Tips on if Your pellet stove is burning lazy and or getting smoke in the house

coopwaldo

New Member
Mar 2, 2014
1
brockport ny
If you are getting smoke in the house or you stove just don’t seem to be burning like should.


Check the door seal and latch for a tight fit.

Check the ash pan for shut tight and latched


If all doors seals are good and latched.

MOST pellet stove are Negative air. (Inside of the Firebox is vacuumzed)
If you don’t have the ash pan or door sealed less air will flow through the burn pot and you will have a tall lazy flame. You will see no visual change in the fire when you change the air control.

Without a Magnahilic this is the best way to dial In air adjustment.

With the stove on High and running for 15 minutes after start up.
Push the air rod in. you will see a tall ugly lazy flame
then [b}slowly[/b] pull the rod out
as the flame comes down, more intense and be more yellow
when the flame looks like it is not changing anymore stop pulling out.
If you have sparks popping this is normal
but you don’t want to see PELLETS popping out.
If you get Brown or Grey soot on the glass and firebrick this is normal
if you have BLACK soot on the firebrick and glass pull the air out a little more.

Cant get much adjustment out of the air?

The first thing to do is a good cleaning.

Follow the cleaning steps in your manual.

Clean out all the ashes in the burn pot and ash chambers.
Some stoves this will require you to remove the refractory brick and the REMOVE baffle behind it.
Photos here http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/adavantageII_clean.htm
http://www.hearthtools.com/new_pa1.gif

Scrap the heat exchange tubes or fins or clean with a Bottle or potato brush
http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/whitcl1.jpg
http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/buildupheatexchange.jpg
http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/IMG00393-20091119-1328.jpg
Check the placement of your burn pot and or burn pot liner. Make sure it sitting in the correct notches; Latches and push back were it belongs.

Clean out the ALL Venting (flue pipe) and just because you think your pellet vent is clean? Have you looked where the vent connects to the stove?
http://www.hearthtools.com/install/dirty_insert/images/IMG_1110.jpg
Check the cap some times if you are adapting to wood stove pipe there will be a screen in the cap.
http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/chimneycapplugged.jpg

Check the door seal and latch for a tight fit.

Check the ash pan for shut tight and latched



Try the steps above if your stove still is not burning correctly then go on to some trouble shooting in your owners manual and or here https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/13413/
the door gasket in one spot by the door latch was not glued in place. would that cause lazy flame and black soot buildup?
 

bob burke

Member
Mar 9, 2014
69
n.y.
Great thread. I've had an Envirofire stove for about 20 years. I concocted a flex hose setup for my vacuum, so that I don't have to remove the back panels of the burn chamber when I do my regular cleaning. There are discs that cover ports in the back panels, and I'm able to get my flex hose in said ports. I've been able to keep the stove very clean for years employing this method.

This year, my stove simply isn't the same. Each morning I have a pot full of ashes, and it only gets marginally better when I clean the stove.

So...I decided to break down, and remove those panels for the first time in 10 years. It was rather clean back there, but I did notice a slight buildup of very fine ash/dust on the vertical surfaces. I also noticed a similar buildup at the top of the port that begins the exhaust chamber. This slight buildup was not blocking air movement in the least.

I thoroughly cleaned all the fine dust, and put the stove back together.

I can't believe the difference! This stove hasn't burned this well in years. I guess it must be an aerodynamics issue. Perhaps the fine dust changed the air flow...even though it wasn't clogging anything.

I guess panel removal will now be part of my fall pre season service.
 

Christella

New Member
Nov 30, 2013
2
New Hampshire
Hi - I've had a Harman XXV for almost 2 years now, bought new. I LOVE it and have !! When it's running...

Within the last month (I had it professionally cleaned in August because I wanted to see if it was something I would want to do yearly myself) after burning about 3 tons of Energex that were somewhat sawdusty, the stove has gone out 3 times and shown a large amount of unburned pellets spilled over the edge into the ash pan and on the burn pot. The 2nd time it happened I had just cleaned it a week before.

I called the dealer who walked me through removing the washers that cover the baffles which I had NOT ever cleaned before, although I had regularly removed the wing nuts and cleaned inside the area where the igniter is. The dealer told me the baffles were probably blocked by dust and not letting air through to keep the burn going and that I should rap hard on it with my fingers, which I did.

