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Replacing old Whitfield Advantage II

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jwade, Oct 6, 2011.

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  1. jwade

    jwade Member

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    After 18 years, my Whitfield needs to be replaced. I could spend $400.00 on a control board, as I am pretty sure that is the problem. This stove has run 24/7 from Nov. to April. Once a month I would remove the baffles to clean, run the vac through the pipe. So, I am not having a dirty stove problem. She's just getting sleepy. What woke me up though if the crazy prices out there. I went to the local pellet store dealer, basically, he is the only guy near me, and that is where I bought my Whitfield. Thought this was going to be easy. In this economy, money is a big issue. Didn't really want to spend over 2500.00. There wasn't anything in the showroom less than that. Does anyone have any input. I am liking the Lennox Montage. I thought Harman was priced too high. Really wasn't impressed with the Quadra Fire. I am so lost. Winter is a comin!! Any help would be so appreciated.

    Thank you.

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  2. blazeitup

    blazeitup New Member

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    that is a great stove u have there! hav u ever replaced anything on it so far? otherwise ur right the prices out there are a little much, or u buy something that doesnt give you the 18 years ur whitfield did. just my thoughts and money :)
  3. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    Dont give up on the Whit!!!!, mine still going strong after 13 yrs!, look on ebay for control boards, maybe you dont need one, whats your problem?
    I will never ever give up on mine!!, i would rather buy a new furnace than a new stove, heck you live in MD , there palm tree's growing at ocean city!
  4. jwade

    jwade Member

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    I have replaced just about everything in the past six years, including a control board. Blowers are getting sleepy, not puttring out like it use to. You could not hold your hand in front for very long. That is what really impressed use when we first got the Whit. That ole stove heated my house with ease, about 1600 sq.ft. I have a rancher, rather open design, bedrooms stayed cooler, just right for sleeping.
    When I turn the stove on the blowers stalled a bit then ran fine. Ran it all day Sunday, then she shut down. Tried to start again, ran than stopped. Now lights are blinking, auger running, without turning it on and shuts down. Lights still blink.

    Palm trees at Ocean City!!! Funny!!! I live about 140 miles north from there, near the PA line. Palms don't grow here so well! Heading to shop this week-end just wanted to know anything I should stay clear of and stuff like that. It was easy with the Whit. Thanks.
  5. blazeitup

    blazeitup New Member

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    enviro's are a good alternitive to the whit, also just a thought but i changed my father inlaws old dial control board to a updated touch board and the stove started doin weird stuff so i did some research and had to change around the wires a bit and the thing runnin like a champ again just a thought. good luck with ur search
  6. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Unless the old whitfields fire box is burned out or there are other serious issues, your problems can be fixed with ease and fairly cheap too.

    I did a thread on this very issue a while back and posted a schematic for a stand alone controller that you can toss together in short order.

    Precision timer company makes timer relays that will replace the big doller control board.
    Use a simple Casablanca fan speed controller (Triac) to run the room air fan.

    You will need some #14 color coded wire (hardware store item) use stranded wire.

    Keep all the original safety switches and the pressure switch that came with the stove.

    You can easily make a new control panel to replace the exisiting one. (Local sheet metal shop can form one up quickly from some light gauge aluminum 1/16 thick.

    Be sure to install a master switch, a fuel control switch (shuts off the feed to allow for controlled shutdown)

    Install a fuse holder in the panel and keep the fuse rated at the original rating that the satove used.


    The Old whits have a damper control to regulate the exhaust air flow (draft)

    Run the exhaust fan at line voltage and use the draft rod to set the airflow through the fire pot.

    This is a Saturday afternoon job.

    The folks from wood heat stoves can supply you with a downloadable copy of the service manual for the stove.

    This will show you the locations of snap switches (High and low) and other items that you need to be concerned with.

    A good, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaally good cleaning of the baffles and other internal passages is in order.

