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  1. itchiemitten

    itchiemitten New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Western Central Vt
    Kind of wish I would have seen this site before investing a small fortune in my maxim boiler.
    Wondering if anyone has had problems with the hopper auger? Mine seems to seize up and stops the pellets from reaching the fire auger. Have replaced motor and gearbox, but alas woke up to a cold house this morning. When I look inside the auger just isn't turning. Any suggestions?

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  2. harttj

    harttj Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Warranty should cover the work.
  3. itchiemitten

    itchiemitten New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Western Central Vt
    Thanks for the info. Central Boiler has been sending me parts, but I don't always receive the right ones the first time. I actually got a contact person from this forum and have contacted him. He is Theorizing that the flights on my auger might be high and after the boiler heats up the auger expands and gets stuck in the pellet chamber. Hopefully they will get a new auger out to me and that will fix the problem. Before this, the boiler was working great. I am just a little disappointed with the service or lack there of from the company. Hopefully all will turn out well
  4. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    896
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    What brand of pellets are you using? I have had many, many, many auger stops and actually broke two love-joy couplings using CleanFire pellets.
  5. itchiemitten

    itchiemitten New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Western Central Vt
    I don't believe I'm using clean fire pellets. My pellets came from Georgia and we bagged locally by Vermont Pellets LLC. BUT I did receive a call from Central Boiler yesterday and seems there is a factory setting on the speed of the augers that is not right. The top hopper auger default speed is 1.5 times faster than the fire auger. So after a few hours of operation, the fire auger can't keep up with the feed from the hopper auger and a Jam is created. The CB technician helped me reset the hopper speed and hopefully knock on wood, this solves the problem. I ran through the night and still running this morning. Just in time for our -20 weather that is coming this weekend. Too bad something so simple can create major headaches. I'll post if problem comes back. Thanks to all for the help.
  6. ronp

    ronp New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Central NH
    I did quite a bit of searching back in June before we ordered the Maxim 175. I couldn't find anything about problems back then. Now, others are reporting problems. I guess the Maxim is newer than I thought. Anyone know how long they have actually been on the market?

    So far, we haven't noticed a problem with the hopper auger. We do have problems with pellets not sliding down to the auger when two or three bags worth of pellets remain in the hopper.
  7. harttj

    harttj Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Loc:
    Ohio
    The 1st year for the Maxim 175 was 2006.
  8. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    I found a post on Iburncorn forum that mentioned a lower auger jam on a maxim 175, he never said what fixed it or if it was a fuel issue.
    I have had my lower auger jam quite often, after talking to my dealer I removed the burn pot and wrestled the auger back to life, I fed all the pellets in the lower auger into containers (remove a wire from the upper motor to do this). I took the pellets inside and found that I had crumbly pellets, (not puffed, or fines) crumbly pellets will jam the lower auger, after the fire burns back to the jam the auger will run again. So far I used up my tank of gas due to jams. When the lower auger jams the upper will continue to feed pellets, it can run even with the whole drop full of pellets without jamming. (it is very strong) to clear the drop (and restore the powerfailure burnback protection) pull a wire off the upper motor and open the clean out carefully (I have a pie pan underneath to catch the pellets that fall out) then hold the auger button until the lower auger stops making crunchie noises, then push the wire back onto the upper motor and make sure it turns.
    I have a remote wireless barbecue thermometer on my OPB water pipes in the basement, when the water temp drops to 145* the alarm goes off.
  9. itchiemitten

    itchiemitten New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Western Central Vt
    Had another frustrating weekend with my boiler. I had to babysit it all weekend because my hopper auger kept plugging, so far no problems with the bottom auger. I notice a metal on metal grinding sound when my auger runs, wondering if my auger is out of round and is catching in the pellet chamber. The advise about slowing the hopper auger speed down didn't seem to make any difference, other than I couldn't get my water temp up to where it should be. I was running around 160 which is too cold for my system. I turned the speed back up and my water temp rose to where it need to be, so that fix wasn't the solution. I now have a couple of contacts at CB and I have emailed them this morning with all my problems and frustrations, I'll post when I hear back from them or have a solution.

