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Here was a new pellet stove problem

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by GVA, Oct 24, 2006.

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  1. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    This sent me off of the forum for several hours. While I was reading the threads tonite all of a sudden my stove started to make that squealing noise that someone had posted about not to long ago and it sounded like bearings..... It was coming from the auger area.... Since I have my feed motor protected by a clutch now I could here the detents popping in and out (protecting my motor) Starting to get baffled I disconnected the chain and found that I couldn't turn the auger by hand.......... So I decided to scoop out the hopper of pellets and back into the partial bag that I had nearby... As I got further down in the hopper I noticed a TREMENDOUS amount of fines and some swollen pellets..... One can usually tell when a bad bag is going into the hopper but somehow this one eluded me...... It took about an hour to run out the auger and put a shop vac blowing through the feed throat to blow out the dust inside the auger that was helping to hold back the pellets from being pushed forward into the burnpot. After this the Auger spun free I put a fresh bag of pellets problem solved...... Just wondering if this could have been the cause of my feed motors failing in the past?
    Harry have you ever seen this?
    Anyone ever seen this, or had a similar situation?
    Just wondering :smirk:

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  2. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Ive seen an auger clogged or stopped by many things....nails, screws, matchbox car, shock absorber bolts....Ive never seen one clogged by fines, but I guess its possible. If there were that many fines also, GVA, Id seriously check the fines container, which is held on by that wingnut in the back of the stove...you might find it has alot of stuff in it, and I HAVE seen a stove stop due to this.....Ive seen this chanber so packed with fines that when you take the cover off, the sawdust stays inside...packed inside...this will cause the paddle to jam, and it wont feed. Fines usually cause ratholing in the hopper...basically creating a matrix which holds the pellets in place, not allowing gravity to to its job. As for swollen pellets and chunks...that'll interfere with pellet flow in a big way as well.
    Fines, huh? Since you are in my state, I must wonder what the brand of pellets is which you are burning. By the way, a new brand of pellets being made in Rhode Island now too! Clear bag....good to check for fines. Sadly, I dont like the pellets....large, sticky, dont seem to be compressed well....wont name the brand, but hope they get their act together....Im guessing they are still fine-tuning their process.
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I checked the slide plate area and found maybe an 1/8" in there but vacuumed it out anyway.
    I've never seen this many fines before there must have been a big slug of them in the bag somewhere, about 2 cups worth at the feed opening along with about a dozen swollen pellets. I tossed the hoppers worth of pellets and started with a new bag. The pellets were Northern.
  4. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    maybe they got wet at one time or another....that'll create huge amounts of fines....wont necessarily see the fines when you dump the bag in either. Never heard anything good or bad about Northern Pellets either. Good Luck!
  5. Toni9759

    Toni9759 New Member

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    I bought a new pellet stove.I've only used it for about a month and the other day it started making this squealing noise that will drive you crazy.What is that noise and how do i fix it?
  6. South of Boston

    South of Boston Member

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    We need more details on stove, make, model, how many uses? where the squealing might be coming from. Fan. Auger etc.
  7. newf lover

    newf lover Minister of Fire

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    Toni9759, do you by chance own a Harman P68? I am currently waiting for a part to take care of my squeaking. It only squeaks when the pellets are being fed. sounds like nails on a chalkboard. It's lovely. I was told it was a bearing. I would be curious if you have the same model and if this is going to be a widespread problem on the new P68s. Hopefully not.
  8. bufbillsball

    bufbillsball New Member

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    I have a P68 (great stove so far), but today it started to squeal. I have only used ita few months. Did your dealer say it was a bearing? If so, for where? Thanks
  9. Mr Fixit

    Mr Fixit New Member

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    Getting back to the fines...
    Yes I have seen the fines pack into auger chutes like cement. Stops the auger motor dead. In every case it was because of inferior quality softwood pellets, they tend to break down easier than hardwoods, just thru normal handling. You should watch that and let your hopper run empty every week or so and clean it out before it causes problems.
  10. newf lover

    newf lover Minister of Fire

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    bufbillsball- It turned out not to be a bushing/bearing. It continued to squeak, and after several trips to my house, they took the auger out, grinded the crap out of it, and put it back in. Has been fine since. I don't think it would work for you though. Mine did it right out of the box. It sounds like yours was OK for a few months. If you did a thorough cleaning, scraped near the bottom of the burnpot to make sure there's no carbon buildup there, vacuumed out the hopper in case there's a buildup of fines on the slideplate, I would just call your dealer.
  11. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    My pellet burner starts squealing if I do not vacuum the fines out of the pellet hopper and the top of the slide plate after each ton or so used.
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