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WELCOMEBlazing Hot Stoves has been serving homeowners in central and western Connecticut since 2005. We’ve established a reputation for quality and customer satisfaction by focusing on our customer’s needs and carrying only the highest quality hearth products, such as Jotul wood stoves and Harman pellet stoves, Town and Country gas and wood-burning fireplaces, and Big Green Egg smoke grills. We guarantee our installations will be performed to the highest standards by our own factory certified installers who make sure you get exactly what you paid for – a safe and professional hearth installation that will keep your family cozy and warm for many years to come while adding value to your home.
THE LATEST Latest News
May 13, 2013

MINIMIZING PELLET STOVE ELECTRICAL OR MECHANICAL FAILURE

PELLET STOVE ELECTRICAL OR MECHANICAL FAILURE

It seems elementary to have to say it, but we tend to forget that a pellet stove is a machine first and foremost.  They have several moving electrical and mechanical parts which have to work in symphony.  They also have sensitive electronics including circuit boards just like computers and televisions. There are a number of reasons why these components could fail.  It is said that over 90% of pellet stove malfunctions are due to operator error.   You can help prevent failures by performing the required maintenance on your stove and by adding power or surge protection to your stove.

Pellet stoves require considerably less day to day maintenance than a wood stoves do but they are not maintenance free.  You do have some basic cleaning chores for your pellet stove every few days such as cleaning the burn pot.   In addition, per your owners manual instruction, you should shut down your stove every few weeks or so for a thorough cleaning.  This cleaning can take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the model.  If this maintenance is ignored then your heat output will diminish and or the stove could possibly shut itself down.   In addition, most pellet stoves require a more in depth annual cleaning and if you keep up on your maintenance then your stove should remain relatively trouble free.

My experiences in the field  shows that many failures can be prevented.   Look at this picture from a recent service call.

Harman Blower Failure
Harman plugged with debris

In the foreground of the above photo you can see a Harman Accentra Insert room blower which has failed.  The grey matter on the motor is a combination of pillow feathers and lint.  In the background is a new and clean blower.  The customer complaint in this case was a noisy blower.  I found that the dust and pillow feathers acted as an insulator and overheated the motor causing the bearings to fail prematurely.  The motor was only 4 years old and should have lasted much longer.    The blower was never cleaned by the owner.  He said he wasn’t aware of it.  This demonstrates why the owners manual is so important.  Had he read it, he would have been familiar with that blower and could have avoided this expensive failure.  Many manufacturers and retailers have resources on line as well for cleaning tips.  We have put directions on our web site to help out folks who like to do it themselves.  Here is an example in the following link.  http://blazinghotstoves.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/End-of-Season-Cleaning-of-Accentra-Pellet-Insert-by-Ha

Sometimes the cause of a failure is not as obvious as that blower motor above.  However, there are some patterns.  For example, when severe weather sets in we see a higher incidence of electrical failures from the pellet stoves.  This is due to power spikes and brown outs.  These surges can damage solid state electronics like those in your pellet stove.  A simple fix for that would be to invest in a high quality surge protector to protect your stove from power spikes.  Even better than that is a uninteruptible power supply or UPS.  These UPS units will stand guard over your stove and automatically and quickly take the stove off the grid when surges and spikes occur and use its own internal battery and inverter to power your stove until power is restored or its battery dies.  The particular product below should be able to power your stove for at least 1/2 hour.  Check out the link.

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/model.cfm?txtSeriesID=743&txtModelID=4147

There are plenty of UPS choices out there, some with more powerful batteries for example, so do your research.  Some stove companies such as Harman Stoves make a battery back up for their pellet stoves.  Theirs sells for around $600 not including batteries.   For the money I feel there are better choices though.  For that amount you can buy an inverter style generator that will be more versatile in the long run for extended power outages.  However, for short term outages and for component protection the UPS is your best choice.

The key here is clean power when considering a generator.


March 29, 2013

Biomass Stove Tax Credit

Here it is, don’t put off buying a new pellet stove or wood stove any longer! As if high energy prices were not enough to motivate you, here is another call to action. Purchase a new wood or pellet stove and enjoy an additional $300 off due to the renewal of the federal tax credit.  Come see what your choices are right here in our showroom at Blazing Hot Stoves, Oakville, CT.  Check out the details below.

 

 

$300 Biomass Stove Tax Credit for 2012 – 2013
The tax credit was reinstated by the “fiscal cliff” legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8), signed by President Obama on January 2, 2013. The bill
included a “tax extender” for Internal Revenue Service Section 25C which
provides a tax credit for, among many other things, residential energy property
expenditures, including qualifying biomass burning stoves.The extender provides a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $300 on a qualifying biomass heating appliance purchased between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. The tax credit for the purchase or installation of qualifying biomass units is limited to a “lifetime limit” of $500 (which dates back to expenditures from the 2006 tax year and may be impacted by the purchase or installation of other products that qualify for a 25C credit). The credit for tax year 2012 can be claimed on IRS Form 5695. As always, all individuals should consult with their tax advisor for details on the applicability of the tax credit.


May 1, 2012

Chimney Fire in a Pellet Stove?

Yes, it can happen. Typically, pellet stove chimneys get blocked by flyash, but this past season was not typical.  This  was a crazy winter and it brought on some  unusual scenarios for pellet stove users because of the mild weather conditions.  This mild weather resulted in smaller heating requirements and that is where a potential problem could begin with your pellet stove.