    Remove the exhaust fan motor, clean it well and lubricate its bearings (two rubber plugs-remove, lube and replace pugs)

    Blow out the convection fan motor and the squirrel cage fan really good and resinstall.

    Be really sure that you remove the last set of internal ash baffles and get that entire area well cleaned.

    The timers from Precision are as follows and here is a link to their site http://www.precisiontimer.com/

    644B-G5R one shot timer to handle the start up circuit
    646B-P15RO recycle timer to handle the feed motor cycling (Heat setings/fuel feed)

    You also need a KPM-1M-A potentiometer to connect to the recycle timer to adjust the "Off time" or most commonly "The heat range"

    Here is the link to the Schematic http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/80023/

    I am using this set up on my whitfields.

    Contact JIM at precision timer co (860) 399-6253
    Tell him that Robyn From Oregon sent you and what you are doing.

    These very timers were what most stove makers used back a few years ago.

    These things are tough and rugged and most important SIMPLE AND not too costly.

    My invoice for the 3 items was $108.22 to my door

    The wire needed is cheap as is the rest of the needed items.

    Unless you really have some big $$$$$$$$$$ to spend, dont give up on the old Whit, just give her a control "transplant" and she will give you many many more years of great service.

    The boards on these older whits had some issues and were prone to doing what you are talking about.

    If yours has the touch controls they are even more touchy.

    One more thing

    The "latch out relay" shown in the schematic is not an absolute item but a good one.
    This will stop the stove from coming back on after a power outage.
    You need to press the Master reset button (Not shown)
    To get one of these, just ask Jim to send you a 644 one shot timer (120V 10 amp) with external conections for a pot.
    You simply leave the spades that are for the time function OPEN and the timer will stay on indefinately, but will drop out when the power is lost. (stove unplugged or power outage)

    The use of the L1 (hot) and the N (Neutral) Buss bars makes wiring simple and keeps things organized.

    Green is always ground
    White is always neutral
    Colored is always a 120V line

    Use the colors as shown to keep it simple and allow following the schematic.

    This stuff is all "Off the shelf" technology thats available readily.

    Once you have your refit up and flying, having a spare set of timers is a great idea.

    You can spec out the one shot timer that I mentioned with the external pot and then be able to use it in place of the start up timer or the latch out.

    The one shot timer I used has the time set pot on the timer itself and I set it at 20 minutes.
    This allows power to flow to the main timer until the low side switch snaps in and provides power to the main control timer.

    You can make a simple little aluminum bracket to fasten the timers too and place it inside the stoves cabinet and close to the panel.

    The only adjustments that need to be on the panel is the pot to control the recycle timers OFF time, which is the burn rate function.

    Set the "On time" pot to about 1.5 to 2 seconds. This is the feed motor on time (amount it feed during any one cycle)
    This adjustement is best ordered on the timer so as to keep little fingers off of it.

    Mount your Triac (fan speed controller) in the panel too and your set.

    Hope this helps

    Snowy
  7. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Snowy Rivers.... I cannot thank you enough for your post!! We went shopping yesterday, and thought I had to jump start my heart with the money they want for a stove. And really, none I saw even is close to the old Whit. We just finished fooling around with the stove. To start it, it WANTS to go, but the blowers stall. After hitting the start button several more times, it started. Exhaust blower seemed good. The other blower felt a tad hot to the touch after a 15 minute run, but didn't shut down.
    I am willing to get a new logic board if I felt 99.9 % sure that this was the only problem, and I thinking a new blower.
    I have copied your post, and I really appreciate the time that you took in helping me save the Whit!!! ( I am not worthy ) What do you think of a new blower as well?

    Blazeitup, I looked at enviro's, not bad!!! The choices are tough, and greed is plentiful with the prices of some of the stoves.

    Thanks again!!
    Jwade
  8. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Pull the blowers off and clean them well.

    Inspect them to make sure they will turn easily.

    If the bearings are all worn out or the thing is just packed full of dust and dirt to the point that its sort of stuck it may be salvageable.

