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U.S. Stove Window mount Firebox exhaust vents cracking?!?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by abloy, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. abloy

    abloy New Member

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    So, I have about 25 bags of pellets through my month old EcoAire 2400 window pellet stove. Its running great, and with softwood pellets it will go about 2 days without cleaning, even with most of that time set on 3 or or above.

    I have only two complaints:

    1. Starting straight out of the box, the pressure light flashes during operation intermittently, though the stove keeps running. I called U.S. Stove, and explained that I wanted to know what the flashes meant, and got promised a followup call or email...I'm still waiting. Does anyone have a direct line or extension to get a real engineer on the phone there?

    2. The vent holes at the top of the box (i.e. where the exhaust gases go) have slowly distorted and even lost some metal. At first, it just warped the vent area, then it actually ripped the metal. See the attached pics. Since it runs OK, I suppose the only issue is that it probably is getting more draft than it should. My inclination is to wait until the heating season is over, then make them replace it, since loosing some pellet efficiency beats the heck out of burning HHO. Any risks to that? The holes seems to have stabilized now.

    (Sorry for the cell phone pics, the wierd red stuff seemed to be sort of a paint or primer on the firebox that's showing (my vaccume nozzle gets red stuff on it when I vacuum that area).

    Attached Files:

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Looks like what you are burning is either really hot or corrosive. It could also be bad metal.

    I'd stop using the stove and get USSC on the phone ship them some pictures and take it from there.

    In my totally nonprofessional opinion the stove should not be used until it is fixed or replaced.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I agree with Smokey. I dont know how or where the smoke/ash path is in that stove. But that area screams High Heat "Overfire". It could be corrosion? But the deterioration being from heat is my 1st guess....

    Now on to my question?? Where did you get these pellets? I live near Medina/Ashland area and work in Cleveland. Never heard of these Wayne Davis "Softies"??

    Dont know a lot about that particular model.

    Your stove, your call. Just a bystander.
  4. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Smokey. Holy crap, Batman! No way would I be using that stove! No wonder you used 1/2 ton in one month. It must have been like a blast furnace in that little sucker. I would be screaming bloody murder at US Stove and DEMANDING answers and a new stove. I'd be calling every 5 minutes after they said 'someone' would get back to me. By all means, send them pictures and a link to this thread so they can see that their stove is getting the wrong kind of attention. Put those pictures over on IBurncorn.com http://www.iburncorn.com/new-forum/37-us-stove-company

    DON'T let them push you around!
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't be using it either. I'd be demanding answers too!

    Just plan scary!
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Ditto what everyone above said....do NOT use that stove anymore. Somethings definitely wrong there.
  7. abloy

    abloy New Member

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    Honestly, the woman I talked to at U.S. stove seemed more disinterested than anything else, and I probably came off sounding a little crazy. She said the flashing pressure light was a normal self-check, and I essentially told her that was fine, if she'd explain exactly what conditions trigger it. I told her that I was an engineer, familiar with electronics, and that somewhere there was a service manual or document that explained exactly what conditions triggered the light, etc. I.E. the microprocessor on the board must be lighting it in response to SOMETHING. At the point when I called them, the drilled hole area was just a little warped, not torn, so I didn't make much of that part at all. I'll definitely call them again.

    To be fair, I am burning about a bag of pellets a day, so the stove is working hard. I think I noticed the warping starting with some crappy pennington nature's heat pellets, running on 3 or 4. There was a bunch of crap built up in that area that was glowing during operation, so maybe it was depositing something flammable there, and burned it?

    The damage seems to have pretty much stopped at this point, and doesn't seem to cause any structural issues. The exhaust passage above the damaged plate looks pretty good to me, etc. Personally, I think there was some sort of stress relief/metallurgy problem, since the drilled area twisted on its center.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You are likely looking at a creosote or other volatile condensate burn off or what is also known as a piddle poor excuse for metal from across the great pond. I would not trust that stove.

    I have a link for you so you'll understand exactly where I am coming from: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/89123/
  9. abloy

    abloy New Member

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    Well I've talked to U.S. stove, emailed them pictures, and they're evaluating them.

    In the meantime, since you guys seemed a little shocked about the amount of pellets I burned, I've gone back through the manual for the stove:

    http://www.usstove.com/resources/OwnersManuals/2400.pdf

    I don't see anything prohibiting running the stove the way I've been: Usually its set at 1 or 2 at night and while I'm at work, and I tend to kick it up to 4-5 on cold evenings when I'm at home. With average pellets, it gets cooled down, vacuumed, and burn pot scraped daily, with softwood, once every 2-3 days. I've had the spark arrestor off twice to clean it, though it really didn't have much in it.
  10. ByCo

    ByCo Member

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    Mine was doing the same thing. I checked the USSC web site just now and I noticed that there online support is now up and running so I IM'd them about this. Their rep, Kim, told me to send a picture of the damage to "claims@usstove.com". Now I have to dig it out of the closet in the spare bedroom to take a pic. Maybe we can get something out of this, probably just another POS stove but I guess thats better than nothing.LOL
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    that "red stuff" is steel when it gets really really hot! looks to be in my mind (keep in mind i do not know anything about that stove but i know a thing or two about steel and heat and pellet stoves in general) there is far and away too much direct heat being applied to that section of the stove. is this section directly above the burn pot or is it the opening from the firebox to the exhaust channel leading out of the stove?

    also i would echo the feelings of previous posters in that YOU SHOULD NOT RUN THIS UNIT ANY MORE before at bare minimum having it inspected by a professional, or better yet a factory trained rep of some sort if they have one availible. im not going to comment on the design as first i dont slam anyone elses product in here, and secondly i dont know the "ins and outs" of this stove. what i see here though is certainly not what i would expect as normal by any means.

    how long has the unit been in operation?
    how much fuel have you burned in it?

