Vogelzang 5770 pot fills with unburned pellets

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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
What I do is I suck out the venting outside with a leaf blower 2 times a year and I cut a length of garden hose that fits into the reducer adapter on my shop vac and I use the hose to get back of the exhaust fan plenum.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Pretty much SOP for me is soaking the burn pot in warm water for 30 minutes to loosen the hard carbon and then use a putty knife to remove it, followed by a coarse scotchbrite pas to get the rest.. I don't get a lot with corn but I get some. I do that every time I clean the stove inside which, in my case is every 3 days. One quick clean and weekly a good cleaning with the vacuum.

If anyone every said these units are plug and play, they lied. :)
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
840
Northwest Lower Michigan
I found my issue was between exhaust fan and the unit, not going to the chimney , Its a hard spot to get to. Let us know how it goes and get the draft set right.

That’s another spot the long thin dryer lint brush is nice for.

I also have very little buildup in the burn pot. Just scrape the 5 sides with a bbq grill scraper.
 
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Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
We had the same issue- I was getting a lot of ash on the top of the burn chamber where there are some little angle shelf’s shielding the upper exhaust vents. (just below the front exhaust screen but inside the burn chamber) you have to reach way up at the top of the chamber (better when it’s cool!) to find these and find the left and right exhaust tubes which go straight down behind the burn chamber, eventually making it to the exhaust fan.
I had suspected the right hand side was clogging, giving the stove only 50% of the airflow needed.
I unclogged it once with a flexible vac tube but it was too big to go to the bottom of the vent and only worked for a couple weeks before clogging again. So I tried again using a long piece of rubber gas line, that I taped to the end of my vacuum adaptor. With this, I was able to drop it to the bottom of the stove vents. Working it vigorously up and down and clear/vacuum all the dust. I also took off the face on the exhaust fan, and worked the hose up the back of the vents, towards the burn pot. I scraped any excess ash that I could find in the fan chamber. I also blew out the intake tube with the vac running in the exhaust chamber. Last, unrelated to the burning, the squirrel cage on the opposite side for the hot air exhaust, was totally full of dust and lint. I was too lazy to remove it so I blew it out which filled the room with dust (not soot, but house dust) and now it blows a lot more heat into the room. The bottom line, it works like a champ now and burns like it did when it was new. No more clumps, clean burning, and works on level 3 & 4 again!
Hope that helps. Will try to post a diagram- good luck!
 

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fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
980
South of Boston MA
It looks to me like a pellet issue with your stove. Sand and fillers that cheap brands use will form clinkers (carbon build-up) and cause what you are experiencing. Try a GOOD softwood pellet and see if there is a difference, I believe a good pellet and a proper air flow setting will solve your issue. That said, I had an Englander insert with the same issue, this solved it for me at the time. Then I bought a Harman!
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
840
Northwest Lower Michigan
When I clean the firebox I use a wooden paint stir stick. I run it along that little shelf up top. Then run it flat against the vertical walls and scrape the worst off those. Then when sucking out the ash, I run the stick between the stove front and the burn pot box. Then under the burn pot I suck that out along with the igniter tube, air inlet tube, and vac switch tube.

Anything from the top falls to the side ash traps so I suck those out and run the lint brush up the passages.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I use the same bristle paint brush I clean my window with.
 

Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
The problem was not the pellets for me. There are vents at the very top left and right corners inside the burn chamber. If you stick your arm up there and feel with your hands, you can feel the small approx 1”x 2” openings. These vents got partly clogged with ash after six years of use. The vents drop from the top, straight down behind the burn chamber to the bottom area behind the burn pot and then the air flows out through the exhaust fan. You can’t really see the vents but they are there behind the burn chamber (second diagram in post above). Once cleaned with my makeshift hose (first diagram above) everything is working perfectly- the pellets are getting proper venting and burning clean again, using the same pellets. Prior to cleaning these, I was getting frustrated with the stove burning worst and worst over the past year, suspecting it was a lack of airflow, which was the case. I tried four different types of pellets. Yes, the soft wood pellets burned a bit cleaner, but the stove couldn’t handle them at higher levels, it would get clogged just like with the hard wood pellets. Once the hidden vents were cleaned, it started burning like a new stove again.
 

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Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
Volgelzang 5770 Problems fully solved: This is a follow up on cleaning the stove for proper burning ventilation. After doing more research, I found that there are two venting chamber, ash cleaning vents that can be seen on the left and right hand sides of the stove after removing the side panels. Both sides were loaded with ashes and obstructing airflow. They need to be regularly cleaned every 30-40 bags as mentioned in this video on how to thoroughly clean your Volgelzang 5770. My stove hadn't had these cleaned in over 1000 bags but now it is giving lots of heat again and burning clean and like new! Here is the cleaning video I found:

IMG_1384.jpg
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
840
Northwest Lower Michigan
Good you got it solved. Those are the side ash traps I mentioned. Not cleaned in 1000 bags wow. I clean mine about every 30 bags or so. About every other time I clean the firebox.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Couple things I see in the video that he isn't doing. 1. No surge suppressor. Every unit needs a surge suppressor between the outlet and the power cord. 2. You don't need an ash vac, in fact I've never had one. I use an ordinary shop vac with a drywall (yellow) bag inside. 3. The leaf blower suck out will do as good as or better than a rotary brush on the vent pipe and I take all my venting apart in the spring and pressure wash it inside. I use Zep Purple degreaser in a spritz bottle followed by a pressure rinse.

