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Quadrafire Santa Fe sticky trap door

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Geezer, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Geezer

    Geezer New Member

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    Hi, I wound up spending some money and bought a Quadrafire. Overall I'm happy with it, the problem is opening the trap door in the burnpot. Now I did my research, I scrape the heck out of it, I put on a light coat of pam, even bought a mechanics sticker scraper.This stove is only a couple months old, is there something I'm missing? And thanks!:rolleyes:

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  2. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    If the pellets are not very high quality with a low to medium burn I have had buildup issues. I have also had issues with the burn pot not getting dumped often enough when I am not around to do it which contributes. If I dump it daily I have no issues but if it runs till it runs out of pellets and then gets restarted and the process continues it will lock it up. I also open it and close it 4-5 times which helps keep any build up shaved off and decreased the amount of clearance between the plate and the pot. Someone made some metal plates that sit on top of the dump so when they dumped the ashes the plate would fall also and any buildup would stick to the plate. They would add a clean one and fire it back up and it works well for burning junk pellets.

    So many variables can contribute to this but it is usually not hard to find a solution to prevent it. A dirty stove or venting configuration could contribute also to one being more prone to buildup.
  3. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like buildup on the bottom of your pot. Put your head in and see where it is sticking, I suspect you will see some black crud on the trap door right where it starts to get sticky.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep...

    Scrape the bottom. Keep it clean and it will be easier ;)
  5. vakory

    vakory New Member

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    Richmond, VA
    I can concur with a sticky trap door as well, Geezer. As soon as I cleaned the bottom of the pot, the cleaning rod became much easier for me to work in and out.
  6. Geezer

    Geezer New Member

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    Loc:
    Marlboro NY
    Thanks guys, seems like it's scrape the heck out of it. But so you know, I clean and scrape every day, for the first month I had no problem at all.Now the rod is really hard to pull out, and has to be tapped back in, even after scraping. Quadrafire might want to suggest a solvent for this problem. I spend more time getting the plate free than the rest of the maintenance combined.
  7. vakory

    vakory New Member

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    Yeah, ironically enough, Geezer, I just spent about 20 minutes working with the door on my burn pot. I had to get up to deal with a server issue anyway (I work in IT remotely out of the house which is one of the big reasons why we bought the insert; so I can stay warm in the basement!). Insomnia set in so I figured I might as well try to get the door loose. Sure enough, once I got the built-up carbon away from it using a small putty knife, the door opened freely. While I was at it, I figured I should clean out the ash too. I'll probably check the pot out every few days to make sure it stays that way. But I'm learning!

    If you're still having a hard time, it might be an idea to unplug the stove, take a flashlight to the pot and stick your head in (seriously! although I don't recommend if it's still hot!) as you'll probably see a bit of carbon build-up which may pinpoint the stickiness. Work at it a bit with, perhaps, the pot tool that came with the stove and it'll free up, allowing you to work with the rod. Trust me; it worked for me. For you, since you work at it every day, it might be an issue of carbon sticking somewhere you can't see, of course. Might it possibly be an issue with the type of pellet you're using? I'm finding the Turmans I use burn very fine which may be causing the build-up for me. Granted, I've been running my stove a lot for the "newness" of it.

    Hope this helps some!
  8. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I use a 1/4 chisel the buildup varies depending on the pellet. Some pellets I get no buildup, some I have to scrap more often. When I do have buildup I have to put my head in and look where its at most the time it does not take much to create a hard pulling lever.
  9. Geezer

    Geezer New Member

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    My guess is that it's a combination of factors, poor pellets being one of them. The pam is helping some, I use it sparingly. Countryboy suggested something I'm going to try.Heavy steel plates that dump when you pull the rod. I don't see how that couldn't work. Just have to figure what plate thickness would be best.
  10. vakory

    vakory New Member

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    Sounds like a plan. If I recall, there are four small air holes close to the bottom of the pot (not the larger holes on the sides). The steel plate should be okay so long as it isn't so thick that it could block those holes. My stove's running now so I can't confirm but I'm pretty sure I saw those four holes. If it works, let us know how it goes!

    Something else I'm going to try is to follow others' advice about running the stove on "medium" during the day and on "high" at night when I drop the t-stat temp a bit. From what I recall, running on "high" works well for reducing carbon deposits and, ultimately, build-up on the bottom of the pot and in the heat exchange tubes. Of course, anyone's more than welcome to correct me if I read that incorrectly. :)
  11. wwert

    wwert Feeling the Heat

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    There is a nut on the spring loaded mechanism under the burn pot. Loosen it slightly.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    There are 4 small holes on the front bottom and back bottom. For a total of 8 holes level with the pot. 9 if you count the igjitor hole ;)

    These are in addition to the holes in the "Ramp" and on the sides.
  13. vakory

    vakory New Member

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    Ah, ha, thank you, DexterDay! My head wasn't big enough (contrary to popular belief) to see the rest of the holes. I appreciate the correction! :)
  14. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Salem NH
    Hello
    If you spend a little more money and get a Selkirk DT pellet vent system that heats and dries out the burn air, then you will not get that caked ash in the burn pot.

