Old Whitfield Pellet Stove/Partially Blocked Exhaust Pipe?

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DarbyDog

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I inherited an ancient Whitfield Quest pellet stove as part of our house purchase in Colorado in 2007. It's in the basement, so I had only used it a few times prior to last year. However, we used it numerous times last year. I was today embarking on a thorough cleaning of both the stove and the chimney/flue. And from outside the house, I shined a flashlight into the interior of the exhaust pipe and could hardly believe what I was seeing. It looks like the previous homeowner or some installer BENT the end of the exhaust pipe at the stove end and then just left it that way. With the flashlight, the opening at that end looks like a half-moon. And it's metal, not ash buildup.

So anyway, I am now wanting to pull the pellet stove away from the wall to be able to see more clearly what's going on with that, but I don't know how to perform such a removal properly. As you can see in the photo, it's a pedestal stove. Is it mainly secured by gravity? And does it look like this can be pulled out by simply cutting through the exhaust pipe, to free it up and twist it out, and then replacing that exhaust pipe with new pipe? Any special instructions on how to re-install a new exhaust pipe? (Note: the dark circle in the exhaust-pipe photo is just a distorted image of a knot in the knotty pine plank on the wall)

Old Whitfield Pellet Stove/Partially Blocked Exhaust Pipe?


Old Whitfield Pellet Stove/Partially Blocked Exhaust Pipe?
 
As far as I know most pellet stoves are not fastened down. Note there are exceptions such as in a mobile home. So you should be able to disconnect the exhaust pipe from the stove and move the stove out of the way. Then go about replacing the crushed exhaust pipe.

The quest is a very good stove. Easy to maintain and easy to find parts for. The only downsides are it is sensitive to or prefers high quality pellets. The other downside is hard to clean exhaust passages in the stove. The best way to clean the exhaust passages is using leaf blower. Don’t worry the leaf blower stays outside and pulls air from the room, through the stove into the exhaust pipe and then through the left blower.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Rick
 
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Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes, I have intentions of using my 6.5 hp shop vac for evacuating exhaust passages once I get the other issue resolved. I have a gas-powered leaf blower but it isn't capable of sucking air.

I think you're correct that I'll be able to move the unit once the exhaust pipe is removed, so that's what I'm going to try; don't see anything around the pedestal that could be holding it in place.
 
What Rick said Pipes may be sealed with silicone so a little difficult to disconnect
But not impossible
 
the exhaust passages in that stove start at the top of the burn area to the left and right of the air exchange tubes. Look for a rectangular opening. The passages leads downward towards the ash pan. Looking at the front of the stove the left hand side exhaust passage then travels across the stove to the right side and joins up with the right had passage. This then enters the exhaust blower and leaves the stove.

These exhaust passages are hard to clean and cannot be accessed without modifications to the stove. The leaf blower does a great job of cleaning these passages. I get a cheap electric leaf blower just for the stove.
 
before you get to involved in moving the stove pull your side covers and exhaust blower and look at your connections their. On my stove the outleft for the blower is squared off and then goes into a adapter that is squared off and this is by design and is smaller than my exhaust pipe..
 
Thanks gentlemen.

Does anyone know how much these Whitfield Quest pellet stoves weigh? Or the approximate weight? I'd like to know before permanently cutting out all the exhaust piping to free it up. I'm just not sure I'd even be able to budge it by myself. ??

And actually, I'm wondering as well if I'm making too big a deal about the exhaust appearing to have half the opening it should have. I mean, I'm sure the previous homeowner had used it that way for many years without burning the house down. And I used it many days last winter as well in that state. Although...I admit that the flue did build up a lot of gooey creosote by the end of last winter. In fact, so much that I shut it down for fear of a chimney fire. Don't know if the narrowed opening had anything to do with that, but probably so.

Also, Rick mentioned that Quest parts were easy to find. Where? Because I think I'd prefer to cut out the exhaust piping--all of it, even if it's siliconed in, and replace all the piping parts specific for this make and model.

Thanks again.
 
gooey creosote
Caused by burning too low a fire need to turn the stove to high
every once in a while to clean out the creosote or just run the
stove a little hotter to avoid it all together
 
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Yeah, I had been keeping the damper wide open the whole winter in an attempt to keep it hot. But I'm actually now thinking the gooey cresote in my case could have been caused by the very defect I'm now wanting to fix, the constricted exhaust opening, because I would think that could impede the evacuation of moisture from the softwood pellets I'm using (Eco-Flame -beetle-kill lodgepole pine pellets from Colorado).
 
Thanks gentlemen.

Does anyone know how much these Whitfield Quest pellet stoves weigh? Or the approximate weight? I'd like to know before permanently cutting out all the exhaust piping to free it up. I'm just not sure I'd even be able to budge it by myself. ??

And actually, I'm wondering as well if I'm making too big a deal about the exhaust appearing to have half the opening it should have. I mean, I'm sure the previous homeowner had used it that way for many years without burning the house down. And I used it many days last winter as well in that state. Although...I admit that the flue did build up a lot of gooey creosote by the end of last winter. In fact, so much that I shut it down for fear of a chimney fire. Don't know if the narrowed opening had anything to do with that, but probably so.

Also, Rick mentioned that Quest parts were easy to find. Where? Because I think I'd prefer to cut out the exhaust piping--all of it, even if it's siliconed in, and replace all the piping parts specific for this make and model.

