Ravelli Hopper Fire

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New Member
Jan 9, 2024
Scary incident with my brand new Roma insert which was installed in October. Big snow storm in the northeast this past weekend. Cleaned out the stove in the morning, loaded it up with high quality pellets and it was cranking all day. Topped off the hopper before going to bed, everything seemed normal. Came downstairs in the morning and the glass was black and stove said eco stop. I didnt think much of it, figured it just needed a good cleaning after running so much, put the stove in final cleaning mode. Went to clean it about an hour later, and noticed some smoke coming out of the hopper. I opened the door main stove door and big cloud of smoke- half burned smoldering pellets everywhere, firebox was a disaster, ash pan filled with smoldering pellets. No error code or anything on the controls. Put on my fire gloves and grabbed the ash pan and dumped it into the snow outside. Went back in and smoke still coming from the hopper. looked more closely at the fire box and saw the hopper shoot was entirely clogged with ash and tar like creosote. Opened up the hopper, it was about half full will pellets which were on fire (flames)! I emptied a fire extinguisher into it and called the dealer.

Dealer was excellent sent someone out immediately, they even got the third party that installed the stove to come out immediately and help. They were there within 20 minutes of my call.

They said they have never seen this before and that the stove should have shut itself down via the heat switch in the hopper and threw out a error code. Confirmed no issue with the install, venting all looked proper and not overly dirty. They removed the stove and took it to their shop to run some more diagnostics. Waiting to hear what the resolution is.

At this point the stove had burned about 1.75 tons of high quality Vermont pellets life to date. I am religious about keeping it clean, I shut it down and do a thorough vacuuming every morning.

Any thoughts about 1) what the issue could have been and what the resolution should be? I am very concerned about potentially re-installing that same stove given this seems like a potentially catastrophic failure.
In my experience, most hopper fires are caused by a lack of combustion air
allowing the pellets to just smoulder in the burn pot and building to a point that
the smouldering pellets reach the hopper. The stove will shut down because the
low temp. sensor falls below the minimum temp but the pellets keep smouldering
Causes: dirty stove (ash buildup), an OAK plugged with snow or a bird nest or
some foreign object I am not saying this is what happened to your stove just
the causes I have run across in my years as an Envrio teck. I hope they find the cause
of your fire and you can rebuild your trust in the stove.
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