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New Enviro Mini question

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Enviro Mini Owner, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    I have had the Mini A up and running for three days now and have a question. I notice when the number of pellets are getting low in the hopper, the fire in the burn pot starts to diminish and the fire seems starved for air. For the first load of pellets, New England Wood Pellets, I thought the issue was because the ash in the burn pot liner was overwhelming the liner, and therefore it was a problem of the pellet quality, I had noticed that NEWPs were not getting a good review. recently. Ash build up certainly had increased when the heat level had been turned down for the night. But now with a second load, this time, Spruce Pointe, which had created minimal ash overnight, the fire was getting low again. As we are in an old old house, I had assumed there was plenty of air and the outside fresh air intake was not necessary, but I am beginning to think this could be the problem. I have had two great days with the Mini, set the damper correctly, the flame looking correct, amazed by the heat output but confused by the diminishing fire as the day continues. Any advice would be most appreciated.

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  2. Gary Gileau

    Gary Gileau Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
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    160
    Loc:
    Griswold CT
    I don't have your stove but when mine is feeding it creates a cone in the middle of the hopper. If that cone becomes too deep it won't allow enough pellets to be fed. For that reason I always keep the hopper at least half full. It keeps the fire at a much more consitant rate.
  3. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    Thanks for the thought. I have adjusted the positioning of the pellets in the hopper, and no change. I wonder if the draft is effected by the air space in the hopper when the auger is more exposed, but then in making adjustments I have closed the air off to the auger by pushing the pellets down around it.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Two things happen as your pellet level drops in the hopper, one is the auger doesn't completely fill as the pellet level drops and the second is that because the auger flight isn't full air enters the stove from above the burn pot via the drop chute and auger flight. Both items affect the burn, the result is lowering flame and lower heat output.

    Most top feed stoves tell you to keep a certain level of pellets in the hopper because of this.
  5. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    Thank you.
  6. LI-Mini-Owner

    LI-Mini-Owner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
    143
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I've not had that problem with my Mini. Does this happen even on the higher heat settings (like 4 or 5)? Do you have a thermostat connected, and are you running in with the slide switch in the Hi/Low position?
  7. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    I do not have a thermostat connected and the switch is in manual.
    When the hopper is empty, I do have problems in both high and low heat settings.
    When the hopper is half to full, I do not have the problem in high but can have it in the low settings, both 1 and 2. I just woke up and came down to see how the stove was doing. I had set it at level 1 when I went to bed and what I saw at 1:30a.m. was that the fire was down only in the burn pot. I turned it up to 3 and the stove is doing well with flame to the top of the window.
    Could it be that either I did not have a fresh air intake installed or could it be because the exhaust vent is only a straight through installation coming directly out of the house at the height of the vent on the stove? I was surprised when the "professional" installer had not used a vertical rise pipe out there.
  8. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    I see you too are in Long Island. Where do you buy pellets? What brand?
  9. bollyRZ500

    bollyRZ500 Member

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    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Loc:
    Chalk River, Ontario
    my burnpot smolders then burns then smolders then burns etc...at heat level 1 but I'd have to go back and check my damper setting was appropriate as this was when we first got the stove,,,, I "need" to clean mine every 4 days and I suggest every 20 or 30 bags to remove the 3 access panels in the ash bin area and vacuum them out (use a rubber hose or something to prod into the holes and "drag" the ash fwd to ensure you clean the majority of it out... also ensure to remove the burnpot "liner" and vac behind the opening where the igniter/airtube "whatever" is... I don't have any guage but my damper rod is out a full 1 1/16" and on heat level 2 and above I get a decent grey ash deposit on the inside... glass wipes right off with a DRY paper towel even while hot... roughly 3" tall flame for the most part on 3 with the odd full window "flare-up".... I think mines burnin great!!
  10. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    78
    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    Thank you. Is that 1 1/16th from the end of black knob to the stove side or 1 1/16th of just the rod?
  11. bollyRZ500

    bollyRZ500 Member

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    101
    Loc:
    Chalk River, Ontario
    just the rod, but the knob doesn't screw all the way on... there's about 4 threads showing
  12. LI-Mini-Owner

    LI-Mini-Owner Member

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    Nov 22, 2007
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    For the past few years been getting what ever they have at HD/Lowes. There is a place on Copiague that generally has a couple of different types, as well as a place in Hicksville that used to carry Barefoot.
  13. LI-Mini-Owner

    LI-Mini-Owner Member

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    What you are describing as far as the flame level on 1 sounds normal to me. On that setting you pretty much want it idling with a low flame. Depending on the pellet quality it can be a challenge with the Mini to keep the flame from going out with prolonged running on setting 1. I would say if it stays running on 1 for many hours without going out, and a tall non-smoky flame on 5, then you've got a pretty decent damper and feed trim setting.

    BTW - Adding an auto set-back thermostat is the way to go if you plan on using this for primary heat source. Stove switch in On/Off mode for warmer days, and Hi/Lo mode for cold days.
  14. Pat Shuff

    Pat Shuff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Coos Bay OR
    LI-Mini-Owner said--What you are describing as far as the flame level on 1 sounds normal to me. On that setting you pretty much want it idling with a low flame. Depending on the pellet quality it can be a challenge with the Mini to keep the flame from going out with prolonged running on setting 1. I would say if it stays running on 1 for many hours without going out, and a tall non-smoky flame on 5, then you've got a pretty decent damper and feed trim setting.

    bollyRZ500 said--I "need" to clean mine every 4 days and I suggest every 20 or 30 bags to remove the 3 access panels in the ash bin area and vacuum them out

    These comments square exactly with my experience, heating with a Mini since '07. We vacuum the cleanouts every few bags, complete cleaning w/leafblower trick every ton.
    The stove performance is sensitive to clogged passageways particularly around the ash bin and accumulates quickly. Damper setting two fingers knob-to-side panel (about 1 1/4".)
    After a thorough cleaning with firebox panels removed the leafblower still generates an impressive cloud. Never noticed any difference in performance due to hopper pellet level.
    No thermostat, manual control.

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