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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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    So my pipe isnt all that long now. I have the T and one 90 and 6' vert pipe and then 3' horizontal and the cap on the end. Is that still too much?

    The stove has one auger. from the bin to a chute that gravity drops into the burn pot. the best way i can describe this is that the pellets just pile up and like ... half burn ... and then fill the entire pot overflowing both on and half on fire into the sides of the stove etc.

    the OAK has a deflector plate for protection.

    I had my girl shut it off and clean it earlier and now i am running a second test with the new pipe length as well as the gasket and plate in there. So I am going to call Englander in the meantime and update them a bit and see what they say and if they have any other ideas etc.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    6" vert = 3 plus
    2 90degree turns (T and one 90 degree elbow) = 10 plus
    3' horiz = 3

    Totaling 16 which is exactly one more than the recommended for 3" pipe.

    Also did you see in the instructions that for a basement install you should be using 3" pipe for the OAK and not the flexible tubing?

    About that deflector plate and such there is no screen over the OAK opening and that deflector plate leaves ton of room for air flow?

    You have a top feed system (I downloaded and read the manual for your stove while I was waiting) , they really can be finicky about pellet quality.
  3. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Si I just took a really nice picture lol. http://flickr.com/photos/eyeaml337/3154754010/sizes/l/

    That is after ~1-1.5hrs of burning.

    Actually on the phone with Mike and another guy from Englander right now. Showed them the picture and i think (for lack of a better term) Bricks were sh@t.

    Is there a guide somewhere on the calculations and all that? Would being over by 1 cause this problem really?

    As for the OAK - I rigged it with PVC pipe instead of flexible pipe - no leaks all sealed - no clogs. lots of air. My OAK has a screen and a metal plate that fastened to teh outside the kind of bends outward to prevent things from getting sucked onto it i would imagine. kind of a 45 degree bend and then there is a screen on the hole. I did also try running the stove without the OAK hookup because my basement is large and has plenty of air etc even tried with windows open to get more airflow and then added a fan into the equation as well. lol
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well I have no doubt seeing that picture that you have an air flow issue. Something is constricted (plugged, blocked) or not exactly working correctly.

    The combustion fan is what starts the air draw, however any leak between the combustion fan and the OAK is not going to help and any major resistance in the exhaust won't help, likewise in the OAK.

    I'll bet they were wondering what's up.

    The control board might not be setting the correct voltage for the combustion fan or the combustion fan is bad. I have no way of telling as I don't have the voltage information and haven't access to your stove to see what my multimeter would say.

    I'd try snaking through from the air intake to the fire pot, maybe a mouse, squirrel, or other critter crawled in and got stuck.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't expect being over by one would cause that much of an issue.

    I posted a reference link to one of many posts providing the numbers. I didn't go locate the post that had a link to the tables etc.

    You aren't burning industrial or standard grade pellets I hope as your stove can't handle them.

    I didn't see any timing information for the feed system so it is hard to determine if the stove is overfeeding or not.

    Did the other stove act exactly the same way?
  6. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    LOL!!! Nice. At least we know what the problem is. Now its just a where/with what. I will snake the OAK from the back of the stove to the pot like you were suggesting and see what happens. I have a multimeter but no idea what to check with it.

    In other news the team of Brandon and Mike at Englander are offering me a new stove of my choice. Suggesting the http://www.englanderstoves.com/55-shp22.html

    they only make 3 stoves so ... here are all of them. I obviously have the 240. Sacrificing a large hopper for a working stove is something i will live with. or should i take a 1:1 swap on the 240?

    http://www.englanderstoves.com/sh_pellet_stoves.html

    The problem at the moment that Brandon is trying to work out is that if they exchange it they dont know how they will get it delivered to my house. normally they use a freight company and the owner (me you etc) has to take their old one out to the company and then pick up the new one. I don't have the equiptment or man power to do that at all so ... they are trying to make it happen. There are a lot of Englander authorized dealers around here. Maybe one of them will do it up for us i hope i hope i hope.
  7. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    i kept looking for the tables and i read the post that mentions things but i wanted to try and find a table just because im a visual kind of learner with some things i guess hahaha.

    so the other stove didnt have this problem at all. the problem with the other stove was that it would be burning away but no heat would come out of it and no matter what Englander tried to do they couldnt get it to blow heat. eventually deemed defective and swapped for this one and well ... yea.

    probably worth noting that the other one did have the extra pipe and the 90 hooked up.

