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New Country PI40 Pellet Stove..why is glass dirty after 3 days?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by 3nickles, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    I had a Country PI-40 Pellet Insert installed last season and am very happy with the unit overall, but I have one lasting complaint. This stove was advertised to have an air wash system which delivers an average of 30 days clean burn without cleaning the glass. The front panel glass becomes dirty after only about 3 days of burning (avg 6 hours a night, not all day burning). Needless to say from a maintenance standpoint I'm a little upset as this is one of the main reasons I purchased the stove. I've contacted the dealer but since they don't sell many of these they're not sure what the problem might be.

    I have contacted Country directly and the tech's only suggestion was to increase the blower speed or high-altitude setting: I think they're one in the same but not sure. I'm waiting for my yearly cleaning so I can tell the installer to do this and I'm crossing my fingers it will work.

    Has anyone had an experience with a Country Pellet insert or similar stove? Please share if so!

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  2. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    friendly bump?
  3. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    I'll bump ya on this and give my expirence.

    With my Harman it depends on what kind of pellets I'm burning as to how often I need to clean the glass. My stove also has the air wash system. My stove pretty much burns 24/7 and I only turn it off to clean it.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Can you describe the flue (exhaust) pipe installation? What size pipe, what length, how many elbows, how long are the vertical and horizontal runs and how is it capped at the end? Pictures would help.

    At what setting are you running the stove? What brand pellets are you burning? Any corn?

    There is a draft regulator on the stove (page 24) that should be completely open. Check that it is in the fully open position and screwed tight. There are clean out ports that should be in the closed position and screwed shut (page 20, fig. 45)

    I'm not familiar with the stove, but if the feed rate is too high for the pellets being burned, the flame will be lazy, orange and sooty. On this stove it looks like this is totally controlled by the control board, so this would need to be checked by a technician.
  5. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    I believe the feed rate and everything else is automatic and it happens on every setting from 1 (low) to 5 (high).

    I've mostly been burning Heartland with some Goldenfire, Uncle Jed's and Dejno's at a lesser extent. It doesn't appear to be related to the pellets as I believe that the first 2 are premium pellets.

    Here's the scoop on the exhaust:

    The connection points straight up and it's about 19ft to the top of the chimney. It's a pretty much straight shot and they used 3 inch flexible aluminum or stainless-steel pipe (not sure which).

    Country said that 3 inch should be OK for that height and they suggested to increase the blower speed or altitude setting. Not sure there's much else to adjust on this stove. It's all automatic except for the heat settings of 1 to 5. It works great. I just can't stand the dirty front glass
  6. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    that would stink if the pipe should be 4". They charged me enough on install and they would certainly balk at replacing the 3" with 4"

    I talked to the tech at Country Stoves and he said 3" should be fine with that length but maybe he didn't know what else to say?

    I'm waiting for the tech to come out and do their first 1 year service and cleaning and was going to ask them about the Altitude/blower setting adjustment. Other than that I don't know what else to do?
  7. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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  8. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Thanks for the help ENORD.

    I bet my dealer won't change the 3" out to 4" without me wanting to pay for it. There were several issues around the sale/installation the first time and it all had to do with money and wanting more!

    Don't want to pi** them off for warranty service and pellet supply though... What to do?
  9. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    draFt adjuster
    The Winslow™ PI40 insert has a draft adjuster located at
    the right side of the insert directly in front of the combustion
    blower. Should the insert installation require long runs
    of vent pipe, a situation may be created where excessive
    combustion air is flowing through the firebox and causing
    the fuel to burn faster than it can be delivered to the burn
    pot. Should this happen, the draft can be slowed down by
    the adjuster. The insert is shipped with the adjuster in the
    fully open position. To slow the draft down, loosen the 5/32”
    allen head screw (A in Figure 45) and move the adjuster
    handle toward the center of the insert. Retighten the screw
    when the desired adjustment is reached.

    I wonder if closing the draft adjuster (ships wide open) might solve my problem?
  10. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Yeah, I thought the same thing of closing draft vent.

    What does everyone think about the high altitude setting? Sounds like you can increase the exhaust blower setting. I'm wondering if that might work?
  11. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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  12. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Well I called Lennox/Country and asked for tech support and described problem:

    Says it might be one of the following:

    1) Dirty burn pot (I don't know how it could be the burn pot with only 16hours burntime?)

    2) Flue gas passages restricted (again don't think that's it because it did the same brand new with passages clean!)

    3) Draft adjustor not open all the way (possible. Should have shipped wide open but who knows?)

    4) Gasket on door leaking/bad (possible I guess)

    I don't know what else to do. The guy at the dealer said he has the same stove burning same pellets and DOES NOT have this issue so something is definitely wrong!
  13. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Yep. I'm thinking the same thing. Inadequate draft.

    Just remembered that they placed the 3 inch cap INSIDE my existing 8 inch chimney cap. Said they did that so it would look stock and match the other houses around me.

