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St.Croix revolution vacuum issue

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

  1. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    Hello..

    I have a new St.Croix revolution pellet Furnace that was installed the first of October, burning pellets. the unit is hooked to the heat ducts and the return air is connected. This unit ran flawlessly for the first three months running on program 3, heat level 3. During our recent cold snap with temps into the lower teens I bumped up the level to 5, the unit is shutting down due to vacuum issue when running on heat level 4 or 5, by putting a continuity tester across the vacuum switch terminals the needle of the tester is very erratic, based on this I replaced the Vacuum switch, still shutting down. The only way i can keep it running is by closing the draft to 50%, although this is causing a lazy rich burn. Bellow is what I have done to date with no results, I vacuum clean this unit every weekend...

    New vacuum Switch.
    Major cleaning of vent pipes, tubes, even pulled the combustion blower, cleaned it, and replaced the blower gasket.
    Removed the outside air kit then test ran..then hooked it back up...no change.
    Bumped the draft voltage up...no change.
    adjusted the burn pot and ash pan doors, no change.
    If I put a piece of tape blocking the vacuum tube that that protrudes from the side of the furnace, the needle of the tester settles down and the unit will run just fine..
    If I pull the front access panel off the unit, the needle of the tester settles down and the unit will run fine.

    Any ideas? I called St.Croix and of coarse they have not returned my call...my dealer said Vacuum switch...did that.

    Frustrated in Ohio..

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Please provide a detailed description of the vent and tell us if you are venting into the prevailing wind.

    Up till you cleaned the furnace how many bags of pellets had you run thorough it?

    When you cleaned it did you get all of the ash traps?
  3. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    4" vent with 48" straight vertical rise off the back of Furnace into a 90 elbow, then running horizontal approx 72" with an approx 1" rise per foot through masonry wall, terminated with a 45 and direct vent cap.

    Clean all three ash traps, this is part of my weekend maintainance.

    vent exits North side of house, Prevailing winds here are generally from the southwest.

    Burned 150 bags prior to the full cleaning...

    thanks.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ok, now the big question is the air flow in that St. Croix furnace about the same as their stoves?

    There was an almost impossible to reach hidey hole that was easier to reach from the combustion blower cavity, or with a leaf blower, or with a piece of flexible rod.

    Why is there an un capped vacuum tube on the outside of the unit?
  5. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    I have no clue as to why the vacuum tube is uncapped, that is the way it came from factory. this tube that sticks out of the furnace goes to one port of the Vacuum switch, the other port of the switch goes into the firebox.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I'd ask about that.

    I'd also remove the other tube from the vacuum switch and blow towards the stove just to be certain that line is totally clear.

    ETA: Maybe hossthehermit will show up and clear up the two tube mystery.
  7. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    thanks...I forgot to mention I did blow through the tube going to firebox...it is clear.
  8. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    in searching posts I see I am not the only revolution owner having this same issue...I have sent an email to Eventemp explaining my problem, If I get an advice response, I will advise..
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If hossthehermit doesnt show up, I would PM him. There may be other Revolution owners, but he has had his for awhile now and probably the most versed in the unit.

    Where did you purchase the unit? I was looking at buying one about a year ago, but no one had one on the showroom floor. I wanted to rub on it before buying. Ended up with an Endurance (50F).

    Hope you get it figured out. Would love to see some pics once you get this squared away.
  10. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    When you say "the vacuum tube that that protrudes from the side of the furnace" , are you talking about the air intake???? About 2' dia. with the damper in it??
  11. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    no, not the 2" air intake.

    to the right of the control panel there is a plastic tube about 1/4" in diameter that sticks out of the side of the furnace, this tube connects to one port of the vacuum switch, there is another port on the switch that a tube connects and goes to the fire box..
  12. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    A local St.Croix dealer just happened to have one in his warehouse when I stopped in, they had ordered it for another customer who backed out of the purchase. Got a good deal on it compared to suggested retail. Been happy with it up until this high heat setting issue. one opinion I have is the unit could use a little more blower cfm, a little weak in that area.
  13. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I think that tube is just for a reference pressure for the vacuum switch. The pressure near the switch itself may not be at ambient, so would mislead the switch, so they feed the other port outside the stove body. Just a WAG, but makes sense to me.
  14. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Huh, not a clue, mine doesn't have one. Have you checked at iburncorn.com, a few Revolution owners there, too. Now, you say "If I put a piece of tape blocking the vacuum tube that that protrudes from the side of the furnace, the needle of the tester settles down and the unit will run just fine.." That seems to indicate that that hose should be plugged onto a nipple somewhere there, and got dislodged at some point. If it was me, I'd probably plug it until I found out more, BUT I'm not saying it's the right thing to do.
  15. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    hmm...yours does not have one, interesting?

