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Winston Pellet Stoves

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by man-machine, Dec 23, 2009.

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  1. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    I'm a newb site member and yeah, I did a search before posting a new topic. When I Googled "Winston Pellet Stoves" I saw a question posted by someone and it directed me to this forum. Now I can share my grief of my Winston WP-24 Pellet Stove.

    I didn't buy this sorry piece of junk, it came with the house I bought in 1998. It heats my 24' by 32' garage (machine shop). This thing has been nothing but a nonstop headache from day one but I've never had the money to replace it and I still don't. It began with overfeeding and pellet pileup on both high and low burn. Completely cleaned the heat exchanger section, got the draft set right, replaced the door seal, and set the programmable combustion controler to the factory settings of 36 seconds "off" and feed settings of 6 & 8 seconds for low and high burn.

    It still doesn't make very good heat. The burn flame is perfect, 6" high and not too relaxed or frantic. It's like te heat exchanger section just isn't tranfering heat well. I can put my hand right in front of it and it's not overly hot like it should be. I talked to Vern at Edwards & Sons and he said the room blower fan may be dirty. That could be but it still seems like even a reduced amount of airflow should still be roasting hot regardless. With an outside temp of 20F it will only raise 768 sq. ft. of fully insulated garage to about 54F after 24 hours on high burn. I'm running out of repair ideas. :( ... m-m

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If that blower fan is blocked by dirt you'll have almost no air flow, however the stove above the air tubes should be hot.

    I have no idea what weight (actually volume) of pellets the auger on that stove can deliver in one hour being off for 36 of every 42 or 44 seconds. Usually a pellet stove has a fixed total feed cycle that is:

    time off + time on = a constant in the case of my stove the cycle constant is 16 seconds and time on is either 4, 6, 9, 10, or 12 seconds. The 12 second on setting delivers 4.8+- pounds of pellets per hour.

    but in any event it will have to burn enough pellets to generate heat then the convection blower must move air through the heat exchanger to extract that heat and send it into the room.

    How many bags of pellets are you using in that 24 hour period?
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    man-machine, only 54 degrees after 24 hours???? Even though it may seem to not be the problem, but the guy Vern said, I'd take the room air blower out & clean it and make sure it's running well...eliminate that as a possible problem before you give up.

    I know that you said that you don't have the $$ to buy another stove, but with that stove, you're dumping money (for pellets) down the drain. Any of even the smallest pellet stoves on the market today would blast you out of that small space.

    Have you looked on Craig's list for a used Englander 25PDVC? I see them for sale around me for all the time, like this one:

    http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/for/1521751253.html

    Good luck!
  4. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Ok, thanks. To answer both of your posts I'll first say that in 24 hours on high burn it would use about 30-35 lbs. of pellets.

    I need to correct myself about the feed settings, they are as follows:

    Low burn: 3 seconds on and 36 secods off

    High burn: 10 seconds on and 36 seconds off

    So high burn uses approx. three times as much fuel as low burn unless there's another factor I'm not considering.

    The heat output is pitiful, I could get a digital temp reading if that helps but it is lukewarm, not even very hot at all.
    I don't have a btu spec on this model but it is the bigger of the two Winston models, the smaller is the WP18, this is the WP24.
    Offhand it's probably safe to say this thing should roast a well insulated area of 768 sq. ft. with an 8 ft. ceiling.
    I have zero money to replace this thing otherwise I would. I only heat this shop 1-2 days a week but yeah, you're right it is wasting money if I'm only getting a 20F rise in temp, that's unbelievably bad.
  5. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Seems to me that the feed rate is what's wrong with that stove. To only be burning 30-35 lbs a day on high isn't much, but maybe that's all that thing is capable of. I burn that much in a day on heat setting of 5 or 6 (medium high), and my stove will go to 9.

