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Classic Bay early morning blues problem - need some experts please!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by OldBrit, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    So, I have a 2007 Classic Bay 1200 that has developed an irritating problem that has progressively got worse during the season. The stove runs on a timer/thermostat that switches on in the early hours. When I come down in the morning the stove is not running but is slightly warm and the demand light is on. The burn pot is empty. Basically the stove seemed to stop because of a lack of pellets. There are no lights on the controller. If I do a reset then the stove fires up and away it goes, stopping and starting as it needs to during the day. Before suggesting the normal things let me list what I know already:
    • The stove is super clean including the exhaust box and motor.
    • There is only 3 feet of exhaust vent that is also clean (no top vent ass).
    • The burn pot holes are clear and the trap door is closing correctly.
    • The auger is clear of any dust buildup.
    • The door/ash pan seals appear to be good.
    • I am not using OAK.
    • The green temp sensor light comes on as expected, as does the blue and red.
    • The vacuum line is clear and is not perished.
    • The problem still exists when I jumper the vacuum switch.
    • The flame is a good yellow/white.
    • The auger motor is fitted with the capaciator.
    • I have pinched all the crimp connectors so that they are not loose.
    • I have cleaned the controller connector with a eraser.
    What is interesting is that, with the feed rate adjustment wide open, I am only just getting an adequate burn. After the initial startup, when the flame is licking the baffle plates, the flame drops to anything from 3" above the burn pot to being inside the burn pot. It almost seems like the motor is not fully responding to each burst from the controller. Switching from some premium hardwood pellets to my stash of oakies does help a little but I'm still not able to get a strong flame and the pellet delivery does seem to be inconsistent.

    It sure seems like the auger motor is to blame but maybe it's the capaciator, the controller (god forbid) or maybe bad controller connectors.

    So, what do the experts think?

    I sure appreciate your time in reading about my whoes.

    Thanks
    Peter

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  2. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Have you connected the auger motor to direct 120vac to see if it runs consistently at the same speed? Has the auger motor ever been cleaned & lubed? Has the gear case ever been opened to remove old dried grease & repacked?
  3. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks imacman, good suggestions.
    So here's an update.
    I tested the motor and it runs consistently and strong. I wasn't able to stop or resist the auger.
    Dismantled the assembly and the gearbox looks good, smooth running, no dried up grease.
    Interestingly I noticed the same inconsistent pellet drop that had concerned me before. I'm guessing this is normal i.e. few pellets, few pellets then a small bunch.

    When I went to restart the stove it would not fire up. It turned out to be the vacuum switch circuit not making. I cleaned the terminals, blew the pipe out and it fired right up. Of course I don't know which of the 3 fixed it. I also don't know if this is a red herring or maybe I have an intermittent vacuum switch. It sure doesn't explain the short circuit test I did the other night.
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Sounds like you had a partially dirty vacuum switch or tube...that can give you erratic results....sometimes the switch will open, other times not.

    I see you're not using an OAK....I'd recommend installing one....evens out the pressure between outside & in.
  5. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Yes, it sure sounds likely except for the overnight test I did with the switch shorted out. Clearly something was going on. Maybe I'll try the test again and see if it was a fluke.
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Meaning what? You bypassed the switch by connecting the leads together?
  7. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

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    Loc:
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    Correct.
    Stove lit up OK today using oakies. I suspect that when I revert back to the premium hardwood pellets again the stove will give the same issue. These pellets have never given a problem in the past and run just fine with my 2nd stove.

    I would be interested to know if other users have the feedrate chute partially closed off or do they have it wide open like mine?
    Timed the delivery and I'm getting 9 seconds ON and 5 seconds OFF.
  8. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Old Lyme CT
    Just a hunch, check your auger to make sure nothing is caught on or impinging the flow. Had a person that had a small piece of plastic from a pellet bag that got caught up in it.:cool:
  9. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    98
    Loc:
    shelton,ct
    my 1200 gave me big balls for two weeks it would run fine them shut down I tested everything, had to run with chute wide open to keep stove running finally I grabbed a few beers and sat down there watching it with side doors open the darn auger would run backwards after about 25 mins I even checked rpms on auger and they were the same installed or on the floor operating, so with new auger im running with chute open about a 3rd of the way on medium and flame is perfect
  10. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    ...now there's a new one
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Not really. This is very common with Quads. So much so, that they made an in-line capacitor to rectify the issue on older units.

    All new Quad augers come with Capacitor installed, to prevent any backward motion.
  12. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    Really,. a reverse polarity in the motor or in the circuitry ?
  13. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    mine had the capacitor but with anything else in life things go bad. the capacitor is used to give the auger that extra bit of electricity to move from a dead stop, but for mine to go bad after 25 mins running was a nightmare to find
  14. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    the problem with just replacing the capacitor is usually the motor has already accured damage by the time its noticed and the 14.00 part and a wasted trip turns into 178.00 for a new auger
  15. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    The chute is clear of plastic bags, pellet dust etc and the capaciator is present and doing it's job.
    If you get a chance doitonadime could you time the ON/OFF cycle. It should just be audible especially if the controller cover is removed.
    Thanks
  16. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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  17. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    ok I tried posting from my cell more of a hassle so oldbrit I timed it auger runs for 3 sec and stops for 9 sec my stove is running on medium
  18. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    On what setting?

    Here is a sheet to help diagnosis. Times for all heat settings are on the 1st page, on the left.

    Copy 2 of downloadfile.jpeg Copy 2 of downloadfile-1.jpeg
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Medium should be "On" for 6.1 seconds?
  20. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    I see that in your post but I timed my auger motion 8 times almost hit 4 seconds in the running postion once this is actual time revolving and I used my cell in stop watch mode,
  21. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    I know u cleaned everything but the snap disk next to auger has a reset button did u reset it , and the vaccum nozzle at auger is that clean when I ran some crappy pellets that clogged a few times on me
  22. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    dex I couldn't get anywhere near 6 sec is that including time to send then start Im assuming, its not like I have a laptop hooked up to the stove human error ????
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If I run the Quad tonight, I will verify my time. I haven't really timed mine. Always gone by this tech sheet.

    What are you getting on Low and/or High?

    Are you watching the actual auger motor?
  24. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    dex it was running on med so that's were I checked but there is the time my eyes c the auger move to starting the watchand stopping it so what I did was wait till the lock collar starting moving easier to c without un screwing top cover
  25. OldBrit

    OldBrit Member

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    I put a voltage meter on the vacuum switch, which is the same as the motor and timed it that way.
    The rotary switch on the controller doesn't seem to have 3 positions (it rotates 360 degrees) or any markings so I played with it until I got the longest time i.e. 9 ON 4 OFF.
    If I pick another position then it drops to more like 6 or 7 ON and I hear the fan speed drop slightly. To be honest I don't know what it was on originally (the stove I bought used a couple of years back). Maybe it was already on slow. Given what doingitonadime measured it sounds pretty close.

    My current thinking is that the auger/motor/speed etc is fine. Its possible that the issue I had yesterday was caused by poor electrical contacts on the vacauum switch, which caused an intermittent break in the motor circuit. When I jumpered the switch the poor connection could still exist giving me the false impression that I had eliminated that issue.

    I think I will try switching back to my regular hardwood pellets and see if the problem returns.

    At least I now know more about this damn stove than I ever really wanted to!

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