1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

update.. p68 making creosote

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by aaronnoel, Jan 29, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    southernct
    well its been 2 weeks running awesome so I do think I can post that this major creosote issue is OVER! after changing door gasket and esp probe without any luck I called in this dealer I found on the Harman web site of dealers in my area. They weren't sure what it was that was causing this, so they went into changing out my burnpot, seeing that my burnpot is under a factory recall, I had the one with the 4 holes down low by the flame. I don't think the new burnpot did it but what did do the trick was a new burnpot gasket, mine was shot. The creosote did not go away instantly it would keep coming back even after scraping it clean, they told me that this would happen as it just needed to work out of the stove, I was totally skeptical and thought they were feeding me b.s. , however thats exactly what needed to happen, so for anyone out there with similar issue take note to check burnpot gasket.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thank you for this post. I have a P61-A. Noticed a bit of creosote at he end of season last year, blamed it on burning low flame, and my flame guide was pretty well shot. After a couple of hot fires it would disappear. This year, the creosote is back, right along the right side of where the burnpot mounts to the back of the stove, it does not disappear with a hot fire. On top of this I am having trouble getting a clean burn. Had to resort to adjusting my low voltage screw all the way up, helps alot, but still only get a clean burn once in a while. Was not sure whether to blame on bad pellets or what, even thought I am burning a brand that have been awesome the last two years. It makes total sense to me that an airleak around the burnpot gasket would change the pressure inside and therefor the stove would have to have he low voltage draft adjusted to compensate. In any event, I will be ordering a gasket ASAP. Just wondering if anyone knows if this is a big job or not.

    BTW my stove is 6 yrs old and burns about 4-5 tonneyr. I clean it thoroughly before I assume anything else is suspect. Door and and window gaskets seem fine.
  3. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    Some of the units had the feeder assy. replaced. Only way to find out is have your dealer call in your s/n with a creosote issue.

    Eric
  4. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Eric, you are a dealer, correct? would you be able to check if I gave you my Ser#. If it was not a big deal to you I would really appreciate it. If it is, I would totally understand.
  5. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Eric, would you know if person could get a combustion blower at Grainger or somewhere? I ordered a dist. blower from there. Found the link from another post. I've looked at the combustion blower and can not find anything on it to identify it to do a search on Grainger. I'm thinking maybe my combustion blower is starting to go, and would not mind getting another one to try, and to have on hand anyways. That could explain my dirty burn and responding to turning the low voltage draft adj up and getting a better burn, still nowhere near perfect, but way better.
  6. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Can anyone tell me anything about the burnpot recall? I have the one with 4 holes in the bottom as well, and was having problems with low flame a couple years ago, my dealer plugged the holes with putty and replaced the esp probe. I think that time it was the probe, but unsure. Ran the very best for the rest of that winter and all last winter. But, last winter started seeing creosote, and this winter the creosote is getting worse. In the process of getting the Ser # checked for the feeder assembly as Eric suggested. Also experiencing low flame again after a burnpot scrape, when there is no ash in the burnpot. when the burnpot is full of ash, works pretty well.
  7. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    southernct
    That makes seem's right, my stove has a small flame when there's no ash also. It's because the ash makes the flame push up, and in doing so that makes the flame bigger, this is normal and the way it should be. When it comes to your creosote issue thats not normal, however there are lots of reasons for this. Mine was a gasket to the burnpot, other's say flame guide. If you could take a picture that might help.
  8. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thanks Noel, Next time the stove is shut down I will post a pic. Yesterday I cleaned the stove full out, took combustion fan off, cleaned behind it, and the fan, scraped the creosote off, the full deal, stove was spotless. Fired it up, burned white hot, couple hours in I looked at the spot where creosote was forming, and was back bigger than before, it has since shrunken some. Something definitely is not right. I did check the nuts on the burnpot mount, the side that forms creosote I was able to tighten a 1/4 turn, the other side was tight. I was wondering about the flame guide, going to try that next, mine is not completely out of whack, but not perfect either. In the past I replaced when flames came up behind it on a low burn, this is not happening yet. My dealer doesn't seem to think it is the burnpot gasket, he must not ever have to replace many. Also, my door glass gasket has a tiny leak, can't see this being a big issue, but should be replaced to make sure. there is an airwash mark prob an inch wide and 4 " tall from the bottom right screw up.
    When you were having your creosote issue did you have trouble getting a clean burn? Mine is being inconsistent, sometimes it burns whitehot, blue at the emberline, then othertimes dark orange dirty. I had to cut my feed back to 2. the pellets I'm running are small, and anything higher than 2.5 it overfeeds and burns really dirty. I have never ran anything less than 3 in the past 6 years, but these pellets are smaller than anything I burned before. From what I understand, that isn't a normal feed rate, but that is what is working best with these pellets.
  9. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    southernct
    If your burnpot screw was loose, I would think that may mean something about your burnpot gasket being bad. My p68 has run well since new (2007) my flame is always strong, pellet type can change it , I am a fan of good pellets, this year I'm using Cubex and love them. When I developed my creosote issue, it came at the back in the fire box below the three bricks, mostly on the right side, it would travel lower toward the back wall were the ash pan is.I would also have a flame behind my burnpot, that use to drive me crazy, it was all fixed with a new burnpot gasket. You should have that changed and also it sounds like you need to change your door gasket , thats a very easy job. On another note, I see your in N.B. Canada, my family is from Lamek on Shippagan Island.
  10. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thanks Again Noel, My creosote issue sounds pretty similar to yours. I will have my Ser # ran as Eric at Kinsman had suggested to make sure there is no feeder assembly issue, and see if I can get my dealer to replace the gasket. I think I have my dirty burn issue figured out, I think I got a few bad pellets for some reason. Alot of very small pieces in them, 1/4 inch. I have been taking some bags from the back of my pile, which would have come off a different pallet, they look a little different and they are burning top notch. Almost white flame, no smoke, and no black sooty crap on the inside of stove and a bag burns way longer. So, after 2 weeks of scratching my head and checking, cleaning and tinkering, it seems it has come down to a few bad bags of pellets. After I get a week in of good burning, I'm going to try a few of the ones that I think were burning crappy again and see if that is in fact the case.
    I do Live in NB, 15 min from Houlton. Been to the island before, Went for a couple day tour with the wife a few years ago, Shippigan, Miscou, Stayed the night in Caraquet. Beautiful up there, some frigging windy though, haha. I was pretty interested in all the peatmoss farming operations up there, pretty neat.
    We have a 2 year old pellet mill about 15 min from here. It's Crabbe Lumber, they have been lumber mill for a couple generations, three years ago or so built a pellet mill. I burned their pellets all last year, and were the best I had come across. Before that I liked the LG. I did try some of the Maine ones when they were around, and they burned really good as well. Never tried the cubex, do not see them here alot. You know, the best pellets I ever burned is when there was a big shortage here a few years back, nobody here could get pellets, and I was almost out, found some at WalMart in Houlton, they were Pennington. They had almost no ash, and it was grey in he burnpot, the heat was rediculous, and the flame burned whitehot with purple near the embers. Their bag said they were made from oak sawdust I think.

