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Quadrafire Castile Pellet Insert - 2006 model - 100% Dead

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by grendel336, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Thanks. Trying that next.

    Can I stick a small piece of wire into the nipple on the other end of tube, the part going into the auger, to "clean it out"?

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  2. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    This is vacuum switch to be jumped?

    [​IMG]
  3. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    THAT'S IT!!!!

    Jumped the part pictured above and turned on stove and auger worked.

    So replacing that should fix my stove!!!!

    You guys are all awesome.
  4. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is my other problem part apparently.

    Anybody know what it's called?

    I can't find it listed in the service manual...although I am a little excited to have potentially discovered the last problem with my stove.
    Thanks to all you wonderful people.

    I also hope my pictures might be a helpful guide for the next guy with Castile problems.
  5. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Am I to assume this: click me

    replaces the big honkin' box I posted above?
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Did you just try blowing the hose out and reconnecting to the barb??

    The hose may have just been clogged. If the hose isnt clear, or the barb is clogged (on auger.chute) then the switch wont get power.

    If you didnt blow through the hose (towards stove, Blowing on end that goes to switch and into stove), I would give that a shot. Reinstall the vac switch, re-connect the hose, make sure front door is closed and power it up (turn on stat).
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Very rare for a vacuum switch to go bad??

    When was the last time you cleaned the hose? Or better yet, the entire vent system?

    If the stove cant push air out easily, then its gonna have a hard time breathing and creating the needed vacuum inside the firebox, to trip the switch.

    Cant you run an ohm test on the switch?? Im no electritian, but if you connect the leads of a multi meter to the spades on the switch, then lightly suck in on the hose (trip switch and close circuit) there should be a notable difference in the meters reading?? No?? Maybe someone can better explain. But the switch may be good. The way the switch gets vacuum may be the problem (dirty stove, plugged vent, plugged vac switch hose, and/or barb on chute)??

    My 2 pennies.
  8. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Yes. I blew. It wasn't clogged.

    The second I bypassed that metallic "vacuum box" and turned the stove on the auger kicked right into life.

    The vacuum replacement part is roughly $45 so it's ordered and hopefully will be in mid to late next week.

    Thanks to you all.

    I have a much more intimate knowledge of my pellet stove now. It even drew some blood from me today. Crappy sheet metal with it's sharp edges and hard to reach components.

    :)
  9. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    So how much vacuum should be getting pulled through that hose?

    Should I be able to hear the vacuum if I unplug the hose where it enters auger housing?

    What If I gently sucked on that end of hose as a previous post suggested but I did it while stove was running and everything else was connected?

    I can't imagine there's much of a vacuum. Basically it's just the exhaust fan running that causes the suction correct?

    I'm just tickled to death I don't have a dead auger motor.

    As for the oddity of the vacuum switch being dead or not, I had a dead control board. Is it possible that the control board death triggered the vacuum switch death?

    At any rate, my old vacuum switch part has apparently been completely replaced with something different. If you look at my picture, and then the link I posted you'll see a vastly different part.

    My guess is the old part isn't available for a reason. Perhaps because it was a crap part to begin with?
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    No. The control board can have no effect on the vacuum switch.

    Its not much vacuum thats needed at all. The vacuum switch is a mechanical switch. A diaphragm of sorts. For one to fail, is rare. I still think the hose shiukd be removed completely and the barb cleaned with a clothespin. Then reconnect everything and make sure the door is tight. If your auger was empty, you may need to hit reset a couple times to get pellets to feed to prime the auger.

    Switch might be bad. But they are in no way related (board and vacuum). And factor in how the switch works (if it worked when your board went bad, it should still work).

    The stove isnt creating enough vacuum then. Possibly dirty, plugged termination cap, or a leaky door gasket (dollar bill test).

    If you have the time. Id definitely look into it more. As a vac switch is hard to kill...
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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  12. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    I completely removed hose. Blew through it. Then I attached hose to nipple on auger housing and blew through it. I also used a piece of thin wire and poked that into nipple on auger housing and it slid right in with no friction at all.

    I replaced the door gasket with a new one before this season.

    What's the "barb" you're talking about and what's the clothes pin trick?
    Where's the barb?

    If I removed hose from the nipple on the auger housing and then turned stove on should I be able to hear a vacuum pull through that nipple?
    Or should I be able to feel it if I stick my finger over that opening?

    If I gently sucked on the hose with it connected to the vacuum switch when stove is first turned on that would be a perfect test for the vacuum switch right?

    Since bypassing the vacuum switch instantly turned on the auger it's somehow connected to that switch.

