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POOR performance after ultra grate retrofit on Advantage

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ej822, Feb 11, 2008.

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  1. ej822

    ej822 New Member

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    Loc:
    Denver, CO
    I have an Advantage II that I retrofitted with the ultragrate kit 3 months ago. Since then, I have had nothing but BAD performance. I cannot turn the auger past 2 without pellets building up and even on level 1, I have to stir the pellets around every few hours or they will build up in the grate. Also, there is a lot of black buildup in the box, on the window, and even the side of my house is now black. I have adjusted the damper from almost closed to ALL OF THE WAY OPEN, which is where it is now, and nothing seems to make a difference. I cleaned out the exhaust pipe at the time I did the retrofit including completely taking it OFF the stove and out of the wall to make sure it was very clean. Probably overkill, but I'm terrified of a chimney fire.

    Any ideas as to what the problem is? I thought this grate was supposed to make it burn better, but I'm very disappointed to say the least. I'm ready to throw the old grate back in and be done with it! The flame is not lazy and it's not hard to light. There seems to be enough air getting in to burn, but not enough to burn the way it used to.

    Thanks for any help!

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  2. lpgreg

    lpgreg Member

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    I can,t speak on your retrograde, but I just reurned 47 bags of pro pellets that did the same to my grate.It would fill up the grate with solidified ash after 4 cycles on medium and would not heat the house on low. Are you using your original pellets?
  3. ej822

    ej822 New Member

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    My supplier did switch pellet brands this year, but I had used the new ones with the old grate and I still had a few bags of the pellets from last year left and tried those and it doesn't seem to be the pellets because it didn't make any difference either time.
  4. lpgreg

    lpgreg Member

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    What brand are you burning? I seem to be the only one on this board that uses penningtons and like them, but I hear good things about fireside ultra,s and I just bought and burned 1 bag of stove chow which is burning hot but can,t speak about the ash yet.
  5. ej822

    ej822 New Member

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    The new ones are Pennington. The old ones are BioPlus. I would try the BioPlus in the grate again, but they are buried under about 45 new bags of Pennington now!
  6. lpgreg

    lpgreg Member

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    can you try your old grate to see if it does the same? Or check for blockage of combustable air or venting ,clean cleanout tee and vent pipe, change dampner setting to increase combustion air, eliminate pellets by digging out the bio,s or buying 1 bag of another brand.
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    I had this kind of problem a long time ago when I upgraded a customer to the Ultra grate.
    the fire would not burn very well just like the ash pan was open. Lazy flame

    A limited few of the Advantage stoves had some Slide dampers on the left and right side just below the Left and right firebrick
    this was to dump the ash that build up behind the firebrick area.

    If you have this make sure then are pushed in all the way shut.
    They have a 1/4 or 5/16 headed tech screw securing them in place so you may have to loosen them.
  8. ej822

    ej822 New Member

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    Loc:
    Denver, CO
    I took the whole thing apart today. What a job... and messy. But, I found that in the 3 months or so that I've been using these pellets, there has been enough fines spill out the bottom of the auger channel to completely clog the intake vent INSIDE the pellet stove. I have never had that happen with other pellets. So, it may be just a coincidence that it clogged about the same time I changed the grate out. Or the old firebox having a pipe that goes into that intake channel and past the flange may keep them from getting clogged more efficiently. Either way, there are apparently lots of problems with the Pennington pellets according to other posts. The stove is lit again and now I'm working on adjusting the damper to see if I can get it burning properly. I'm hoping that this has fixed the problem. It has to help at least SOME!

    Of note, does anyone know why there isn't just a straight shot from the air intake pipe to the firebox rather than having the intake opening to the inside of the stove and then a second opening a few inches away to the channel into the firebox. It seems strange to engineer something that way.

    Thanks everyone for your advice.
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