A week later (today!), it stopped running again and same thing; unburned pellets, stone cold, and a full hopper. I have noticed that the glass is extremely smoked up which I attributed to the last time the stove shut off but may instead be from recent incomplete combustion. I have also noticed that when i open the stove door while it's burning in order to scrape the air holes or burn pot, there is a LOT of smoke expelled into the room which I haven't ever noticed before recently, like if you don't open the damper on a wood stove. I'm wondering what I'm overlooking and i might save myself a service call if i can figure it out tomorrow .... Thanks in advance!
 

bob burke

Member
Mar 9, 2014
69
n.y.
Not familiar with that stove, but a few things might come into play. If you are running it very low, sometimes they shut down due to low temp. in the combustion blower housing. When the stove is serviced, the sensor in that housing has to be removed, and the coating of soot must be removed in order to have it function properly. There are a few pic here.

You'll see it somewhere near the motor when you view the housing. Some stoves just don't run well at very low temps.
 

Christella

New Member
Nov 30, 2013
2
New Hampshire
I think I found the problem... the stovepipe seemed to be packed with ash and soot and I think was choking the combustion process. After 3 hours of dirty painful stovepipe removal ash vacuuming and working to try to get it back together in exactly the same way, the stove seems to be burning a LOT hotter and has a higher flame. I know that the stovepipe wasn't cleaned last season as part of the stove cleaning process, so hopefully now i can get on track and clean it yearly myself. It's funny to me that the dealer never suggested cleaning the stovepipe as part of the yearly cleaning. Is this unusual? They did say that it sounded as though there was a blockage when I scheduled my service call which hopefully now I can cancel.
 
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bob burke

Member
Mar 9, 2014
69
n.y.
It's amazing what something as simple as a good cleaning can do. I posted elsewhere on this board that my stove wasn't performing as well as it used to. I hadn't removed the panels in the burn chamber for many years, as I'd developed a system for cleaning that employed a flex hose and a vacuum.

When I removed the panels, I found a light coating of fine soot/ash on the walls of the stove. I didn't think much of it, but it made a HUGE difference in the way the stove burns now. It's as if the 20 year old stove were new again.

Don't forget the temp sensor when you do your annual cleaning either.
 
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Vouty

Member
Apr 1, 2014
15
Massachusetts
I always feel like I am missing something when doing a cleaning. Although, I think I am thorough, I am never really sure. These posts are helpful.
I have Vista Flame 100. Does anyone know if there is a way to get at the heat tubes except from underneath or using a brush and the pull rod. From what I am reading, there may be an air duct that I am missing
 

whatever

New Member
Sep 26, 2015
7
Deep Brook NS
I always feel like I am missing something when doing a cleaning. Although, I think I am thorough, I am never really sure. These posts are helpful.
I have Vista Flame 100. Does anyone know if there is a way to get at the heat tubes except from underneath or using a brush and the pull rod. From what I am reading, there may be an air duct that I am missing
When I was shopping pellet stoves, I downloaded a lot of manuals from the manufacturer sites. They all had detailed installation and cleaning instructions.
Did you remove the combustion fan and clean the blades? The convection fan should also be cleaned. I don't know how you cleaned your vent pipe, but you can buy flexible brushes that can go through elbows. You shouldn't have to take it apart each time.
 

Suie

New Member
Mar 14, 2015
3
Finger Lakes Region
This is all great advice, but if you've tried all this (like I had) and still can't find the problem it's worth checking out the exhaust blower.I spent several months with a smokey Harman XXV last winter before I figured out that was my culprit. I have a long brush I use to clean around it and had accidentally jammed it in the fins of the blower a couple of times. If those fins get bent and the fan is out of balance it won't suck the smoke out like it should. Of course, if you're careful with cleaning, you can avoid this. :) And changing out the fan is not a simple task, like you'd think it would be.
 

tlc1976

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2012
373
Northwest Lower Michigan
I just installed the 5770 last week. 2 ft horizontal pipe, 6 ft vertical outside. Flame wasn't lazy but damper control did almost nothing, but running on heat range 1 and dampering down like recommended would kill the fire and throw error. Pipe was hot and with connections being sealed, it streamed smoke from 2 factory pipe seams. Went over every seam with sealer to stop that but still had a little sawdust smell but at least no CO. Fire would go out in a few hours and throw error but all devices tested ok. The last time it left a haze of smoke in the house so I said no more till I figure this out. Well I added an outside air kit and wow what a difference. Full damper adjustment, ran all night great, only smell was a little remaining paint. Problem solved. Who would have thought a house built in 1987 and never remodeled would be so airtight.
 

JR52

Member
Jan 8, 2017
62
Pennsylvania
Any ideas? This is a Breckwell stove. It was just put in direct vent. Works fine at times and other times blows smoke out the holes heat should come from stinking up the house. How is this even possible?
Video shows where smoke is coming from.
Guessing this stopped? It looks to be burn off of the paint.
 
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