When Does My Whitfield Stove Need to be Cleaned?
Remember to ALWAYS unplug the stove and let it cool completely before attempting any maintenance task. The frequency of performing routine maintenance will vary depending on many variables including fuel ash content, stove usage, and installation factors.
Periodically (daily – weekly as needed):
Burn Grate – Regularly inspect the burn grate to ensure air flow is not restricted by ash or clinkers. Use the grate scraper to clean the burn grate and dump any ash beneath the grate into the ash pan.
Ash Pan & Slide Plate – The ash pan and ash slide plate should be emptied regularly as well. Pull the ash slide plate to drop any ash that has accumulated around the burn grate into the ash pan. Dispose of ash in an air tight, noncombustible container.
Heat Exchanger Tubes – The heat exchanger tubes should only be cleaned once they have completely cooled. Use the hole at the end of the grate scraper tool to pull the rod up and out towards the firebox until the tube scraper reaches the edge of the firebox.
Every other Month:
Exhaust Venting & Passages – The exhaust venting and passages should be inspected every 1-2 months for fly ash build up and cleaned as necessary. In vertical installations, the clean-out tee can help gauge how frequently more extensive cleaning will be needed.
Every 6 Months:
Photoeye – The Photoeye should be cleaned after every 6-12 months. You can either use a soft brush and canned air with a mirror, or the photoeye can be removed for cleaning. Remember to return the photoeye lens to its place after cleaning. Otherwise reflective light in the room may cause a false fault.
Motor Lubrications – Some older models use an exhaust blower motor which need to be oiled after every 6 months of continuous use. This motor only needs lubrication if it has ports that indicate regular maintenance. Auger motors and convection blower motors come sealed from the factory and do not require lubrication.
Air Wash – The air wash opening should be checked periodically for obstruction by dust and animal hair. Slide a sturdy piece of cardboard (like a business card) between the window trim and the glass to remove debris that can accumulate in the air wash gap. You can also remove the window wash bracket and sweep the debris away with a soft brush.
Baffles & Firebrick – Once per year the baffles and firebrick should be removed from the stove and any ash or creosote left behind removed. Failure to clean the rear cavities behind baffles & firebrick will eventually result in air starvation to the fire.
Rope Gaskets – Perform the dollar bill test to check the door and ash pan for an air tight seal. To perform this test, close a dollar bill in the door of the stove, then try to pull it up and out. If the paper does not pull out or pulls with resistance, the gasket is in good condition and does not need to be replaced. A worn gasket will allow the paper to pull out easily and needs to be replaced.
Note: We recommend using a dollar bill because the paper is a little sturdier than plain paper.