    Thanks for the info, you have a Merry Christmas! My next stove will be P68, may have a few questions for you down the road.
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,345
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Simply put, creosote will be formed if you don't have enough air for proper complete combustion......... Period.
  12. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    Western MA
    Don't think it's all that simple. It can also form if you've got too much air for proper combustion (the resulting fire is "too cool").
  13. rickwai

    rickwai Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    ohio
    I have never seen that situation. From my experience if to much air stove will burn out on the low setting because the pellets burn to quick and the auger dont feed enough to sustain a fire. Secondly run a wood stove w/ the air wide open and see how "cool" your fire is.
  14. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    southernct
    I don't know if creosote come's from to much or not enough or both, I do know for a fact that I had a bad creosote issue that was solved by changing a bad burnpot gasket.
  15. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    Western MA
    I got this notion from my Revolution's owner's manual

    "When burning pellets check for the formation of creosote in the unit and venting system.
    Constantly running the Furnace on a low setting with too much combustion air may cause
    creosote to form. Burn pot temperatures can be “too cool†when burning on low with too
    much draft."

    And their adjustment prescription for dark buildup on the glass is less air

    "a. If a heavy black shiny build (difficult to wipe off) up is noticed, on the glass and inner
    surfaces, after the furnace runs on the low (pilot) setting for extended periods of time,
    the damper must be closed some. This may require the Furnace to run in pilot mode
    for a while to become noticeable."
  16. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,345
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    That's VERY STRANGE. The best way to get creosote on a wood burner is to choke it back for the night. ???
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/creosote_from_wood_burning_causes_and_solutions

    ''An air starved, slow burn, produces relatively cool stack temps ideal for creosote formation. People would get up in the morning to a warm house, not realizing they also had a system partially plugged with a highly flammable material since this had never been a problem before. Fireplaces and older stoves produced roaring fires that either burned the creosote out or kept stacks temps above 250 degrees so that the gases escaped without condensing.''

    Now with a pellet burner, your stack temp won't be over 250 normally and if it is, you're wasting a lot of heat. So you need the fire in the pot and firebox to be above 250 to keep burning off those gases and not form creosote. That means a hot fire - one with a good mixture of fuel and air.
  17. AndrewChurchill

    AndrewChurchill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I had a serious creosote with my PB105 boiler. It got so bad I actually had a chimney fire that would have caught my house on fire had I not been home.

    The issue was leaking gaskets. The ash pan door wasn't closing tight enough and the same thing was happening to the gasket around the hopper. What I ended up doing was putting gasket material on the boiler doors opposite of the existing gaskets.

    It was an amazing transformation. Before I added the additional material the smoke coming out of the vent was dark and sooty after smoke was gone and so was the creosote.

    Long story short check all your gaskets and make sure they're air tight!
  18. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,345
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Now that's scary because the Quad Sante Fe and Castile inserts have NO seal around the ash pans or the hopper lids..... :sick: No creosote though.
  19. AndrewChurchill

    AndrewChurchill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    Loc:
    Vermont
    To be fair though my boiler has more gaskets that the regular Harman stove. Including a gasket between the boiler and the ash pan which can only be changed by lifting the boiler off the ash pan which entails removing all the plumbing connections.

