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quadra-fire overheat issue

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by msdickerson, Nov 6, 2008.

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  1. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Good job Steve! Now do that every couple of months or so! Glad to see you got her figured out, I would guess you will be much more happy with your stove now. Did you suck out the fan behind the brick on the right side too?

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  2. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    Very happy with the stove now again - Yup - I can now add that section as part of the normal cleanings. And yes I vacuumed the fan area after taking the back brick plates out too. It ran all night now without any smells or stalls or anything. Its running right now nice and clean.

    thanks for the advice...
  3. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    And I drop my plates every day, I guess I need a another hobby.
  4. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Every day is overkill. I would say once a month max. Annually at a min.
  5. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I know, it is my routine now, hard to break. Even pulled my 4 screw side plate and vacuumed after 10 bags, some in there but not a lot.
  6. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    Well the story continues - Ok the past couple days the winds have been howling and the castile has been doing fair. We smelled smoke once or twice and chocked it up to the wind blowing directly into the exhaust vents. It seems to subside when the winds dropped off. Anyway last night/this morning while the pellet stove was on (about 2:00am) we had a power failure. I had recently put a APC UPS (battery backup) on this stove just so if the power went out, we would not get smoked out. It worked. I was awoken by the backup beeping. I immediately shut down the stove via the thermostat to allow it to cool down and rid itself of the fire. It shut down after a while and I went back to bed (turning off the battery backup to keep the beeping down so I could sleep). The power came back on about 3:00am so I turned the power backup back on so it would charge, but I left pellet stove off. When I got up in the morning (about 4:30) I turned the stove back on and it came on quite normally. My wife (about an hour later) turned the stove off via the thermostat and then came and got me (I was exercising) complaining that the stove was smoking when she turned it off. I came up and checked it out (yes lots of smoke inside the house) and it was quite hot (more hot than normal) and the exhaust fan was not on - the circulation fan was on though. I recycled the thermostat to see if the exhaust fan would come back on and it did. I left the stove off and the exhaust fan finished its normal cycle.

    What I seemed to observe was that the exhaust fan intermittently turns itself off (3 times now in the last 3 months) during normal operations. My guess is that either the control board or the actual fan motor is bad. I am tending towards the controller. I dont know if there are any temperature switches which would cause the exhaust fan to prematurely shut down, but if there were I suspect those could be an issue too.

    PS - I just did a 2nd check of baffles since we smelled smoke a couple times, and they are clean as a whistle (pipes too).

    Thoughts?

    thanks again
  7. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    one more item - during the time between the baffle cleaning (about a week ago) and now (when we got the stall/overheat/smoke), I did feel that the flames (with about a 1/4 inch feed opening) were a bit on the lazy side. Maybe I was just paranoid, but I could swear that the flames in the past were more "excited" than they have been. Could I be maybe in need of a new exhaust motor?

    When I start up the unit, it takes about 3-5 seconds to get the exhaust fan moving.

    or like previously mentioned, perhaps a control board failure?

    thanks all.
  8. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I would check the motor connections for loose or burning. There is a start up delay of a few seconds, if the combustion fan stops it will smoke up the house, not sure if it would be a overheat, just smoky.
  9. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    That is pretty easily checked - I can certainly do that. I would guess though that they are probably tight, since I had the back covers off a few weeks ago checking for leaks when this mess started. I had disconnected some of the wiring to get the back panels off, and thus went through at least some of the wiring. Not all though, so its worth a look. I am certainly getting older and could have missed a loose wire if one is there.
  10. firewarrior820

