Wood Gun Center Plug

timberbuilt Posted By timberbuilt, Mar 16, 2018 at 12:40 AM

  1. timberbuilt

    timberbuilt
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    I've been running my WG for about 7 years, ad the center plug is bairly holding together. I've read a couple of threads about people replacing, and they seemed to imply it was important. Can someone help me understand what the importance of the center plug is? SImilar question, what is the EPA plug all about?

    Also, I seem to be having trouble keeping the thing going this year. Is there rule of thumb, or other way to know when the the fan is getting weak? I suspect it as a problem, but having a hard time telling for sure. Is there a cheaper way to get the fan than from AHS?
     
  2. Fred61

    Fred61
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    The plug is needed to direct the flow through the proper route in order to achieve proper combustion and proper heat transfer to the jacket. It is only there to be able to clean the tube and must be replaced after cleaning.
     
  3. ALL4GLH

    ALL4GLH
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    You may just want to do a thorough cleaning. It is possible that the last tube beyond the fan and before the cyclone is partially blocked. Other than that, what makes you think the fan is the issue?

    I believe the EPA plug is for when you’re using very dry wood to prevent puffing.


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  4. Fred61

    Fred61
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    Wrong, The plug is not and never has been referred to as an epa plug. If the plug is out the hot gasses short circuit directly to the fan tunnel without going through the heat exchanger tubes.

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  5. ALL4GLH

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  6. Fred61

    Fred61
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  7. ALL4GLH

    ALL4GLH
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    I understand. I was referring to the OP’s question on what the EPA plug is all about in the original post. Sorry for the confusion, I guess I should have quoted his post for clarification.


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  8. Fred61

    Fred61
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    I see now that he's talking about both plugs. I never had any experience with any epa plugs.

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  9. muncybob

    muncybob
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    You've been running 7 years...have you cleaned out the heat exchange area(need to remove fan unit) and area between cyclone and main housing? This is an annual ritual for me and has improved burning a lot along with annual chimney cleaning. I've found that any time I have had a problem with a good burn or excess smoke it's usually because of a blockage somewhere.
    Since you suspect something with the fan...does it make noise(may need new bearing(s))? As stated, the "epa" plug is a small plug for the side tube. Since using this I've had very little huffing with my 3+ yr seasoned wood. Just need to remember to alternate from one tube to the other on a regular basis to wear the refractory evenly.
     
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  10. ALL4GLH

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    Out of curiosity, when you pull the fan off do you have to replace the heat shield? I’m afraid of it crumbling and mine is due for cleaning again this year.



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  11. timberbuilt

    timberbuilt
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    Thanks all for the responses. Per the questions posed:
    1) I have never pulled the fan and cleaned the heat exchange area, or the area between the cyclone and main house. I'll have to consider this. Any additional instruction on this would be helpful, unless it's as easy as pulling things apart and cleaning. I often clean the chimney and upper cyclone.
    2) The fan is not making any bearing noise. Mainly I thought I remember the fan making more sound (e.g. could hear better from my porch), and my perception that it wasn't burning as good as I think it should. Might all be in my head too...

    New question:
    - I've never replaced my center plug. It's a bit cracked and really just barely holding together. I would suspect it let's gas pass. Would that cause trouble with my burn?
    - Regarding:
    How do I clean this last tube?
     
  12. muncybob

    muncybob
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    You may be able to save the shield but I would have a spare on hand. If it is over 5 yrs old it probably needs to be replaced anyhow. I have replaced mine once and that was when I replaced the bearing.
     
  13. muncybob

    muncybob
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    7 yrs and never cleaned the heat exchanger....wow! You are most likely not running as efficient as you should and I can understand why it's not running well for you this year. It's not hard at all, pull the entire fan assembly including the mounting plate(4 nuts) and use a drill with a bit extension and a wire wheel along with a shop vac and crevice nozzle. The 1st cleaning will be a bear for you with all the crud that most likely has accumulated in there. After that an annual cleaning still takes a while but won't be nearly as bad(I did my 1st cleaning after 3 yrs). Also, clean the lower tube too. you'll be amazed at the difference in not only performance but what all this area looks like w/o the crud on it.

    I just replaced the center plug this year, was only missing a small chunk but I'm a bit anal about keeping everything clean and in good condition. I think this pays off in the long run, we heat 2000+ sq ft and also dhw...since 1st burn(beginning of November) we have gone through apprx. 2.75 cords. Hope this helps...........
     

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