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Smoke from Quadrafire 1200 pellet stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by DougF, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. DougF

    DougF Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    Mount Airy MD
    Hello all,

    I have Quadrafire 1200 pellet stove, upon startup the chamber fills with smoke then some leaks into the room,
    (Enough to cause the smoke alarm above the stove to go off on occasion..)

    After the pellets are burning in the fire pot it seems to be fine and the smoke smell dissipates after awhile.

    The stove is running properly except for the above. I have cleaned the flue/flue clean-out, ash box, burn pot and
    exhaust clean-out box. The smoke does not come from the stove door or from the flue (flue joints have been sealed
    with metal tape. If I shine a bright light into the right hand side of the stove with the panel doors open I can see,
    during initial startup , a bit of smoke being blown around (I am guessing because of the air movement caused by the
    exhaust blower running). I can't figure out where it's coming from.

    Is there anything else that needs to be cleaned of ash I might be missing?
    The only other place I can think of to check is the gasket between the stove and the exhaust blower but
    I have no idea how to remove the exhaust fan from the stove...Leaky gasket? Something that's causing a restriction
    in the exhaust? Any ideas?

    The stove is 2 years old and has had maybe 3 tons of pellets run thru it.


    Thanks for any responses! It's gonna get cold soon :)

    dougF

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  2. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    central maine Lat 45
    So you removed the 2 plates above the burn pot and cleaned there, used the tube scraper. Right side plate with 4 screws and cleaned in there. If yes to all you have a vent leak around the pipes, in a dark room with a flashlight check the pipe seams for leaks.
  3. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Loc:
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    slls,

    "So you removed the 2 plates above the burn pot and cleaned there, used the tube scraper. Right side plate with 4 screws and cleaned in there. If yes to all you have a vent leak around the pipes, in a dark room with a flashlight check the pipe seams for leaks."

    All this is done except for the plate removal above the burn pot..... I'll give that a go....
    THANKS!


    dougF
  4. DougF

    DougF Member

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    sls,

    I pulled the two top plates and there was a lot of ash build up on the top of em.... cleaned them off and re-installed.
    Same problem...smoke alarm went off on initial startup but running with fire in the fire pot no apparent problem.

    When you mentioned "tubes" did you mean the heat exchanger tubes? If so I am guessing I need to pull out the tops plates
    and fire the stove up again to see them....

    Thanks again..
  5. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    Loc:
    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    Hi Handyd123....... you probably did this but........ did you check the gasket on the back side of the 'right' clean out panel (the one with the 4 screws) before you reinstalled it .... this is where you saw the smoke you said.... see attached pic. :)

    Attached Files:

  6. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Loc:
    Mount Airy MD
    Canada,


    Yes I checked that....I even ran a bead of high temp caulk around the edges just in case....

    Still no luck....

    Thanks for the pic though.

    I just realized that the exhaust fan blades are at the end of the box....
    So since I know the flue is not leaking and that the glass door is not leaking..it would almost seem to me
    it either has to be the heat exchanger box is leaking somewhere or possibly the exhaust fan gasket is not sealing
    properly? I don't know what else it could be at this point.... when the fire is rolling everything appears to be fine...
  7. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    Then that is covered ..... the next thing I would check is on the 'out' side of the exhaust blower ...this is where the pressure would be (because the other side of the blower where the right clean out panel is is the suction side)... therefore I would check on the out side for smoke squirting out under pressure. You can also test this side using a weak soap solution when the stove is cold. Flick the thermostat on then off quickly to activate the blower motor, then while it is running use a paintbrush or plant mister to apply the soap solution and check for bubbles.... checking for smoke can sometimes be difficult because it's not dense enough to be seen and you only have a few seconds to find it at start up .... :)
  8. fluemasterjr

    fluemasterjr New Member

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    try removing the access panel under the ash lip it has 2 Phillips head screws and clean in there if air cant get pulled into the stove through the burn pot it will smoke more than normal also how are the quality of your pellets?? are the damp at all?? damp pellets are very hard to light and the cause excess smoke.
  9. DougF

    DougF Member

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    fluemasterjr,

    I not sure where "try removing the access panel under the ash lip" this is located...