Thanks again.
And...Sorry Rick--I had forgotten that in my other thread of a few months ago about a different issue, I had asked you the same question about where to get parts for the Quest and you answered with "East Coast Hearth and Stove and Grill Parts for Less." So I'll try to hunt them down and inquire there.
 
Check on one of your pellet bags it should tell you the moisture content
Inquiring minds want to know
 
I have used stove and grill parts for less. They are located in Massachusetts. East coast hearth, or stove parts unlimited.

The auger motor and the two blowers are a common item among pellet stoves.
 
Hello
The old Whitfield Quest stoves that do not have ash trap cleanout doors inside the back of the fire 🔥 box are very hard to cleanout!
Here is what I did and the pellet stove works like new!
 
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ZROCK: You wrote: "before you get to involved in moving the stove pull your side covers and exhaust blower and look at your connections their. On my stove the outleft for the blower is squared off and then goes into a adapter that is squared off and this is by design and is smaller than my exhaust pipe.."

Thanks, but I'm not quite understanding what you're saying here. Are you saying that when I shine a flashlight into the interior of the exhaust pipe from outside my house and see a half-moon opening at the stove end of the pipe that this could be expected and normal because of an adapter in there?
 
before you get to involved in moving the stove pull your side covers and exhaust blower and look at your connections their. On my stove the outleft for the blower is squared off and then goes into a adapter that is squared off and this is by design and is smaller than my exhaust pipe..
Thanks, but I'm not quite understanding what you're saying here. Are you saying that when I shine a flashlight into the interior of the exhaust pipe from outside my house and see a half-moon opening at the stove end of the pipe that this could be expected and normal because of an adapter in there?
 
I think was zrock is trying to describe is that on the stove the exhaust pipe as it exits the stove is actually in the shape of a rectangle and there is an adapter which on one side is a rectangle and on the other side is a circle. Maybe whoever installed the exhaust pipe bent the pipe to allow it to connect directly to the rectangle fitting on the stove
 
FYI: East Coast Hearth tells me they no longer do pellet stoves or parts. I have emails in to the other two; I'll let you know.
East Coast Hearth still does pellet stove parts :)
 
East Coast Hearth still does pellet stove parts :)
Thanks. I had googled them but somehow wound up with "East Coast Fireplace."
I think was zrock is trying to describe is that on the stove the exhaust pipe as it exits the stove is actually in the shape of a rectangle and there is an adapter which on one side is a rectangle and on the other side is a circle. Maybe whoever installed the exhaust pipe bent the pipe to allow it to connect directly to the rectangle fitting on the stove
Okay, thanks so much. Now I understand.

look at the images of the exhaust housing they are square and this is what you are seeing when you look through the pipe..
Thanks, man. Keen observation on your part for sure! Wouldn't have known that.

Well...I do hope that's the cause of the distortion I'm seeing. And BTW, this does fit with the habits of the previous homeowner who installed the stove. I've had to redo multitudes of half-ass modifications he made here and there around the house. And as you may have been able to tell, I've been dreading having to pull the stove out from the wall, so this new revelation may save me from that.

Thunderstorms here at the moment in the Rockies so I'll see if I can tomorrow somehow get an exterior photo of what I'm seeing at the stove end of the pipe. But at least since I now know the opening from the exhaust fan is rectangular and therefore more constricted (I think) than the round exhaust pipe it connects to begin with, I'm now not as worried that it might not have a large enough, and therefore unsafe, opening. I may see if I can get a tiny camera I can snake in there to take a better look at it in the morning.

THANKS all!
 
I'm back. Problem solved.

As zRock correctly pointed out, the "problem" I had thought I had encountered turned out not to be a problem at all. I was able this morning to vacuum out the exhaust pipe down to metal. And once I had done that, I could then see that the exhaust fan-to-exhaust pipe adapter (with its rectangular opening on the exhaust-fan side and round opening on the exhaust-pipe side) had in fact been installed correctly (my apologies to the previous owner of the house for accusing him of hacking a quick fix by bending the pipe in).

When viewed from the exterior of the exhaust pipe, the adapter, at the stove end of the pipe, is partially visible, appearing as a solid metal object that partially blocks the right one third of the exhaust-pipe opening. Once I had removed all the caked-on ash, etc., it became easily recognizable, with its perfectly vertical, rectangular side visible.

I'm sure this is something that almost all pellet-stove repair people are familiar with seeing, but to someone like myself unschooled in this, I required a little education. Thanks to zRock for that and to RICKs as well for help on this specific issue. Much appreciated! This is going to save me a huge amount of time and aggravation. This is the second issue the people at hearth.com have helped me resolve in the last six months.

BTW, I also was able this morning to use the "leaf blower" method to clean out the stove recesses. Instead of a leaf blower, however, I used my 6.5 hp Shop Vac to suck air through it to the exterior of the hosue. It blew heavy ash for the first thirty seconds, followed by lighter and lighter ash for the next minute or so. And FYI for anyone interested, I also tried using duct tape instead of a piece of PVC to create a tight vacuum seal. It seemed to work well enough. It was dimpling a little even in the hose.

Anyway...

HEARTH.COM ROCKS!!!
 
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Also wanted to mention, as a final comment on this discussion, that the company Stove & Grill Parts for Less, recommended by RickS seems really upstanding. Impressed with them so far. After contacting them with an inquiry via their website, they emailed me back promptly and even offered to discuss the issue with me over the phone. How rare is that?!