How to stop pellet stove clinkers

Updated February 21, 2017

Pellet stoves are wood-burning furnaces that burn small, pellet-sized wood, sawdust or cardboard pieces instead of traditional logs. Pellet stoves are used frequently as a supplement to a home furnace, since they can heat a smaller space efficiently but are not as useful to heat multiple rooms. Pellet stoves sometimes will form "clinkers," which are pellets that melted together to form hard deposits in the stove's burning pot. Removing clinkers requires additional cleaning effort, so stopping them from forming is a more effective option when possible.

Use wood pellets that contain less than one per cent ash, especially if you have a top-loading stove. The packaging of your pellets should say what they are made of and a higher ash content frequently leads to a larger number of clinkers forming.

Examine your pellets to make sure they are not longer than 1.5 inches. Longer pellets sometimes don't feed correctly into the stove and can get stuck, resulting in a clinker as it burns improperly.

Keep your pellets dry. Wet pellets won't burn as efficiently and even a slight amount of dampness can lead to more clinkers forming.

Clean the stove regularly to remove any ash build-up. Once the ash is heated past 1093 degrees Celsius, it can coagulate into a clinker and block airflow through the firepot.

Remove any clinkers that are discovered on a regular basis when the stove is cool. Many stoves come with a tool specifically designed for this purpose. Clinkers reduce overall burn efficiency in the firepot, so a build-up of them can affect the operation of the pellet stove adversely.

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Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.