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Pellet Stove Baffle Modification

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jjkimbro, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    sounds pretty fair to me. Nice to offer you a new stove or your money back. quite generous if the electronics is the only thing that is of fault. Safe to say,Drolet doesn't make sensors-some electronic company does. Can't remember the warranty period for the electronics but think it is at least 2 years-could be more.Keep in mind that once the bugs are worked out,you'll probably never have another problem that way-hopefully. And you will have established the fact with the manufactuer that you have had a stove with related problems-should it ever arise again. Too bad the stove is so heavy-be nice to start over again fresh.If you have any more info regarding problems with the eco-45,hope you will share them before the rest of us owners go out of warranty....cheers pete

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="bazil" date="1200691613"].
    Drolet then called us after talking to McD and gave us three options.

    1. Install the new sensor.
    2. Get our money back
    3. have a new stove.

    I am very worried about the future of my stove out of warranty if this is a common problem.
    Well, we need a stove, so it's pointless getting our money back.
    A redesigned stove would be a great solution.

    quote]
    the options offered are a suggestion of the company standing behind a product (good to see in my eyes)
    an offer of a "updated" model of the stove is probably the best way to go if you are satisfied by the performance you had with the unit when it was running properly , if the factory is actually the ones who are providing the replacement and shipping to the dealer, they should go through it special to ensure all is as good as it can be before shipping (we do if we do a replacement) might take an extra few days but is comforting to the end user that the unit would be functional , and also to the manufacturer knowing they went the extra mile to assure it also. even still if it has the upgraded hardware that will eliminate the possibility of the issue arising you should be fine if choosing this option.
  3. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    Well the new sensor is in and once again our stove is working, of course it was going to happen when we hit the -30's with -40's wind chills. Be aware that the diagram for the eco45 is wrong on drolet's web page, showing the F140 at the rear of the ash box, but is actually in the secondary blower housing. It was however easy to find after talking to one of their tech's. At the end of the day we whilst we were unhappy with the wait for the part to arrive Dominic was very helpful in ensuring that we were not overlooked and that we would be a priority for them given our plight. Drolet actually ended having great customer service. We still think that having checked out other stoves (including one that is built locally) that Drolet have the superior pellet stove and was the right choice. Hopefully the new sensor works well and we can look forward to enjoying uninterrupted heat. Let us know if the silicon works for the pellet chute, I do the same as you and pile them up on top in the middle.
  4. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    Good to hear things are better. With the past two minus 24 degree Celsius nights and barely minus 18 days,I have been running the stove wide open-top notch- number 6 ,or whatever the highest setting. All seems to be well. I have put the magnetic flue temperature gauge on the front upper left (facing) on the front door and have recorded 350 degrees F. If you have one,I'd be interested in your results,although there are many variables,I suppose. I'm switching brands of pellets for a bit and will use this to determine if there is any added heat value to speak of.
  5. rocky top

    rocky top New Member

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    Drolet High-Efficiency Pellet Stove, Model# DP00045.
    This product has a very bad manufacturer response with customer service.
    I used this stove for about 2 weeks when a problem with a control panel error occurred.I called left message with problem on 1-7-08, have yet to have a call back.
    I purchased this product from Northern Tools. They replaced it with no hassle. I picked up the replacement stove on 2-2-08, I then took it home and installed it. It had an error code right after plugging it up. I returned it to Northern Tools the next for a refund. Because of product not working,
    it cost me $880 in propane that I would not have used, and $90 in gasoline ,returning the product and picking up the replacement and returning it also. Would not reccomend this product.
  6. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    Very similar to my experience beginning January 25th. In the first call, [em]before[/em] I told them I was a consumer, he had looked it up and said they had 198 control boards in stock. When he found out that I was a consumer, he told me they did not deal directly with customers and gave me the number for their distributor (in Montreal, I think). I could go on and on about the saga, but the short version is that I still don't have a control board. Neither the distributor nor a second company that they referred me to knew what the part number for the control board was [em]because it wasn't on their parts list[/em].
  7. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    After thinking through the last few posts in this thread and the conversations I've had with Drolet, I believe the original problem I had with my Eco-45 was a bad auger temperature sensor. The bad sensor lead to the same problem being described in this thread for the third night in a week during the coldest spell of the winter.

