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Quadra-Fire Castile Insert - Firepot?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by sesro1978, Dec 23, 2008.

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  1. sesro1978

    sesro1978 Member

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    Hi-

    Let me begin by saying I'm new to pellet stoves and am still learning. With that in mind I just had a Quadra-Fire Castile insert put in and have noticed that the firepot cleaning rod is a bit tough to pull out initially (the stove has been off for a few hours prior to me doing this in the morning). Is this typical or do I have a potentially "bum" firepot cleaning rod/linkage/etc...? Don't get me wrong, it's not impossible to pull out...just seems difficult (then again, I'm new to pellet stoves so this may be typical of the model).

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Seth

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  2. 4124elad

    4124elad New Member

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    This is a common situation with most every Quadra-Fire stove.

    Note I did not say problem.

    The fire pot is a cast iron part and the fire pot floor is made out of steel plate. The steel plate heats and contracts at a different rate than the cast part. The steel plate also warps a bit and residues stick to it.

    If you use a little down force on the plate when pulling the rod all should be well.

    If it becomes a real problem ask you dealer to add a shim for you.

    Most of the time this moves freely on my stove. Sometimes I need to give it a bit of help.

    Good luck with your Stove.
  3. sesro1978

    sesro1978 Member

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    Thank you!
  4. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Make sure the bottom of the pot is scaped clean very well, not just the 'ski slope' but the actual bottom. If it continues to be a problem, there is a nut that holds the bottom on that can be loosened. If it is a new install, call the dealer, they should do this for you! If you do it yourself, make sure you do not over loosen the nut as this creates too big of a gap between the pot and bottom, the gap sould not be wider than a dime or so. Again, call the dealer first. Happy burning!
  5. sesro1978

    sesro1978 Member

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    Ok, thanks for the info. It's only been in for a 2 full days now so I figure it may be a little adjustment period (break-in?) with the new appliance. If it continues to be a problem I'll most certainly contact the dealer and have it adjusted. I'm pretty fanatic about keeping the firepot clean and I definitely be sure to really scrape the bottom with the provided scraping tool.

    Thanks!
  6. Shortstuff

    Shortstuff Feeling the Heat

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    Scraping the bottom plate of the burn pot is exactly what you need to do. The tool that Quadra-Fire provides is not a hardened steel so it wears out rather quickly. I use a 1/2" wood chisel to really scrape the surface smooth, because it is the build-up of residue on this bottom plate that prevents you from opening it up. Reach down inside and feel that bottom plate and you'll notice the build-up, then just scrape it smooth.

    Merry Xmas!

    Steve
  7. sesro1978

    sesro1978 Member

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    Thanks Steve!

    I noticed the tool that came with the stove is sort of "junky"...it seems like it will work for about a week. I'll pick-up a chisel very soon.

    Happy Holiday's,
    Seth
  8. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a Castile insert also, and I also found that the cleaning rod would get stuck once the carbon builds up a little on the bottom plate. I would scrape and scrape it with a chisel, however within a few days it would be almost impossible to pull that rod. What I did was I took my Dremel tool, and I used a small flat grinding wheel, about 3/4 inch diameter and I used the Dremel to grind that carbon spot off. It was much easier to grind it off than scrape it off. The carbon can get tough as nails on that plate. I just let the wheel barely touch the carbon until I felt the steel plate. Once that was clean my cleaning rod pulled as it did when the insert was new a few months ago.

    What you can also do to minimize dust while youre in the firebox, is turn your insert ON, the immediately turn it OFF, so that only the exhaust blower runs. This blower will run for 18 minutes I believe and it sucks the air out of the firebox while you are cleaning it, thus any ash dust will be pulled to the exhaust vent and not into your room and on your furniture. My installer showed me how he cleans them, and it works very well.
  9. tonyd

    tonyd Feeling the Heat

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    Spray Pam cooking spray in the pot and scrape. It really works. Save some for your wife.
  10. marc_t

    marc_t New Member

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    I had to loosen the nut on the bottom of mine and it helped a TON. It wasn't hard to do.

    /marc
  11. CenterTree

    CenterTree Feeling the Heat

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    This was PERFECT advice for me. It came to where I could not budge my fire pot rod at all, I mean it was jammed shut. I scraped the bottom of the pot rigorously and then I pulled the baby with all my might, thought I was gonna move the castile off the hearth. Well then I could not get it to CLOSE,,,ARGHHH! So I did what Gotz mentioned and I removed the ash pan, lay down on the floor and loosened the bolt/nut on the rod linkage. Presto, now the rod works like a charm. If anyone does this, I observed that it takes just a very small amount of loosening of the nut to make a big difference in the function of the rod. For sure you don't want a wide gap at the bottom of your fire pot. (as GotzTheHotz stated). Thanks for helpful info. Rock on HEARTH.COM!!
  12. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    If you keep the door clean no need to loosen the bolt. After a while you will have to loosen it again. Have never loosened mine, just keep it clean.
  13. CenterTree

    CenterTree Feeling the Heat

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    I see your point about the possibility of needing to loosen it again as it would just acquire more and more layers of deposits (hard ash). That makes complete sense. True you would NEED to keep it clean,,, but here is the thing,,, when I first bought my stove the fire pot door was stiff to move. I mean VERY hard to budge. So it was not adjusted properly from the factory. Sad that I thought it was "normal" to have to pull so hard. I would clean and scrap it religiously but to no improvement in the tightness. So at least now I have a fresh (correct) starting point and that if I continue to keep it clean it should work good. I wonder if a lot of the Castiles come from the factory so wrongly tight. ??
  14. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    I imagine some Castile units come with the nut a little too tight, so you might have to loosen it just enough to let the bottom plate swing open easily, but not with too much of a gap between the pot and the plate. My installer checked mine when he installed it and suggested various ways to cllean it. He said it will get real hard to pull the rod when carbon builds up on it, so I just keep my dremel handy with the small grinding wheel on it and I buff off the carbon, this allows the door plate to be as loose as it was when it was new.
  15. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    When I received my stove I could not pull the the door open, it was rusted shut, brand new from factory. I gave it a spray of PB Blaster and it was good to go. What i have done since is just keep it clean.
    I even made a special tool, one end has teeth and the other a scraper.
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