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Blaze King thermostat faulty

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by RustyShackleford, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. TX-L

    TX-L Burning Hunk

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    Okay, here's the update: It took over 2 weeks, but I received the new thermostat from my dealer on Monday, and installed it on Tuesday. I used Permatex Ultra Black High Temperature RTV to seal the new stat to the stove.

    I conducted the "hair dryer test" on each one, and exactly as described earlier in this thread, they were opposite. The original stat that came with the stove opened up as it got hotter, and the replacement stat modulated closed as it got hotter.

    The stove now works exactly like it's intended to, without the running away wild on the top end or having it nearly go out on the low end.

    According to the dealer, whoever he spoke to out at Blaze King had not heard of this problem. I have to return the original stat to the dealer, he said he has to mail it back to Blaze King. Hopefully they will look at it, realize the problem, and send out a bulletin / tech update to their dealers, alerting them of this potential problem. Perhaps it's on certain models with a specific build date range, maybe they got a bad lot or run of stats.

    It wasn't hard to change, but I wonder how much the dealer will pay me for conducting a warranty call & repair on this stove? I guess I won't hold my breath for that...


    Scott

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  2. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    Wow, this is BS; if a car manufacturer behaved like this, they would be crucified.

    I GUARANTEE you that there are people at Blaze King who have heard of the problem,
    because I talked to one almost a year ago; I believe his name was Chris, and I think
    it was actually he who mentioned to me that they had seen such a problem. Later,
    when as a naturally-curious engineer I started to sense that something was awry,
    I remembered what he had said. I talked to him again when I did those tests, and
    he told me to contact my dealer (Auto-Rain, before they started shipping across the
    country), who responded with extremely-atypical promptness.

    It is inexcusable if it in fact is the case that BK has failed to alert their dealers. However,
    it may also be the case that the dealers just aren't worrying about it. A more and more
    common disturbing trend I find in America today is "dealers" who are quite content to
    suck on the markup teat, but really aren't that interested in providing the added value,
    in product knowledge and in service, that is supposed to be how they earn that markup.
  3. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    Wowsers, I just called BK and asked to speak to Chris. The guy answering
    the phone said Chris was "out for a couple days" but that he could help me.
    I said "I think you have a problem" and outlined the reverse-wound thermostat
    problem and that dealers and even some of the people at BK-central don't
    seem to know about it.

    He became very defensive and repeatedly stated "we do NOT have a problem,
    this issue probably affects 1 in a 1000 stoves". I said I thought that was a problem,
    especially if dealers do not know about it. I also said that perhaps not all users
    were technically-sophisticated enough to realize they had a problem. When
    he asked if I thought I was sophisticated, I said "yes, I have a PhD in engineering,
    I think that is pretty sophisticated" he made some remark about "piled higher
    and deeper". He said "he didn't appreciate me telling him how to run his company"
    and I said "I am a friend of your company, trying to alert you to a problem you
    have". I said that even if they don't think they have a problem, this is the 21st
    Century and the age of the internet and a company needs to be concerned if
    people are saying bad things about them on internet forums (at least respected
    people on respected forums - if there is a bigger/more-respected forum on wood
    heat than this one, I don't know about it, and though I may come across as a
    big arrogant, I hope most people think I am not a dumb-ass on technical matters :)

    Pretty disappointing.

    I wonder how true the 1/1000 is ? How many people on this forum with BK stoves
    with the thermostat ? How many reverse-wound ? Me, and at least two other
    people who have participated in this thread, is that right ?

    P.S. This all reminds me of a weird link I ran across awhile back ...

    http://home.flash.net/~bobgh/
  4. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I wonder what regulatory agency has jurisdiction over wood stoves ?
    I can see how this might be a safety issue. Consumer Product Safety
    Commission ?

    The douche-bag at BK's attitude sticks in my craw. Not acting in good
    faith IMHO, both his comment about "piled higher and deeper", his
    continued insistence that there is no problem, "1 in a 1000 is not a
    problem", and his BS response when I said it WAS: "would 1 in 2000
    be a problem ?, would 1 in 5000 be a problem ?". I was tempted to
    tell him to have intercourse with himself at that point.

