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Seems Like there is a blockage

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jwade, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Hi all, it has been a long time and my "old Whitfield" is still running. (1993) I cleaned my stove today, completely. Firebrick, baffles removed, and the leaf vac to thoroughly clean pipes. Vacuumed blowers and oiled.

    What I have noticed that it seems the exhaust pipe outside isn't blowing out as usual. And tonight it seems the flame is not as high. The flame is dancing, and there are what I call " sparkles" rising when pellets drop. I did notice a few weeks ago, a small rumble in one of the blowers. Not all the time, just once in awhile. With not feeling the exhaust, like I use to, wondering if blowers are heading south, or what else I can check. Snowy Rivers ? Smokey?

    Thank you!!
    JWade

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  2. jwade

    jwade Member

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    One more thing I have noticed about starting my Whit up. Seems it takes a bit longer to get a nice flame, outside exhaust still hasn't the flow of air coming out as usual.( again only at start up) After a bit of time flame is back to normal, and exhaust is flowing normal as well.

    Jwade.
  3. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    Motor going bad or the impellers building up with residue.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like it could be a number of things.

    Then as Bioburner stated there is likely some build up on the blower's impeller and if it is there there is likely some crud between the blower cavity and the firebox, time to open it up and get the brushes and vacuum out and do a deep cleaning from the ash traps out to the end of the vent while you brush off the impeller (be sure to have the gasket or gaskets before doing this.

    Follow it up with a good dose of the leaf blower treatment.
  5. Arnold18

    Arnold18 New Member

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    There are a lot of smart folks here, who will chime in shortly. Once I did a head to foot cleaning of my stove in the basement which is an up and out. After finishing with the outside, came back in and started the stove to a really poor flame, shut things down and started over. Turns out when cleaning the outside I pushed a bunch of ash back down the pipe and plugged the clean out tee. A leaf blower is in my future.

    I have been heating with pellets for 20 years in two houses, and have learned more here this winter, than in the previous 19.
  6. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Thanks for responding I understand about crud between the blower cavity and firebox. I did have a few bags of pellets that were simply awful. I will take your advise first thing in the morning. I usually do a head to toe cleaning once a month on my old Whit. If you remember Smokey, I wrote a few years ago wanting to replace my Whit because I thought at 17 yrs, it was time. It was a logic board, and have had no problems since.
    Bioburner, thank you, my Whit, now 19yrs, doesn't owe me a thing, and she can have new blowers. Arnold18, you are so right! There are so many smart folks here.

    I still think the old Whitfield is a work horse!! Thanks again for ideas.

    Truly grateful,
    Jwade
  7. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Gave my Whit the works this morning. Blowers seem better. I didn't remove motors because I didn't have gaskets on hand, and when I called the local stove place in Harford County, they pretty much tell me I need to replace the stove.

    Anyhow, start up was better, and the flame is great. Thanks again. I'll post after I remove the blowers.
  8. MountainSean

    MountainSean Credo Quia Absurdum

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    When you are cleaning the stove and have the firebrick off to clean out the ash traps remove the burn grate adapter plate and pull out the ash traps themselves. They are held in by two screws each and can be a bit of a pain to remove but that will let you get into the exhaust passages behind the firebrick and ash traps. Shove a vacuum hose in through those and clean out there too. My Whitfield was having issues with it's burn, not terrible, just not up to it's usual levels and after giving those a good cleaning this weekend it is back to burning like it usually does.
  9. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Yep MountainSean, gave my Whit the super clean today, plus a leaf blower treatment!! ( the best) My stove is 19yrs. and I believe nothing runs like an "Older Whitfield" stove. I learned of the leaf blower trick two years ago on this page.

    Long Live The Whitfield
  10. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Was able to run the rest of last season without anymore blower problems. Tried the stove today, and back to lazy flame, and hardly any air coming out of the exhaust. What I did notice though, is if I turned up the fuel rate to five, the blower would do well. I removed the blower, and used the compressor to clean it super. cleaned behind that area as well. Replaced, and I can see the wheel spinning not fast at all. I called the local rip off hardware store to see if they had one in stock, and they do. They also suggested again that I need to replace the stove. Please... do you think I an just working with a blower issue here?

