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PDVC upper auger jam

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by trudd, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. trudd

    trudd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Like the title says, this has happened 4 times now in the past 5 days. I've spoke to Englander twice and I have no complaints both techs tried to help as much as possible. First time, we experienced with the lower 3 buttons and adjusting the restrictor plate in the hopper. No Luck, still jammed. Third time this happened my wife was home and caught it. She observed the lower auger stop moving when this happened. So I immediately thought great! We know whats causing the problem. I figured the lower auger was not turning fast enough or at all and causing a backup in the top auger that eventually jammed the top. After about 30 minutes (while the stove was still in shutdown mode) the lower auger began turning again. Only about 4 or 5 pellets came out.

    Called Englander yesterday, shared my thoughts, the tech agreed and shipped out a new auger. Meanwhile I swapped the two motors. I don't post a lot but I read a lot on here and knew to try this. Thank you Hearth.com! Here's where I'm at. Stove burned great all night until 9:00 this morning. Then the upper auger jammed! So now I'm not feeling too confident about the new motor being the fix.

    I've been burning Stove Chow(first 5 bags), Lignetics(second 4), and Greene Supreme(most recent). Initially I wanted to try diff brands to see how they burned. Last night, I bought one bag of the Greene Supreme thinking they may not jam as easily being a blend compared to Lignetics which I think are all hardwood. Total bags burnt 9. Stove was purchased 2 weeks ago.

    While I wait for the new motor I'm trying something else I read on here. I loosened the bearing? set screws (the two tiny allen screws) on the upper auger and slid the auger back as far as it would go without rubbing on the plastic auger gasket. My jams seem to be happening at the front of the upper auger where the pellets are supposed to fall down to the lower. I'm thinking by sliding the auger back may be it will help prevent the jams. I think it's wishful thinking though because we are probably talking about a sixteenth to an eighth of an in inch tops.

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  2. trudd

    trudd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
    58
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    A few pics

    Upper Auger tube. Looks like there is a small hole in the top right corner. This normal?
    [​IMG]

    Lower Auger tube
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Upper Auger has a small chunk missing here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Upper Auger
    [​IMG]
  3. Cooper

    Cooper New Member

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    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    Wilmington,Ma
    Try making the auger smooth with a dremel or file ect, also i greased my auger with high temp grease in the ports and seemed to help! fyi green supremes also tend to jam in my stove! Could be the culprit?
  4. trudd

    trudd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks Cooper, so far everything I've run through the stove has jammed. I planned on smoothing the auger as has been suggested on here. I was just hopping it could wait until the spring.
  5. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I'd try smoothing the sharp edges of the auger flight....make them into a small radius, and see if you can get any kind of coarse steel rotary brush to go up & down that auger tube, or even a long handles wire brush.....get all that roughness off.
  6. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Salem NH

    Attached Files:

  7. trudd

    trudd Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    No luck. Tried everything Don suggested except for the dry molly, I just haven't been able to find it anywhere. I still noticed a huge improvement in the ability to turn both the upper and lower augers by hand. So I was feeling pretty good about it. Stove burned for about 8 hours and jammed up again burning Lignetics. Cleaned it out Tried Greene Gold and they jammed up also.

    I really think the issue has something to do with the opening for the pellets to fall from the top auger to the bottom. I can't get my fingers in there, just not possible. From the bottom auger tube I can almost get them into this opening and the cast iron is extremely rough and full of burs. It's about as smooth as a gravel driveway. I'm out of other ideas and ready to give up. I'm going to get a mirror to try to see in there. I don't know how I would get in there to smooth it out anyway.

    Attached Files:

  8. trudd

    trudd Member

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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
  9. trudd

    trudd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    Update. After the latest clog I posted about on Sunday morning I spent some more time in the stove grinding away. Unfortunately, no pics as it was pretty hard just to get back there with the drill. This time I used one of the circular grinding stones on an extension and inserted it into the top auger tube as far as it would go and then pulled back so I could grind the front section of casting. I did the same thing from the bottom auger tube as well. My pellets were wedged perfectly parallel to the auger tubes between the back wall and this front lip. From reading the thread I posted above, I had a better understanding of the chute the pellets fall through when going from the top to bottom augers. I thought they fell straight down. While laying almost upside down I was able to get a real good view of it and I sanded that much better than I did the first time. I have not sprayed the Dry Moly yet, I fully intend to once it comes in. My stove has run flawlessly (knock on wood!) since Sunday afternoon when I finished sanding. I've burned for about 28 hours without a jam so I'm feeling pretty good about having fixed the stove. Big thanks to Don2222 for answering a few questions I sent him. Anyone that owns an Englander should bookmark this thread: http: //www.hearth.com/talk/threads/englander-25-pdv-25-pdvc-those-pokey-little-auger-burs-pimp-my-auger-pics.102423/
    Anyone purchasing an Englander I would suggest doing this or at least inspecting before even installing the stove.
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Glad you seem to have it figured out. Could have been some casting flash that didn't get removed or caught in QC at the factory.
  11. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    7,101
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Good work Trudd

    I had the opportunity to work on a 25-PDVC yesterday with a top auger binding issue just like yours, so as an experiment since the bottom auger was turning ok and to prove a point, I tried this:
    I pulled the Top Auger only, wire brushed it clean from the dirt and carbon and the auger chute, grinded off the burrs, emory clothed them smooth, sprayed the dry moly and put a brand new Gleason-Avery auger motor on it. Fired up the stove and to my dismay, the same problem of the top auger binding after startup and the fire petered out! All the pellets got stuck and mashed in the front of the top auger until the jam occurred. This makes a impression after all that work! Not a good one! LOL

    So I cooled the stove and cleared the jammed pellets, and pulled the bottom auger. Wow it was the most charcoaled auger I have ever seen! It was black as an eight ball and dirty as soot! I then used the procedure on it and the shaft. since the bottom auger works more, I then put the New GA motor on the bottom auger and the bottom auger I moved to the top.

    The stove has been running flawless ever since. I did recommend another new auger ball bearing auger motor to be installed at the next full yearly cleaning.

    That cemented the process for me. LOL Always do both augers!

    Another Important lesson here!
    If the bottom auger is NOT turning the way it should, it can also cause a the top auger to bind up!

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