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M55 Heat Exchanger Tube Scraper Jammed

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by BillRad, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Hi All, New here - Have searched the forum for any similar problems but have had no luck finding any results.
    I have an Enviro M55 Multifuel fireplace insert. I've been through 3 blowers until my dealer got me the new version that works, well .... excellently. The problem I am experiencing now and have since shortly after purchase is that the heat exchanger tube scraper is jammed. The only way to get it to move is to grab the lower end inside the stove with both hands and pull as hard as I can. You can imagine what that is like when the ash begins to fly out of the stove and all over my arms. I have mentioned this to my dealer and all the service tech said was "Yes they sometimes are a little hard to move" This is beyond a little hard to move. To push the scraper back down to normal operating position, holding the back panel up, requires using pliers on the rod and pushing as hard as I can to eventually get it back to the correct position. If not careful when pushing it back into the correct position your hand can get pinched between the top of the stove and the pliers which results in the release of many expletives that cannot be repeated here !!! Is anyone else experiencing this and if so do you have a solution. I can't see anything obvious binding it. Thanks for any help! Brgds, BillRad

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  2. Jdmurphy

    Jdmurphy New Member

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    I've only had my M55 insert for a few weeks. I can confirm that even in this short time the tube scraper has become more difficult to move. It certainly isn't simply a matter of sliding the external rod but more of a pull on the internal plate. Sorry I don't have the solution, but wanted to confirm for you that you aren't the only one experiencing this.
  3. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Thanks for your quick response! Hopefully someone has a solution for us. Maybe I will contact the manufacturer if no one has an idea.
  4. nailed_nailer

    nailed_nailer Minister of Fire

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    Mine slides in and out fairly easily.
    I do find it binds up a bit if I haven't scraped in a while.

    You could try to spray the tubes down with a dry graphite lube before you pull the bar.
    It may give it just enough lube to get it moving. Or even a liquid veggie oil spray like PAM.

    The veggie oil will burn off next time you fire it up.

    Once it freely moves keep it moving by using it a few times a week.

    On my old EF-2 the scraper would bind due to it getting out of alignment.
    I had to tighten/replace the mounting nut and added a fender washer to keep it straight.
    It was 1/4-20 thread IIRC.

    Good Luck,
    ---Nailer---
  5. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I move mine 2 or 3 times a day, else it gets really tough to move too. How frequent do you move it before it got stuck?
  6. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Hi, They said in the instructions to only move it when it was cool so.... I only moved it during the weekly cleaning. For the first few months it worked but got harder and harder over time till I got to where I am today. I asked the dealer about a tool to move it when it's hot like I have for my Lancaster pellet/corn stove and he said never move it when it's hot always wait till it's cool. Well, when it's 25 outside you can't always wait that long every couple of days for the heat.

    I do however get up into the cracks with a paint brush and the vacuum once I get it moved. Possibly the rake is warped from the heat??

    Thanks again for any help, Bill
  7. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    hrm, I never heard that... I usually just put my shirt over my hand as an oven mitt and move it quickly.. takes all of a few seconds.
  8. Jdmurphy

    Jdmurphy New Member

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    I could go a few days between moving the scraper. It's not seized, but certainly binding more than I would expect. It's my first season with the M55 and I have not been burning that much yet. I'll try more frequency and see if that helps.

    I'm interested in hearing from BillRad, the original poster, on his experience.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  9. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    I have had a M55 FS stove for 4 years - the scrapper gets stuck at least once every season. Spoke with Enviro tech support and the tolerances are a little tight. They recommend running the scrapper more often to prevent buildup. This season I can not move the scrapper at all. I will have to just use the brush from now on.
  10. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

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    I have this problem as well. I generally dont touch It between cleanings. It can get stuck and then moving it from the inside is not an option when hot.

    So my stove just isnt as efficient i suppose. It is my main gripe about this stove which I otherwise like a lot.
  11. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    mine gets stuck a little bit, but with a pull and push, it moves.

    sounds like you have some bad contact going on. maybe the rod became warped and is now making contact with something. next time you give the tubes a good, check to see what is getting stuck.

    does it sound like metal is grinding when you move it?
  12. myhearthisonfuego

    myhearthisonfuego New Member

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    Yeah mine is very tough to move to, I have to physically get my hands in the stove when I'm cleaning and get it started by moving it a little then I can move the rod back and forth. I only clean my stove like every 3-4 days.
  13. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! It seems this is a real problem for Enviro to look into. In answer to Vinny - yes there is definitely a sound of grinding metal to metal. When I reach inside to move it, the ash flies all over the place which doesn't make the wife to happy as you could imagine. I am able to contain some of it by leaving the vacuum inside and running while I pull the rake back but the fly ash can get out and into the air. The design from my stand point was to rake the tubes of most of the ash while the door contains the fly ash in the stove. Then the final cleaning of the minor amounts that are left and of course whats dropped into the ash pan etc......