    firewarrior820 Feeling the Heat

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    I'd also check the 3" exhaust pipe that exit your house it may need to be cleaned also,,,,has it ever been cleaned?
  11. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    all pipes are brand new in the last 2 months - yes cleaned and almost spotless. It also is only a 2 foot horizontal run to the outside T with a bottom catch and top exhaust.
  12. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I'm just tossing this out, but is the t-mister t-stat that hangs over the pot ok? Not sure if we've been here before, and too rushed to read the whole thread. Make sure that the ceramic cover (I call it drippy dick, I work in a hospital, sorry) is all the way made up, meaning that the wiring inside is pulled out enough to insert all the way into the, umm, 'dick'. I don't think this is the issue, just wondering if the stove is getting confused when it is hot and when it is not? Be careful with both the ceramic and the wires inside, ginger on both. There's a wing nut on the pot to loosen the ceramic cover, pull it off the way it is pointing. Hold the cover horizontal to the wire and t-mister as it would be made up, make sure that the wires and stuff go to the end of the cover as you're looking at it. Otherwise I'm thinking something else is up, and I'm thinking that more and more now. It may be a high temp snap disk, but I would think if that was failing and shutting the stove down, it would not reset until re-snapped. Wait, could cold air pushed down the exhaust tell the drippy dick to shut the combustion fan off? Hum, where's jtp? Luck, Bob.
  13. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I just re-read. Your exhaust fan should come on immediately upon starting the stove. Period. No delays. It is the first sound you should hear. Look there. Not sure of your stove production year, but my fan was replaced under warranty in '07, bought the stove in '06.
  14. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Ok There are two MANUAL reset snap switches on the quad units. One on the auger chute to prevent hopper fires, this shuts off the entire system, control board and all. The other is on the side of the stove usually near the control board. This one I think kills the power to the auger, it is a firebox overheat sensor. Both of these must be MANUALLY reset, so that pretty much rules out snap switches.

    I would pull the exhaust blower and inspect the blades. It may need a severe cleaning. It may have gotten so much crud built up the motor is worn out. I would guess the blower for the problem first.
  15. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    More details on the exhaust fan startup - I would characterize it as slow acceleration. It takes it about 3-5 seconds to get up to speed. It does start up immediately, but does not achieve full speed for about 5 seconds. How does yours sound/perform?

    steve d
    nys castile
  16. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Did you check the fan for binding, possible bad bearing.
  17. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    Not yet - I should have done that when I did the major cleaning a week ago, it was quite exposed. Good idea though and I will test it.
  18. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Yes, mine starts gradually. Tstat goes 'click', fan comes on instantly and yes it probably takes 3-5 seconds to come up to full speed. Jtp, does that fan have a built in thermal switch other than the snap disk? If you pull the fan, have an extra gasket on hand prior to doing so.
  19. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    No the fan does not have a thermal disc.
  20. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    This stove is starting to drive me nuts. Anyway this morning I raised the temp setting on the thermostat, just after it had clicked to the off (gradual burn down routine), and the red light came back on and the feed started again. BUT - the exhaust fan (combustion blower) stopped again. I turned the thermostat on and off quickly, and the exhaust fan restarted on a cycle. But it had obviously stalled when I kicked up the thermostat. I did see it shortly after it happened - no fan on, flame unassisted , smoking like a big dog... all over the place except for outside.

    Here is my question to you all - If I unplug the unit when cold, and the replug it back in (or there is a power failure), I hear transformer type sounds but no fan sounds (exhaust cycle). Does your stove go through an exhaust cycle when you disconnect then reconnect the power? I am starting to think my exhaust fan motor is weak, and should be thrown out.

    ?? more thoughts?

    steve

    QF-Castile.
  21. firewarrior820

    firewarrior820 Feeling the Heat

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    every time, if i unplug the castile, then plug it back in the fan comes on
  22. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    That is the way I clean mine. Power off then on, fan runs 10 minutes while I clean, all the dust goes out the vent.
    After the fire goes out the combustion fan should run 10 minutes to clear all the products of combustion. Your either have a fan problem or controller problem, not sure which.
  23. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    Hmmmm - Sounds very interesting - I suspect the fan over the controller simply because if I cycle it, the fan does come on - kindof like it needs a little kick in the pants to get going.

    Anybody know if QF Castiles had long warranties?
  24. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Electrical stuff is warranty for 2 years on that unit.

    Do you have a clear control box? When you restore power to the unit does the control box blink blue for a little bit? The blink sequence actually verifies what setting it is on, but it also means its starting its new power on cycle. The comb blower should run 10-15 mins when power is restored. If its blinking correctly and seems good I would suspect the comb blower needs to be replaced.
  25. msdickerson

    msdickerson New Member

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    Its a bit tough with the sides on to see the blue blinkers in the control box, but what I observe is that I get the blinkers for sure, when I use the thermostat to turn on the stove, but I cannot be sure if I get any blinking blue lights when I disconnect then reconnect power to the unit. I do always get the exhaust fan on when I use the thermostat to turn it on, but never get the fan on when I unplug, then replug the unit it. I get that humming sound / transformer sound when I do the unplug and plug. hmmmm.
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