Just purchased a new P68 to replace our Earth Stove

EarthStove

Member
Jan 15, 2009
168
Northern MD
What ever happened with the shut down problem ?

Have not shut it down since we started it. I will probably shut it down on Sunday when the temps are expected to be in the 60's briefly. With the room temperature setting I can see this stove as almost set it and forget it! Just feed and clean it. I will post about the result when I try it out.

Is a simple cleaning weekly OK? i.e. scrape the heat exchange tubes. Or do I need to do a more thorough cleaning? Seems from what I have read, maybe every ton do a thorough cleaning and like once per month empty the ash bin.

I have been running HD stove chow and they burn OK in this stove but the ash is clumping and seems heavier and darker then other pellets we have previously run. Right now I have no room in my garage for a ton of pellets so I will be doing 10 to 15 at a time from various stores. :(
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
You can scrape the pot daily right under the coals of the fire with the stove running. On my p61 about every two weeks I shut it down and give a quick brushing inside , brush everything into the ash pan. I remove the two wing nuts under the burn pot and just use a finger to sweep the ash out from under the igniter. When the ash pan is full I do a full cleaning , that is about once per month, so every other lighter cleaning. Mid season I shut it down and brush out the vent and again in the spring if we get into a long shoulder season, otherwise it waits till fall. After your one month full cleaning you will be able to tell how your vent holds up to ash accumulation. Mine is 4 inch vent and this is just what I have found.

Watch this video and go from there, incidentally, all the turning down the guy does I don't even bother with lol. I've given the stove a quick brushing out with the stove running even:
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,741
South Central NH
I burn mostly crap pellets in my P61a and clean it about every 2 weeks - use a boar's bristle paint brush to brush off any soot/ash clinging to air exchangers, sides of firebox and off the shelves above the ash can. Then I clean out the igniter chamber I also usually go ahead and empty the ash can, although not strictly necessary plus clean the glass in the door.

Every second cleaning I go ahead and pull the plate for the fan and check the exhaust path and ESP, I also clean out the fines box and vacuum any dust/cat hair out of the motors in back. However, I modify my schedule to account for activites that may be coming up - so I may do a more thorough cleaning at 3 weeks because the 4th week I will be busy (or a big storm is headed in during the next week and I want to make sure I'm prepared)

However, my set up and your set up probably aren't the same, neither are our pellets, so you may want to go in and take a look at things at 2 weeks and decide if you need to clean or if you can go another week or two. Pretty soon you figure out the best rhythm for your stove and circumstances.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
We had a member that would giver his P68 a couple blows with a dead blow mallet to shake the ash off everyday and empty the ash bin as needed but it never got shut down all winter. From Alaska. I like to give the exchangers a brush couple times a day as ash and carbon are very good insulators. Full cleaning once a month and maybe pull the ESP if the feed rate seems to go up. Feeding corn blend so sometimes the stove gets a bit more carbon. Two stoves going now as temps are falling with temps to fall to minus 25 and wind chill to minus 45 this weekend. Got all three stoves cleaned earlier this week. Just picked up a ton of pellets as sale was to expire for $175/T
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
We had a member that would giver his P68 a couple blows with a dead blow mallet to shake the ash off everyday and empty the ash bin as needed but it never got shut down all winter. From Alaska. I like to give the exchangers a brush couple times a day as ash and carbon are very good insulators. Full cleaning once a month and maybe pull the ESP if the feed rate seems to go up. Feeding corn blend so sometimes the stove gets a bit more carbon. Two stoves going now as temps are falling with temps to fall to minus 25 and wind chill to minus 45 this weekend. Got all three stoves cleaned earlier this week. Just picked up a ton of pellets as sale was to expire for $175/T
Frig that, put a diaper on the beautiful dog of yours and head south man, LOL!!!! Yuck !~!
 
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EarthStove

Member
Jan 15, 2009
168
Northern MD
Thanks everyone!
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,381
Kentucky
On my P68 hopper lid (inside) there is a recommended Quick Reference Maintenance Chart sticker that spells things out well. As to when to hit or clean what. Yours should have one also. Just lift the hopper lid and it is right there. Mine is a white sticker with black print and it is big so it would be hard to miss. Read your manual a couple of times and then re-read it each year or two for a refresher. Everything you need to know is there.

BTW, these are a set it and forget it stoves. I usually do a quick pot scrape a couple of times a day. Complete clean once a month or after each ton burned. I hit whatever as needed along the way but really never shut my stove down except for the monthly / 1 ton cleans.

