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Enviro Empress Stove Problems

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by seige101, Mar 25, 2008.

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  1. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Loc:
    Palmer, MA
    I have been recently having some feeding problems with my stove. I am able to hear the auger motor turn on, see the indicator light on the control board, yet pellets will not drop all of the time. For example on low setting the stove barely burns at all and occasionally goes out, after setting the auger trim to it's max setting and adjusting the damper position (pushing in slightly). On high setting i am only getting about 1/2 to 3/4 of the flame i used to, and for every 4 times the auger cycles it seems to only drop pellets about once.

    I took apart the hopper and thoroughly cleaned it out, took the cover off the auger it self, it was clean with no burs etc on it. The stove also got completely cleaned, i took it apart, cleaned everything inside. The stove pipe and clean out was also cleaned at this time. I took the access panel off and made a mark on the auger motor shaft and timed how long it took to make 1 complete turn and it was about 1 minute 25 seconds.

    Also when the blower motor is on high is making an awful racket lately, even after i cleaned it out.

    Thanks
    Tim

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  2. Philip

    Philip New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    I have not had a problem with pellets not feeding since I started using my Empress last December. You do know, I'm sure, that when the auger is empty it takes about three or four minutes of continuous feed before the pellets reach the top of the auger. The first time I turned my stove on, I thought the auger wasn't working because it didn't put pellets in the burn pot even after I held the feed button in for a whole minute! I thought surely that should be long enough, but it wasn't. I usually run it on level 1+. That's where the red light on the bottom is on and the auger trim is adjusted so the red light on the top is also on. Depending on the pellets being used the stove may go out if the heat level is set to 1 or what I call 1-. But it doesn't sound like that is your problem. I would have suggested that maybe something was in the auger keeping the pellets from reaching the top of the auger, but you said you took the auger cover off and found no obstruction. Sorry, I have no idea why your stove isn't feeding pellets like it used to.

    I think Enviro got a bad batch of blowers. It sounds to me like you need a new one. After about two months of use I had to replace the room air blower because of bad bearings. Even on low it was quite loud. Definitely not the whisper quiet it had been when I first got the stove. What surprised me was it went bad overnight. It was quiet when I went to bed one night and making a loud noise the next morning. I thought it was just dust and cat hair (we have two long-haired Maine Coon cats) but the blower was still loud after taking it out of the stove and blowing it out with compressed air. The dealer I bought the stove from shipped a new one to me but one of the electrical terminals was broken clean off. I managed to pull up enough wire to reattach it to the terminal which I then attached to the plastic using JB Weld. It's working great now and whisper quiet again.
  3. fletchtb

    fletchtb New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Fletcher, Vermont
    I was having the same problem with my empress several weeks ago. In talking to my dealer, they suggested I really clean out the back section of the stove (blower motors, etc...). I was pretty sure everything was clean back there, but I decided to give it another look and make sure. Everything was pretty spotless back there. I was reading the troubleshooting guide in the manual and they suggest making sure the tube from the vacuum switch was clear as well as the barb that the tube connects to on the exhaust pipe. Everything was clear and still no change to the amount of pellets being dropped. The manual then suggests bypassing the vacuum switch, which I did and it made no difference. Even without by passing the switch, I could hear it opening and closing as I turned the stove on and off.

    In the end it ended up being that auger motor was on its way out. By the end of my troubleshooting, the motor had completely died and I had to buy a new one since my stove was not under warranty. The motor was about $115 and instantly resolved the problem.

    This is my second season with my stove, but I run it on high almost all winter long, which is why I think the auger motor went so quickly.

    Hope this helps.
  4. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Loc:
    Palmer, MA
    Thanks for the responses guys. It is taking about 4+ minutes to manually prime the auger after it has ran out so i guess thats on par with you guys.

    I have the auger trim set the same as you phill, lower red light plus top light on i believe that is the max setting for that. I haven't been able to run the stove on the standard or lower setting no matter what brand of pellet i have tried. Upon reading your suggestions, i checked my vacuum switch and the hoses everything seems good, even tried bypassing it temporarily, same result. I did completely clean everything in the back of the stove using compressed air and a vacuum. I took the wires off the auger motor and hooked them up to a volt meter it was reading 119 +/- volts so no issues with it not getting enough power. So i am thinking the auger motor is fubar.

    Any idea how long these normally last? Only burned just over 3 tons of pellets in the stove so far, other than this little mishap recently i am very happy with it.

    One problem i bought my stove from a dealer who went out of business last april/may and there is no other local dealer in the area. Enviro did finally e-mail me back some other dealers semi near me and i will be calling to pick their brain soon.

    Thanks

    Tim
  5. fletchtb

    fletchtb New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Loc:
    Fletcher, Vermont
    In talking to several people at my dealer, they all said that the motors should last 10 to 20 years.

    Mine lasted 1.5 seasons. I do run my stove on 4 or 5 24-hours a day all winter long, and they thought that would explain the early burn out. They also asked me if I let the stove run until it ran out of pellets, and they suggested that might also contribute to the motor failing sooner.

    I know my stove that I bought in 2006 only hada 1 year warranty on the electric parts, but I believe the stoves they are selling now have a two year warranty. I hope you are covered.

    Ideally, I would be happy if the motor lasted 2+ year, but it would still be worth it to me if I had to replace it annually compared to heating with propane.
  6. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    553
    Loc:
    Palmer, MA
    Well a little update i think i fixed the problem. It was the auger motor but i don't think it's bad. I took the motor out of the stove, took it and the gear casing apart, cleaned and oiled the bearings and threw some fresh grease in the gear casing. The factory grease was very dirty and kinda dried out in spots. Seems to be working for now the stove has been cranking away on high for the past few hours and the feedings it the best it's been in weeks and i would almost say better than since i first bought the stove.

    Upon my further testing i found out that the motor wasn't actually turning each and every time it was turned on, it was sometimes binding up for a few seconds, or even sometimes not turning at all for the given cycle by the control board. Thats what lead me to tear it apart. If you experience any problems i would suggest cleaning it as i have.

    If i can't get at least 2 seasons out of a motor i would be a little disappointed, but like you said it's still cheaper than heating with other means. As far as your dealer suggesting that letting the stove run out of pellets, personally i think he is full of it. That just doesn't make any sense.

    I'll post back here in a couple days if everything keeps working, or if it doesn't because i will be looking for a new motor!

    Tim
  7. mnoack

    mnoack New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    maine
    I'm having the same problem. After heating the house through January & February on just the pellet stove - 70 degrees plus unless the outside temp dropped below 15 degrees, I am getting very little heat now because the stove is not dropping pellets. I had removed the panels & cleaned the exaust vents a couple weeks ago, but I did everything again last night. I also emptied the hopper & watched the auger with only a small amount of pellets in it. It misses frequently, but is especially bad at higher heat settings. yesterday, with the stove set all day, & the previous night at manual 5, I burned only half a bag of pelltes & the indoor temp only reached 67 with an outdoor temp of close to 50. This stove was new in early January. I had to replace the convection fan immediately & I have burned just short of 3 tons of pellets total. This is not a compression issue. the stove stays on - never goes to an error condition. It just doesn't drop enough pellets. the interesting this is, that if you push in the draft, you still get the lazy flame, & the stove still soots up badly, even though you get no heat!
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