Big E Help, caught fire?

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clincoln007

Member
Oct 11, 2014
61
mass
HELP!!! I have a Breckwell Big E I bought used and it had been running great for about 3 - 4 weeks. Two nights ago the inside of the stove caught fire, the silicone around the metal adapter that goes from the blower to the chimney caught fire. Before I could get the back panel off to put it out it put itself out. I have removed the adapter cleaned it up, siliconed it with high temp RTV, and reinstalled the stove. Now when I try to start the stove the fire starts but the room blower NEVER goes on. I bypassed the POF disc and the blower comes on but obviously won't go off. The problem is with this stove, if I don't shut it down completely it won't start up properly, it needs to go through the entire shutdown process. Does anyone know HOW the silicone could have caught fire and if it sounds like the POF disc is not telling the stove to start up? With the disc bypassed the stove runs but only on one speed setting because it hasn't gone through the whole start up process. Also I noticed saw dust inside and under the stove, not a ton but enough to be very noticeable, is that normal? Any help would be greatly appreciated, with 4 kids and the nights getting really cold I need to get this thing back up and running ASAP! Thanks! I added a picture of the part that burned.
 

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Mark_ms

Feeling the Heat
Jan 28, 2008
344
Upstate NY on VT Border
You really need to determine the cause before you just start patching it up.
Since the fire started near the combustion blower I would pull it out inspect and clean not only the combustion fan but the pathway before and after the fan and replace the the low limit switch. You may need to replace other parts as you go along, but it sounds like a build up of ash and possibly creosote.
If the "sawdust" is in the vicinity of your auger motor that is somewhat normal but probably indicates auger motor bushing failure.
Tear your stove apart to find the cause and hidden damage.
 

clincoln007

Member
Oct 11, 2014
61
mass
I cleaned the blower adaptor and the part of the inside of the blower i could see didnt look dirty, the chimney was all cleaned out a few weeks ago. There was some ash build up. I just dont get how the silicone caught fire! Its goodnto know the sawdust is normal. Is there anyplace else you could think to clean out? The thing was running great before this.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,802
Cape Cod, Ma.
No I didnt pull the blower out, if I do that won't I need to replace the gasket behind it?
Good chance Yeah.

Things catch fire that never caught fire before because they got too hot LOL ! If you have never completely cleaned the stove it may be time. Part of a complete cleaning is accessing areas you don't do on a weekly basis. Also cleaning the flue " a few weeks ago" in some cases, depending on configuration, pellets used, type of pellets, how hot you burn etc. Could mean it's time again. These things and time intervals are things you come to know about your specific stove and install over time.
 

bcarton

Feeling the Heat
Oct 15, 2014
313
Pelham, NH
The silicone caught fire? Isn't that stuff rated for like 600 degrees? I hate to ask dumb questions, but are you sure the right sealant was used?
 

clincoln007

Member
Oct 11, 2014
61
mass
Yea its weird, the white silicone i took a piece that didnt burn and held a lighter to it and it lit right up, then i tried the samething with the red rtv high temp silicone and it did the same thing, the stuffs heat resistant i guess but a flame still makes it burn
 

bcarton

Feeling the Heat
Oct 15, 2014
313
Pelham, NH
I'm far from being the expert here, but I wouldn't light that stove again without pulling the blower to investigate. You will need a gasket, hopefully you can get one quickly.

Even then, if the blower is that weak or the exhaust path that blocked, one would expect the vacuum switch to shut down the stove.
 
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clincoln007

Member
Oct 11, 2014
61
mass
Yea it makes no sense i could see up the path behind the blower into the stove and it was clear the adaptor that goes into the chimney was pretty gunked ip and there were some chunks of burnt up ass in it i scraped it down and cleaned it big time, i put a bead of rtv copper good to 700 degrees ft on the adaptor and the pipe and bolted it back down then put another bead around the seam, didnthe same for the end going into the chimney pipe. I replaced the pof disc and started it back up so far so good.....I still wish I knew what caused the fire its so weird?
 
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