Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:02 pm

I'm on the 4th season with my Pioneer and have a sudden concern over the safety of the ceramic window.

This has hit during the coldest winter in many years. That may actually be part of the issue.

I ordered and received replacement glass and a steel plate. Unfortunately, my stove had the old instructions which don't mention using anti-seize compound and when I went to change the glass (which was etched and had "spider web cracks" I hit a snag.

Unfortunately, ceramic (glass) mounting bolts are very tight and I fear snapping them and having a real problem. Are they likely to break and require a new door?

When I started it up again (without replacing the ceramic) a true cracked section developed. It's on the handle side edge and a triangle shaped, about 1 1/2" high, 2 1/2" wide and a real crack, ever so slightly raised, just enough to detect using a metal edge to slide over the glass.

*** Is it safe to operate until replaced?

Do I order a new door (cast iron and handle only since I have new ceramic and a metal plate to avoid down time during this cold winter?

It almost seems the etching and cracking may have two different causes. One chemical etching and the cracks due to thermal cycle stress.

Thoughts for Leisure Line:

- Investigate and make us aware of "cracked glass" safety. Advise us.

- Ship all new stoves with a small tube of anti-seize compound clearly marked to use.

- Any suggestions if the glass/ceramic mount bolts will release or snap with more torque. Perhaps any tricks if needed.

- The very difficult one - find a source of more durable ceramic, both etch resistant and serious crack resistant. Perhaps the serious cracks are a result of the ceramic/glass not "floating" enough in it's mount?

- Perhaps the window should be called a routine service item? How do we know when to replace it?

I love my Pioneer and even replacing the glass/ceramic every 3 years would add little to my heating bill. I didn't anticipate the real crack or bolts being stuck to the point I fear snapping them. In retrospect, I should have thought of anti-seize compound myself but just followed the instructions (old version) that came with my stove.

Again, a VERY happy customer with a short term safety concern - will the small segment of glass blow out and be a fire or CO hazard?

-
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: av8r On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:12 pm

As long as you know you have good draft a crack should pose no danger as the inside of the stove is at a lower atmospheric pressure than your home.

The retaining bolts are likely rusted/corroded in place, but some time being treated with something like PB Blaster should allow them to be removed. Treat with high heat anti-seize when you replace them and check them annually afterwards.

The ceramic window material is actually layers of material and often the cracks won't be through all layers. I ran ours with cracked ceramic for a season without issue until I got a new window for it.
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:30 pm

I ran into the same problem with my bolts. I soaked them with WD 40 - Rust Release Specialist Penetrater. It's not the same as regular WD 40. Three of the 4 bolts came out but the fourth one broke off in the hole. I picked up a Screw Extractor and Drill Bit Set and removed the remaining bolt that way. Then I ran a re-tapper down the hole to clear the threads. It worked fine. I replaced the bolts with regular harden bolts; nothing fancy. Good luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

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Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:51 pm

I ran my Pocono for two years with a glass crack. Run until spring and when shut down soak in PB Blaster (or sea foam) for a week and everything will come apart. I now use a steel plate. I do miss the flames I suppose, just a little bit.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 110K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93, Jotul 507
Baseburners & Antiques: Red Cross Invader 2
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:16 pm

av8r wrote:As long as you know you have good draft a crack should pose no danger as the inside of the stove is at a lower atmospheric pressure than your home.

The retaining bolts are likely rusted/corroded in place, but some time being treated with something like PB Blaster should allow them to be removed. Treat with high heat anti-seize when you replace them and check them annually afterwards.

The ceramic window material is actually layers of material and often the cracks won't be through all layers. I ran ours with cracked ceramic for a season without issue until I got a new window for it.


This time of year I have a very good draft (can see the barometric damper opening a tad), only in much milder weather (but still need heat) does the draft get low (SS Chimney, not power vent). At low heat output the draft is weak enough not to carry the fly ash up the chimney and it collects in the horizontal section of stove pipe and chimney.

I already thought about treating the bolts with a penetrating oil, but that means days to weeks in the coldest part of this extreme winter. I'm pretty experienced with stuck bolts, actually heating the bolts with an acetylene torch and letting them cool usually breaks any rust binding. But that will break the glass/ceramic for sure and I'll need new mounting HW.

Since it is so cold and expected to remain so, I think I should call the factory and arrange to get a complete door assembly, shipped quickly, minus the window. I'll end up with a spare door, one with "glass" and one with steel.

Keeping watch, I don't expect any problems as long as the stove doesn't cool down. The "full crack" vs "spider web" only occurred after turning the stove off, trying to replace the window and then going to high heat. Looks like I have time before such a dramatic cycle.
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:21 pm

coalnewbie wrote:I ran my Pocono for two years with a glass crack. Run until spring and when shut down soak in PB Blaster (or sea foam) for a week and everything will come apart. I now use a steel plate. I do miss the flames I suppose, just a little bit.


My stove is in a living area so I desire a window that matches the superb craftsmanship of the stove :-)

My problem, any penetrating oil will take my stove offline for at least a week or two. Given propane hitting almost $5/gal here, I sure don't want to use it very much!
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:54 pm

I know you guys in MA like everything perfect but if propane is $5 a gall would suck it up and wait until spring. Ya got heat be grateful. All non coalites around here are freezing. Glass cracks with coal and coal etches glass that is the nature of the beast with that type of stove. Put a van Gogh in front of it so you can't see it.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 110K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93, Jotul 507
Baseburners & Antiques: Red Cross Invader 2
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:21 pm

coalnewbie wrote:I know you guys in MA like everything perfect but if propane is $5 a gall would suck it up and wait until spring. Ya got heat be grateful. All non coalites around here are freezing. Glass cracks with coal and coal etches glass that is the nature of the beast with that type of stove. Put a van Gogh in front of it so you can't see it.


