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St. Croix Hastings-what’s wrong with it?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by msvangogh7, Nov 6, 2008.

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  1. msvangogh7

    msvangogh7 New Member

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    central MA
    Hi Everyone!
    I'm new here and don't know a whole lot about pellet stoves but we have a new St. Croix Hastings and there seems to be something wrong. It fills up with quite a lot of ash and I find myself cleaning the inside every other day. Also, the ash pan (admitted it's small anyway but still) gets about 1/3 full after only 24 hrs. burning. We are using Green Supreme pellets which the dealer said are good..but, seems like a lot of ash to me! I also have to wipe the inside and the glass about every other day because it gets so dirty.
    Another thing, occasionally, the auger drops way too many pellets and the stove can't run. Then there's smoke in it and I have to push the unburned pellets into the ash pan before the stove will start working.
    Anyone experience any of these issues with this model stove? Or have any idea what might be wrong with it?
    Thanks for the help!

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  2. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Southern, Maine
    Hi There, welcome to the forum.
    It sounds to me like you may have an air issue.

    Take a look at what your damper (lower back right of stove) is set too and try making some minor adjustments. I occasionally have to adjust mine for different varieties of pellets or to obtain a cleaner burn at a given setting. For starters, try adjusting it 1/8th of a turn, observe for 15 minutes and make a note. Repeat until you find the setting that appears to be giving you a complete burn (no pellets spilling over). You can also monitor the exhaust when you are looking for the best setting. If you are seeing black smoke (past start up) then you probably have not found the right setting.

    If none of this works, then I would suspect that you have a pellet quality issue. They may have gotten wet, or they may be a bad batch. However, i've found that my Hastings is pretty "tolerant" of different varieties and brands. In my exp the spill over effect you note is usually due to an air issue.
    Let me know if this helps
  3. burns

    burns New Member

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    Dec 13, 2008
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    hey there! I am new to the world of Pellet stoves and was hoping you could answer a few questions for me.
    I could not figure out how to start a new conversation so I thought this one would be a good one to add comments to.

    I just had a St Croix Hastings installed and want to make sure it is working as expected.

    On a low seting, 1 -3, on startup there is no buildup of pellets at the bottom of the chute behind the grate weldment. When I increase anywhere from 3-5, I can see a ton of pellets pilled up at the bottom of the chute. Should this be? Other pellet stoves I've seen just drop pellets down a chute into the grate.

    In addition, at levels 3-5, the flame seems to get pretty large which is expected but it also seems to waste pellets. I can see pellets burning in the ash pan and also see flames behind the fake brick facade. Should the stove be working this way?

    Since I was unsure of how exactly the stove works, I turned the stove off yesterday and cleaned it.When I emptied the ash pan, after only 1 bag of pellets, it was pretty full and there were many half burned pellets. Is this normal?

    Any feedback on these questions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
  4. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    My dealer recommends that you start your stove on#3 and let it get HOT. Then adjust the feed rate to whatever is required to keep your desired temp (without a t-stat, of course).

    The damper should only be open the width of a pencil... that's it.

    Once per week run your stove on 4 or 5 for 30 minutes to help keep it clean.... this is especially important if you've been running it on 1 or 2 for extended lengths of time.
  5. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Hi There, welcome to the forum. No, the behavior you are seeing is not normal. It definitely sounds like an air issue to me. Start with damper adjustments as suggested above, and be sure to post back with your results. If your still unable to obtain a clean burn I would try another brand of pellets.
    Also, make sure the ash shaker is pushed all the way in. I have seen the behavior you're speaking of a few times after cleaning when I forgot to push that back in.
    Let us know how it goes
  6. burns

    burns New Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions. I just checked the ash cleanout rod and pushed it all the way in. I can no longer pull it out without opening the door, removing the ash pan and pulling it back. Is that the way it should be?
  7. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    No that is not at all normal.
    See this other thread for possible resolution. I've had my Hastings for several years and never came upon that issue.
  8. burns

    burns New Member

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    It turns out the ash cleanout rod was NOT pushed in all the way. I used a little force and it went in further. I then discovered the tool used to pull the ash cleaning rod out. Would have been nice if the installer pointed that tool out and pushed the ash cleanout rod in nall the way. I guess he really didn't know how to use a St. Croix!
    I now have a perfect burning fire without a buildup of pellets and the flame is going up, not all over the place. I now feel much more comfortable with this stove.
    Thank you so mych for your assitance in helping me get this stove running properly.

    Have a happy WARM holiday! My familycertainly will!
    Thanks again.
  9. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Glad to hear it. Disappointed the dealer did not cover the basics with you, but I think you'll find that you'll learn the stove pretty quickly. An excellent choice, and i'm sure you'll be happy with it.

