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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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    All's well that ends well. Even when I had this stove "professionally serviced" by the tech from the local independent dealer (Woodstove Warehouse) all he did was brush and ShopVac the heat exchanger. The same thing I've been doing up to this point. Granted this teardown was a 12 hour ordeal, I was hand scrubbing parts in the kitchen sink, wire wheeling every bolt and screw, and retapping every threaded hole for ease of reassembly. That's how I do things, nothing ever get slapped back together without 100% attention to detail. That's why the 12 hours.

    Sandblasting the heat exchanger wasn't totally needed but I was after brand new performance. I might have a 5-10% heat output with that, maybe a little less I dunno but in my own mind it was worth it.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Every little bit helps.
  3. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    If nothing else sandblasting the heat exchanger gives me a bare metal baseline to see what kind of buildup I get from here on out.

    I think now I am probably good for at least two tons or four heating seasons depending on how much I'm out there. I'm seeing now that this stove was new in 1986, it had to be used somewhere else before being installed in this shop which was built new in 1995 as I mentioned before. Final thanks to all involved, if you need something machined hit me up, I owe ya.
  4. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Now I think I'm hosed. I went out there after shutting it down and the burn pot was overfed with pellets and the fuse was blown. The auger is jammed but I disconnected the drive chain and put it a new fuse, powered it up and a big crackle and puff of smoke came out of the controller box. :(
  5. filburt

    filburt New Member

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    Sorry your pellet stove is toast. If you are still interested in a pellet stove, try northern tool. They have a propel stove at 1199 on sale. It has a 120# hopper(3 bags)
    You also get a tax credit on the stove. Great price for the big stove, but I don't know of any recommendations for this stove. You can find Northern tool on line and see other stoves including vent free propane. Good luck
  6. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Oh I'm cool. Site member Ronniebabe hooked me up with a new control panel for cheap.

    Back in the heat here soon.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That's good to hear as there wasn't much any of us could do since we didn't have a circuit diagram, manual, or even decent pictures of the guts of the control panel. Before you put it in and fire it up, you did get that funny material that was flaking off things replaced right? Electronics and motors and such really hate high temperatures so if that was the primary insulation shield it needs to be there.
  8. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    I have the manual scanned if you want to see it. Yes, I'm getting the insulation replaced, Woodstove Warehouse is calling it "ceramic insulation" but they only have the one kind that has no backing on it, I'm still trying to find exactly the right stuff. The stuff that does have the backing on it, just like the oem material.
  9. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    board front

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  10. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    board back, toasted lower left corner

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  11. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    stripped cabinet, electronics enclosure on the right

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  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That insulation was some kind of mineral bat and not a ceramic board. Make certain it is replaced before using the stove or you are likely to fry your new board.

    It is likely to start with the motors closest to the firebox and progress to the control electronics because the mechanical parts seize up and that in turn will overload the electronics (fuses are well known for being protected by faster blowing electronics), then the electronics go poof afterwards the fuse may or may not go poof.
  13. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    You would think with both the combustion fan and the room fan running and the rear cover panel being nothing but slots the cabinet would be drawing in a fair amount of cool air on a regular basis but I won't rely on that. If it had insulation to begin with then it should again. There's only a small section missing on one side of the bulkhead/firewall thingy but yeah, it should be replaced. I see other "bald" sections that never had insulation that could use more insulation aswell. More = more gooder-er-er.
  14. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Thats why I was asking about using the red RTV high temp silicone to join the combustion fan squirrel cage housing to it's related components. It seems the silicone wouldn't have the heat isolating properties that the oem insulation material has.

    Now I'm a little leary of what I did. The oem used insulation to gasket everything and I probably should be too. Instead of wondering which component is going to be cooked off next (including the electronics of the new control panel) in a cascading event of heat related failures. Aaaarrrg.... Looks like a do-over.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The normal gasket material for those blowers provides almost zero thermal insulation and what that is is offset by the screws, etc... used to fasten them on with. What gets really hot is the areas that the fiber bats are used to protect flammable materials such as pellets. There is a reason why Winston stoves had that material where it was, most likely to stop something from frying or torching off.

