Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.

Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.There are many different brands and styles of wood pellet stoves – so the best way to start learning about your particular stove is to read the entire manual. If you’re a new pellet stove owner, or have switched to a different model – it could take some trial and error to learn the right process for your home.

You might be surprised to learn that many common issues pellet burners face with their stoves can be solved with making some adjustments. Again – start to troubleshoot and learn by reading your manual! It has the best stove-specific advice on operation, maintenance, recommendations and best practices.

Take a look at our quick cheat sheet below to review the pellet stove problems we hear about the most.

The Problem Possible Cause Possible Solution
Poor burn quality Dirty stove Clean your stove according to your manufacturer’s recommendations, or schedule a professional stove cleaning and inspection.
Blackened glass Burning on ‘low’ Adjust heat setting to medium or medium/high.
Excessive clinkers Airflow leak Clean all vents, check and repair/replace all gaskets, adjust damper or airflow setting.
Trouble igniting Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow.
Lazy or small flame Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Low heat output Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by increasing air flow and/or increasing feed rate.
Sparks flying / embers in the ash pot Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by decreasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Whole, charred pellets left in the burn pot Air-to-pellet ratio Adjust air-to-pellet ratio by decreasing air flow and/or decreasing feed rate.
Auger jamming / stove shutting down Long pellets Drop bags on the floor – this can break long pellets into a manageable length.
Excessive ash build up / whole, charred pellets in burn pot Short pellets Reduce feed rate.

Of course, there are other potential causes for these problems (see our blog: Pellet Stove Problems – Addressed by a Professional Stove Technician) such as faulty/worn stove parts or damaged fuel. You shouldn’t use pellets in your stove if they have been compromised, so it’s very important to inspect everything right away. Take note of the following:

Shroud Tears: Minor tears happen occasionally, but a quick and easy fix is to patch with duct tape to prevent any water from leaking in. If there is major damage to the protective plastic, check to see if there has been any damage to the pellets.

Bulging Bags: This may indicate water damage. Cut open a bag, and if you see clumps of pellets or sawdust, please give us a call. Here’s what happens to pellets when water gets to them – hence the bulging.

Bag Holes: If you see large or irregular holes in the bag that aren’t uniform bag vents, patch with duct tape to prevent water intrusion. Check to see if there has been damage from the holes.

If you ordered your wood pellets from Woodpellets.com and you find damage to the actual wood pellets – call 1-800-PELLETS within 30 days of delivery to speak with a Quality Assurance Representative.  All Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Physical Quality Guarantee, which is valid for 30 days after the delivery date.

Questions? Call 1-800-735-5387 to speak to the experts at Woodpellets.com!

 

 

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