Creosote/greasy back there?

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tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
OK, instead of doing deeper cleanings mid-season, I figure clean it now (and, if I burn enough, a second cleaning in January) on the Accentra insert. And for once, I was quickly able to remove the flat heavy panels that flank the "medallion, and not get hung up getting them past the flared ends of the burn pot -- I need to think through how I did that, for the future.

Now, perhaps my short-term memory is failing me here, and perhaps it's always this way, but -- once I had the inner heavy panels out and the removable panel at the bottom and the cover for the combustion fan, in the interior I am seeing some black, grease creosote-like stickiness back there, and around where the bolt & lever retain the cover for the combustion fan. Normal? Perhaps it has been that way all along and I never noticed it. It scraped off readily enough. Now, one thing I did last season that was different was, based on a recommendation here, I sprayed creosote remover around the end of the auger tube at the end of the weekly light cleanings to help with hard buildup there -- and I think that seems to help. But, is creosote redepositing in the rearmost parts of the stove area? Seems like activity inside the stove should be rather "dry". Still using Hardwood Heat pellets by Hamer, no change there.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
882
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
If it’s a cooler part or less laminar area it will deposit creosote
 
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tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
If it’s a cooler part or less laminar area it will deposit creosote
Thanks. I presume this is why no similar build up on what the parts list calls "cast heat exchanger CVR" the heavy flat removable plates; nor the "medallion" - even on the back of them.

OK, just about done with cleaning, got the unit back into the fireplace; but will stall before reinstalling those plates for a while in case there are other replies that suggest other actions to be taken.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,860
Eastern Ontario
A pellet stove burning correctly should not produce any creosote
the only way to produce creosote is with a low slow burn air reduced burn which
you should not do with a pellet stove
But then again with a Harman you get all kinds of weird crap
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
882
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Not supposed to, but I’ve seen bad creosote on Pelletstoves that weren’t burning hot, operator error so to speak…and most were Harmans…too low of a fire consistently will result in creosote
 
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Montecarlossfan

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2019
123
Connecticut
OK, instead of doing deeper cleanings mid-season, I figure clean it now (and, if I burn enough, a second cleaning in January) on the Accentra insert. And for once, I was quickly able to remove the flat heavy panels that flank the "medallion, and not get hung up getting them past the flared ends of the burn pot -- I need to think through how I did that, for the future.

Now, perhaps my short-term memory is failing me here, and perhaps it's always this way, but -- once I had the inner heavy panels out and the removable panel at the bottom and the cover for the combustion fan, in the interior I am seeing some black, grease creosote-like stickiness back there, and around where the bolt & lever retain the cover for the combustion fan. Normal? Perhaps it has been that way all along and I never noticed it. It scraped off readily enough. Now, one thing I did last season that was different was, based on a recommendation here, I sprayed creosote remover around the end of the auger tube at the end of the weekly light cleanings to help with hard buildup there -- and I think that seems to help. But, is creosote redepositing in the rearmost parts of the stove area? Seems like activity inside the stove should be rather "dry". Still using Hardwood Heat pellets by Hamer, no change there.
Assuming the 52i variant based on your description of pulling off the combustion fan cover. I don’t believe you should get any creosote like buildup unless the stove is starved for air and burns low constantly. I would verify the combustion motor is in good shape and. It making a ton of noise as well as adjusting the low speed combustion voltage screw a bit higher if you haven’t checked draft. I burn low quite a bit in the shoulder season and haven’t seen any signs of creosote in my 52i , nor have my parents with the original accentra insert. You should be cleaning that stove every 2-4 weeks thoroughly IMO just to keep the effienciency up and heat transfer.
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Assuming the 52i variant based on your description of pulling off the combustion fan cover. I don’t believe you should get any creosote like buildup unless the stove is starved for air and burns low constantly. I would verify the combustion motor is in good shape and. It making a ton of noise as well as adjusting the low speed combustion voltage screw a bit higher if you haven’t checked draft. I burn low quite a bit in the shoulder season and haven’t seen any signs of creosote in my 52i , nor have my parents with the original accentra insert. You should be cleaning that stove every 2-4 weeks thoroughly IMO just to keep the effienciency up and heat transfer.
I do burn at low settings. Wow, a deep cleaning takes me quite a few hours... every 2-4 weeks? Again, wow. I do a weekly cleaning without removing the heavy plates, or pulling the insert out from the fireplace, but that's about 1/2-hour or so. Combustion motor is just over one season old.
 

