Clinkers!!

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agrossm

New Member
Dec 12, 2009
16
St. Louis, MO
Well, I didn't buy a bag of pellets to try before I bought a ton and now I'm paying for it. I got a good deal on Somersets at TSC and didn't have a whole lot of time to shop around so I just bought a pallet. I've been through about 20 bags and after about a 4 hour burn on 4 or 5 heat range I get a clinker that blocks all of the lower holes in the burn pot and I end up w/ a mound of glowing pellets. Last night I moved the adjustable plate in the hopper to try to decrease the amount of pellets feed to the fire because I thought the combustion motor increases it's speed as the heat setting is increased. Is this correct? My thinking was that if I get more combustion air and less fuel the pellets would burn more completely. It didn't seem to help all that much, I woke up at 2am and still had a clinker that I had to clean out. Any other thoughts? I guess I need to buy some other brand pellet and blend w/ the remaining 30 bags of Somersets I have. Thanks for any help or suggestions.
 

twojrts

Feeling the Heat
Jan 17, 2010
291
Bear. DE
Agrossm,

All I can say is if you are going to buy some other brand............Buy a couple of bags and try them first!! I learned the hard way...never buy a whole ton.
Seems like ya get stuck every time!

As to solve the problem you presently have, some of the other more experienced guys on here will have to respond.

Good Luck!!
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,495
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
I have seen a few threads with some stoves and clinkers. Seems the pellets have one thing in common. They are high density pellets. Hamer Cubex and even Okies have been mentioned. Now you have added Somersets to the mix. The cure is less pellet feed and as much air as you can give it. Your stove model has been seen a few times with the mentioned brands.

I really don't know the Englander stoves to well. So hopefully the Englander boys will chime in to help with what you need to tinker with. But I can say for sure that the problem has been solved in a MT Vernon AE with these dense pellets. See this thread!

https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/65297/

Seems the trick is to keep the dense pellets from smothering the ones burning and keep the ash active. If the ash(the pellets burning in the pot) settles and the incoming pellets smother them. They tend to clump and the heat from the newly delivered pellets are causing them to fuse together. So I am not totally ruling out the pellet, But suggesting the stove needs to be tweaked to handle them. If its possible? Your stove is a little different from the top feeders. Not sure if this totally applies to it.

One other trick is to blend them with a much less dense pellet. Mix them somewhere in the 50/50 range. But its more work than seeing if you can get the stove tweaked to these dense pellets! Keep us posted.
 

Stihl029

Member
Jan 1, 2008
74
Upstate NY
I have a 25 pdv bought new in 2008, live in upstate NY and have a few choices for pellets, but not what others I see on here have. I'm currently burning Instant heat. I've burned New England pellet, and Bare foot's which seemed to burn well with little ash, New England's burned ok on the heat end, and they seemed to leave clunkers also. Clunkers to me means I don't seem to get a complete burn with them, leaving instead of a fine ash, I have a hard charred pellet. I'm getting the same results with the Instant Heats, even though they put out a great deal more heat then the New England's. What I'm getting at is with Englander stoves my model the heat settings on the bottom row only control the pellet feed, air, and blower speed, when the stoves on the first 2 settings. Meaning 1 and 2 of the 9 total. The higher I set my stove, the more pellets feed into the ash pot of course, but the trouble is they do seem to pile up on each other and don't burn all the way through, and I'm left with clunkers, and have to clean the pot out a couple times a day. Anyone else having this troubles? Or know of a solution? Is it a purely pellet issue? Or a stove issue?
 

Stihl029

Member
Jan 1, 2008
74
Upstate NY
Great info imacman, thank you for the post. I'm going to have some tweaking to do now and see if I can get things burning better with these particular pellets....Love this stove! but even more, I love the fact England's Stove works has such a great customer support staff, and any part I may need in stock...thank you!
 

Nicholas440

Feeling the Heat
Oct 27, 2008
347
Northeast Oh
I used Somerset pellets the first season I had my Quadrafire Castile insert installed, and they were very hot, they burned very well for me, however I also had huge amounts of rock hard clinkers in my fire pot, but luckily for me I never had any problems, my air holes are at the bottom but they are on an angled part thats on a 45 degree angle so the air always gets in. I imagine it could get plugged if the clinkers got built up deep enough, but I always emptied the pot every day. Someset seemed to be a very good pellet with the exception that they do produce a lot of hard clinkers. I dont get that with the Country Boy White Lightnings that I am currently burning, but I noticed I get less heat from the White lightnings than I did the Somersets.
 

kofkorn

Feeling the Heat
Dec 3, 2008
371
Central MA
Agrossm,

Crank the LBA up as high as you can get it. Try to get as much air to the pellets as possible. I had a similar issues with clinkers my first year using Fireside Ultras. I set the air as high as possible, and even blocked off one of the holes under the burn pot plate using some steel wool. This causes more air to be drawn through the plate and less air to be blown over the top of the pellets. It helped reduce the clinkers, but it didn't eliminate them. The best thing you can do is be diligent and scrape the clinker out as quickly as possible. I got a nice metal spatula, and would pull the clinker out at least twice a day.

Then once you are through your ton of pellets, you can look around for something that burns a little better in your stove.

Good Luck!
 

Cincinnati Kid

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2009
345
Cincinnati
I have two tons of Somersets in my basement. I do get clinkers when burning them in my Harman but not in my Whitfield. I dont know if it has to do with the Harman feeding from the bottom or not but Somersets are a very good pellet.

Country Boy are also bery good but the bags suck....always splitting at the seams.
 
I have been burning Somersets for third year now and think its a great pellet with high heat output, less fines, less clinkers than other brands I have tried. I however bought Maeder Brothers pellets last year and was the worst ever totally opposite characteristic's of the Somerset's. I made the mistake of buying 2 tons and even posted on here in regards to "Do you think they will take a ton back where I purchased them" and most peeps on here said they should. It was a pain only cause had to load them suckers in the trailer but I did take one ton back. So from now on when purchasing a new pellet, I always buy 2 to 3 bags and try them, make sure you start out with a clean stove, if you can measure your heat output so you can compare. This year wound up getting 2 tons of Somerset's for 300 bucks cause the store didn't have the other brand in stock so I am not complaining this year on the cost. I wish could have bought more but storage is an issue but gonna resolve that this spring. Good day!
 

Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
Clinkers are formed when the fuel has silica (dirt) mixed in with the wood products.

Stoves that burn at a very high temperature will cause the silica to fuse into a dirty "Glass" like substance.

A stove that has a lower fire pot temperature will not create clinkers so readily.

My Whitfields will burn anything but the quadrafire will make clinkers real quickly when using crappy fuel.

Snowy
 

Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
Clinkers are formed when the fuel has silica (dirt) mixed in with the wood products.

Stoves that burn at a very high temperature will cause the silica to fuse into a dirty "Glass" like substance.

A stove that has a lower fire pot temperature will not create clinkers so readily.

My Whitfields will burn anything but the quadrafire will make clinkers real quickly when using crappy fuel.

Snowy
 
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