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Relaint T-40 low heat sensor switch goes out EVERY year!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by LJHand son, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Good Day to everyone!
    I am new but found this site about 3 years ago.
    I come by joining this forum via an email reply sent to Mike. He suggested I join.
    I do not know where to post this so Moderator, please move if necessary.
    I am forced to be mechanically inclined due to NOT having anyone readily available that is. In other words, I have to be a do-it-yourselfer. (and not a very good one)
    With that said, I have a Reliance T-40AC pellet stove that low income energy assistance put in my house 3 years ago. I believe it to have been a used model as it didn’t come with a manual and I saw pellet residue in the hopper. I was told it was new and did have to wait 2 weeks for it to come in and the installation guy to bring it. Someone got a new model but it wasn't me.
    The first year, it quit working. When I called the business card the installtion guy gave me in case of problems, the Low income energy assistance people said: that man was no longer with the company so I didn't know who to ask. They said they could not help because they only can do low income family homes once every 1 or 2 years. I can't remember. Anyway, it was dead of winter and I didn't know who to ask or what to do.
    I went online. I did find out Reliance went out of business years before i got this BRAND NEW STOVE! (hhhhmmmm)
    But I DID find this site and picked through bits and pices of Mike’s blog, I thought it could be the low heat sensor from his descriptions so I took the panels off (ugh) and found what I thought was the sensor. Also through this site I found where I could order one (1-800-495-3196) Thankyou!
    Being very novice, I did not know this sensor was suppose to be one piece, not two (until the new one arrived).
    There is a metal type inset that screws to the stove and the sensor was just barely sitting in there. at the time, I didn't know it was one piece. I will attempt to add pictures to assist in my descriptions. (sorry if the pics come out blurry. I trembling from being chilled to the bone)
    PROBLEM: Low heat switch has went out every winter since getting the stove. Just went out again (to my belief) on new Years Day 2008 (happy new year, indeed)
    The sensor looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    The problem is that the black part of this does not stay attached to the metal type insert:
    [​IMG]
    It just kind of sits in this metal part:
    [​IMG]
    I attempted to bypass the sensor this way: (Don't laugh, please)
    [​IMG]
    The stove turned on, however, in a matter of a minute or two, the green "on" switch went off. The blower went to blowing like it does when the stove heats up and just continued to blow. The pellets fed telling me auger is clear. The ignitor didn't have time to even get hot before the "on" light went off.
    Since I don't have a manual and can not find one anywhere, I believe this to be a reset button (in a very tight spot) I managed to push it in and that didn't help. The hose by this possible reset button goes from the auger (?) to the back of the stove from what I can see.
    [​IMG]
    I did attempt a chimney clean in Nov. 2007 with a pellet stove brush that was meant to snake through ANYTHING (according to the Ebay seller) but it didn't do a very good job. I can not get to the bend in the pipe that goes in my wall and straight up out the roof. The installation guy cemented this pipe into my wall. (said it was regulation) I thought it was ugly so put colored glass marbles in there while the cement dried. Well, now it is really ugly...ha!
    [​IMG]
    From the wall this approx. 3 foot piece is too long for me to run my vacuum up as I did take the chimney pieces apart and tried running the brush and vaccuum up that way. I then had to rescrew everything again and buy a high heat silicone to goop all over the pipe. That is what the installation guy did when installing it so that is what I did. Is this necessary? (Thru this wall is a turn in the pipe that goes straight up)
    [​IMG]
    Perhaps this sensor goes out because my chimney is not getting an adequate cleaning or maybe because there is not enough intake air. All I know is: it just falls apart every year. I rarely run my stove on high but have read doing so does help burn out creosote. I don't know if that is fact or fiction. I usually run it on the lowest setting.
    I will admit this, I have not taken the fan motor apart or any other motor for that matter and give it a good cleaning. I did vacuum the front side of the fan blades yesterday.
    The side panels are a real pain to put back on this stove! With that said, I leave the one with the failing sensor OFF all the time now. Is that a big mistake? Or doesn't it really matter?
    I really don't know what to do about the chimney. (A well trained cat might do the trick on that bend but other than that, it's hard if not impossible to get through with what I got)
    And as far as getting more air to the intake pipe in the back of the stove, any suggestions would be helpful. This stove is sitting on an interior wall surrounded by stone. Not the best spot but that is where the wood stove that low energy assistance guy condemed and took away sat so this is where he put it. I think to shorten any future posts, I'll just refer to this guy as Dick. (sorry but I am quite frustrated and being cold puts me in an awful mood)
    I live in a remote area and to my knowledge we don't have a repair man for pellet stoves and I can't afford one anyway. I live on a fixed income.
    I hope the pictures come through.
    Thanks in advance for any tips, help, suggestions.
    I ordered TWO $13.00 sensors yesterday and will be waiting for them for awhile as I could not pay $40 for overnight shipping (outrageous).
    FYI: Magnumheat.com is what the lady said their website was. They sell parts for Reliance stoves.

