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Quadrafire Castille: can not dump ashes

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by billmckay, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. billmckay

    billmckay New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
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    eastern, ma
    I have had a quadrafire castille for years. It has been more or less trouble free. Last winter my children lived in my house while I was in other places; I came back last month; fired up the stove and all went fine. After a day I went to pull out the knob that drops the ashes/clinkers into the box. It would not open. It is rusted shut and I can not get it to open. (have tried wd 40; scraping with various tools to remove rust, etc. Used a fairly large water pump pliers, but no joy.

    Thought I might remove the burn pot, but the bolts will not loosen and I fear I will snap them (I guess I could do that, drill out the remainder and try to free things up.

    Any thoughts

    Bill McKay in Massachusetts where it is getting boring waiting for things to cool completely and then bringing in the vacuum cleaner to clean it out every day.

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  2. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    Western Maine
    Bill I've got a Castile myself. I use a cheap 5/8 wood chisel. Sometimes the carbon buids up enough that the small door at the bottom of the burn pot will not slide open.
    You most likely will really need to scrape the bottom of the burnpot.
    After you do it a few times and get the hang of it, it will be mush easier.

    Bill if it really is rusted shut WD40 won't help. Try something like PB Blaster (auto parts stores Wally World) to disolve the rust. Probably would need to spray it on and leave it overnight.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Im thinking Carbon too. Get a screwdriver or chisel and bust up the hump on the bottom plate.

    Different pellets affect the build up differently.
  4. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    If you open the ash pan door, the spring-loaded mechanism is located right above the the place where the ashpan sits. Soak the whle thing in WD40 or LIquid Wrench. Tap the unit with a hammer right afterwards.(Don't pound on it!) The vibration causes the fluid to seep into tight spaces(bushings,etc.). You should be able to work the handle free after about an hour . Repeat if needed. Next summer put a container of Damp-Rid in there and the rust should be less.
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    You should be able to loosen the bolt for the pot and remove from the bottom.

    If you take the whole pot out, then your gonna need to replace gasket.

    But one other cause for concern, is the stove needs ashes vacuumed out every day? The airflow should he pretty good through the pot? I can go about 2 weeks without touching the pot on my Quad.

    Have you checked the door gasket recently? When was the last time the combustion blower was pulled and the vanes cleaned? When was the last time the venting was completely cleaned?


    Sounds like you have airflow problem also. You should be able to go more than 1 day without pulling the clean out.
  6. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I have had to pull the clean out rod every day,from day one on my castille. I have an OAK,, have burned every brand of pellet out there,and clean the pot every other day to try and keep from having to pull the rod.The problem is in the design. Most pellet stoves have holes on the bottom of the pot for the ashes to fall through. The Castille is more like a closed bottom crucible that has no place for the unburned material. I don't mind that, though, because the unit is much easier to maintain than my St. Croix or my Enviro.
  7. fatotto48

    fatotto48 Member

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    41
    Loc:
    central ct
    Check out the post I wrote last year, (castile easy clean) about putting a thin steel plate at the bottom of pot. I have not scraped pot floor in a long time,only when i forget to put plate back in after dumping ash. Sorry I can't help with rusting issue, never had that problem.
  8. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    Once you open that thing, scrape it everyday at least once a day.
  9. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you keep the 8 small holes clear at the bottom, all the ash is blown out of the pot by the very vigorous swirl of air. What's left is the charred stuff that I also use a wood chisel to clean out. Just stick it straight down and twist it.
    Why not just remove the nut for the dump gate and drop it down and out? You don't need to remove the burn pot! Fatotto's idea of a loose plate in the bottom saves a lot of time and effort if you want to go that way. When you put the dump gate back up, adjust the nut so that the gate hangs down so that a dime JUST fits in the gap opposite the pivot point. Any more than that and your airflow will be reduced in ferocity and any less and it's a beech to pull the handle.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you have to scrape more than every couple of days, change pellet brands! Twice a day???? That's just being 'stove whipped'. ;)
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I agree. A Quad should be able to go a few days, even on chit pellets. I can go a week or two without touching the stove, in the shoulders (exchanger doesn't need to be spotless then).

    If something needs done daily, then I would suspect an air leak (burn pot gasket, door gasket, etc). I even sealed up the hole that the thermocouple wire comes through (near burn pot inside firebox). Thats a big hole that lets a lot of air in, that would otherwise be brought through the pot. It may not seem like a lot, but it seemed to help in my application. For the. 04¢ in aluminum foil it took, it didn't break the bank. ;)

    3 seasons ago, I had some caking in the very back half of the pot (just the back, right above the slope). I thought it was pellets, then I changed brands. Still had a bad build up. Checked the door gasket and it didn't seem real bad, but I changed it anyways.. Problem solved. Now its just a light greyish/white looking pot.