    I know what having a motor close to the firebox can do from first hand experience. I'm on convection blower number three as a result. Latest one came with an adapter to place the blower further away from and lower than the firebox (can you say oops ?) ;-) .
  16. filburt

    filburt New Member

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    I used Rutland high temp stove gasket cement to seal air leaks on the glass stovefront. It is rated for 2000 degrees and is black.Again, I didn't use it to seal gaskets but to plug air leaks in the front of the stove. It is still intact after 2 years. I replaced gaskets on the fans with a braided heavy gasket that had a peel off adhesive on one side. Easy to seal and much tougher than anything else I could find.
  17. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Funny thing well not really funny is the fact that right after the electronics board took a dump the room fan motor did too. I oiled it recently before this last resurection but right after the board smoked I put power to the comb fan to test it and it worked fine. Then put power to the room fan and it did one tiny "ugh" sound and that was it, no more running.

    So going back to the oil thing, I noticed some oily spooge on the fan's mounting bracket that smelled like oily burnt laquer. It's hard to say WTH is going on with this stove, it's listed as being tested (new) in 1988 so with 20 some-odd years on it I can't tell if it's just age and use or if I'm a chump for believing it's ever going to work right. Last time it ran I was getting mean, nasty, and aggressive with the firing rate on high burn and going a little over twice what the factory recommended settings were. I hate to think I toasted the room fan with an overfiring heat buildup but I didn't have 100% of the missing insulation in place on the sheetmetal bulkhead / firewall -or- the motor was just old -or- I overfired it -OR- 1, 2, or various levels of all three.
  18. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Back in business. New complete control panel & room (convection) fan assembly. Went back to factory recommended feed settings kicked up just a touch. Satisfied with heat output, pellet use, and how clean it's staying. A big, big, problem with this stove is the door seal, any leaks and the flame is pitifully lazy and sooty. Easy to tell when the seal isn't sealing because the draft control will have very little effect on the flame. I don't need cranking 74F temps out here, anything above 55-60F or so and I'm fine. Especially when it's single digits outside. Rocking!

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  19. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Glad to hear you got it back up and running......got my fingers crossed for ya.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hey that's good to see.


    Now treat that thing right.
  21. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    Hey now, that stupid thing has been getting the rock star treatment. Pampered to the hilt. I'm a little disappointed the only replacement fan assembly I could get cheap ($30) and new is about 1/3 smaller than the original. It works ok for an open cube-type area but in a house it wouldn't push heat down hallways or through a house very well. No biggy. It's a lot more quiet. I went outside and felt the exhuast and there's very little heat being lost, most of the heat is going where it should.

    Burned a bag with very little ash in the combustion chamber deck area. No sooty black stuff, just that very light grey dusting tinge on the glass and whatnot. On shutdown mode it will finish out and leave the burn pot empty so I guess thats good right? I'm tempted to boost up the firing rate but I just love how clean it's burning and want to keep that regardless.... It's like a carbed dirtbike with perfect jetting. Voonderbah!
  22. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    The trick to getting the door adjusted was to switch the hinge mounting fasteners from 1/4"-20 hexhead bolts to 1/4"-20 sockethead (Allen) buttonheads.... Then drill and mill these crappy looking access hole/slots so the door hinges can be adjusted and tightened while the door is in proper postition when closed. Both the hinge brackets and the cabinet were slotted by the oem and to try to adjust them perfectly without being able to tighten or loosen them will put you on the fast track to the loony bin.

    The answer is of course to cheat. You would think man-machine would mill preportionally correct access slots all nice and neat.
    I'm over it, the door seals nicely.

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  23. filburt

    filburt New Member

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    Sounds like you're getting it right. That fine gray film on the window is normal. Black soot is not. The door gasket has been a problem for me over the past 20 yrs. I used some braided gasket with an adhesive back just inside the door edge and made a second gasket. Works great and check the periphery of the gasket with an inch or so of paper closed in the door. If it's tight it's OK. The glass door will also give you a hint if you have a door leak. Look for a flame like area of clean glass that does not have the fine gray film from burning. There is a leak near the clean glass area. The glass should be uniformly gray when there are no leaks. Soot and a lazy flame suggest a door leak. The forge or blow torch flame is what you want.
  24. man-machine

    man-machine Member

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    That's interesting and correct to you, me and many others. But the owner's manual says the flame shouldn't be "too excited" and I don't agree with that. The relaxed flame was the dirty, sooty flame and the roaring blowtorch runs clean. I'd rather overfeed combustion air, loose a little heat (maybe) and keep the whole operation as clean as possible than go the dirty route.

    I have the manual as a file now and I'll try and get some of the pages posted up. Thanks.
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Treating it right means clean properly on a regular basis, replace bad gaskets, use proper fuel, etc... . If that is done that puppy will outlast most of the folks that post here.
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