    I firmly believe that even if every dealer has been notified, that's not
    good enough. Every owner should be notified. I believe there may
    very well be owners who have the problem and are unaware of it, and
    even if it's not a safety issue, they are getting sub-par performance.
    It's BS that BK does not care about this.
  5. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Your photos--and the info you provided--rock. Thanks. <thumbsup>
  6. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    If this is really the case, I heartily concur. However, this may be a daunting problem for a small company without an ERP system to first help them identify which batch it was and then to tell them at least what dealers they went to let alone what customers the dealers sold them to. For example, I remember how long it took Dell to know what they had sold me. Now I take for granted that I can look up a service tag on a 10 year old computer and know how it left the factory. Not making any excuses for the weak responses they have given you at all. I would be livid if I had gone through that, done their homework and gotten that kind of response. With the money they are getting for stoves especially east of the Mississippi, you'd think they would be all over this. At a minimum, he should have been able to tell you that they are checking every thermostat before it goes out the door, rechecking all existing inventory and have put a bulletin out to all of their dealers to do the same. At a minimum, someone isn't doing their job or doesn't have the resources to do their job.

    Sounds like a company that may be growing too fast to take care of business. That would be a shame as they have developed one of the easiest ways to heat one's house with wood.
  8. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    Somebody should send the fool a link to this thread. But not me; I doubt anybody there would listen to me at this point.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It's very often true that employees have the job of "protecting" the company and are not either privy or authorized to discuss a QC or other problems......until it becomes "official". If, in fact, this ends up being a problem......I would suspect they will issue a tech bulletin and inform their dealers.

    1 in 1000 sounds a little low if a few here are found to have a similar situation. I always subscribe to the tip of the iceberg theory, which says for every instance you know about and find, there are 8 to 10 times as many (at least). For instance, I am having a problem on hearth.com where certain people cannot post - I have had about 10 complaints, but suspect that the actual number of people who experienced problems is over 100.

    BK seems like a good small company - I suspect this is just a matter of something moving slowly through the works......
  10. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I think the guy who blew me off was pretty senior.
    Yes, that is my fear, and why I wish the MODERATORS will consider my request to sticky-fy this thread. The BK works so darn well that I ran it most of a season before I really figured out something was wrong, and I am an engineer/tinkerer/take-things-apart type. There may be many technically less-savvy BK owners out there who never suspect a problem. Informing the dealers-only will not help these people.

    Yes, exactly why we should try to prevent them from behaving dishonorably in regard to this issue.
    I think making sure as many of the people with faulty stoves as possible bring it to their attention will help do this.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The mods don't do much more than cleanup. It's up to the boss to create stickies. To my knowledge we haven't had a stove specific issue become a sticky yet.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Exactly. We have had hundreds of stove and other such issues, and they can be found easily by a single search here or in google. The problem with stickies is that they tend to take up the entire first screen and sometimes more, so we like to make certain they are generally the type of content that applies to just about everyone...as opposed to any specific issue.
  13. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    Beginning of yet another new burning season is a good time to bump this thread yet again ...
  14. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    So, as far as you know, no bulletin was ever issued?
    How much control is the coil capable of exerting, i.e.how high can you set the control knob before a properly functioning coil is incapable of cutting back the air enough to prevent an over-fire? I guess it would be possible that if the stove was getting hot and an operator unaware of the faulty coil issue cut back the air a bit and walked away, they could over-fire the stove. I, personally, would be keeping an eye on it but maybe others wouldn't...
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I'll be doing the turn-the-knob-till-it-clicks test as described. Right now, cold stove, very audible click at exactly #1 position. Get her hot, then hope for a click at a higher setting like 1.5 right? It is pretty easy to hear the click or the stat closing.
  16. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Yep, hotter the stove the higher numerically the click. When I'm dialing mine down it usually closes around 1 3/4 or just under 2. This is the sweet spot for my house when the cold finally sets in.
  17. genze

    genze New Member

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    So if the coil was wound in reverse. Would the T Stat work in reverse. meaning a 3 setting is really 1 and when on 1 it is really set on 3 ?
  18. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I don't think so, my understanding was as the stove got hot it would open to allow more air in instead of closing. Rusty, correct me if I'm wrong.
  19. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    No, not at all. All it means is that a reverse-wound coil would open the butterfly valve farther as the stove gets hotter (i.e. what rdust just said). But turning the knob from 3 to 1 is still going to let less air in.

