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Smoke during startup

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by borland2000, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. borland2000

    borland2000 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    portland,me
    My Classic Bay 1200 insert which is 4 years old is acting funny. On startup (occasionally, cant really pin point it) it will get incredibly smokey in chamber before pellets ignite. So much so that it starts emitting from the stove in to the room. It is smokey enough to really smell up the house. It is not most times, (maybe 2 times a day). I have cleaned the flue and the machine as best I can (which I think is really pretty good).
    Before they ignite, sometimes the pot gets a tremendous amoutn of pellets that are all simmering.
    Im burning Maine Choice; which might be the culprit (although Ive burned 7 tons before havign this issue).
    Could igniter be going bad (although it usually doesnt do this?)
    Anyone w/ ideas?
    Thanks,
    Jeff

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Sounds like a couple things..

    1.) when was the last time the vent was cleaned and ash trap was cleaned (lower right hand door there is a small cover that needs removed and cleaned behind)?

    2.) how long is your stove shut down before restart? Sounds like the stove is short cycling? A hot stove will continue to feed pellets because the Thermocouple has not had the proper time to cool below 200*. So if the stove shuts off and then restarts within say 10-20 minutes, then it won't go through a normal start up sequence.

    What stat are you using? What swing setting (I recommend at least 3*-4* to allow for proper cool down). If the stove is restarting within 10-20 minutes, it shouldn't have shut down in the 1st place. Lower the feed rate, or lower the heat setting.

    I would rather my stove run low and slow all day, than run on High (B#LLS OUT) and start up and shut down 20 times a day "(wastes pellets) IMO
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    IMO, there should NEVER be any smoke into the room while the comb. blower is running. You need to check the stove & pipe for air leaks.

    I also think your ignitor is partly bad. I had the same on my stove....only half the ignitor got hot. It took a long time to ignite, and there was a lot of smoke from the smoldering pellets. Once I installed the new one, takes only a few minutes to start and hardly any smoke at all.

    Disconnect the ignitor leads and put an ohmeter across them. A good ignitor should read about 46-49 ohms.
    heat seeker likes this.
  4. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget to unplug the stove first!
  5. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Where is the smoke leaking from? airwash, venting

    Ive almost always get some smoke at startup in the chamber, I think the pellets bury the the igniter hole in a lot of cases. Ive never had any come back into the room though.
  6. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    Southbury, CT
    I'm not familiar with your stove, but nobody's said it yet so I'll add; check for leaks, especially door seals and ash box seal (if there is one).
    It sounds like either a slow igniter or not enough air.
    A slow igniter could be from a resistance change or from mechanical changes in the igniter. Resistance change is easy enough to check for, but for mechanical changes you really have to look at it both hot and cold.
    Air could be either a blocked vent or an air leak. You said the stove is clean, I assume that means you have gone through all of the passages to verify that they are not blocked. That leaves the vent including the cap to inspect.
  7. Dinger

    Dinger Member

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    SW CO
    Is anything else in the house creating negative pressure? Clothes dryer, bathroom exhaust, kitchen exhaust, etc? Any new appliances?

    Is the stove oak'd?

    I never smell it on start up, but my SantaFe will smoke for a few seconds right before it bursts into flames. And on second thought, I bought some crapper pellets earlier this winter that started hard, smoked quite a bit, and I COULD smell smoke on start up. I burned three bags as a tester and never went back.
  8. borland2000

    borland2000 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    portland,me
    Thanks all for the responses; as to answer some questions:
    not oakd
    no need appliances or house issues.
    Flue is super clean (just cleaned it).
    Im hoping its either bad pellets or igniter.
    I tested leads on igniter and it registered 38 omhs , imacman said it should be 48ish. So does that mean igniter is bad?Seems super simple / cheap to replace if people says its worth a go.
    Thanks all,
    jb
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    All questions were not answered above?

    1. What setting are you running on?
    2. What swing setting are you using?
    3. How long in-between starts? (Stove shuts down, then in 10 minutes it starts back up?)

    Sounds to me that the stove short cycles (not off long enough).. When a Quad or Heatilator shuts down, the stove needs to cool long enough to get the T/C below 200°… If it doesn't get below 200° then... (read the #2 post above).

    This is the KEY Item here ("A Tremendous amount of pellets"!) That means the T/C is above 200° which will continue to feed fuel before ignition. Which does 3 things. Makes the pellets below have less air because they are Buried (makes smoke), makes for a very full pot (large flame when it does start) makes a smokey mess (see the last 2 reasons deep pellet hed, less air). They all are related and compound one another.

    Your Quad needs time to cool..
  10. borland2000

    borland2000 Member

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    Thanks Dexterday,
    1. im being running it on high
    2. swing was .5, I increased it to 1.5.
    3. im not sure.

    The reason Im not sure if you are right, although I def. hope you are is I have burned for 4 years w/ these same settings and never the big puff of smoke. (2 of those years w/ the same maine's choice (4+ tons each year).
    I increased the swing and hopefully you are right, Ill be back in touch;


    Im still curious if my igniter is on its way out? the low ohm readingof 38 - is this fine?
    Thanks all,
    JB
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I run a 3° span (set at 70° ,on at 70° and off at 73°…) I wouldn't go any lower than.that.

    Is the 1.5° both ways? (Set at 70°, on at 68.5° and off at 71.5°?)

    If not, I would increase it a little.

    If the stove is still starting and its glowing red, its not the ignitor. A missed ignition would be a tale sign. If you have never had a missed ignition, then to many pellets would be to blame. Been running mine 5 yrs and thats just my take on it.
  12. borland2000

    borland2000 Member

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    I set the swing higher to 2, which is its max. Yes, I think the swing is both ways. The ignitor is glowing read, so I agree, that looks fine.
    Since my last message, the stove has been fine, granted Im scraping the bowl each day just to be safe (wife says if its smokes again shes putting hte oil on so Im trying hard to prevent that).
    So far so good. Ill check back in later.
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Stove is cooling longer.... All is well :)

    Not need to scrape daily. Hell, I only pull my Rod every week or two (no pun intended) ;em
    Xena likes this.
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Dexter, This is a family show! Way to personal IMHO and you'll need glasses if ya keep doing that!

    Uh-what, The thinggy on the bottom of the stove? "Ooooo" the burnpot dump rod. Oops. :oops: ;em Sorry dex! ;em
    Brokenwing and DexterDay like this.
  15. glenc0322

    glenc0322 Minister of Fire

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    Have you changed how or where you are storing your pellets? If you are storing them out side they could have moisture in them and would be harder to start and smoke more just a thought. I would replace the igniter they are cheap and easy to do and if that's not the problem you will have a spare in case you need it
  16. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    thanks Jay, i just spit my ice tea out, when i read this post. Leave it to you and dexter:eek:

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