Problems with an Whitfield Advantage Plus MH-116278

Randy1998 Posted By Randy1998, Jan 21, 2015 at 10:44 PM

  1. Randy1998

    Randy1998
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    Jan 21, 2015
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    I'm having problems with getting a smokey smell in the house when I use my pellet stove. It's a Whitfield Advantage Plus MH-116278 bought in 1998. I used the stove for several years and had the problem back then. I stopped using it in 2000. I did replace the door gasket once in it and it's been sitting ever since unused. I fired it back up and I could smell smoke coming from the top where it blows out the heat. I looked in the manual and it states that it could be the vacuum cleaner leaking. Where exactly is the vacuum cleaner?
    I noticed there's creosote built up on the outside of combustion fan. What would cause that?
    I never did a thorough cleaning of the stove. That's on my list for tomorrow. I did go over all the pipe connections and reseal the joints.
    Also, there is a pipe extending out from the back on the bottom. According to the manual it's the vent pipe. I started to route some PVC pipe from the vent tube to my cold air return on my furnace, but I can't feel any air being sucked into the pipe. The convection fan is what I call a squirrel cage. It's open on one side and isn't connected to the vent pipe. It draws air into it from all the openings on the sides and rear of the stove. What is this vent pipe for?
    I've attached some photos of the stove and the vent pipe. I placed a PVC elbow on the pipe to start routing it.
    IMG_0348.JPG Vent Pipe.jpg
     
  2. Lake Girl

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    Welcome to the forum. First off - hope you have smoke and CO detectors in place with a extinguisher in the stove room but not close to the stove. Like to see you stay safe:)

    No PVC on the OAK (outside air kit). The concern is that there is a possibility that fire can travel back on this line. Use aluminum flex. If bought as a kit, flex line comes with hood over intake screen. Not a good idea to draw from your furnace cold air return. Need to find a more current manual that shows exhaust installation clearances to windows, doors, other cold air returns, etc. so your install follows code.

    Smoke smell - when was the last time gaskets where replaced and your combustion blower cleaned? Last time you cleaned up all internal exhaust pathways? Clean, Clean, Clean! You need to find the source of the creosote and clean up existing creosote from the stove. You have a burn problem if you have creosote. Are they old pellets? Will have gained moisture content and could be part of the problem. Check damper position and that it is still moveable. The original manual is very poor as far as cleaning routines ...

    Even using RTV at joints, many use metal tape over the seems to ensure no leakage of exhaust. However, I believe your smoke smell is from the creosote issues...

    Vacuum cleaner - your shop or ash vac can throw ash from its exhaust if filter is clogged or broken. No vacuum cleaner on the stove...
     
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  3. Randy1998

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    I cleaned it before I fired it up the other day,but I didn't remove the brick and clean behind it. I removed the shield the covers the tubes and cleaned there. The damper is working okay. The pellets are new. I'm going to remove the convection fan and clean it today as well. If I remove the combustion fan, what should I be looking for? I know it's working because there's exhaust coming out of the exhaust pipe that goes out of the house. I replaced the door gasket probably back in 2000 and only used t once since. I went overseas and came back in 2012. I took some metal tape and taped up all the joints. This seemed to help a lot. I have been having this problem ever since I installed it back in 1998.
     
  4. Lake Girl

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    http://www.pelletking.com/pellet-stove-manuals/whitfield-advantage-iit-pellet-stove-manual.pdf

    While this manual is newer, I hope the stove is constructed in the same way as the cleaning instructions are far better. Page 27 - cleaning the ash trap behind the fire brick baffles and the heat exchangers. Get a new gasket and pull the combustion blower and clean those passages. The combustion blower does require lubrication (blue label 3-in-1 for electric motors works) but the convection blower does not.

    Keep us posted...

    Changed your title on the thread so hopefully other Whitfield owners will chime in...
     
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  5. Randy1998

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    Thanks for changing the title. I tried to do it after I posted it, but couldn't find out how. The link that you gave me is very similar to my stove. The only difference is the ash pan. My doesn't have a gasket. I did lubricate both combustion blower and convection fan motor. Now I need to find the part number for the gasket for the combustion blower. I'm thinking that's part of the problem. That and it needs a good cleaning.
    Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. Lake Girl

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    Many stoves require cleaning of all internal exhaust pathways about every ton burned - varies depending on stove, type of pellets (softwoods produce lighter ash), lower burn collects more fly ash internally. I use various brushes, putty knife and attach a hose to the shop vac with drywall filter (cold ash only ) to clean up pathways (dryer lint brush, paint brush). Scotch brite or gun brushes can be used to get around heat exchangers. Make sure you disconnect power while cleaning in the cabinet. Be careful when cleaning the combustion motor - don't want to bend any of the blades and unbalance motor. Some clean up the blades and then spray with high temp graphite to reduce future build-up. Compressed air is preferred but at least vacuum out motor windings to get the motor killing dust bunnies out of there==c Not sure when your exhaust venting was cleaned but should be done just to rule out problems there...

