Smoking pellet stove

jeechazNovember 11, 2005

I purchased a new Whitfield pellet stove. I'm getting alot of smoke in the house as it starts to fire up. Can't find any leaks and it goes away after fire starts. The smell is really strong. Can someone give me an idea what's causing this????

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Look in the owners manual and locate the combustion air damper lever. Open it fully by pulling on the lever away from the stove. Also, in the owners manual there is a section that tells you how to calibrate the combustion air blower via the control board. Try those two things. What model do you have? Where did you buy it?

Also, for general maintinence on that stove, purchase yourself a can of compressed air like you use to clean a keyboard (office depot). The photo eye has a filter that needs to be cleaned every so often. Not a big deal to do. Just spray some up the pellet shoot once a week or so. That will keep the dust off the filter and the stove running smoothly.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 8:59PM
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Maybe you are just in the "curing" stage of your stove. It is normal and it will go away after a couple of fires.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 10:09PM
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It seems to me that you have trouble getting the pellets to ignite so you are getting excessive smoke at start-up.If you have a auto-igniter make sure it is installed corectly(maybe loose).Also,always use starter-gel even with a auto igniter to help your stove start.A smoke free start-up is vital for long life of your pellet stove.You should have very little smoke,if any,at start-up.Start your stove,Wait 15 sec,open main door,add starter gel to burn grate,add some pellets,more gel,then light with match.Close main door leaving 2" from close until fire starts,than close door.Reminder,There should be very,very little smoke at start up!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 4:45AM
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It's the Profile 30, I did get an odor during the first few start-ups and assumed it was from the "curing stage". I tried the damper and haven't smelled anything all night. Thought I had it set right. I will get the compressed air. Thank you everyone!!!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 9:27AM
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Not sure how many hours you've run your stove so far, but just to let you know, the "curing burn" smell caused by the paint curing took about 3 hours with my pellet stove.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 12, 2005 at 10:18AM
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You are always going to have alot of smoke at start up, and therefore you should seal the vent pipe connections with silicone. If this wasn't done , you will want to do it. If not you will get smoke in the house from these joints.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 5:48PM
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I have a Profile 20 and also seem to have a bit more smoke at start-up than I remember. (I have had the stove about 3 years.)

Mustang said that there should be very little smoke at start-up and a smoke free start-up is key for long life for the stove. On the other hand, murf1 states that you're gonna have a lot of smoke at start-up......
So, which is it? Should there be smoke at the start-up? And if so, how do you know when there is too much smoke?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 7:28PM
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I know atleast a dozen people that have pellet stoves, and everyone has smoke at start up, the pellets don't go from not lit, to a full stage burn instanly, the way mine works is : the auto igniter is a peice of ceramic type material that gets extremely hot, the combustion air passes by it and carrys the heat up through the small holes in the burn pot, getting the pellets extremely hot also, until they ignite, so there is a small transition period where the pellets are going to smoke and then ignite.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 9:04PM
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Thanks for the response, murf1....

Quick follow-up:

One other issue I seem to be having with the smoke is it is seeping out around the clean-out tee on the vent pipe at the bottom rear of the stove during start-up. Once the flame is fully lit it seems to stop.
Any ideas on how to alleviate the "leaky" clean-out tee to prevent the start-up smoke from entering the room?


    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 9:21PM
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My pellet stove did the same thing when we first installed it (it's a Quadrafire). It had nothing to do with the stove - it was the pellet vent pipe! Even though the sections had been siliconed as they were put together, there was still a bit of smoke leaking out when the stove first started up. The solution was to re-silicone around the outside of each pellet vent piece where it fits together, and also pay close attention to the back of the stove - put plenty of high-temp silicone where the pipe goes into the back of your stove, and to the clean-out section.

By the way, the reason you are getting smoke and smell only when the stove starts up, is that your vent pipe is "cold" - and it's not drawing the exhaust upwards. As your exhaust gets hotter, the warmer exhaust air naturally rises out the top of the vent pipe - so you get no smoke and no smell.

I doubt very seriously the stove is the problem - more than likely, it's a tiny leak in your pellet vent pipe. It's not harmful, just a nuisance.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 11:04AM
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Thanks for the repsonses on this....

I began searching for leaks on the vent pipe, and I have begun to seal those with the RTV silicone. So that should be taken care of...