    I have a background in instrumentation and all of these types of devices that I've seen/worked with have some method of a factory reset. Because I was faced with the possibility of having frozen pipes by the time the Drolet office opened (from their out of office recording), I opened the control box to look at the control board and see if it had a reset switch or jumper. I misaligned the board when putting it back in the control box and when we plugged the stove back in the board shorted out. I explained the above to Drolet with more details of symptoms from the stove he said they would send me a new control board because I might have the problem mentioned in the first paragraph. In the conversation this week, the same person told me they "should" be able to send it out next week.
  8. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    The best advice I have it to scream your head off. There is a message on their phone system telling you the phone # of your area rep. Call him, and plague Drolet with calls. You will probably talk to 3 or 4 different people, and have to keep re-explaining the situation, but you will get at least ONE of them to take action. I also went onto the web site and complained in their customer service comments section, and pasted my original complaint on this site in there to show them that this was going public. Maybe you should send them a link to this forum.
    Our Eco 45 played up again the other day, giving me a "P" fault, and the whole thing shut down except for the manual auger button. I pulled out the board to check the fuses, unplugged it for a while, and just wiggled and check all the wiring. It finally came back on again, and I am now a little nervous. I am worried about this unit in the long term.
    It's a shame that the electronics are so crappy , as this unit, when its running, is superb.
    And Roninb, it wasn't our control board, it was the L-140 sensor in the blower housing. Drolet admitted that there is a big problem with these. It may be worth ordering a spare for next winter, so you don't have to try and get one for 3 weeks in the event of a breakdown.
    The part number for the control board probably wasn't on their list because Drolet also slipped out to my supplier that the new stoves have completely redesigned electronis. My guess is that they have all new part numbers to discern them from the NASA quality stuff in the early ones.
  9. rocky top

    rocky top New Member

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    My problem would have probably been corrected if I could have talked with a tech. I was on hold for twenty minutes, then automatically switched to voice mail,
    I left a message with my situation and to this date I still have not been contacted. I also sent an email to the tech dept. and all I got was an automated response stating my message was received and we be contacted soon. Things must move slower there than in the south where we are accused of being slow.
    I also called Northern Tools about my first stove and they got the same reaction that I did when I called, being left on hold with no response. That was when they decided to let me return it for a new one.
  10. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    I don't think returning these units will help. I think there is a boat load of these earlier units out there with crappy electronics. I wouldn't be surprised if Drolet had to switch to automated calls because of the sheer volume of complaints.
  11. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    By the amount of paper shuffling that I could hear during my last conversation with them (at least 3 minutes of what sounded like looking through a stack of papers), I suspect that you are right on the volume of complaints.
  12. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    That must be filtered by their phone system. I do not get a number for a regional rep... probably because they don't have a regional rep in Atlantic Canada.

    The customer service guy at the store where I bought the stove has been doing this for me.

    I've considered doing that.

    I agree on both. The electronics are crappy. When the unit I have was running it was superb. I've said in other posts that we were in the middle of that cold snap. We bought this (2400 sf 100yo) house in May knowing that the heating system was not functional. Most of the windows are original with the 70s aluminum storm windows. The walls and attic are insulated with blown in insulation. On those cold nights (-30 to -35) we were running the stove on 3 and it was holding the temp in the upstairs. In the morning I would turn it up to 4 to take the chill off downstairs. If it was cold throughout the day we would alternate between 3 & 4 every couple hours.

    I had the reset 3 times problem which I think was precipitated by a sensor problem. Whether or not that was intended to be a safety feature, I think they have ruined what is probably otherwise a good product.

    How many of these do they think they would sell if they told people up front that they had built in a safety feature that will disable the stove and customer support is only available during business hours in the time zone where they are located? My thought is not many.

    Oh, and thanks for the info.
  13. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    I had not read the first page of this thread until after writing that last post. From the first time we used the stove the glass did soot up. Since the maintenance instructions indicated that that was normal, we thought nothing of it. Over the 3 months it did get worse, but we had also switched to a softwood/hardwood pellet mix. After reading the posts on the soot on the door and paper test. The paper easily slide out on the second test. I folded and tried again with the same result. With 3 folds (8 thicknesses of paper) a paper still easily comes out at the top centre of the door. So, now I know what caused my stove to error out.

