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Help with Breckwell P24I, Blinking #2

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mjf17, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    Upstate New York
    Hey everyone,
    I'm relatively new to pellet stoves, compared to a lot of you that post regularly here. I have a Breckwell P24I that was installed right after Thanksgiving. It was a used one that was cleaned and installed by a local company here, so should be no issues there. The flue is brand new and was installed brand new when the insert was installed. They got everything up and running and things seemed to be ok. However, I noticed that the fire would occasionally go out. I thought it was because the pellets stopped feeding or maybe I did something wrong. Then I started to notice the blinking #2. I didn't get a manual with the stove since it was new, so I looked it up online and found that a blinking #2 means some kind of air flow issue and it gives some things to check and possible causes.

    So, here's what I've done so far. I've kept the stove as clean as possible. For a while I thought it was just because things were really dusty so (not knowing any better) I just kept cleaning it. After I got the manual, I found the 3 doors that I could open, so I got those open and vacuumed and cleaned (there wasn't much ash in there, but I figured just clean it anyway). I also try to look and see to make sure the holes in the burn pot are clear, and when there is a flame, it is pretty good.

    After reading some posts on the boards here, I've learned that the glass in the door does not have a gasket on the bottom edge so that air can flow into the stove. Before I read about this, I did notice that there was a very distinct pattern of ash on the glass. About one third on the right remained clear while the other two-thirds on the left got dirty very quickly. While I could sustain a flame for 12 or even 18 hours, the glass would get very ash-y after a couple hours. After I read about the air flow under the bottom edge of the glass, I noticed that the dirty glass coincided exactly with some caked on ash blocking the edge of the glass. So I tried to clean it up a little to assist airflow into the stove. I thought this might help whatever airflow problem was causing the stove to go out in the middle of the night, or after 8-10hrs.

    After I did the cleaning, now I'm not even able to get the stove past the startup stage. I can get a good flame in the burn pot, but the stove won't kick in. After pressing power, the combustion blower goes on. But after about a minute, it just goes off and blinks #2. In the past, I've been able to just press power again and after once or twice, the stove would "catch" and would eventually get into the regular feed/burn pattern. But now, it just won't catch.

    Ok, that was a mouthful, but I've been trying to struggle with this to see if I could figure out what I'm doing wrong. Do I need to change the gasket around the glass? Do I need to change the gasket around the door? Did I do something wrong by cleaning out the gunk underneath the glass? Is there anything else I can do to troubleshoot the root cause?

    If anyone has any ideas, I'm kind of at the end of my rope. Help!

    Mike

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  2. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    What does your exhaust consist of. Tell me every part, length, and diameter.

    Is the door gasket in good shape and what about the two side windows?

    Check the little hole on the upper left corner of the back firewall. is it clear? Do not shop vac it.

    Eric
  3. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    P.S. Welcome to the board

    Eric
  4. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    Upstate New York
    Eric,
    Thanks for the quick reply. ok.

    Exhaust....I don't know for sure as far as lengths and diameters. If I look behind the stove (I haven't tried to unscrew and take apart the panels that surround the stove) but I can see that it's a silver flexible tubing that goes from the back of the stove up through the flue. As far as length, are you talking about the total length of the chimney? The stove is on the 1st floor and we have a 2 story house, so the chimney would be in that 2-story range (maybe 25-ish feet?)

    As far as the square in the firewall, I see that in the manual and I've read references to it on the boards here. But I just can't find it. Is it approx in the place that is shown on the picture in the manual? Or could it be somewhere else on the firewall? I tried to look for it and basically have tried to avoid vacuuming it.

    As far as the door gasket, how can I tell if it's in good shape? The rope is not flexible, it's pretty hard. It's not brittle, it doesn't break or crumble at all. But it's definitely not flexible. It looks like it's intact, but not sure how I can check otherwise. The two side windows pretty much get totally ashed up when the stove does run. In fact I stuck my head in yesterday to look at the two side windows from the inside, specifically to look at the gaskets. They look ok, I guess. They're not totally white, but then again, the stove is definitely not new.

    Does any of this help at all?

    Mike
  5. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Your venting should have been done with 4" diameter flex. Not 3" diameter. if there is a good kink or blockage in it, it will trip the sensor. I would call the installer in the morning and see what they say. If they are worth their weight in beer they will come right out to make the exhaust work.

    In your second paragraph. It is a small round hole approx. 1/4". It needs to be clear. If you can get behind your stove it will be a red hose in an older stove and blue in a newer stove it goes to a round disk with 2 electric wires. Disconnect the hose from the disk and blow into the hose. This should clear it if it is blocked. That is the negative pressure switch. The switch will only go bad if "you" break it and if it is broke you will know in the first few minutes of lighting your stove. It will cause a number 2 to flash. Now if that sensor trips by the door being open or a broken weld inside the stove it will flash a #2 when it is tripped. it will also be tripped if the exhaust has a blockage.