But I did some more observing of the stove. What i found is that even after startup, smoke is leaking from the clean-out tee at the rear of the stove (inside the house). This results in the smokey smell thorughout the basement.
I put a bead of silicone around the lip of the clean-out tee cap, but it still leaks smoke (and ash dust).

Any ideas?

Thanks again in advance.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Be carefull with the "compressed air" some of that stuff is flammable !! Now thats a fire!!!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2005 at 8:22PM
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Hmm...My advice would just be to goop up the clean-out tee real good with high temp silicone. I am 99% sure that is where my smoke & smell was coming from, so I really sealed it up good and that fixed it.

Of course, that makes a slight problem...then the son of a gun is hard to get apart when you go to clean it out! Not sure about the stove you have, but mine (Quadrafire) actually makes a rear stovepipe adaptor that your pipe goes into. It has a nifty little cleanout door on the side that pops open whenever you want to clean out the bottom of the pipe. It's about $90, so I didn't buy it when I installed the stove, but I'm thinking of buying one and installing it after this season is over. It sure would make cleaning out the back of the stove and the vent pipe a heck of a lot easier.

Maybe Whitfield makes one for their stoves as well...?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 12:16PM
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Self-sticking foil tape. Comes off easily when dissasembling.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 1:33PM
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I also have a smoke leaking pellet stove (Enviro Meridian). Only 3 months old but lots of smoke damage, subtle but pervasive. Soot/film on windows, smoke discoloration on the ceilings and the soot has gotten in my return air ducts and has been spewed through-out the house. The dealer and WETT certified installer do not want to take responsibility saying there is nothing wrong with the unit. any ideas from users would be helpful. I was told these pellet stoves were sealed units and are not suppose to be leaking any sort of smoke or soot, especially into the house and not to cause damage of this sort with such little time running the unit (only 2.5 months of burning)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 3:25PM
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I've had my Whitfield Pellet (Profile 20)stove for 3 years. Worked great until last week when the temp dropped in the double digits. The top of the flame is orange and red and lazy. Fuel is often left unburnt and the doors are covered with black (not gray) soot within a couple of hours. I have cleaned everthing that you can see on that stove. I have spent over $400 on technicians and I still cannot use it. The shop I bought it from won't aknowledge I have a problem. Can anybody share some helpful hints.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 4:55PM
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my stove smokes at start up also and its new too,it smokes out side and after it starts fire the smoke stopped,the only problem is my pipes go out the side of the wall and people driving by are calling the fire dept thinking my house is on damper is all the way open,and this is my only source of heat,can anyone help plz

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:58AM
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i had an englander pellet stove for about 7yrs connected to chimney with all those pipes inside the house. it smoked alot. found out it was the pipes. then i bought a quadro fire last year and direct vented it thru a wall. siliconed all over the pipes, no leaks, but the stove still smokes at startups. i dont like pellet stoves anymmore because of the smoke. i dont think it healthy to be breathing that in.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2007 at 9:25PM
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I just solved my profile 30 smoke problem. I had dense smoke blowing from the unit during startup and a lazy sooty orange flame when is was running. Damper was fully open, clean unit, sealed pipes. My problem stemmed from the combustion burner fan that has sleeve bearings. The lube in the bearings dries out (even in storage) since mine is only a couple of months old and I've only had it in limited operation for a couple of weeks. I received a warranty replacement for the motor and the smoke problem went away. Check the impeller to see if it spins freely, if not the motor bearings are dry. The motor speed is voltage controlled and with the added resistance spins too slow to remove the smoke during start-up and to keep the fire clean during running.
The motor is not designed to disassemble and there are no oil ports found on other motors of this kind. Get ready to part with some cash for another one if not under warranty. By the way anybody know how to access the combustion air and feed trim settings? My manual has no instructions except to contact the dealer.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Hello all, I've got a Whitfield stove that has has very dense smoke coming out every time I light it. It also has a problem remaining lit. I have had it serviced, where the seals, motor, voltage, etc. were checked and the only thing the tech could find was a damaged door rope gasket. I replaced that, use only "premium" pellets and shake the excess dust off of them prior to dumping them into the hopper. I've also checked the photo eye and have used the compressed air. The technician has come back twice, and cannot seem to find anything wrong. The smoke is so bad that I think the cat ran away and honestly I am plotting my own escape if I can't figure out the problem. The stove is clean, but upon running it (IF I can keep it running) the door gets extremely dirty within 12 hours. I've adjusted the damper once I get it going but it will still go out. I've noticed the door gasket has already started to rip or shred a bit in one corner. Could this be my problem? I'm "plumping" it before I shut the door to obtain a better seal. I had no problems with the stove for three years but last year spent hundreds trying to fix it as it is my only heat source. My question is could high altitude be a factor? (I'm in Albuquerque) Why isn't staying lit? Perhaps the door rope gasket is my problem? Does Santa deliver those? I'd appreciate any suggestions and thank you for your time. Happy Holidays