    Quads are self cleaning with air. Lots of air and rotational vortex, help expel the ash.

    I like the plate idea. It would have to be pretty thin though. To thick and you may cover the 8 holes at the bottom and/or the ignitor slot. Only problem with my stove is there is 2 trap doors. The burn pot bottom and then one 2"-3" below that, that opens and allows the ash to go into the ash pan. The Classic Bay has a gasket on the ash pan because its open to the firebox. The burn pot sits in a receptacle and the bottom of that receptacle has to open to let the ash drop out. The one lever is attached to both doors. They open at the same time, there is always junk that never falls all the way through and it sits in the area with the ignitor. So I could see that plate getting stuck between the 2, or not dropping through, and if it did, my ash pan has latches on it, so I would be unlatching and latching a lot. :(
  12. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    If the fresh air coming into the burn pot causes this swirling vortex, where does the ash go out? It would be like a dust going back into the nozzle of an air gun while it's blowing out! ;hm
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The ash is expelled from the pot because of the airflow. I dont understand your question??

    The air is caused to swirl, because of how the holes in the side of the pot are drilled.

    There is a reason there slogan is "Nothing Burns like a Quad"! Very few stoves provide the air flow that a Quad produces :)
  14. The Ds

    The Ds Feeling the Heat

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    Our stove has instructions inside the hopper lid that say pull the cleaning rod daily or after every bag of pellets....thats what we do...I understand we could go longer if we wanted....and we probably eventually will.....but in the shoulder season like this its no problem after a cool down of the stove.....
  15. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    Try scraping off the carbon build up in bottom of fire pot first... if that fails I would try to heat the small bolt where the rod hooks to the fire pot underneath with a propane torch so you can get it removed and clean the rust off. Once it's free you can coat the entire linkage area that moves with graphite to keep it rust free... Mine was impossible to pull the rod unless I scraped the carbon first, and it works best if you pull the rod after you turn off the stove when the swing plate is still hot, the metal expands and it's easier even is theres a little carbon build up on it, it will pull open. What I did on mine was a tip someone posted here a few years ago. Take a thin round steel washer, I think its 2 inches in diameter I forgot the measurement but it just fits in the bottom of the fire pot nicely and wont interfere with the operation as it only about 3/32 of an inch thick, maybe even a 1/8 inch thick round washer would work Im not sure. But heres what it does. The steel washer sits in the bottom of the firepot, after you burn and you want to dump ashes and or klinkers, just pull the rod as usual, the washer and the ashes will drop down into the ash pan, and you can just pick out the steel washer and put it back in the fire pot. The carbon builds up on the washer surface and not the swing plate, which will allow you to freely pull that rod all the time without having to scrape your butt off. You will need to clean that steel washer occasionally as it will have carbon on it. Mine works great for the past couple of seasons. Remove it for the summer so humidity doesnt rust it to the swing plate or spray the inside of your fire pot with Pam cooking oil spray real good. This will insure that you get no rust in there. I oil mine at end of each season...
  16. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    **Quads are self cleaning with air. Lots of air and rotational vortex, help expel the ash. **

    You say the ash gets expelled. The holes in the pot that create the "vortex" don't suck the ash back out ,so where does the ash go? It seems to fall back into the pot from the space just above the pellet chute. Also, the pellets that are not completely burned stay at the bottom of the pot, too heavy to be ejected by any air flow.
  17. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    on the sides of the pot
    DexterDay likes this.
  18. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    All the ash gets expelled. Just as i said. It gets blown from the pot...? And there should never be any pellets at the bottom of the pot. They should fully burn to ash and once again, be expelled.

    If your stove has a build up of ash, or worse yet, a pellet pile up, and/or unburned pellets? Then it sounds as if your stove is dirty (airflow problem), you have an air leak (gaskets/also an airflow issue), or your venting is plugged (airflow again).

    Sounds as if you have a plug, or a bypass (bad gasket). Because every Quad i have seen burns clean :)

    This video has no sound. But it has the cleanest glass and at 1:22 in it shows why Quads burn so clean. The air also added with dropping pellets to throw it into the air stream to be ejected.

    Is your flame as active as mine? If not, I say an airflow issue of sorts?

  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep... Where its supposed to go. Outside. Not inside.
  20. Stevekng

    Stevekng Feeling the Heat

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    My Castille has burned like that from day one(new in 2008). I have an OAK, plenty of draft,runs on a thermostat, and has performed like this on just about every pellet out there. So what's left? I do notice that it takes about 10 minutes for the unit to come up to temperature and the fan to come on. I was told in a previous thread this was normal.

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