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  2. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    is the switches you orderd the same plastic type.

    You if this is a 140 deg switch that closes the circuit at 140 deg
    then you can get this switch that is ceramic and might not burn up as fast.
    http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/lowlimit.jpg
    Low limit Switch Click here for photo and trouble shooting
    PRODUCT: WHITFIELD ceramic body Low limit snap switch WP-1,2,7 and 4-- #12057601(F140-30) Replaces old Bako-lite Plastic switch
    Mounts on the combustion blower,
    If your stove shuts off after start up in 15 minutes, this switch is most likely bad.
    $42.00

    we have them in stock.
    http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/replacement_parts_for__advantage.htm
  3. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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  4. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    I ordered the same swich as I posted in the pictures. I did not know if these swicthes were interchanagable between BRANDS of pellet soves. I do not know if it suppose to 140 or not. (some) of the The numbers on the ones I ordered were F-110-20F.
    I would like to try the ceramic one and that just may be the answer but I can't afford to order any more right now as I just ordered 2 of those plastic ones. (Sorry, I'm finacially challenged)

    As far as the stove pipe, I believe it to be a 90 degree turn. And I am not understanding your question too well. Dick (the installer) said he had all approved pipe for a pellet stove installation (double walled, etc) It was all (supposingly) for pellet stoves. Being it was a few years ago, I do remember him saying he had to use a special pellet stove pipe. I don't recall him saying "L"
  5. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Pardon my ignorance but how can I tell that this is a 140 degree switch?
  6. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    You can get the ceramic switch in 120 and 140 Travis used 120 Low limit and Whitfield and Enviro use the 140

    if you can read the label it will show something like
    140-20 or something like that
    You also have to know if the switch is N/O normally open or N/C normally closed.

    If you have an owner manual or a wiring diagram it will tell you also.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Rod, am I correct that Reliant was folded in the Magnum (American Energy) line?
    Just trying to get a handle on where LJ can find service manuals and (specific) parts in the future.

    LJ, you have to study a manual or wiring diagram for this reasons - some of those switched are NC (normally closed) and some are normally open, so you don't want to replace yours with the opposite! Maybe Rod can expound on that!
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  9. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Yes,
    The MIke Butkus site was where I found what info I have.