    I wonder if the cap within a cap is hindering draft?? HMMMM....
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Here is what I would do if you have not already done this bring your manual with you to the building inspector's office and request a permit application and an inspection tell the inspector your concerns about the manual specs and what was installed After he fails it you have the leverage and excuse to demand it be installed according to manufacturer's specs that it failed imsection because they were not followed . BTW permits are required anyways and should have heeen done before the installation It is real hard to help people out of these situations if we have no knowledge of the installation
  15. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Well I got a call back from Country Stoves Tech:

    Told him what was going on and explained about the manual and the reccomendation for the 4" above 15 foot runs. He said that's only a reccomendation and not a requirement. He told me that the Retailer can go into the control menu and increase the Combustion Blower Speed (also known as high altitude setting) which should solve the problem. Also stated that the setting is used for different vent configurations like mine where it's above 15 feet.

    Does this sound like a feasible fix? I'd hate to have my combustion blower go out earlier because of having to run it at higher speeds?
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ask the dealer what the change in RPM will be. Maybe it's not worth have a lot of angst about. I'd try the factory recommendation. If it works you are a happy camper.
  17. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    I would follow Elk's advice.

    If they say 4" I would put in 4"
  18. F350R

    F350R Member

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    I have the same stove in a free standing model, if I may give a couple of my thoughts here. I have not had any problems with dirty glass mine has been maintenance free since I bought it last year, personally I really like this stove it is very quiet and easy to run.

    I did catch one post where you mentioned Heartland pellets, I had a ton of them that I bought last year and had many problems with the only three bags that I tried to burn and returned the rest. This may not be the problem but I found those pellets to be very sticky and plug the auger as well as being very dirty leaving large amounts of ash. Since then I have been running Lignetics and Heatrs which are much lighter in color and are not sticky or gummy feeling.

    I don't what altitude you are at but my stove is at 6400Ft I actually closed the draft all the way down to keep it from burning more than is being fed on the lowest setting. I wouldn't mind being able to close it down a little more as it still burns pretty fast on the lowest setting. I also don't have a 19' run this stove is just a direct vent out 4' from the side of the house, my corn stove has a 7' run up the side of the house. I know mine hasn't had the high altitude adjustment made I helped them un box and light it at the dealer before putting it on my truck.

    Door gasket leaking is not likely either if I even think about opening the door the vacum switch shuts the stove down this stove is very sensitive in that regard. I also have a corn burner in another part of the house, this one you can open it for several minutes before it will shut down.

    Its possible that the Heartland pellets have gummed up the burn pot even after only 16 or so hours like I mentioned I didn't care for those pellets but yours may have come from a different plant or even a different batch and could be better than the ones I had. I use a small stiff wire to clean out the burn pot holes and scrape the bottom of the pot every other week or so. I don't have a problem with the holes plugging although one or two may get some crud in them every now and then it doesn't hurt to pull it out and check it once a week or so.

    If its not the pellets and its probably not then I would get the 3" replaced with 4" the whole 19' I think that will give a better draft over all anyway.

    Mike
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good call Mike. Trying a few bags of another premium brand of pellets could be the cheapest and simplest test. What brand did you switch to? Are Lignetics (Idaho softwood) available to you?
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm. This is getting me thinking about starting some sort of pellet rating system as a wiki.
  21. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Guess I'll wait and see if the combustion blower (high altitude setting which increases blower speed) bump fixes it. If not maybe I'll have to ask the dealer to install 4" pipe.

    Regarding Pellets: Same result and I've tried Goldenfire, Uncle Jeds' Cold Remedy, Dejnos and Heartland.

    Side Note: Installer has same stove and said he uses Dejnos and Uncle Jed's and does not have this problem so I think I can rule the pellet quality out.
  22. F350R

    F350R Member

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    Other than the Heartlands I can not say I have ever heard of any of those brands. The Lignetics a very good brand that we can get in Colorado. Rocky Mountain is another good brand at least it was last year I couldn't find them this year. This year they had Heat'rs so I got a ton of those but haven't tried any yet, its still a little warm yet. The Heat'rs are very light in color and are not at all sticky or waxy so they should have no trouble feeding.

    Late last season I started mixing about 25 to 30% pellets in my corn stove. I get a much cleaner burn and way less ash with barley any clinker build up. I have a turkey fryer thermometer stuck in the heat exchanger tube it was running a good ten degrees hotter with the pellet mixture probably due to a better and cleaner burn. The idea of mixing the pellets came about late in the season when I was running low on corn and wanted to stretch the supply out to the end of season.

    By the way the Quadra Fire Mt Vernon in avitar was my first stove that I sold after one season. The fans on the older models are very noisy and I could never get the heat out of it that I thought I should and since have proven it wasn't as hot as the stoves I have now. My guess is the aluminum heat tubes that have to be protected from direct flames by the cast iron plates just doesn't let them get as hot. Both of the new stoves have steel heat exchangers that the flame directly hits, they get hotter and hot faster. I am a happy heater now.

    Mike
  23. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    Haven't seen the Heatr's in the MW area but my dad gets down in Albuquerque and loves those pellets!

    Waiting to see what the installer does when they come out to do the annual service on my stove this Thursday
  24. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Is this a top or bottom feed stove?
  25. 3nickles

    3nickles New Member

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    It's a top feed stove Rich
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