How To Clean Out A St. Croix Prescott EXL Pellet Stove

Filed in Home Improvement by on January 18, 2009 11 Comments

I hope you forgive me for typing this post with dirty hands. I just got finished cleaning out the St. Croix Prescott EXL pellet stove.

Actually, I gave it more than a regular cleaning, I gave it more like one of those seasonal cleanings that everyone says you should do, but no one does. I even took some pictures.

The reason for this post is really to follow up from a comment left by “Linda” over at my original pellet stove post.

Apparently, many fine pellet stove owners out there are having issues with their #2 light blinking. I received tons of great comments on my other post regarding this. We have all been looking for the answer. Linda offered a lot of insight, so I decided to give her ideas a try. I think the main point of her comment was to say that cleaning out behind the “ash clean out covers” is very important. I thought I had been doing that, but she mentioned that what I was doing, wasn’t enough.

Okay, so let’s get going. I am going to show you some pretty interesting photos in this post…photos that are hard to find. Sure, there are tons of good pellet stove shots out there, but usually when people start cleaning out their stoves, they forget all about the camera. Not me, my friends. Not me.

I first went downstairs and shut the stove down. When it cooled itself and shut all the way down, I unplugged it. That’s very important, so make sure you do it. After that, I gave it a quick once over to make sure there were no large piles of ash anywhere. I didn’t give it a good cleaning, because I just did that yesterday. It didn’t need to be done again. I did push some ash into the ash pan and empty it though.

What I want to show you here are those ash clean outs that the owner’s manual talks about so much. I just realized this morning that there are about 4 warnings to keep these things clean. I guess it’s pretty critical. I have been doing this every time I clean the stove, so I really didn’t think I needed to do it again. Linda mentioned that we should be cleaning these out with a bottle brush or something like that to really clean them well. Good thing I had bought one of the bottle brushes from Lowe’s a while back. It’s really made for a fireplace or stove, but I was using it to clean bottles for my home brew.

Right pellet stove clean out with ash showing

St. Croix Prescott pellet stove exhaust vent

Fan blades of a pellet stove exhaust fan

St. Croix Prescott EXL exhaust fan

Pushing bottle brush into pellet stove clean out – towards center

Cleaning the pellet stove clean out with a bottle brush – straight up

Left pellet stove clean out – open

Left pellet stove clean out cover – closed

Notice how there really isn’t too much ash in there? I’m talking about inside the hole. I just vacuumed this out yesterday, but I can imagine what it would look like if someone never cleaned these out. Probably like a packed wall of ash.

I didn’t take pictures of the right side, because it is identical to the left side.

By pushing the brush straight up, I didn’t get all that much ash to come out. There really wasn’t all that much up there. By pushing it sideways, I got a little bit more. I’ll show you in the next photo.

To get the pile of ash in the photo above, I basically pushed the bottle brush straight through, from the left side to the right side. I actually saw the brush coming through the right side.

I figured that was done, since I saw all that ash coming out. I decided to move on to clean out the exhaust fan. This is one of those things the book tells you to call the dealer for. It took me about 15 minutes to do the whole job, so it’s up to you.

To remove the fan, I took off the 6 nuts that surround the motor. I believe I used a 9mm 6-point tall socket. I also removed the vacuum hose and took off the vacuum switch wires as well as the fan wires. After everything was removed, the motor and fan popped right out.

With the fan in hand, it was easy to clean the blades (if you call them that). You can use an old paint brush or a rag or something like that. Just get the ash off the blades. The owner’s manual says this fan does not require oiling.

I also decided to take a photo of the rear part of the exhaust vent. This is one of those things we always wonder about, but unless you have taken a pellet stove apart, you will most likely will never see.

As you can see, there wasn’t really too much ash buildup on either the fan or the exhaust vent. I brushed them off and put everything back together. I lit the stove up and watched it burn for a while. I haven’t yet put the wires back on the vacuum switch. I still have them jumped. I’m not sure I have the heart to go through that again, since the stove has been running so wonderfully the way I have it now.