Another good thing to know is that you can put it in test mode after it cools down and when you are cleaning the exhaust blower works and sucks dust out. That said if you go poking around elsewhere which you should to have to do UNPLUG your stove so the risk of frying electrical components is eliminated. some guy last season or the season before had a new stove and decided to "work" on a new perfectly good stove and fried his board because he did not UNPLUG IT.
 
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alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
I don't wait for the stove to cool down anywhere near all the way. I take the glowing embers of pellets and scrape them off into the ash pan, the combustion blower is still going. I have tips of paint brushes melted from cleaning. The goal is to get most of it done in time for the combustion fan to shut off and then you can open the hatch for that and the igniter. It won't shut off till you close the doors incidentally. I wait till the stove is in a lowish burn and shut it off. I've even scraped burning pellets into the pan before ( well they were burning when I opened the door anyway). I've done nearly a full cleaning in 10 minutes but my average is 20, with fines box. Waiting for the stove to cool all the way down is a half hour gone before you even start, by then I'm up and running again and washing up.

I haven't pulled the ESP in two years now. I run a small bottle brush over it and it takes the stuff right off . Rub the brush over the top edge and then under. Works great and it might take 40 seconds if you're pokey about it.. I have a piece of balled up rag I run through the horizontal, it gets past the ESP without injury and I just push the crap out the back into the clean out T. I'll dump that when I clean the vent. Most of the time there isn't a whole lot in there but the junk pellets will build up more, so it's worth a swiping out. I don't screw around with the stove, I just go at it and get it going again and I'm not after a spit polish just free breathing. Scraping the heat exchanger is a 25 second job, add ten seconds to grab and drop the scraper itself LOL ! It irritates me to have to walk out through the kitchen and outdoors to dump the ash pan though, so I plan that for during start up. Never dump your ashes into a container indoors or you will spend the rest of the day cleaning the house before the wife gets home. Sometimes i dump the pan down our stone driveway ( they just wash away) and this cloud goes up and travels off through the trees, imagine that let loose in your house.
 
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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,381
Kentucky
I do the same on the ESP. I've never pulled it to clean in my P68. I did in the 45 because I was going thru it all after I bought the used stove. Simple, quick, and easy to do but brushing it off is even quicker and easier.

I don't like getting burned Alternative. Or melting my clean equipment. LOL!

I usually schedule my cleans during warmer snaps and I ramp up the heat prior. I can take my time and the house maybe only drops a degree or two so non-issue for me.
 
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alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
I do the same on the ESP. I've never pulled it to clean in my P68. I did in the 45 because I was going thru it all after I bought the used stove. Simple, quick, and easy to do but brushing it off is even quicker and easier.

I don't like getting burned Alternative. Or melting my clean equipment. LOL!

I usually schedule my cleans during warmer snaps and I ramp up the heat prior. I can take my time and the house maybe only drops a degree or two so non-issue for me.
GLOVES, I don't get burned, it's sadistic to get burned.
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,741
South Central NH
I've never pulled the ESP from either of my stoves. Do wait for a mostly cool down, but scraping the speed bump from the burn pot is easier if still warm. However, I wait for the real cleaning until it is all cool enough to touch without gloves
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,381
Kentucky
GLOVES, I don't get burned, it's sadistic to get burned.
I use welders gloves too for the quick scrapes and cleans while it's running. Great investment. I have bumped my elbow and upper forearms and gotten a little reminder a time or two on the hot door or whatever.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
I use welders gloves too for the quick scrapes and cleans while it's running. Great investment. I have bumped my elbow and upper forearms and gotten a little reminder a time or two on the hot door or whatever.
Id say it was still too hot if it left a reminder, well I do wear a long sleeve shirt, never gotten burned. No I run it on low burn for a few minutes and shut it off, when the embers are glowing I open the doors and they basically look like they went out at that point. What ever, I never have gotten a burn.
 
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EarthStove

Member
Jan 15, 2009
168
Northern MD
Shutdown process worked as advertised. Once the temps fall into the low 40's I will be turning it back on. :) Which should be in the next 2 hours or so.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
That's great it shut down as it should !

I had my stove off this afternoon as well. Seized the opportunity to clean it and it needed it too. Dust bunnies around the motors, cob webs over the exhaust tube, cat fur clumps in the room fan blower, fines box pretty well stuffed full. The rest was normal, although I found a bit of crust this time on the combustion fan blades, that's something new and wondering if it's these TSC pellets I've been burning. Anyway, burning strong and clean, lively fire now.
 
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EarthStove

Member
Jan 15, 2009
168
Northern MD
Had just a bit of carbon clinkers t the bottom area of the burn pot. But they came right off with the tool. The stove is turned back on but the kids and wife have been baking this afternoon and there is lots of residual heat in the house so it has not turned back on yet.