    Here are the contacts:
    jonb@centralboiler.com
    stuart@centralboiler.com
    Stuart is supposedly the maxim guru, we'll see!

    Doesn't seem like we should have to tinker on these boilers as much as we seem to.

    I'll keep you posted
  10. tomcat391

    tomcat391 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Kingston, RI
    I too had many auger problems. This past week my rep came out and fixed the auger for the 3rd time. He stated that Stuart Egg had told him that some auger screws were not "true" and thus when heated it caused them to bind. I also noticed the aerator has been re-designed. I think CB is starting to get their act together...:) It only took 4 months to get my boiler back on line......
  11. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,057
    Loc:
    SE Michigan
    For a minute there.... I thought I was going to be offended! %-P
  12. tomcat391

    tomcat391 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Kingston, RI
    New update on Maxim 175, unit caught on fire in pellet storage and cooked itself. Now it is drained and awaiting an answer on CB on what to do next..... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
  13. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    you are the second person I have heard of who had this happen (the other has pictures on Iburncorn.com) I check drop every week as part of the reload/cleaning drill, that air gap is your only burn back protection if the lower auger jams so much the fire goes out. ( I had that happen once but the fire went out right at the end of the auger and didn't burn back!)
  14. tomcat391

    tomcat391 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Kingston, RI
    Here are my pics of the fire. I'll keep you up to date with what CB does. For now I am pretty mad to say the least, only 10K invested!!

    Attached Files:

  15. harttj

    harttj Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    127
    Loc:
    Ohio
    This is disheartening.

    How do you check the air Gap?
  16. tomcat391

    tomcat391 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    Kingston, RI
    The unit was just serviced by the dealer and given all the problems I ran it according to what the manual stated and the dealer said to do. No air gap information was stated to me to check.
  17. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    Like I said in my first post on this thread, remove the cover where your pumps are, there is a plug you can unscrew on the side of the upper auger tube, open it and look inside, if you see pellets remove one wire from the upper auger motor (they pop off easy, grab the plastic cover and pull) then push the auger button until you don't see pellets and/or the lower auger stops making crunching noises. install the plug, and push the connector back onto the upper motor terminal. I do this every week when I am cleaning the stove. If the auger is jammed (you hear the motor but the aerator doesn't turn) you also need to check the drop.
  18. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    I figured this out on my own, I came home to a jammed auger and the fire went out instead of burning back into the hopper, (I thank God for that) I spent a half hour wrestling with the lower auger to free it up. The info given for CB manuals is only enough to get started, That is what this site and Iburncorn.com are for, to let us share what we discover.
    The Maxim has only been made for 4-5 years and even with the testing that happens at the factory, they won't run into everything we do. Kind of like the manual that comes with your car tells you the important stuff you need to know about the car, but not how to drive it in every possible situation, you would need a trailer to pull the manual in that case. Same thing with your dealer, unless he has been burning one of these stoves as his heat source he won't know anymore than the manual or other customers tell him.
  19. itchiemitten

    itchiemitten New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Western Central Vt
    Well I'm back again. Problem with the auger was eventually fixed when CB sent me a whole new auger assembly. Have not had a problem in 3 weeks knock on wood. I too seem to be burning a fair amount of pellets, about 160-200 lbs a day (2300 sq ft house). I think part of the problem for me is that the water never heats to my temp setting. If I set the boiler at 185 it burns at 183. I lowered it to 175 burns at 173, recently I lowered to 170 burns at 168. The last time I lowered the water temp was at 172 and when I lowered to 170 the control panel went ot low fire. That's about the only time I've seen it on low fire. I have contacted CB with this problem, quess what no response, so far.
    In spite of all the problems I do love the heat. We have a 1849 Greek Revival and the house has never been so warm. I hope the problems can be worked out as I have a fortune invested and I am getting spoiled with the warm heat.
    Hopefully I can keep my chin up and stay warm
  20. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    if your stove has that much trouble reaching temp it sounds like you are loosing a lot of heat in your underground loop to the house. I would measure the water temp leaving the stove and at the other end of the run. I see my stove hit a few degrees above the set temp after it hits idle, and it is in idle most of the time except when it is very cold out ( the type of days when the oil burner would run continuously) you are loosing a lot of heat somewhere, If it is just your house or hot water that is ok, if it is heating the ground that is bad.
  21. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    So any news on how CB is doing with this? I have heard good reports about CB and support from others (as long as they send the correct parts)
  22. jdeere5220

