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.
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?