1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

St. Croix Hastings VersaGrate Motor Noise - Revisited with videos!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ylomnstr, Sep 30, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,440
    Loc:
    Waupaca, WI
    I'd pull the burn pot and the grate and make sure it's clean everywhere... don't forget to vacuum in front of the grate area... ash packs into the front and COULD cause it to bind.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Mass / RI
    Thanks for the advice - this was actually within the first four hours of operation on a fresh install. I cleaned everything...took it all apart and restarted and it still popped. Eventually, it stopped and has been running for the past couple of hours with no issue. Maybe, I'll get lucky and it won't continue. I'm still working on my first bag of pellets in the hopper.
  3. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,440
    Loc:
    Waupaca, WI
    My St. Croix will pop and crack when it's been restarted after being stone cold... happened tonite since I had my stove off all day (I rarely do that). I even got up from my cozy recliner to see what the hell made "that" noise... I always restart my stove on setting #3 or 4 to get it hot right away then set it to the temp I want.

    When doing your regular cleaning make sure you clean those ash traps above the ashpan really good... and keep the area around the versa-grate clean...
  4. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    Estarrio that is messed up. Never any noises
    of the kind from my St Croix. Hope you get it
    resolved.
  5. tchdngrnby

    tchdngrnby Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Puget Sound Washington
    I experianced that same "pop" with my EXL once or twice, I noted the grate weldment that sits over the shaker plate move upwards at the same time I heard the pop (yes I was sitting in front of the stove staring aimlessly at the flames while enjoying a cold brew). The cause was a clinker stuck on the shaker plate. Upon start up, the clinker is obviously solid and interferes with the shaker plate as it slides beneith the grate weldment. I remedied this by removing the shaker plate and giving it a good scraping and cleaning. Also scrape the inside edges and the bottom of the grate weldment, it is a clinker attractor. I use the end of a flat file to scrape and chip away at any build up. I've since purchased a spare shaker plate so, when I do my cleanings, I just drop the clean plate in the stove and then I can clean the dirty plate at my convienience with proper alcoholic intake. If the tax man giveth, I plan to obtain a spare grate weldment to reduce my shutdown time when cleaning.

    Removal of the shaker plate is a task all in itself. In preparation to remove the shaker plate, drop your stove down to the #1 setting. Open your left side door (facing the glass) and watch the versa grate cam lobe position. Once the low side of the cam is at 3 o'clock, kill the power and let the stove cool. The shaker plate will now be able to clear the shrowd that covers the ignitor and will lift off of the shaft without any problems. This is also a good time to slobber on some anti-seize compound to lubricate the versa grate shaft as it is fully retracted. The lube will be pulled into the bushing once you restart the stove. A little dab will do ya they say!

    Hope this helps,

    Paul V
  6. tchdngrnby

    tchdngrnby Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Loc:
    Puget Sound Washington
    Forgot to add that Krooser's comment that 80% of all stove problems are the result of a dirty stove hits the mark again.
  7. two-if-by-sea

    two-if-by-sea New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Maryland's Eastern Shore
    I uploaded a video of the noise that my St Croix Prescott pellet stove is making:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgI0phh1cQU

    I think it's pretty easy to hear the noise, and I'm curious if this is the infamous "VersaGrate" noise:
    0:01 --> you can immediately hear the noise
    0:15 --> pellets feed - a much quieter noise
    0:37 --> small noise
    0:37 --> small noise
    2:01 --> HUGE noise

    The stove was installed 9/2008. During the 2008-2009 heating season, I had no issues, and never heard the noise. When I started the stove for the 2009-2010 heating season, almost immediately, the noise started driving me NUTS! I can hear it from every single room in the house. The smaller noises documented above are not so bad. But the long clicking noise at the end is awful. Let me know if you guys think it's the Versagrate noise.

    Thanks!
  8. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    301
    Loc:
    Staatsburg, NY
    Your sounds are definately different than the original sounds I posted. Sounds like something is banging. But if I hear correctly I still hear the versagrate motor running in the background also. I'm going to try and get a new video with my actual video camera of mine, instead of the cell phone I used.
  9. Estarrio

    Estarrio Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Mass / RI
    two-if-by-sea: My problem is similar - I am getting a banging but not with the rattle that I seem to hear in your video. The dealer came by and adjusted, lubed the versa grate components but the problem has resurfaced...will be calling him back to check it out.
  10. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    301
    Loc:
    Staatsburg, NY
    The rattle is definately the versagrate motor. You can lube it all you want, but it comes back. The banging I was getting early in the season, but haven't heard it lately. Seems to bang when it's first firing up and it's been cold.
  11. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    Knock on wood, I've never heard the loud banging from
    mine but did have the annoying rattle. I disconnected
    the versa grate and haven't looked back but - as I recall
    someone on here, maybe a few someones, came up
    with a remedy involving packing it with grease.
    Not worth the bother for me since all is fine without
    but for those with a noisy one who think they need a versa grate it might
    be a worthwhile mod to try.
  12. ylomnstr

    ylomnstr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    301
    Loc:
    Staatsburg, NY
    I remember you saying that you disabled it and haven't turned it back on. I wired a switch into mine so I can shut it off at will, say for example, if I'm watching a really quite movie. Otherwise I've learned to live with it being loud. I've been through 2 motors. I've got a 3rd one sitting which I haven't installed yet, but at least this way, I've got replacements incase the motor ever actually fails. With the motor running, I see that ash builds up more quickly in the pot, but no other real side effects.
  13. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    ylomnstr I posted the above more for the two new
    folks who showed up here in this thread yesterday
    and today. ;-)
  14. Latent

    Latent Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Mid CT
    After reading everyone's messages I did something different last year. I pulled the motor and pumped grease through the hole the motor shaft was in. I purchased a timer that turns on the vg motor every 60 minutes for 5 minutes each hour ( Farmtek timer
    # 102719). The noise is still there but a little less and not on all the time just the 5 minutes each hour. I am running more air then normal (combustion air) and found that it helped removing ash from the combustion area. I will be replacing the motor and gear assembly with a heavier model. I believe that the vg motor assembly helps but what a bad design.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page