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My pellet stove sucks.....

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by glocke12, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Funny Stuff...The OP probably ripped the stove out and threw it through the window and you guys are still beating him down! I can see him now with the stove held over his head pointed toward the window...Clean my a$$ Bear, JT, Dex and the rest of you Aholes!! Ahhh, exactly the reason I love me some Hearth.com!:cool:
    jjs777_fzr, Delta-T and will711 like this.

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  2. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Kind a like Michael Douglas in "Falling Down" I'm NOT gonna take it any more!!!
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Don't even suggest foam anywhere near the insert or in the flue.
  4. letsblaze

    letsblaze Feeling the Heat

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    Sarcasm meter broke. :(
  5. glocke12

    glocke12 New Member

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    nope...im still here...have other duties in life to attend to also...I cant play on the internet all the time.

    as for the some of the comments by other members, I am pretty thick skinned and my feeling on that is that if you have nothing better to do than come one here and act like an asshat and have nothing constructive to add to the discussion you are just better off not posting at all..

    As for proper cleaning, as I mentioned before, the stove and chimney was serviced at the end of the last heating season I have confidence in the people that come out...they are a reputable company, and I used them for some other things in a previous house I owned...

    I tried the dollar bill trick...it slides right out no matter where in the door it is placed..guess I will need to replace the gasket.

    feed rate...Ive been playing around with the feed rate and the damper wide open...basically, anything above 3-4 and the pellets seem like they are feeding too rapidly..I end up with black pellets, very little ash and an overfilled ashpan at which point the stove just shuts off..

    Also discovered that having the blower fan on high probably isn't the best idea..Ive been operating it maxed out..When I turn it down a little I found that air that blows out is hotter.

    I'll play around with the damper the next couple of days and see how that effects things..


    ETA: Thanks for all the advice..
    will711 likes this.
  6. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Glad that you are back. Get that door gasket replaced that should help. As far as the fan on high you're probably right maxed out heat exchanger not getting as hot as it could just my theory
    .
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    There is a very good reason that with the fan maxed out that the temperature of the air exiting the stove is lower, it is called the volume of air being moved.

    Air temperature exiting that stove is not by itself a measure of the heat being produced.

    If you are getting build up and you are running with that damper wide open you have an air flow issue, the number one cause is ash in the works if after replacing your gasket you still have the same thing happening I'd seriously consider cleaning the stove.

    Now is your chimney lined all of the way to the top with 3" or 4" vent or is it being dumped into the chimney just above the block off plate?

    If it is not a full pellet stove vent to the top of the flue, then if the flue area is bigger than 36 square inches you'll have quite a bit of back pressure (air flow restriction, this is also called an improper installation).
    heat seeker likes this.
  8. Bob Sorjanen

    Bob Sorjanen Member

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    listen to Smokey The Bear on this I have seen this before
  9. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    a properly sized oil burner should run continually on the coldest days
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Actually there should be enough excess capability to handle a bit more than record cold, but otherwise I'd agree.

    Design heat loss x2 usually covers it quite well. In the case of oil/gas burners one must also factor in any domestic hot water needs. This frequently results in a lot of excess capacity. IIRC correctly my oil eater is about 75KBtu as a result.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Don't listen to me I'm one of those that don't have a clue, remember.

    Now if the OP would like to stop some of his heat from being absorbed by the chimney and fireplace, I'd suggest some nice non flammable insulation be used above the block off plate and around the fireplace opening behind and on the sides being careful not to block the air intake of the stove or the air intake for the convection blower.

    Another thing to look into is making certain that the damper is actually connected to the control lever or whatever and can move freely in its guides.
  12. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    My parents have a Napoleon in the house they are renting - I believe it's the same stove. I purchased Oakies for them and MWP Softies, but the stove doesn't seem to put out much heat. The house does suffer from quite a bit of heat loss (being ancient), however the air coming out of the stove often doesn't feel hot/warm - almost lukewarm, at best.
  13. Outerlimits

    Outerlimits Member

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    my stove doesn't suck, but it sure does blow.
    will711 and Eatonpcat like this.
  14. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    I would think that most stove would be able to burn through more than 1 bag of pellets in a 24 hour period. I know on the coldest days, to get the house warm and comfortable, I have to crank up my Harman P38 up quite a bit, and can go through about 2 bags of pellets. Again perhaps it's just this model that suggest you don't push the unit that hard/far.
  15. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    Glocke, I'm going to post a series of pictures I just took, featuring a "burn cycle" in my Napoleon NPS40, the free-standing version of the insert that you have. Right now the feed is on 4 (as recommended by the owner's manual) the convection blower/fan is on 3, and the damper is on 3. This is the type of cycle that you seek: the previous "load" of pellets is almost completely spent, but there are enough embers remaining to ignite the next load of pellets, and the flame builds until the pellets that have accumulated in the pot burn down to embers, with enough embers remaining to ignite the next accumulation of pellets. Your stove should be able to burn cleanly like this for a number of days. I just cleaned our stove this morning; previously we cleaned it on Tuesday, Christmas day. (Sorry about all of the pictures, everybody, but this is the type of series of pictures that helped me when I was trying to understand what a normal "burn cycle" looked like.)