Questions, comments, concerns?


robert says:
January 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

i have a prescott exl and the high fan will not work
any susgestions would be nice
Mike says:
January 5, 2010 at 9:45 am

I’m so glad that I found this blog yesterday!!
My #2 light was flashing and I was thinking how am I going to test the vacuum switch. Low and behold I bought a bottle brush and stuck it up in the cleanouts and cleared out a whole bunch of crap. Stove started right up.
On another note when I cleaned out my stove earlier this year I called the dealer to see if they stocked the fiber gasket on the combustion fan. He said don’t bother, when they service units they use a high temp RTV silicone instead… great.

I will be saving this site for any future problems.
AL says:
January 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

CroixPro says:
January 20, 2010 at 12:36 am

When your #2 light is blinking, the switch is hardly ever the problem. You likely also get black glass in a day or two of burning (not brown). The easiest way to fix this is, yes, first clean up in the ash traps with a brush. And second, take off the combustion motor and also stick that brush in the exposed manifold toward the firebox. The area that gets plugged is the hole between the back wall and the motor, the best way to get at it is from the motor side.
scratch says:
February 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I have a St Croix prescott and have been going through an ignitor every year! it is getting really annoying. I order and replace myself. What do you think is the reason I am burning out so many ignitors? I have the stove on continuous run with the thermostat kicking it up to #3 or #4 on really cold days. Its not like I am cycling the ignitor a ton of times. The ignitors burn right through the sides of them.
Rich says:
February 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Great cleaning comments – great resource – great pictures! In summary – for Prescott owners with the pesky #2 light – try these in order until you solve the problem:

1. A good internal cleaning with a shop vac – including the ash traps with a bottle brush or coat hanger as described above.
2. Clean the chimney (if you have one) – mine goes about 10′ up through my porch roof with a few 45 deg bends – I always get some crap out of it when I brush it.
3. Remove and clean the exhaust fan and the ducts towards the front and back of the stove. Suck out all the ash you can reach. I made a template for the blower gasket and cut my own gaskets from high temp Kaowool gasket material, others use high temp RTV.
4. Use the “leaf blower/vac” method – attach an electric leaf vac with a short piece of pipe and duct tape to your exhaust pipe (I have to go on the roof to hook mine up) and run it for a minute with your main stove door open – sucks ash out of every cranny of the stove that you can’t reach – be sure you are using the blower/vac in “sucking” mode – details at
5. Replace your exhaust fan – I have yet to get more than 3 years out of one…they run slower and slower, no matter if you oil the bearings…it will finally seize up…but drive you crazy in the process. If you’ve done everything above….cough up the $170 bucks and try this.

I resign myself to having to give my stove some “love” when I get the flashing #2…which probably happens 3 or 4 times per winter. Early in the season, an ash trap and chimney clean is usually all I need, but by March (and 3 or 4 tons of pellets used), more aggressive cleaning is usually needed.
Solas says:
October 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm

This completely worked with my St. Croix York Pellet Stove. Had a #2 light flashing at the end of the late spring. Started up the stove for the first time last weekend and #2 started to blink in about a half hour and shut down.

Thank you for this site. I did all that you said and I cannot believe the amount of debris and crap I found in the ash clean out cover areas. I used a bent, long piece of wire hanger and scraped the areas clean about 3-4 times. Then I used a rubber mallet to bang down more debris. Then I pulled the whole insert out and gave the unit a mega cleaning (even turned the vacuum into a blower to get into areas I couldn’t reach with vacuum parts).

Turned on the stove, cross my fingers, and it’s been running perfectly for days now.

1 questions though – St. Croix manual says to lubricate Versa Grate System once a year with HIGH TEMP ANTI SEIZE…where can I get this stuff?

Thanks again!
Jeff in NH says:
November 4, 2010 at 7:33 am

I found high temp anti seize at my local hardware store, in the aisle with other lubricants and oils.
Jeff in NH says:
November 4, 2010 at 7:34 am

Has anyone found a good website to buy st croix replacement parts online?
Victor says:
November 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Flashing 2 – tried all of the above and nothing helps. Could a clogged auger cause a flashing 2? It shoudn’t be this difficult to maintain a 2 year old stove. I would never buy a St. Croix again. Check out my dealers reviews on Google (it’s hearthworks in North Reading, MA). Quick to sell and NO service.
Torriatte De Alleige says:
December 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

Hey….I believe I found a solution for the flashing #2 light!

