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Pacific Energy Pacific Insert Cracks

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Lumberjack, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Hi all,

    5 years ago you all helped me to refurbish my chimney and choose and install an insert style wood stove for my first home. Thanks a ton!

    Fast forward to today. I performed my annual chimney cleaning (only a handful of soot!). All looked good on the outside of the house. My baffle had a slight crack last year (in the portion that you can see without removing it). I used it all last year with no issues. The crack has gotten worse and I am going to try to get PE to fix / replace it...we will see. I figured if they say no, that I would weld it up at work even though it is a little warped. I figured I would look up how much a new one costs, didn't find anything. What I did find was a bunch of PE Pacific owners with cracked fire boxes. That got me worried. My stove was mfg'd in late 2006, same as most of the cracked stoves.

    I inspected the stove this evening and found cracks in the upper 2 welds on either side of the door. Both welds are cracked on the inside and the hinge side weld is cracked through to the exterior of the stove, about 0.50" long at this point. I think I need to thoroughly clean and inspect the stove to look for more cracks. Where else have other people seen cracks in this stove, where else should I look? Do I need to pull the stove out?

    I plan on contacting my dealer tomorrow to discuss the situation. Unfortunately, I suspect this process is going to take weeks or months to resolve. I usually start burning by 11/1. My biggest concern is the crack from the outside to inside. When is it unsafe to use the stove? I usually burn the stove between 500 and 700F as measured on the exterior of the door frame with a stick on thermometer. I feels this is well within the reasonable working range for this stove.

    I would love to hear how others made out with PE. I hate to think that a $2000 stove only lasted 5 years......

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  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Bump.

    I have photographed the cracking in my 2007 PE pacific and contacted my dealer. PE offered an "allowance" of $200 to re-weld my stove. The crack which concerns me the most is the one shown in the picture. It is from outside to inside, which equals air leaks. Thoughts?

    My dealer thinks I have over fired the stove which lead to the cracking, though he is working to help get this resolved. He is recommending that I place the magnetic thermometer on the top of the stove. This doesn't really work as this is an insert.

    I don't want to pull this stove, find a welder, weld it, reinstall just to have it crack again. I know this is a touchy subject here but I don't perform a temporary fix just to have to replace / reweld the stove next year.

    Should I just buy another stove?

    Thanks

    exterior crack2.jpg
  3. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    lol guys we are having those same cracks on the summit inserts!
    some are getting stoves replaced and some are not.
    search for cracked pe stove there is a lot of info out there,
    and some say its only 6 per year.. guess 06-07 was a exception
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That doesn't look like it's going to affect stove performance. I would test PEs reports that the crack will not spread and will not affect burning. Document this well with good photos and then do the exact same photos at the end of the season. If it gets worse then I would push for replacement. If no change then I would consider the weld or just leave it.
  5. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    thanks for the reply Iceman. ultimately I just want a safe stove that I can control the burn in. it is frustrating though that I am going to spend 10's of hours addressing this issue between pulling the stove, calling welders ect.

    does anyone know if there are any good mobile welders in western CT who could quote fixing this? my dealer wants me to get quotes from a few welders and then take that info back to PE.

    Thanks!
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    This is an unfortunate trend. I would take BeGreen's advice.

    I hope it works out for you and you stay warm.
  7. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    be green

    my baffle is cracked as well. PE is sending a new one, I think it is already in. apparently you get one free one over the life of the stove. i found the baffle crack last year, it was less than 1/2" long. used it all season. now it looks like this, see below. I also have significant internal cracks in the upper portions of the door frame (both sides). I am not sure how to push for a new stove other than to weld it and then have it fail again, which isn't really the path I want to take. baffle crack2.jpg
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How are you measuring temps on the stove? And what is your normal operating temperature for the stove?

    I ask only out of curiosity.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was about to ask the same question. Measuring temps on inserts is trickier.
  10. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    not sure where you live but you should be able to get a welder to come out.
    take lots of pictures and if you have internal cracks replacement is the only way to go.
    stay the path because it will be said by some its your fault. clean that stove good and inspect it again with a bright light
  11. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    I have been using a magnetic thermometer placed in the upper left corner of the door. I usually run the stove to 350 / 400F and then shut the air down, it will climb to 500-600F, hover there for an hour or 2 and then drop down. Usually reload at 300F.

    I plan on pulling the stove myself tomorrow and getting it on a dolly. I am going to clean it out and use a wire bush to check out other areas best I can and take some more photos. If it is going to be welded it can't happen in place.

    Any suggestions on how to inspect the secondary air inlet?

    I will admit that on occasion the tips of the two supports that hold the baffle in place had been glowing red, but best I can tell no other area has ever been glowing red.

