Archive for March, 2008

My Whitfield Profile 20 fails to run after lighting during initial start-up and the on light blinks. Why?

Both the Profile 20 and 30 models required a factory upgrade kit. These stoves use an optical eye that actually “looks” down into the burnpot to make sure the fire is burning at the end of the start-up cycle. The eye was originally placed where it could not get a good enough view of the burnpot. To determine if the optical eye relocation kit has been installed, open the hopper lid and look for a fist sized and shaped box attached to the top of the auger shaft cover. If its not there contact your retailer and request the upgrade, don’t let them try and charge you for the kit, it should be free and the factory was offering a $50.00 payment to the installer.

If you already have the upgrade and you are still getting the fault indicator (blinking light) then you should make sure the amber plastic eye lens is free of soot. I have gone on several service calls where other techs have replaced control boards and/or disconnected the thermostats to no avail.

Take a little mirror and light source and look up the feed tube. Do you see an amber piece of plastic up there? It’s about an inch by inch and a half rectangle. Is it sooty? You might try cleaning it through the feed tube, a damp rag over a bottle brush perhaps. If you need to remove the lens from the stove to clean it here is how I do it:

Before you do anything Unplug the Stove.

On the freestanding models access to the lens is easier than on the inserts which will need to be removed from the fireplace and have the top of the hopper removed. but, once your looking down into the pellet free hopper you simply remove the three 11/32′s nuts that hold the top and side (its one piece) of the optical eye box in place, remove the nuts (11/32′s again) that hold the lens retainer in place, clean the lens with a damp clean cloth and re-assemble.

Let me know if you still get the fault light.

Are Pelletstoves environmentally friendly?

Pelletstoves emit so little particulate matter that they are exempt from all woodsmoke advisory programs that I am aware of. A properly running pelletstove emits no visible smoke. The electrical energy required to run a pelletstove is about equal to a 100 watt lightbulb. And, no trees are being cut simply to make the pellet fuel as pellets are made from wood by-product. I recommend you try and buy pellets from your closest pellet mill so the energy and pollution associated with transportation is as minimal as possible. My favorite pellets are Goldenfire pellets made close by in Brownsville, Oregon. They are a 100% fir pellet.

So, yes, pelletstoves are indeed a environmentally friendly and economical source of heat.

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What the difference between positive and negative pressure pelletstoves?

In a negative pressure system you have a fan downstream of the fire sucking (think vacuum cleaner) and in a positive pressure system you have a fan upstream of the fire blowing (think hair dryer). Most stoves are negative pressure systems. In a negative pressure system if there is a leak infront of the fan the stove draws from the room into the stove and out the vent. Preferable to a positive pressure system which would leak from the stove into the house. Negative pressure systems typically have an air-wash feature which allows a stream of air to leak in and create a curtain of air between the glass (neoceram) and the fire. This keeps the glass cleaner longer. In a negative pressure system the fan blades are in contact with the combustion byproducts and need to be cleaned regularly, also another fan is required to circulate room air through the convection system. In a positive pressure system you often have only one fan pushing air through both the combustion and the convection systems and because this fan is upstream it is not subjected to the heat and particulate matter of the negative pressure system fan.

I would much rather have a negative pressure pelletstove simply because I believe the benefit of having a stove that, if it leaks around the door, leaks into the stove and not into the house outweighs the cost of the required extra room air fan.

I want to clarify one thing here- I negative pressure system can leak into the house, but it can only do so at or downstream of the exhaust fan. A positive pressure system can leak into the house any and everywhere.