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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Whitfield tube scraper problem

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Tim_M, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Tim_M

    Tim_M Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Halifax, NS
    I just bought a used Profile 30 and discovered I have a problem with the heat tube scraper. It is seized on the right hand side at about the mid-way point, due to creosote buildup on the heat tubes that are behind the steel baffle on that side. I can't see any way to get at these tubes to clean them. Does anyone know of a way to access this area of the stove? Thanks.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,417
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    The tube scraper needs to be activated twice daily to keep it free and operational.

    With a cold stove, you need to carefully scrape the carbon off the tubes with a suitable tool until you can get the scraper to move back and forth some.

    Once you can get the scraper moving you can work the crud loose.

    Using a propane torch and directing the flame right at the carbon deposits will cause them to pop off.

    Be sure to wear goggles while doing this and watch that the hot carbon does not POP out and land on the carpet somewhere.


    Snowy
  3. CJ-SR4ever

    CJ-SR4ever New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    There is really no easy way to get to those. What I like to do is take a flexable piece of metal about 1 inch wide and 6-8 inches long and sneak it into those areas, also use a light to help you see that area better. Those areas are usually neglected and the ash just gets packed solid and prevents the scrapper from going the full length of the heat exchangers.
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    I use a hacksaw blade to reach around my heat exchanger tubes. Not the teeth, just the flat side. If I had a grinder handy, I'd just grind the teeth off. The blade is flexible yet strong, and the end(s) can be shaped to get into corners, etc. I also use it to clean the ash traps, but I put a piece of string through the blade's hole, so if I drop it inside, I can get it out again.

    On second thought, maybe the teeth would help you chew through the crud. I don't think you'll hurt the tubes any, they're pretty thick, and you won't be actually sawing at them.

    An icing spreader may work for you, since it's flat, about 10 inches long, 1 inch wide, and flexible. Check your kitchen drawers.
  5. Tim_M

    Tim_M Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Halifax, NS
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to try them out tomorrow.
  6. arnash

    arnash New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    229
    Loc:
    land of giant redwoods, No.Calif
    The citrus oil cleaner called Goop would probably help in the dissolving and lubricating to allow the scraper to slide back and forth, used with steel wool perhaps. I think I had a similar problem with mine when I first got it. It got lots of elbow grease applied with steel wool.
  7. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,460
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    Why does creosote buildup on the heat tubes, should just be powdery ash ?
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,093
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    The air flow on the other side cools the heat exchanger, that is why it is call a heat exchanger, in the process things condense out on the so called hot side. Some of this condensate can be what is called creosote.
  9. Tim_M

    Tim_M Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Halifax, NS
    I'm happy to report that after 2+ hours with a torch, hacksaw blade, piece of steel cable, and vice grips I was able to free up the tube scraper on my stove. After a thorough cleaning I did a test burn and the stove seems to work great. It looked as if it hadn't been cleaned in some time and the right ash trap was plugged solid, which I guess is what caused the heavy creosote build-up around the heat tubes. Thanks again for the help.
  10. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    Glad you got 'er done! Now you can enjoy your stove.

    Maybe a good long burn on high will burn off any creosote you may have missed and further improve the efficiency.

    And remember - "A clean stove is a happy stove".
  11. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,460
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    I guess no one told my heat exchanger that, no creosote ever.
  12. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,417
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    Its amazing how many people do not understand the cleaning requirements of a Pellet stove.

    I clean our little Whitfield every 3-4 days and the larger Whitfield usually every Sunday during peak useage (24-7)

    The tube scrapers get yanked twice daily, usually once in the morning as the coffee is brewing and once in the eavening before bed time.

    This sort of cleaning regimen keeps things running smoothly.


    If you have not read about it, a leaf blower with the suction side adapter works wonders to clear out the vent.

    Do your regular cleaning and then with all the innards vacuumed out, leave the door open on the stove and connect the suction side of the leaf blower to the vent and let it roar for about 15-20 seconds.

    All the loose fly ash will be out in a jiffy, leaving the vent spiffy clean.

    Glad you got the scraper all working good again.

    Snowy
  13. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,944
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    Yup, it's not a "Set it and forget it" kind of thing…as someone on here has stated, it's become a new hobby for me.
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    1st Off, glad the OP got the stove all cleaned up and running. Wish you many years of enjoyment out of it. I wish I could get an insert for our fireplace. (Wife aint having another stove in the house). Maybe in a few years..LOL

    I have gotten 2 smoking deals this year, because people do not know when to clean, nor what to clean on a stove. Which reduces the performance, and tends to get the owner to sell it, before it "Quits" completely. Normally a little cleaning and some lube, and they are good as new.

    I run on Low 90% of the time and don't have that problem either, and Quadrafire probably has more airflow by default, than any other manufacturer. Because there is so much turbulent air, you get a complete burn on the pellets. Which results in more fly ash everywhere. But I will take fly ash over a plugged up pot, or sooty burning stove any day.
    The scraper's on the 1200 really don't work all that well, unless you run it for weeks on end without cleaning. Or while pulling out the rods you pull them to one side (North,S,E,W), but applying pressure like that is not good on the thin rods either. I still pull them a couple times a day. On the off chance that they do remove something. But for the most part, I have a couple specialty brushes that I use for this cleaning. A good long dryer brush and a brush that is very similar to it, but is a wire brush (works amazing). I have cut my cleaning tools down from around 20 items. To around a half dozen. They are the following, 3" Paintbrush, 2 Dryer vent brush's (1 is wire, stated above), a .32 cal bore brush, 3M Square Sandpaper pad (green, rough), Turkey Baster cleaning brush, and a small wire brush (little bigger than a toothbrush/favorite for pot cleaning). There are obliviously more, which include a 3" PL vent brush, 3HP 6 Gallon Shop-Vac, Troy Bilt leafblower, Compressed air, and Rutlands Glass cleaner, but those are the BIG obvious ones. I like seeing and hearing about everyones own specialty tools that they use. Every stove and set-up is a little different, So the items needed for cleaning will need to fit the bill.

Share This Page