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 7:32PM
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the stove wont run w an air leak in the door also the glass will soot up fast. id fix the leaks

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 9:06PM
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hi, had the same problem, had the basement FILL with smoke $2000 later in smoke damage i found out that you HAVE to have a fresh air intake comming to feed the fire especially in a basement!, with most people having their dryers and air exchangers down in the basement you are not getting enough fresh air for your stove. once i put it in it was a whole new stove, (try using a dryer set-up it's allot cheeper and does the same job.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 7:47AM
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I have a Whitfield free standing pellet stove. The markings on the inside of the lid to the pellet storage bin read "WH-Q", which I believe means I have a Quest model stove.

I bought my house 14 years ago. It came with the house.

Much like other posters above, I've started smelling smoke in the room where the stove is. Not enough to see where it's coming from, but certainly enough to smell. The longer the stove runs, the more the room smells of smoke.

I've changed the rope gasket around the door twice. I've done the 'paper in the door' test numerous times. The paper does not move, even a little bit; with the door closed. Same for around the ash bin. That gasket has not been replaced (I can't find one); but the 'paper test' passes, so for now I'm going with the theory that the problem is not in this location.

I've used high-temp silicone and sealed around all the joints in the vent pipe.

I've disconnected the vent pipe from the elbow joint, used a 4" brush on a rod to clean the inside of the vent pipe.

I've used the high-temp silicone to seal the joint where the elbow connects to the blower.

In the dark, I've built an adapter for the end of a very high power LED flashlight and connected it to the end of each of the heat exchanger tubes, and in a very dark room; checked to see if I could see light escaping around any of the heat exchanger tubes. Prior to starting this test, I cleaned the tubes very thoroughly, so there was very little chance that ash deposits would mask a hole. Nothing.

I've applied a little high-temp silicone to areas around the channel that the rope gasket sits in; where it looked like there a spot where smoke could get out.

I have a CO sensor in the room, only 2 feet from the stove; which has never triggered. I have tested the CO sensor with a can of CO, so I know the sensor is functional.

I've used a laser, in the darkened room, looking for signs of smoke in the laser beam. Nothing.

The stove does not have the auto-ignition feature.

If I take the burn box (the heavy metal box with the bars across the bottom, that the pellets fall into and burn) out of the stove, and look under it; there is a square hole that's about an inch, in the back wall of the area just under the burn box. To the left of this hole, is a round object with a slit in the bottom on it. This round object appears to be where the combustion air is injected, controlled by the knob on the side of the stove at the top of the control panel.

My theory is that this square hole is where the smoke is escaping. If I take the back cover off the stove, I can look along the bottom of the compartment where the blowers and auger motor are; and see through this square hole into the area directly below the burn box. This hole appears to have been made at the factory, so I have to assume it's there for a reason.

Any theories as to what would cause smoke to come through this hole? Am I way off base?

From what I can tell, Whitfield was bought out by Lennox Corporation. I can't find a tech support phone number to talk to anyone.

I live in the metro Atlanta, GA area. I do not know where the stove was originally purchased. I only occasionally can find pellets at one (and only one) Lowe's store; but they know nothing about the stoves themselves.

I'm not afraid to try repairs on it myself, I'm a pretty competent DIY person; but I'm out of ideas on what else to try. I would really like to be able to use the stove again.

Any suggestions on what/where to look next, would be greatly appreciated.



    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 3:59PM
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are Whitfield stoves is smoking out of the hopper we put a new gasket on the door seal dick good now on the big side of the hoppernow after it runs for approximately 45 minutes to get a lot of smoke out of the hopper what is a problem please help me my email is working mom 1958 at working mom is a whole word thanks I sure hope you can help us

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:01PM
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are Whitfield stoves is smoking out of the hopper we put a new gasket on the door seal dick good now on the big side of the hoppernow after it runs for approximately 45 minutes to get a lot of smoke out of the hopper what is a problem please help me my email is working mom 1958 at working mom is a whole word thanks I sure hope you can help us

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:03PM
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