    The room air fans normally don't give too much trouble.

    The exhaust fan bearings can get dry and make life misserable, but some good high temp oil given to each bearing through the little port on each end can really improve things.

    Pull the room air fan off and clean and service it, then hook it up temporarily to a cord and plug it into the 120V outlet and see what it does.

    If the fan runs sweet, then its likely the control board thats gone, mainly the Triac (speed controller).

    While your in there you can really police the area up a bunch.

    With the power UNPLUGGED use a rag and some warm soapy water and then "DAMP" wipe off the entire mechanical cabinet and its contents.


    Let dry well and reassemble the thing.

    My guess is that the Board is going or gone.

    If the Triac is wasted, the fan motor can go south along with it.


    The Triac regulates speed by chopping off little small snippets of the voltage wave form both above and below the line (looking at it on a scope) The amount of time that the power is on, on each side of the line is what regulates the speed.

    If the Triac is possibly sending one side of the wave form thn the motor will eventually burn up.

    Give these things a check and keep us posted.

    Snowy
  9. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    I bought the two Whit's we have now a couple years ago and paid very little.

    $200 each to be exact. The refurbishing costs were minimal and with the basic structures being in great shape, they should be able to serve for many many more years.

    A pellet stove does not eat up the fire box as does a wood stove, at least not nearly as fast.

    The one exception is if one is using a fuel that has a lot of corrosive components to it.

    You can afford to spend quite a bit on an old stove to repair it and still come out way ahead.

    Now for some folks, I realize that a rewire of the thing is not within their capabilities, but usually with the aid of fellow forum folks it can be done.

    I started coming here back winter before last.

    Here is a Piccy of our large whit with the new hearth I built for it.

    Attached Files:

  10. Mr Whitfield

    Mr Whitfield Feeling the Heat

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    I would rebuild your Whitfield before I would buy a new stove. The stove today are not as good as your older Whitfield stove. You need to order the right board per your serial number, like someone posted you might need to re-wirer the terminal block. Call Lennox Tech support they will give you the right part number, then search for the best price, and always remember to use surge protection.
  11. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Thanks Mr. Whitfield!!! I know what your are talking about, stoves today are not good as the Whit. We went looking for a replacement this weekend, and even had sales people that are selling Quads and Harman say what a work horse the Advantage is. I am leaning to just rebuild her!!! Way to many stoves, everyone has their favorite, we have just been so happy with the Whit. I looked at some stoves, and you can't even oil the blower motors. I guess those manufactures figure, they'll break faster, and owners can buy a new one. Kind of like the of Ford inline 6 motor... lasted forever!!! Ford stopped making it. Sad.

    I really thank everyone for reminding me something I really knew.... seems Nothing heats like a Whit!
  12. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Replacing the board with a fresh one that's a Plug and Play is an easy way to go for sure.

    My big reason for rebuilding mine with the aftermarket parts was a simple one. The replacement boards have the same issues that the originals did and will give up in time as well.


    Good luck with fixing the old whit.

    Snowy
  13. jwade

    jwade Member

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    Snowy, I am afraid I'll screw up. I really would like to try your way. I have a friend that id an electrician, and he said he would look at your directions for me. I only know the upkeep on the Whit. Cleaning, I do it daily, and once a month baffles out, blowers vacuumed. Are after market board parts safe? Please everyone.. hold your laughter, I really don't know. I used a paper clip once on a sensor and I was scared to death!!!

