Buck stove problems

Crabbypatty Posted By Crabbypatty, Dec 22, 2009 at 5:40 PM

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  1. Crabbypatty

    Crabbypatty
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    Nov 22, 2008
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    Western MA
    I have a buck stove nat gas insert. I have no idea how old it is. it is vented and it is a steel plate type unit. it utilizes a powerpile millivolt gas valve.
    It holds a pilot fine, and it will run fine for a little while and then it will drop out the main burner for no reason. sometimes i can wiggle the wires on the valve and she will start right up again for a while. other times it will work if i shut off the auto/off/manual switch and turn it back on. i tried cleaning the wire connections at the gas valve, to see if i had a bad connection, and it didn't work any better. could the powerpile be getting weak with age? i tried to test it with a meter, but i am not sure what to set the meter to. It is a cheap meter, may not be the right one for the job. any help guys?
     
  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY
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    Dec 2, 2008
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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Sounds like the thermopile is on it's way out.
    Set your multimeter to millivolts (mv) & take a reading
    across the terminals labelled TP & TP-TH (or TH-TP)...
    With the pilot ON & the burner OFF, the reading should be near 550mv...
    With the burner ON the mv should drop to about 220+/-...
    If they drop lower than that & continue to fall, the unit will shut off at
    about 135 mv+/-...
    Replace the thermopile......
     
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY
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    Dec 2, 2008
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    Hey, Dave, maybe if you told him WHERE to look for it (if it has one)
    & HOW to test it, we ALL might learn something here...
     
  4. Crabbypatty

    Crabbypatty
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    Nov 22, 2008
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    The rollout switch is fine, i tested that first. i am gonna pick up a thermopile as soon as i get a chance. I don't have a mulitmeter that will do millivolts, so i am either gonna borrow one or just chance it on changing the part.
     
  5. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves
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    Jun 12, 2009
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    DASKY and OP,
    the spill switch is located under the vent hood. when cold it will have continuity, when hot it will close and shut stove off( no continuity) ohms setting multi tester.
    spill switch interupts thermopile as saftey function of b-vent appliances like the Buck
    >dave<
     
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY
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    Dec 2, 2008
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    Dave, Not totally familiar with the Buck units...
    Were they ALL B-vent?
     
  7. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves
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    Jun 12, 2009
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    Loc:
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    i believe so, all the units i sold were b-vent ...

    pretty cheesy quality compared to thier woodstoves of the same vintage
     
  8. jtp10181

    jtp10181
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    Feb 26, 2007
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    Loc:
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    Even the cheap meters for $19.99 can test a thermopile. Set it to your lowest setting on DC. Should give you .000 on the screen. .500 is equal to 500 milivolts.

    If its a robertshaw valve, the valve could be bad also. We have seen a few where the wire running from the post on the outside, breaks inside the valve. Sometimes if you wiggle it around it will work, and then cut out later after everything heats up and it shifts a little. Last one that was doing this we took it apart to see for sure, and the little wire inside was just barely broken.
     
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