    Best regards
  10. matt85bears

    matt85bears Member

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    midwest
    what is the big difference between a Hastings and a Afton Bay
  11. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    Maybe just a matter of looks, Afton bay is a 3 bay window stove a bit more stream lined. I have the Afton Bay and it pumps heat, i clean it once every 10 days.
  12. matt85bears

    matt85bears Member

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    I love my afton bay if i could just figure out my damper and flame size
  13. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    Matt what do you need to know??. I may be able to help.
  14. matt85bears

    matt85bears Member

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    Thanks

    Typically how large is your flame, is it suppose to touch the heat exchanger tubes. My stove is straight vented out my wall, would i have to adjust my draft trim a alot or leave it at default and how open should my damper typically be? It seems that i cannot get a consistent flame sometimes it will be brisk but really "tall" and sometimes so small that when pellets are dropped it will smother the flame for a second.
  15. BIG WATER

    BIG WATER New Member

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    I believe that it is normal for the flame to fluctuate some. You have to figure the versa grate movement pushes the fire around a little.
    My exp touches the heat exchanger plate on 5. Your factory setting on the air damper should be correct. There is a lot of information about how to adjust it.
  16. burns

    burns New Member

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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks MKMH for your assistance. I have a few questions/concerns.
    Last night I cranked the stove up to 3 and 4 and the flames seem to hit the heat exchange tube and I could smell the odor of wood burning coming from the stove. Is this normal? I dropped it down to 2 which seemed to keep the flame lower. Logic dictates that the higher heat level the bigger the flame but I am not sure it should be this high.
    During my initial start up phase I played around with the damper thinking that was causing my problems. Now that I fiugured out that the ash pan rod was not pushed in all the way, I can't seem to get the damper into the perfect setting. What exactly do I need to look for? Open the damper and the flame will grow, close it and it will get lower? What about clinkers and sparks....how does opening and closing affect that?
    Another question....the ash clean out rod....it is pushed in so far that the tool used to pull it out cannot catch on the end. I have to use a pair of pliers to get it out. Is that normal?
    Sorry for my ignorance but I am entirely new to the world of any kind of woodburning stoves.
    I have to say this is a learning experience but I am loving the stove.....my house has never been more toasty!

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!
    You have been extremely helpful.
  17. colbyc

    colbyc New Member

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    Loc:
    long island
    Hello,

    I am a new pellet stove owner and just bought a st croix hastings. I noticed that when I put my heat level to 1 both the 1 and 4 lights go on. Of course the book states nothing about what this could be ( it gives other solutions to other lights being lit, but not these two particular ones). Is anyone familiar with this issue?
  18. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    hi the #1 and #4 lights on is just the #1 auger trim setting hit the auger trim button and it should go out,that info should be in your manual under #1 auger trim settings.there are 3 settings one is default one is 1.75 on time and the last which your on now is 1.25 on time.I normaly leave it on the 1.75 setting it keeps the glass somewhat cleaner,thats #1 and #5 lights being lit up.
  19. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    It's in the manual. Saw it on page #5 of the downloadable pdf manual.
  20. colbyc

    colbyc New Member

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    Thank you both for your quick responses. I did press the feed trim button and the light went out. I did read this section previously, I don't know what made me skip over it when trying to resolve this issue. Again thank you for your help.
  21. cpntrrr

    cpntrrr New Member

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    NE
    Hi burnsy,

    Smelling wood smoke out of your stove is not normal except during start up. St. Croix uses negative air pressure. I would start by check your venting to make sure that it is properly siliconed. Also at the back of your stove there is an exhaust motor that has Exhaust Plate Adapter that is held in place by 4 screws and it is also siliconed, make sure that there are no leaks there also. Sometimes when hooking up the venting the silicone comes loose. This you be the cause of your problems....good luck
  22. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I wouldn't stress too much on the flame levels, but you may want to roll back the damper to factory settings (about a pencil width open). On my stove the flames never reach the heat exchanger, though on 5 they get pretty close. You will not necessarily get your highest heat output with the highest flame.
    Ash cleanout rod should be easily accessible with the tool. Sounds like you have a mechanical issue there.
    Smoke smell is not normal, but not anything to freak about either. I will occasionally get this at higher temps when the winds get going. I think some of the smoke gets pulled in by the OAK. If this is not the case with yours it is worth mentioning to the dealer. As another poster mentioned it could be an issue with the seal on the venting.
    You'll generally see more sparks when the damper is wide open. This allows a lot of air to move through the burn pot. Sometimes too much. A few sparks is normal..but if you're seeing a lot, then you want to reduce the air.
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