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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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    Delaware - USA
    SUCK TEST worked.

    With the house quiet I could hear the mechanism click when I gently pulled a vacuum on the tube.

    So I got my compressor from garage and disconnected tube from vacuum switch and connected tube to nipple/barb up on auger housing.

    I blasted compressed air through that tube multiple times and for longer duration than I could ever do by mouth.

    Reconnected everything and turned stove on.

    Same issue. No auger.

    Then I thought to cover the air-wash opening along the top of the glass door.

    BINGO.

    I got suction enough to trip the switch and start the auger.

    As long as I covered that airwash edge along top of door the stove worked fine.

    So, when I replaced my gasket months ago I was getting sufficient vacuum. Maybe now that the gasket has set and been through many burn cycles I have lost vacuum?

    I have the tadpole gasket along 3 complete sides of the rectangle on the door. Two short sides and one long. The top is open to keep the glass somewhat clean I assume.

    Should there be more gasketing across the top?

    Can somebody with a Castile perhaps post a picture of their tadpole gasket?

    Much appreciated. Now to call and see if I can cancel the order for the new vacuum switch.

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Vacuum switch is good!!!! Yeah......

    As to loss of vacuum. Thats what I figured. (Dirty stove, Bad gasket, Etc). It should be missing the gasket on one side.

    Some people have purposely plugged there airwash to encourage more air through the burn pot for a hotter burn. Although I wouldn't highly recommend doing so. A few have had good results. A simple search under airwash should bring some recent results.

    Congratulations. Your back in business. Now to find why the loss in vacuum. You said you replaced the door gasket?? But did you check it afterwards? (Dollar bill test) Or a dirty Termination cap will slow draft and cause vacuum issues? Termination caps can.clog quite easily. Normally needs cleaned long before the vent does.

    Edit: Either way. Im glad you dove deeper into it. You now will have a back-up, but these switches rarely go bad. Glad you got some heat!!! Nice..
  3. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Quick fix that makes stove work, see tin foil "gasket" across top of door:

    [​IMG]

    Picture taken right at start-up.
  4. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Termination cap? What? Where?

    (thanks again - can't say it enough)
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Termination cap is at the very end of your vent and can clog with ash very easily.
    You have an insert (a pretty enamel one too ;-P ) so your cap is on your roof. May be worth looking up there and taking a peek at it. A direct vent or horizontal vent can be worse, but they all get caked with ash. Also, your liner may be filling up at the bottom, where your stove connects to it. Have you ever looked into the "Leafblower Trick". Works wonders for cleaning the vent and stove.

    Here is a great example of a vent being "sucked" out on an insert.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WDGm9QuaUI&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  6. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

  7. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    It's a fireplace insert model.

    Less than half a ton ago I removed pipe that goes up through my fireplace flue and into my chimney.

    I took it outside and used a rubber mallet to bang out all the ash inside it.

    The pipe is only about 8 feet long and then the rest of my fireplace chimney is the vent. I highly doubt it's clogged.

    Once spring is here I plan to completely remove stove from house and do a total tear down and cleaning of everything. After the issues I've had this season I will
    make sure a "dirty" or clogged anything will not be an issue.

    That will also give me a chance to inspect the chimney too.

    At any rate.....the vacuum problem would hardly be an issue with the exhaust side would it?
    It's an intake issue.

    Once I seal off the door better everything works perfectly.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If your exhaust is plugged? Then it restricts the amount the sove can take in.

    But if you vent is as you say it is, I too doubt its the vent. Maybe the gap in the airwash is to much??

    As you said. Its working.... Congratulations.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No the "vacuum" issue can be any where in the combustion air system.

    It can even be a crudded up combustion blower.

    All that has been determined is that your vacuum switch wasn't seeing the correct air pressure difference for it to close.
  10. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Right, but by simply stuffing a piece of tinfoil between the door and front face of the stove has brought the stove back to life.

    It's been working splendidly now for about an hour.

    My plan is to burn out all the pellets in the hopper and allow the auger to become free from pellets.

    After that, and once stove has returned to room temperature, I'll redo the compressor trick to the nipple on the auger housing and do a major cleaning of everything I can get to without removing stove from fireplace.

    Then I'll blow that auger vent again.

    Then look into using some stove gasket along top part of door to help with vacuum.

