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St Croix Versa grate..?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Mach23, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Mach23

    Mach23 Member

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    So i have had my prescott EXL for about 3 weeks now and for the last week it has been squeeking and squeeling. I imagine that it is comeing from the versa grate system. I read in my manual that if it does this to lube the bushings with anti-sieze. I did this about a week again and it stopped it for a day or two. Also the manual says it should only need to be done once a year..? Any other sugestions? Remember the stove is brand new, should i just call my dealer?

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    You can call him, Stove is still under warranty. Or hang out a bit. We have a few St Croix owners that will check in.
  3. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    You should let your dealer know what is going on with the unit. I've never had any experience with the versa grate models but have heard occasionally there are a few issues with them. But overall they are a good system. The Auburn does not have this issue and that's my experience so far with St. Croix.


    Good Luck,

    AR
  4. Skinn

    Skinn Member

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    When you say you lubed the bushings are you referring to the the cam that activates the versa grate? I have only needed to put a very small dab of high temp grease on mine once a year for the last 4 years to keep it quiet. I would talk to the dealer, if nothing else he can check to make sure you are lubing it well, it is under warranty so why not? My dealer has said that occasionally dust and fines will work their way down and stick in the grease making is squeal a little bit, also sometimes it is hard to get the grease all the way around the cam so you may have to run it for a little and then reapply to ensure good coverage.
  5. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    The Versa grate is lubed with Anti-sieze. It dries out over time. If your stove was sitting at the factory or the dealer for any length of time the anti-sieze is dried out. Lube the cams and the rod where it goes into the firebox. St Croix made a change to the vera-grate motor. It now has a grease fitting. If yours does not have the grease fitiing and is making noise, it can be changed out on warranty. This is accessed by opening the left side panel. (The stoves left) unplug the unit before lubing it to avoid shock hazards.

    Regards

    Brad
  6. Mach23

    Mach23 Member

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    thanks for all the replies, i guess i will contact the dealer. He might as well take a look at it since its so new
  7. Mach23

    Mach23 Member

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    where would i find the grease fitting? im not seeing it
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    You fella's using the silver anti seez? I have had much better luck with the copper stuff.
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I used the silver on mine last fall. No problems yet...
    You also need to lube the bushings that the rod slides in- both front and back. The front one (on my Afton Bay) is accessed by removing a cover (4 screws). I pulled the bushing out (2 screws) and cleaned and lubed the rod and bushing. While I was there, I cleaned out the igniter well, as there was some ash in there. These bushings are mentioned in the owner's manual. Besides eliminating the squeaking, the motor/gearbox works easier, so should last longer.
    When I clean the burn pot, I grab the Versa rod and rotate it gently, to see if the bushings are binding. I make sure to return the rod to its original orientation, since the cam follower needs to be in its proper orientation, too.
    Since I lubed the bushings, the Versa motor/gearbox is a bit quieter, probably due to the decreased loading.
  10. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    Just remember that the front bushing is adjustable. Try to get it back in the same place. When I lube mine, I just run the versa-grate rod all the way out and coat the end.
  11. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    [/quote]
    where would i find the grease fitting? im not seeing it[/quote]

    It is on the inside of the motor. Below the shaft.
  12. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    I am not sure what the difference between the copper and silver is. My current jar of anti-sieze is copper. The one it replaced was silver. The factory uses silver.
  13. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    My Prescott came from the factory with the copper anti seize.
  14. Charlie500e

    Charlie500e New Member

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    Rockland County, NY
    My versa grate had been loud for years despite lube/anti-seize on all the parts. Finally after reading another thread on this forum I removed the motor and packed high temp wheel bearing grease into the transmission/gear housing. It's now wisper quiet!
  15. cold front

    cold front Member

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    Had the same problem last year the above will fix it
  16. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Mine has never been noisy in the 6+ years I've been using the stove. I have only lubed the cam once.... never touched the bushings.

    A few owners have disconnected the system because of the noise but it works so well at keeping the firepot clean that I would really miss it. the 'new to me' Greenfield that i bought does not have the Versa-Grate so it looks like that stove will require a little more cleaning once it's fired up.
  17. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    One interesting facet of the Versa-Grate - these Lignetics have a lot of ash and clinkers, and it's rolling the clinkers into 3/4" marbles. They just roll out of the burn pot.
  18. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

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    When my versagrate broke down my insert ran like crap. Poor flame, dirty. As soon as the versagrate motor was replaced it worked great again. Why would that be? The burnpot must be getting plugged while it's running?

    Mine had the St Croix wheeze last year. They lubed it again when they cleaned it this year before we started but it's back wheezing again though not as loud this time. Mine it didn't matter if the rod was lubed it was the cam squealing.
  19. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Lube the cam, it shouldn't be squealing.

    There is someone on the forum here, can't remember just who, has disconnected the Versagrate and reports no problems with plugging.
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I think Xena has hers disconnected.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That is correct.
  22. chucky p

    chucky p New Member

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    I've been using permatex nickle anti seize it's rated up to 2400 deg.
  23. Mach23

    Mach23 Member

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    finally got it taken care of. i ended up pulling it all apart and using the anti sieze on all places i thought it should be. The stuff theat was on it was very much dried out. Very quiet now, thanks for all the advise!
  24. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    I did have the versa grate disconnected for a couple years but this
    season got another one with a grease fitting.
    Loaded it up with grease and also smeared never seize
    on the cams and put the new one in. After about a week or so the infamous
    "tiny rattling ball bearing" sound was back. It's not
    the cams. Anyone who has heard it knows what I'm talking about.
    Anyway bottom line for me, second versagrate same noise
    but this time it's not as pronounced and is intermittent.
    Actually when the stove is on setting #2 or higher
    the sound of the blowers drowns it out so I can deal with it
    unless it gets worse then I'll just disconnect it.
    My stove never ran bad with it disconnected.
  25. tchdngrnby

    tchdngrnby Member

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    Puget Sound Washington
    Having this stove for three weeks, I recommend you contact your dealer. If that does not work try the following:

    There are 4 phosphorous bronze bushings located in the linkage assembly between the versa grate motor and the front of the stove. Two are located on the bracket that supports the connecting rod between the versa grate motor and the cam, one is located where the shaft enters the back of the firebox, and the last is located in the front of the stove. Cleaning and lubrication is neccessary to keep the "squeel/wheeze" to a minimum. I initially had the same noise problem when I purchased my EXL. I replaced the versa grate motor under warranty and it did not (completely) solve the problem (yes, the gearbox is noisey). Until I field stripped the versa grate drive train, cleaned, and applied a liberal coating of Napa copper anti-sieze to the bushings, cam, and rods did I achieve measurable success. All the EXL needed was to be cleaned and lubricated. (You will not find this in the trouble shoot guide in the owners manual).

    The older versa grate gear boxes do make noise, and I am happy to learn that Even-Temp has modified them with a zerk fitting for lubrication. Once I wear out these two motors, maybe I will purchase one. Until then, I will resign myself to my annual ritual disassembly, cleaning, lubrication, and reassembly.

    Be sure to let us know how you fare in getting the noise under control.

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