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Englander 25-PDV Upper Auger Jams Daily

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by BenM, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I have experienced this problem with three different brands of pellets, including two that had worked fine last season. The pellets look bad in the picture because they have been ground into a big clump by the auger. When I put them in the hopper, they are smooth and pretty uniform in size, with very little fines in the bag.

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  2. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    I considered trying to smooth it out, but it is very difficult to access the inside of the auger tube, especially the end of the tube where the pellets tend to clump. I will try to find the extension shaft for my dremel and see if I can reach it with that. I don't recall ever seeing Dry Moly Spray, is there a brand to look for?
  3. Ncountry

    Ncountry Member

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    Note ....I have no clue how your system works....Is it possible for 1 auger to turn and not the other? The 1st thing that came to mind was that the augers were out of time. lower auger does not turn causing upper auger to build up and bind the system? May not even be a possibility , just throwing it out there.
  4. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    The bottom auger turns constantly, and the upper one cycles on and off to regulate the fuel flow. Apparently the duty cycle of the upper auger depends on the output setting on the control panel. The augers are driven by independent motors, and there isn't any mention of timing in the auger installation/alignment procedure, so I don't think it's a timing issue. I will ask about that the next time I call tech support.
  5. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    That's a good point. If there is a problem causing the lower auger to intermittently stop, it would cause a jamb. If the lower auger then started running again only the jambed upper auger would be left as evidence.
  6. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    Harvey has a point, if the lower auger stops, the upper doesn't know this and it will keep feeding until it gets impacted, the auger motor has a tremendous amount of torque so it would literally hammer the fuel to the front of the auger.

    if you want to discuss it i'll be in the office monday (we're shut down for new years day on tuesday and reopen on wednesday and back on a regular schedule for the rest of the season. PM me a daytime phone number and i'll work in a call to you to go over this when i get back in my office.
  7. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    This is why I own and love my Englander.....Where else are you going to find a senior (and I don't mean old) tech ask you for your # so he can call you?

    Owning an Englander.....~$1000
    Maintenance on an englander.....~minimal
    Having the support at your fingertips to do anything needed.....PRICELESS!

    Great job as usual Mike.
    slvrblkk likes this.
  8. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    real good point,... my lower auger started doing that intermittently before I replace it...
  9. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    any news? havent heard from the OP in a bit, hopefully he will fill us in on progress, my offer still stands , PM me a phone number and i'll try to give you a ring tomorrow.
    Shaw520 likes this.
  10. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    I'm still here and still having issues. I haven't figured out how to PM you yet, but I will today. As an update, after I freed the first jam with the new auger, it actually ran for 1.5 days with out a jam. I was hoping it had somehow been resolved, but woke to a cold house again this morning.

    If the lower auger was stopping and causing the upper to jam, then restarting, I would think I would find unburned pellets in the firepot at least sometimes, because if the lower auger stopped long enough for the upper auger to jam, I would expect the fire to go out.

    At any rate, I will definitely take you up on the offer for help, and I'll log back in this afternoon to figure out the PM

    Thanks again to everybody, and please keep the suggestions coming.
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    look over to the left of the screen where you see the name of the person who posted below the name you will see "start a conversation" click that and then put in the screen name of the person you intend to talk to on a PM. this works outside of view so you can post a phone number without it being publicly viewed. i do this a lot with folks who have my stoves so i can help them.

    im going to PM you so you will have a way to reply
  12. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I sent you a PM. I'll update the thread with the outcome so others can hopefully benefit.
  13. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    What was it that you replaced- the lower auger motor? And how did you know it was stopping intermittently?
  14. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    I had two occasions where my stove quit unexplained,... then I happen to catch (visually) the lower auger stop during operation,.. I changed out the lower auger motor,.. problem solved.
  15. imacman

    imacman Guest

    That is not likely in this situation....the OP has had 2 new auger motors recently sent by Englander and installed in his stove. If the auger is running intermittently, then I'd suspect electrical connections or auger interference in the auger tube.
  16. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    if he's replaced both motors then I would agree.
  17. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Electrical problem w/ auger can be diagnosed by disconnecting the power leads to the lower auger, and making a power "test" cord out of an old lamp cord. Connect to lower motor (120 vac, so properly insulated, of course!!), plug it in and observe the auger....it should run constantly. Then start up stove and observe.
  18. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    Good approach. The other possibile cause that occurs to me is that it could be a bad triac on the control board
  19. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    Just as an update, I talked to Mike this morning. He was very helpful, and gave me some ideas to check on the next time it jams. Also, yesterday I swapped my upper auger motor onto the lower auger since I know it is good, and I installed the original motor back onto the upper auger. It had been replaced because the shaft was damaged when the auger bound up and broke, but I was able to clean it up with a file enough to install it on the upper auger.

    So far, it has been running for a day and a half since I swapped the motors; it went out once, but didn't bind and was able to restart on its own. If it continues overnight tonight, I will be inclined to declare it solved. If it does go out again, I will make a test lead to bypass the control board as imacman suggested.

    Thanks to everybody for the great suggestions, and I'll keep you posted.
  20. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Damn!! A+ to Mike Holton for going above and beyond the call.

    My used 25pdvc is running very well (thanks to the knowledge from folk here I must say) so I don't know when my next Pellet stove purchase will be.... but it will be an Englander.
  21. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Keep us posted.
  22. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    Well, after 2 days it jammed up again. I pulled the lower auger as Mike suggested and looked up the vertical drop chute between the upper and lower feed tubes. It was completely jammed with pellets, which Mike said indicates that the lower auger had stopped.

    I followed imacman's suggestion and made a power cable to bypass the control board to power the lower auger motor. So far it is running, but it has fooled me before. Unfortunately, I have to leave town for three weeks, so hopefully it will continue to work for my wife until I can return to address it. I will continue to update the thread, but don't expect much activity for the next three weeks.
  23. NEStoveOwner

    NEStoveOwner Member

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    I have seen the Englander motors fail intermittently. One time i had a failure because of poor crimping on the male spade. When it would heat up the connection between the spade and the winding wire would cause intermittent connection. As part of motor maintenance i would solder it. I have also seen the windings short out. When the stove gets up to temp the length of winding gets "shortened" through the short therefore not delivering the torque it needs to drive the auger. I just had MK motor failure this week on the lower auger. Stove runs for an hour or so and than the lower auger will pause when the tip of the spiral is at about 5 oclock. It will sometimes resume spinning. If it waits too long to resume and pellets in the pot have died out it will keep dumping pellets into the burn pot.

    See my motor analysis here:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/englander-auger-motor-failure-and-replacement.30454/
  24. BenM

    BenM New Member

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    Thanks for the info.
    An interesting note is that the replacement motors I got from Englander were Gleason Avery. I noticed when installing them that they were missing some of the raised bosses the original motors had, and the sealing gasket is distinctive. Unfortunately, the first GA motor that I received is the one that stripped out the gearbox the first time the auger jammed, so I am running one of the originals along with one of the GA motors. I will have my wife swap them this weekend so the GA motor will be on the continuously-running lower auger. One more item I noticed is that the motor shaft on the GA motor is much harder than the original. My remaining functional original motor's shaft is practically severed because it gets damaged a bit more each time the auger binds. I have been filing it smooth to reinstall it, and tried to do the same to the GA motor and instantly discovered that its shaft is hardened. Next time I'm home, I will disassemble the gearbox to find out what gave out on the GA motor and post some pictures.
  25. imacman

    imacman Guest

    So, can we assume that the direct wired lower auger is continuing to run w/o any jams?

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