    As for pellets - New England Wood Pellets are (from what i see and hear) the most premium that money can buy. I have also tried other brands to make sure its not a bad bag or me just imagining things etc.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If they provided the voltage information for the combustion fan you could verify that the control board was sending the proper voltage to the fan. If the voltage was supposed to be x and you measure y then you know the control system has issues. If the voltage is correct then it gets narrowed to the air handling system. You could then verify all of the heat settings. Likewise if they provided feed timing information you could verify the auger operation.

    At least I have feed timing information in my manual. Other than that it is relatively skimpy on real information.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I'd go for a 1:1 replacement maybe they'll get it right this time.
  10. NEStoveOwner

    NEStoveOwner Member

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    I have two questions. Does this unit have two auger motors?

    If it does can you confirm upper auger works properly. My situation on my Englander 25PI is slightly similar.

    My flame will die and i will later have a full pot of unburned pellets. Its a little different than yours because i can see hot coals.

    My upper auger motor will quit when the stove gets hots ~2-3 hours depending on the heat setting i use. The upper auger stops working and flame dies, stove keeps running to go through its cool down sequence before shut down. If the auger motor has enough time to cool it will resume working and start feeding pellets to lower auger and than the burn pot is overflowing. Not trying to thread hijack , i ve have done the full dedug and know exactly my issue. At first i chased feed rates and etc. I know my problem for sure is a motor http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/32191/

    I just thought i would throw out that my bad motor had me looking at other things and would have never guessed a motor issue.

    Good luck with your Englander.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    NEStoveOwner,

    His stove has only one auger and it is a top feed system.

    If Englander published a bit more information in their manual eyeaml337 could actually debug the stove as he has a multimeter.

    Things like auger timing information and blower voltages for each setting would have gone a long way towards eliminating properly working parts.

    I started fighting overflowing burn pot issues on about day two of my burning season. It was a lot of little things dealing strictly with airflow through the burn pot and the fact that I'm burning what amounts to standard grade pellets.

    As for thread hijacking, heck not an issue at all as you haven't, the more eyes the better.
  12. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    Brandon called as promised - i wasnt here so i got a VM - he spoke to his boss and they think they have something worked out for me - they seem to think that the http://www.englanderstoves.com/55-shp22.html would be better. it is a completely different system. Does anyone have any input on these? Are they really better? I know they cost slightly more in the store right now than the other models but i dont know if that is a quality thing or an aesthetics thing. they are "prettier" stoves than my big box with no gold trim etc.

    Also as i feared - they are "unsure" that the pickup/delivery can be done. I don't know how or why I am expected to handle an exchange. the involvement on my end is WAY more than I can handle. I would have to disconnect my stove, carry it up and out of the basement through the bulkhead, transport it to the location, pick up a new stove, and then carry it down into my basement through the bulkhead and then install it. I have friends and all but none of us have large equiptment to transport a giant pellet stove in nor do we have insurance that will cover us if we get hurt doing this. Also, major concern with what happens if we drop the damn thing or something worse. This is really crappy. I hate to seem non-appreciative because I am but on the other hand this isnt a good way of Englander doing business. To make an end user responsible for all the stuff that they paid for to begin with when replacing what they seem to believe is a (second!) defective stove, is a bit ridiculous.

    Ideas?
  13. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    depends on the heat setting, is it the higher ones or the lower ones, it is possible that it could an over temp limit, the top auger would stop if the high limit is reached by the stove, then start the top motor again if the unit cools below that threshold. if the motor itself stops due to overheating , it would still be receiving voltage when it was supposed to run , if the motor had stopped due to it overheating then the continued voltage would cause it to stay that hot or even get hotter as the lack of motion would not disperse energy which would have to be dispersed as heat. trust me dude, it aint the motor in that case
  14. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    So it looks like i have to try to convince them that they need to deliver the new stove and not have me pick it up. everyone seems to think that this is what they should do but i am going to have to speak to some uber high up person to basically tell them all the reasons WHY they should deliver the stove to my house rather than making me and a few friends transport these stoves back and forth.

    also the stove that they want to replace like i was saying is the 25-PDV - are there any owners out there that can tell me the pros and cons of this stove if any? I just want to make sure i know what i am getting into if i take that one over a 240. i guess the factory settings are MUCH different on it which sounds rather nice. the defaults for the 240 are 1-9-1 where as the 25-PDV is like 5-6-5 or something like that so i would have much more control over the flame.

    any suggestions on this whole thing? especially the getting them do deliver it part?
  15. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    http://www.nevelsstoves.com/articles/Venting-your-pellet-stove.htm

    Try this web site.