    Yes highbeam, get her hot (heh heh) and then hope the "click" occurs at a higher number.

    AFAIK, not bulletin was ever issued. I guess I would have gotten one if it was, except for the fact that I bought my stove through slightly irregular methods (via a west-of-the-Mississippi retailer who was selling online and shipping via freight until BK slapped their wrists - I might have been one of the very last to get a stove from them, unless they've started being bad boys again).

    P.S. I think people may put too much significance on specific numbers on the thermostat scale. I don't really know if there is a high degree of consistency in the positioning of the knob on the shaft. Mine was loose. I don't know what the procedure is for positioning the knob - e.g "with the stove cold, the knob should be positioned so the valve closes (the "click") at 1". We could ask them, but someone besides me - they don't speak to me anymore ...
  20. Heftiger

    Heftiger New Member

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    I think my stove might have a faulty thermostat. I just had it installed this year and haven't had a chance to light it, but right now I hear the click around position 3. My father-in-laws stove has the click around 1. Do I need to light the stove to be able I confirm the problem?
  21. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    Rusty,thank you for the very informative post. alas the article made me a little paranoid,I believe my unit is working the way it should. Is this the way the T-stat should work on an ice cold stove ,just checked mine as we type,from the 3.5 setting as I turn the dial towards the lower numbers at almost exactly #1I hear a faint but clearly audible click,does this indicate my stat is probably okay. Thanks
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately is sounds like BK was supplied with some faulty coils. One would think that there would be a service bulletin out on this that includes a serial number range of the possibly affected models.
  23. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I should have mentioned that there is also a "click" as you turn the valve towards the fully-open position; I think the flapper is actually hitting the thermostat cover. Why it's designed so the valve collides with the thermostat cover is a mystery to me, unless they simply don't want the valve to ever get to a fully-open position (vertical). That's why it's important, if you ever remove the cover, to close the valve fully before you reinstall the cover.



    I wouldn't take much re-assurance from that. I think you need to light the stove (and get it fairly hot) to tell if you have a problem. Or remove the thermostat completely and blow on it with a hair-dryer; I certainly wouldn't recommend this, unless you've done the other test and are already fiarly sure you have a problem. I tried heating the thermostat from inside the stove by blasting the rear inside wall of the stove with a propane torch, but it did not work; probably not a great idea anyhow.
  24. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I was informed by BK that this is "not a problem". I think the guy surmised that 1-in-a-1000 had the problem. When I said I thought that was worth pursuing, he started playing a numbers game saying stuff like "well, would you think 1-in-5000 is a problem ?" I think these guys maybe just haven't realized it's the 21st century, when communications (the internet) allow customers to communicate and realize there's a problem that BK is burying their heads in the sand about, or that people in the East are paying $1000 more for stoves and are pissed off about it.

    I don't know if the stoves have serial numbers; I can't see the rear of mine well enough to tell.

    If anyone calls BK on this problem, you might not want to mention me - well, most of you don't know my real name - but not say "this guy on the internet". I believe they might get defensive, based on my experience. I will say though, that once I convinced them that I had a problem, they had my dealer get the new thermostat to me damn quick, and will a prepaid mailer for the old one.
  25. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I think now would be a good time for me to say - especially to any potential BK buyers - that although, as detailed in this thread and elsewhere, BK's customer service and business practices have considerable room for improvement, I *still* think these are the best stoves on the market, and I do not regret for a second having purchased one. I make this statement having heated my house mostly with wood for 37 years or so and having owned quite a few woodstoves during that time.

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