    I noticed the ash pan gasket was leaking this summer so I removed the outer cover of the boiler and then used high temp RTV silicone and sealed all around the boiler and so far that seal is holding up nicely and it was a heck of a lot easier to do!

  20. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    Western MA
    The right mixture is the key. My fire never looked "lazy" no matter where I put my damper. But running on low the air temperature at the registers dropped about 5 degrees and I started getting heavier buildup on the glass if I had the damper opened another 10% or so over where I have it now (which I'd guesstimate at 90% closed). I think I've got it at the right place now, but it's definitely the trickiest adjustment to make.
  21. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Thank you all for the information. It was -25 C here over the weekend, had the stove pumping pretty good, and was having an excellent burn, almost white flames, creosote on back of stove burned off. Monitoring the situation. Need to do my door glass gasket. I still think something is up. When the burnpot is not full of ash I get a fairly dirty burn/slight smoke. I know in the past my stove only ever smoked if it was badly in need of a cleaning, and would only smoke for about 30 sec on a fresh startup. I cleaned it from top to bottom a week ago. Also been getting the odd auger squeal, which i've had in the past from carbon buildup in the auger tube apparently. Always works itself out after a couple of days. Still waiting to hear from my dealer on the feeder assembly check with Harman. Is it possible I could be overfeeding on Stove temp? As I understand from my dealer the stove should not overfeed, and it is better to have the feed a little too high, than too low. the stove will only feed what it needs to maintain the temp as required by the ESP. I'm running my feed on 3 now, was running 2. my pellets are short. Last year 3.5-4 was the sweet spot, with different pellets.
  22. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    177
    Loc:
    southernct
    from what I understand, you should never run on 2 , my dealer claims that Harman changed it's guild lines on feeder rate last year, now they say set it at 4 and keep it there, don't move it. Thats what they say, so thats what I run it on with no issues since the switch. I HATE the auger squeal, I get it a few times a year, mostly in late season. I only have (IMHO) on why. I think it is carbon build up also, but that doesn't mesh with why vac-out of the slide plate in the hopper can stop the squeal, and for that reason I think pellets with low fines work best in Harman stoves, I will only really know if this is true by going a whole season with no squeal, so far so good this year burning Cubex pellets, they seem to be good with low fines.
  23. newf lover

    newf lover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I always run on 2.5. If I run higher than that, I have smoke coming out the outside vent. It's running great so I'm not changing anything, but I don't know why I have to set the feed rate so low...
  24. Honda

    Honda Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    67
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    My dealer tells me the squeal is from carbon buildup at he end of the auger. Makes sense as it disappears after a bit of running, which mine has done all three times it has done it in 6 years. He says the carbon is from sawdust that runs through from the bottom of the hopper. I have been keeping my hopper topped up, when there is room to dump a bag in, I do. So, since the hopper doesn't completely empty for sometimes a couple of weeks, sawdust will accumulate toward the bottom of the hopper. When my squeal developed, I had just let the hopper empty to check for leaks, and there was a bit of sawdust toward the tailend. So, I think from now on I will let the hopper empty out once a week or so. My pellets are good for sawdust, but I guess you always get a little after 15-20bags of accumulation. In any event, my squeal went away after a day or so. Never thought to try and vacuum out the side plate under the the slide, in my case it should be empty, just cleaned it out a couple weeks ago.

    Newf, I am experiencing the same as you, anything above 2.5 and I get smoke. Weird for me as I have burned a bunch of different pellets over the years and never run below 3, usually always 3.75 - 4 in the cold weather, never had a smoking issue in 6 years of running, unless the stove needed a good cleaning. But, the only way I can get a clean burn this year is on 2-2.5. I was under the impression that in stove temp mode it would not overfeed, but I think that is what I was getting. Only seems to be on a med-low burn that I have issues, on a hot fire, temp setting #5, stove temp, seems to run as it should, white hot, no smoke, no lazy flames. Going to have my dealer come check gaskets, and the combustion motor. My creosote has almost disappeared. very tiny spot left, but most has burned off. may be coming from the incomplete combustion, due to a gasket, as someone mentioned in an earlier post. Either burnpot, or another. Will try to not post as much until I actually find something out. Just taking in all the different info people are offering and trying to narrow it down. Hopefully I can get my dealer down this week. after 6 winters it prob would not hurt to have all the gaskets done anyways.

    This site is awesome, and all you dealers,Techs, owners and pellet stove freaks really help people like me with the learning curve of owning a pellet stove, keeping it dialed in and troubleshooting issues that come up. Sure has saved me alot of calls to my dealer.Thank you all!
  25. mikesj

    mikesj Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Western MD
    I too have a p61a that's on its 6th season. I haven't run it this year because I am remodeling the room its in, but I have had creosote problems in the past. Ive never gone to the dealer about it... any time I have a problem I do better troubleshooting it myself. For the most part it seems to be a problem when my stove is dirty and when I am running at lower feed rates. If I remember correctly, removing the combustion fan and cleaning behind it really well seemed to help out a lot.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page