    Thanks again.
  14. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    I will never give up on my Whit!!, NEVER!!!, I dont care if I have to manually light it or dont have a T-Stat, mine is a 1999, the board is push button, have Zero problems except lack of a proper cleaning issue's, it is now still full of ash, dirty as hell all summer as usual and i test ran it and the fans work and auger drops, big area to check is the auger itself, it has very little grease inside, i took it apart and regreased it with some teflon grease we use on driveshaft slipyokes works great and nice and quiet.
    Her's a site for part's, also Ebay is a good place for parts
    Question for Snowy or Mr Whitfield, my firebrick is original, the hole around the drop tube is getting bigger, will new fire brick help air flow within the firepot?, my flame apears to be slower and lower, also all my door gasket's are original, possibly causing some air leaks.
    Here's a site for parts
    http://woodheatstoves.com/advantage-iit-and-iii-c-292_90_99_95_207.html
    http://www.butkus.org/whitfield_operate/whitfield_cleaning/cleaning_a_pellet_stove.htm .......shows you how to clean it
  15. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Rebuilding a Whit would be my first inclination. You'll learn an whole lot in the process and we can help you along. That said, check out the Englander 10-CMP. One of my personal favorites and maybe the best stove Englander makes. Internet pricing is about $1800, Not as silent as the advantage though.

    You could look around on the slightly used market for a Harman and score a pretty good deal.
  16. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    If the door gasket is in good shape, then the trouble is that its DIRTY

    Undo the fire backs and remove them, then undo the screws and remove the inner side baffles that are normally covered by the fire back.

    Clean out all the ashes in those areas and then use the leaf blower on SUCK on the chimney/vent and suck the thing out really well.

    Do this with the door open to allow max air flow.

    Replace the baffles and the fire backs and your set.

    Lube the exhaust motor bearings with a drop or two of good high temp oil.

    (remove the rubber stoppers on the motor and drip oil into the little tubes)

    Normally, unless the door seals are shot these stoves will burn a very brisk fire.

    These things are built like a tank and even if the Board takes a poop, they can be rewired like I did mine.

    The new controls I did work far better than the factory stuff ever did and its cheap and easy to fix.

    If a timer goes away, you can swap in a new one in less than 5 minutes and your off and flying again.

    The inner works of these stoves is simple and rugged too.

    Snowy
  17. Northeaster2010

    Northeaster2010 Member

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    If you look in the articles for sale forum this guy repairs control boards:

    Repairs to all Whitfield analog and digital control panel boards
    Other brands also!

    Examples

    Whitfield Advantage II-T, III & Plus Control Board
    Whitfield part number 12055902, PSC120A, Y2679, W1801-2
    Advantage II-T (WP2)
    Advantage III (WP2)
    Advantage Plus (WP7)

    Send me a PM with your panel part # and symptom

    Fast turnaround. All work guaranteed.

    Thanks
    David
    pcboardrepair@gmail.com
    Board Repair Dept - Control Panel Repairman
  18. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    Whats the size of the Gasket around the door?, maybe after 13+ years i should change it as i can see into the stove thru a very small hole on the right upper corner
  19. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hi jwade

    Just curious, How much did you pay new for your whitfield 18 years ago?

    I agree with Scott, A good used stove no more than 3-4 years old would give you that big price reduction opposed to a shinny new one. Also the 2011 10% Federal tax credit still applies. It will also give you the new features like Auto Ignite.

    BTW, I just happed to have a 34 BTU Enviro that I am not using. :)
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/80449/

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  20. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Here is a deal for you. Another used Whitfield for $400 !!!!
    http://nh.craigslist.org/app/2646797761.html

    Works perfectly, currently heats entire finished basement. Includes blower, auto lighting with thermostat. Switching to gas stove.

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  21. jwade

    jwade Member

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    HI Don2222
    Paid $1900.00 Worth every penny, and IF that stove was made today, I'd do it again. Even at today's price. I've been shopping, looked, researched, and for now I am going to stick with my Whit!! She is having a new heart put in this week. While shopping for a new stove, one sales person said you will never find a stove on the market today that runs like a Whitfield. I wouldn't buy a used stove, unless it was a Whitfield. I also had a salesman ask me if I bought a new stove, he would like to buy my old Whit.
    I do like the Englander 10-CMP!!! Thanks Scott for that info!!

    Good luck on your sales of your stoves!!!
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