    Thanks all
  11. MountainSean

    MountainSean Credo Quia Absurdum

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    I would measure the voltage going to the blower from the control board. Should get the following

    1: 70
    2: 73
    3: 80
    4: 87
    5: 107

    give or take 5 volts. If the blower is getting the volts and not going, it is the blower. If the blower isn't getting the voltage it is the board.
    JDenyer236 likes this.
  12. Ricks

    Ricks Member

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    Depending on the Whitfield model you have there may not be a way to access the ash traps behind the fire brick. I have an older Quest and once you remove the firebrick all you have is a flat piece of metal. If that is the case there are two methods to clean out the exhaust path. The first method is to use compress air and a leaf blower. The compress air should be blown down into the square exhaust ports on the top left and right side of the air exchange.

    The second method is to drill (yes drill) a hole to access the exhaust and clean it out.

    The exhaust travels into the two square ports, down to the bottom behind the burn pot. The left side (as you look at the stove) travels from left to right behind the burn pot and into the exhaust blower and then out. There is no way to directly access this exhaust path without modifying the stove, but the leaf blower should clean this area out.

    I had a very lazy flame and the leaf blower did the trick. Given what you are describing I would think you need a new blower.

    There is nothing wrong with your Whitfield. The store wants you to replace it since they don't carry parts for it and would prefer you to have a stove that they understand. The old Whitfield's are actually very simple and easy to work on. I keep thinking of upgrading, but since the stove keeps working year after year I can't justify the money for a newer stove.

    Rick.........
  13. Tim Linden

    Tim Linden Member

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    For weird to reach spots have you tried a linteater? The kit comes with a long and thin brush that got into spots I couldnt reach. Its very flexible.

    I would also double check the exhaust pipe for obstruction. Im not convinced a leaf blower will get 100% everything. I read a tip on putting something in the pipe when shutting down for the summer to keep moisture out.. did you do that?
  14. JDenyer236

    JDenyer236 Feeling the Heat

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    X2. It's either the blower motor or the control board. Do the test MountainSean suggested.
  15. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Thanks for info!! Voltage is going to be checked today. Tim, Yes we always plug up the exhaust. I have the dinosaur of stoves,(1993) and I will replace the blower for sure. Board is 2 yrs old and I am hoping that is not the problem. And Ricks, a few years ago, we were going to replace the Whit, nothing we saw blew out the heat like our Whit. And one of the salesmen, offered to buy our old Whit. Simple stove to run! I am so primitive I use a match to start the stove.


    Thanks again!
  16. JDenyer236

    JDenyer236 Feeling the Heat

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    A new Harman may offer what your looking for;) Primitive yet flexible and throws the heat like crazy.
    Big papa likes this.
  17. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Mountain Sean,If it would be the board. What is causing our board to go so often? This would be the 4th one. We have a serge protector.
  18. MountainSean

    MountainSean Credo Quia Absurdum

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    Speaking as someone who has the option to get a new stove at cost, I love my 1992 Whitfield. Unless something catastrophic happens I will be using it for the next ten years. They are still efficient even by modern standards and are pretty much unkillable aside from some replacement parts. Everyone will have their own opinion of course.

    Jwade, as for what could be causing you to go through boards so often I would try changing surge protectors or even putting the stove on a UPS. A surge protector doesn't protect against brown outs if you get those very often. Other than that one of the components in the stove, the combustion blower, convection blower etc. could be bad and sending electrical feedback to the control board. If every board you have replaced has presented the same problem I would replace that component as well. In this case the combustion blower.
  19. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Thanks again! Got a new blower, gave it a start, same thing. Went outside can hardly feel air, and can't hear it at all. If I turn the pellet feed on 5, blower goes big time.( normal air and sound) I normally run my pellet feed on 1, and other blower on 5. Still waiting for my electrician to check other components as well as the electric in the house to be sure all is well.

    Not giving up on the Whit yet for sure! Thanks again.
  20. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Up and running!!!! Thanks for your help!
  21. DneprDave

    DneprDave Feeling the Heat

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    So, What was the problem?

    Dave
  22. Wilbur Feral

    Wilbur Feral Member

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    Have to agree, they are fantastic old workhorses. And yes, what was the problem?
  23. jwade

    jwade Member

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    I did a new exhaust blower. Still wasn't burning as usual. Tinkered with the door and the damper for a bit. And now, back to old Whit. Yahoo!!!
    Wilbur Feral likes this.

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