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Reliant Phoneix Pellet Stove Problem

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by wmarazita, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Southern California
    Hello,

    I had a problem with my pellet stove last night and am wondering if someone can suggest to me the best course of action to proceed with.

    Here is some background info:

    1993 Reliant Pellet Stove
    Label states model is Phoenix FS/I
    It is fairly new to me and I have used it without problems about 50 times
    There is no OAK hooked up to it, and I noticed today that the inside label states "outside air required"
    There were no windows open in the house and there was also a wood stove burning in another part of the house
    I would say the house is moderately well-sealed
    It was inspected and serviced at the beginning of this season and all was fine

    Scenario: Last night, I fired up the pellet stove and set it to Medium speed and left the room to heat, as I usually do. After about 30 minutes, I smelled smoke and checked on the pellet stove. I found that the fan had shut off, the remaining pellets were smoldering, and there was smoke leaking from the stove cavity into the room. I aired out the room and looked for causes. The stove was still plugged in, and I found that there was power to the outlet (no power outage). I unplugged and plugged in the stove several times and tried the power switch and the fan would not come on. The stove itself was very warm and the room was warm also, so I know that it had been working properly for some amount of time. This morning, I plugged in the stove and tried turning it on. The fan started as normal with no symptoms of anything wrong.

    I am very weary of the stove now, not knowing what the cause of the failure was. I really don't want to try and use it again without getting some feedback as to possible causes. I don't think that Reliant is in business any longer and I am thinking I can't get parts (if I knew what part to buy).

    Any suggestions on how to proceed and theories on what happened last night would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Bill

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    When was the last time you cleaned the venting along with how many bags you have burned since that cleaning and can you tell us what the venting consists of?

    Then were there any error light or codes displayed on the control panel?

    It sounds like perhaps a fan overheated and stopped, this can lead to smoke in the house if it is the combustion fan or the stove hitting its over temperature limit.

    We need more information.
  3. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
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    115
    Loc:
    Southern California
    The venting was all professionally cleaned in late Summer, 2011. The stove gets used very infrequently. There has probably been 5 bags of pellets at most that have been burned in the stove since it was cleaned. The venting consists of a 4" black pipe that connects to the back of the stove and then exists the house horizontally. Outside, there is a 90 degree turn upward and then the vent. All in all, there is about 4 feet of venting.

    There are no error lights or codes on the panel that can be displayed. Since the unit is so old, the panel and lights are very primitive. There is a light for the power, a light for when the auger is operating, and no other lights. There is a slide switch to turn the power on and a slide switch to control 1-3 speeds. There is a button that starts the auger turning.

    I was thinking that the fan overheated and shut down too.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    A lot of older stoves have oil ports on both blowers failure to periodically oil them can lead to them overheating and other issues.

    You also have to get any crud out of the area between the firebox and the combustion blower cavity and firebox. There are also ash traps that need to be opened and checked on most stoves.
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    A good cleaning for the blower motors ( both convection and combustion blowers). This would include there removal and blowing the motors out and clearing all dust and dust bunny build-up, and then a good "lube" job. That will help them stay cooler.

    The combustion blower made need a gasket. So check before removing or doing any maintenance.

    The entire stove may have been cleaned by a "Pro". But sometimes even a Pro can come across an older stove (such as yours) and may have never seen it before. He may not know how, when, and where the ash traps are and any all cavities for the exhaust path.
  6. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
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    115
    Loc:
    Southern California
    Smokey and Dexter,

    Thanks for the replies!

    I don't have the manual for this stove and can't seem to find any info on-line. Unfortunately, I am very unfamiliar with pellet stoves and don't have a clue where to find any of the parts that you mentioned above. Do I just start taking things apart and clean as I go? If the "reputable sweep" didn't/couldn't figure out how to clean and lube it, do you think I will be able? I am plenty handy and certainly willing to try, but am wondering if it is worth it since the stove is so old. It appears to be in good condition otherwise and I certainly don't want to buy a new stove.

    Thanks for any help you can provide!
    Bill
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Let's see what we can do, first the vent gets attached to the stove using an appliance adapter, that is usually attached to a transition piece that is attched to a blower housing (this is where the combustion blower lives. The motor on the blower may have oil ports on it. There will be a makers plate on the motor telling what oil to use if this is the case.

    Usually the convection blower is on the opposite side of the stove.

    Do yourself a favor do not go poking around unless the stove is off, cold, and unplugged.

    Usually it is obvious as to how you remove these blowers or blower motor from the stove. A word of advice do not remove the combustion blower motor without having a replacement gasket on hand. The gasket normally gets destroyed in removing the motor mount plate from the blower housing.

    There is no reason at all that you can't be at least as good as any sweep at cleaning your own stove.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Smokey hit the nail on the head. There are 3 motors on your stove. There job should be obvious.
    1- An auger motor (feed motor) to feed the pellets to the stove.
    2- Combustion blower (exhaust) sucks the exhaust out of the stove and pushes it out the vent.
    3- Convection blower (room air, warm air you feel) blows hot air out of the exchanger of the stove.

    If you take pics and post them here, along with any info you may have. Im pretty sure you could learn the stove better than anyone. Knowing how it operate's, only helps you to get the most efficient burn and get the most bang for the buck..

    Just because its old, doesn't mean it aint worth it. I have a 17 yr old stove that runs like a top. Not much to look at. But it works.
  9. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
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    Southern California
    The stove is at another location, which I will be at this weekend. I will take it apart and take pictures as I go and see how it goes. I will post some photos on Monday with some additional questions.

    Thanks!
    Bill
  10. wwert

    wwert Feeling the Heat

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    Northern CT.
    You have probably tripped the hi limit switch as well. If you can reset it by pushing in the button in the middle of the sensor you can restart it and listen to see if the combustion motor kicks on. If not you will need to take out the blower and test with a lamp cord. The rights to reliant have been bought by Magnum. Easy to match up new motor if you can't find one, think I saw 1 on Ebay not long ago but Grainger or the likes can match 1 up for you.
  11. Zackdog

    Zackdog Member

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    I also have a Reliant stove of the same vintage, but it is a Tempest. From your description it sounds like the controls are the same as mine. I have had the same problem that you describe. It was tripping the high temperature safety switch. After reading the manual, it says to not put on Medium setting until stove has gotten up to operating temperature. From your description, it appears that you are starting the stove on Medium setting. I would like to say that starting the stove on Low and switching to Medium when up to temperature will solve your problem, but I have not been able to do this with my stove. Something has gone wrong with my switch so I can only run on Low. These units only have one fan. When my stove was able to run on Medium, the auger feed rate increased and the fan speed increased also. Now only the auger feed rate increases, so it won't burn well.

    I bought my stove used, and the people gave me a xerox of the manual. They had two stoves and one was the same model as yours and the manual they gave me was for your model. If you would like I could make a copy and send it to you.

    Mark

    PS I also found this site that might interest you. I have it bookmarked in case I need it in the future.

    http://blog.magnumheat.com/2011/03/12/finding-a-part-for-a-reliant-stove/
  12. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

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    YES! I would love it if you could send me a copy of the manual! That would be fantastic.

    I will PM you with an address.

    Thanks to all! I will update everyone on my progress and ask more questions later.
    Bill
  13. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    If the the stove starts as normal, it is a low limit switch most likely.
  14. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Hi smwilliamson, thanks for the response!

    So, from the symptoms, is the "low limit switch" defective and in need of replacement? Or, would it be more likely that something needs to be cleaned and/or adjusted??

    Thanks!

    Bill

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