    Hopefully that'll get me though until spring when I can tear the beotch down in my garage and inspect the whole kit-n-kaboodle.
  11. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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  12. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    that's as clean as it gets on our stove. On the right hand side back in that hole is your combustion blower. With our stove, the exhaust piping goes straight up from there and out the chimney. There's plenty of chance for ash to fall right back down into the vanes of the blower. I put a small piece of clear tubing on the end of my vac cleaner and stick it into that space. You'd be surprised how much ash comes out. Does the blower spin freely? Can you reach in there and spin the vanes and they keep going?

    My exhaust goes all the way up and out the top of the chimney.
  13. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Yep. My exhaust fan spins real free.

    Before the winter this year I removed exhaust pipe and cleaned it. I also did vacuum down in that portion of the exhaust blower before putting everything back together.

    I have not burned much this year due to mild winter so I'm pretty sure that the exhaust blower and such isn't my issue.

    I'm guessing my door gasket isn't sealing tight enough which prevents the vacuum switch from getting enough suction.
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Did you do the dollar bill test? Open the door, place a bill half in and half out, close door completely, then see if the bill slips out?Slips firmly? Or stays an bill would rip if you pulled on it? I have seen instances where a brand new gasket wouldn't seal properly and had to be redone (bunched in better) and others that needed the door latch adjusted (or hinges, whichever side was adjustable or both on my Quad).

    As for your exhaust venting? You say you have 8 ft going up the chimney and the rest is opened? If the pellet vent doesnt reach the top, I would suspect that you have some type of block-off plate and the bottom of the chimney (where the vent first enters it). Again, just wondering? As most typical inserts have a full length liner. Although some places allow for the liner to not extend the length.

    Glad its working. Cheers......
  15. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    [​IMG]

    As the stove is currently burning off the rest of the pellets in the hopper I won't be doing dollar bill test today.

    I was told buy the people I bought the stove from, a retail store, that there was no need to run a pipe all the way up chimney.

    A length just long enough to get past the fireplace flue was sufficient. Then pack the rest of the flue opening with insulation to prevent downdrafts and you're good to go.

    That's been my set-up for 6 years now.

    Never an issue.

    I probably have a good 25 feet of chimney above the fireplace flue. Maybe 30 feet.
  16. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I hope you have a carbon monoxide monitor in the room since gases can still get past the insulation. This will especially happen when there is an inversion in barometric pressure and air is forced back down the chimney or if there's a good wind.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    X2 on what tjnamtiw said!!! A block off plate is needed if the vent does not go all the way to the top..

    As insulation is permeable and can "Breathe". Thus letting CO back into the home.(Not Good). The insulation is fine, if your liner extends to the top of the flue and you have a block off plate up top. Then the insulation is just to keep your insert from losing heat up the empty chimney and keeping it within itself.

    I would look into either installing a proper block-off or running to the top (still needing a block off plate up top).

    Make sure you have a good CO detector. I have several throughout the house and several Smoke/Fire alarms. Can never be to safe and precautious.
  18. grendel336

    grendel336 New Member

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    Just another follow up. After a week or more of 70 degree temps and windows open the weather turned cold again. I got the new vacuum switch hooked up and turned on stove without any of the tin foil blockage along the air wash slot on top of my door. The stove started right up and operated all evening with no issues at all. So I do believe my old vacuum switch was no longer performing up to snuff. Fingers crossed that any and all of my issues are now behind me and carefree burning will be my future for some time to come.
  19. doug crann

    doug crann New Member

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    Talk about putting you thru hell....glad to read you got it fixed....
  20. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    How did you check the fuse? It may look good but the fuse wire may be broken in one of the end caps. Maybe you should try replacing the fuse first?
  21. RockyMtnHigh

    RockyMtnHigh Feeling the Heat

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    Those vacuum switches had a habit of going bad by the nature of the way they are constructed. I've actually been able to fix a few of them by sealing the two outer halves around the edges with high temp silicone with success saving the customer money over buying a new vac switch. I would goo the parts where the two halves mate and keep it for later use as I doubt any part of the internal mechanism actually went bad.
  22. peirhead

    peirhead Feeling the Heat

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    I thought mine had gone bad, but it had just filled up with pellet dust.....I turned it so the nipple was pointing down and just kept tapping it till no more dust came out....took a while, but now works like new.

    By the way in the picture of the inside of the castile with the interior plates removed seems to be missing the gasketing materiel on the outside of where the left and right plates go in....at least it is there on my Castile...perhaps it has come off and that would certainly contribute to lack of vacuum issues.

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