    A gently suck-job would confirm a bad switch I assume.
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The barb is the nipple.. So you got it.cleaned.

    Yes. If the hose is long enough for you to suck on the hose, then that will confirm it. But.. You must provide a constant suction.

    You wont be able to feel or hear the vacuum.

    Was the hopper emptied recently? How are you confirming the auger is not spinning? If hopper was empty, the auger chute may be empty? May need a reset (let run a minute) then hit reset again, to fully prime the auger chute. Thats if the switch is getting vacuum. Just seems odd that it doesn't work now, but it did before.
    (Hate to beat a dead horse, but is the stove, vent, and cap clean?)
  14. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Auger has pellets, and hopper is not empty.

    When I jumper the vacuum switch the auger instantly turned and dropped pellets into fire pot.

    As for the nipple/barb - I even used a small nail that I was almost sure would be too big to fit in opening and it slid in unimpeded.

    Nail was about 1.25 inches long.

    And yes - after blowing through tube, and tube connected to nipple, and having poked a 3 inch long piece of wire into nipple as well as a small nail, and then reconnected everything I got no movement on auger when I turned the stove on the last time.

    It's very apparent on my stove when auger spins. Within seconds of tripping the thermostat there's audible auger noise as well as pellets dropping into fire pot. The beauty of a top feed system in this case.

    We're having a very windy day here and I've buttoned everything back up and pushed the stove back into fireplace opening to cut down on some drafts thanks to the gale force winds outside.

    If I get a chance tomorrow I'll pull it back out and try the "suck job" just to double check one last time on that vacuum switch.

    I feel fairly confident that the problem is the vacuum switch, but I'm willing to have another go at trouble shooting. It's about beer-thirty here so I think messing with electricity, vacuums and such is tomorrow's project.

    Can't say thanks enough.
  15. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Yes - aside from pulling the auger housing off and cleaning that part of the stove (can that even be done?) I fully cleaned the stove prior to this burn season.

    That included pulling stove from fireplace, removing the vent that goes up chimney and cleaning that, as well as sweeping the exhaust blower opening and vacuuming inside the exhaust opening from the chimney side.

    The fire pot gets stiff wire brushed more than once a week and the heat exchange tubes as well as the rest of the interior of the burn area gets cleaned more than once a week depending on how often stove is used.

    As for use, we only burn stove at nights during the week, which is mainly from 6:00pm until 10:00pm.

    Weekends it might be used from mid-afternoon until 11:00pm.

    This season I've not yet burned half-a-ton even. Mild winter so far.

    I've never burned more than one 40 pound bag of pellets in one day this season.

    I was burning maybe a full bag every 2.5 to 3 days with the exception of over the X-mas holidays. Then it was a full bag every 1.5 days.

    At any rate - this stove worked flawlessly from 2006 until the end of January 2012.

    What else should I check for dirt, debris, and or a clog?
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    It is possible its bad. Just seemed highly unlikely as they are not related and its a mechanical switch. But if its toast, its toast... That new switch is the one in my Quad. Cheap enough to not hurt to much.


    Beer thirty sounds about right... Cheers.
  17. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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  18. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    You don't have to pull the stove out at all to get at the vacuum switch and the hose. Just take off the right side cast piece by unscrewing the two phillips head screws at the top of the piece that hold a sheet metal bracket in place. Do the gentle 'suck trick' to rule out the vacuum switch or prove it's bad. If you have an ohm meter (multi meter), you can put the leads on the two terminals while you suck and you should see the resistance go to zero. If not, the switch is toast.
  19. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    My god grendel, you are getting red carpet treatment. This is a great site, I still agree with DD vacuum switches rarely fail.
  20. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    I tip my glass to you all.

    And yes I do have to pull stove out. It's a fireplace insert.

    Sucking will wait until tomorrow. I have more pressing things to tend to now. See picture above. :coolsmile:
  21. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    I believe you were answering it while I was posting a response to somebody else.

    Thanks. The sucking question has been answered.
  22. Defiant

    Defiant Vermont Castings Geek

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    Cheers !!!
  23. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Oh, I see what you mean...although not sure the hose is long enough to do that, but I'll try that before pulling stove out.

    I've pulled that panel off so much in the last 2 weeks, I know it very well.
  24. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I'd get a length of tubing from somewhere else of the same diameter. It doesn't need to be vacuum hose because we're talking minor, minor vacuum. Even an auto store would have some for things like windshield washer hose.
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I could never do that to Guinness!!! Up in Newcastle, England they used to mix Strongbow hard cider with it. Many a headache followed me home!!!!

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