Here’s what happened …quickly… The #2 light started flashing a few weeks ago. At first I would just clean the hell out of the stove, and it would run for a day or two. Then it got worse. I tried to “make” it run by hitting the reset button right after it stopped, and when it started up, the damn auger spit a crapload of pellets out, and pretty much wouldn’t stop. The stove filled up with smoke, and I quickly turned it off.

Then the strange thing happened….I noticed that the smoke was wafting into the living room from the left side of the stove (the side where the vac switch is behind the panel). At the time I didn’t think much about this, and kept getting more intense with my cleanings to the point where I took the whole stove apart to clean EVERYWHERE! The funny thing is that it really wasn’t that dirty, and the fans were most certainly NOT clogged, and neither was the exhaust vent pipe.

So finally the little light bulb went off in my head. There’s supposed to to be a vacuum happening in the stove right? So how the heck was that smoke able to get out into my living room? The seal on the front door and ash drawer were perfect…no signs of wear.
So how did the smoke get out?

Well….I opened up the panel door on the left and found a round hole up on the top right. It is basically an open hole leading into the stove. Is that supposed to be open like that? Or…was there some sort of “plug” there …that fell out, or maybe even burned away? Who knows??? But….I plugged the hole … and it’s worked perfectly since then. So…..this could be your problem too. I hope this helps some of you before you pull your hair out.
Ralph says:
December 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

What did you plug the whole with? I have the same #2 light blinking. I have cleaned it twice everywhere and it still won’t light up. Yes i also felt the air coming out that hole that you are talking about when I was cleaning. Will the stove get hot enough to burn out what you put in there? I love pellet stoves but when they don’t start up they are a pain.
James says:
December 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I had a blinking #2 light on my Afton Bay. I found that there is a third ash clean-out behind the ash pan. Clean this out and see if you still have the problem.
Torriatte De Alleige says:
December 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

Actually, I used a small magnet…..I pried one off of a refrigerator magnet, and it sits there, blocks the vacuum leak, and works perfectly! I’ve not had a single issue since.

How clever am I???
Andrew says:
December 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm

good old #2 light flashing, I clean stove once a week including ash vents but at the same time I poke a paper clip into the hole that the vac hose is attached to under left side of were grate sits this , also clears out any clogged ash that causes vacume to shut down and #2 light to go on. all and all great stuff found this also looking for parts. I need to replace my fireback it’s falling apart?? any online shops???
Walt says:
December 29, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Glad I found this site. Have my first pellet stove and we love it. Last night the ignitor and the fuse both went during a cleaning. The person I got it from wasn’t big on cleaning obviously. Would love to know where I can get parts on line as well as a battery back up. Any suggestions?
Torriatte DeAlleige says:
January 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Here’s the deal with the #2 flashing light-shutdown….. Um….I spent WEEKS dealing with this issue, and the solution is beyond simple, and costs a total of $13 to fix.

Sure…I was able to better my #2 light issue by jumping the switch, and by covering the air intake holes in the side doors with magnets….but that’s NOT the solution. The solution is this:

Behind the brickface (either metal or brick) there is essentially a black wall with a few holes in it. Two of the holes are about in the middle and are round, maybe 1/4″ diameter. I’m not talking about the ashtrap doors, ….I’m talking about 2 round holes one on either side of the pellet drop area. That’s where the clogs are, and they’re not easy to get to. You can try your coat hangers and your rubber mallets all day, but that won’t fix it. What you need to do is go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a plumbers snake. I got mine for $13. They have an end piece that is slightly bigger than the hole. No problem. Just cut off a piece of the snake (spring actually) that’s about 2 feet long. Cut off the end too, and just have a 2 foot long piece of snake. Attach it to your power drill, and stick it into the two holes, trying to make them turn inward toward the center above the pellet drop area. There are 2 chambers there….and if you get the snake in there, crank it, and it will send that metal spring whipping all around inside there, and it will cure you. I did it while the stove was in “cool down” mode, so the combustion fan was still going. When I hit the little honey holes there….I heard all kinds of dropping out, and being sent to the exhaust, and into my ash trap catch in the chimney. I got about 2 cups of ash and black out.