Montecarlossfan

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2019
123
Connecticut
I do burn at low settings. Wow, a deep cleaning takes me quite a few hours... every 2-4 weeks? Again, wow. I do a weekly cleaning without removing the heavy plates, or pulling the insert out from the fireplace, but that's about 1/2-hour or so. Combustion motor is just over one season old.
Not a super deep cleaning by pulling it out but plate removal every 2-4 weeks depending on fuel quality… if you fill the ash pan, time to pull the plates and Brush it down and such…
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Not a super deep cleaning by pulling it out but plate removal every 2-4 weeks depending on fuel quality… if you fill the ash pan, time to pull the plates and Brush it down and such…
Oh. that's better.

I wonder if, at the moment as I have not put the plates back in yet, if I should spray the affected surfaces with the Rutland Creosote Remover and possibly "burn it off" in use?
 

Montecarlossfan

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2019
123
Connecticut
Oh. that's better.

I wonder if, at the moment as I have not put the plates back in yet, if I should spray the affected surfaces with the Rutland Creosote Remover and possibly "burn it off" in use?
How bad is it.. are we talking just a light layer or excessive amounts .. Id say a good wide open burn would take care of it. I’d be worried about the liner as well having buildup if it’s in excess inside the stove … has that been swept/cleaned?

If all is good there , good hot burn should burn that right out if it’s minor buildup.

On a side note the panels are fairly easy if you put them in first , the bottom flame guide is next and the medallion just holds those in there… I always fought with the original accentra bit but after doing that type these are even easier lol
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
I’d be worried about the liner as well having buildup if it’s in excess inside the stove … has that been swept/cleaned?
Cleaned earlier today, all 16 feet -- got some black dust. (hmm, black dust, not grey. But no sticky residue on the brush head)

EDIT: "One good hot burn", any input on how hot and how long? Most of the time, this stove heats the house well at low settings and really cranking it up might cook us out of the house. Hmm, something like, just before a cleaning back there, say, two hours and flame high enough to reach the top of the firebox? I'm thinking we can stand that.
 
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Montecarlossfan

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2019
123
Connecticut
Cleaned earlier today, all 16 feet -- got some black dust. (hmm, black dust, not grey. But no sticky residue on the brush head)

EDIT: "One good hot burn", any input on how hot and how long? Most of the time, this stove heats the house well at low settings and really cranking it up might cook us out of the house. Hmm, something like, just before a cleaning back there, say, two hours and flame high enough to reach the top of the firebox? I'm thinking we can stand that.
If you can tolerate it stove temp maxed out and blower maxed out … a good hour or so at full tilt should turn any buildup into a cleanable ash. I usually do that in the shoulder season after burning low for a while and it produces a nice fluffy ash for cleaning.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
But then again with a Harman you get all kinds of weird crap
Myself, I've never gotten ANY creosote in my 6039, even running a low fire (like I am presently), I'm on HR1 and letting it set the PPH delivery which is as low as it will go, in fact if I was burning my mix 3-1 corn/pellet, it would go out. All I have ever gotten is powdery ash and hard carbon in the burn pot (along with mild clinkers when I start mixing in corn).
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
882
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
None in my personal stoves…just in the ones I’ve rebuilt/refurbished as I said above….gotta run them hot/normally every now and then and you won’t see any
 
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tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
None in my personal stoves…just in the ones I’ve rebuilt/refurbished as I said above….gotta run them hot/normally every now and then and you won’t see any
If you can tolerate it stove temp maxed out and blower maxed out … a good hour or so at full tilt should turn any buildup into a cleanable ash. I usually do that in the shoulder season after burning low for a while and it produces a nice fluffy ash for cleaning.

Well, I'll know soon enough. Finally cold enough to fire up the stove on November 2nd, latest in the season ever for us to begin burning. With outdoor temps in the upper 40's F, I cranked it up more than usual but not flat out, and the living room still went to 84F . As it went to the mid-30's overnight, we're running it again this AM. Between now and my next light cleaning, likely in a week, if I have to open window to give it an hour at max burn, so be it. Hopefully when I pull the heavy plates out, I'll not see creosote.

Maybe it's time for a sea change in how I use the stove. If low burns are problematic, my stove season will be noticeably shorter in the future. Here near Washington DC, the number of daytime hours below, say, 50F where I can run the stove hotter are not that many -- and if climate change impacts local conditions, perhaps more so. So, maybe a few hours a day in mid to late autumn, and again in early spring. Full-day burns would be only in the coldest part of mid-winter.

