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Really bad/annoying problem with my pellet stove. Please help?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by eyeaml337, Dec 28, 2008.

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  1. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Hi everyone. Hoping for some help.

    This is my stove:
    http://www.englanderstoves.com/55-shp240.html

    The basic explanation of what is happening in my stove is that every time i turn it on even if i set the heat range very low the pellets will pile up in my burn pot all the way to where they drop down and in. this basically results in no heat and worry from me that something is seriously wrong with my stove.

    I will try and snap a picture in case someone needs to visually see what is going on.

    It usually takes an hour to build up. The pellets that are in the pot just dont burn off like they should I guess.

    I have never had this problem until 2-3 weeks ago.

    The stove is brand new. I ran about 30 bags through with no problem earlier in the season but i wasnt leaving it on for more than 4-8 hours at a time. now I leave it on for the same or longer and end up with this problem.

    I have called the Englander tech support which is a giant pain in the ass so far to deal with and the best solution they have some up with is sending me some “magical parts” that “almost guaranteed will fix the problem”

    I have cleaned the chimney and the entire interior of the stove in every way you can imagine. I have searched and done pretty much all the standard suggestions that people have posted here and other places. Followed the stickys etc. No luck ...

    Oh and I burn NewEngland Wood Pellets. I was told they are the best I can get. http://www.pelletheat.com/

    if anyone can help that would be awesome!

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  2. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    Have you tried a bag or two of another brand of pellets, just to rule out that the pellets are not your problem. Maybe you have a few bad bags in your batch.
  3. lpgreg

    lpgreg Member

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    A couple things come to mind, A faulty control board, or open up the draft to burn faster.
  4. pelletizer

    pelletizer Minister of Fire

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    Does the stove have a low fuel feed rate ajustment and low burn air adjusment?
    Sounds like to much fuel is being dumped in and maybe not enough air to complete the burn?
  5. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    i have tried many different brands just to make sure im not crazy on this. normally i can figure this kind of thing out but this has me stumped like you wouldnt believe. NEWP are really the best too. I know people that stock them exclusively as well as owners that burn nothing but them. but just to make sure i tried some british stuff some agway stuff and wally world bags lol as well as a few others i have come across - pretty much anything i never tried before. each bag same problem :(
  6. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    wish i could - there is no manual draft and Englander hasnt told me if there is a way to increase via the board or not. i know there is only burn "mode A" and cant change it
  7. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    yes it does have the adjustment available - it is at its lowest setting. every control goes 1-9

    factory "standard" changed at some point but i have no idea when.

    user to be

    low burn feed - 1
    low burn air - 5
    air on temp - 1

    now it is 1-9-1

    That is what I have it set to burn at now. I also made sure my fresh air feed wasnt clogged by anything. I even put in a new pipe for it.
  8. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    unfortunately my faith in Englander is lacking. This is the second stove that we have had. The first one after 3 weeks of phone tag and calls etc they finally replaced the entire unit.

    as for pellets - i have tried several different brands all with the same results - some actually built up faster. others a little slower.

    I store 2 full tons of pellets inside my house about 10 feet away from the stove. i also have a dehumidifier going next to them :) they should be dry.

    Pictures will be incoming.
  9. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    one last thing.

    as of 2pm EST i decided to disassemble my entire chimney from the stove and blow out with my compressor. i did find a chunk of cake probably about 4" long but only 1/4" high so not a clog ... i must have somehow missed it when i cleaned earlier. it was nasty cake so ...

    i used a flashlight to visually inspect every piece of pipe - no major or even minor build up but i cleaned the heck out of it just in case one by one. so DEFINITELY a clean chimney. also blew out the fans and the cold air intake on the stove while i had the compressor up and running.

    clean clean clean!!!

    I then took a shop vac to the interior. there was maybe 2 specs of dust when i was done.

    I am now firing up and will take some pictures - gives me an excuse to use my new Rebel XSI *woot*
  10. pelletizer

    pelletizer Minister of Fire

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    Maybe Mike will catch your thread and help out sounds like you have gone above and beyond to fix the problem.
    1-5-1 does not sound right to me shoule be more like 5-5-1 but that would make you bump even more pellets in the burn pot correct?
  11. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    yes 1 is the lowest and what my feed rate and air on temp is at the moment.


    also forgot to mention what they were sending me. He said something about a burn pot gasket and another thing for the pot its a new plate "with like little weird wings" that will supposedly help somehow ... They had me reset the control board as well.
  12. heathracing

    heathracing New Member

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    i have the same type problem but my stove is 6 yrs old and been burning that way for a long time. im tired of it. yor 1-9-1 settings should only affect you burn on 1 and 2 heat settings not 3-6 from what ive read. also i would check your door and glass seals the gasket on the hinge side likes to push over and not seal on my pdv 25 and i could move the glass around so i put some spacers behind the clamps to seal the glass
    hope this helps. did you check and see if the impeller came loose on the combustion blower it is only held on with a set screw
  13. Lobstah

    Lobstah New Member

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    Definitely sounds like an "air to the fire" problem. Blower, OAK clog...or bad seals/gaskets on the door...can you tighten?...check ash pan, etc?

    Jim
  14. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    triple checked the glass and gasket just now - seems fine no looseness at all.

    took a look at the fan and it is tight as well.