Guess what…my stove kicks once again! I had forgotten how awesome this thing works, when it can actually breathe! Before I had to have the damper all the way open just to function on level 1, and it would still end up overflowing the burnpot with unburned pellets! Now….HAHAHA… baby cooks!! It’s like a blowtorch in there once again! Get yourself a snake…cut off a 2 foot section, and stick it in every single hole inside the stove. You’ll be amazed what comes out when you are whipping a spring inside there at lightning speeds! I sure hope this helps some of you. I spent so much time on this issue, and I finally have my vacuum switch reconnected, and I find that I’m even better looking now….for some reason! (just kidding) Good luck to you!
Joel Jipson says:
January 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

I have had a St Croix Prescott EXL for 3 years. I have it in my family room in my basement. I burn about 4 tons of pellets yearly and I’m happy with it for the most part.. Normally, I operate the stove manually on #1 and #2 level settings. Occasionally in the evening I will run it on #4 or #5 settings. This year I’ve had a continual problem with pellets pileing up on the grates and spilling into the bottom ash bin and cannot operate the stove above the #2 setting. I clean the stove weekly but have never removed the fan. Could this be my problem? On the lower settings combustion is good but on the higher settings combustion is poor like the stove isn’t getting enough O2 to get good combustion. The glass window clouds up fairly quickly with black soot rather than gray. I plan on following the cleaning procedure steps listed above and see if this takes care of my problem. Thanks so much for this helpful cleaning prcedure with pictures and the helpful comments. Any additional suggestions would be helpful.

Note: -10F at my house this morning at 0500 hours.

Joel Jipson
Howland, ME.
Torriatte De Alleige says:
January 17, 2011 at 11:11 am

Joel…..seriously……try my suggestion with the plumbers snake attached to a power drill. Stick it in the round holes, and aim it toward the center chambers. Also stick it in any other area that you can get it in. You’ll be amazed what a coil spring spinning at 1000 RPMS will do inside a clogged chamber!
admin says:
January 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I just cleaned out my pellet stove. I gave it a more thorough cleaning than usual. I removed the bottom of the exhaust pipe clean-out and vacuumed that. Then, I did as you said and removed the brick backing. At the same time, I removed ash trap doors. Since I didn’t go to Home Depot to purchase the plumbing snake as you suggested, I banged on the rear metal wall with a heavy screwdriver. You should have seen all the clumpy ash that fell out. I would bang and then vacuum, bang and then vacuum. They were nice sharp, hard bangs. I then took my trusted pipe cleaner and shoved it through from one ash trap to the other. Even more junk came out.

I understand that I didn’t take that extra step like you did, but I am confident that you are on to something here. In my opinion, terrible pellet stove design for those who aren’t aware of this space to be kept up with.
Torriatte De Alleige says:
January 19, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I agree on the design flaw thing, but if they would only TELL us about this problem in the owner’s manual, and perhaps explain about why that area gets clogged, it would have been a blessing! I’m personally having a renewed love affair with my St. Croix now that it’s burning like new again. The fire blazes hotter and faster than ever! It can breathe!! Woo Hoo!!
kim Serrano says:
January 30, 2011 at 9:35 am

I have a St Croix EXP third year with it nothing but trouble this year. Yes we clean the ash traps taken off the fans everything. This is our problem this year. Cannot run the stove on high because the pellets are dumping and overflowing the pot and start to go up the shoot. Very dangerous if your not paying attention. Also the stove gets stuck in a level and you can’t move it up or down or off. Has also shut down a few times. We thought it was the Barefoot pellets so we purchased a softwood pellet and still having trouble. Only thing different is that there isn’t big hard clinkers. I hope someone has an answer for me because I’m getting ready to pull the plug on this thing.
Brian B says:
February 2, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I have had a St Croix Prescot EXP for about three years now and love it. My (LP) furnace does not run at all, in fact we shut it off and heat our ranch house with it. I go through about three tons a heating season of premium pellets high BTU and low ash. The premium I think is the key. Love my stove.
Terry David Bell says:
February 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The auger problem could be the gearbox.
My wife pannicked one day (she has firephobia) and threw water into the thing and then the wet pellets plugged the auger at the top where it drops them and then I overtorqued the gearbox (completely my fault) and so had to buy a new one.
If your motor is turning and the auger is not, it’s definitely the gearbox.
But if the auger is clogged it will stop the motor as well. This may or may not harm the motor but you need to take the auger out ( it needs to be positioned just so to come out) to check out the auger. Make sure it is not bent near the top (it must have a symetrical twist) and make sure the tube is clear of pellets especially near the top before you put everything together again.

