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Problems Starting An Enviro Maxx

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by thebigtalker, Jan 23, 2010.

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  1. thebigtalker

    thebigtalker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Hi everyone,
    I recently (mid-December) purchased an Enviro Maxx thanks to the advice of those on the board. So far the unit has worked like a dream and is perfect for the space.
    Unfortunately, for the last week or so I have been having an issue getting it started. When I turn the stove on, it begins dropping the pellets into this burn pot and then they ignite like usual. The fire starts and looks normal for a few minutes. Then, after burning for a little while, when the blower would typically turn on, the feeder stops dropping pellets, the fire dies out and the stove turns itself off.
    By the way, the third light on the blower speed panel blinks after this process.
    After this, if I push the "On" button again, the unit starts back up normally and then will function perfectly until I turn it off again.
    Does anyone have any idea why the stove is cycling this way? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,580
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Here is what I got from the Tech manual.

    4. Light # 3 on Heat output bar flashing
    (The Exhaust Temp. Switch contacts have opened.)
    Stove ran out of fuel - check fuel level in the hopper
    Severe negative pressure in area where unit is installed - Check the operation by opening a window, does this solve the problem? If it does, install fresh air intake to unit or room.Venting system may require vertical section to move termination into a low pressure zone.
    See sections #2 “Stove will not operate when hot”, #3 “The Exhaust motor will not function normally” and #5 “Auger light flashes....turn at all.” for more suggestions

    2. The stove will not operate when hot.
    Check the Heat Level Indicator if a fire is not detected, or if the fire has gone out the #3 light will flash because the Exhaust Temperature Sensor’s contacts have opened.
    Check the hopper for fuel.
    Incorrect air damper setting. - Excessive air may consume the fire too quickly before the next drop of fuel, leaving completely unburned fuel in the burn pot liner. - - Insufficient air may cause the vacuum switch to open or will cause build up, further restricting the air flow through the Burn Pot Liner. This in turn will cause the fuel to burn cold and very slowly. Fuel may build up and smother the fire. In this case clean the burn pot. (NOTE: unit may require a change to the vent system or installation of fresh air to correct Air to Fuel ratio problems if unable to achieve proper damper setting).
    Combustion Blower failure. - The Combustion Blower is not turning fast enough to generate the proper vacuum in the fire box. Visual Check – is the blower motor turning. See section “3. The Exhaust Blower will not function normally.”
    Poor Quality Fuel – Insufficient energy in the fuel to produce enough heat to keep the stove burning
    Exhaust Temperature Sensor failure. – Bypass sensor located on Exhaust Blower, if stove now operates properly, the unit may require cleaning or a new sensor. Contact your local dealer for service.
    Check the fuse on the circuit board.

    3. The exhaust motor will not function normally.
    Open the access panels; check all connections against the wiring diagram.
    Check the Exhaust Blower voltage across the blower motor wires (>=115V on #5 setting and >= 75V on #1 setting). – Replace the Circuit Board if the Voltage reading is less than 75 V. with a line voltage of >115 V AC..
    Clean all exhaust passages and venting.

    5. Auger light flashes but auger motor does not turn at all.
    Check the Door and Ash Pan door - THEY MUST BE CLOSED TIGHT.
    If the Auger gear box does not turn but the motor’s armature does try to spin, then the auger is jammed. – Try to break apart jam by poking at the jam through the drop tube. If this fails then empty the hopper and remove the Auger Cover **Remember to re-seal the cover after installation**
    Auger stopped running. Pinch, break or blockage in Vacuum Hose - Check hose for pinch points or damage, replace or re-route as required. Blow out Vacuum Hose
    Damage to wires between Circuit Board and Vacuum Switch and Auger Motor - Inspect wires and connectors
    Vacuum Switch failure - Bypass the vacuum switch, if this corrects the problem check for above problems before replacing the Vacuum Switch.
    Blocked exhaust / venting system - Have stove and venting cleaned and inspected.
    Check Vacuum levels at the Vacuum Switch, with a Magnahelic Gauge (readings must be above .07” W.C. on low fire).


    I bolded the possible cause's and will add that you also may need to open the damper some more. Was the stove professionally installed? Does it have an OAK installed? About how much fuel have you burned in it so far. It also may just need the exhaust cleaned out. It is acting like a stove that is getting dirty. Maybe time for the complete full clean then the leaf blower trick.

    jay
  3. thebigtalker

    thebigtalker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Thanks for the quick response! So far I have burned about 1/3 of a ton, averaging about 1/2 to 1 bag a day. Do you think that is enough time/pellets to need a full cleaning already? I have noticed the unit seems to be kicking a decent amount of dust into the room over the course of a week. We do not have an OAK installed.
  4. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,580
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    I would start with the easy stuff. Check the vacuum switch hose. Remove it from the switch and blow air back to the stove. Also check the hose for ripes or holes.

    Next would be the window. Open a window and see if it starts right up. May take a few times to make sure thats it. Call installer and have them add an OAK.

    Just try opening the draft rod another 1/4 inch(pull the rod out) and see if its starts quicker. I use the magnahelic to verify my Omega(sister stove) and I found if you don't have enough damper setting you will get lazy starts do to lack of vacuum in the stove.

    Lastly I would think the vacuum switch or vacuum leak could be the issue. Try jumping the switch out. If it starts every time. You could have a door seal leak or a ash door leak. Do the dollar bill test on the seals.

    hope this helps
    jay
  5. UncleAnthony

    UncleAnthony Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    233
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Great tech info from Jay !

    Congratulations on your purchase ! The Enviromaxx is one heat producing machine.

    I got an Enviromax in Nov 2008, and love it ! (oil delivery hated it ! )
    About two months after getting it, I think I got same symptoms you describe.

    Stove would seem to start normal, pellets drop, igniter starts fire. Blower would kick
    on about 10 minutes after that , pellets would stop dropping down the chute,
    then fire would go out ! Would start it again, would work then. Guessed it was intermittent.

    After going thru the great info on this site, found two things which fixed the problem. Have not had
    the problem since, and have burned about 6 tons since last year.

    1. took grate out of hopper. the longer pellets were jamming in it and not dropping down to the auger.
    verified this as when i stirred top of pellet heap in hopper, i would hear the pellets drop.
    2. about once a month, i run the hopper almost out of pellets. turn off stove , wait about one hour,
    then vacuum the hopper completely, especially down where the auger is. the fines, dust would seem to
    clog the auger and less pellets would slide down the chute.

    good luck, let us know what fixed it.
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