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  1. buckscrape

    buckscrape Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    Townsend (North Central MA)
    I am in the fact finding stage, prior to purchasing in a few weeks, and the question I have because of talking to a couple of guys working with me that own stoves is that on occasion they have poor hopper feed, one owns a Harman and the other a St. Croix. Do any of you have this problem and is it just normal?

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  2. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
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    Loc:
    Hagerstown, MD
    Poor hopper feed in what way? I have never had any issues with my hopper feeding on my Harman P-68
  3. buckscrape

    buckscrape Member

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    Loc:
    Townsend (North Central MA)
    I guess when the hopper gets on the lower side they have to put there hands in to force more pellets down, I am looking at the Harman Accentra and just don't want problems if I can avoid it especially for what you pay for these things. The guy with the Harman said he took a sanding wheel with buff wheel attached to make smoother surfaces and that seemed to help.

    Now me looking at these stoves find it hard to believe there would be a problem with the angles on the inside of the hopper.
  4. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Messages:
    427
    Loc:
    Bronx, NY
    On my Advance the pellets tend to sit on the sides a little, I just push them down to the middle It never got to the point that they sat there and the stove went out, and I try not to let the hopper get that low.
  5. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    Most stoves have this problem where the last 5 -10 pounds to not fall down into the auger.
    this is because stove designers are dumb asses and dont make the taper sharp enough.
  6. JoeS

    JoeS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    482
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I agree, even on my Mt. Vernon I need to manually push the pellets to the back of the hopper but I have never had a feed problem.
  7. JimmyD

    JimmyD New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Part of the charm of a pellet stove is fussing with the pellets and the hopper. YMMV.

    Jim
  8. MSmith66

    MSmith66 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    350
    Loc:
    Central NY
    An easy fix for that is to empty the hopper and take a sheet of wax paper and rud the hopper wall with it. This helps the pellets to move down on the wax walls a lot easier. :)
  9. StoveMiser

    StoveMiser New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
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    Loc:
    Western NY
    I've tried the waxpaper. It seems to help
  10. Tailrace

    Tailrace New Member

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    Loc:
    Bullville NY
    Yes it is...along with cleaning the stove!!!
    BTW, a little powdered graphite sprinkled on the angled walls of the hopper will help greatly.
  11. StoveMiser

    StoveMiser New Member

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    Loc:
    Western NY
    The graphite doesnt cause any issues with the auger?
  12. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA

    Easy Rod, EASY Rod!


    Wait until you see the hopper on the 25-EP.
  13. syohannan

    syohannan New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    eastern PA
    I have an england pellet stove , model # 25-pdv (I think this is it cause there are 2 more 3's on there, but this is the first) and I have this same problem in a major way. It actually causes the stove to shut off ever couple of hours. At first it wasn't staying lit at all, it would shut off after the blower kicked in on start up, so we had someone come look at it, which, as I am sure you all know it is close to impossible to find someone to actually fix these things, and there was an issue with the "low fuel feed" preset so he adjusted that down to "1" and it stayed lit for about an hour while he was here. Thinking the problem was fixed we adjusted the setting to what we wanted and left it alone. It is in my basement so I don't know what is going on unless I go down there, so when I went to check on it later that night it was off again. I did not want to call the repair guy to come back since he is about 25 miles away and charged us a pretty penny to come here the first time, so spent a few days of tinkering with the 3 preset buttons on the bottom of the control panel with no luck. One night I was trying to get it lit after an unwanted shutdown and noticed it was not feeding pellets to the burn pot at all during start-up. I check a few things and could not figure out why it would just stop feeding like that, so I emptied the hopper completely to make sure the top auger was still turning. As soon as I started scooping pellets out of the hopper and they shifted around a bit, it started feeding again. I continued to empty to hopper and let the pellets that were already in the top auger feed through till the whole system was empty, filled the hopper back up and everything was fine. It was feeding pellets to the burn pot no problem, so I made the guess that the problem is that the pellets are just getting kinda stuck in the hopper and not falling down into the top auger. To test this theory, when I was home one day I went down there every hour or so, opened the hopper and pushed the pellets down and moved them around a bit, and what do you know, it didn't shut off once. Now if I had the time, or felt like walking down my basement steps every couple hours, I guess this would be fine, but I don't. Besides, even though I rent here and didn't pay for this thing, I am sure my landlord didn't shell out all that cash so someone could go and play with the pellets every so often.
    I read on this post about wax paper and graphite but, I am not sure that is really the issue here. i don't think that it is that the pellets are not sliding down, I think that maybe what is happening is that the auger is sort of boring out a small cavity at the bottom of the pile and the tension of the pellets above are holding themselves up (not one good analogy comes to mind) and making a small pocket of space/air underneath the pile. I thought about taking something heavy, that would be big enough not to get caught in the auger and placing it on top of the pile of pellets. I feel like this would be just enough weight to keep things moving into the auger and not getting held up, but in the manual it says not to operate the unit with the hopper door open. I have had the door open for shot periods of time to push the pellets down but wasn't sure if it was safe to have it open for longer.
    Can anyone help? I mean, this thing doesn't do such a great job at heating this place to begin with, but when it is turning off all the time it really does nothing. Is there anyone who has heard of a hopper feed problem this bad, and if so do you have any suggestions? Is it safe to leave the hopper door open for long periods of time? I realize you run the risk of foreign object falling in there, but I can't imagine that would happen in my basement. My concern is if there is any fire dangers caused by leaving the door open unattended.
    If you have any answers I would appreciate them.

    thanks.
  14. staplebox

    staplebox Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I am sure that those with more knowledge will come along to help you out but I will offer what I know...