Oh, by the way I am in the process of cleaning the thing as outlined above and will burn it on high untill it gets too hot in here.

level 1 will keep the house warm to about 32.
level 2 to about 12.
level 3 for everything else.
It gets cold here in Wisconsin but have been heating the (1300′) house with the St. Croix for two winters now. Am dreading the call to the LP people. I expect they will change my tank to a (much) smaller size. They sure aren’t making much money off me.

Oh, yes, The best pellets I have found are Pro-pellet.
Terry Bell says:
February 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

As far as battery backup. You would need a good sized battery (or 2) and an inverter (sold at most truck stops and maybe walmart). Don’t expect the smaller inverters to run the igniter and fans. So I cannot recomend a size. Maybe someone else.
JimL says:
February 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi Guys,
I just had my own 3 day saga regarding the blinking #2 light with my St. Croix Prescott EXL. This could have been much longer if it wasn’t for you all so I wanted to share my story as well in hopes that it might help one of you. Previous poster said “Cannot run the stove on high because the pellets are dumping and overflowing the pot and start to go up the shoot. ” This is exactly what was happening to me this year.
After listening to my brother-in-law who said “sounds like you aren’t getting good air flow”. I figured OK time to really clean the heck out of this stove. Problem was my cleaning was not good enough as I thought it was. Long story short, I used my bottle brush to get inside the ash traps and everywhere else I could think of. Then I banged the inside wall with a rubber mallet and saw LOTS of stuff come down. I also took the combustion fan housing out and cleaned out everything I could find including the fan blades. So, now I’m thinking OK it’s going to fire right up now. I was wrong. My #2 light was blinking and the stove would not drop pellets. It was on but not dropping pellets(not an issue with Vaccuum which would shut the stove off). So, after trying to resolve the issue myself I called my Pellet Stove guy
Pellet Stove guy showed up. I told him everything I tried so that there were no surprises for him. Bottom line was that I connected my vaccuum and combustion fan switch wires incorrectly(very ashamed of this :) ) after I cleaned them. Lesson here is mark your wires if you need to and follow the schematic on the door if you are not sure. This was a bit embarrassing but I did learn a couple “gems” from my Pellet Stove guy. Gem#1: He showed me that you need to clean out the chamber that runs between your cleanouts horizontally. This is something I had never done before. In the past I had only run my bottle brush up inside the traps and a little diagonal but never went completely horizontal. There was a TON of old solidified ash in there that I had never gotten. Gem#2 He showed me that I was not cleaning the upper area of the stove well at all. If you poke your head inside the stove and look straight up, there is a grate that is removable. Do not try to undo the screws. You simply slide it(forward or back I forget) and it pops out. Then once you have that grate out you can use your bottle brush to clean out tons of ash that is built up at the top of the stove around and above the tubes. Again, there was a TON of old ash up there. After my Pellet Stove guy connected my wires correctly the stove fired right up. It is now running like it did when I first bought it and NO MORE pellets piling up and the glass stays clean again!
My Pellet Stove guy had talked me into removing my old cracked “fake brick” inserts because he said they could fall apart and ruin the stove. He also added that the stove would run fine without the inserts while he ordered a new set of metal ones for me. Feeling good about my stove running great again. I thought I would go ahead and run it on Speed5 for 1 hour(recommended once per week by manufacturer). Unfortunately, 10 minutes after turning it up to Speed5 the stove stopped dropping Pellets and the Speed went back to Speed1 on my display. Bottom line was that my “high-heat” sensor was tripped which my Pellet Stove guy walked me through manually resetting on the phone. So, the lesson learned here is that I think the brick inserts do provide some insulation of the fire box. I am going to run my stove at a max of Speed4 until my new metal inserts come in. Stove is running GREAT again. Hope this helps someone. -Jim
Daryl says:
March 4, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I had the same problem with # 2 light flashing to the point I was about to take a sawsall to the beast to find the problem. I was maticulous in cleaning the st,. croix prescott constantly only to lead to more frustation day after day. Here is the solution disconnect the stove take it outside and you must have access to an air compressor and start blow out every nock and cranny you can find. After spendind days of vaccuuming you will not beleive the amount of ash and soot that will billow out. Stove now burns better that new( alone with 2 more that belonged to buddies) good luck it works and will save you hours of frustation. Always use high grade pellets because once the problem starts it gets worst day by day. The air compressor is the only long term solution. How often between treatments? I do not know, time will tell.
Lori says:
March 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I’ve done all the extensive cleaning as mentioned above and then some since day one. I run it on 5 all season long per dealers recommendation. I thought he said that if you put it on 5 it would automatically drop down to 1. Doesn’t happen. My problem now is my window is ALWAYS black on the right and left side no matter how often I clean it. Anyone know the reason?
Jerry M says:
March 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I have had a Prescott for 4 years . Very happy with it until now I had the # 2 Flashing light deal so followed your directions and cleaned everything . Started it up and it works fine except now I get Exhaust smell in the house I used High Temp RTV for the gasket on the Blower Twice . Is there any other place smoke could be getting out?
john billy says:
October 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