    I looked under Magnum for a manual and have located one. I have some questions/comments on what I have read:
    http://www.americanenergysystems.com/downloads/public/Reliant_T40_Essex_Manual_2004.pdf
    "An outside air source must be connected to the stove and can be brought in through the sidewall or vented crawl
    space. Flexible or rigid pipe should be used and will connect to the adaptor on the back of the stove."
    Well, I just don't know how to solve that. As beforementioned, this stove is set up on and surrounded by interior rock wall. I do not have a basement or crawl space as there is no plubming on this end of this old house. I wonder how I can get air to this air intake?
    On Page 32 of this manual, it indicates
    my sensor that keeps breaking is a
    110 normally open cool down.
    I do not know if the 2 replacements that I have on order are the normally open or normally closed ones. The numbers on them are F 110-20F
    Thanks for steering me to the Magnum website to find this manual. As I mentioned, I did not get a manual with this stove. I have been winging it for 3 years!
    Laurie Jean
  10. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    This is the switch that 1-800-495-3196 sent me last year. Like I said, it worked for awhile, then broke apart from the casing, is that the right term?
    [​IMG]
    This is the back of it
    [​IMG]
    Now, I am wondering how I determine if this switch is indeed a normally open cool down thermodisk (?)
    Another note, when I found the manual, it said I was to clean the exhaust manifold. I didn't know that. Apparently, the round disk on this comes out so one can inspect it but for the life of me, I can't get the round disk off. Is there a trick to it? See below
    [​IMG]
    EDIT TO ADD: I took the cover off and vacuumed this out. There was very little debris inside, however, the paper-like seal around the edges were deteriorated and just fell apart.
  11. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    If it is a 120 then you will need to use the
    Snap Disk, 1997 Pellet, Ceramic, 120 Degree, 2 Prong #100-00232 OLD #93005018
    120 degree ceramic snap disk, high heat, replacement or production. Originally the phenolic 120-degree snap switch was used in 1997 pellet models with a change to the ceramic snap switch in 1998. The ceramic snap disk requires a set of jumper wires to allow screw attachment through ring connectors with original wiring harness on early small PS & PI.
    $28 http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/100-00232.jpg
  12. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    A tip on how to find out if it is a Normally closed (N/C) switch or a Normally open switch(N/O) IF YOU CAN READ THE #'s on the switch.

    MOST BRAND there will be a F in front of the Temperature rating on most N/O Fan limit switches
    (waits for the switch to heat up to a set temperature before it gives power to the component)
    Also called a Low limit switch.

    F120-10 switch works like this
    the contacts will close at 120 deg. allowing power to flow threw the switch.
    the 10 after the 120 is after a 10 deg cool down the switch will OPEN and NOT alow power to flow threw the switch at 110 deg.
    http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/100-00231.jpg


    MOST BRAND there will be a L in front of the Temperature rating on most N/C Fan limit switches
    (waits for the switch to heat up to a set temperature before it CUTS power to the componentS)
    Also called a High limit switch.

    L200-40 switch works like this
    the contacts will OPEN at 200 deg. NOT allowing power to flow threw the switch.
    the 40 after the 200 is after a 40 deg cool down the switch will CLOSE and ALLOW power to flow threw the switch at 160 deg.
    This kind of switch is called a HIGH limit switch and most times is a safety for if a stove over heats. it will shut down the Component(S) connected to it.
    http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/100-00233.jpg

    Some manufactures are now using a Manual Reset Type switch for the high limit (stove over heat). when the switch over heats the stove will not work until the Button on the switch is Pushed in and reset.
    this is a pain but I see why they do it. the switch tripped for a reason and they dont want a bone head user keep on using the if there is a problem with the stove.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Great post Rod, I especially appreciate the pictures. The low limit snap switch was a bit light duty on the 1200i, I replaced it twice. It would have been nice to upgrade it to a better unit.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The paper-like seal is a gasket. It will need to be replaced to prevent leakage. Thoroughly clean off the old gasket material first before installing the new one.
  15. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    I edited my post and put a L in front of the 300 deg limit switch
  16. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Rod,
    Thank you for the pics and explanations on switches.

    Question: Since the manual states that the low limit switch (the one that broke away from it's metal-type casing for the third time now) says it is F110-20, is it permissible to replace it with the ceramic one that you posted that reads 120-F?

    I did post a pic of the switch that broke above and that is the one I re-ordered. (still waiting for it to arrive)

    BEGREEN: Yes, gasket was the term I meant when referring to the manifold cover. I will have to get one of those.

    Note: Mike Butkus did say it was not normal for these low limit switches to trash out so frequently so I reckon there is a problem causing this and from what I have read, I think I need a better air flow (intake) to my pellet stove. That poses a problem because of the location of this unit.

    It sits right in the middle of my small home surrounded by a rock wall. There is no basement or crawl space.
    I don't expect anyone to have an answer to this (but, yet, someone may) so I am posting it. Maybe if I just ran a hose from the intake to the side of the stove. Maybe that would give it more intake air. What are your opinions on that idea?

    My goal is to find out WHY this switch fall apart every year.

