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Santa Fe Stove cleaning tips....

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by geek, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    Stove used for this past season only, moderate use, basement location so I used to fire it up as needed.
    Cleaned pipe with vacuum (leaf blower trick) but could only sweep with a brush in the 3-foot horizontal pipe section coming outside (could not push brush through the 90 degree elbow).

    Had difficultly removing the cap on the tee in the back of the stove so I could feed the brush upwards and sweep the vertical section too so just left that alone.

    I REALLY caulked the pipe adapter to the stove very well due to leaks, so removing the t-pipe may be tough or impossible for me (if this is needed).....maybe pay a $99 fee to have someone else do this.....hmmm

    What other components (I know how to clean in the back of the baffle plate near the pot) i need to clean in the stove and how difficult on this model. Side panels slide open so that's a plus....

    ..

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  2. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    What is the leaf blower trick ??
  3. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    Last evening I cleaned my vent pipe with a product called LintEater that I had read about on this board and is available at Lowes.
    It comes with 4 flexible rods that screw together to reach further along the pipe and you use your drill to spin it. I mention this as when I first tried to push the brush in past the elbow (coming from the outside direction) it would not go.
    I realized that I needed to have the flexible rod spinning in the drill and then the brush very easily spun right around and beyond the 90 deg elbow.
    So even if you don't have the same product maybe you could try getting your brush to spin with drill.

    This product worked great. My only problem is that on my Quadrafire Castile which has a clean-out "T" at the rear of the stove. I am only able to clean from the clean-out "T" up and out, but from the inside of the stove to the clean-out "T" (only about a foot in length) it appears that I need to remove the combustion blower and replace the combustion blower gasket in the process.
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    A method of cleaning the internal "hidden" areas of a pellet stove using a leaf blower that has the vacuum option. It's connected to the outside pipe of the exhaust pipe. It should be done AFTER all the rest of the normal cleaning is done. Some people leave the stove door open, others open & close the door while the leaf blower is running to build up suction. If you have a steel stove, you can tap on the steel back wall of the firebox too to dislodge ash/crud while the blower is running too.

    Here's a good thread w/ pics & videos of members using one.

    www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/45940/P0/

    As mentioned above, the LintEater is great for cleaning the exhaust pipe too. I have one and can attest to it working VERY well.
  5. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    Thanx my outside pipe is pretty small. The two elbows I do have come off and then I just stick my shop vac up in there and let it go to town.

    But after all this intense cleaning would you guys recommend still a professional cleaning after I clean it thouroughly ??
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Geek, you really need to get that cap off the T...It will fill up with ash and block off the pipe eventually. Try using a strap wrench.

    When you do finally get it off, go to the auto parts store and buy some "anti-seize" (also called "never-seize") compound and smear a thin coat around the cap before re-installing it. It will seal better, and will come off much easier next time.
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If you feel that you've done a good job getting everything clean (firebox, baffles, exhaust blower, pipe, etc), then having a "pro" come in shouldn't be needed. If it was me, I'd wait for next fall and see how the stove burns....if it's the same as when it was new, you did a good job, and the "pro" won't be needed.
  8. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    Thanx...
  9. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    I also had a hard time removing my clean-out on the "T", what I found useful was a piece of that rubbery perforated shelf liner that is sometimes sold a cheap jar openers.
    What I liked about it was it allowed you some tactical feel when the clean-out cover moved even a little.
  10. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    I agree with imacman, you need to get that cap off to clean efficiently. Don't give up ;-)
  11. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    thanks for the tip mac....let me get that going today....
  12. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    finally got the cap off yesterday, used a wrench and wiggled it back and forth. Not much ash accumulation at all let me tell you.....good sign?

    I need to go to the auto parts and get the anti-seize stuff you recommended, is it like a grease stuff or what is it exactly?
    I assume there's no need for any silicone with this, I didn't put any silicone there anyways when installed a few months ago, will maybe put some foil tape right around the seam to seal it tightly just in case.
    Cleaned inside and did the leaf blower trick and cleaned the whole pipe section, both horizontal from outside and then vertical from within the cap opening in the tee in the back of the stove.
    Through the cap opening I could not push the brush back into the stove, hopefully that area should be clean around the exhaust blower ??

    Cleaned all inside the pot area, behind baffle plates, used vacuum around this area and cleaned under ash pan and the ash pan.

    Looked at the room blower on the left side but looked clean enough to me, left that alone.

