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St. Croix Auburn auger not working after hopper fire

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by rhodaha, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. rhodaha

    rhodaha New Member

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    Had a hopper smoulder from not dropping the clinker and the pellet fire worked its way into the hopper. Cleaned it all up. (basement smells smokey now) Issue: Auger will not spin. Used mirror to check and I see blackened corroded junk all around auger. Worked at it with screw driver/hanger etc. Motor works but auger wont spin. Have read about taking back off and forcing it with vice grips. Question: Is there a solution to spray up into the auger that might disove the carbonny blackness encrusting my auger or do I keep chip chip chipping and hope at some point it will break free?

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Does the auger flight cover come off on that stove? If it does, I'd remove it to give better access.

    You could remove the auger motor and work the auger from side to side and up and down a bit to break the crud and then try to spin it or pull it out of the flight for cleaning.
  3. rhodaha

    rhodaha New Member

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    Cannot remove auger cover, its welded in. If i use vice grips to manually move the auger after i've taken out the motor will that keep the motor from... stripping or whatever the term is? Or is removing the motor simply a matter of access to auger? And you dont think if I soaked it down with some kind of tar/bug remover or similar then blew it out with an air compressor...?
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Do not turn the auger motor w/ the vice grips....you'll strip the gears inside. Remove the motor first, then work the auger back & forth. At that point you might be able to "unscrew" the auger back out of the auger flight.

    Tar/bug (kerosene or mineral spirits) might help.
  5. rhodaha

    rhodaha New Member

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    thanks much all, will attempt the auger jimmy with motor removed
  6. rhodaha

    rhodaha New Member

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    Did some more digging and found a better service manual online....It says if the motor runs but auger doesnt move it could be a couple of things so two questions: 1. How do you know if you have reset the high limit switch? It's normally open (nc) so how do I know if I have reset this? There is a red square that looked like it was in...i pushed on it and it feels more 'out' although this could be my imagination and the fact that i''m looking at it in a mirror. Question two: one other possibleily was that fuse 1 is blown on the control panel. Finally got that beast open...how do you know if the fuse is blown?? It looks nothing like the diagram. Before I sew it all up thought i would ask these last two. thanks in advance.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If what motor runs?

    If the auger motor runs and the auger doesn't turn it can't be the high limit because the auger motor is getting power and the high limit if triped shuts power off to the auger motor. It can be that the auger is no longer coupled to the motor, or that the motor tries to run but the auger is jammed so it can't turn.
  8. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    What Smokey said.

    Also, the high limit is normally closed. You can check it with an ohmmeter (power off, leads disconnected). The little red button should stay in. If the switch was tripped, the red button will pop out a bit. To repeat, if the motor tries to turn, the high limit is okay. You can watch the motor as it tries to run; there will be a bit of slop in the gears, so it will probably turn a fraction of a turn when the power is applied even if the auger is stuck.

    You can check the fuse with an ohmmeter, also. I don't have a diagram for the board, so I don't know what the fuse protects. It probably protects the entire circuit board on the 115 volt side. I wouldn't expect it to do much protecting of the motors unless they dead shorted.

    You could grab the auger with Vise-Grips through the opening in the bottom of the hopper and try to wiggle it free, but again, don't overdo it as you could damage the gearbox. Just a slight wiggle back and force just might break it free. Best to remove the motor, or just loosen the coupling. If you loosen the coupling, you could be a bit more aggressive in trying to turn the auger.

    If you choose to try a spray solvent, look up the drop chute with a mirror, you'll see the end of the auger. Try spraying up there. That's probably where the worst of the crud is, and gravity should carry the solvent downhill along the auger's path.

    Okay, I'm out of ideas for now. Good luck!
  9. rhodaha

    rhodaha New Member

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    So when we say 'remove the motor' are we referring to the copper colored mounting bracket w/four shiney bolts or the silver component beneath that...the black, what i call motor attached to that OR simply 'unplugging' wiring from motor? I see the auger and once whatever i take off is off, this is what i will turn? I appreciate your patience...
    DSC02461.JPG
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Actually the first thing to remove is the set screw that holds the auger motor shaft to the auger, when thta has been loosed up enough the auger motor will be able to be pulled off.

    Remember all this work should be done with the stove unplugged.

    After the motor is off you can then attempt to rotate the auger or remove it from the stove.
  11. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    The motor has the wires going to it, the silver box is the gear reduction unit (the one you'd damage by forcing the auger to turn). I think that if you loosen the coupling (between the gearbox and auger) the motor will come off in your hand. You can then grab the auger to try to turn it. Be carefull not to damage the area that the coupling goes over.
    If you remove the copper colored piece, you could then remove the auger from the stove. That may or may not be necessary in this case, it depends on how crapped up the auger and passage are.
    I'm sure that you'll unplug the stove first, since line voltage gets applied to the motor.

    ETA: Dang, Smokey, you beat me to it!
  12. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Hello Guys!!

    I've got a friend that has an Auburn but recently had a small allen wrinch get lodged in the auger freezing it. It must have come in with some corn he was burning. The auguer was dropped down and the piece allowed to fall free. Now he just called and said the motor is moving and making noise. Would this mean his gear reduction unit would be bad causing the motor to move back and forth? I'll have to look it up but I guess the gear reduction unit comes with a new motor?

    Thanks!!

    AR
  13. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Have him double-check that the set screw for the auger is in the correct position and is tight, first of all.

    If the motor is turning, and the output shaft of the gearbox is not, the gearbox is shot. They do typically come with a new motor, however. I don't understand what you mean by the motor is moving. Do you mean that the motor is sort of jumping in place while the auger doesn't turn?

    You'll probably get more exposure for your problem if you start a new thread, just sayin'.
  14. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Heat Seaker!! I'm going to run by his house this evening and take a look at it. From what I remember him telling me on the phone last night, the motor was making noise and as I think he said had some movement like it would fall back away from he stop as shown in the photo above. Like you said it could be the set screw is loose or the gearbox is shot. I'll report what I see later tonight.

    Appreciate the help!!

    AR
  15. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    Heat Seaker, it was very simple. The retainer plate that goes under the gear box was put on backwards allowing the motor to move. He had not noticed it was on backwards.

    Thanks,

    AR
  16. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Glad you got it fixed! And thanks for getting back to us ;ex

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