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maintenance advice for me? Thank you!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Courtney, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
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    Loc:
    Westminster, MD
    Good afternoon everyone, I am now the proud owner of a second quadrafire Santa Fe. My small Maryland rancher now has one (first one 2 yrs ago) in the finished basement and a new one on the first floor, and I am off the grid and loving it. I am vested in taking the best care of these stoves and had concerns for best performance.

    I have no problems with either one, and maintain them over and above the usual schedule - clean daily, complete vacuum weekly. Clean ash pan 2x/wk, clean feeder monthly. PM once a year by technicians prior to shut down. I run both on high right after cleaning for 30 min to keep creosote down, but they usually burn 24/7 on low occasionally med. Temp set at 68-70ish. Using Penwood pellets (new to me, the old ones were mixed soft/hard and I liked them, but they were dc'd). I do not like the Penwoods so far (1 ton) they burn with lots of tough clinkers, may upgrade to Henry County?,,, Will burn 3 tons this year but maybe 4 next.

    Questions
    1. I have not had the chimney cleaned on the first one. The new one is too new to need it. The techs that do the pm would be ideal, but they don't usually do that. Should the chimney be cleaned yearly by a chimney sweep professional now that I will rely on these exclusively? Should I do it myself? Dont want to damage anything, and want it done right.
    2. The basement one burns more than upstairs in that basement is below ground and cooler. Heat moves upstairs on a temperate day. It maintains on low. Upstairs kicks off frequently because of that now it is early spring. I think because of this I may be concerned of creosote build up on this one. Is running on high each day enough to cure that concern or should I be worried about build up?
    3. Opinion on pellets?
    Long post, apologies. However, when I had no heat for 10 days and it was 9 degrees out, the downstairs unit saved our butts, as did the kind responses and support from this forum. Many thanks for that!

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  2. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    most peeps here will say after every ton. I do mine yearly.

    yes you can do it yourself.
    Eatonpcat, DexterDay and Defiant like this.
  3. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    7,078
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    Salem NH
    Hello

    Those Santa Fe's are great units! I have 2, one in my shed and one in my garage! I also just picked up a Contour which is the older Sante Fe with the Pie Warming compartment in the top!

    When you say chimney in question 1, does it have a liner? If it does then the stove techs should brush it out.

    Describe the venting on your basement stove. It would be helpful to know more to answer your questions.

    I think hardwood pellets work well.
  4. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    Liner on both standard install. 5' rise to outside with 12 inch lateral run to outside vent which is 18" above ground level on basement stove, 14' above ground for upstairs
  5. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    And Thank you!
  6. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    You can clean all the venting yourself. I like the "sooteater", it is a simple design, fairly cheap and works great. This kit will clean the liner and the vent pipe off of the stove. And yes clean it at least every year. With this kit it is very easy, do it often and avoid problems.
  7. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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  8. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    And how to purchase? Thank you! Do you advise a do it yourself or professional? How frequent if using 24/7?
  9. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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  10. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Welcome Courtney, post up some photos, we love photos. You can also post some of your stoves;). You have come to the right place for the questions you ask, a clean stove is a happy stove:cool:
  11. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Not quite sure what that means. Some of our experts will show up with an answer soon:cool:
    DexterDay and will711 like this.
  12. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    No pics and it never happened that's a rule;)
    Welcome to the show Courtney
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  13. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    It sounds like you only have 6 feet of pellet pipe, not a lined chimney. If that is the case, it would be quite easy to do yourself, especially if you have a cleanout T at the bottom of the 5' vertical pipe.
  14. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    Yes, thank you. What do you recommend for a newbie to do this?
  15. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    ? What pics do you want? I don;t have anything to post here?....
  16. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a cleanout T?
  17. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Pics of your stove the pipe
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  18. Courtney

    Courtney New Member

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    I believe they do the overall clean out but do not clean the pipe, confirmed . I am not at this time ready to do a second run thru after paying a lot to do a basic pm . Advice? Better to diy or pay for service? Many thanks!
  19. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    If you are handy it is very easy to do, what did they charge you?
  20. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Here's a pic of my stove IMG_06690001.jpg
  21. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Nice unit Will, any photos of your exhaust?
  22. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    No I don't sorry:(
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  23. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    I bet Dexter has some exhaust pics. :p
  24. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    :(

    Welcome Courtney. Santa Fe is a solid unit and should last a long time.

    As for Creosote. List of things have to go wrong to produce Sote in a pellet stove in only run my Quad on Low and have never had a problem. Just nice grey/white ash.

    It sounds like your doing pretty good PM's. The vent can be easily done yourself with a pellet vent brush, or the Soot-eater, or Lint-eater. Pretty straight forward.

    Welcome to the Forum, and pics are always welcome (pics of your set-up)??
  25. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    Will I am shocked! Your wife must wear the pants, I was not expecting to see a mantle with nice decorations, I thought it would be stacked up with empty bush light cans. Lmao!
    Eatonpcat, Defiant and DexterDay like this.

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