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Posted By mkpanache,
Jan 20, 2012 at 5:31 AM
What's in the bottle?
Hmm yeah maybe it's your technique and being
a drummer. For me it takes less effort with
better results and no adverse affects so see no
harm in this method and I'm all for exerting less
energy whenever possible. lol.
Been using a regular hammer for seven years now
on this stove. I've run about fifteen diff brands
of pellets through it over the course of those
years and some of them were nasty crap and
believe me when I tell ya you would have had to
work far harder with the rubber thing.
This stove has run 24/7 every heating season from
2005 to now. I'm the only one who
maintains it. Flame is always correct and never
once had #2 blink so all this time have been doing
something right and again, never once needed the
leaf blower either.
Rutland stove glass cleaner in the bottle.
Anyway I hope you guys (the OP's) are able to
get it running better.
Xena, my husband came back from cleaning the cap, and you were right. The stains were water/ mineral stains. The installer put the cap on crooked, and my husband found a crack when he went to scrape it, so water has been leaking in for almost three years. When he can get the correct heat sealant, he is going to reinstall the cap.
The stove is still not running. We bypassed the vacuum switch and still have a lazy, orange flame.
Xena, you have this same stove. Is it the pellets? Is it us? Did we just get a bad stove? I am ready to start crying. Mark was ready to scale an icy roof to get to that cap. I want to throw the thing in our driveway and kick it to the curb.
I wouldn't risk an icy roof for this, it's not worth
getting injured over. Seems like you guys have
been following all the advice from everyone
so either there is a solid chunk of crap somewhere
that's not moving, or it's something other than
a clog. I'm running some really dirty pellets this
year and have had to get the junk out from behind
those traps and it has been packed in there good.
Then I have to snake the small diameter vac hose
in as far to the left and right of the traps as I can
reach and get the stuff out. It has been a chore for sure
doing this about twice a month. Also with these pellets
I get a good amount of buildup on the horizontal
part of the exhaust that goes from the stove to the T
and have had to clear that twice this winter so far.
So my experience has been that dirty pellets can
be the cause. I'm a computer repair tech not a stove technician
so I can't say definitively what the issue is there
and from reading the manual I see that there can
be several things that can cause that #2 blink.
Is the combustion blower running at full tilt??
If your still getting a lazy flame? Have you tried to open the damper? Even if it has to be opened all the way?? The manuak says a pencil width, yes. But every install is different. Every damper setting will vary.
If the stove is clean, vent is clean, cap is clean, and draft has been adjusted to no avail? Then its possible the combustion blower is weak, failing, or not getting the proper voltage from the board??
Yes, we have been. He is going in at those as traps right now with the drill and the vac, and then he is going to test the combustion motor.
Motor tested. (I stepped away from the computer for a bit.) It works fine. In a way, I'm disappointed because it would have been an answer.
No, I don't think so. I think we need a new blower. Mark took it out, tested it, and it ran, but he said it should be spinning easily with a couple of free pushes, and it isn't. We are going to order a new combustion motor this week, and Mark is going to install it. It only turns about 1/2 way with a push. We are also going to order the fake bricks in case keeping those holes open is making a difference of any kind.
Anyway. I have GREAT NEWS THE STOVE IS RUNNING
We think the clog was in or around the heat exchange tubes. (Who said this?????? That seems to have been IT!) Mark took our air compressor, and he blew out everything around the tubes. While he did that, I held the piping attached to the leaf blower that had been run outside, so it would suck the ash dust out of the house. The amount of ash dust we blew out of there was unreal. And we scrape the exchange tubes twice daily. Now we need to get the Smartstat working, but Mark thinks that's a matter of reworking the wiring.
We are covered in ash dust, but we are warm and happy. My two daughters and my son are all jumping up and down, saying, "The stove is running! Daddy and Mommy DID IT!!"
I know I will be back with updates, but words cannot express how grateful I am to all of you (I am crying.) Mark and I truly felt like we were not alone in this, and that you were all in this with us. I just cannot cannot cannot thank you all enough.
And those Okies? Hotter than Hades!! :D
Awwwwwesome news and great job you guys! The Okanagans burn very clean and
def very hot. They cook me out of here unless it's really cold out.
The combustion blower on your unit may not have oil ports.. But I still oil where the bearings are on my stoves. There should be 2 bearings on your exhaust motor. The back one is normally the easiest to get to, but if you "drip" it just right, you can get the front one too..
That.motor should spin freely. Only spinning a 1/2 turn means something is not right. Either a bearing is going bad (doubt it) or it needs some lube (doubt it also). But it wont hurt to try. Use 3-n-1 oil in the.blue bottle (SAE 20).
