1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Breckwell Issues Are there enough folks out there to justify a class action legal course of action?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ronlat, Apr 26, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Control board problems, blower problems, dealers who are not trained to service the products, poor response from Breckwell when emailing or calling tech services? Post your issues here and together maybe these issues will be resolved.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Oil City PA
    I have a Breckwell BIG E pellet stove. 3 heating seasons with no problems. Not to make excuses for Breckwell , but I'm sure they do not make the control boards, or their motors. They buy their parts from vender's , and then build the stoves with the parts. I have had problems lately with them answering my emails . No problems with stove , just asking for some cleaning advice.
  3. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Board not responding to input, convection fan stuck on high even if heat setting on 1 or 2. Both my P2000 and Big E are doing this now. Neither did this when stoves were new in January. After spending nearly 4,000.00 on these two stoves and being only 3 months old I should not be having these issues. I clean them religiously, and have been happy with the heat season savings. However I am starting to think I should have bought a different brand. I am aware of the facts that Breckwell is owned by a private investment group for the past 2 years and since the buyout and changing to cheaper vendors for the boards and convection blowers these performance problems began to surface. I have a friend who has a Big E thats 3 years old and has not had any problems at all. In addition both stoves are beginning to give signs of convection blower bearing problems. This is in addition to the airwash not working on the P2000 posted already on this site.
  4. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,354
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    Buildingmaint is right. The boards do not like power serges or flux. Make sure you have a surge protector on the units. Breckwell stoves are very good for the money. Look at a Quad or a Harman and compare what you would get for $4,000.00 No way will you get a 55,000 btu and a 50,000 btu stove. You might get one 50,000 btu stove and that will be it. And yes Harman and Quads have there fair share of service calls on boards.

    PLEASE READ YOUR MANUALS. Pellet stoves are not a fire and forget system. You need to do your chores. I can be reached for Breckwell questions 330-876-0200. Other than two other people on this board will anyone else post their phone numbers? Eric
  5. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Both stoves are powered thru surge protectors (not cheap ones either). Have they change board suppliers or am I going to replace one bad board with another?

  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Seems weird you're having so many troubles that quick. I've heard good and bad about Breckwell, some people love them and other hate them. I personally had a bad experience with them and cannot recommend them. We decided to be Breckwell dealers bought the initial order to get us on board. installed a P2000. Customer called the next day and said the unit wouldn't operate. Went out looked at it and the board was bad. It ran for less than 24 hours. I went back to the shop and since we had no stock of spare parts yet I robbed our showroom P2000 board and went and installed it under "warranty". I sent the board back to Breckwell for reimbursment and they sent it back to me saying the board was faulty but it was due to lack of and/or improper maintenance and that they would not honor a warranty claim on it. Note that I explained the situation and they still refused warranty. So right out of the gate I was eating warranty costs for Breckwell. All the stoves we bought went on clearance and we never looked back.
  7. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    It does seem weird that both stoves would have board problems within a couple of weeks from one another. But a quick search around the internet sure shows problems with Breckwell boards. The P2000 has been a series of problems. 1) Airwash system has never worked and still doesn't. 2) Excessive bearing noises from convection blower. 3) Board does not respond to user input (push buttons). 4) Now, convection blower stuck on high, so dealer replaced board, same day started doing again.

    Big E Stove has board problems and bearing is going out of the convection blower as well. Both of these stoves are less than 4 months old installed brand new.