    There are 3 switches. One on the auger (with the reset button) and one switch is located in the back (very unreachable unless I physically move the stove). The low limit one (off the manifold) is reachable (thank goodness) and is the one that gives me grief.
    Laurie Jean
  17. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    The 120 will work that is the lowest Ceramic one I have but you might be able to find one at a Appliance Parts outlet

    The Plastic bake O lite switches cant handle heat. and that is why most stoves have switched to the ceramic in high heat areas
    you might not be moving enough air in the stove.

    OR
    you might not have proper venting and you are getting back pressure and the stove and pipe are hotter than normal
    Long venting that is not 4"
    or
    DOWN HILL horizontal venting
  18. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Rod,
    Thank you. I am still waiting for the plastic ones I ordered and will use that until I can get a ceramic one from you. Right now, I just don't have any heat except 2 electric ones that are keeping my pipes from freezing. I have this page in my favorites with your contact info and will be getting in touch with you soon.
    I think BOTH the chimney venting and the air intake are my problems.
    Laurie Jean
  19. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    you can by pass the switch until you get the others from your supplier
    see this thread.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/13375/#148043
  20. LJHand son

    LJHand son New Member

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    Rod,
    I did look at the bypass the switch link and didn't quite understand it.
    However....
    Got my switches yesterday (installed one) (and the other is a back up).
    The stove is now working. The chimney pipe does get hot to the touch. I think I read somewhere that is not normal.
    I adjusted the damper a bit and used some advice on start up like moving the heat level to the 3 mark for 20 minutes and then turning it back down to 1 or 2.
    I have gained quite a bit of knowledge here and I thank you (all) for that. I also located a manual from this thread. Something I really needed! One thing about the stove's 8 day downtime, I cleaned every little thing I could on it!
    I am just thrilled to have heat again!
    Again, Thank You!
    LJH
  21. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    I have a hudson river saranac pellet stove. After running for a while (15 minutes to half hour) my convection blower shuts off. stove keeps burning and feeding pellets.New control board didnt help. New convection blower didnt help. New snap disk didnt help. When this happens I shut the stove off. It goes into shut down mode but no convection fan. Then after a few minutes the fan comes on on high like it should when shuting down.Not much more to replace. Any Ideas. 5 ton of pellets and cant burn them!
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How comfortable are you with electrical work?

    Please note I own the same type of stove you have.
  23. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    Im glad you have the same stove. What I found out last night ia that the blower seems to get really hot and must be shuting itself off. If you open the side panel where the convection blower is and look just past the blower you will see the drop tube for the pellets. that tube goes through the back wall but just under the tube there is a hole. When the blower is working hot air blows out from this hole directly at the blower motor. it gets so hot I can only touch the blower for a few seconds. I checked with a friend who has the same stove and he has no hot air coming out and his blower is only warm, not hot. It seems like there is some breach in the tubing going to the heat tubes. I used this stove for 3 years 24 7 nov to march with no problems until now. any thoughts? waiting for hudson river to call back
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Yes that is one thing that can overheat the blower (since on the other side of what you are describing is the fire so if anything comes through that area it will be quite hot), once the blower motor overheats it thermals off. Then the high limit safety will pop depending upon the firing rate etc ... (the high limit is not likely to pop on heat range 1 as the stove can dump the heat without needing the blower running)

    The other thing that causes the blower to overheat is that unless your stove has the snorkel on it the blower is located too close to the firebox. This causes the oil in the convection blower to evaporate over time from this heat, so while it may work fine today it might not tomorrow.

    That blower needs to be oiled and kept clean or you'll also discover that the stoves high limit system works really well.

    I'll let Hudson River tell you how to handle your situation.

    I have a plate in the area below the drop tube, it is welded on so perhaps the weld wasn't completed on your stove.
  25. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    This explains why my first blower went after only 3 years. it started squealing and I started to oil every other day until it seized. I just dont remember that heat blowing out of that hole before. This problem with the convection blower overheating only started a few weeks ago. anyway what is the snorkel. Did your stove come with it and how old is your stove I thought I saw on a post something that resembled an extention that moved the blower away from the heat a few inches.Im not sure if it was a saranac though. I cut a piece of sheet metal today to cover the hole . hope this works.

    Thanks again for your response

    Jeff
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