I by no means mean perfection! I used SAFETY in the topic!

With the crack physically on the outside surface, "will the ceramic blow out" came to mind. The most likely cause would seem to be thermal expansion, not pressure.

That said, once safety is addressed, I don't mind buying a new window every three years. That's darned low cost for a living area. ~5 gal of propane per year would cost more.
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:05 pm

Go with the new door minus glass can't hurt a thing. Then you can take your torches to the old door:)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:01 pm

Acetylene torch works well. I clean around the bots with the sand blaster but wire brush will be good enough. Give the bolts a good sharp rap with a hammer. Heat the door till red around the bolt. Clamp cold vice grips on bolt head it shrinks the bolt quick. Work gently back and forth making sure the bolt is truly turning and not twisting off. I do not recommend a door because the hinges are welded on and fit with the door in place. There is a real good chance a new door will fit we will not guarantee it. If the proper tools are not available a local machine shop usually does not charge much.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:05 pm

Oh yea we do not apply anti-seize on the bolts or supply with a tube because it is something most installers should have on the truck. If we put it on the bolts and someone got anti seize all over their carpet or furniture they would be mad. I think 1 drop of that stuff can cover an entire living room.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:05 am

Flyer5 wrote:Acetylene torch works well. I clean around the bots with the sand blaster but wire brush will be good enough. Give the bolts a good sharp rap with a hammer. Heat the door till red around the bolt. Clamp cold vice grips on bolt head it shrinks the bolt quick. Work gently back and forth making sure the bolt is truly turning and not twisting off. I do not recommend a door because the hinges are welded on and fit with the door in place. There is a real good chance a new door will fit we will not guarantee it. If the proper tools are not available a local machine shop usually does not charge much.


I use my Acetylene torch more for taking things apart then putting things together. Heating to a dull red to avoid overheating. A bit gently on cast iron to avoid cracking the casting. Also repeat if needed rather than using to much force. Twist the bolt and one needs to carefully drill to avoid damaging the treads in the door, then use an easy out (as if it was easy ;-)

On other occasions, I've also tried heating the bolt itself and chilling several times to break a rust situation like this. That has avoided risk of cracking the casting or damaging another part and seldom hurts. The third cycle almost always works. Any thoughts on that approach?

What machining would be typical with a new door if it doesn't fit? Ideally I'd like two doors, the room it is in is only used for entertainment and if I could quick switch, I could use the steel plate most of the time. I could see why, even if the doors are made with a good jig and casting, the hinge pins might not align. If I couldn't machine a 2nd door myself, taking the whole stove to a shop is not an option without a major tear down. I just won't fit the access assembled.

Unfortunately, I moved into a small town in 1973 and once they extended commuter rail from Boston, I ended up in a higher end suburban town, not rural. Machine shops are gone in surrounding towns/cities now that the area went upscale.

But I'm pretty handy around metal, just wise enough to seek experience on any particular situations new to me. I also still need to order new mounting HW for the new glass & steel plate I now have..

Finally, with the crack I described, is if fairly safe to operate until spring? It's small, so slightly cracked I needed a metal edge to note the outside is cracked. I'm sure not going to buy propane this year if at all possible. The shortage has driven the price out of sight (if I could even get a delivery, the shortage is severe here).

I have two CO alarms per code here and do nave negative pressure in the stove. (good draft). So the only risk I can think of is the small triangle with the crack popping out and being a fire hazard. The small triangle is under one one of the clips is over the cracked segment.

BTW, LL support is as good as it gets. I'd recommend LL to anybody with the note the ceramic on ANY coal stoves ages much faster than wood/pellet stoves. A solution to that is something I'm certain bugs you as much as customers. That is no big deal if anticipated. The ceramic replacement costs is low cost per year compared to fuel alternatives.
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: gerry_g On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:19 am

Flyer5 wrote:Oh yea we do not apply anti-seize on the bolts or supply with a tube because it is something most installers should have on the truck. If we put it on the bolts and someone got anti seize all over their carpet or furniture they would be mad. I think 1 drop of that stuff can cover an entire living room.


I certainly see why bolts wouldn't be pre-coated, a guaranteed mess. My thought was a just a small tube shipped with the stove. Perhaps the world has gone with installers. I'm a DIY guy (with inspection to keep my fire insurance) and actually there are no local dealers. I had to buy my LL stove out of state!

Anyway, it was just a thought (a tube) WITH a major RED label to use it on the bolt pack. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of high temp compound myself. Using it isn't mentioned in the old manual. Perhaps at least a red label on the bolt packaging to remind one to use it?
Last edited by gerry_g on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gerry_g
 
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: Den034071 On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:31 am

Guys first buy stainless screws.I ud ss. some 5 years without anything else .Screws came right out . jack
Den034071
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer, 3095

Re: Ceramic (glass) durability and safety

PostBy: SMITTY On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:01 pm

Ran my Mark III like this for months - glass completely split in 2 - could move each piece individually back and forth completely independent from the other.

If your pulling draft in the firebox - even .01" - there's zero danger.


Image
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
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Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

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