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Yearly routine maintenance on pellet insert

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by vmcalexander, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. vmcalexander

    vmcalexander New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    United States
    I have a Lennox Winslow P140 insert. I'm hoping someone can help with this question. Last fall after running my insert for 1.5 yrs., I called the installer to have someone come to do a yearly maintenance/cleaning before last winter. They came and since I'd already done a normal removal of ashes, all they did was open the ride side access and vacuum out around what I guess is the combustion blower which I'd been doing every couple of months anyway. They charged me $90 and said that's what was included in a yearly maintenance routine. I'm limited in who I can find to do this work in this area and I know I should just learn to do the stuff myself but.....
    Last winter, I started to have a buildup of ash on the little ledge above window and so the window became blackened much more quickly than in the past. For sure I figure I need a real "check up" with the flu pipe, etc but I need to know what I need to specify that needs to be done so I can then get a cost estimate and make sure I'm actually getting the stove checked out. When I call for a furnace system/AC check-up, they have a list of what is done. I need to be able to make sure I know what should be done. For example among other items, the manual says the proof of fire switch should be cleaned after 100 bags of fuel is burned so I would expect this to be on a yearly maintenance list, right?
    So what should a yearly check up include and generally what should be the cost?

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  2. hwdemers

    hwdemers Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    northern nh
    we Charge $135 for pellet service this includes removing combustion blower and cleaning the channels behind it, removing any snap switches that are in contact with the smoke and cleaning them with acetone, we also clean the chimney and then test the pressure in the firebox to verify it is set to factory specs.
    the whole process should take about 1 to 1.5 hrs
  3. imacman

    imacman Guest

    First of all, waiting 1 1/2 yrs to do a complete cleaning is WAY too long.....at the very least, it should be once a year, or after every ton of pellets.

    AFAIK, just opening the side panel and doing some vacuuming around the combustion motor isn't a correct job. There is no way to properly clean the blades and the plenum without actually removing the blower. In addition, the entire exhaust system going up the chimney should have been brushed & vacuumed clean, and any ash traps behind the firebox should have been opened and thoroughly cleaned too. Convection blower probably needs to be cleaned and lubed also.

    BTW, are you sure you know which blower is the combustion blower? It should have the exhaust connected to it.

    Did he check the door gasket?

    The change in the the way the stove is "blackened" is a sign it's pretty dirty inside and needs a proper cleaning.
  4. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    3,886
    Loc:
    Southcoast, MA
    Check this link: http://www.pelletstoveservice.com/pellet_stove_cleaning.html

    This is what my company does in a cleaning. We also provide you with a written report of all of the tests we ran on the stove as well as we clean your venting and verify the installation to be installed to code. If anything is wrong we list the corrections to be made and you have the option to have us do it or shop it around. We charge between $195-$290 for the first 1 1/2 hr, depending upon where you live, then $95 per hr thereafter plus parts, if needed.

    Though many may charge less, they should be doing everything that we have outlined...
  5. vmcalexander

    vmcalexander New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    United States
    Thank you guys bunches. This is exactly the info I was looking for and something I should have asked for before my first service visit but I tended to trust them to know what they were doing. BTW: I only use the stove as supplemental heat; don't run it when I'm gone or on sunny days since lots of windows warm that part of the house (and lose heat on a cold, windy day!). Also I was gone part of the first winter so I probably hadn't burned too much over the recommended amt. before cleaning.

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