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Olivia Pellet/Corn flames in the pellet shute

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jbrogley, Jan 2, 2008.

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  1. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    Our Olivia Pellet/Corn stove has been real good until tonight. The hopper was full. It had been burning 2 hours. My husband turned it up to 5, which is the highest setting, and we've done this many times before. After awhile he smelled something strange and called me into the room. Flames were coming out of the hole the pellets fall....so pellets in the auger were burning?

    We grabbed every extinguisher we could find. Turned the stove off. And waited. The fire in the pot burned out and everything died down. The inside of the hopper wasn't hot at all. So I presume the burned/warm pellets are sitting in the auger right now.

    I'm going to call the company in the morning, but what would you do?

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That should never happen. The system should have burn back protection in this event that should have shut off the stove. Was the burnpot so full of pellets that eventually backed up into the auger?

    edit, consolidating posts:
    I am not familiar with the Olivia except for seeing the Kozy Heat ads and brochure. However, after reading up I see that the stove does not have a burn back protection circuit.

    Some things to check for: is this user error? Is there a really full burnpot, is the air damper not open all the way? But regardless I'd ask the dealer what safety systems the stove uses to prevent this from happening and why they didn't work.
  3. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    The burn pot was not even close to being full...it was really low actually. It takes HOUR to fill up at the highest setting.

    The intake is set to 1/2 way open per the repair man from Kozy. It's windy out tonight. How much of a factor can that play?



    Thanks for checking on the burn back feature...or lack thereof.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Wind could be a factor. But it still should not happen!

    How about your venting - does it go up a bunch or just the minimum?
  5. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    was your hopper lid closed?
    any extra air might have been the problem.
    Im going to forward this tread to Kozy.
  6. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    Thank you. I emailed them right away too.

    The hopper was closed.

    To the other poster: "How about your venting - does it go up a bunch or just the minimum?" You mean the piping right? Well we didn't install it so I don't know that it's the miminum. It comes out of the stove and pretty much goes straight out the wall. It isn't straight up through the ceiling, if that's what you mean. The fella from Kozy said the venting was fine.

    I'm wondering if we just can't burn the stove at a 5 (the highest) when it's windy out? I have no idea if that even makes sense. And even then, the idea of the hopper catching fire is alarming.

    I wonder if those pellets that were burning would have just fallen down eventually when the auger dropped them. Maybe the fire wouldn't have climbed up into the hopper as long as the auger kept turning.

    ...but I couldn't wait that one out because the fire in the burn pot was impressively frightening...and it wasn't full...

    that doesn't make much sense to me, but I know very little about these machines...
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You shouldn't have to know a lot outside of the manufacturer's stated instructions. This just shouldn't happen. With a forced draft, I don't care how windy it is, this should not be an issue as long as the stove was properly installed and you are burning acceptable fuel. But if it is just terminated as soon as it penetrates the outside wall, I can see where this might be an issue if the wind overcame the exhaust blower draft. What kind of sustained wind speed are we talking about and was it coming directly at the flue exhaust?

    It's interesting to note that the chart in Kozy's docs recommend a setting of 5 for the air intake damper. I'm not sure why difference from the installer's advice or if it's relevant to the problem. Add this to your questions. But in the meantime I wouldn't run the stove unless an eyeball was on it all the time.
  8. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    Right now the winds are at 14 mph...the biggest gust (according to the local weather) was at 24 mph. There is no tree or neighboring home offering as a wind block. I think we burned it when it was windier though... We haven't changed pellets.

    Thanks for looking at their specs.

    I hope to hear from them tomorrow.
  9. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    sounds like the auger stopped and there is either an overpressure in the fire chamber, or leakage through the feed system , does this unit use a sealed hopper? a "chute fire" shouldnt happen in a top feed unit actually it shouldnt happen in any unit, usually its caused by both an auger stopping and an airflow issue allowing the passage of air back through the feed system. a sealed feed system acts like a cork in a bottle causing an "air dam" in the chute , this doesnt allow fuel to ignite if stuck up there and in extreme cases the burn should not continue due to oxygen starvation so if there are active flames coming out then air is being supplied inside the feed system allowing the burn to perpetuate.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    One of our moderators in the Pellet room highly suggests that pellet stove flue go up a number of feet, and some suggest higher. Take a look at the manual for your stove - it shows a number of installations and all of them go up a bit. Make certain yours goes up at least the minimum, and the more - the merrier.
  11. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Do you have out side air?
    <Snip from owners manual>
    Outside air is required for proper operation of this stove. The connection at the back of the stove is 2"
    O.D. Use the appropriate adaptor to properly reduce the outside air pipe for connection at the back
    of the stove.
    </end of snip>

    The manual (like all manufactures do but no one every reads the fine print) Vertical Venting
    <snip from manual>
    It is recommended that the vent system be installed with a minimum vertical rise of 3 feet above the
    stove exhaust connection.
    Failure to provide adequate natural draft (vertical rise) may result in smoke being released into the
    house when electricity to the stove is interrupted while burning or smoldering corn remains in the burn
    pot.

