Castille Insert Just Won't Put Out
This is a continuation of a post that I earlier posted in the wrong area....I have a new Castille insert and it just won't even heat a 12'x12' dining room (with a single small doorway) above 65F, on a pretty warm day - set on high fan setting with the feed lever in the bin set to it's max also.
On suggestion from my dealer, before they did the final install, I bought a fresh air kit and attached about 12' of flexable PVC to it and ran it down my ash pit, and out a hole I created in my chimney for the pipe. The final intention (again on suggestion from our dealer) was to bring it to daylight to alleviate a negative pressure scenario in my house. I'm noticing an extremely small amount of draw through the pipe and even plugged it with a sock and noticed no difference in the fire. My guess is that I have too much pipe on the intake already. Would this make the unit run so inefficiently?
Is there any word out there about a bad part in the Castille that will cause it to not heat properly? Someone at work knows someone else who is experiencing the same problem (same dealer too) and they've been told there's a bad part.
Other questions are: The exhaust adapter (3" to our 4" SS chimney liner) smokes sometimes, mostly upon start-up. Also, this adapter is very hot while the stove is on. I can't imagine this being direct vented out a wall that hot. Are these normal situations?
Thanks in advance for your responses.
Hearthman will have to share his input as he owns one as I do.
Anyway, the shield installed slightly right is correct. Note your cleaning instructions. There are two sliders that help clean the tubes. However, you probably should have a brush. Recirculated air simply flows around the unit and the blower is mounted in back. I give this a not very good design idea myself because if your installer DID NOT seal up your chimney properly you will never get the temperature rise you need. (if this is a retrofit) I guess you will have to pull out the insert (see directions) and examine the space behind the unit. If you need more than 20,000 btus to heat your room you have other issues entirely. Heat loss is coming from somewhere. An easy test is to measure room entering temp to the stove and then get the outlet temperature and see what the temp rise is. Maybe Hearthman has some data on the design temp rise. This unit has only three fixed fire/fan rates so you think that data would be available. If it's much lower rise than listed, I'd say you are losing heat behind the stove. For this close off you OA intake so you don't have to compensate for that in a formula.
Other Castille observatons:
- The glass doesn't stay clean long.
- The flame pattern is aggressive - both sound and appearance.
- Ash pan door sticks- better off with the vacuum in the pot for cleaning.
- Seems to run too much heat up the chimney--could have more heat exchanger transfer I think.
- However, it seems to keep the ash in the stove. It doesn't get past the second section to the draft motor inlet.
- Individual sections are nice, but overall fit/finish is lacking somewhat.
- Limited burn and fan settings.
- Those settings do work.
- Fan is noisy.
- Not easy to remove for thorough cleaning.
- Outdoor air combustion connection is seriously cheaply designed and not worth the effort as air for combustion gets in everywhere.
Last edited by sysint; 10-29-2008 at 11:17 AM.
Thanks for the response. Wouldn't you know, the unit stopped feeding pellets yesterday (we've only used it enough to burn a bag of pellets). I emptied the hopper and tried to run it with just a few pellets and couldn't feel the auger moving at all.
Back to the other issue. It is a retro-fit. the installers did attach some sheet metal with insulation behind it in the flu. I took it down and re-insulated it and around the corrugated SS chimney insert and put the sheet metal back up.
I did take some temperature output readings back when the heat shield was jammed to the left. The left-most pipes were putting out 94 F and the far right were around 130. I assume it should be somewhere in between??
Unfortunately, the state of the unit right now will not allow me to give you the output readings with the heat shield in the right place, but it did even things out tremendously.
The auger will not feed pellets with the hopper almost empty because you need pellets in the hopper to form an air seal so the vacuum switch will sense and allow the unit to feed pellets.
Note: I've seen some units with trash wrapped around the auger to where it fed just enough pellets to maintain a low fire. I'd call a tech to check it out completely.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
130 (94)-65 = 29F-65F rise. I say you have a problem. Since the auger seems not to be working this makes sense. Take the temps again after its fixed running high fire for 20 minutes with the baffle in the right location (apparently the technicians were incapable of this) and tell me what you get.
Hearthman, you have any information on a temp rise for this unit? This is not information that is DIY detrimental. It's simply measuring output performance.
I would think an average of less than 40F rise on this unit is wrong. I've seen other models with variable adjustments putting out well over 60F rise.
Here's another way to determine what it's doing:
BTUH= CFM x 1.08 x TD
CFM = cubic feet per minute of the blower
1.08 = (constant)
TD = Temperature drop outlet average - room temperature one foot above the floor or at 6 inches to a foot from the base of the unit. (have OA intake plugged)
I'm thinking somewhere it tells you how much CFM that blower puts out. It's probably around 130 cfm. Taking your two samples and averaging gets you:
6598.8 BTUH = 130*1.08*47 --- if it's 100CFM that goes down to 5076 both of which are questionable capacity to heat your room.
I think the Castille rates at 23,000 BTU's ---If you aren't leaking OA into the box I'd say you have a fuel problem.
EDIT: Hearthman, I sure wish you would cease recommending calling a tech when it seems there are only 5 qualified techs in the states, and one of those is retired... Maybe you should refrain until you can recommend a tech who actually knows what he is doing or you go there yourself. Installing the baffle incorrectly is like Tech 101 and they screwed that up. Do you think Q-Fire reconsiders the installers qualifications? Something tells me NOT.
EDIT 2 for Cold in VT: Keep the formula to yourself. You don't want to confuse those "technicians" with facts and figures... Unless you want some entertainment. Then ask them if they know any formula to calculate BTU's. Have the dictionary ready so they can look up the meaning of "calculate". Note: There are other ways to calculate btu's, but this works nicely with the information you can get pending H-man giving up what the design temp rise for the unit actually is. He may stick to his guns that you scour the nation looking for a good tech and may not tell us... I feel for him because he is a man on an island in this industry. Him and the other 3 qualified techs. The retired guy lives in Seattle.
Last edited by sysint; 10-29-2008 at 07:31 PM.