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Pellet Stove Auger Binding

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by nogo8188, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. nogo8188

    nogo8188 New Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I'm new to this site, and have an issue with my pellet stove that I can't figure out. I have an England Stove Works model 25-PDV. The stove was built new in 2006, and I bought it second hand in 2008. It ran great for a few seasons before having an issue in Feb of this year. The upper auger motor would start to strain due to the upper auger binding somehow within the feed tube. Over the summer, I had it professionally cleaned. The tech got the stove running again, and we thought that was it. A few weeks ago, I started the stove up for the season. After about an hour, the same issue started happening again. The upper motor would start to struggle, and eventually stop turning all together. I disassembled the upper auger and motor unit again, cleaned it, and tried again. Same thing. After about an hour of running, the problem would occur again. I've even tried playing around with where the auger collar is attached to the motor itself. I believe pellets are getting smashed between the upper auger, and the end of the tube. This slowly builds up, and bogs down the motor. I've included a picture of what I found during more than one disassembly. Some pellets lay loose in the tube, but in the upper left hand corner, you can see where the pellets are smashed. I use Spruce Pointe Premium Pellets when I burn. Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    -Steve

    Attached Files:

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  2. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Just for sh!ts and giggles, have you tried a different brand of pellets? I know Spruce Pointe are a good pellet but it could be a few different problems. Did you happen to start using a different pellet when this happened?
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Can you post a picture of that tube without pellets in it and have you followed the procedure on aligning the augers on that stove?

    ETA: Along with a picture of the end of that auger.
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

  5. nogo8188

    nogo8188 New Member

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    Hi guys
    Thanks for all the quick responses. Yes I've used several different types of pellets, but never had this issue before. Knowing Spruce Pointe had worked in the past, I ordered a full pallet. So I'm committed to using those this year. As for aligning the auger, yes I've referenced both the online information listed above as well as tech support. What I did yesterday was run the stove in diagnostic mode only, and ran the upper and lower augers for over an hour with no issues. Once I added a few cups of pellets, the upper auger almost immediately jammed. Should I maybe start with a new auger? Or do the whole auger assembly ? (motor, auger, bearing, etc) I can post the pictures requested above when I get back to my computer.
  6. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Not to be Captain Obvious but you either have a pellet issue or auger motor/alignment etc. issue. The cheapest and easiest is to go grab a bag of another different brand of pellet and try that first.

    You can also try swapping the upper with the lower auger and see how that is. That won't take you long either.

    BTW...when I say pellet issue, I'm not saying the pellets are bad, I'm saying your stove doesn't like them. Had a similar issue when I started burning my free NEWP in my old PDVC. Exact same issue as you. I tried a different pellet and the problem went away...I put the NEWP back in and had upper auger jamb/binding.
  7. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    My neighbor had the same problem. Pull both augers and use a wire wheel on your drill driver to remove all the black carbon on the auger shafts. Then clean the auger tube with a wire brush or stiff brush. Then spray auger and shaft with high temperature "Dry Moly Spray" This gives them a nice slick protective coating so pellets will not bind as much. Make sure you get the top auger tube end where pellets are getting smashed CLEAN and coated with the dry moly spray!

    Then throw in 2 new auger motors and be done with it all!

    Also make sure you have plenty of grease in the auger bearings and that they are aligned properly so they turn freely and you will be all set.

    I just got a 25-PDVC in for rebuild so I will be doing it again!
  8. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    nogo...welcome to the madness. It is far from unheard of that the top auger motor burns up quickewr than the bottom. There is always a "load" on the upper auger motor, where the lower motor turns virtually freely. Most likely, you are losing power from an older, worked over motor. Probably just need a new motor.
  9. nogo8188

    nogo8188 New Member

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    Awesome guys. Thanks so much for the advice. I'll try the new motors, along with the cleaning tips and dry moly spray. I'll post an update once everything is done. Thanks again!
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    CT,

    The bottom one usually goes first on that stove because the end of it gets carboned up, it is always turning, and with the build up it drags or binds.

    Then what happens is the owner swaps the upper motor with the lower one then runs it that way (they might even do an alignment, but I wouldn't count on it), that allows both motors to end up used and abused.
  11. Darryl

    Darryl New Member

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    Did you take the lower auger out to see if there was anything jamming it? I had a similar issue with mine and the lower auger was all jammed up, causing the upper auger motor to strain as there was nowhere for the pellets being fed by it to go. Justa thought.
  12. nogo8188

    nogo8188 New Member

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    Yes I had the stove professionally cleaned, and the tech took out both motors and augers so he could properly clean both. I decided to switch the motors to see what would happen. I put the lower motor on top to power the upper auger; and put the upper motor down below to power the lower auger. The upper motor turned the lower auger just fine, but the lower motor couldn't even power the upper auger at all. So I think I'm in a situation where both motors are just getting too old and are failing at the first sign of resistance. I ordered a new motor, and will post again once its installed. Here are the pictures requested in an earlier reply. I ground down the end of the auger myself, to ensure there was nothing binding it.

    Attached Files:

  13. nogo8188

    nogo8188 New Member

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    So I installed the new motor, and the stove has been working for 2 days without an issue. I must've had a power issue all along, instead of an auger alignment or binding issue. The motor I bought was a direct replacement fit, just more powerful and more quiet. I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions. Hopefully this thread is useful to someone in the future.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  14. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

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    Is there a actual way to test these motors properly?
  15. HD41

    HD41 Member

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    I make make sure they turn free, sometimes remove the armature, clean shafts and reassemble; realigning the armature and field as necessary. Don't loose the thrust washers. I oil the bearing cap and sometimes loosen and retighten the cap while running helps align the armature and field. I bench test with a patch cord for an hour or two. I don't know of a practical way to test under load. You can check the bearing cap temperature with non contact infrared, should not be much more than 160 degrees. Currently my lower auger is running at 125 degrees and upper auger at 95 Degrees.
  16. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

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    All too often it seems the problem is only under a load though =/
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hot wire with pellets in the feed system.
    heat seeker likes this.

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