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Hampton GCI 60 problems

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by klieg, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. klieg

    klieg New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Something like this may have been posted before, but I'm too angry to search.

    We bought and had installed a Hampton GCI60 last August. It's been great, keeping the house nice and warm with little more than a weekly cleaning and on average, a bag of pellets per day. Coldest days this winter required two bags a day. Keeps 1500 sf of poorly constructed mid 1980's house toasty warm.

    It would, on occasion, fail to restart. Usually would occur over night after we turned down the thermostat, thus allowing the stove to cool off a bit before heat was called for. We could hear the feed auger grinding sometimes if we caught it, and a quick push of the on/off switch would cure the issue. If it happened when no one was around (or asleep), it would give an out-of-fuel error (flashing #3 on the control panel) I didn't think much of it, reset the stove, it would fire up and all was well. Did some googling and found someone (probably here) that had a similar problem and traced it to a poorly positioned ribbon cable. Got around to calling my installer who promptly came out to check things over. He discovered that I did, in fact, have a ribbon cable rubbing on the room fan, causing it to have worn through on one side. Bare wires, bare metal of fan, shorts happen. OK, fairly easy solution. He goes off promising to have word in the next day or so. This was last Thursday (March 14). Stove was still firing, although the feed auger motor was now making a whine. Figured it should be OK, dealer was ordering a new auger motor anyway. On Saturday, the feed auger ceases to move, pellets are not being fed, and the motor is emitting a horrible whine. I shut everything down, unplug the stove, and call my dealer, leaving a voice mail. Am forced to do what the pellet stove was supposed to free us from doing, ever again, turning on the oil fired furnace to provide heat (it still runs for hot water supply). Monday rolls around, haven't heard anything, call my dealer and am told the warranty paperwork was finally accepted by Regency and the parts were ordered, they'd call when in, should be a couple of days. Wednesday arrives, haven't heard anything, so I call dealer again. Am told that one of the parts might be back ordered, but no one at Regency seems to be able to tell for sure. Ask to have dealer comer out the next day (today) and make my stove be at least functional. He comes out, but can't do much, but at least we now know that the ribbon cable is the back ordered part. No one has any idea when it might be in. Local warehouse has nothing.

    Long and short, we spent a fair chunk of change on this stove and four tons of pellets that is a giant paperweight and we're wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem with this model and/or with Regency. Our dealer has been great so far, is probably just as frustrated as we am, but that doesn't change the fact that we have no working pellet stove and have had to burn oil to keep the house warm. Up until this past week (almost) we used about 8 gallons of oil per week. Since last Saturday, we have burned close to 25 gallons. Oil ain't cheap!


    Since this is decidedly and manufacturing defect (one zip tie would have held the ribbon cable safely away from the fan) and the manufacturer can't seem to correct the problem in a timely manner, what sort of legal recourse is there?

    Thanks for reading, we're new to the pellet stove world, so help is greatly appreciated.


    Anyone have one of these bloody ribbon cables lying around?

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  2. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Westchester, ny
    Same exact thing happened to me, except the first symptom of the ribbon cable fail was lights out on the daughter board. I could not see what was going on. Took 3 weeks to get the back ordered cable, but now we are up and running. Cost me 400 in fuel for those 3 weeks.

    Also, the lower motor fan is going to hell already. They ordered me a new one, but i wont have untl summer. It is under waranty though, and the noise from the bearing being whipped is sporadic only. The fan works fine mostly quiet and all good.

    The dealer wants to make things right, but that part is a bugaboo install problem everyone is having. Once he gets the part, he will install correctly, and you are good to go. If your blower fan is going, have the, order a new one of those as well.

    It sucks i know, but you will just have to be patient until more ribbons arrive.
  3. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Hi Klieg- yes its frustrating when a part is back ordered. Sounds like you at least got somewhat decent dealer support with your persistent input. Stoves are not perfect- they all have little quirks and growing pains, a lot of installers know about this issue, mostly by the same experience as you had. Its a good stove made by Sherwood Ind (Enviro), they have pretty good logistic support too. Good luck with yours. Will Spring ever get here?? I've burned about 3 tons so far, and a cord and a half of wood.
  4. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Northern Maryland
    I have a GC60, check your wiring harness, I just recently had the convection blower rubbing against the wiring harness, it took the insulation off the one wire, and ate through 4 of the stranded wires on the other. I had to cut out the bad sections, solder them, and then I put heat shrink tubing over top of that, and Back up and running. They only had one zip tie holding it back from the blower, now that thing is strapped so good, nothing will move the wires!
  5. klieg

    klieg New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    This is exactly what happened to mine. One zip tie would have solved the problem. My dealer said he had never seen this before, he's going to be looking at every one of these units he installs now though. It's such a simple problem.