    I can honestly say I will never buy a Breckwell again unless major changes are made within the company and there suppliers. Furthermore I am letting as many people know that I can to stay away from them.
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,916
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    does their board have any kind of "diagnostic" mode or test sequence? personally i wish i could help but im not at all familiar with their setup. our boards have a way to reset or "re-boot" in case of a power fluctuation, digital components can be succeptible to not only surges but also DROPS in current which can be caused in some house circuits when they are also serving a "high drain" item such as a microwave , or virtually any other appliance which uses resistance heating coils. bear in mind that this is a "WAG" but it is a possibility. if this is the case if the board has a reset it may solve your problems. hope this is helpful.
  9. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,916
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    shane, what the heck kind of "maintenance" do/can you perform with a circuit board??? im sorry but thats LAME on their part, cant say i blame you for moving on after that episode.

    just my 2 cents
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Well, in some ways it sounds like you are describing many brands of pellet stoves! We have had people with EVERY brand have troubles, often from day one, and very often not getting easy response from the factory or dealers. The fact is that pellet stoves are nowhere near as reliable as they should (or could) be. I have long suggested that people who do not like fiddling should not buy a pellet stove! Even $4,000+ Harmans often need adjustment and futzing with.

    In terms of your issues, you will get further by establishing a good relationship with a local dealer (yours or another who knows the brand). If nothing else, this underlines what a lot of people here have mentioned - that SERVICE after the sale is perhaps the MOST important aspect of many pellet stove purchases. Pellet stoves are still relatively new, and sad to say they are not "right" yet in terms of reliability and longevity. Some may be better than others.

    In a perfect world we would have pellet stoves being covered by good warranties which were backed up by in-home service - like a washer or dryer. But, alas, this is not so at this point in time.
  11. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Oil City PA
    If you read through these forums , you will find that just about every brand has "ISSUES". I have read a lot of problems with Englander pellet stoves . Probably some warranted some not. But their customer service guy Mike Holton is one this forum all the time. He answers questions , try to find ways to make things right. What more could you ask for ?
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Uh, I could ask for a clean guy in a pressed uniform with a truck that does not leak oil to show up on time for an appointment and fix my stove!

    That is the level of service that most home appliances, and in fact most building materials (windows, for example) get.......

    Not faulting Englander, but the entire field of pellet stove service falls WAY short of most other appliances. There is, to my knowledge, no industry manufacturer that measures up to the "norm" of what most of us are used to with our appliances, heating systems, etc.

    This turns into "circular" logic. Pellet stoves are not reliable, so too many break down, so NO company can afford to stand behind them to the degree we are used to for other consumer products. The "fix" is pretty obvious.....make them more reliable, so that when they do break down, a dealer or service person can be dispatched (when necessary) for warranty repair.

    Example - if a pellet stove makes $1000 in profit for the combination of dealer and manufacturer.....and they sell 100 pellet stoves, that is $100,000 in. If 7 of them break down during the first year (full warranty period), and it costs a total of $150 in parts and labor to fix each, then the total of the warranty will be about $1000, or 1% of the profit. That would certainly seem doable! So why isn't it done? Got me? Only thing I can imagine is that:

    1. Manufacturers have not made dealers aware of their obligation (whatever it might be) in the partnership
    2. MANY more than 7% of stoves are needing work, so the manufacturers are running scared about losing profit if they properly back their products??

    I'm stumped, honestly.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,179
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Ever tried to get Sears to come out and fix a washer under warranty? Or Whirlpool to fix a new water heater, that did everything fine except heat water, in home under warranty?

    Good luck.

    You have a better chance of getting someone at Harman to call ya back. And we know the odds on that.

    A big reason for buying the Englander wood burner was at least from the git-go I knew not to expect some van to show up in the driveway. And be pissed when I spent hours on the phone to no avail.
  14. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    I'm not going to giving up on the pellet stove technology and would like to find a way to make these work. So a couple of questions for you dealers or manufactures out there.

    1) I read that a aftermarket convection blower thats much more reliable is available, any suggestions?
    2) Has anyone tried to manufacture a replacement board (aftermarket) for the Breckwells? I have even thought of rewiring these stoves with basic selector switches rather than having the electronic boards that seem to be so sensitive to power fluctuations. Before the dealer installed the P2000FS, I installed a dedicated power supply to the pellet stove and the stove is powered thru a good quality surge protector.

