Lopi AGP Pellet Stove Insert

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elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
I bought this stove at the end of last season for a good price. Once installed it was doing a great job of keeping the thermometer on the thermostat up so the electric heat wouldn't come on. Mind you it was May at this time. Summer went by and now it's winter. I've discovered that when the outside temp gets below about 43 degrees it can no longer maintain enough heat output to keep the thermostat off -- which is the whole point of having it. My wood burning stove always got the heat up, but was, of course, not as consistent a heat as the pellet stove. So far it has brought my electric bill down, but with a spec that it can heat 800 - 2000 sq ft -- I'm not seeing it. Granted we have a long open space, but still it's 1000 sq ft at most. I've use American Wood Fiber Pine pellets and am now using Turman hardwood pellets with no appreciable difference. Pellets are stored indoors. We got the thermostat feature which works when it's not as cold (i.e., it just runs continuously now). As far as cleaning I only need to do it once every 3-4 days depending on the type of pellet. After cleaning it pretty thoroughly recently, thinking it might be affecting the burn -- I see no difference in output. It's in the low 30's outside and I'm sure my thermostat is running less than it would be without it, but I really expected HEAT! There doesn't seem to be anything else to tweak on this stove. If you turn up the auger it starts to drop burning pellets into the ash bin, so all I can do is turn the fan on high and live with what it puts out. BTW when I lift the hopper lid it keeps running, which I'm grateful for (it was supposed to turn off).

Any ideas how to squeeze more heat out of this thing?
 

jackman

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2013
658
Oregon
Move more air. I run the distribution fan on high to get more heat out of the stove and into the room.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
As I said: so all I can do is turn the fan on high and live with what it puts out. My heatalator put out more air on the wood stove. I also have the ceiling fan on as well to no avail.
But thanks!
 

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,402
Berks County PA.
I never burned Turmans but I can tell you I can't get good heat out of those AWF white pines, Was the stove bought new or used, if used it may need a good deep cleaning.
 

Jason845845

Feeling the Heat
Aug 11, 2014
364
Kingston, Ny
For what it's worth, my in laws heat their very drafty very large ranch house with that stove using Green Supreme Pellets which are on the low end. I'd try another pellet then call your installer to take a look at it.

Edit. Just looked at the manual for your stove. Have you tried turning the t-stat feature off and running it manually? My stove has a temp probe which if not working properly will go into a low burn mode and not put out any heat.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
That last input about turning off the TSTAT is interesting, but when I turn up the auger rate I get lots of still burning pellets pushed into the ash box. I'll give that a try. Oh, the insert was bought new. The spec about the 800 - 2000 sq ft output comes with 2 asterisks about other conditions which affect actual output. As the great Tom Waits once said, ""The large print givith, and the small print taketh away." So I would have no case with Travis Industries. (and I don't see Travis Industries chiming in here) BTW, I had an option to go with a 3 inch flue pipe vs 4 inch and went with the 4 inch, so I don't thing it's a lack of draw -- the intake draws from inside behind the insert which is open to the sealed chimney space.
 
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Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
That last input about turning off the TSTAT is interesting, but when I turn up the auger rate I get lots of still burning pellets pushed into the ash box. I'll give that a try. Oh, the insert was bought new. The spec about the 800 - 2000 sq ft output comes with 2 asterisks about other conditions which affect actual output. As the great Tom Waits once said, ""The large print givith, and the small print taketh away." So I would have no case with Travis Industries. (and I don't see Travis Industries chiming in here) BTW, I had an option to go with a 3 inch flue pipe vs 4 inch and went with the 4 inch, so I don't thing it's a lack of draw -- the intake draws from inside behind the insert which is open to the sealed chimney space.
 
Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
Have you tried to adjust the air intake to increase your burn?? If you're pushing unburnt pellets into the ash pan, IMHO, means more air needs to be introduced into the burn area. Open the up the air intake a little bit at a time until you get it right. The adjustment port is inconveniently located behind the ash pan and requires a wrench to loosen and adjust the opening. It's one of the quirks of this stove. You can't adjust it while operational so it's a bit of a science project. I can't quite believe Travis did this, provide no adjustability while in operation. My cheap, old, Lopi Pioneer Bay insert had it. Another tid-bit: Your air draw is actually coming from inside your home if the chimney flue and space is blocked off. I'll sit on my couch and watch my vaping fumes track across the living room right into the insert. Outside air is the way to go if you can make it happen somehow.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
Have you tried to adjust the air intake to increase your burn?? If you're pushing unburnt pellets into the ash pan, IMHO, means more air needs to be introduced into the burn area. Open the up the air intake a little bit at a time until you get it right. The adjustment port is inconveniently located behind the ash pan and requires a wrench to loosen and adjust the opening. It's one of the quirks of this stove. You can't adjust it while operational so it's a bit of a science project. I can't quite believe Travis did this, provide no adjustability while in operation. My cheap, old, Lopi Pioneer Bay insert had it. Another tid-bit: Your air draw is actually coming from inside your home if the chimney flue and space is blocked off. I'll sit on my couch and watch my vaping fumes track across the living room right into the insert. Outside air is the way to go if you can make it happen somehow.
Thanks for the response. Yes, I said draw when I meant out flow. I can't draw from outside because it would have to come in from the garage. Gas fumes being the issue. The manual shows the air adjustment, but not the location. I guess it's behind one of those metal flaps on either side of the burn plate. Painful to have to turn it off and on for each adjustment, but I'll give it a try. Thanks!
 
Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
Thanks for the response. Yes, I said draw when I meant out flow. I can't draw from outside because it would have to come in from the garage. Gas fumes being the issue. The manual shows the air adjustment, but not the location. I guess it's behind one of those metal flaps on either side of the burn plate. Painful to have to turn it off and on for each adjustment, but I'll give it a try. Thanks!
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
It really sounds like the chimney is not sealed.Also,you should be drawing combustion air down the chimney,page 16 in manual.
 
Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
No, not behind the flaps. Those are the access to the exhaust ports. You need to remove those and vacuum behind them when you clean. To access the air intake, you need to remove the burn platform. It's located to the rear of the void that you'll see when you remove the platform.
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
No, not behind the flaps. Those are the access to the exhaust ports. You need to remove those and vacuum behind them when you clean. To access the air intake, you need to remove the burn platform. It's located to the rear of the void that you'll see when you remove the platform.
or he has too much draft,with the big pipe,and lots of heat is going up the stack
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
So I located the air intake behind the burn plate. It defaults to the full open position. The air intake port in the back of the stove is next to the exhaust outlet. It takes air from the insert cavity. I was wondering if the intake air is injected or passively drawn. I was considering putting a small fan over the intake to push air into the burn area -- kind of like a blower on a racing engine which increases burn efficiency. However the draw may be higher velocity than my little fan. To the person who suggested that I draw from the chimney stack -- the manual calls for no greater than a 4 ft duct. I have an email into Travis Industries to see if a 13 ft draw duct to the chimney top would work, but they generally no longer answer my emails. I think I've reached the limitations of their design and have nothing to offer. If I crack the front door of the stove the fire chokes immediately unlike a wood stove, so I guess the draw must come from behind the burn plate.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
OK. 1st,you have a combustion blower,it "draws" air through the stove."Pressure" stoves are almost a thing of the past,very few made nowadays.2nd-big heat loss-you are drawing room air into the cavity for combustion air.You are overthinking the fresh air tube--4 foot,you only have to run the tube above whatever you used to block off the chimney,around the flue pipe,and have an opening at the top of the chimney,height does not matter.If you paid for this install,it was poorly done.See page 16 of manual.Also,what was used to seal around the flue pipe inside the chimney?I hope it is not pink fiberglass.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
I could easily run a length of duct into the chimney cavity. The flue pipe has dark pink sealer compound around it. I'll try to get the 1 3/4 duct pipe and see what happens.
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
what is dark pink sealer compound?If it is pink fiberglass that is used in insulating walls,ceilings,it is not an air barrier.air goes right through.Recommended procedure is rockwool and a steel plate,caulked.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
When you said "seal around the flue pipe" I thought you meant around the duct where it connects to the stove. Above that is rockwool with a steel plate at the top caulked and cemented. I priced out the 1 3/4 inch pipe and can make a hole in the plate for air intake. How much hole do you think I need? Same size as the pipe?
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,953
park county montana
Don't have any here to measure,my harman uses 3",but sometimes you can save some bucks at the auto parts store,if they have the longer stuff,lots people have.If the hole is a little big is ok,just fill in gap with silicone sealer,is approved
 
Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
Don't have any here to measure,my harman uses 3",but sometimes you can save some bucks at the auto parts store,if they have the longer stuff,lots people have.If the hole is a little big is ok,just fill in gap with silicone sealer,is approved

You guys are on to it. This is exactly what I need to do in addition to the other issues I have with my stove. I'm sure you've read all about it by now (if you haven't you should). My tech. was here yesterday and had to replace the rotary disc motor a second time. Once hooked up it wouldn't even turn the rotary disc. All bound up for some reason. Called Travis right then and there and the tech. says, 'cut our losses and replace the stove'. Whoa, what kind of custom service is that!?!?! My hats off to Travis, for sure. So, when they come over late in the week with my new stove I'm going to have them cut the hole in my chimney baffle plate and install an extension into the chimney cavity. One question to Bob Bare: How large of an opening is required at the top and how do you prevent snow/rain water from entering. Of course, it's capped off with my vent/chimney arrangement right now. The only other option is to go straight out through the back of the chimney to the outdoors. And I ain't doin' that.
 

elliott353

New Member
Dec 17, 2016
14
Maryland
Phil -
Did you actually call Travis directly? How did you get a number? There's no number listed on the website or in the manual that I can see.
 
Dec 20, 2014
21
Barrington, NH
No, I mean how big should the air hole be in the plate on top of the chimney? Same size as the pipe (1 3/4 inch)?

Exactly the question I asked Bob above....

I never called Travis, but my tech's cell phone wasn't working yesterday so he asked to use my land-line and, of course, it's still on my phone: 425-609-2500. When they answer, ask for 'technical'. Glen seems to be the guy to talk to.