    ‚ Increasing the vertical exhaust system is recommended when: Using more than (1) elbow or tee
    Horizontal run is over (3) feet.
    ‚ Horizontal terminations: The exhaust pipe must be terminated by a listed end cap or a ‘L’ vent elbow
    (45 or 90 degree). End caps or elbows must vent exhaust gases away from the building.
    </end of snip>
  12. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Are you sure it is actually burning inside there or just on the edge of the drop chute at the end of the auger? I get that visual effect sometimes when I have the Countryside really cranking. It has never led to anything negative in 4 seasons. Of course I have no experience with your stove but mine feeds straight out at 90 degrees only a couple inches above the top of the pot and seems to behave the same whether its vented with a 5' rise or in its current through the soffit configuration with 12'. I see it more with pellets than corn, a lot more. Could it be that this is what you are seeing?
  13. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    I'm sure it was burning up in the chute, at least at the end of the auger. Our chute is several inches from the burn pot. I knew it was burning because we turned the stove off, the burn pot died, and the fire in the chute kept going (flames, fly ash, crackling). I really WISH it were just a visual.

    I called Kozy. The fella I needed was out. The other installer had no idea what to do and our call ended with me agreeing to call the other guy back in the morning. I don't know how to feel about that. I hope it gets resolved. I had the worst fire nightmare last night. :(
  14. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    I finally got an answer from Kozy. They think that I poured in saw dust from the bottom of the bag (crushed pellets). Once those came through the auger they caught fire.

    I'm supposed to take the stove a part and look at the end of the auger. And make sure I don't put smashed pellets in the hopper (I don't know that I did).
  15. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    I left work early and cleaned the stove. I thought I'd give an update to see what you thought.

    I pulled out the center panel that exposes the chute and there was a TON of fly ash behind it.

    I cleaned EVERYTHING.

    Then in the hopper I did my best to sift out all the crush pellets/saw dust. THERE WAS A LOT. 1/2 an ice cream pail, at least. Is that normal? We've used it a good month.

    I put everything back together and started it up at the lowest setting. We were told by Kozy that the 1 setting is a real lazy fire, so I thought that would be good to start with. Within 10 min or so it was burning, but the flames were HUGE. They never touch the top of the stove, even on the 5 setting. But tonight at the 1 setting, the flames were hitting the rods at the top (the heat exchange tubes?).

    In fear of a repeat fire accident, I turned it off. My husband says he thought the burn pot was plenty full. I didn't think it was that bad. Even then, why did the pot fill up more than it should?

    Esh...
  16. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    That sounds like a LOT of fines to me.

    Not familiar with that stove.....does it have an adjustable damper? Is it wide open? If so you might want to close it some and see what the flame does. Cleaning the stove should make it burn more efficiently but the difference you are seeing sounds like it might be something else as well.
  17. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    when you did all the cleaning did you change the air.
    you may have to give it more air to make the fire more intence and lower.



    1/2 gallon of sawdust or 1/4 gallon both are too much
    with OK pellets you might have less than a cup of sawdust in the bottom of the hopper.
    I just put Sawdust pellets in my store meridian today and ran the full bag BEEN ON HIGH ALL DAY.
    the dust ran through the stove and only a little left in the bottom.
  18. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    so you're saying there's a good chance I bought cheap pellets, right? I wouldn't be surprised since this is our first time buying/burning.
  19. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Not cheep but could have gotten wet or damp and they broke apart.
    sawdust is something us pellet heads just have to get used to.
  20. samandlillie

    samandlillie Member

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    I would definitely recomend some vertical rise in the exhaust vent as mentioned in the manual.
    Wayne in NS
  21. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    have have said that over and over.
    in the first Thread and in this one.
  22. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    Yes, you've said that and I understand that. The company that installed it won't do anything different because they feel they've done it correctly. :(
  23. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    You could offer to pay for the materials and some extra labor to do it correctly according to the manual
    The manual (like all manufactures do but no one every reads the fine print) Vertical Venting
    <snip from manual>
    ‚ It is recommended that the vent system be installed with a minimum vertical rise of 3 feet above the
    stove exhaust connection.
    Failure to provide adequate natural draft (vertical rise) may result in smoke being released into the
    house when electricity to the stove is interrupted while burning or smoldering corn remains in the burn
    pot.
    ‚ Increasing the vertical exhaust system is recommended when: Using more than (1) elbow or tee
    Horizontal run is over (3) feet.
    ‚ Horizontal terminations: The exhaust pipe must be terminated by a listed end cap or a ‘L’ vent elbow
    (45 or 90 degree). End caps or elbows must vent exhaust gases away from the building.
    </end of snip>

    also you never did say if you have the out site air or not.
    the book shows you MUST have it.
  24. jbrogley

    jbrogley New Member

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    Today I decided I was going to try and clean the exhaust pipes on our troublesome stove. Because smoke was leaking out the pipes when we first got the stove, they sealed all the pipes when they came back, which was great. But now I'm not real sure how to clean it. So anyway, I decided to take an air compressor to the exhaust. That's when I noticed a lever that's NOT in the manual and no one has said anything to us about. It's a level that controls how open the exhaust tubing is. I am struggling to explain.

    I was set to closed. I think air still could get around it, but it was probably 75% closed, I think.

    Can someone explain that to me? It's not in the manual. And the fella that installed it had never put one in before.
  25. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Is this the kozy pellet stove?

    I think you are talking about the air adjustment that we all asked you if it was set correctly in your other thread.
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