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Quadrafire Mt Vernon auger motor reversing

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Scott124, Nov 28, 2007.

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  1. Scott124

    Scott124 New Member

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    Loc:
    Central OR
    I have a 2004 or so Mt Vernon stand alone pellet stove. It hase been flawless untill I cleaned it and fired it up the first time this fall. Since then I have been experiencing intermittent premature shutdown usually after it goes through the correct startup procedure. After much trouble shooting and some tech help from the dealer and Quadrafire tech support I saw what I think was the problem. My auger motor will switch directions on me. If I grab the motor and wiggle it in between pulses I can sometimes get it to reverse back again. My dealer said the diode in the motor wiring harness is there to keep that from happening. I spent the afternoon driving to get the new motor wiring harness and a new snap disk #2 200 deg (old one was 175 deg). Neither seemed to help. Anyone have any ideas?

    I heat my whole 3200 sq ft house with 2 stoves, the Mt Vernon upstairs and the Santa Fe downstairs. Both self ignite and are connected to programmable thermostats. Other than adding pellets, scraping off the clinkers once a day and cleaning every month or so it is almost as easy as running an electric furnace.

    Just need to figure out this auger situation!

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  2. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    albert county, new brunswick
    hey I'm new here and may not have "the " answer but I hate to see unanswered posts-makes it pretty boring....so am I to assume that your the motor is a d.c. model that I've heard of supposed to use less power and can be direct powered by a 12 volt battery when the power goes out? Is there a reason for the auger to ever go in reverse-so as to unclog? I 've never heard of this and only thing I could imagine is a safety thing in case you were stupid enough to get your hand caught in the auger-which I would think would almost be too late anyways.Do the pellet stove manufacturers ever release any schematics of their stoves? That would be a huge help....all I got ...pete
  3. Scott124

    Scott124 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central OR
    hey I’m new here and may not have “the “ answer but I hate to see unanswered posts-makes it pretty boring....so am I to assume that your the motor is a d.c. model that I’ve heard of supposed to use less power and can be direct powered by a 12 volt battery when the power goes out? Is there a reason for the auger to ever go in reverse-so as to unclog? I ‘ve never heard of this and only thing I could imagine is a safety thing in case you were stupid enough to get your hand caught in the auger-which I would think would almost be too late anyways.Do the pellet stove manufacturers ever release any schematics of their stoves? That would be a huge help....all I got ...pete


    Thanks for the reply Pete...

    My Mt Vernon is an older version and not the newer 12 volt style I am told. I am also told by Quadrafire and the dealer that the newer style will reverse to "unclog" a pellet bridge. Mine should never reverse. Quadrafire says the capacitor (diode) in the motor wiring that I already replaced should have fixed the reversal issue. It did not. They said the motor wiring might also be the issue but did not elaborate and again pushed me to have a dealer come out for a service call. There is an electrical diagram in the manual but not being an electrical engineer does not mean much other than helping me trace the wire colors to the different components. I will pick up a new motor assembly today and see if that solves it. That is what the dealer suggested. He also mentioned the control box as a possibility but did not see how that could cause this isse. I can't see how either but again...not an electrical engineer.

    Seems like a lot of guessing from the dealer and Quadrafire...
  4. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    Many things here.....I took a couple years of electronics but it was awhile ago...ok I just dusted one of my motor books off. If you have a split phase induction motor,that is a single phase motor that has a starting switch to provide starting torque,the starting switch can be the most common problem with burned or dirty contacts.This motor,if the starting switch is bad and it doesn't get the boost to move in its desired direction can be encouraged to reverse though its not designed to do so. I would think an ac synchronous motor would be the choice since they are used in timers and things that go slow but they aren't designed to go backwards so....hmm I'm not sure. The general rule though is "Mechanical over electrical" especially if it was working when you put it away last fall.I hate to see anyone pay for new electrical when they don't need to and sometimes can't take it back-especially,maybe in your case it is just some dirty contacts.The only time I ever seem to replace electrical is when I can smell it-no mistaking that smell! Ac motors aren't designed to go backwards without some wiring changes-and only motors designed to do so-that is why I wondered about d.c.
    IF you have any more info let me know.
    And hey,besides,if you are gonna take out the motor anyways,why not test it out yourself-nothing to lose. pete
  5. Scott124

    Scott124 New Member

    Joined:
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    Central OR
    Hey Pete,

    Thanks for your help. I got a new motor and gearbox yesterday for $130 and put it in. It did the trick. One direction now, the right one at that! I will save the old motor and see if I can fix it and keep it as a spare. I probably pushed 7-8 tons of pellets with the old motor. Not sure the life they expect out of them. Talking to the dealer they kind of slipped that Quadrafire re-designed the motor after experiencing reversal problems. Both the dealer and Quadrafire were fairly tight lipped about the reversal issue probably for fear I would push for a warrantee replacement. I think that did not help me diagnose the problem quickly. Ticked me off a bit. If they knew there was an issue they should be more open about it. Maybe a recall would have been appropriate.
  6. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    good to see the problem resolved...shame on them for not being honest-what would be the motive? Maybe selling you a service call, a new motor and then taking the old motor and knowing it is a warranty item-sending it away for a newer replacement-just like the one you just paid 130 bucks for....got any better reason? Anyways glad to offer help-would be pleased to hear from you again in the future if and when you open that old motor up give a report on what you see...happy heating pete
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