    I'm betting at this point that I may need to think about a new stove. Unfortunately - it was bought from Lowe's and I highly doubt that they will return it. One of the suggestions that came after last seasons 3 weeks of hell with tech support was to DOWNGRADE to a smaller stove. It didn't make any logical sense to us so we opted to not do that. the whole reason for buying this stove was the 240# hopper and the boasting that you can run it for long periods without having to really worry about it etc.

    I based my whole purchase on a few friends who have finished basements and heat entire houses (one smaller and three bigger than mine) with their stoves. One has the http://www.englanderstoves.com/55-shp22.html which seems to be the same basic idea as mine but more attractive and pretty for aesthetic value i guess. I know that the pellet stove is supposed to only be "supplemental" heating but ... I don't know anyone who owns one that supplements with it. I know about 30 some odd people with pellet stoves and have helped install probably 15 of those. Their smaller stoves seem to keep their houses at a very warm and cozy temp even in extreme cold. I know circumstances cary house to house and let me just quickly say - my house is average size comparison wise. i have better insulation (all new windows etc) and the airflow in the house is amazing. problem is the damn stove. i only know one person who bought the same model i have and they have not had these problems. i guess my bad luck maybe. but its very aggravating as you can see...

    Anyhow, i got the stove, framed out the area that i keep it in properly insulated fireboard etc etc etc and last season we went through hell with Englander. It would barely heat the small 10x10 area it was in let alone my home. They agreed to replace it saying it must be defective. We got a replacement in AUGUST. Well ... no way to test in August ... I voiced this major concern back then. They assured me there would be no problems yada yada yada ... well now its the second stove and its winter and we are having issues AGAIN. We are getting cold and miserable lol

    So now the drama begins with stove #2 it seems. Meanwhile we are using the baseboard heaters but those are costly as heck. 1500w and we only have two hydronic. They are expensive to replace the old style ones with the new hydronics.

    This is the basic overview ...
  15. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    checked all of that too. including the ash pan.

    also tried running with and without the OAK and still same issues.

    I have yet to find a standout problem with the stove. It is REALLY REALLY not a typical problem is what I have boiled down to.
  16. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    still no luck :(

    still no parts from Englander ... its been over a week now. i know the holidays and all but this is costing me a LOT of money
  17. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    just received:

    "PU-ADPBUF - AIR DEFLECTOR PLATE (BENT) FOR PUF STOVE"
    "PU-BPCG BURN POT CRADLE GASKET FOR PUF FITS BETWEEN BURN POT"

    No instructions on how to actually INSTALL these items - and have been getting a busy signal since 5pm. I believe they close at 6pm for tech support ... how effing wonderful
  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    in the lower corners of the front of the stove there are 2 plates you lift out , also there are 2 more little panels which each have a screw holding them in place. these should be pulled usually about once per ton of fuel and the areas behind them vacuumed out, while these plates are removed , tap on the firewall to help shake any ash down which may be clinging to the baffling in this chamber as welll, this should allow the accumulated ash to be removed down at the bottom through the openings the screwed on plates cover.
  19. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Did that too :-D

    I have the L-shaped ones and i took a blower and a shop vac to the stove as well. I did get a decent amount of crud when i tapped on the firewall - maybe 2 cups worth. Also cleaned the holes above the top of that metal flappy part

    i actually just got off the phone with tech support and after speaking with him he said he has had a few scattered calls about the same issue i am having but usually it is an adjustment of some kind and its fixed. he said he notated my account with a recommendation for replacement if the problem persists after the test run with the gasket and bent plate thingy.

    the fire does look much stronger right now. i will keep the fingers crossed and hope for the best.

    i am running at HR 5 and BS 5 for 2 hours and see if it does it. If not I will crank to 7&7;wait 2 hours see what happens and if successful up to 9&9;. If not I guess it's time to look for a new stove :-/
  20. PunKid8888

    PunKid8888 New Member

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    Mike will set you straight
  21. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    it took a little longer to build it back up to the problem levels (~30 minutes longer) but it eventually did it. So I guess ... new stove per their recommendation. now the problem is ... what stove ... do i take the same one (stove #3) or get a different one and eat the cost difference!?

    Ive paid Lowe's delivery TWICE already and was given a hard time about delivery into my basement even though it is easy access and only 4 steps down via a rather large bulhead. So I can only imagine that in the dead of winter a replacement wont be easy and probably not free ... which will make things worse for me ... meanwhile ... no heat from the stove ... i am kind of at my wits end and really beyond pissed at this point.
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    eyeaml337,

    Could you tell us about your exhaust system?

    Does the owners manual have a set of timings for the feed system?

    Lastly, have you verified that your air path is sealed?
  23. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Sure thing. My pipe/chimney is set up that basically right out of the stove is my T and then that shoots upward. i then have a 90 degree elbow that goes 2' into the thimble and through the wall (i believe this is another 2' or so) once outside i had to go up off the ground so i finished it off with another 90 degree and a straight shot up and then the standard kit cap out there. (i can illustrate this if needed via my awesome MSPaint skills lol) i was considering potentially getting another T with a cleanout for the outside pipe but was told that it woudlnt be needed and also upon visual inspection there was no debris or clog at that 90 degree upward elbow there.

    The fresh air is set up a good 6' away from the exhaust and isnt clogged

    I have gone piece by piece and quadruple checked everything for air flow out of the pipe. nothing leaks that i can see, feel, or detect. Everything seems ok ... obvioulsy not but whatever is wrong with this thing - i am absolutely AMAZED
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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  25. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Yes it's all 3" but I don't think I over did it since it was the kit they sell :)
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