Burning the Stove Chow I can see getting a month at least with the ash drawer before needing to empty.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
Had just a bit of carbon clinkers t the bottom area of the burn pot. But they came right off with the tool. The stove is turned back on but the kids and wife have been baking this afternoon and there is lots of residual heat in the house so it has not turned back on yet.

Burning the Stove Chow I can see getting a month at least with the ash drawer before needing to empty.
Unless they changed "the tool", "the tool" sometimes needs a backup for the extra stubborn carbon. I went to Harbor Freight and picked up a good sized screw drive just for scraping the pot in those situations. Something about the hard narrow blade of a screw driver plucks the carbon off where the tool sometimes rises and rides over the offending carbon blobs rather than digging into them. Just sayin. You can eventually get it with the tool but most of us also have alternative tools for the job.

I've never burned Stove Chow but from what I hear they are about the same as Energex, which I've burned tons of. Decent pellets, there are cleaner ones around if price is no objection.
 
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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,381
Kentucky
Yeah, a big huge flat screw driver will scrape carbon much better than that Fischer Price toy scraper that came with your Harman. It has its uses but........... It's good for doing the inside top heat exchanger since the pointed part is shaped for that getting ash build up off. You'll figure it out easy enough.

I bought a big long pry bar at HF Harbor Frieght for low $$$ and it works excellent for scraping the pot. Basically it is a big long flat screw driver looking pry bar where about the last 2 1/2 inches is bent on an angle almost dead on the same angles on the factory Fischer Price toy stick.

Many threads here using the search bar to read up on good scrapers. Like Alternative I also use different sized flat screw drivers for some detail work. I have a smaller one that will get all the little stubborn build ups gone if needed during monthly cleans.

Hang around and you'll acquire an arsenal of widget tools
 
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EarthStove

Member
Jan 15, 2009
168
Northern MD
Tractor Supply Blue and white bags. Premium Hardwood Pellets. Pretty crappy. They put out a good amount of heat but they are producing incredible amounts of ash. The fire pot was filled to the edge in a matter of just a few hours. Ash everywhere in the stove after I cleaned it. Shame because they are only $5.19/bag.
 
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alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
Tractor Supply Blue and white bags. Premium Hardwood Pellets. Pretty crappy. They put out a good amount of heat but they are producing incredible amounts of ash. The fire pot was filled to the edge in a matter of just a few hours. Ash everywhere in the stove after I cleaned it. Shame because they are only $5.19/bag.
Those sound worse than the ones I'm getting here. I have noticed more ash in the most recent batch then the previous but nothing like you are describing.
 

Harman Lover 007

Minister of Fire
I burn mostly crap pellets in my P61a......
Yes....yes you do.....(sorry, couldn't resist. I'm just getting caught up on some older threads.....)
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,741
South Central NH
Yes....yes you do.....(sorry, couldn't resist. I'm just getting caught up on some older threads.....)
In the next week or so, that P61a will be burning Oakie Golds. It really likes those. It will be a nice treat for it after all the ThermaGlo's that the poor thing has had to put up with!
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,741
South Central NH
Tractor Supply Blue and white bags. Premium Hardwood Pellets. Pretty crappy. They put out a good amount of heat but they are producing incredible amounts of ash. The fire pot was filled to the edge in a matter of just a few hours. Ash everywhere in the stove after I cleaned it. Shame because they are only $5.19/bag.
Take a picture of the UPC code and post it. I'll bet those are NEWP's - which would explain all the ash. The TSC hardwoods around here are MWP's (different UPC code) and I was pretty happy with the bags I bought to mix with the ThermaGlo's.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,796
Cape Cod, Ma.
Take a picture of the UPC code and post it. I'll bet those are NEWP's - which would explain all the ash. The TSC hardwoods around here are MWP's (different UPC code) and I was pretty happy with the bags I bought to mix with the ThermaGlo's.
It's funny, we have an Oakie dealer ( charges way too much, he's nuts) but he also carries NEWP, he says he has customers who will buy nothing else. I asked how they were , he said "they are crap" ! But he keeps them in for those die hard customers. He used to sell La Crete, which I thought were very decent, but he said he couldn't move them. Strange business pellets.
 

Harman Lover 007

Minister of Fire
In the next week or so, that P61a will be burning Oakie Golds. It really likes those. It will be a nice treat for it after all the ThermaGlo's that the poor thing has had to put up with!
Me too. I'm just waiting for the colder weather to get the most out of them....