    Attached Files:

  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Don, Carbon and caked ash are 2 different things. If you get caked ash in a Quad, you have an air leak. Ash should be expelled. At least mine expells all ash.

    Carbon wont be stopped by using DT. IMO.

    There have been members who made a plate, the same size as the bottom floor plate (cant be to thick 1/8"-3/16" max) and you just set it in the bottom. When you pull the rod, the top plate drops into the ash pan and can be easily scraped outside, then drop back into pot and do again in a few days/week.

    This keeps the actual pot floor untouched from carbon all together. Cheap,simple, and easy to clean.
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I agree that carbon and caked ash are very different. I do get a little caked ash in the Sante Fe's fire pot in the shed that did stop it from starting once. No Oak on it either. Therefore the garage Santa Fe is getting the Selkirk DT and I will see if there much difference. You do get more carbon if there is not enough dry burn air though. IMO
  17. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    I am going to make a few door plates before next season for my stove. I got a good deal on pellets for next year that tend to carbon up the bottom plate but for 145 a ton I am gonna deal with it. I will have to search but I think just putting a fender washer in there gave the crud something to stick to but it was not quite as effective as the thin plate that covers the exposed area of the trap door.
  18. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Try some High Temp Dry Moly Spray. I use that on the fire brick backing sometimes. Nice smooth stuff!
  19. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Those little holes on the slanted portion of the burnpot are CRITICAL to a good burn as are the four other ones on the front side of the pot at the bottom. They should be cleaned with a gun bore brush EVERY time you scrape the bottom. It only takes a second.
    Also get yourself a cheap 1" wood chisel, stick it straight down into the crud on the bottom and rotate it to break up the buildup. Do that several times plus some scraping and you should be good to go. Finally as mentioned above, loosen up slightly on the nut holding the pivot bolt allowing the dump plate to droop NO MORE than the thickness of a dime on the side opposite the bolt. In this case, less droop is better as long as you can move the dump valve back and forth.

    If you go too thin on that removable plate, it may warp up and block those 8 holes so check that while playing. Let us know what gauge you ended up using, since I've been toying with the idea since I first read it last year but never got around to doing it.
  20. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    This is the last yr with the Quad and I am gonna finally make a plate tonight. I have some. 040-.050 material thats pretty hard (1055) and should hold up well.

    Im gonna leave about 1/4" gap around the entire bottom so I dont interfere with the bottom 8 holes. May even make a little notch up front where the ignitor is.

    If it needs a thicker plate, I would make it almost a Tight fit and then grind or make cut outs at the 8 holes and ignitor. So it still breathes well

    Been toying with the idea of keeping the Quad. I sold my CPM I had in my Shop. I never hooked the old Englander 25-PDV back up, so I may put the Quad out there. I may have to actually run it on Med or High then :) Seeing how I only use Low now ;lol I was gonna sell it, but after 5 seasons and all the spare parts i have? Its part of the family now
  21. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    The shop is a real good place for the Quad. With the T-Stat it will not get too hot!

    I will be firing up the 2nd Sante Fe in my garage. I am glad it works so well with the T-Stat. If I go out and forget, the garage will not get too hot.

    Also trying it with the Selkirk DT, then if I do not get as much caked ash, It will be all set.
    I talked to a National Sales manger about pellet stoves. She said the Selkirk DT really sells here in the NE due to all the damp weather we have. It makes sense because not everyone is seeing this dampness problem we do here!
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    That's a great idea with the notches! You could even take a file to them and bevel them so they would direct the air up and/or in a swirling pattern! I have a lot of 18 and 24 gauge steel and also some thicker aluminum. I have the pattern I made two years ago still hanging in my shop!!! :p I might opt for the aluminum and your idea of the slots.
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    That's the exact idea I had in mind, with the slots...

    I made one, but made it about 1/8" shy from all edges. This gives plenty of room for air and I didnt want to make 3 of them tonight. :)

    I am going to try it out tomorrow, as i dont want to test right before bed. And because of the Mild weather, I will be using the Quad tonight. But its done and ready for tomorrow when I get home from work

    I finally cleaned the exchange tubes. I haven't had the top baffle plates off, in almost 2 months, or maybe longer. Over a 1/2" of ash on them!!! Definitely gonna be warmer tonight :) My ash is almost level with the pot, ash pan is about 8" over full... Its a Quad. They just burn.... and burn....... and burn....

    Nothing burns like a Quad :)
    2013-03-18_20-24-01_722.jpg 2013-03-18_20-12-28_867.jpg
  24. vakory

    vakory New Member

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    Thanks much for posting the pics, DexterDay! I'll have to see about picking up some of the material you suggested and cutting some too. My wife tried to clean the pot last night and she just couldn't budge the lever (and I've been religiously cleaning it daily but running it hard too). Doe the big box stores sell that type of metal? I have a Dremel I could practice on. :)
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you don't have the metal, an old aluminum pot might 'volunteer' for the job or an old metal tool box. You'd be surprised what might be looking for a new life. I have a big aluminum chassis from some long-forgotten ancient piece of electronics up in the attic calling me now! Aluminum melts at about 1200 F so I think it should be OK. If not, scrape the slag and start again. :eek: Brass or copper could also work and are easier to fashion than steel AND melt at even higher temps.

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