    Too bad you don't have an owners manual or info on the BTU output, etc.
  6. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Mac...you need to explain how he needs to clean his stove... it couldn't hurt.
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Well, he DID say he cleaned it in his first post, but i know nothing about his stove, so can't comment on how to do it. Maybe a leaf blower treatment after some prodigious hammer banging on the firebox walls would help.
  8. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    I do have the installation and operating instructions but it doesn't have a btu spec. There's stuff I can tell you, 4" intake, 2" exhaust, Marcom Industries STC-4 super controller, burn pot is about 3.5" diameter and about 2" deep. I've tried various combinations of auger off and auger on settings, one weird thing is that the "off" dip switches have values of 4, 8, 16, & 32 seconds in the on postition but I have all of them on and I'm only getting 30 seconds of "off" time. I should have 60 seconds with all of them on.

    I've cleaned everything except the room fan, the draft butterfly, and the exhaust blower. The heat exchanger box is a bastage to clean but I got it. It has 12 1" diameter tubes going through it which are impossible to clean all the way around each one but with wire brushes and compressed air it's as clean as it's going to get.
  9. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Reading the maintenance sticky now, room fan must be at least part of the problem, high burn is only pushing air out of the front roughly 12" .... Getting a temp reading also for a "before - after" baseline. I'm not giving up on it. I must have 100 hours of work in this thing, seriously. :(
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Are you sure about those 4" and 2" sizes?? Sounds like those are backwards.

    Remove & clean BOTH blowers!! The combustion blower may have a lot of soot/carbon buildup on the vanes, and the "room fan" (convection blower) could be plugged-up with dirt/dust bunnies, etc.....some of them also have lube ports on the motor for the shaft bearings, but not all.

    BTW, you never mentioned your exhaust set=up.....type, length, bends, etc.
  11. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the stove is clean. put it on a dollie and take it outside and stick an air hose in every nook and cranny. One old stove I had did not show a baffle wall in the owners manual, but the two pounds of crud I blew out of it aided in finding the secret door. And clean those blowers and pipes. The exhaust pipe may be hiding a major blockage in a small turn and will dramatically affect the ability of the stove to heat. I am not familiar with the controls, but your auger on/off cycling seems unusually low. It needs to increase auger time dramatically to produce any significant heat. Remember, the ash is very small and will go everywhere. I did mine outside with my doors closed, what a mess, but it found the spots I could not see.
  12. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Yes, 4" intake is double wall pipe ducted to the outside, the 2" exhaust is singlewall steel flex running down the center of the 4" intake. Exactly how the installation shows. It's a straight, level, horizontal run right throught the wall approx. 5' in length, correct to the install. No blockage on either.

    Low burn is giving me an output temp of 97F at a 12" distance. Horrible. Fuel feed is correct to the oem specs, I know I'm not getting the full 36 seconds of "off" .. I'm getting 30 seconds which is pretty close. Auger feed time values are correct with a 1/2" to 3/4" hot ember bed in the burn pot and a relaxed 6" flame height.

    I'll have to pull both fans off and check the damper section aswell. Yeah, "room fan" is what the oem component diagram calls it, the other fan is called "exhaust blower" according to them. I am guessing at the fuel use over 24 hrs on high burn, it could be as much as 45 lbs or as little as 30-35 lbs, not exactly sure. Thanks for all the help, I appreciate it.
  13. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Btw macman, The Three Stooges marathon is on AMC New Years Eve morning 7am and goes for 23 hours.

    I am "stoogepower" on the Soitenly Stooges website and I'm in Curly's biography book at the Walk of Fame star dedication.
  14. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    I have a older pellet stove in my garage, called a "Marlboro", maybe we can hook for a drag.........
  15. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    As macman has already stated, you really need to clean both the combustion and room blower motors assemblies paying particular attention to the vanes. Not a lot of sense knocking your brains out and wasting pellets till this is accomplished.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    BTW man-machine I forgot to welcome you to the forum, so welcome.

    By now the regulars have blasted you with the clean the damn thing routine.

    I figured that you’d catch on if told that it is at least a two step process.