    Would this be on the underside of the burn pot (where the igniter is located...I think)?

    Thanks
  10. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I think you have vent leak, look again. On install mine leaked at the opening on the stove end of the adapter, Pelletvent Pro. Needed to seal the first pipe inside with red silicone. Mine leaked at the air gap in the pic, needed to be sealed at the first pipe.
    Not sure about metal tape, never used it.
    [​IMG]
  11. DougF

    DougF Member

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    sls,

    Here's a pic of my exhaust blower attached to the flue pipe.... it's pretty well wrapped in metal tape and from what I can see at least
    should be sealed all the way around....

    handyd123

    Attached Files:

  12. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Loc:
    Mount Airy MD
    Canada,


    No luck with misting the soapy water on the exhaust blower....seems to not leak...although I can not easily check the whole area where the gasket is as I can not get to it....(see pic in previous post).....

    ....and on it goes....

    There was mention of too much moisture in the pellets. They have been sitting in the hopper since last winter.....
    So next I will get em outta there and put a fresh batch in and re-test...

    Thanks

    Handy123
  13. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Nevada City, California
    i have the service manual, send me a pm with your emailaddy, i'll email it to you. assuming this is the freestanding version?
    if i dont reply, send email to daveg@woodheatstoves.com
    snippet from svc manual
    SLOW OR SMOKEY START UP
    1) CLEAN FIREPOT
    2) FEED ADJUSTMENT PLATE MAY BE SET TOO HIGH
    3) CHECK EXHAUST BLOWER AND HEAT EXCHANGER
    4) MAKE SURE TRAP DOOR UNDER FIREPOT IS CLOSED
    FIREPOT AND EXHAUST SYSTEM TROUBLE-SHOOTING
    THE FIREPOT IS MADE OF CAST STEEL AND IS DESIGNED WITH AIR INTAKE HOLES THAT SWIRL THE
    FIRE AND HELP TO REMOVE THE ASH CREATED FROM THE BURNING OF THE PELLET FUEL. THERE IS
    ALSO A SLOT OR AIR PASSAGE IN THE BOTTOM SIDE OF THE FIREPOT THAT ALLOWS HOT AIR FROM
    THE IGNITER TO LIGHT THE PELLET FUEL. DURING THE BURN CYCLE PROCESS IN THE FIREPOT,
    “CLINKER” MATERIAL WILL START TO BUILD-UP. (SEE *FIGURE 1) THE RATE OF THIS BUILD-UP WILL
    DEPEND ON THE QUALITY OF THE PELLET FUEL BEING USED. OVER TIME THIS BUILD-UP OF CLINKER
    MATERIAL CAN OBSTRUCT THE AIR PASSAGES AND CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH THE OPERATION OF
    THE FIREPOT. THIS CAN ALSO CAUSE THE FIREPOT CLEAN OUT DOOR TO BECOME HARD TO PULL IF
    THE FIREPOT IS NOT CLEANED ON A REGULAR BASIS.
    * FIGURE EXAMPLES ARE LOCATED ON THE NEXT PAGE.
    THE FIREPOT IS JUST ONE COMPONENT OF THE TOTAL COMBUSTION SYSTEM. COMBUSTION
    AIR FLOWS INTO A ROUND OPENING LOCATED IN THE PEDESTAL BASE IN THE BACK OF THE UNIT.
    (SEE *FIGURE 2) THIS AIR TRAVELS TO A RECTANGLE SHAPED OPENING LOCATED JUST BEHIND
    THE BOTTOM OF THE FIREPOT. (SEE *FIGURE 3) COMBUSTION AIR WILL FLOW THROUGH THE AIR
    OPENINGS IN THE FIREPOT AND IS THEN TRANSFORMED INTO EXHAUST GASES. THE EXHAUST
    GASES WILL FLOW FROM THE FIREPOT TO THE BAFFLE PLATES AND HEAT EXCHANGER TUBES. (SEE
    *FIGURE 4) THE EXHAUST WILL FLOW FROM THE HEAT EXCHANGER TUBES TO THE EXHAUST BLOWER
    HOUSING. (SEE *FIGURE 5) THIS COMPLETES THE NEGATIVE PRESSURE OR VACUUM PORTION OF
    THE COMBUSTION SYSTEM. AFTER THE EXHAUST ENTERS THE EXHAUST BLOWER HOUSING IT IS
    THEN PUSHED OUT INTO THE VENT PIPE OR CHIMNEY PORTION OF THE EXHAUST SYSTEM. (SEE
    *FIGURE 6)
    IF ANY PART OF THE EXHAUST SYSTEM IS RESTRICTED, THE STOVE WILL BURN DIRTY WITH TALL
    LAZY FLAMES. THE STOVE MAY ALSO EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS WITH LIGHTING THE PELLET FUEL DUE
    TO THE REDUCED AIR FLOW THROUGH THE FIREPOT.
    IF ANY PART OF THE EXHAUST SYSTEM IS BLOCKED, THE STOVE WILL NOT FEED BECAUSE THE
    VACUUM SWITCH WILL NOT ENGAGE. NORMALLY THE STOVE WILL HAVE BETWEEN .20 TO .30 INCHES
    OF WATER COLUMN IN THE FIREBOX WITH STOVE SET ON THE HIGH FEED RATE.
    IF THE COMBUSTION AIR IS RESTRICTED TO THE FIREPOT OR IF THE COMBUSTION AIR TRAP DOOR
    (SEE *FIGURE 7) IS NOT CLOSED, THE STOVE WILL HAVE TALL, SOOTY, AND LAZY FLAMES. THE
    PELLETS WILL ALSO HAVE A HARD TIME LIGHTING DUE TO THE LACK OF COMBUSTION AIR COMING TO
    THE FIREPOT OR BY COMBUSTION AIR BYPASSING THE FIREPOT DUE TO THE COMBUSTION AIR TRAP
    DOOR NOT CLOSING PROPERLY. THIS TRAP DOOR IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ISOLATING COMBUSTION AIR
    FROM THE EXHAUST GASES.