    Based in the pictures (attached) we took using a trouble light and carpenter's level, it looks like there is about an 1/8 inch gap at the top centre of the door. I checked the door with the level and it looks straight and true. The rest of the story is in this thread.

    Attached Files:

  14. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    hi roninnb. I think it's a sad situation that you only bought your Drolet stove only in November and feel it's of more value scrap than of running to you. Have you made Drolet aware of your circumstances and are they not prepared to refund you?
    A question out there to Drolet (I have no doubt they read this forum) DROLET DO YOU INTEND TO LEAVE THESE PEOPLE IN THIS SITUATION? I must say I'd be disapointed for that to be the end result of your resposibility. I feel your company did offer us really good customer service after our initial problem with our sensor and I have been left with a belief that you had good customer follow up, I hope you can come through for this couple also. Do you think that maybe you could resond to this forum and put other eco 45 owners at ease that you do stand behind your product.
  15. rocky top

    rocky top New Member

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    I am glad for you that you have had good response with DROLET, probably one of the few. But, I will not recommend their products.
    If you will recall my post the ECO-45 cost me almost $1000 because of the poor service dept.
  16. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    Hi rocky top. I hear you. Although all is well now (our stove is fixed and we're warm again) It was only when we finally got a hold of the rep did we feel like we were being followed up with. It did take nearly 2 weeks of 'pleading' down the phone about how cold it was here for us to receive our part. Truly it should have been an overnight problem for them to get out part to us. It was a hard and expensive time for us also as we had to add yet another most unexpected oil filling bill to our heating expenses, after having bought a new stove, buying the pellets and paying nearly $900. for the install we were fuming. Hopefully Drolet is implimenting better stock control procedures as and I quote "We're waiting for that part to arrive" should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. However the rep that we dealt with saved the day for Drolet as far as we're concerned, he followed up, and kept us informed, despite the fact the poor man was 'screamed' at every time he phoned about how furious we were for the wait. But as mentioned before our fire keeps our house toasty in the worst conditions (up to -45c with wind temps -50c) so we do love our stove (now it's running) and I'd like to see Drolet given the chance to redeem itself with roninnb and stand behind it's product.

    Still curious though to see if Drolet repond to this page. (we know your out there)
  17. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    Hi bazil, I do agree that it's a sad situation. One of the reasons I chose the Drolet was that it was a Canadian made stove and believed that would mean high quality and quick access to parts. There are a few major reasons that we decided to cut our losses and move on.

    First, whether on not there is room to argue over the quality of the product, the accessibility of parts is no better than a product made in Asia. I've not been able to find anyone in NB who is trained to service the stove. I would hope that if there were, Drolet would have referred me to them.

    Second, the text of the warranty says, "This warranty covers brand new products only, which have not been altered, modified nor repaired since shipment from factory." Assuming they do eventually send the board, installing it would void the warranty. Now that I found the warp I'm certain that the air leak was what was causing the sensor to trip. Since, we have no warranty after the control board any further repairs would be on our own dollar. There is a metal shop a reasonable distance from here that I'm fairly sure has the equipment to straighten the stove. But I expect it would only stay straight if it was reinforced with more steel.

    Third, for about 7 years I worked on environmental systems in industrial sites (mostly pulp & paper mills). Most of the systems that I worked on were the ones that monitored the emissions from the boilers. While the pellet stove is on a much smaller scale they are designed on the same principle: blowers pushing and/or pulling air through the combustion chamber, a controlled steady fuel supply, and a cooling system. The main difference between the 2 technologies is the scale and the operating temperature. Our pellet stoves take a minimum of 20 minutes to cool down from operating temperature. A recovery boiler takes a minimum of 24 hours to shutdown.

