Whitfield Quest not burning?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Nov 9, 2023
Looking for suggestions for an old Whitfield Quest WP4 that's not burning efficiently. I've had it for years and it's been great, was burning fine last season. We upgraded to a Harman and this stove went to my sister's (much smaller) house, but it's not burning efficiently, after a few hours pellets have piled up and you have to clean the burn pot. List of things below I have checked/tried so far (that I can think of off the top of my head):

It has a new door and ash pan gasket that I double checked has a good seal

I have taken it apart and clean all inside the stove, behind the firebrick (although this model does not have vents behind the firebrick), cleaned the vent from the burn chamber to combustion fan and obviously the flue

Replaced the combustion fan and both combustion seals, even though I just did this two seasons ago

Tried different kinds of pellets (hardwood)

And now feel like pulling my hair out... What am I missing?
Tight house not enough air for combustion?
I thought this, and rigged up a temporary cold air intake, but, still the burn point starts getting full 😑 I found that the ash release plates weren't closing quite all the way, had maybe a 1/4 gap in one and 1/8 on the other, after much work I got them "closed" and thought that would fix it, but apparently not.
More than likely the exhaust tubes in the stove are plugged. The Quest is a great stove, very simple, easy to repair, and lasts forever.

However there is a part of the stove that is very hard to clean. You can’t access or even see the exhaust tubes. The easiest way to clean these exhaust tubes is to take a leaf blower and put the suction side of the leave blower to the exhaust pipe outside the house.

these exhaust tubes are located behind the fire brick on the left and right side of the stove. These tubes pull air from the stove downward into the exhaust blower and then out the stove pipe. There is no way to access these tubes without drilling holes in the stove which is Lenox’s solution. But the leaf blower trick eliminates the need to modify your stove.

I know this sounds scary, leaf blower, soot, and the living room. But keep in mind the leaf blower will be pull room air through the stove and venting it outside. This pulling of the air will clean out the exhaust tubes that you cannot reach.

If you search are this site there are several videos of people using the leaf blower on their stoves.

If your stove is an insert you can still use the leaf blower if you can reach the exhaust pipe at the top of the chimney. If not you can substitute the leave blower for a vacuum and attach the suction hose to the stove’s exhaust pipe.

if you search for a post by me I had this problem and the leaf blower method fixed it