With any stove, they have to have sufficient combustion air to operated correctly and that means cleaning ALL the ash out regularly. I clean mine every week inside and all the ash collecting, behind the firebox cavities and suck my venting twice a season plus in the spring before I take it apart for a wash inside.

Most issues on here are caused by a choked up from fly ash combustion gas path or filthy venting.

Finally, I would never have a cleanout Tee on the inside of a house, always on the outside for obvious reasons. The dud is gonna need a shower and I bet his wife is pizzed, he dusted everything in the room. :)
 

Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
Good you got it solved. Those are the side ash traps I mentioned. Not cleaned in 1000 bags wow. I clean mine about every 50 bags or so. About every other time I clean the firebox.
I can't believe I missed knowing about them, or that the stove ran so well for so long! We burn 3-4 tons per year and are on our 7th year! We ran it for our entire small ranch on level one or two most days/nights, but with the traps blocked we had to run it on 2-3 more often this year - seems to be running much hotter now. I hear a lot of bad reviews for this model but overall for us it's been a great stove and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. The exhaust motor has been acting up a bit the last couple years. I ordered a replacement from pellethead.com but it doesn't spin as fast and gives a E2 error code. I think it may be because the original is 1.35 Amps and the replacement was 0.85 amps. The original was tuning hard with a lot of resistance, so I took it apart and cleaned the part that spins inside the magnetic block, with brake fluid! Dried it well, now it spins perfectly again. We'll see if it holds up. I feel like I'm working on an old car again - lol.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
840
Northwest Lower Michigan
Mine has been good as well. After replacing a couple cheap thermodiscs with better quality parts. I bought a handful of spare parts in the beginning for peace of mind, but have had very few issues with the stove, and nothing that wasn’t fixed quickly and easily. Burn a pellet that works well and it runs great and cleanly, I’m happy with it.

Fixed my post as I meant 30 bags. Most of the time a bag a day, clean firebox every 2 weeks, ash traps every 4 weeks, pipe every 50 bags. More often if it’s colder and I’m running it higher.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
You need to pull the exhaust blower (combustion fan) and oil the bearings. Brake cleaner is no good for any motor. it' sucks the oil right out of the bearings. I did a thing post a while back on just that. You need to pull the outer bearing retainer from the field laminations and oil the bearing with light machine oil and it it's a shielded bearing (dust shield, pop the shield off with a small pointed tool, oil the races and replace the shield and reinstall the retainer. You won't be able to pull the shield on the inner bearing but a good soaking with light machine oil will seep into the bearing and lube it. I oil all my bearings on every motor, convection fan, combustion fan and auger drives, every spring when I give the unit it's spring shutdown cleaning. Never use brake cleaner or any dry solvent on a motor. Big no no.
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
840
Northwest Lower Michigan
I use a bottle of 5W30 synthetic. Has worked well for me. And an animal syringe to get it into those tight spots. Shoot it flat on the bearing and spin the shaft by hand and it will draw in the oil. Had to oil the exhaust blower the first time this year, room blower every year.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I'll let my drives sit on the workbench for a few days and 'suck up the oil on the inner bearings I cannot access to get the dust shields off of. I may use the syringe method, I have one in the tool box.

Think I've said before, 20+ years on all the drives with no replacements and it sounds like the new ones aren't nearly as well built as the old ones (according to Sysko).

Way of the world I guess, build it cheaper for more profit.
 

Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
You need to pull the exhaust blower (combustion fan) and oil the bearings. Brake cleaner is no good for any motor. it' sucks the oil right out of the bearings. I did a thing post a while back on just that. You need to pull the outer bearing retainer from the field laminations and oil the bearing with light machine oil and it it's a shielded bearing (dust shield, pop the shield off with a small pointed tool, oil the races and replace the shield and reinstall the retainer. You won't be able to pull the shield on the inner bearing but a good soaking with light machine oil will seep into the bearing and lube it. I oil all my bearings on every motor, convection fan, combustion fan and auger drives, every spring when I give the unit it's spring shutdown cleaning. Never use brake cleaner or any dry solvent on a motor. Big no no.
Can you explain this in more detail or show an image of where that would be? "You need to pull the outer bearing retainer from the field laminations "
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I'm not photogenic. Just look at the end of the fan/drive motor. There is a bearing retainer there held on with 2 screws (usually T20 Torx), remove them and remove the retainer and oil the captured bearing.
 

Scottlev1

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
6
Hudson NH
I'm not photogenic. Just look at the end of the fan/drive motor. There is a bearing retainer there held on with 2 screws (usually T20 Torx), remove them and remove the retainer and oil the captured bearing.
OK thanks, I'll give it a shot. Is this on the outside of the motor where the small black flywheel is located?

IMG_1384-2.jpg
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Not a flywheel, it's a cooling fan but yes, under it.You won't be able to access the inner bearing without removing the combustion fan which is most likely frozen on the motor shaft but you can still access the bearing with a needle oiler and oil it.