    Here's a picture of an internal crack. upper right internal4.jpg
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    ::P
  13. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Well, bit the bullet and pulled my stove today. I removed the sheet metal shrouds, blower, door, fire bricks baffle holders, insulation and cleaned it out real good. Guess what I found?! Three more cracks! The two below are facing the back wall of the stove and are much worse than the others in the door frame.

    Sent them off to my dealer. Not sure how these would be welded without some dis assembly of the stove......


    20121028_181609.jpg


    20121028_181653.jpg
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This is getting ridiculous, PE needs to step up and replace these stoves or offer a major discount on a new one. Welding the cracks is just a bandiad and I wouldn't sleep well not knowing I have cracks or repaired welds on something that's suppose to hold fire.
  15. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    We will see what they say after this hurricane passes!

    I am glad it has been a mild fall in CT so far and I haven't needed to run the stove yet.
  16. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I have the PE Super insert and hazard the guess that you are running yours too hot. I use an IR-gun and point it at the center just above the door. That spot is easily 100 to 150 F higher than to either side of the door. It is also about 100 F less than the stove collar which I can also hit with the IR-gun. If yours behaves similar your insert is probably at about 700 to 800 F during those early 1 to 2 hours; could even be higher. In addition, I have never seen the baffle support to glow red. I would try keeping the temp below 500 F.
  17. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    It's possible you are correct. However, at 400 to 500F, the secondary burn is just barely starting. I don't currently own an IR gun and therefore can not tell you what my collar temp was during burning. Honestly I have always felt the stove doesn't produce any "real" heat until it is above 500F as measured in my location. I agree that above 600-650F things did seem a little sketchy. But up to that point I felt good.

    Whatever the outcome, I am not going to run the insert without using a thermometer in a manufacture recommended location. Also, I am going to check the calibration of the thermometer prior to use as other members have pointed out they have had them off by as much as 200F which is a big deal in my book.

    My dealer has a free standing PE on the showroom floor and I am thinking it might be a good reference stove as it is a similar size.

    I want to point out that my intention of this thread is to try to continue open discussion about this issue even if it is like beating a dead horse for some. It is a new challenge for me and I appreciate your feedback as everyone's issues are slightly different. Based on reading other threads I understand this is a touchy subject. I have been running wood stoves for a better part of my life but realize that each one is a unique animal that deserves respect. I do not want to create a negative environment on this forum or point fingers. Ultimately my goal is to get either this stove or another reinstalled and running before things freeze up for the winter. Also I hope to learn something from this experience and not repeat the same mistakes going forward.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    FWIW, PE reports that this issue does not exist in the current generation of stoves. Ultimately, regardless of what stove you get, be sure to get a stove top thermometer and keep the working temps reasonable.
  19. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Like mentioned here many times getting temps on an insert is tricky cause of the location. You may use an infrared on the front and on the top but the side may be the hottest! My insert by Buckstoves is a box with in a box so temps on the top are not so accurate because of the air channel. So I shot the front and found the upper left corner was the hottest because the infrared gun would go to 3 dashes.

    As for the thermometers I calibrated by the one thing we know to be a law of chemistry/physics is that water boils at 212F. I got the water just to rolling boil and dipped, not let it sit, but dipped it in until I seen where it settled. One was off by 75 to 100and the other was of 50 to 75. I will do again this year but I am pretty familiar with how the stove runs now. But the wife is not!
  20. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack Member

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    Just checked my magnetic thermometer. With water at a rolling boil I was right at 100 C. Would like to check it at say 400F which I can do with the oven next time we bake something.
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Those methods do not test the meter's calibration. Your thermometer was designed to measure surface temperatures, not liquid or air temperatures. You should not depend on any method for calibration other than placing the meter on a surface of known temperature and comparing the reading.
  22. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Crap, I hope your wrong....I have been lying to myself for 2 years! ;em
    I made a call to my neighbor and he is bringing home his Fluke Infrared and I will check to see if I'm right.
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Kinda silly to measure oven temps with a surface meter. You don't try and shove it up your hiney to measure your body temperature do you?

    Just kidding, seriously, a joke.
    firefighterjake likes this.
  24. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I was pretty much right on. The Rutland is off 75 to 100 and the UGL Temproof is off only by 25-35 degrees. I got confused because I have actually 4 thermos, 3 Rutland and one UGL. Two of the Rutlands are on my moms 30nc. I do recall no that the UGL was quite accurate. So in my experiment the boiling method works. I tried to get pix with the iPhone but.....I'll get pix!
  25. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Here they are: image.jpg image.jpg
    chazcarr, granpajohn and Elusive like this.

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