    My point is that building something that can sustain the heat that any pellet stove produces can be done. In the first 2-3 weeks of using this stove we averages 60 lbs of softwood pellets per day (2.5lb/hour). For the remaining period that we used it, we averaged less than 80 lbs/day (3.33lb/hour). About mid-December we switched to a 50/50 mix of softwood and hardwood pellets. About 2 weeks before the stove failed the store where I was buying pellets was out of the hardwood pellets I had been using, but had oak pellets. I bought those and we used them at about the same 50/50 mix.

    Once I switched to the hardwood mix, the stove was always on either 1,2 or 3 overnight (we actually had one night that was warm enough that the stove was off overnight). If it were a particularly cold night, I would turn it up to 4 in the morning to bring up the temperature in the main level. Through the whole time we used the stove, it was not on 6 for any more than a total of couple hours.

    I have one of those hand held point and click thermometers. I don't know how accurate it is, but, on 4 with the oak 50/50 mix the diffuser temperature at various times ranged between 460F and 520F. Is that overfiring the stove? Other than recommending not to run the stove on 6 for extended periods of time, the manual gives no concrete indication of what qualifies as overfiring.

    IMO, even though the Eco-45 is marketed as a 45000 BTU stove, it's more realistically a 25000 BTU stove with the capability of a "45000 BTU burst mode". And, that if the owner were using pure hardwood pellets, they should not turn the stove up past 3 for more than a few minutes. AFAIC, any pellet stove should be rated at a heat level which is designed to produce for at least a few hours. If a stove has limitations, they ought to be spelled out in the manual.

    Yes, I sent them an email yesterday. I did not expect to hear back on the same day they received the email. I don't want to spend the rest of the winter heating with portable elctric heaters. I've been around the block enough times to see that most of the time when someone one says next week and you contact them 2 or 3 weeks later and they tell you the same thing that there is not much point in waiting on them.

    rocky top, I hear ya.
  18. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    I still have not had a reply from sbi customer service but my control board arrived today. It was shipped on Monday. Since I was prepared to pay for the control board from the beginning, I appreciate the fact that they sent it to me without charge.

    We are going to alternate between 1 and 2 for the evening and shut it down overnight and are planning on continuing testing the stove's operation while we are awake and near the stove to monitor it. I'll update again on the weekend.
  19. bazil

    bazil New Member

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    hi guys.
    Well, we are having more trouble. Whenever we turn off the stove to clean it, it goes through the shutdown cycle no problem. On restart, it fires up, runs a little while , then shuts down completely, leaving a burn pot full of gently burning pellets, and the smoke which is now undirected, finds it's way out and fills the room.This metalized demon then proudly pops up a "P" code. I pull out the plug and fiddle about with the electronics, and If I'm lucky, I can get it to start up again. I found after trial and error that if I unplug the seperate black and white whires going into the back of the control board box (they have two spade connectors that can't be mixed up on reconnection) I can get it to run. I called Drolet and they told me that the code was for the pressure switch. I have to pull off the pipe on the right side (looking forwards) under the side panel and blow out the tube. I had already done that. He than told me that I might have to remove the combustion blower door to clean out some debris that might have gotten into the housing. Wow, apparently customers who buy pellet stoves must also be trained pellet stove technicians. You must be able to field strip a stove like an M14 assault rifle and clean, repair and service in the middle of battle.
    Although minor, our stove also does another stick shared by others on this forum, the magical self opening damper. I did a quick fix I want to share. I took one of my wifes elastic hair bands and kept winding it arond the knob shaft until it would go no futher. I actually packed out the space between the back of the knob and the side plate, creating a friction shim to stop it turning.
    DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES.

    I also wanted to mention about the multiple button pressing to reset the control. BE CAREFUL HERE. I found that with a certain sequence of buttons, you can put this puppy inta diagnostic mode, and I found my self in some very dark territory. I think this mode is for techs to check diagnostic levels of the board, and you cn only get out of it by unplugging the unit. I don't know if it is possible to change some of the bios settings ( and it does have one, Drolet told me) but messing with it could change some of the defaults in the system.

    If this stove was a crippled dog, I would have taken it out the back and shot it by now.
  20. roninnb

    roninnb New Member

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    I had the same damper opening problem. It's due to the fact that when the damper is closed it is mostly balanced over the rod that goes to the side of the stove to the control knob. Once you open it a bit the balance shifts toward the front of the stove and, with the assistance of the tiny vibrations coming from the blower motor, gravity works its magic.