    I would not have a problem looking at either. It seems to me that after replacing these components with the OEM parts I would just have to replace again next heating season. As far as maintenance on the stoves, I actually like to putz around with things like this and am aware that to enjoy the benefits of the pellet stove requires a time investment of taking care of them. Again I own both a Big-E (shop) and a P2000FS (home). Both which are having board issues and convection blower issues.

    Thanks Ron
  15. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Not that I'm aware of Mike. I believe the only thing one can do is after cool down unplug for 15 minutes to reset the board, which has not worked. Ron
  16. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    I think number 2 is the case here. my dealer is always out making service calls mostly Breckwells (which is what he sells the most of). I know last Friday he had over 5 service calls to make that day alone. I quess I would be hesitant to answer my phone too, especially if the OEM is not standing behind the parts and the dealers are having to eat these cost.
  17. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,916
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    now i understand the poster's frustration and in no way am i faulting him as he definately has an issue with the units he owns, but your post web, i do have issue with. heck i wish i could have that guy riding around in the nice new truck with the pressed uniform and a big box of parts, as well as the knowledge on how to diagnose and repair issues with my product line , but that shiny new truck and the dry cleaning bill for the pressed "uny" costs money, training costs money, and north america is a big danged hunk of property, so it would take more than a few, probably more than a few hundred to cover that large an area. maybe its easier with dealer based product lines.

    rant over , i'll drop it
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Strangely enough, I HAVE had lots of products repaired in my home - with no charge to me. Examples include Andersen windows, fiberglass spa tub, hot tub (recently), refrigerators, clothes dryers, etc.

    Granted, the more years that go by, the worse service (in general) gets. But you can still often get in-home service on your $400 home appliance by a guy in van who knows how to replace the parts.

    The question, in the long run, is whether a much lower level of service is enough to propel the pellet stove industry into the future. In my opinion, it is not - that is, everyone is not handy or patient. In order to get the part of the populace that "expects things to just work", it will take a higher level....some dealer, to be honest, do provide this. But it is the rare dealer or manufacturer that does.

    Still, my "job" is to remind the industry and customers what the level of service perhaps should be. I see no reason why a person should pay $4000 for a Harman (for instance), and then be told that the factory will not talk to them after their dealer closes up or moves.

    Yes, it is a big country, but a vast majority of many brands are sold in the northeast and mid-atlantic, etc. - I would ask someone to poke holes in myu example - meaning should over 7% of stoves need service? Should it cost more that $150 in parts and labor for an in-home visit from the installing dealer?

    Many of the big appliance sellers don't have national networks either - they subcontract the job out. If there is enough money in it, it is easy to line up appliance service guys, chimney sweeps or other skilled folks to help.

    I just personally would not want to buy a pellet stove and then hear excuses when it doesn't work - and is under warranty. Maybe it's me - maybe I expect too much.
  20. ronlat

    ronlat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    Just an Up-Date

    William from Breckwell just phoned me. After a lengthy (calm) discussion we came to the conclussion on the following:

    1) Strong possiblilty that my dealer may not have the knowledge neccessary to properly troublshoot these stoves.
    2) Dealer should have used a vent system with some verticle lift, to help with the excessive ash build-up I am having with the P2000FS. I will add the verticle lift.
    3) Dealer may have replaced the bad board in the P2000FS with a bad board. Dealer made comment at the time of board replacement that he thought the new board was a "good one", since the stove ran fine after intitial startup with replacement board he assumed it was a good new one.

    Solution

    1) Breckwell is sending me new boards for both stoves and convection blowers for both stoves since the bad boards may have caused to much voltage to flow to the blowers causing excessive bearing wear. I know that this should have been handled by the dealer but he won't return my calls. I would like to thank all of you who wrote me to offer suggestions. It would seem that Breckwell is concerned about the future of the brand.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,307
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Sounds like a winner. It's a shame that the dealer was not fully educated, but at the same time it is tough in this industry for a dealer to follow the hundreds of products and become an expert on all of them. Top notch design and QC at the factory before the units are shipped is, IMHO, one of the best "investments" to keep us all happy!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page