Castle Serenity Pellet Stove

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Cabinjunky

New Member
Dec 21, 2020
5
Pennsylvania
I bought the CS on sale from TSC in Oct/19. I installed it in a brand new 960sq/ft cabin in Nov/20. It is vented with DuraVent twist lock pipe and also uses a DuraVent OAK. It has a horizontal exhaust run of approx 30” through the wall thimble and connects to clean out tee, then rises vertically approximately 36” to the exhaust tip. Pipe is sealed with RTV and I had no leaks during first startup. Within 10 minutes of startup it shut off. I tried again and same result. Went to diagnostics and realized the proof of fire switch was faulty. Simple enough, switched wires to secondary POF. Re-started stove and things were fine for maintaining fire. First weekend burn was ok, but had lazy flame and smoky glass. I used Manual mode. Second weekend I used Temp mode to see if that would work better. Heat was good, only hit setting 5 a few times until the desired temp was reached. Ok, I’m getting the hang of this. Weekend came and went and nothing major to report. Following week I planned on staying for 10 days. I had plenty of pellets (Pennington hardwood from Sam’s Club). Started fire on Friday eve and stove ran fine. Loaded with pellets until Sunday when I shut it down to clean and inspect. Slightly dirty glass and varying flame throughout run time but nothing causing concern. To remedy the dirty glass I upped exhaust voltage in stall 1 by 5 volts 80-85 and changed nothing else in order to test it. Next day was good and burn pot looked like it was relatively empty and clean. Followed plan of loading pellets and checking over next two days. All was fine. Get to Wednesday, early morning, and I got up to get a drink and the fire was huge. Pellets spilled outside of burn pot and they were lit. Flame was large and lazy. I shut it down to take a look and I discovered that the “heat shield” (see pic) appeared to have disintegrated. I cleaned out stove and found no other issues. Left cabin early to get home and contact Ardisam. Sent pics and provided them with the details mentioned above. The stove was passed it’s one year warranty, but either, because I hadn’t used it or because they have never seen this issue, they replaced the stove; which I received today. I’m happy the stove has been replaced and can’t say enough good things about the customer service experience. However, I am concerned that there may be more issues down the road. The manual provides good info, but there is a lot of subjectivity regarding pellet brand and stove adjustments. This is my first pellet stove and this issue is not what I was expecting. I will re-install the new stove and tread lightly. I have located a better quality pellet as well. Wanted to share my story and see if anyone has any ideas? Also, Ardisam said that the initial stove couldn’t be easily repaired, but at least I have something to cannibalize parts from moving forward. Thanks!
AFCAF6D8-1096-478C-9E07-BDBF46E18F29.jpeg
 

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,393
Berks County PA.
That back wall of the firebox should be double plated and it looks like the top plate may have never been welded on.
IMG_20160217_182827.jpg
I actually had an issue with my serenity that the top plate the plug welds were braking loose and they replaced my stove after a year and 1/2 of owning it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ssyko

Cabinjunky

New Member
Dec 21, 2020
5
Pennsylvania
Thanks for the insight. I thought it looked pretty thin for a heat shield, if that’s what it’s called. I will have to thoroughly check the replacement before lighting fire. It’s a roll of the dice when you have no idea what the configuration should be or what kind of inspection system is being used. If it was to be double walled; I’d consider that a significant quality escape. I really appreciate the info.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ssyko

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,393
Berks County PA.
IMG_20160217_181248.jpg
Just make sure that the back wall of the firebox in the new stove looks like the photo's I have posted and I have no doubts you will be fine. Not good for something like that to slip through QC if any at all exists but that's not normal on a serenity, alot of them stoves out there in use and most people are very happy with them. A friend of my wife has one and you would cringe if you seen the abuse she puts that stove through and it just keeps on going and the only problems she has ever had was 2 pellet jams. All I can say is she is very lucky that the serenity is very forgiving to lack of cleaning or she would have major issues.
 