    Use the search box above for the leaf blower trick once you've done your brushing up and vacuuming the internals. There is a youtube video posted on some threads. Just be sure you disconnect the hose off the vacuum switch so it doesn't get over-pressured and ruin the switch.

    Hope you have a surge protector on the power line to protect your control board

    Let us know how you make out...
     
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  7. Lake Girl

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    Wonder if it would help if you add an ash pan gasket...
     
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  8. Randy1998

    Randy1998
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    I thought about adding a gasket on the ash pan. I may give that a try. I'm definitely going to give it a through cleaning today.
    When I was using it on a regular basis, I would burn a ton of pellets a month. I had it set on the highest setting. I tried using it to heat the house, it's located in the basement. It kept the basement nice and warm, but not the upstairs. I had a fan that was mounted from the ceiling blowing up the stairs. It did help a lot this time. It kept it around 72 degrees. The heat pump didn't come on nearly as much.
    Thanks again for all the info. I'll keep you posted on how everything goes.
     
  9. Randy1998

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    I did a thorough cleaning on it and there wasn't much ash built up anywhere. There was some behind the bricks, but not enough to effect the operation. I was surprised how little there was considering I used it pretty hard the first few years I had it. I would burn a ton a month. Ten it sat unused for about 10 years.
    The smoke smell was coming from the side where the combustion fan was. When I went to take off the combustion fan, I noticed that the gasket appeared to have a split in it around one of the studs that the fan bolts on to. There wasn't much soot or ash in the exhaust chamber and the convection fan. I ordered gaskets for it. I hope they are the right ones. I'm going to blow out both fans tomorrow.
    When I put the new gaskets on, do I have to use any type of adhesive on them?
    Here's some photos of the fans.
    Combustion fan.JPG Convection fan.JPG
     
  10. Bioburner

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    Should not need any adhesive on the exhaust fan assembly. It does not take much of a leak to get some smoke smell. Blow out the motor winding as they harbor the dreaded dust bunnies that overheat and cook those small motors and if lucky the thermal protection saves the motor. Sometimes running a stove almost full out will keep things from catching any ash etc but probably not very efficient at extraction of the heat from the fuel burnt.
     
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  11. Lake Girl

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    I would try adding the ash pan gasket - may be a source of air that is compromising the burn. There would be a reason that there is one on the updated stove ;)

    Convection fan blades aren't bad - some pics we have seen were clogged with pet hair, etc. A toothbrush or paint brush used gently will help clean off dust deposits from the vanes...
     
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  12. Randy1998

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    I was planning on adding one. I have some flat rope that I can use since there's not much heat in that area.
     
  13. Bioburner

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    I would check out using self bonding silicone tape to seal the venting. It stretches very tight and it's width prevents most smoke leaks and is easier to remove if needed. Found in plumbing and electrical depts. 4-5$ for about ten ft.
     
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  14. Randy1998

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    I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow and see if they have it.
     
  15. Bioburner

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    They will :)
     
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  16. Randy1998

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    After doing a thorough cleaning, putting a gasket on the ash pan and taping up all the joints on the stove pipe, it still gives off a slight smokey smell. It has done this since day one when I first bought it back in 1998.
     
  17. Randy1998

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    Lake Girl, I started a new thread in The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel section under "normal Thread Threads" pertaining to installing an igniter on an older Whitfield Advantage Plus Pellet Stove. Can you look at my posting and give me your advice? i would greatly appreciate your advice.
     
  18. womaus

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    But they may have in the paint department, so check there too. I stumped three clerks at HD looking for the tape...tried plumbing, hardware. Then one of them said when he worked in paint there was some "weird stuff" there.
     
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  19. Bioburner

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    Stumping a clerk at HD is not hard to do. So many there are weekend warriors. Couple other stores in area are a complete bust on weekends if you need help. One admitted he was not legal to do what he was sent to do with me:(
     
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  20. Don2222

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    Hi
    I like your Whit Adv Plus - Looks Great! It is not uncommon or these Whits & newer Travis pellet stoves to have loose and leaky exhaust flanges that are bolted to the exhaust housing.
    This was the case on my Whit Adv Plus.
    I replaced the flange and sealed it with high temp clear Silicone sealant and put in new Stainless Steel large self tapping screws. The larger screws give a better physical connection so the seal will not break easily from the vibration and last many years!
    I also pimped it up with a heavy duty Gleason Avery ball bearing 1.75 amp Exhaust Blower and some flat aluminum very high temp spray paint.
    Note: It is not really necessary to replace the flange if you clean it up nice. Mine had a bolt hole from venting being bolted into it. :-(
     

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