 

Remember, creosote can form in any wood fuel burning device.  All you need are the proper conditions.  When wood is burned, the products of combustion will combine with moisture and form a sooty residue.  The moisture comes from condensation in the chimney pipe as well as from the fuel itself.  This is creosote and it is more likely to be a problem in a pellet stove chimney where a small fire is being burned.  This cooler fire allows for a lower chimney temperature and makes it easier for the smoke to attach itself to the chimney pipe in the form of creosote.  If the pipe is not cleaned, a chimney fire is eminent.

 

Creosote Filled Pipe

 

Both above and below you can see the aftermath of a pellet stove chimney fire.

 

After chimney fire

 

These pictures are from a customers stove, and in this case the fire was contained inside the chimney and stove but the silicone gasketing that seals each piece of pipe was destroyed due to the extreme heat.  As you can see in the above photo, the exterior of the rigid pellet vent was slightly discolored but otherwise safe to reuse.  The stove contained it’s portion of the chimney fire and sustained only minor damage as well.  We had to replace the stoves thermocouple in the exhaust tailpipe.  Once the pipe was reinstalled, the stove functioned fine.

 

After consulting with the pellet stove owner, it was determined that the stove had been burned at a very low fire setting for several months.  He was using the thermostat mode of operation and had it set for under 60 degrees F.  Because of this, the stove had creosote build up in it, as well as in the exhaust pipe.  He failed to recognize what it was and when he turned up the thermostat in January, he touched off all that creosote stored  in the pipe and created a chimney fire.

 

There are many things you can do to avoid a chimney fire and it begins with recognizing creosote when you see it.  Stage one creosote is flaky and dusty like black and grey corn flakes and can be easily removed by brushing the flue pipe.  Stage two creosote is crunchy and shiny.  It still crumbles but can have an gum like substance in it.  It will require a more thorough brushing of the pipe and maybe even need scraping.  Stage three creosote is glazed over, hard and sticky.  When heated it can turn into a tar like substance that can drip.  In all cases, it has a pungent odor and can be very dangerous.  Immediate removal is required along with a review of your burning procedure.  See these maintenance at this link.   http://blazinghotstoves.com/trusted-services/maintenance/maintenance-tips/

 

To reduce creosote formation in your pellet stove you should burn it on at least 30% capacity or more while on.  If it is a mild day and you don’t need much heat, it might be better to simply turn the stove on high until you are warm then shut it off until it is needed again.  If you do choose to burn on a low setting for extended periods then you should periodically turn the pellet stove burn rate up to cook off any creosote deposits before they accumulate to dangerous levels.  During a normal heating season, this is usually not a problem, but with the mild winter we had, we saw a large increase in creosote related problems.  Rule of thumb says of if you burn  40 to 50 pounds of fuel or more in a 24 hour period with the stove running continually, you should not have a problem.  When you drop below that amount and run the stove 24 hours a day, inspect you stove and exhaust.

 

Some stoves include an automatic thermostat in addition to a manual control system. An example of this system can be found in the Harman Accentra pellet stove and Harman Accentra Pellet Stove Insert that you can view from the following link. http://blazinghotstoves.com/quality-products/  The automatic thermostat is a fantastic feature but there are certain times when you may not want to use that mode of operation.  One example is during milder weather, that’s when you are better off switching to manual operation, because if you use the stoves thermostat in milder weather it can force the stove into standby mode for much of the day.  This is because every time the stove is triggered to shut off, it gets another heat call, which it quickly satisfies with a small fire.  When it tries to shut off again it gets another call and this repeats itself all day.  Again, this won’t be a problem if you burn the stove on high for an hour or two a day though.  If you don’t, then the deposits will never burn off and could potentially cause problems later.

 

In addition, stoves such as the Vista Flame pellet stove, St Croix Pellet stove and Country Stoves Winslow PS40 Pellet stove  have elaborate exhaust chambers inside the stove itself.  These passages can get packed with creosote as well and due to limited access and poor design, can be almost impossible to clean properly if burned on low habitually.

 

So remember, If you want trouble free operation from your pellet stove, it is best to use high quality pellets and cycle your heat control up regularly to keep both your pellet stove and your chimney clean.  Thanks for reading our blog!


September 6, 2011

Pellet Stoves Save You Money in Two Ways

Just before beginning this article, I checked the price of a gallon of heating oil. The full service oil company I shopped was at $3.65 for one gallon of oil at 139,400btu per gallon. Compare that to a $5.00 bag of Great American Brand premium pellet Read more »


September 6, 2011

Is your Wood Pile Ready For Winter?

Seems like winter just ended and yet here it comes again. It’s right around the corner really and I’m sure everyone has all their cordwood stacked and covered by now? Well if you haven’t by now it is almost too late for this season unless you have a source for truly seasoned wood. Read more »


June 16, 2011

What Waiting To Buy Your Pellets Could Cost You

We have finished contacting all our pellet customers attempting to persuade them to buy their pellets early.  Read more »


May 5, 2011

Blazing Hot Stoves, How and When To Clean Your Pellet Stove

Pellet stove cleaning is one of those chores most of us stove owners would rather put off until the fall. Read more »



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