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New Mt Vernon AE puts out very little heat.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by t5eu9eb7, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Hi,

    I have been reading on here for about a year. At the beginning of December I bought a Mt Vernon AE insert. Just last week I finally was able to have someone come out to install the liner. I'm having 2 problems with it. One it only seems to hold about 1/2 a bag of pellets. Is this normal? If so will it hurt the fragile igniter when this unit runs out of fuel every night while I'm asleep and every day while I'm at work?

    The other problem is the unit puts out almost no heat. I can easily stand directly in front of it or hold my hand right in front of the vents and only feel warm air. An electric space heater puts out more heat. I am running on low elevation and I have tried both hard and soft wood settings. It is on manual with a flame height of +5, high (5) heat output and normal blower speed. There seems to be enough draft. I can hear it and see the flames moving about rapidly. I think the problem maybe it is not getting enough pellets. On those settings it can sometimes go 10-30 seconds before I see any more drop into the pot. The flame sometimes hits the top of the diamond but most of the time is either down in the pot or just an inch or two out of the pot.

    The stove is not dirty. It has only had a few bags run through it. I clean it thoroughly after every back before I try something else in an attempt to make it work. I'm looking for some help here first as I really have no desire to ever deal with my dealer again. I'm honestly just tired of how inept they are.

    I have tried searching for answers but have not found any that work. Any help or direction of where I can find help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Does the controller have words like MAINT BURN on it? Top left as in figure 26.2 on page 26 of the installation manual? If so the stove is in low fire mode because the thermostat is happy with the temperature it is seeing.
  3. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Thank you for the response.

    No the stove is not in maintenance burn. The oil furnace is set to 57 and the pellet insert is set to hold 80. The temp on the thermostat for the insert sits around around 59-60. I have watched the thermostats cycles and they appear to be correct from what the manual says and the info I have found on here. If I recall it mostly says manual:H. I guess for manual mode and high heat output?
  4. hooter04

    hooter04 Member

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    Put fuel setting on sunflower and see how much heat you get then. What brand of pellets are you using,can also make a difference as to how much heat you get.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ok, then you are telling us that in manual mode on heat level 5 and flame height at +5 you don't have an 8" or higher flame in the stove.

    First there are four settings that control the size of the fire in the stove.

    Fuel type should match your pellet type.
    Heat level (the stove uses this when calling for heat)
    Flame height (should be set to produce a 8" flame when the stove is calling for heat on Heat level five.
    The last one is weather or not the thermostat is calling for heat.

    A low feed rate is indicative of a low heat level being selected or the stove being in maintenance burn

    Start a conversation with smoke show and he can likely walk you through setting the stove up. Ok, I see hooter04 has posted.
  6. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    I understand the pellet can matter for the heat out put. But on +5 flame shouldn't the flame be out of the pot most of the time at the very least? I have C&C and Hamers. My concern at this time is that there are not enough pellets being fed into the pot to maintain a flame height. At some points I think the flame might even go out while its running.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You could have a bad vacuum switch, fires don't last long at high firing rate with a bad vacuum the fire gets blown out..

    The flame will be out of the pot provided both flame height and heat level (that is two different settings) are high enough.
  8. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Flame height and heat level are both maxed out (5) with blower set to normal. elevation is low and type of wood is hardwood. I have it set to manual to try to maintain some consistency when trying new things to make it work. I will look for the vacuum switch and see if there is a way to test that.

    Thank you.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You can jumper the vacuum switch to see if it fixes the situation, only do this for a short test as the vacuum switch is an important safety on the stove and even if this improves things it doesn't mean the vacuum switch itself is bad. Only that there is insufficient vacuum in the fire box to hold the switch closed. It could be a bad gasket or things not closed or even existing negative pressure in the room with the insert (could even be caused by the inserts installation).
  10. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    I did notice that the ash pan closes very tightly on the left side but the right side is only so so. It closes but is significantly easier to pull that side out versus the left side.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You need to check your gaskets and make some adjustments if needed. It wouldn't be the first time that things not closing properly caused issues.
  12. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Thank you. I think I will head over to my house and try that. I have not been able to move in since I can not get the heat working. Any lats minute tips on checking things or anything else I should check?

    Thank you for all the help.
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yes check to make certain that the vent is sealed to the block off plate and that the block off plate is sealed to the chimney and there is fireproof insulation on top of the block off plate and around the venting.
  14. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Yes the installer did all that when he put the liner in. Used a ceramic glass insulation above the block off plate. The plate is stainless sheet metal that is glued to the brick as well as the liner. The chimney cap is also glued to the terracotta and the liner. So in theory there should be a dead air space around the liner.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    We have seen cases where that wasn't done and it resulted in heat going up the chimney between the liner and the vent along with a negative pressure situation for the insert.
  16. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    The way the flame whips it dose seem like there is a very strong draft. Can it be to strong? Or is that what the vacuum switch controls? Also is it normal for the fire pot to be almost empty of pellets? I see one or two pellets drop every 5 seconds or so. Sometimes its as long as 10-30 seconds.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    There shouldn't be any build up of pellets in the burn pot but there should be a steady supply if things are working correctly. The vacuum switch just allows power to the auger as long as it is closed, the controller determines for how long the auger is sent power (provided the switch is closed) at any time.
  18. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I will take a multimeter too and see if I can determine how often the auger is running.
  19. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    The hopper capacity for an insert is 56 lbs. You state you can only fit 20 lbs in?

    Something def seems wrong with the heat output. Was the installer from the shop you purchased from? Shouldn't he have made sure it was operating to its expected potential?

    Is there an OAK installed? I wonder if theres not an issue with the thermocouple.

    Did you try sunflower mode like hooter suggested?
  20. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    You may have a loose coupling on the auger drive.
    Regarding the capacity of the hopper, you have to get your hand in there and tuck the pellets under an overhang on the left. The hopper will hold about 1 bag.
  21. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Try another brand of pellets. That unit will hold a bag no problem. How many bags a day are you using?

    Eric
  22. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    This is an insert, doesn't have the capacity of the free standing.
  23. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    freestanders spec out at 80 lbs. :rolleyes:

    mtv.png
  24. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    My insert will hold a full bag (40lbs), but there is no way I could stuff more than that in without breaking something.
  25. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    they spec'd it out with 15% moisture corn no doubt. ;lol

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