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Problems with my St. Croix Hastings Pellet Stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by cbodkin, Nov 7, 2009.

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  1. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I vacuumed the external part of the exhaust fan, but I did not remove it from it's cavity yet. Will definitely do that this weekend. Something must be clogged up with the exhaust. I'm going to contact the dealership and have them service the stove professionally. I will definitely have them check the combustion motor also.

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  2. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    You MAY be able to drop a little light oil on the motor shaft while it's still in place... wouldn't hurt I guess.
  3. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    I'd hold off on paying and first pull BOTH blowers and clean them thoroughly.
    Nothing to lose and everything to gain if your problem lies there.

    If you do that and then she still doesn't run, then I'd call
    in a tech.
  4. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    Going to try clearning the blowers this weekend and see if that works. If anyone has more specific instructions and/or pictures of how to do this, that would be great.
  5. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    On my Pepin stove....

    The combustion blower is on the left side of the stove (as you are looking at it from the room)... has 6 nuts, two wires and it's out. The room blowers are at the back... my stove has two access panels that are removed from the back of the stove... there are four small sheet metal screws (two on each side) that must be removed to take out the fan/motor assembly.

    Blow out BOTH fans (and motors) with compressed air... if you don't have a compressor, you can find one at any auto shop, small engine shop, body shop, etc. Most guys will do it for you or let you use the air.... takes maybe 15 seconds per unit.

    When you get the combustion blower out, run a brush in and out of air passages... you'll see what to do... scrape out any carbon/soot build-up, too.

    Combustion blower mounting... be careful NOT to damage the gasket...
    [​IMG]

    Here's what the room fan looks like... the holes for the mounting screw are on each end. I think you'll need a 1/4" socket... the little buggers are a little tuff to get to... at least on my stove when it's close to the wall.

    [​IMG]
  6. johnny1720

    johnny1720 Member

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    Just curious if you can adjust the speed feed rate of the stove?

    Johnny
  7. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    "you should also pull the vaccum hose maybe its plugged."

    I cleaned out both motors, which were completely clogged up. Any idea how to clean the vacuum hose mentioned previously?
  8. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    On my prescott it's simple on the left side looking at the stove,open the side panel and you will see a clear hose that goes from the fire box to the vaccum switch, just twist the hose left and right to break the seal then pull right off, just blow through it to clean.There was nothing holding it on my stove so I used a couple wire ties to hold the hose better,glad your making progress.
    mnkywrnch
  9. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    The good news is that after I cleaned out the two motors, the stove is working again. Question on the combustion motor. There is only one air passage, which goes from the motor to the exhaust pipe, right?

    The stove seems to be burning much better now. Still, the glass is getting residue too quickly. Not as bad as before, but it still worries me. I'm also not entirely sure what caused the stove to smoke up last week. My best guess is that the combustion motor was clogged up, combined with the ash deposited in the elbow of my exhaust pipe, kept the stove from getting air.

    So the remaining places for me to check are the vacuum hose and the exhaust pipe going through the rough. I have a feeling that there is still a lot of creosote buildup in the pipes. There certainly is still alot of creosote build up on the heat exchange tubes above the baffle.

    Thanks to everyone for your help. I certainly know a ton more about my pellet stove.
  10. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    If this is the case then you must be running the stove on lower settings
    most of the time. Run it on the highest setting once every day for a half hour.
    I use a wide painters brush to clean those tubes since the ash on mine
    is not heavy and removes easily. Also, if you have a long vertical run I'd recommend getting
    a brush that will span the length since you probably do have a lot of buildup
    in the vent. I found the best price at northline express.
  11. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    If the stove is running now then I would imagine the vaccum hose is fine, you next step is to get that vent cleaned real good.What setting do you normaly run the stove and where is your damper set?I found that if the damper is open to much the glass will darken quicker,also it will darken quicker if you burn on low for extended periods of time,like xena said run that puppy on high for a half hour per day.
    mnkywrnch
  12. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    What Xena said... get it hot on 4 or 5 everyday... burns off the nasty stuff and your stove will be happier. Also make sure the damper isn't open more than 1/4 to maybe 1/2".. if it needs more air your stove is dirty. If you have brown sticky deposits you have the damper open too wide.
  13. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    I do run the stove at the 1 setting for extended stretches of time. To be completely truthful, I only ran the stove at the 1 setting for 3 years. For the 1st 2 years, my glass would not get black quickly. Last year is when it started getting back quickly. NOW I use the higher settings, trying to burn it at #5 for 30 mins a day.

