Pellet Stoves & Chimney Fires

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coaledsweat
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 11:01 am

I thought this was never supposed to happen? The truck mechanic and I were talking yesterday about his pellet stove and he said he scored a good deal on some softwood pellets this summer and stocked up with 6 tons of them. This morning he came in and said he had a pretty good chimney fire last night, needless to say he is not happy. He has a S/S liner and is a volunteer fireman so he knew what to do and had no damage, the liner was glowing though. He said he just cleaned everything up a week ago, he is not a happy camper. :mad:


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rockwood
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 11:39 am

Wow! I have never heard of that before. Must have been really bad pellets..? I had a pellet stove about 15 years ago and found there can be a big difference in the quality of wood pellets. Burning poor quality pellets can make a hard mass kind of like clinkers in the fire pot that must be cleaned out quite often but I never had an issue with creosote. What's scary is pellet stoves don't require a class A chimney (unless that has changed) to withstand flue fire temperatures.

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WNY
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 11:53 am

Weird, never heard of that either, unless he had a lot of ash/dust build up from the pellets. As least with coal, there is no combustible by product (Ash) that can burn.

My sister had 2 pellet stoves, and just a about 1-2' of pipe coming out of the house and has never had it happen. She does have the occasional Smoke problem when they don't ignite right away and fills up with smoke and sometimes leaks out into the room.

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coal berner
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 1:43 pm

coaledsweat wrote:I thought this was never supposed to happen? The truck mechanic and I were talking yesterday about his pellet stove and he said he scored a good deal on some softwood pellets this summer and stocked up with 6 tons of them. This morning he came in and said he had a pretty good chimney fire last night, needless to say he is not happy. He has a S/S liner and is a volunteer fireman so he knew what to do and had no damage, the liner was glowing though. He said he just cleaned everything up a week ago, he is not a happy camper. :mad:
Strange one most if not all of them pellets stoves have a ash collection box inside the stove next or by the exhaust fan
where the ash ends up where you have to Vac it out along with brushing out the heat exchange tubes most of them chimney pipes are triple wall or at least double wall.
I burn one for a few years never had much ash in the chimney in the tee I had on it there was a clean out cap turn and
dump ash out then brush but very little would make it outside most of it stayed in the collection box and the heat exchanger tubes once a week had to clean them out 1/4" of ash would take 50% of the heat output away Pellets are not clean by far and the quality is all over the place .

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009to090
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 1:55 pm

Good deal on Pellets? Probably old stock and moisture laden. High moisture content equals creosote. High creosote content in chimney, plus HOT fire, equals chimney fire. It happens.
That supply he got must be [email protected] He probably has to burn it hot all the time, to prevent creosote build-up. Don't attempt to "Idle" it.

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coal berner
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 2:12 pm

If there was any moisture in them they would not be pellets any more that is another problem with pellets you must keep them dry and cool or they turn to mush or back to loose dust

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Black_And_Blue
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 5:04 pm

Purely anecdotal :

I purchased a freq scanner last year, there were at least (6) chimney fires last season that I recall, probably more. On more than one occasion the dispatcher and/or fire crew mentioned a wood stove or pellet stove during the call.

I also learned from listening that the FD has a thermo device unit that can see through walls and allows them to look for hot spots. :verycool:

shapps1313
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 9:53 pm

Was he using pellets or animal bedding that looks like pellets ? I bought a bag of animal bedding to use to start the Magnum because I was out of hardwood pellets, The brand is called "Equine Pine" and that is what they are, pelletized pine sawdust, smells like it in the bag, burns like it in the stove, I would never use them in a pellet burner for that reason.
Pine=Creosote

Bill


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coaledsweat
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 10:03 pm

They are about 1"-2" long and 1/2" round, softwood fuel pellets was what he described them as.

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Sting
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 10:07 pm

1/2 inch

That aint no pellet stove fuel he was burning

appears to me.... blame must be assigned to the operator :P

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009to090
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Post Tue. Nov. 03, 2009 11:28 pm

coaledsweat wrote:They are about 1"-2" long and 1/2" round, softwood fuel pellets was what he described them as.
Something wrong there..... either they expanded from too much moisture, or they were not meant for burning in a pellet stove. Softwood pellets are 1/4"dia x 3/4" long.

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SMITTY
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Post Wed. Nov. 04, 2009 12:10 am

Yeah, pellets are tiny. The only reason I know this is my pallets of coal made the trip to my house stacked right next to a pallet of pellets. Hard coal vs. soft pellets = SPILL! :o

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gambler
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Post Wed. Nov. 04, 2009 3:27 pm

I am also blaming operator on this one.
There is no way wood pellets made for heating are putting creosote in that chimney.

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jpen1
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Post Wed. Nov. 04, 2009 3:32 pm

They can't be pellets made for heating purposes. Even soft wood pellets don't form creosote in the chimney when burned. THe moisture is pressed out during the manufacturing process. When I had a pellet stove I burn't compressed cardboard pellets and switch grass pellets and had absolutely no creosote issues.

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coaledsweat
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Post Sun. Nov. 08, 2009 5:35 pm

jpen1 wrote:They can't be pellets made for heating purposes. Even soft wood pellets don't form creosote in the chimney when burned. THe moisture is pressed out during the manufacturing process. When I had a pellet stove I burn't compressed cardboard pellets and switch grass pellets and had absolutely no creosote issues.
He described them to me Friday. They are about 1/4" in diameter and 3/8-1/2 long and are in fact fuel for pellets stoves. He claims that the stoves electronics maybe screwed up and has caused this. The manufacturer is sending someone to look at it.


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