    taken from svc manual
  14. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    i just sent the manual via email, if it doesn't arrive, check your junk mail folder, we send lots of emails......
  15. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    There are many reasons for a pellet stove smoking inside itself, but the question is how is it getting out of the stove into the room.... one place is the top of the glass of the door..... there is a slit above the glass (not the metal frame holding the glass but the glass itself) which acts as the wash for the glass. When everything is working ok, there is suction from the room into the stove preventing smoke from getting out there. If your exhaust pipe is plugged or the blower isn't doing a good job or a leak in the pipe, then the smoke won't be pushed outside where it is supposed to go and keep the room air going in the slit into the stove.

    Another one that the dealer told me about was in an air tight house (without an Outside Air Kit OAK). At the end of the exhaust pipe outside the house where the end cap goes on, there are 4 slits between the inner and outer pipes. He said they have seen the smoke being sucked back into the house throught these slits as the stove forces the smoke out of the house.... again this is with an air tight house. He said to be sure to seal these up with heat silicone....(and install an OAK)... more thoughts for your... :lol:
  16. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Loc:
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    Canada,

    Yeps but I can see smoke briefly in the area where the exhaust clean-out is inside the stove frame.]
    Seems to be most noticeable on the right hand side of the stove...dunno why...

    My house is 60 years old so I don't have to worry about a tight house....like maybe some do.....LOL


    With all the great posts I'm sure I can nail this thing down at some point I hope. It's a little hard to get to some of the stove
    as it's a free stander in a corner of the room.

    Thanks
  17. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    If all else fails, I would remove all that tape on the exhaust pipe, and use red silicone , and let it cure for a few hours then fire it up and look again. Mine was leaking at the joint on the exhaust where you have tape, and we put the silicone on it and not a single puff of smoke since..

    Good luck..

