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Cleaned Auger - Strange Discovery - Happy Ending

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by wilbilt, Nov 29, 2008.

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  1. wilbilt

    wilbilt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    Messages:
    243
    Loc:
    Nor Cal
    So, I have been dealing with a bad batch of pellets with lots of fines and decided to clean out my auger today.

    I shut the stove down and emptied the pellets that were left in the hopper into 3 coffee cans. There were a ton of fines down in the auger, so I vacuumed it out.

    After cleaning it, I decided to check it for excessive play in the bushings, as this is an old stove. I noticed I could rotate it nearly 1/4 turn in one direction with no resistance other than the weight of the motor. I could turn the auger and lift the motor up, and then release it and it would drop back down. Thump.

    Assuming the mounting bolts had fallen out, I removed the control panel and peered through the opening with a flashlight. Sure enough, the motor was not attached to anything but the auger shaft, and the corner of the gearbox was resting on the bottom of the stove. Hmm.

    I laboriously wormed into the space between the stove and the wall on the other side and removed the panel. I looked inside for the missing mounting bolts. There weren't any. I looked for the mounting bracket that such bolts would have fallen out of. There isn't one. There never was.

    I am assuming that leaving the motor free to lift itself allows it to generate the torque needed to split long pellets. It is a 12V motor, as is everything else in this stove. It appear the motor originally rested on the corner of the (plastic) fan housing, which kept it off the bottom of the stove. Over time, the fan housing has a notch worn in it from the motor, allowing the motor to sit on the sheet metal bottom of the stove.

    A light bulb went off in my head, thinking that if I put some kind of cushion between the motor and the sheetmetal, it might quiet things down a bit. I have been thinking for the past 2 seasons that the auger seemed a bit noisy, but attributed it to age. I really don't have anything to compare it to, as this is my first stove, and I don't know anyone else with one. I don't frequent stove shops, lest I be tempted by those shiny, colorful Thelins. ;)

    So, out to the shop for that piece of 1"x2"x1/8" foam rubber with the self-adhesive backing. I found it instantly (a True Miracle if there ever was one) and attached it to the bottom of the stove under the motor.

    After buttoning everything up, I filled the hopper with good pellets from last month, and started it up to prime the auger. I pressed the button. Damn. The auger isn't working, I must have knocked a wire loose.

    Then pellets started falling into the burn pot, plink plink plink. The auger is now so quiet I cannot even hear it run! I had wondered why the green LED on the panel would come on when the auger ran, because it was easily audible across the room.

    Now I hope I will be able to sleep without that regular "Grrrr" noise.

    I really wish I could find a service manual for this stove. It never stop surprising me. :)

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