does the convection fan come out easily are the conections plug in it is a st croix prescott ex year 97
Gary Maynard says:
October 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I have a St. Croix Afton Bay (bought used). The stove seems to be running OK, but it’s going through a lot of pellets–about 40 lb. per night, on the lowest (# 1) setting. Is there a way to slow down the auger feed? Thank you.
Doug says:
November 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Just a few tips for getting better clean outs. If you haven’t replaced your original fire brick panels yet you can get steel replacement panels that are slotted to look like brick panels. Thes are available from St. Croix. These can be easily removed every time you clean your stove. With these removed you can use a rubber or leather mallet to rap on the inner panels along with brushing up behind the panel through the clean outs. You
do not have to hit it very hard to get alot of extra crud to drop
down where you can vacuum it out.
Doug says:
December 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

I have a Prescott XL , seems to have developed a quiet but noiticable squawk that comes and goes . Ibelieve it is related to the auger. We recently went through a power shortage that shut the stove down. This the stove to over fill the pellet pot and choke out upon the stove trying to refire. Without going through all details the stove created condensation that formed in the hopper. After three days of cleaning out creosote caused by this, and comletely vacuuming the stove it runs fine except for
what my wife refers to as singing. I consider myself as competent at cleaning this stove as I have been doing it for four seasons. I clean it every five days. I Could someone walk me through auger removal. so that I can lube it. Thanks
admin says:
December 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

You don’t need to remove the auger. Simply empty all the pellets and vacuum out the base so there are no pellets or dust. Then, get some spray lubricant and lubricate where the auger meets the washer (or whatever that is the auger sits on). It’s all in the area where the pellets are stored. I just went through this issue and by doing this, my problem was cured.
Joe says:
December 5, 2011 at 12:18 am

Does anyone else have problems removing the tilting grate inside the burn area for cleaning. When you take out the main pit that the pellets burn in there is a grate that balances on a rod. This thing has driven me absolutely crazy. Sometimes it comes right out. Other times I can not get it out for the life of me. Now the problem is my wife took it while cleaning and it will not go back in and seat smoothly. Is there some adjustment or alignment I am missing? Thanks
Darren Barss says:
December 30, 2011 at 8:36 am

Having a problem with fine black soot on walls of my pellet stove and high flame followed all trouble shooting suggestions and spoke with local dealer. Took the stove outside and did high burn and used forced air and vacuum to clean it out. Any suggestions?
John Best says:
February 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I have had my Prescott EXL now for 9 years and it has been doing fine until a few days ago. I clean it regularly which consists of running a brush through the chimney and cleaning out the ash box on the bottom. I vacuum the inside as best I can. In the last few days, the blower seem to be blowing on the pellets and the pellet sdon’t burn and pile up and overflow and the window fogs up with black soot.. In reading all these procedures, I am confused. Apparently there is a blockage in the exhaust. The blower runs just fine. Is the problem up on top among the tubes? I can take off a small plate that sits above the brick. Is this where I insert the bottle brush? I read here where someone took off the brick and cleaned out the chamber through two holes. I don’t see any way to take off the brick. How is this done? Please help. I curse Prescott for not providing a diagram showing the shape of the chambers, etc. I am not about to call a service man which is apparently exactly what they want.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Louisa Almestica says:

    Gary Maynard, please contact Louisa Almestica. 850 419 4934, if you remember Claude O HS..