Cabinjunky

New Member
Dec 21, 2020
5
Pennsylvania
The back wall on the failed unit was nowhere near that beefy. Like I told Ardisam; aside from the exceptional customer service they are known for, I primarily bought the stove based on oodles of positive reviews. Viewing this forum helped solidify that decision. I may no longer put the same value into “on sale”, but I still expect the unit to work relatively easily. Your wife’s friends’ stove represents the durability I was looking for. Set it and forget it....sad cliche I know. I’m not looking for stove drama when I’m trying to relax at camp. This issue sent me home early from a trip I planned months ago. Hopefully all is good moving forward. Thanks for sharing the pics.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I bought the CS on sale from TSC in Oct/19. I installed it in a brand new 960sq/ft cabin in Nov/20. It is vented with DuraVent twist lock pipe and also uses a DuraVent OAK. It has a horizontal exhaust run of approx 30” through the wall thimble and connects to clean out tee, then rises vertically approximately 36” to the exhaust tip. Pipe is sealed with RTV and I had no leaks during first startup. Within 10 minutes of startup it shut off. I tried again and same result. Went to diagnostics and realized the proof of fire switch was faulty. Simple enough, switched wires to secondary POF. Re-started stove and things were fine for maintaining fire. First weekend burn was ok, but had lazy flame and smoky glass. I used Manual mode. Second weekend I used Temp mode to see if that would work better. Heat was good, only hit setting 5 a few times until the desired temp was reached. Ok, I’m getting the hang of this. Weekend came and went and nothing major to report. Following week I planned on staying for 10 days. I had plenty of pellets (Pennington hardwood from Sam’s Club). Started fire on Friday eve and stove ran fine. Loaded with pellets until Sunday when I shut it down to clean and inspect. Slightly dirty glass and varying flame throughout run time but nothing causing concern. To remedy the dirty glass I upped exhaust voltage in stall 1 by 5 volts 80-85 and changed nothing else in order to test it. Next day was good and burn pot looked like it was relatively empty and clean. Followed plan of loading pellets and checking over next two days. All was fine. Get to Wednesday, early morning, and I got up to get a drink and the fire was huge. Pellets spilled outside of burn pot and they were lit. Flame was large and lazy. I shut it down to take a look and I discovered that the “heat shield” (see pic) appeared to have disintegrated. I cleaned out stove and found no other issues. Left cabin early to get home and contact Ardisam. Sent pics and provided them with the details mentioned above. The stove was passed it’s one year warranty, but either, because I hadn’t used it or because they have never seen this issue, they replaced the stove; which I received today. I’m happy the stove has been replaced and can’t say enough good things about the customer service experience. However, I am concerned that there may be more issues down the road. The manual provides good info, but there is a lot of subjectivity regarding pellet brand and stove adjustments. This is my first pellet stove and this issue is not what I was expecting. I will re-install the new stove and tread lightly. I have located a better quality pellet as well. Wanted to share my story and see if anyone has any ideas? Also, Ardisam said that the initial stove couldn’t be easily repaired, but at least I have something to cannibalize parts from moving forward. Thanks! View attachment 270030
That is a classic picture of steel lamination. What happens is when the sheet is rolled flat, the layers of metal don't bond to each other inside and the layers become paper thin and that is exactly what occurred there, IOW the back sheet was defective. I can see why the company replaced the stove.

I just ran into that on an excavation bucket I rebuilt for a customer. The back sheet where it was formed, had a lamination in the sheet right at the break and I had to use brazing rod and my oxy-acetylene torch and build up the laminated area to seal it back up. I wasn't about to replace the entire back sheet for one laminated spot, I was already replacing both side sheets and installing a SSQA plate on the bucket.

Like I said, classic lamination. That usually occurs on low grade steel sheet where the mill QC is lacking.

I might add that there is no way the stove builder would see that because the surface of the sheet appear just fine. Only after a few heat and cool cycles would a lamination appear. I suspect it was a rare instance and I'd not be concerned with the replacement doing that.
 
Last edited:

Cabinjunky

New Member
Dec 21, 2020
5
Pennsylvania
Thanks for your input and observations. Hopefully this was a one off issue and my experience will be smooth sailing from here on out. The science of metals is very technical, as is welding. The average person would be amazed by the process. As a result you can blow right by defects and discontinuities and think all is well. IMHO, I generally believe customer service is a long gone concept, but Ardisam stepped up in a big way. Hopefully the product deficiencies from the “field” end up in revised drawings and processes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ssyko