    My first attempt at dealing with this was to tape it in position which worked except having to peal the tape every time you wanted to change it. Since I had a couple weeks on my hands where the stove was not in use I looked through my stash of odd parts and found something that balances tamper up to about 2/3 open: a spare flat 220V plug prong (it made a nice handle and a good counter-balance). If you take the control knob off, the end of the rod is flat. The 220 prong set screw tightened up nicely against it with the prong pointed toward the back of the stove. What I use to hold it in place if I'm going past the 2/3 open is a rod from a magnetix kit (toy) stuck to the panel above the prong. Works like a charm.

    I've had all those panels off to clean. I had been cleaning the exhaust blower housing on a bi-weekly basis. I clean the convection air twice a week. If you have not removed the left panel in the firebox, that would be the next place I would look. Also, use a hand mirror to look at the front of the heat exchanger from underneath. The first time I looked at that was shock. There was about 1/2 - 3/4 inch of crud pushed together by the cleaning rod (since you are always pulling it forward first).

    How much soot are you getting out of your vent when you clean it?
  21. silversrfr

    silversrfr New Member

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    I had the same issue some people have reported with my Eco35 not starting due to "P" error code.

    I tried all of the steps in the manual:

    - cleared the pressure tube by blowing through it
    - cleaned the blower fan and pressure tube nozzle
    - replaced the blower cover gasket
    - checked all wiring

    I was still getting the P error.

    I then tested the pressure switch by sucking gently on the pressure tube (the switch made a clicking sound indicating that it was fine).

    I also tested the pressure switch by running the tube from the pressure switch to my my shop vac (to create regular suction) -- the stove started up fine.

    It was clear to me that air for some reason wasn't flowing, and sure enough I found that the chimney had become clogged. After sweeping out the chimney, no more P error and everything runs fine.
  22. boycollin

    boycollin New Member

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    I just got the eco-35 a month ago. Had the same P error. found out the cause was the brass nipple on the fan case that connects the tube to the switch. That nipple was very loose and could no be tightened with the clip inside the fan case. the tech guy used a high temperature silicon to seal the nipple. I let that hardened for a couple hours...and started it. Worked fine. With that switch not working..the igniter doesn't work.
  23. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    I know there must be a lot of Drolet pellet stoves out there,at least in Canada,maybe not so many in the States,but I think they make a pretty decent stove and would give it a thumbs up,all in all. There hasn't been too many recent complaints about them lately,so they must be getting better.
  24. boycollin

    boycollin New Member

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    i'm quite happy with the drolet 35...i found however that you get a bit more heat when you leave the left side door open. some of the heat from the exhaust system stays in the room instead of being exhausted outside.
  25. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    A newer stove thats working right usually doing all it can do.

    Now as far as modifications go, I am always game to make things better if it can be done without sacrificing safety.

    I have two Older whitfields and these stove were, in their day, really great stoves.

    I have since owning these, rewired one to utilize a set of inductrial quality timers to replace the original contols.

    The original safety features were all retained and augmented some too.

    I burn but shells so a slight addition to the firepot in the form of a "scatter bar" that helps distribute the shell pieces over the fire area was added when I installed the stove.

    My choice of controls was made so that I was not locked in to a dwindling supply of expensive control boards, that even during their hayday had issues.

    Off the shelf parts that are easy to get and inexpensive to buy can be a great plus when repairs if ever are needed.


    The biggy though is to always maintain any and all safety devices.

    These safeties can make all the difference between having a little problem become a big problem and in a hurry.


    As far as modifying baffles, ???????????/ the manufacture spent many many hours designing the airflow through the stove to get the optimal heat output, so its a good bet that the baffle is about right in the sweet spot.

    I wont say that with time and use, that an improvement can't be made but will it be enough to warrant the effort.

    I have found with the Whitfields, that they work just about perfect as they came from the factory.

    Just a little adjusting and tweeking to get them settled into the sweet spot while running shells is all I have done.


    Enjoy the nice heat.


    Snowy

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