    1. Generate heat by burning pellets.
    2. Extract as much of that heat as is possible.

    The stove shop guy started out by saying in effect the blower is likely clogged so clean it. He is absolutely correct, so remove, clean, and properly lubricate the convection fan system.

    This also requires that the air path from the fan out through the hot air (funny right? no hot air) exit also be cleaned. It is important that there is a clear area around your stove and that the grill that is adjacent to the convection fan is clear. One has to actually have unrestricted access to the air they are going to suck through the blower system.

    Now still in keeping with the heat exchanger on the burn side of things the entire surface area must be as clean as is reasonably possible to maintain otherwise the ash and crud acts as insulation. This may entail removing a few baffles and playing using various stove torture devices etc…

    Now I’ll shift to the burn side of things, last night I did a real quick and dirty calculation of how many pellets you were burning on high and arrived at 1.164 pounds an hour based upon the timings you gave me and a huge leap of faith on your auger system being fairly close to mine. If you burn 30 pounds in 24 hours you are at 1.25 pounds an hour and at 35 pounds you are at 1.458 pounds an hour. This is the low firing rate for a lot of stoves.

    You are providing before efficiency issues get their bite out of your BTUs between 10250 and 11955 BTUs if you are burning really good quality pellets, there should be a rating plate on the stove, would you please look for it and either PM me the information on it or post it on the forum. I’m not likely to be able to carry on a chat using the forum because of the time differences and my schedule.

    My conclusion is that the stove is being under fired and that you still have a bit of cleaning to do.

    If you could provide me with the construction detail of your shop I can also run a heat loss calculation for the building.

    Hope this helps.
  17. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Ok, it's on shutdown and in the process of cooling down. What a fiasco, what a debacle. As I'm sure many of you know Winston went out of business quite a while ago so dealer support is non existent. And specific maintenance instructions in the owner's manual steers me off to the old "consult your distributor" box canyon along with the "have your local dealer....." smear.

    When I say I have 100 hours in this pile it isn't just because of this one problem, there were others. Like the fact all of the trim that holds the door glass in place started to fall off because the manufacturer thought it was a great idea to run self tapping screws into a slot in the aluminum extrusion about 1/8" deep. Brilliant. So I had to take all of that off and drill through holes and tap them 10-32 and remount everything (three pieces of glass, over 20 holes) with modified 10-32 flathead screws. Then another time I bought moisture damaged pellets that Country General had stored outside, sheesh I didn't know. They were all crumbly and of course that jammed the feed auger. Thats not the stove's fault but pissed me off none the less.

    Another issue is the door being designed with three flat surfaces and two angles. It makes proper door sealing almost impossible unless the hinges are adjusted absolutely perfect. When I first got the stove the burn pot was so hashed the pellets would come out of the feed chute and go flying past the burn pot and pile up at the front of the door. So I had to fab a new front piece for the burn pot and weld that on. The draft control wouldn't stay in positon, it kept wanting to spring back so somewhere I didn't want it to be. Then the room fan speed control pot is another POS, the knob's control shaft has two flats on the end which should engage a keyslot inside the pot which is now stripped out, I have to reach inside there with a screwdriver to turn it.

    Please excuse my frustration and/or ignorance but why would a unit like this be better than a industrial quality NG fired unit heater? I'll post pics asap, thank you all again for putting up with me and being as helpful as you are.
  18. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Thanks Smokey I will continue with getting both fans out and all passages cleaned. I tried to post pics but the site won't allow me. When I first got this stove I could tell it had been run a lot just by the way the front ledge on the burn pot was beat down to almost nothing. I'm curious to see just how messed up this thing is and how bad the problem is because of the poor performance it must really be bad. There's no btu rating on the stove's ID plate or in the owner's manual.

    Construction details of my shop: 24' x 32' 8ft ceiling, fully finshed interior, fully insulated, 2 single car wide sectional doors that are insulated and one insulated entry door, concrete slab floor. Built new in 1995.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Can you scan the manual, I'll send you my email then you can attach the scanned manual in an email to me.

