Need help dealing with buildup on glass from crappy pellets

Connecticut Yankee Posted By Connecticut Yankee, Mar 11, 2019 at 3:46 PM

  1. Connecticut Yankee

    Connecticut Yankee
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Nov 20, 2018
    136
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Dealer ran out of the nice, clean Okanagans we were burning and gave us a ton of Cleanfires instead. He claims the Cleanfires are just Okanagans under a new name, but they are behaving like a completely different brand. I am getting such an ash buildup that I have to clean after every bag and a half, instead of going several days between cleanings.

    The real problem is that there is gunk building up on the door glass that is very hard to clean off. I'm wondering if it's creosote, by any chance, and if so, how to prevent it. It is a yellow film with a fairly hard finish that will not come off with a vacuumning, and which requires a lot of rubbing with the isopropanol-based glass cleaner I have (Glass Cleaner by Stove Bright, "removes creosote deposits and soot"). Scraping with a single-edged razor blade does a fairly good job, however, thanks be to God.

    So the question is how to tweak the flame. It needs to be hotter, in any case, since these pellets don't put out the same level of heat, "Okanagans under another name" or not. (If they really are the same, then the first two tons must have been from last year's cutting; the difference is night and day.) But to get a hotter flame, do I give it more air, or more pellets?
     
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  2. jerrieric

    jerrieric
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Jul 7, 2008
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    Best way to clean the glass and make it easy for all future cleaning is to use a damp almost wet paper towel , dip it into the ass in the Firebox and then scrub the window. After doing this two or three cleanings you can clean the window in 15 seconds with the same method. Believe me I've used the store bought pellet stove glass Cleaners they're a waste of money.
     
  3. Ssyko

    Ssyko
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 6, 2017
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    I use greased lightning cleaner with a cold stove.
     
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  4. jerrieric

    jerrieric
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Jul 7, 2008
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  5. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Nov 6, 2017
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    I don’t care about the 3.50 I can afford the cleaner
     
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  6. tlc1976

    tlc1976
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Oct 7, 2012
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    Best way would be to make that ass in the firebox do the work for you. :)

    But yes, I do the same thing with the wet newspaper. Then afterwards with a damp newspaper I wipe on this Imperial glass conditioner and let it dry. Then I buff it off with these Spic n Span electrostatic floor cleaning wipes. For me it makes it easier to clean compared to just cleaning the glass. A little goes a long way, I've been using the same bottle of cleaner and package of wipes for more than 2 years. When I was burning the junk pellets I was trying different things to keep the glass clean longer. My glass would plug up solid in less than a day, and if I didn't clean it at least every 2 days the burnpot would plug up.

    OP, if your flame is lazy then try more air. But if it's strong, I'd say you need more pellets. My experience with the junk pellets was giving it more air would just make the flame die out in between pellet loads. I had to give it more pellets for more heat.
     
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  7. Connecticut Yankee

    Connecticut Yankee
    Member 2.
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Sorry not to get back here sooner. Thanks for the comments, folks. The newspaper dipped in the ash works fine, and it's not the ass in the firebox that concerns me, but the ass in front of the stove, lol!

    I know I asked about getting the glass clean, but my real concern was fear that the yellowish gunk might be creosote, and if so, how to get the fire temperature up to combat it. It's getting towards the end of the heating season, so the answer isn't as immediately important as it would have been earlier, but I'd still like to know your thoughts, for next year.

    So is that buildup creosote? And as far as getting a hotter fire is concerned, do I (a) bump up the combustion blower a notch, (b) open the damper a bit more, or (c) both?
     
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  8. tlc1976

    tlc1976
    Feeling the Heat 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 7, 2012
    339
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    Loc:
    Northwest Lower Michigan
    I don't think it's creosote, which is sticky and black. I would get some creosote when the ex family would turn up the feed and not turn up the air. When I'd get home at night I'd check it and fix it, and it would burn off.

    I think it is from the impurities or whatever in the pellets. I got more of that yellow stuff on the window when I had the old pellets on a higher heat range and tried pushing them hard with air. And it took more scrubbing to clean off. Got a lot of hard buildup in the burn pot too.

    With good pellets I get more heat for less pellets, and little to no buildup in the burn pot at any heat range.
     
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  9. Connecticut Yankee

    Connecticut Yankee
    Member 2.
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    This is my third ton of pellets, and they are from a different batch from the first two tons. The first two tons were good pellets, by your definition, these are not. I really wish we had ordered all three tons at once, last September, but it wasn't my decision.

    With this last ton, I am getting at least twice as much ash, that buildup on the glass, and poor heat. I understand everyone's having trouble, because of the wet summer, but it's still annoying. I just hope that the dealer's next order is better. And next year, we are going to buy our entire winter's supply at once!
     
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  10. sandpipe

    sandpipe
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    Feb 24, 2010
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    Yes, you have to test pellets before committing to tons. I tested 3 brands last fall before picking one that had the least ash. Last year I had a few tons of very high ash pellets and it was a pain dumping them twice as often as normal and cleaning the stove twice as much as normal.

    N.B. low ash doesn't necessarily mean high heat; it sure would be great if it did!
     
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