    EDIT i reread the post (im a dummy sometimes) 25 bags and this metal is burnt up like that , definately somthing terribly wrong, get the stove replaced and do not use it any more before doing so!
  12. ByCo

    ByCo Member

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    Yes, that area is directly above the burn pot.

    I like the idea behind this stove but the exicution needs more work. A serious redesign is in order if they going to keep selling them. As you can see from my signature, mine's been replaced with one of your now.
  13. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i see that , kool!

    i have to admit im intrigued by the concept of the window mounted unit , but i havent really looked at one in person. as i said earlier im not one to hammer any other companies in here as i think its in bad taste to do so, but your particular unit is showing a massive amount of concentrated heat at that "vent" i cannot imagine it was operating as they intended it to be, somthing was causing the unit to burn improperly, and its probably somthing internal to the unit or its controlling software.

    hopefullt USSC will be reasonable about this, FWIW they usually are pretty decent from what i have been told.
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like they need an isolator where the flames lick the burned out area. Ceramic or fire brick should keep it from burnout.
  15. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Looks to my unprofessional eye that there should be some type of baffle plate, heat shield, impingement plate, or one of the other names for a heavy plate that sits over the flame to diffuse the heat and keep the liter stuff fom doing that.
  16. abloy

    abloy New Member

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    The red stuff is more like a paint than anything else, its definitely not rust, and I'm not talking about it glowing red in operation. Its pretty weird stuff actually.

    I guess its had almost exactly 5 weeks of operation, and somewhere between 25 and 30 bags of pellets through it. It has been ran on the highest setting, i.e. 5, for hours (maybe 6 max) at a time,, but there's nothing contraindicating that in the manual (actually it says that the stove will slow pellet delivery first, then shut off, if overheating). The funny part is I noticed the metal warping after burning relatively low heat, crappy pellets, not when burning hot ones (Hamer's, softwoods, etc).

    I still would like to know why the pressure light flashes intermittently during operation. It might be a sign that its running too hot, in which it would have been nice to know so I could reduce the heat setting.

    Honestly, if it wasn't under warranty (firebox for 3 years), I'd probably machine out a piece of heat resistant 300 series stainless with a hole pattern similar to the original firebox ceiling, and mount with screws to it. the physical integrity of the firebox seems OK otherwise.

    I'm still waiting for US Stove to respond to the pictures at this point.

    ETA: Thanks so much for all of the helpful comments and support on this!!!
  17. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I was just wondering if the stove's feed rates as programmed were way off. Not blaming it on you since I don't believe you have any control over how much goes into the auger (feed gate) or how long it turns on each heat setting. If a stove gives you a choice to burn on HIGH or MAX, then the darn thing should be designed to handle the heat. Stoves that say 'don't burn on HIGH for over a certain period of time' scare me.
  18. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, not to rain on any company's parade, but there is something that I just dont trust in having a wood-burning apparatus in my window. Dont think I could sleep with that there.

    Just my 2 pennies...who knows maybe others thought the same of the first window A/C units.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Steel is steel of course, except if it is not properly made, in which case it is just a collection of things that don't always respond to heat in the manner you want.

    Couple high heat and bad steel kiss whatever it is in bye bye.

    Now things that produce high heat are also present in wood, add a little restriction and you are over the specification for a lot of steel.

    See Harman's burn pots in their large furnaces and boilers. Looks like temperatures above what they thought would be there.

    Take a look at some of the posts on here about creeping metal doors and loss of door seals (Hey USSC I'm speaking of some of your stuff here.).

    Hi Mike glad you dropped in.
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Lets put it this way G, I wasn't gonna run right out and get one anytime soon. ;-)
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  21. ByCo

    ByCo Member

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    Well, somebody had to try the design out. :cheese:
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you search, you'll see that there have been quite a few on here who have them installed and running. There have been a few problems but nothing like what we see on this thread. Most are happy with them. The only downside is the ridiculous price that USSC has set as retail.
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The way the combustion blower on US models "Pulse" on and off could contribute to the added heat there. Seeing how that area is right above the pot??
  24. thedak

    thedak Member

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    Smoke em if u got em'
    My Harmin doesn't look like that...
  25. boblavertu

    boblavertu New Member

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    All I keep hearing is good (?) things about the window stove but every person I've talked to who has one has told me they had multiple problems with the controls. His was replaced twice before it malfunctioned and caused a house fire. After mine caught fire a fire investigator hired by my insurance company told me they tried to get State Fire Marshall in Maine to ban the stoves.
    I never got more than 8 hours out of a load , half a bag, of pellets on low settings and cleaned it every day. I used premium pellets.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.

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