USSC 6041 Hopper Fire

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Feb 6, 2006
S.E. Michigan
Backround - I have been having issues with my 6041 not letting the pellets slide down the hopper causing the auger to no longer feed pellets and ultimately causing an error 2 state.

This morning I woke up to the smell of smoke in the house and I knew that the stove was probably going to be in an error 2 state. Still dark in the house, I went to the stove and it was still in cool down, did my usual routine - press the on button and open the hopper lid to push the pellets down the hopper when I noticed glowing at the base of the auger in the hopper. I immediatly grabbed my shop vac and vaccumed out the unburned pellets from the hopper and had my wife dump them outside just in case any of them were hot. I set the draft fan to 9 and let the rest of the pellets in the lift tube burn out. A bit of a scary situation because there was another 15-20lbs of pellets in the hopper and if they went it would have been a disaster. I dissassembled the auger lift chute after the stove cooled and the only thing I see is the upper bushing might be ruined.

Being a negitive pressure stove I have no idea how this happened. I fully clean the stove once a week, behind the firebrick and everything. I remove the ash catch every other week at the outside 90 on the chimney. The horizontal from the stove to the outside hasn't been cleaned yet. The 3' of vertical outside is a little dirty but not obstructed at all.
Most if not all hopper fires in a drop feed stove are caused
by a dirty stove with no airflow through the burn pot. Pellets
build up in the pot and smoulder or have a very lazy fire. The
pellets being dropped have nowhere to go and build up in the shute
air coming down the shute feeds the fire so the fire goes up the
shute and down the auger. I have seen this happen 3 times in the
last 10 years of working on top-feed pellet stoves. In all cases, the
stoves were ash-plugged causing reduced air flow for proper combustion
Until you clean your stove from air intake to exhaust termination
It may happen again