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  16. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    ... and for those of you who always remind me that "without pictures, it didn't happen!" here are the settings, and proof of temperature in the room. :)

    Glocke, if you look closely at the first few "burn cycle" pictures above, you'll see the air holes in the bottom of our burn pot. Personally, I like to see this- it tells me that the stove is burning cleanly and that I'll have a couple of days of good burn before I have to clean it again. Keep working on it- you'll figure out what's not working and get it straight!

    P.S. one more thing- I just read this recently on this forum- if you are replacing door gaskets on a Napoleon you have to get Napoleon-specific gaskets. The generic door gaskets won't work. Use the "search" box and type in "replace Napoleon door gasket" to see if you can find that thread. I need to go back and find it as well. We are going to have to replace our door gaskets too, eventually, and we'll need that information. Also, if you are going to replace the door gaskets, check your ash pan gaskets as well (with the dollar bill test) to make sure that they aren't ready to be replaced.

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  17. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    The gasket is often hard to find. The glass gasket and door are one in the same. I can provide a number if you need. Cost is about $26. More than that and you are being ripped off. There isn't a pan gasket for this incert stove.
  18. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Same stove here. It is 25 F outside and 73F inside upstairs. Our stove is in the family room (76f) of lower level split entry home. Back bedroom is cooler at 70f. We have 3 bedrooms I try to close the doors to. They are cooler, but less heat wasted. Our bedroom is always open. I am burning reg. MWP. I have two tons of the MWP softies but have yet to try them.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    They don't if you have their feed rate restricted. I can go over a day with mine on its lowest setting but then I wouldn't expect it to produce a pile of heat or raise the temperature in the house much if it was really cold outside.
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    http://a1stoves.com/free/Napoleon_NPS40_Manual.pdf
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yup and that stove's manual says it can get up to 55 hours on a bag of pellets on its lowest setting.

    Or if it has a somewhat linear set of firing rates the 4 is four pounds an hour and it should get 10 hours per bag.

    If you turn it down to 2 you'll get 20 hours out of a bag or will it be more. That's assuming an awful lot of things for a device that actually feeds fuel by volume.

    But the point remains that OP has issues when he turns the stove up in getting a complete burn, and it appears his primary gasket is bad.

    Now air flow impacts pellet feed how?

    Oh yeah the vacuum switch doesn't always stay closed and the auger doesn't run as long as the controller tells it to, this is almost as good has having a slipping coupling between the auger motor and the auger.
  22. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    I know you trust the people that did the cleaning but something isn't right and it will be much more valuable in the long run for you to figure this one out yourself with our help. It will save you $$ in having the other guys do it, you will learn if they are doing a decent job on the maintenance and you will be more comfortable if a big storm is coming that if something did go bad that you can probably fix the problem if no one else can get out to you.

    It should be able to eat 2+ bags a day and do it cleanly.
  23. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    im still fixated on the 24 hour bag. is that all it will do? i mean can it feed more than this? sorry i dont really know the nap's very well havent touched one, but the unit claims a 45Kbtu rating so it should be able to feed 4 to 5 lbs an hour. not 1.8 (24 hour bag) which is gonna give you a best case of about 10kbtu.

    does it feed noticeably less fuel when you turn it down? is it feeding consistently every so many seconds you should get a fuel drop into the pot, is this happening or are we seeing gaps in this cycle where you do not get steady fuel?
  24. becasunshine

    becasunshine Feeling the Heat

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    Mike, the manual says that the maximum burn time on "low" burn is 55 hours for a 55 lbs. hopper. Unless there's some fancy algorithm of which I am not aware, that's a pound an hour on the lowest functional burn setting (which the manual says will vary somewhat by installation and pellet quality; the lowest functional feed setting for your stove might be, say, a feed rate of "2" on the dial as opposed to "1".) As Smokey says, assuming a linear relationship, the feed setting of "4" as recommended by the manual for the most efficient burn would burn 4 lbs. an hour- or 10 hours per bag.

    We have the corresponding free standing stove, the Napoleon NPS40, and I guess that's about right... to be honest, I've never timed it out. We typically run our stove at feed 4, damper 3, blower 3. We often shut it down during the warmest part of the day to dump ash out of the burn pot, vacuum out the fire box, clean the glass and empty the ash pan. That only takes about 5 minutes to do- but the stove is shut down for a few hours prior to that cleaning. That means that if the weather/winter is relatively mild, the stove is shut down for a few hours pretty much every afternoon. We fill it up before we restart it. I guess we use about a bag a day- about a 40 lbs. bag in a 24 hour period- which is less than 4 lbs. an hour by a straight up calculation, even allowing for up to 4 hours of down time while the stove cools.

    During really cold periods we let the stove run for a few days in between cleanings. I'll try to pay attention then to how many bags of pellets we use while running continuously 24/7 on feed setting "4."

    BTW, Mike, our son and his wife live in Lynchburg. Our son lived in Madison Heights when he was in grad school. Beautiful historic houses in Madison Heights! :)
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  25. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    no kidding! kool where'd he do his grad school? we have a few colleges in lynchburg.

    oh and ty for the info on the napoleon. i really have never played with one so i have to be quite general in suggesting stuff. a bag in 24 hours though is 1.8 lbs/hr roughly which is not even close to 45Kbtu, im looking more at lbs/hr not so much at settings, i would expect a user not getting enough heat to run in higher ranges not lower ones which is why i was curious about the duration he was getting per bag.

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