    In response to pelletdude ... I have to move the scraper to get the back baffle out to clean it and the ash from behind so leaving it in a fixed position is not an option for me. I am wondering if Enviro has any other suggestions as more people experience this problem and report it???

    My stove is now going on it's 4th season and the rake jam is getting worse .... it seems to me having the heat exchanger tubes as clean as possible is critical in getting as much heat out of the stove as possible - in other words the "efficiency". Being an engineer I guess I'm anal about getting the most efficient use of my equipment as possible ... lol >>
    pelletdude likes this.
  14. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Mine used to be like that, but it will not respond anymore, except when I reach into the stove and really pull hard on it from the rake itself.
    pelletdude likes this.
  15. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    I would imagine that scraper is pretty gunked up if it's not used very often. Not only will ash build up but also creosote if you have run your stove on low for a while.

    I'd get it freed up… an automotive aerosol carburetor cleaner will help dissolve any goo in the tubes but is messy to use… you'll need lots of rags to sop up the excess.

    After you get it working again I'd make a habit of cranking up the heat to max for about 20 minutes each day… helps keep the stove clean and the scraper working.

    My old corn stove had a stuck tube scraper when I bought it… never stuck again after I cleaned it up.
  16. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Thanks! The bottom of the tubes are spotless - after the weekly cleaning but still won't move - no gunk. However, I can't tell about the top of them - I can't see up there. You did give me an idea that might verify they are clean on the top. I might try your cleaner idea or maybe try to get a piece of emery cloth over the tube itself and fish it down the other side with a hook of some type and slide it back and forth to verify no crud up there. Thanks for the hint. Bill
  17. Wachusett

    Wachusett Feeling the Heat

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    I have the M-55 for three years now. This has happened to me on occasion. To get the scrapper loose let stove cool down and use pliers to get
    a strong hold on the scrapper rod and give it hell. There is a little build up on the rod, ash, rust, whatever. With the rod all the way out clean
    it with a scotch brite pad or steel wool. If the scrapper won't come loose you may need to reach into the stove and clean the rod from inside.
  18. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Thanks ! will try that as well - might be cool enough when I get home tonight ???
  19. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I haven't investigated fully but I know that austroflamme as well as Rika and the quad CB's... All these stoves that use large diameter exhchangers have a perpencity to slightly curve with all that heat and bind up the raker. I wonder if the M55 falls in to this catagory too? I usually pry a large flat head screw driver between them to bend them apart and straighten the travel. I would appreciate anyone looking Into this for me on their machine
  20. jgrz0610

    jgrz0610 Burning Hunk

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    To the guys who move it while it's hot:
    How do you accomplish this? I have the insert and when the stove is assembled, the rear firebrick is captured by the exchanger scraper and if you pull it the entire firebrick would have to become dislodged in order for the scraper to move...or am I doing something wrong when I put this sucker together? I haven't had issues wit it being stuck but when the rear brick is installed I don't have the ability to move the scraper. Just curious if I'm thinking about the same thing you're all talking about...
    holstein likes this.
  21. Jdmurphy

    Jdmurphy New Member

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    Assuming we're still talking about the 55 insert here, on mine the rear brick is held in place by two spring retaining tabs. One on either side. I can slide the heat exchange scraper without removing anything. I can take a photo of the tabs for you if need be. And I let the stove cool down first!
  22. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    My M55 has two screws hanging down from the scraper to assist in holding the back baffle in place. However the baffle itself has a "spring type" clip in the middle that assists in holding it in place. When pulling the scraper back the cast iron baffle will frequently fall forward since the "retaining screws" are out of the picture so to speak.
  23. BillRad

    BillRad New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I might be wrong (don't tell my wife I said that ... lol) but, I think the tubes are cast in the M55. I'll have to look again more closely. If they are I don't think I could bend them ????
  24. jgrz0610

    jgrz0610 Burning Hunk

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    Hmmmmmm...cleaning day is tomorrow so I guess I'll be looking in to it. On one hand I hope I've been doing it wrong so I can scrape mid burn...on the other hand it would probably be embarrassing if I've been putting it back together wrong for three years...

    Pics would be great if it's not any trouble.
  25. Jdmurphy

    Jdmurphy New Member

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    I happened to have the stove apart this afternoon. The first pic is with the tube scraper pulled out. You'll see the tab holding the upper left edge of rear baffle. The second pic the scraper is in the normal position. The bolt is part of the scraper plate and acts as a stop. I guess it also holds the baffle in place too. But I don't need to remove the back plate to exercise the scraper.

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