  2. Steve M says:

    Darn..posted this in the wrong spot. I’ll try again.

    Awesome blog..thanks. Wouldn’t you know this very morning I went to turn on my pellet stove and it shutdown with a blinking #2 light. When I get home tonight, I’m going to try the items here and on your other posts. I even have a bottle brush that I used for home brewing to clean the sucker out. On thing with mine though is for the past couple seasons, when the exhaust fan turns on, it rattles a lot but would go away after the stove heated up. After the stove was hot, it ran at normal noise levels. ‘m not sure if the fan is shot, but I’ll try these items first. When you took off the fan, did you replace the gasket or just use the same one?

  3. Jay Gaulard says:

    I think your fan might be shot if it’s making noise like that. Also, when I took the fan off, I used the same gasket. It was like some sort of fiberglass or something. Half was stuck to the housing and half was stuck to the fan. If you are going to replace the fan, I would recommend getting a new gasket and scraping the old one off the housing.

  4. Steve M says:

    So tonight I got home and ran through the steps detailed here but no go. Then I took the fan of like you showed and boy was there a ton of stuff built up. So much that it was impeding the fan. I scraped away all the soot and it is running smooth again. It may be my imagination, but now that it’s running at full temp, it sounds quieter than before. Add another item to my annual cleaning ritual. Thanks again for the help.

  5. Jay Gaulard says:

    Wow, that sounds like a lot of buildup. I guess I was wrong about your fan being bad.

    What temp/level do you run your stove on. The user’s manual recommends that you run it on “5″ for a few hours every so often to burn off the buildup. I know if you run the stove too cool, you will get buildup.

  6. Steve M says:

    No, I think you were right about the fan. It started rattling again this morning. I usually run it for about an hour on 5 in the morning, then turn down to 3 or 4 during the day when I’m at work. Depending on the feel of the house and temp outside, we turn it up to 4 or 5 in the evening before going to bed. I turn it off at night so the my furnace runs and heats my basement during the night to avoid frozen pipes.

    I’m going to see if I can get through this heating season and replace the fan before next year. Do you know of any good places to get replacement parts? I haven’t checked the local dealers yet but I was wondering if there were any places online.


  7. Mari says:

    This is off topic, but I desperately need some help! I have a St Croix Prescott EXL pellet stove that has a bad ignition. I’ve ordered the part, but now am having a hard time getting the technician here to install it. Could I install this on my own, or does this require special training? Thank you for any help you can provide!!

  8. Michael G says:

    You can install the ignitor on your own. It easy and will take at most 15 minutes. All you need is a standard screwdriver and an allen wrench. Sorry can’t remember what size allen wrench. Make sure your stove is off and unplugged. The ignitor is located in the front center of stove right above the ash clean out rod. Its hidden behind the metal plate. There are 2 screws in front that hold this plate on. Remove plate and there is the ignitor with two wires coming out of it. Its held in place by a allen head set screw on the side. Unscrew the set screw and the ignitor comes right out of the hole. Now to take care of the wires. The next thing to do is open the right side panel. There is 2 screw heads(top and bottom toward the front, you only need to turn 1/2 turn or so).You will see where the wires come through. Unplug the wires and pull out the ignitor. Replace with new ignitor and tighten set screw tight. If set screw is not tight stove may have problem lighting intermittently. Put stove back together and your done. P.S. In some cases the new ignitor doesn’t have a long enough wire or it makes the wire very tight. If needed cut wire off old ignitor to add length to new ignitor. Add new female and male electrical connector when this needs to be done.

  9. Rose T. says:

    My auger doesnt seem to be working. It clicks when the button is pushed so I expect it is the motor. Is it possible for me to replace it myself? It looks pretty easy.

  10. Sheila says:

    My auger isn’t working either. It clicks but pellets aren’t dropping. It doesn’t seem to be jammed. Any ideas?

  11. Jerry says:

    I am trying to find some reviews for St.Croix pellet stoves. I need something that will heat a 1700 sqft house. I have looked at other brands that are sold at Home Depot and Lowes. Most of their reviews were pretty good, but can anyone share their experience with St.Croix? What are the differences between the Prescott EXL and EXP models? Thanks for your advice.

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