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Pellet stove isn't blowing out hot enough

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ejchurchville, Feb 3, 2008.

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  1. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Hello everyone,

    I have a 25-PDVC Englander Stove wood pellet stove. Sharp looking thing -- wish it would work! The Control Board reads "Auto Start Control Board PU-CB04". It has a dedicated outside-air intake and a dedicated outside exhaust pipe, (both going through the basement wall.)

    I bought it around 2003, but didn't install it until 2007. It has never run hotter than lukewarm. The fire lights manually and stays lit, the augers turn, but the problem is that there is never enough heat blown out the front of the unit. It doesn't force enough hot air.

    I checked the exhaust, and it is clear. The unit is clean. I'm burning an ordinary pellet fuel bag from Home Depot. The unit was "burned in" for 5 hours as suggested. Still nothing more than lukewarm.

    I light the fire, close the door, then turn on the unit at 5-5 settings (where the first # is heat and the 2nd # is blower.) The unit displays 5 U (which I believe means 'Start Up'.) From there, the blower kicks in about 10 minutes later.

    But then nothing really changes. The exhaust pipe is very hot, as is the front iron door and glass panel. (Too hot to touch longer than a second.) Yet, the air being blown out isn't warmer than about 70 degrees; and it doesn't reach more than 5 feet out.

    Is this a vacuum switch problem? Is it an electrical problem? I checked the vacuum lines and they aren't cracked. Per Mike's recommendation, I checked the jumper on the electrical board and everything is snug.

    I noticed that regardless of what I do, the top auger turns about the same for each setting. (The bottom auger turns slowly and constantly. It seems to turn at the same rate, regardless of setting.)

    Back to the top auger, setting 3-3 turns at 5 seconds, pauses for 10 seconds, then resumes that cycle. Setting 5-5 turns for 6 seconds, pauses for 10 seconds, and repeats. Setting 7-7 turns 5 then pauses 12. Setting 8-8 turns 6 seconds then pauses for 10. Setting 9-9 turns 6 seconds then pauses for 10.

    Thoughts?

    -Ernie

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  2. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
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    311
    Loc:
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    Is the blower(Room) Fan coming on. Is it blowing harder when you turn the blower setting up.If
    it's not blowing harder (more CFM's) it could be a bad temp switch. I think this must reach 195. I had a 25 englander. The switch is located on the back wall of the firepot.
  3. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    madison hgts. va
    look through the front door , is there a plate hanging on the back wall of the unit? or do you see a 4 by 7 hole with a shelf in the middle of it? your feed rates are correct you should be getting more heat than that , blowing 70 degree air is not possible with everything in place , the stove wouldnt reach proof of fire with blower temps that low. its simply not possible. blower kicks on at 125 F the heat exchanger will be in the 150's by that time 70 degrees isnt happening. check to make sure the baffle plate on the top of the firepot is in place against the back wall of the chamber and centered.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    You didn't mention how many pellets you are using. Heat output is dependent on that...to a large degree.

    Also, keep in mind that the temperature of the output air depends on the temp of the incoming air! I have a Pellet stove in my shop - which gets very cold, and therefore the air coming out is usually not very hot! That is because the stove is pulling in cold air...

    In other words, the key is the temperature RISE of the air coming through it. Is your unit in the basement?
  5. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Thanks, Mr Whitfield. The idea of a bad temp switch sounds possible. I will check this again. (I don't have frequent access to the unit since it's in a rental.)
  6. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Thanks, Mike. The blower does kick on after maybe 10 minutes (when the glass pane is hot to the touch), and the fire seems going strong inside. But that heat never makes it at the same temps through the air vents on the upper-front of the unit.

    There is a plate. I had taken it out to examine it (before the initial burn-in), placed it back in (it hinges behind 2 tabs on the lower end) before firing it up, and have left it be ever since. I will take it back out and see if I didn't place it back in the proper way? I recall thinking it couldn't go back in any other way... but maybe it's in wrong? And I'll triple-check the centering of the plate.

    One question per Mr Whitfield's comment... if the heat is above the threshold, could there be a mechanism that should be opening some type of heat 'gate' but maybe is not functioning properly?
  7. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Thanks webmaster. I am using enough fuel to fill the hopper half-way. The air outside was about 30 degrees cold; but I am finding it hard to believe this would prevent the hot fire output from reaching the room.

    Regarding rise, the unit is located in the basement, approx 10 feet below the intake/output vents that sit above-ground and through the wall. I'm not sure I'm grasping the 'rise' concept and how that might impact draft to sustain a hot fire... I might be missing what you're pointing out to me?

    Perhaps Mike is close with the 'plate' idea? Or Mr Whitfield on a 'heat switch' of sorts? (Thanks for all your continued suggestions!)
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    if the plate is leaning forward its in wrong , the tabs at the bottom keep the bottom of the plate from kicking out over the fire, but it hangs flat vertically on the back wall.
  9. ejchurchville

    ejchurchville New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Hey Guys,

    The plate was flush against the wall, and well centered. (The only part that wasn't flush was the upper lip of the plate, which leans outward toward the front.)

    A local stove guy came out and took a look, after reading the manual. At first, he thought the intake line was the problem, since it was bringing in cold air. We disconnected it. Then he realized that this was robbing the house of air, so we connected it back again.

    The next thing he tried was to adjust the fuel consumption rate (or something like that), and the fire kicking in a bit more. He explained that it was at the lowest setting; so the fire output was low. When he was done, it was considerably warmer... but not the scalding temperatures that I was hoping for. Apparently, this unit will never quite heat the entire house to a toasty 80 degrees.

    So, I think this problem is solved. I wish the unit really did light 1500 square feet to a hot temperature.... but maybe that was too much to hope for.

    After the guy left, the unit ran for a good 3 hours... but then stopped on its own. The hopper is completely full. Since that's another problem (and I saw a thread elsewhere in this forum about that same kind of problem), I'll post my new problem there.

    Thanks,
    -Ernie
  10. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Don't give up..
    The BTU's are there..
    They are just going out the flue and not into the room....
    Maybe the problem is in the heat exchanger, or the distribution blower....
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