    Some things to check are -

    The length of your pellets. If you have a batch that is long, around 2 inches or longer, they will bridge across the bottom of the hopper.
    I have a slightly different model stove but you may also have an adjustable plate at the bottom of the hopper that you can open a bit, to let more pellets through.
    A Low Feed Rate of 1 is just too low. Mine came set at 6 from the factory and I can't run it any lower than 4.
    Next time your hopper is empty you can sand the sides of the hopper with steel wool or a sanding pad to make the pellets slide better. Then you can try the wax paper or graphite.

    You don't need to pay someone to come fix this stove. Englander staff regularly read and post to this board and they have service folks available by phone to help you properly adjust the stove if you have the desire and some basic mechanical skills.
  15. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    Southern Maine

    LOL I agree Jim lol...
  16. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    no stove....

    graphite actually is good for the auger. Helps to keep squeels down in alot of stoves. I havent had the sqeek problem but some have here and they use graphite. Lubes it right up...
  17. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    dowingtownPA

    Hi,

    How about that snow and Ice? Got a bit in Reading....

    Ok I am guessing you have an Englander Stove, So first off never leave the hopper lid open, make sure that it is latched closed. Also about the lid, does the fiberglass gasket look in good shape? (its on the top of the stove)

    Your weight idea is interesting, maybe something like a small barbell weight would work so you could keep the lid closed, but first I would inspect the gasket to be sure of its condition.

    There is two auger motors in that stove, the bottom one turns all the time, the top one that you can see when the hopper is empty turns intermittently depending on what you have the heat set for. It will stop turning if the front door is opened, .. speaking of which that is another gasket you need to inspect.

    Another thing to check is your pellets, if they are long they can bridge is what they call it stopping the feed. If that seems to be the problem I picked up some Fireside Ultra pellets from HD although I am not 100% thrilled with them they are the shortest pellets that I have tried, and no bridging.

    I have the 25-PDVC also when it gets low the pellets hang on the edge, I just fill it 2-3 times a day and have no problems...

    Because you say that the stove is not yours you may want to check out the manuel on it, and there is a whole bunch of info on keeping it running smooth. Link Below.

    http://www.englandsstoveworks.com/englander_.html

    Also you might want to just start a new topic as the Englander stove guy will catch it and get you going.
  18. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    Upstate, SC
    I just want to emphasize what they guys have already said.

    NEVER leave the hopper lid open with the stove burning! :ahhh: It's sealed for a VERY good reason.

    1 is too low for the low fuel feed, I think. I know that mine wouldn't burn on that setting.

    Opening up the shutter in the bottom of the hopper to allow more pellets through may just fix your problem. There's only one screw so it's easy to do.

    Get the manual and then call the guys at Englander. They'll get you fixed right up and it won't cost a dime. :)
  19. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Ok.....why is it that some stove do not have latches and seals for the hopper lids? Is it becuse the hoppers themselves are sealed better. Maybe JTP can chime in seeing as my Quad doesnt have a sealed hopper lid.
  20. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    AwsumSS - Out of curiosity does your Quad have two augers? My understanding (be it limited:) on the 25-PDVC hopper is that it is under vacuum, with the lid open allows the air to be drawn in threw it and also IMHO would increase the chance for a backfire in the augers to it. But Yes it will be interesting when JTP chimes in.

    dowingtonPA - One other thing that could be causing what seems to be a problem with feed. On your stove you have a heat and blower settings, the blower needs to be set to at least the same as the heat or higher, ie Heat on 4, blower on 6. I'm thinking that maybe your blower is too low then allowing it to overheat, then stopping the upper auger until it cools down a bit, then repeating. This I believe would hinder the feed of pellets somewhat.
  21. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    2 different stoves
    Quad-----------top feed
    Englander-----Bottom feed
    It is probably easier for the fire to burn back on the bottom feeders if the hopper is open...
    I thought my brother in laws Castille had a gasket, I'm probably wrong though :red:
  22. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    5,609
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    Dowingtown , please call my shop so we can discuss this and get your issue straightened out , i know quite a few tricks , for starters empty the hopper you will see a plate with a screw in it at the bottom , take the screw out and remove the plate , its for really small pellets to allow the unit to be slowed down some in that case , its probably hindering and helping to cause the "bridging" you are experiencing. but i'd like to cover a few more things with you as well to help further, so please call me at my office , im in tomorrow from 8-5 est number is 800-245-6489, ask for me.
  23. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    as for the gasket thing , the concensus is right in most cases, there are vacuum issues, also in bottom feeders like the ESW and harmon units , the fuel feeds directly in , so the fuel feed system is sealed so that in event of power outage or malfunction , the fire would not be drawn back through the feed system. an open hopper would greatly increase the possibility of this. top feeders while they can still suffer this effect are a bit less apt to due to the distance from the auger to the fire, in the right conditions however it can still happen due to leakage in other areas, this is why , no matter what type of feed system or who built it , good gasket maintenance is a must with all pellet stoves.
  24. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    frozen tundra
    I think it is fine to open the hopper when the stove is running to move the pellets around. I do it all the time. Just make sure you don't stick your hand in too close to the auger, and close the hopper lid when you're done.
  25. cntbill

    cntbill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
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    153
    Loc:
    Reading PA Area
    OK I'll admit I do that to check on pellet level and to throw a couple of scoops in. But one thing I noticed if the stove is running at 4 I can hear a rumble in the vent pipe. So thinking that may not be good, now I turn the stove down and wait a few then open it.
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