Quadra- fire 1200 Classic Bay Loose heat exchanger tubes.

yulester Posted By yulester, Oct 28, 2018 at 6:10 PM

  1. yulester

    yulester
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    Seems I have encountered the loose exchanger tube situation.

    The curved tubes at the top have a small flange ring that appears to be caulked to the top of the heat exchanger box. the cleaning rod will not travel up to the top on the one side any more. The other side seems to be intact, but the caulking material is coming loose.I can see where ash has blown out of this area around this flange ring.

    What made me find this issue is that the fire bowl has been having an issue with lazy flame and a pellet buildup last year. If we didn't pay attention to this stove, we would get smoke in the house during thermostat shutdown.

    I will be pulling this stove apart to review the options and repair possibilities. Buying a new stove is not an option. Finding a Quadrafire authorized repair/service person has been a fruitless endeavor in the past.

    From other posts I've seen, these tubes don't look like they were swagged in place - more like epoxy caulked.

    Any comments or input would be appreciated.
     
  2. jzm2cc

    jzm2cc
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    Buy a small exhaust pipe expander and re-expand it to lock in place at the top of tube
     
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  3. yulester

    yulester
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    Looking into this possibility. Also looking into what kinds of caulk / sealant that was used when we bought it and/or what I can use.
     
  4. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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  5. yulester

    yulester
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    What would we expect to see for heat exchanger temperatures at the tube connections in the heat exchanger box.
     
  6. yulester

    yulester
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    Ohhhh - - I like that possibility.
    That may be the ticket in this case !!!
    Thanks for the lead.
     
  7. yulester

    yulester
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    So what about the bottom of the tube? It appears to have some movement there, and I would have to expect it's for expansion. Is there something we should be addressing here, or even a way to get access to this area.
     
  8. yulester

    yulester
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    OK - - So we purchased some of the Red Devil 1000 degree fire place and wood stove caulk. It's like a mortar in a tube. Hint - you definitely need water to work with this stuff. Next problem was getting the tubes back up in place. Tried doing it bare handed by pulling and twisting - - didn't work as expected. Started to work at taking apart the input side of the exchange by the convection fan. The screws are not easily accessible even with the stove pulled out a few inches.

    Came up with a different plan. I took a plumbers basin wrench and thinned it out a bit so I could get a grip around the tubes, and with the encouragement of a small dead blow hammer, they popped right up in place. Used a small pinch to prick the surfaces of the tubes to help hold them in place. Next - - caulk. Ended up using a small painters pallet knife and an old butter knife bent at a 90 degree on the end - - about a 1/4" up. Cheap tamper paddle to get into the tight spaces. We wrapped the pull rods with aluminum foil to keep the caulk from making contact. We will see how this works in a bit.

    Caulk directions state to start a small fire for two hours and then crank it up. So far I'm happy with the Red Devil Caulk, but it appears the initial issue hasn't been solved. Still have a flame a bit too lazy, and the pot will overflow if I'm not watching it. We don't have outside combustion air hookup (seems it wasn't an option when we bought this stove).

    As much as Quadra-Fire tells me to call in a technician, we don't have any nearby. Closest guy sells some parts, but he hasn't impressed me in the past, so I'm on my own (I'm considering taking the technicians class in the near future).

    If anyone needs pictures of the tools used, let me know.

    Meanwhile, one issue fixed - - Initial problem not solved.
     
  9. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    How is the gasket under your burn pot? Is the trap door under the burn pot closing?
     
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  10. yulester

    yulester
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    I've never checked the burn pot gasket. Interesting and will check. The drawer underneath was my next check.
     
  11. bob bare

    bob bare
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    I read this thread,sealer does not fix metal to metal contact(well,temporarily),I think there is other threads that show a proper repair.You always want the combustion gases to be separate from the room heating.Swaging the tubes( as jzm described) is the proper way,In my thinking.Just the same as old railroad technology "swaged new tubes into the boiler housing.If it was not welded from the factory,it was swagded,not welded,therefore was not expected to last.Just my 2 cents.
     
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  12. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    I agree with what your saying Bob but there is no way to get to the back side of the tubes without cutting the stove apart. Stove cement is going to age and crack/fall apart. So gotta try cement or replace the stove is the only options.if its an older stove it’s probably better to just get a new one or a clean used one and have extra parts
     
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  13. bob bare

    bob bare
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    Ah,thanks.Would not be the first stove that has been cut open,to repair a problem,I seem to remember a few posts on this,years ago.There is glue,and sealer,and a permanent repair.A "temporary" repair is not allowed on an automobile.A "compression" fitting is not allowed on a brake line.But,I also understand peoples financial stiuations,and,agree,as long as they know it is a temporary repair.
     
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  14. yulester

    yulester
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    There was a hard caulk like substance at the top of the heat exchanger around the swagged tubes. most of it was cracked and loose. Three of the eight tubes were loose. Designing with a swagged fitting such as this wasn't a great idea in my thinking. Sooner or later the connection would come loose as it did. As of now, I'm happy with the seal at the top of the tubes after the above mentioned repair. I may take this stove completely apart this next spring and see about having the tubes tig welded or possibly brazed in place. If I can get access to the tubes at the bottom of the heat exchanger, we may do something with this too. Has anyone done this before??

    This stove is still in great condition. The exterior still looks almost new, the gold plated door only has one spot on it, and we have been running this stove since about 2001. Right now, buying a replacement is out of the question.

    As for what we have found so far. The gasket under the firepot appears to be in good condition. Can't push it or move it, but a replacement on Amazon is about $12.00 - - I'll get one. I may have to redo the door gaskets again, and this was somewhat of a pain last time. I may do this a bit differently as it appeared to be done from the factory in such a way as to let air in on the bottom edge of the glass - - like it was meant to allow air flow to keep the glass clean. It worked fine for the last few years after I re-did the doors this way.

    Ash tray / pan - I'll be replacing this. I ran a Bic lighter along the seam while it was running, and saw a couple places where the flame pulled into the seam. After doing some looking around, it appears I may have a stove that has the rubber gasket instead of the fiberglass rope. So my next question would be, can I use the fiberglass rope instead of the rubber gasket.
     
  15. Ssyko

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    I don’t know about the rubber gasket replacment, mine has rope. If the surface is flat I would think it would work. Check the little door under your burn pot, pot clean out rod opens it along with the bottom of the pot. If that is loose or not closing that kills the draft faster than anything else.
     
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  16. yulester

    yulester
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    Mine does have the rubber like gasket on the tray - - - it's getting glass rope. Found huge chunks out of the rubber gasket along with cracking

    Ordered 1/2" graphite impregnated for the tray and same stuff in 3/4 for the door. Picked up the firepot gasket too. The slide(s) seem to be working fine. Some seasons. I have to free it up first time of the season. The little access panel seems to be fine gasket wise although I may change it

    I don't take the tray out more than 3 or 4 times a season. When I sweep out the stove, I usually sweep out a bunch out of the tray.

    We will start with the tray and see if this solves the problem.
     

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