    Just by what you said I would say it is an exhaust issue. If not I would look to a broken/bad weld inside the stove. Very few people give up a "good" used stove. 90% of the used stove I take in are worth scrap pricing and not fit for resale.

    Make sure your door has a tight seal from the stove body to the door gasket. When the door is closed try to wiggle the door. It should be tight to the stove body.



    Eric
  6. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    If you are sure the flue is clean and a good run
    and all combustion chambers are clear or depree and or Birds
    ash pan and door are sealed

    then

    it could be something as simple as a bad vacuum switch hose or kinked
    or the port the hose is connected to at the combustion chamber is pluged up.
    easy test is to pull the hose off the vacuum switch and blow on it to clear it
    you could also run the stove for a few days with the two wires going to the vacuum switch jumped together and see of your problem of the auger not feeding all the time
  7. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    I got behind the stove (sort of). I think I found the disk with the 2 electrical wires to it. But I don't see any hose connected to the disk. The disk is just flush against the back of the stove. The other side (the face inside the stove) is not the actual firewall. If the back of the firewall is flat, then where this disk is mounted is on the left angled piece. In the manual, it's basically above where Door #1 is. It could be that I'm not looking at the correct disk with 2 electrical wires. But if I look to where the square should be based on the picture in the manual, on the back of the stove opposite that part just looks to have some fluffy insulation there. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    The venting is 4" diameter flex and it looks pretty straight and smooth. no kinks, and looks brand new (which it is).
  8. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    Here's a picture of what I'm looking at.

    Attached Files:

  9. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I will look into it but from the pics I see you do have an old stove. That looks like the high temp thermo disk. The air switch should be in the center of the back of the insert. What year is the stove? I have seen these old units but never worked on them to give advise. I would talk to who you got the unit from. It might be something simple but I know Breckwell had an issue with the analog boards and did offer an upgrade kit to the digital board.

    Here is the manual. http://breckwell.com/database/P241996OwnersManual-Net_2.pdf

    Eric
  10. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    I checked the sticker, the stove has a February 1991 date on it. Thanks for the link to the manual, it's much closer to my stove than the current P24I manual that I pulled from the Breckwell site.

    I haven't had a chance yet to get that far behind the stove to look at the Air Switch. I can't see it as it is right now....can I just pull the stove out?

    As far as the control board, the stove came with the analog control board. But they changed it to the digital control board. They also had to put a new auger motor in as well as a new auger. So between all the things they had to change, many of the parts in the stove are actually new.

    So if I can get to the Air Switch, is there still a hose there that I should be checking for blockage? If the Air Switch is in fact broken, is that something easy that I can replace on my own, or so I need to call someone in to do it?

    Mike
  11. mgreenage1

    mgreenage1 New Member

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    Hello,
    This is my 1st post here, so I hope I can be of some assistance to you and maybe others in the future. I have a Breckwell P22 Charm stove and it was made in 1994 and bought new in 1995. On my Breckwell, the glass gasket encompasses all 4 sides. I know and realize that we are talking about two different stoves here, but I'm not totally sure that Breckwell was utilizing or even had a "airwash" at that time for any of their models. Again, I'm just basing this off of my stove experience and maybe some of Breckwell's stoves from that period did incorporate this design, I dont know.
    Maybe you could replace the window gasket(not much in way of expense, especially if it works) going all the way around and see what happens. Since it seems like this is a pressure issue, this may help.
    Also, to be absolutely certain, maybe give Breckwell a call and ask if indeed the bottom of the glass should or should not include any gasket. Anyways, just a thought and different observation that might work and help or maybe the other posts you reference are correct for your stove.

    Take Care

    Mark
  12. mjf17

    mjf17 New Member

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    Ok, is this the air switch? (see pic below) I think I found it. I wasn't able to disconnect the hose, but it seemed to be ok. I mean it wasn't brittle at all. It seemed flexible and, while dirty on the outside, appeared to be in decent shape.

    With this older P24I model, is it possible that I damaged the air switch? At one point, I did open up the 3 doors in the combustion chamber to try and vacuum stuff out of there. With this older model, I don't have that 1/4" square on the rear firewall. Is the air switch connected to one of the chambers behind the doors?

    I tried lighting the stove again this morning and failed. I tried to time how long the combustion fan stays on and it stays on 30 sec and then shuts off. I'd turn it back and 30 sec later, shuts off. After a few minutes (5 or 6 times) I just gave up and let the fire (a nice fire by the way) die out on its own.

    Does this sound like a bad air switch? Or could this still point at a gasket issue? I'm at a loss.... If is it the air switch, on this older model P24I, is changing out the air switch something I can do myself? Or should I get someone in to do it?

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