    Pellet stoves have to push the exhaust air through the vent pipe with the stove's exhaust fan. With less restriction your pellet stove will breathe easier and burn more efficiently. First let's clarify the word restriction. Restrictions come from several different items.

    45 degree elbows
    90 degree elbows
    Horizontal distance
    Vertical distance
    Elevation where you live.

    A rule of thumb equation we are using has been adopted by most pellet manufactures. The equation is called the sum of Equivalent Vent Length (EVL). All of the above mentioned venting restrictions have been assigned EVL values as follows:

    Each 45 degree elbow = 3 EVL
    Each 90 degree elbow and Tees with cleanout = 5 EVL
    Each foot of horizontal run = 1 EVL
    Each foot of Vertical run = 0.5 EVL
    Elevations above 3000 ft with an EVL of 7 must adapt to 4 inch vent pipe.

    If your installation is below 3000ft, we would need to do some math. The rule of thumb equations is that if the sum of the EVL is 15 or greater, then the pellet vent pipe would be increased to 4 inch diameter pellet vent pipe.
  16. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    my EVL appears to be 15.5 now that i have taken better measurements and trimmed off the excess pipe last week. I realize i am .5 over. I dont think that being .5 over would really cause this kind of issue do you guys?
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I don't really know if being that close to the border line would cause this issue, like a lot of things it would depend upon how clean the air path is and whether there are other unknown restrictions.

    That is the reason I asked about screening and such on your OAK.

    I had to remove the original screen system. I started by drilling additional holes in it. That helped then I cut sections out of it that helped more so it got reamed out really well. Just have to remember to make certain it gets taken care of in the spring.

    When the service guy came to modify my burn pot he also came with a different cap arrangement for my OAK, which he installed and said if I found that it needs to be removed to remove it.

    It turns out that my evl is exactly 15 and I still have issues although things are far better than they started out as and I'm trying to push more ash than the average woodland critter.

    I was expecting your trial after removing that 90 degree elbow etc... to have produced a change measured in hours.
  18. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    would it be pointless to get maybe a T and then hook up two OAK units to it? or maybe take some pvc and extend outward from the house - rig something up and drill a bunch of holes for airflow into it so that it would take in as much air as it needed?
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I don't know.

    Like I said it would help to have more detailed information about the output voltages and such for the system. We are assuming that the combustion blower actually is ramping up when the heat level gets changed. For all we know it might be slowing down. In any event it amounts to an airflow problem which as someone on here will tell you puts it on the same level as the cause of 80% of pellet stove issues soot plugged pipes.
  20. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    yea. i mean it looks like this stove is the problem and not anything else. at least that is what i think and now Englander thinks. I went through a discussion with them about the OAK and the pipe calculations etc and they said everything sounded ideal. now they want to replace it but well ... yea take a look at the posts about that ... im waiting to talk to the head honcho i guess lol
  21. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Actually mine adds up to 17 and my stove runs fine.
  22. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    That does not look right at all. Really lazy looking flame and it looks like the inside of your stove is all sooted up.
  23. eyeaml337

    eyeaml337 Member

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    the inside isnt that bad. i actually clean it on a more than regular basis. kind of giving up lately and not even running the stove. i have a shop vac with a stiff brush i clean it out with and 20 minutes later the thing is spotless. then i burn, wait a little while and that pileup and flame happens. more than 9 out of 10 times. every so often it takes about ~3 hours or more to pile up instead of ~1 but it ALWAYS piles up ...
  24. sydney1963

    sydney1963 New Member

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    Sorry to hear about the probs you're having, hope you can get it fixed.
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    sydney,

    I have a drop feed system and when the ash level (with or without clinkers) in the burn pot gets high my flame goes lazy and the stove soots up fast. His stove is just getting to that point faster a lot faster.

    Part of what has helped my stove in addition to removing the OAK screen was the modification that was provided for the burn pot. However the stove still doesn't evacuate the ash as well as it could. That is to say my pellets don't shuffle all that well Times between pot dumping etc ... vary widely depending on pellet ash content.
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