    When I burn the stove at #5, it actually makes the glass cleaner. As soon as I go down to a lower setting, the glass gets dirty. I have been adjusting the exhaust valve. When I make it more closed, the glass gets black soot. When I open it more, the glass gets a brown glaze.

    Now that I have cleaned the combustion and exhaust motors, as well as the ash traps, I'm going to focus on the exhaust pipe and the exhaust tubes above the baffle.

    Comcerning the combustion motor cavity, I have a question. There is only 1 opening that goes to the the exhaust pipe, right? There is not an opening that goes into the stove.
  14. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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  15. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    By exhaust valve are you saying your vent has a damper on it? Pellet stove should not have an exhaust damper... adjust the air damper so it's open about the width of a pencil... if you need to open it more than that the stove is dirty. Open it too much and you get that sticky brown residue on the glass.
  16. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    Thanks for the advice on the air inlet damper. Perhaps I have it open too much. I'll use the pencil width as a guide. Considering I have a very tall vertical exhaust, does that factor into where I should set the air inlet damper? Tall vertical run = more open or more closed?
  17. maglite67

    maglite67 New Member

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    on a st croix if when installed it ran ok and now you have creosote (damper was set and never moved) you have a gasket leak above the burn pot. you are getting to much seconday combustion and cooling the gases and forming creosote. take a look at the window gasket and door gasket. see if the window is loose. to check door gasket take a dollar bill close it in the door if there is no resistants it needs replacement.
  18. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    I think as long as your vent is installed without too many 90's, etc. it shouldn't make much difference. I talked to my service tech and he sez if the vent is right that's all the air the stove should need.

    Keep us posted on how it's doing.
  19. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    Read the trouble shooting doc last night. Very useful. In particular, this quote stood out about the combustion fan.

    "Air is drawn into the stove in 2 locations. The first is Combustion air, which travels through the Air Inlet tube into the Burn Pot area; this is where oxygen and wood pellets get mixed with heat to produce the combusted by-product, which gets sent out the exhaust port. The second location is the Air Wash System; this is where air gets forced down the inner surface of the ceramic glass to provide a clean glass surface for viewing the flame."

    When my glass gets black, the ash forms an oval on the window, almost as if the ash is getting blown onto the glass. I wonder if the problem is with the air wash system, and how I would go about fixing it.
  20. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    Find the part of your glass that doesn't have a gasket installed that will be your air wash,just unfold a paper clip and run it through the opening it's probably caked with ash.
    mnkywrnch
  21. cbodkin

    cbodkin New Member

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    Good news. The stove is doing much better. While the glass is still getting dirty, at least it takes 2 days instead of one.

    "Find the part of your glass that doesn't have a gasket installed that will be your air wash"

    Having problems figuring out where the air wash is. My glass has a rope gasket arond the entire interior.
  22. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    Yeah I went home and looked at mine and the gasket goes all the way around as well,maybe our make doesn't have the airwash.Glad everything is starting to work out for you.
  23. FireBurn

    FireBurn Member

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    I had a problem with my Hastings about a week ago & thankfully I found this site & this thread!
    I did the thorough clean (the pictures helped ALOT) & now it works perfectly!

    I am however completely annoyed at my local pellet stove retailer who "cleaned" the stove for $250, they NEVER: removed the shipping screws or grates, cleaned the little ash traps, combustion fan, room fan, heating pipes.....I know because I watched them, they did what I had already been doing (because I didn't know any better)--they vaccuumed the hopper area, brushed out the outside piping, released some of the ash from the exterior pipe, and cleaned the ash tray/box....that's it for $250!!!
    I can't wait for them to call again about it's yearly cleaning again...I'm going to give them a piece of my mind!!


    One more thing, the gasket around the combustion fan was mostly melted...what to do about that? The stove was really really plugged up with ash in that area, I doubt if the fan was able to move at all in the end when we had probs...
    johningrassvalley likes this.
  24. nchurch

    nchurch New Member

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    I've been having similar problems with my St. Croix Prescott. I've scrubbed and vac'd out the combustion fan blades, scrubbed and vac'd out the chamber below it....used a dryer vent brush to get up inside the two ash baffles. However I am still getting a triangle of brownish ash on the the left and right side of the glass in just a matter of hours after starting the stove up. The vent pipe is brand new as of 2 weeks ago, so I don't think that is the problem. Plus the ash has been building up on the glass all year.

    What spaces am I missing during my cleanout? Is it any air intake issue? Any input or advice is much appreciated.
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