4 Days of burning my new quad Castile..1st auger jam

peirhead Posted By peirhead, Jan 13, 2009 at 12:39 AM

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  1. peirhead

    Feeling the Heat

    Aug 8, 2008
    PEI Canada
    4 days and starting on my 5th bag of pellets..here are a few observations....Eastern embers pellets...lots of ash!! I have cleaned my stove 2X (vacuum behind baffles etc) I can't imagine letting it go a week!! I guess about one cup of ash per bag of pellets. takes no more than 10 minutes to clean the stove though. Heat is great...it has been -5 to -10C (14 to 23 F) and stove is set on med (lo med high) furnace has only run to supply hot water. It is a 2 story modern construction with 0pen stairwell. Main living upstairs (1000 sqft) stays between 72 and 68 deg , family room on main floor (600 sqft) on slab where the stove is is also around 72 deg... actually slightly cooler than livingroon at the top of the stairs! Both stove and furnace on programmable thermostats to setback at night.....very pleased!....except today I arrived home to a dead stove....auger barely able to move pellets......so I emptied the hopper and as quad suggests I loosened the feed assembly (2 screws) jiggled it till it was free...re assembled and voila it is working fine again.

    I hope this is not a recurring feature of my stove!!
  2. jtp10181

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2007
    Madison, WI
    It happens every once and a while. Watch your pellets for really long ones, the more there are th higher chance of a jam. Also you can usually clear the jam without emptying the hopper out. Just losted the auger screws and jiggle it a little, but don't pull it out more than 1/4" if the hopper is full or it wont go back in.
  3. Shortstuff

    Feeling the Heat

    Jun 5, 2008
    Southeastern MA
    Knock on wood, we've not had one single problem with our Castile and I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that. Installed new last August and we've run 75 bags (1.5 tons) through since then and it has performed absolutely flawless. There was a post not long ago about members who were finding "things" in their bags of pellets such as stones and wires which may have happened in your case, but as was mentioned it could have been a long pellet that caused the jamb. Quadra-Fire does have a patented auger design which is suppose to eliminate the possibility of jambs, but nothing in this world is perfect.

    I'm burning Barefoot premium pellets which I've not heard any complaints about here and even though this is our first season ever using a pellet stove, I am VERY pleased with them - not more than 1/4 cup of fines per bag. I have found pellets near 2-3/8" in length, but they break quite easily between my fingers. Each of my bags of pellets have been handled a few times since they were delivered on pallets to my house too, which may increase the chances of breaking longer pellets before they are loaded into the stove. I have also used my homemade pellet vac for each and every bag and this also minimizes the possibility of auger jambs due to fines as well.

    Every day or two I shut off the thermostat and open the door(s) to allow faster cooling for a while. I then quickly vacuum out all the fines I can without removing any panels and give the burn pot a good scraping and vacuuming ensuring that the bottom door opens and closes easily. Also, a quick wipe of the inside of the door glass with a damp paper towel and wiped dry with a microfibre cloth and she's clean as new. Every week I repeat this with the addition of removing all the panels and brush down all the surfaces I can as well. Once a month I repeat that with a thorough cleaning of the convection tubes with a small thin wire brush with nylon bristles (about the size of a .22 caliber bore brush) that I bend to a curve and wipe the tubes clean with.

    As has been said so many times here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and the more maintenance you can perform even on a daily basis - the better.

    I think that your jamb has been one of the first ones I've heard of on a Castile.

    Happy Heating!

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