Summer Stove Maintenance coming soon

Snowy Rivers Posted By Snowy Rivers, Apr 22, 2013 at 10:13 AM

  1. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 7, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Actually I got after this stuff last weekend.

    The little Whitfield needed serious work and the little critter is still needed so I ripped into it.

    The exhaust blower fan blade, low temp switch, some gaskets and a real good upper heat exchanger/exhaust housing cleaning as well as blowing out the room air fan.

    These are all things that I had planned for summer during shut down, but necessity demanded doing it now.

    The large Whit needs to be pulled down and the exhaust fan/ housing cleaned out well and the room air fan removed and the blower wheel blown out real well.

    The room air fans get overlooked a lot on these stoves.

    The squirrel cage blades collect a lot of crap, as in dust from the room, pellet dust, or in our case, shell dust and this build up causes the fan to loose its efficiency.

    Every so often some of the crap on the blades will fall off and this causes the fan to be out of ballance.

    The results are more vibration and noise from the fan, as well as poor air flow.

    Cleaning out the exhaust housing and fan can drastically improve the draft through the stove and overall performance.

    The normal cleaning can leave some crud thats harder to get to though and is best left to the summer service.

    The leaf blower procedure is sure a great way to get the crap out of the nooks and crannies.

    Sadly though, there is still a fair amount of junk that needs to be scraped out of the passages that no manner of sucking will remove.

    The summer maintenance time is a good time to suck out the mechanical cabinet too, as the amount of combustible dust that collects in there can surprise you.

    Clean out all the motors for the fans, this can be done with a vacuum and a computer duster air can, or compressed air if you have a compressor.

    Air flow through the motors is important to keep them cool, and most have a cooling fan in them.

    Check the auger motor for debris as well. These motors are pretty simple and require little attention.

    The augers are pretty much trouble free.

    Check over the fire back (brick look heat insulator pads) thats behind the fire pot.

    Another overlooked item is to screen off the vents to prevent BUGS from moving in for the summer.

    Bees can make a lovely home inside your pellet stove.

    So if its August and your pellet stove is HUMMING, dont open the door:eek:
    If your stove is an auto light type, simply run a short cycle to rid the stove of the unwanted guests.

    The short fire will take care of the beasties real quick.

    Chimneys need to be cleaned well, as even pellet fuel does/can cause creosote to form.

    Even the nut shells we burn can leave a combustible residue if the stove has been run on low for a long time.

    I prefer the direct vents as they are easy to clean, but many installs are done using tall chimneys and these can be a fire hazard if not maintained properly.

    Summer is a great time to pull off the sheet metal panels that over time get scratched up and give them a fresh coat of paint.

    Taking the panels outdoors is great, as the fresh paint can dry well in the sun, and not stink up the house.

    By the time stove season is back, the initial fire up will not result in a smelly house, or at least it will be minimal.

    Taking stock in repair parts is a good summer time thing as well.
    Buying parts is not cheap, and having to order such items when you really need the stove sucks.

    Having the parts that can fail is important.
    A spare ignitor (if your stove has one)
    A spare auger motor
    A spare draft fan
    A spare room air fan
    Various gaskets
    Low and high snap switches
    And any other failure prone items, depending on the model of stove.

    Generally these stoves dont require a lot of parts to be replaced, but having the parts when you need them is a good thing and during the heating season on a long weekend is not the time to have to order them.

    I f you run older stoves as I do (Whitfields) a quick trip to the corner stove shop is likely not in the offing.

    Better to have the parts on the shelf and not need them.

    The fans can be somewhat spendy, so not having to buy your parts stash all at once, or during the Christmas season when the checkbook has already sucked into a vacuum is just good planning.

    As I

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