    Next time I do the whole cleaning I think I need to get access to the exhaust blower somehow to make sure is clean, wonder how easy is that.

    .
  13. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    oh BTW, forgot to ask if I can use the PAM oil stuff in the burn pot. When cleaning the pot I saw spots that looked like if they were corrosion, oxidation, but this pot is made of ceramic I think....

    Since the englander is also cleaned, do you use PAM also in the burn pot and any other areas?

    Finally, what do you use to cover the vent pipe outside, something that may not look awful to the eyes.....you know.

    .
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Heck NO. You've cleaned everything anyone else would clean! As for the small area at the combustion blower, go the Home Depot and get the set of very small vacuum cleaner tools that include little brushes and adapters. While there get a length of tubing to fit the small adapter and snake it from inside the stove into the bottom of the area where the blower blades are. You'll get a little ash there. That's all you can do so spray it all down with PAM and seal the inlet from the outside to prevent humidity from rusting anything. Have a beer and forget it.
  15. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Geek, glad you got the T-cap off finally. When you finally re-install it (w/ the thin never-seize coating), I'd just seal the joint with foil tape.....much easier to just slit the foil tape w/ a razor knife next time you want to remove it, than having to mess w/ cutting & scraping silicone off.

    Am I reading you correctly that you did NOT remove the exhaust blower and clean it? How many tons have gone through it? I ALWAYS remove & clean the exhaust blower after each 1 - 1 1/2 tons, and during the end-of-burning summer clean. The blower vanes build-up with carbon & burned-on ash, and reduce the efficiency if let go too long. I wire brush them and also scrape the flat surface of the blower motor case under them w/ a flexible putty knife. Plus, it gives you access to the exhaust plenum....that needs to be cleaned of burned/stuck-on ash too.

    In addition, this year after I cleaned the vanes & motor surface, I cleaned them w/ rubbing alcohol, and then gave them a coat of spray graphite. It's inert, so the heat won't affect it, plus I'm hoping the ash & carbon won't build-up so fast, and maybe what DOES stick will come off much easier. Mike Holton at Englander suggested this, so I did it when I cleaned my stove a while back.

    EDIT: This is what I bought. Local Graingers sells it.

    www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/4JB39?Pid=search
  16. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    someone correct me but I think the exhaust blower on the santa fe is right there at the end of the stove in the back and to get access to it you need to remove the pipe, which in this case is REALLY sealed with silicone. When I was having this frake#$% leak from the adaptor that wouldn't stop I had to apply silicone like you cannot imagine.

    I wouldn't even know how to remove this section of the tee.

    Stove is new, first season and only used sporadically, perhaps around 25 bags? don't remember for sure...

    If someone knows how to access the exhaust blower on this stove without removing the piping in the back let me know.

    .
  17. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Geek, looking at the owners manual online, on P. 35 & 36, figures 35.4 and 36.2, it looks like you can remove the blower w/o having to do anything to the exhaust pipe. 6 screws get loosened and the motor rotates slightly then can be removed. The only major items that have to be removed beforehand are the upper & lower, side and rear "curtains" (covers). Looks pretty straightforward, if I'm reading the manual right.
  18. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    I'll check it out mac, thanks a lot.

    I didn't know the back cover could be removed, I know the side panels seem very easy to remove without any tools actually, but not the rear panels but will check this again.

    Thank you.
  19. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    oh, BTW, the pot in this stove is made of like ceramic I think, can PAM still be applied to it?
  20. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If it's ceramic, there's no need to do anything but scrape it clean.

    Oh, and the directions for removing the rear panels on your Santa Fe are also on P.35
  21. geek

    geek Minister of Fire

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    roger that mac, is just that I saw what it looks like a few rust spots around it.....hmmm

    Out of the subject of the thread but what about the englander, do you spray the PAM on the burn pot only?

    ..
  22. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Well, ceramic doesn't rust, so I don't know what the deal is there. Spray it anyway....can't hurt.

    No, I don't spray anything on the metal in my stove. I just put some dessicant (silica gel) in the firebox to absorb moisture, and that's it. Did the same thing when I had the Astoria, and never had issues.....the burn pots are stainless, so they don't rust.
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Pretty sure the burnpot is cast iron in the quads. Take a magnet and see if it sticks? Maybe they are coating the burnpots????
  24. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If the burnpot is cast iron as Jay said, then a coating of Pam should help stop any rust from forming.
  25. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    My Castile is two years old this summer and my burn pot is cast iron.

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