    by chance would you know the mfg date of yours? according to the info plate my unit was mfg'd in 2008, which would lead me to beleive it is an early model..?

    I will post a picture if I can figure out how.
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Serial # should be on there somewhere also. The Fahrenheit tech I spoke with last week, knew all the parts that my stove didnt have (updates since then). So I am getting them in the mail today (hopefully today).

    But if you get ahold of St. Croix, they will prob need the serial# to see what it may and/or may not have.

    My 2 pennies...

    (Oh, and what dealer? Is what I meant?) Not many St. Croix dealers around here. (Or by me anyways).

    As for the pic posting, check the sticky up top on how to post.

    I use Windows Paint and edit a "copy" of a photo. If its under 1200 x 900 I have never had a prob. Or I use my Phone (Droid Bionic).

    Pics help a lot. In times of question like these, they are tremendously helpful.
    The Harman PF-100 really shines in the blower dept. Has an optional 2,000 CFM unit.
    (My Blower is only 800 CFM, but I am only using half my duct work. Half the house is sealed off with a damper blocking that whole trunk. But if I were to do both main trunks, it would be inadequate for sure /half the system with 800 CFM, feels about the same as my 2,000 CFM LP blower doing the whole system)
  17. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    I bought mine in June of 2008, I think that was the first year. Also, I seem to rember somebody on the corn forum saying that TOO MUCH air will give a lazy sooty flame, strange as it seems.
  18. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

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    I'm fighting the same issue. I thought I had it licked when I blew through the tube and it lasted all night in single degree temps (which is usually when it fails), but it's dumped out once since when it's in the upper 20s out (but raining and icky). I'm pretty sure my venting needs attention (the airedale who installed it put in a 6' vertical run outside, ignoring where the manual said and I quote "It is not recommended to run vertical venting outside the heated environment where the furnace is installed. Running a venting system in a cold environment may cause the flue temperatures to cool down too much for adequate drafting"), but it does run continuously in warmer temps with drier air - I think it's just dumping out before it's necessary. Mine also has the second hose off of the vacuum switch running to the outside of the cabinet. I hadn't thought to try blocking that one off, maybe I'll give that a try.
  19. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

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    And just for giggles, this is the outside vacuum air termination on mine. Revolution motor cover to the right, vacuum switch/blower access panel to the left.

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  20. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Ser. # 001047, Man. Date 12/07, and nah, ain't got nothin' that looks like that
  21. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    thats the bugger....

    came home this evening...reset the control board (from shutting down last night) fired it up and changed settings back to program 3, heat level 3, set draft back to about 20-25% closed..Running smooth..ohm meter steady as a rock.

    temp in the low 30's tonight, we'll see come 3:00am if I wake up cold...
  22. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    a comfortable 70 this morning....ran like it should on level 3.
  23. slangtruth

    slangtruth Member

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    I'm getting frustrated, so stuck a piece of tape lightly across the outside termination. Ran all night without issue, but it's very warm here now and i usually only have trouble in the single digits. If it's cold (low 20s or below) running the thing on heat level 3 is not an option for me, I might as well hold up a glow stick. I need every BTU it's got to offer. If you hear back from Even-Temp on this issue please pass on anything they have to offer. But my guess is you won't - if your dealer calls they'll talk to him, but they don't want interaction with end users.
  24. Beetle

    Beetle New Member

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    Could the EVL of my system be the problem, this furnace calls for 4" pipe. My calcs are as follows:

    1 clean out ........5
    1 90....................5
    1 45....................3
    6' horizontal......6
    4' vertical...........2

    Total...................21
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If you have 4" pipe you should be fine if it is 3" pipe you have a problem.

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