    PS Also if you havent done so, pull that flue pipe and clean it out before you silicone it up... mine was loaded with flyash after only 3 tons...
  18. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    Nicholas has a good idea there...... might just be just the ticket........ Oh and one last word about the glass wash 'slit' on the top edge of the glass (all 3 panels) as I mentoned above... my dealer who is a very knowledgeable and helpful guy said that after a month or so, the fine slit gets plugged with lint from the room air and slowly over time the glass wash becomes less affective of keeping buildup off the inside of the glass. He showed me how to take a piece of very fine wire and insert it up there (shaped similar to an upside down j shape) and move it from one side to the other of the glass windows to clean out the slit using the vacuum on it at the same time..... I would have never thought of that...... :) .... anyway, good luck handyd at stopping the smoke leak..... ;-)
  19. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions....this has been great!

    Just one more thing that I have noticed. Initially I have been shutting the stove down, via thermostat settings, after first fire up.
    Tonight I am letting it cycle and have noticed what I think is way too much smoke in the stove before the pellets ignite so perhaps
    I am getting too much pressure build up that is causing the smoke leak? Just a thought...

    I'll do some further reading....
  20. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    From what you said there, read the bottom 3 paragraphs on page 19 of the 'service manual'.... sounds like a lack of air flow.... on the exhaust side of the blower.... still shouldn't be any smoke leaking into the room even under pressure...
  21. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Well, found new place to clean out from the service manual.... below the fire pot...there was two years of pellet soot and some small
    klinkers..... cleaned em out.... put it all back together fired it up and still smoke....

    I noticed the fire pot flame was a bit high so tonight I'll replace the pellets in the hopper with "fresh" batch and lower the flame.

    ...then onto the exhaust blower fan.....

    handyd123
  22. smg64ct

    smg64ct Member

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    I had the same problem with my cb1200. Whoever installed my stove (previous owner) they ran the pipe with too many bends and curves. I just bought a MT vernon and put the 1200 in the cellar. When they removed the 1200 from the exhaust pipe it was full of ash and it wasn't venting well. They put it in the cellar ran a straight pipe with a clean out and now the stove doesn't do it anymore.
  23. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Steve G,

    My stove has a T coming from the stove (with clean out at the bottom...then a straight run to the outside..probably about
    4ft in length with a vent cap installed at the end .. it's free standing in the corner of the den.

    Handyd
  24. DougF

    DougF Member

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    Steve G,

    My stove has a T coming from the exhaust blower (with clean out at the bottom...) then a straight run to the outside..probably about
    4ft in length with a vent cap installed at the end .. it's free standing in the corner of the den. I'm gonna tackle removing the
    exhaust blower this weekend and see if there's any thing causing a restriction in there...

    BTW, this is a Qudra-Fire Classic 1200 ....it was installed (professionally) two years ago....it has always released a little bit of smoke into the room on initial fire up....I don't know if this is normal for this stove or not.... At my other house I had a pellet stove
    (installed in 1998) ...it was a Glo-King pellet stove (which is no longer made) but it never released any smoke into the room and ran flawless for about 7 years and to date I think it was the best pellet stove every made....quality workmanship and materials all around...but today...I'm not sure a stove like
    that one even exits.... ;-)

    Handyd
  25. CanadaClinker

    CanadaClinker New Member

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    see any good look'n pellets, er,seeds??? NWOntario
    Heres another area to check on your CB 1200.......since the 'air circuit' has to be continuous right from the air intake, through the rectangular duct chamber behind the pot, through the pot area, through the pot, through the heat exchanger, through the blower and finally out the exhaust pipe to the outside..... if any place along the 'air path' is obstructed then the smoke will just sit there and not be ejected out the exhaust. The exhaust blower will just be 'spinning it's wheels - so to speak'. Below is a pic from the service manual showing the air intake which goes into a hole on the bottom of the stove next to the blower. It then goes along the floor to the centre of the stove and up a rectangular duct to the back of the 'pot area'. The problem with the photo is it shows what looks like shag carpet..... (probably in the show room floor). If the rug or anything else blocks the area between the hole (in pink) and the square metal riser duct located behind the pot area, then that could also be an area of blockage in the 'air circuit'.... basically the stove is starving for air. You might have to lift the stove an inch and use a flashlight to check out the floor area in case a mouse or carpet has blocked that area. See pic below..... Good Luck!....:)

    Attached Files:

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