That said, we have a new natural gas tankless "combi-boiler" driving the radiators; so far I like it, and I presume that might need to suffice for when ambient temps are merely "cool". Then again, not much ambience in going downstairs and staring at a white metal box hanging off the wall. :p
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Don't fret, NG pricing will be rising soon.
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
882
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Maybe try some softwoods if they’re available….you could just run it on stove temp every now and then as well…for maybe a half hour or so.
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,633
park county montana
Yep,some stoves will get yucky, when burned on low for long periods. Freestanding Accentras will get it on the lower section of the door.Austroflamm Integras do it if they still have a old style programming prom. As said, hot burn before cleaning stove.
Yep,LPG, NG, heating oil 30-38% , LPG prices may double, if the mid west and east coast have a hard or long winter, from what the propane people say.
 

articcatbill

Member
Sep 4, 2016
92
central pa
I have seen this when burning Hamer's in my Harman P68, I get a greasy residue in the cooler areas, never really a build up though. In the bottom area around the ash pan. I run mine in stove mode all the time it is a basement dweller, so I see this if i go below the 4 setting. It isn't consistent either, some tons seem fine some I get the residue. I liked the Hamer pellets, but got away from them on cost and this issue. This winter will be my first not burning any Hamer's so it will be interesting to see if I get any of this during this winter.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,633
park county montana
I have seen this when burning Hamer's in my Harman P68, I get a greasy residue in the cooler areas, never really a build up though. In the bottom area around the ash pan. I run mine in stove mode all the time it is a basement dweller, so I see this if i go below the 4 setting. It isn't consistent either, some tons seem fine some I get the residue. I liked the Hamer pellets, but got away from them on cost and this issue. This winter will be my first not burning any Hamer's so it will be interesting to see if I get any of this during this winter.
I'm a bit lazy,so I burn the best pellets I can get. Less cleaning, and longer time between cleans.
Usually North Idaho's best.
3/4 to 1 ton between cleanings, with scraping the pot every 2-3 days.
 
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tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
431
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Don't fret, NG pricing will be rising soon.
You're not kidding. Just got a NG bill; all of the various fixed costs OK, but compared to same month last year, "purchased gas" went from 0.45 per the unit cited to 0.807. By my calculator, that's an increase of over 79%; mind you, not on the whole bill. Then again, this is the beginning of the season when the consumption is very low. Mid winter might be a WOW. So, perhaps the new rule is use the NG boiler much more in mild temps and save the pellets for when it's really cold -- my idea of this year having a fair # of bags left over from my 2-pallet purchase left over just went out the window?

Folks without a lot of financial reserves and do not have an alternative heat source will be screaming!

By the way, the past week has been truly warm and I have not been using the stove at all. I figure I need several more day's burn before trying the "some like it hot" test and a light cleaning to see what happens to the "creosote".
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
All 3 of my bottles are full (500 gallon size or 475 in each) plus I pre bought an additional 475 in the early fall but the way it is (or should I say will be), my plan is to have it last at least 2 years. We have been using the stove quite a bit the last couple weeks. Off right now but supposed to snow here on Sunday so it will be on. Why my rebuilt one is going in the shop too. The shop is on PEX, propane fired. Won't be this year, well a little. I'll keep the floor heat and 40 instead of 70.

Not sure where propane is at here but if Biden shuts down Line 5 here in Michigan (Biden is certifiable insane), the price of propane will head to the stratosphere.

Again, I prefer not to talk politics but that guy needs to be somewhere else other than President, he's ruining this country.

I kind of suspect the retail price of propane will track with gasoline as they both come off the catalytic cracker.

My buddy near Bangor, Maine told me yesterday their local electric supplier is anticipating an 80% surcharge on electricity coming soon.

I strongly suspect there will be a lot of people who will be very cold this winter.
 

Montecarlossfan

Burning Hunk
Jan 1, 2019
123
Connecticut
All 3 of my bottles are full (500 gallon size or 475 in each) plus I pre bought an additional 475 in the early fall but the way it is (or should I say will be), my plan is to have it last at least 2 years. We have been using the stove quite a bit the last couple weeks. Off right now but supposed to snow here on Sunday so it will be on. Why my rebuilt one is going in the shop too. The shop is on PEX, propane fired. Won't be this year, well a little. I'll keep the floor heat and 40 instead of 70.

Not sure where propane is at here but if Biden shuts down Line 5 here in Michigan (Biden is certifiable insane), the price of propane will head to the stratosphere.

Again, I prefer not to talk politics but that guy needs to be somewhere else other than President, he's ruining this country.

I kind of suspect the retail price of propane will track with gasoline as they both come off the catalytic cracker.

My buddy near Bangor, Maine told me yesterday their local electric supplier is anticipating an 80% surcharge on electricity coming soon.

I strongly suspect there will be a lot of people who will be very cold this winter.
Electricity generation is going from .07 to .1147 here in CT … I locked in with another supplier at .085 for 3 years with the option to cancel anytime… I don’t foresee it going down anytime soon. It was about .082 last year in January .
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I believe it's because NG went way up in price to commercial customers (and residential) and lots of power plants are now running NG as are Peakers plants. Sad part of it is, it's all politically motivated / caused.

Sure an glad we all heat with an alternate fuel.