    jdeere5220 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    Michigan
    How to adjust auger settings:

    I got this from someone else here but want to pass it along, it's a great tip:

    To adjust your upper (hopper) auger run time, you hold down both of the high-range up-down buttons at the same time. When you do this, the middle range LEDs are now your upper-auger run time. Use the middle-range up/down buttons to adjust the upper auger run time. From the factory, it's set so the upper auger runs 150% as long as the feed auger. That's hard on the auger (cuz it's basically compressing the fuel) and also doesn't allow any air gap in the fuel so if your lower auger jambs or you lose power you can get a burn-back.

    I bumped mine all the way to the bottom (2 green LED on medim range), which means the upper auger and feed auger both run the same amount of time each cycle. This setting still keeps the area between the two auger full for me, so every week when I clean out the firebox I run the lower (feed) auger a bit to get a gap again. I'm not too worried about burn-back with corn, but if you are burning pellets I can see where it could sure happen with a power outage.

    To run just the lower auger, put the unit in clean out mode and then hold down the auger button. 20 seconds usually does it for me. Then go back to normal mode.

    If anyone knows any other "secret settins" of the Maxim I would sure like to hear them.

    Burning 100% corn in M250, still learning but really like the system so far!
  23. jdeere5220

    jdeere5220 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Messages:
    33
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Back on topic- this is the second time I've seen a Maxim "burned up", so I too would like to know more about how it happened.

    I'm NOT blaming the operator, I agree if there is something you can do wrong to cause this it should be in BIG BOLD LETTERS all over the manual.

    One thing I learned on iburncorn is that if you turn off the power (not just hit the power button, but actually disconnect the unit from power) then it doesn't have any burn back protection because it can't spin the auger when it senses a burn-back. Is this possible what happened in this case? Can you comment?

    Now that it is getting warmer my boiler is sitting in idle a lot, and I sure don't want that to happen. So any info on what you think caused the problem. Did you auger just lock up and that caused it?

    Were you burning pellets or corn?
  24. ronp

    ronp New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Central NH
    My son just lost the Maxim 175's aerator for the third time.

    The boiler was first fired October 18, 2008. The first aerator failed January 4th (11 weeks) and was replace by the dealer with the older design because the improved part was not available.

    The second only lasted until February 21 (7 weeks). This time the dealer's tech supposedly replaced it with the new design and also replaced the feed auger and changed several settings. (But, of course he didn't really explain the settings or reasons.)

    Now, as of May 3, the auger was again found in two pieces (10 weeks with several weeks of warmer weather). So much for the new and improved design.

    I've no idea what an aerator would cost if you had to pay for it. But, according to Central Boiler, the aerator is considered to be a "wear" part, not covered by the Maxim's fantastic warranty. Maybe the fourth aerator will last even four months. (It probably will if it gets shut down for the summer.)

    Anyone want to buy a slightly used Maxim 175 which only seems to use about 30 - 40% more pellets than the Central Boiler web-site estimator suggests it should need to replace your annual oil consumption?

    Do your homework and BEWARE!
  25. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    very surprised to hear about the problem with the aerator, mine is going just fine, I wonder if your burn pot holes are plugged causing the air to cause a blow torch effect on the aerator. Mine has a slight discoloration on the aft end from one season of burning, I noticed it getting red hot sometimes on the end closest to the pellet feed. but no failures or cracks.
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