    I'd really like to know the limits of that stove before mucking with the firing rate.

    I suspect that the stove is capable of burning at least twice as many pellets as it is currently burning more likely 3 just unsure at the moment and want more information before I roll some calculations for firing, in particular I want to know if that puppy has a hi temperature limit shut off and that it hasn't been bypassed.
  20. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Sorry but the owner's manual won't be of any help, it's only 17 pages and only covers the installation and the basics of how to get it lit, draft control, and a few other things. No specs, wiring diagrams, or exploded parts views. And no way to scan it. The specs I got for fuel delivery was only three pages faxed to me by Edwards & Sons, they bought all the parts from Winston when Winston went belly-up.

    I am no stranger to forums, I've been on the KTMTalk.com (motorcycle) forums for ages. There's a bunch of us that ride 1985-1995 KTM twostroke bigbores 440/500/550cc's and we always get that newb rank amatuer who comes on not knowing what he's got or what he's doing, you know, "that guy" ... Now on this site I'm "that guy" lol. Oh well, you're either the hammer or the nail.
    Thanks a bunch gentlemen.
  21. Excell

    Excell Feeling the Heat

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    I also heat my garage with my pellet stove . I have no problem heating my garage in -35 deg weather I was working in a T shirt . On the coldest day I never used more than one bag of pellets .I did have to do a lot of work to get the big door sealed ,and that is an on going battle .
    I think that you should be able to get more pellets threw it in 24hrs than you do . I would also look at how much combustion air it is getting .
    You can post pics they just can't be to big . You should have a program that can make them smaller .
  22. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Interesting. I was hoping not to be using more than 40 lbs in 24 hrs, that seems a little on the expensive side @ $4.00 a bag. I would be out there a lot more if I didn't have this current problem. Both sectional doors are well sealed with lip seals from the outside and double lip closed cell foam on the bottoms.

    I did reduce pic size to 760 pixels. Ah! I got it to work. Enlarge the pic and you can see the piece I added to the burn pot and how the glass trim was fixed with new screws.

    Attached Files:

  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I've only got a minute here but you have the problem of first heating some 6144 cubic feet of air to temperature. It takes close to an hour just to move that amount of air through the heat exchanger, if do not have outside air it will take even longer because you'll also be sucking air out of your building.

    Please note the following is based upon several assumptions, the shop has no windows or doors of less insulation value than a wall of R19 and a cap of R39 and the slab is of uninsulated normal construction of R1.47 and that there is no more than 1 air exchange per hour.

    In order to maintain a temperature of 68F inside at 20F outside will require a net heating effort of 14,911 BTU/hour.

    Please refer back to my post about your current high firing rate. Hence the reason you have a very slow rise in temperature, your biggest heat loss is air infiltration followed by slab, wall, and cap.

    Now I'm out of here until Saturday, have company and a rather large dinner to attend to.

    Have a Merry Christmas everyone and keep warm.
  24. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Glad you got the pic to upload. Maybe a pic of it burning now?

    BTW, one 40lb. bag in 24 hrs in the winter is not too bad. Most people are burning more than that.

    When you say the garage is "fully insulated", what does that mean? Did you insulate it yourself? Are you guessing it's fully insulated? Is it insulated in the ceiling rafters? R-ratings on the insulations?

    Another question....where does the heated air come out? From under that flap above the front glass, or through the slots in the top?
  25. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    "Fully insulated" yes, the walls are insulated, roof is the standard gable type pitch with insulation in the flat part of the attic. No, I don't have the R ratings. Hot air comes out of the slot above the glass, correct, that's the only place it comes out. Still, shouldn't this thing be blowing out air hotter than 97F?

    I can't show it burning, I have to take it apart. I'll describe the flame as being full pot width, 6" high, not too fiesty and sooting up the glass very little. Sound about right?
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