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Pellet stove insert keeps going out!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Tool user, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. Tool user

    Tool user New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
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    Hi all,

    New to the forum, but have had a pellet stove insert for about five years now. It's a Whitfield Advantage 3 that has performed very nicely for us up until the last couple of years.

    We've traditionally burned Lignetics pellets, and they've worked out nicely. However, last winter's batch of pellets kept extinguishing the fire in the burn pot by burning down too low and eventually being smothered by too many pellets. The result is a burn pot full of unburned pellets and a cold house in the morning.

    We had a tech come to the house before last winter to vacuum all stray ash from the system. Otherwise, we clean it ourselves about weekly, and once a month clean ash from behind the reflectors.

    This year I decided to try Bear Mountain pellets. They burn fine but after 2 bags they have also extinguished the stove twice.

    Any ideas on how to fix this?

    Thanks,

    Mark in Boise

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
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    3,629
    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    Maybe the control board has gone wacky, or the combustion blower might be going out.
    IF the control boad is going out it doenst know what to tell the combustion blower to do, in which case it can over or underfeed.
    If the winding in the blowe are going out, then it will not be able to keep up with the feed rate set by the computer.
  3. Tool user

    Tool user New Member

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    Oct 27, 2006
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    Thanks for the reply, MSG. Feeling a bit stupid now, but it seems like I had the damper too far open. It's only been a day & a half, but there have been no issues since I closed it down some.
  4. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Whats making it go out specifically? Is it loading up and snuffing itself? Is the feed too slow so it burns out from running out of fuel? Is the high or low temp snap ( safety ) switch screwing up and shutting it down thinking that it is getting too hot. I would say clean hell out of it especially in the rear behind the burn pot as this is the most common running badly issue. I guess that's not the issue though if you had a pro clean it. He did pull the fascia or whatever and get in back of the burn pot didn't he??? You never know, I have seen at least one dealerthat makes me look like Einstein. Anyways if it aint dirty ( way in back) you might want to fire it up with 6 pack in hand and watch it till it screws up. It might not hurt to open it up while you wait and watch the innards do their thing, at least with mine you can open both sides.
    Make sure the auger motor is turning constantly with the same rhythm. Listen for the tiny click of the hi temp snap switch shutting the unit down thinking the unit is in danger of catching fire. From what I hear those snap switches are a real problem. If as mentioned previously the blower motor is not running properly more likely not starting up in time that could set the switch off as well. Just watch it and see what happens. Try posting this on the boards referenced at the bottom of my post too. They might have some help for you too.
  5. Tool user

    Tool user New Member

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the reply. I've closed the damper about 1.5" and the stove's run well for the last three nights. Looks like this was a simple case of user error.

    Mark
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    What you are burning can make a huge difference. My corn stove is especially sensitive due to the corn being at different percentages of moisture. It burns em all but sometimes I have to develop my own methods. This last batch from last season is so dry and burns so fast that I have to leave one of my cleanouts out completely so it doesn't burn out before the pot gets refilled. Its not an exact science by any means. About the best thing you can do is try as best you can to get the same brand of pellets. Remember that "Premium" means next to nothing in the real world.
  7. 1BadTitan

    1BadTitan New Member

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    Loc:
    South Eastern PA
    I was just going to recommend that... I had that problem myself last week, drove me nuts for about 10 cycles.
  8. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    I also wanted to point out that just because you paid someone to clean your stove does not mean he did a good job.
    im finding as Im going out on services that my customers are telling me that one of my service guy was doing a halfass job not pulling blowers.
    not going up on the roof to clean the pipe on and on.

    did he pull both blowers?
    did he remove the Clean out Plates and brush out and suck out all ash out of the ash traps and on top and sided of the heat exchange tubes.
    to properly service that stove would take no less than 1.5 hours.
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