    You would think if this has become a regular problem, Regency would A) fix it on all new stoves leaving the factory, and B) alert all their dealers of the issue so it can be corrected on existing stoves and C) have a massive supply of the affected part so problems in the field can be corrected quickly. This just seems to make sense.

    Thanks for the info and support. I really hope I don't have to wait three weeks for such a simple part that is apparently a known problem. My dealer grabbed my cable so he can try to find a suitable replacement locally. I'd go the cut and solder route if it wasn't a warranty situation (and I could pull my stove out far enough to access it, didn't opt for the rail kit so I can only move the thing about an inch before it starts rolling on the brick heath).
  6. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Hi klieg- glad to hear you have a seemingly proactive dealer- I'm not sure all dealers are aware of this problem yet- I know Enviro has been informed, they are usually pretty good to respond to a needed change. They aren't such a huge company (Sherwood Ind) that they can ignore an issue. When this stove series first came out, in order to get the quietest platform available (and most would agree they achieved their mark) they kinda went with a too small convection blower to handle heat dissipation on hi heat outputs with hot running pellets so that they were having thermo shutdowns on the stove and the blowers themselves. They responded with a new style blower pretty quickly in most people's opinions. I am biased toward the Enviros, but its been my experience that they are pretty solid. Any newer stove to the market will always have growing pains, the M55/GCI60 is no different. For the most part, its been a well received unit to the fleet. I just wanna know where's spring?? good luck.
  7. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Northern Maryland
    My problem was not with the ribbon cable, but with the actual wiring harness itself, But same problem where a few extra zip ties would of prevented this. The only reason I repaired it myself, is that stove just went out of warranty, and the new harness is 90 dollars. Total cost for me to repair this was 7 dollars worth of heat shrink tubing. Now If I had to replace the ribbon cable, then I would be in the same boat as you. I have looked over the interior of this stove, and some simple preventative measures could have been done at the factory. It would cost them nothing, to do a little better wiring management before the stove was crated and shipped!
  8. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    3,890
    Loc:
    Southcoast, MA
    The problem didn't exist until the convection motors were changed to the new EMB which has the larger diameter wheel. You solve one problem but create another. When I install these things now I remove the motor capacitor and wrap a new zip tie around the ribbon and the capacitor wires so that it won't be a problem in the future. You have to understand, Regency kinda lets anyone become a dealer...heck they made me one. Either way, all parts come from Enviro so I wouldn't be surprised the have to wait several weeks for something simple like that. You could always run down to Randolph MA and buy one outright from Russo or from someone on the net. Course, then you are paying more $$$
  9. klieg

    klieg New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Heard from my dealer today. He has found the cable and is going to be here tomorrow morning to install and the new feed motor. As frustrating as this has been, it should be over soon and I can relegate my oil boiler to just making hot water and not for heating the house. My stove has been great up until the past week + when it all went to hell. Cable management is such a simple thing to do, I put more time into routing cables in my PC than in actually installing the parts because I know what kind of difference it makes.

    Thanks again for the support and info. Very helpful indeed!
  10. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
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    1,512
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    By that dealer a beer or two to show your appreciation. From some of the stories here, he went above and beyond!
  11. klieg

    klieg New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    Stove is fixed! Burning pellets again and couldn't happier.
  12. Cheeks

    Cheeks New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Loc:
    MA
    We had a GCI60 installed months ago. First, there was a broken or missing bearing. it took weeks for the dealer to finally get the part and come back and install it.

    While they were doing this they noticed the door hinge was broken (it fell off and injured one of them). So now we're waiting weeks and weeks for this part to come in. Our door is in the middle of the living room floor.

    And like the initial post here, our stove does not always start up. If i turn it on and off when it seems to have issues, it will start almost immediately. But if I let it go, after about 15 minutes it shuts itself off with the #3 light blinking. Unused pellets overflow into the ash pan too.

    Despite it heating nicely I cannot recommend this pellet stove or the manufacturer. Why does it take a month to get a part? What is the inspection or quality control folks doing there? Maybe they don't have any.
  13. Cheeks

    Cheeks New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Loc:
    MA
    Update: Apparently there is a rod on the left side of the stove that adjusts the pressure in the box and it had moved. They reset it and marked it so I can check it again for future problems. Starts every time now, although it's been so cold it's just running continuously until i shut it down to clean it.

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