hunk

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    I have a Harman XXV and I want to try the leaf blower trick. I'm wondering if it is better to keep the stove door closed or partially open when doing the trick. I'm also wondering if it will work with the XXV.
    Chuck
  24. PA_Clinker

    PA_Clinker Member

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    Keeping the door partially open will give you a better draft.
  25. mkpanache

    mkpanache New Member

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    This is what I was wondering as well. After a little over a month, I have a light #2 issue again, and I have been vacuuming my stove nearly every day.

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