Thank you! And (I think) the Smartstat is fixed! Fingers crossed.
I don't know if it has ports, but I know that before Mark put it back in, he oiled it.
Thank you for all of your help. It's still running
You should make it a practice of running it on 4 or 5 for at least a half hour a day.
It helps burn off any caked on crap that might otherwise build up.
Running on the # 1 setting even for just a day makes for
a really dirty burn even with good pellets. You may or may not
already know this tip but lots of people who know it don't do it.
The blades on that blower get caked with stuff that may keep it
from spinning faster when you push by hand. Removing it and
scraping the blades clean may or may not help with that.
I wouldn't just go and buy another blower without following the
electrical testing steps to see if it's putting out correctly. I've
not replaced one but I know they aren't cheap.
I am glad it is running. You have to really clean those heat exchange tubes often. Whenever I notice ash build up on the baffle below them, I remove the baffle and really clean them well with a bottle brush and a paint brush. If you do order a new motor, hold onto the old one. Its nice to have a semi-working spare. I am not sure if mine spins so freely or acts like yours. The motor could be the issue for not being able to get enough flame. It could also be not enough power coming from the control board (so the control board could be an issue). You may want to see how things run for a few days before ordering a new motor. All of the St. Croix parts are supposed to be sealed and not require oiling, but I have also never seen St. Croix suggest actually opening the combustion fan and cleaning it in any manual. (I don't get that).
By the way, I just saw that the service manuals are now posted on the St. Croix site. (190 page one instead of 62).
I've had that PDF service manual for several years now so they
may have periodically had it for download off and on before.
All St Croix owners who do their own maintenance should have a copy.
Way back here in post #23 https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewreply/1127798/ a certain critter mentioned attacking those heat exchanger tubes.
Glad you got it clean again.
He runs it on 5 for an hour every day. I asked him why he was doing that, and he said that it was to burn off crud in the stove. I'm not sure if he checked the ohms on the blower, but I know he did on the vacuum switch. I will tell him about scraping it. Those blowers are around $200.
One other thing about those combustion blowers the cooling fans on some of them also get cruded up and really need to be cleaned as well. Also the area between the mounting plate and the impeller gathers a good mess sometimes this works its way into the area between the shaft and the motor mount and causes a bit of a drag on things.
The last combustion blower tip is that sometimes the impeller is attached at the wrong spot on the shaft and thus doesn't produce its rated CFM flow rate.
Good point Smokey. Check and make sure that the impeller is not up against the back plate. (Also make sure if you pull it out, that it does not hit anything inside the combustion blower impeller cavity).
Mike Holton said that if the impeller is moved to the end of the shaft, that there is a gain in CFM. The closer it is to the back plate, the harder it is on the blower.
Even if its just a few CFM's gained, its an improvement.
Hey That certain critter was you :D Mark pulled that plate, but he didn't blow them with the compressor like we did today. Even the LBT doesn't get out the ask that the compressor does. Maybe if we use the LBT more frequently, we won't need the compressor.
Smartstat is not working. Mark thinks he tore the wire pulling the stove off the hearth.
I will pass this along to him. Thank you both so much
On my model, the thermostat wires connect to a jack on the back of the stove and then two wires from inside the stove that come from the control board connect to that jack. The two wires from inside the stove tend to disconnect pretty easily on me when I am removing panels to get at things. I am sure that you have a newer control board, so I can't help you with other wiring. I actually have to move jumpers to change from smartstat to pilot mode.
Having spent many decades trying to decipher the entrails of various systems I've learned to be patient and to go slowly to avoid causing problems for myself.
ETA: You don't want to be around when I do cause problems for myself, air gets blue, etc ...
We have always had to remove the combustion fan to get to one of the ash traps. That was the only way we could clear it. I don't know if Mark has even cleaned the fan; I would have to ask him. We had the PDF on our old computer, and when we bought our new computer, we went to the link for the manual, and St. Croix was linking everything to installation manuals and nothing else. I am going to check out the service manuals. What I would love to see is a cross section of the stove of the left ash trap from the combustion blower to the front of the stove. We have seen the tunnel going toward the right, but I would love to see the section on the left. Maybe if we could visualize it, we could better clean it. It seems each time we cleaned, we were also moving ash, and not just cleaning.
Mark is shopping with the kids, so I am going to show this to him when he gets home. He hooked the thermostat up, so he will understand what you mean. The board is digital; that much I know. And thank you for posting that manual; it was really helpful!