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No holes in bottom of burn pot?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by thadd677, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. thadd677

    thadd677 New Member

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    I recently purchased a pleasant hearth model PH50CABPS. I've been using it for about 3 weeks now and have been pretty happy with it. I did notice that the burn pot does not have any holes in the bottom of it which I found somewhat odd. How is the ash suppose to exit the pot? Towards the end of the day the ash builds up to the point where it covers some of the holes on the side of the pot which restricts some of the air. When the unit first burns for a while I get a nice bright yellow flame. After a while sometimes the flame will be orange in color and I can tell that it's burning a bit dirtier.

    Should I modify the burn pot or see if a different one would fit? What is everyone's thoughts on this?

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  2. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    is this drawing of your stove?
    http://www.ghpgroupinc.com/drawings/fireplace/Pellet_Stoves.pdf

    *looking at a pdf of the manual now. that drawing is the PH50PS. but they have the same guts afaik.
    http://www.ghpgroupinc.com/manuals/fireplace/7077-171_EN_B.pdf

    i seem to remember this product. similar to the heatilator but without the quad burn pot and it's pull rod for clearing ash.
    the principal is that the air will clear most of the fly ash. but are there really absolutely no holes anywhere?
    i can't tell from the drawing, but there appear to be some on the bottom of the sides.

    my best suggestion would be to get a nice long scredriver or other stirring implement and when it gets "clogged" let the flame die down just a bit so you can open the door and stir it up good so the ash falls through whatever holes are there.
    leave hot coals so you can just shut the door and resume the burn w/o needing to restart the cycle.

    modifying the burn pot will surely affect your warranty. and changing out will be fairly expensive.
    (and probably way more work than would make sense if the pot isn't made to fit that stove)
    ^and see post below, changing the pot will contradict the design.


    the quad pot also has a bottom w/o holes. this holds the hot coals. the air from the side holes is enough to clear most of the fly ash and the pull rod is needed maybe once a day.

    i've done the stirring trick when burning on low for extended periods when i didn't want to clear the pot of coals altogether.

    good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  3. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    ah. section 3 item d from the manual -

    http://www.ghpgroupinc.com/manuals/fireplace/7077-171_EN_B.pdf

    D. Firepot Purge Cycle
    A feature of these pellet stoves is the firepot purge cycle.
    The frequency of the purge cycle is once every hour the
    unit is burning. During this purge, the feed is reduced to
    a minimum setting and the exhaust blower ramps up to
    the maximum setting. The purpose of the purge is to help
    remove debris from the firepot and help the unit burn as
    efficient as possible. The purge cycle lasts 99 seconds.
    Please be aware that the purge cycle does not replace
    daily cleaning activities but makes them easier.


    so imo, a manual assist by stirring may be something you can play around with. see if it helps.
  4. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    thats kinda weird
  5. thadd677

    thadd677 New Member

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    Yes, that's the stove. There are holes on all sides along the bottom but I believe these are what eventually get covered. I'm not sure if I noticed the purge cycle so I'll have to keep an eye on it to make sure it's actually happening. I'll also give the stir trick a try and hopefully that helps.

    This is my first pellet stove so I'll see how it goes the rest of the season and maybe look into selling it and getting a different one if necessary. Below are a few pics of the burn pot for reference:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    If you're filling up within a day, you might simply need more air, or less fuel. Is your draft/damper full open? do you have an outside-air kit?

    Since doing my oak, I have significantly less soot and better overall burn length times before the glass is filthy/etc.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You won't be able to keep track of all the variations on a theme with the stoves Mike, new ones coming out all the time.
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    yeah i know, i see in the pics now tha there are sidewall holes at the very bottom of the pot so i guess this was the intent to get underneath air to the fuel, however if the ash builds up enough the stove would revert rapidly in my mind to a lazy burn. interesting design
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    And also a reducing one that will generate a lot of heat and clinkers.
  10. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Looks sorta like a Quad design. No holes in the bottom, holes in the sides, top to bottom of side.
    Does have a dump slide to clear built up ash.
  11. thadd677

    thadd677 New Member

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    I wish I could reduce the amount of fuel being fed but there is no mechanism to do so for this model. It is all automatically controlled through the on-board thermostat. There is a damper control that I've been playing around with but haven't seen it result in much of a difference yet. I do not have an OAK hooked up so this is something on my list to try. I'd like to run a test before cutting another hole in the house though. If I just opened up a nearby window would that simulate it or would I want to run the OAK to an open window to properly test?
  12. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    lack of a feed gate is a glaring design omission imo.

    i still think stirring it will help though. a very long shafted screwdriver will help keep your hand from getting too hot.
    the fine ash should drop through the holes and leave plenty of hot coals to start the fire again as soon as you shut the door and the feeding resumes.

    also finding the absolute least ashy pellet available may help too,

    but maybe it really is a matter of somehow getting more air to allow the design to work.

    * the control box on the heatilator (and quads i believe) allow for 10% increases and possibly reduction as well to the feed rate. it's intended for adjusting to high altitude locals.

    i'm not 100% sure if they come from the factory with leeway both up and down.
    maybe someone else can comment on that.
    but if there is a similar adjustment in the control box of the pleasant hearth, it may be worth considering using that.

    owners are cautioned not to use this feature unless conditions really warrant it. rather the feed gate and damper are used.
    but in your case it may be an option if it's available..
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
  13. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    ok, in the manual in section 13 is the wiring diagram and there appear to be pots for feed adjustment.
    i'm not sure if the specs for using them are included in the manual though.

    i would contact GHP to explore this option as it may affect the warranty as per their disclaimer.
  14. thadd677

    thadd677 New Member

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    I'll have to give them a call and to see what they say. Tonight I decided to play around with the damper dial some more. By default this dial is set to 0. You can then go all the way to either +4 or -4. The manual states that you should turn this dial to the right (+) if you are getting black soot build up on the glass. Well, each time I turned this more to the right the glass seemed to get worse. Tonight I turned this to -1 (to the left) and happened to leave the side panel off. I just had a nice clean burn for about 5 hours on the max/high setting. No black soot on the glass, just whitish towards the top which I believe is normal. I'll have to put the side panel back on to see if anything changes. If it does then that means I'm starving it for air and need to install an OAK. If it doesn't change then I'll try setting the damper dial to -2 just to see what happens.
  15. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    If you can't change feed, you have to change air. It's all about maintaining a solid near stoich a/f ratio. You won't really notice the air change right away.

    IMO, start wide open. and run it that way for a couple days. If you don't get fill up, back it down.
    then go in 10% and run it another couple days. find the sweet spot.

    it will change with pellet choice and stove setting a little bit so it may take some toying around.


    my stove also has no gate setting (without buying the dealer tool for $400 bucks to change the auger turn times) so its draft adjustment only. I find wide open the stove burns mint, but the heat is reduced. About 15% closed, I get the best of the heat out put and the burn pot staying clean.

    As far as the oak question, I don't think a window truly duplicates it. My flame quality never changed from before/after and i have a really leaky sliding door on my kitchen, so there's always air getting in. But with the oak, i notice a significant improvement to burn completion. Far less soot and burn pot build up.
  16. thadd677

    thadd677 New Member

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    I'll continue to play around with the damper to see if I can find that sweet spot.

    Thanks for the advice and suggestions everyone.
  17. bigblockbird

    bigblockbird New Member

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    same stove same problems..working on adjustable auger/cover to limit pellet feed.seems to be working

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