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Summers Heat 55-SHP Pellet Feed Not Constant

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by PlaAkilr, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. PlaAkilr

    PlaAkilr New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
    I am new to Pellet Stove Ownership, so please bear with me here.

    I am burning Hardwood Heat Pellets in a Used "new to me" Summers Heat 55-SHP Stove.

    I put the lower three buttons on 6-4-1 and then after calling Support, I was able to Dial in a great 2-2-1 with complete burn, clean glass, and light ash. Flame was 6" to 9" in hight, not extreme dancing. Blue at bottom, White/Yellow in middle 2/3, Light Orange at tips. No Red or Black to be Seen.

    The heat output was also amazing, on Low - 1 Blower 3.

    Then it happened, the fire would burn low - almost out before new pellets would arrive.
    (The Hopper Restrictor Plate open wide and Both Augers are turning)

    One the pellets would enter the burn pot, there would be like 1, wait..., 2 wait...., and then a flood of pellets that seemed to almost fill the auger tube would arrive. This on a LFF of 2.

    If I turn the Heat Setting Up and the 3-Buttons on 6-4-1 the same problems occur.

    My Pellets are relatively clean, I pour a bag into 2 buckets / approx equal 20# ea.

    I have cleaned the stove, and the piping is Simpson with 2' to T w/ cleanout cap, then 3' to 90 and cap. Outside air is used also to feed firebox.

    The Previous Owners Lower Buttons were 1-3-1 I did write that down.

    The Only thing I haven't done was pull the augers, and as my only heat source at present... I am unsure if that's what I really want to do. Also, I do not have replacement gaskets, or parts.... so is there a way to hold me over till I troubleshoot and have what I need to stay warm in the meantime?

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  2. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,182
    Loc:
    Northampton, PA
    I don't know if this is your problem or not but try a bag of some other pellet. I have the same issue with the Treecycles. Exact same symptoms. This is the only pellet I have that it happens with. I currently have on hand Winter Warmth, Clean Energy, and Pennwood. For some reason it ONLY happens with the TC's. You can try opening the little "door" at the bottom of the hopper and see if that helps....it doesn't for me with the TC's. I'm not sure but mabe it has something to due with pellet density....who knows!
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,121
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Sounds like something is getting stuck in the upper auger or in the drop area between them.

    You need to shut the stove down to take care of whatever is causing the problem.

    You should look for:

    1: Loose auger motor couplings.
    2: Bridging in the area between the upper and lower auger.
    3: Failing or reversing auger motor.

    The auger motors are supposedly the same, the lower one is always running when the stove is on, sometimes switching the motors can tide you over until the failing one is replaced (this is true only of the bottom motor).
  4. kofkorn

    kofkorn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    Central MA
    This is actually pretty normal with these stoves. We have two and they both do the same thing to varying degrees.

    It's due to the double auger design. The top auger doesn't turn continuously, it turns a few degrees every few seconds, depending on the feed rate. When the auger gets to a certain point, the pellets will tend to slide off of the auger in a bunch. Then there is an interval before the next auger cycle starts dropping pellets. The in-laws next door have the PDVC model and it does it much worse than my PDV model does.

    I can understand SLVRBLKK when he says that different pellets don't always do it. I would imagine that the pellet length and "stickyness" would affect how well they tend to slide off of the upper auger. I've had this stove for three years now and I haven't had a bag of pellets that doesn't do it.

    The good thing is that once it's on high, you don't notice it.

    Sorry I can't give you more help.
  5. PlaAkilr

    PlaAkilr New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
    Stove emptied and cooled. Flue Cleaned. Shop Vac and where I could go I went. Augers pulled. Top Auger set screws loose. Auger motor fine. Bottom auger pulled. Carbon buildup removed. Burn box unclogged canned air and shop vac. Heat exchanger cleaned. That plate tighted up to fit more snug, and not tight. Heat expands... so keep it loose, but not floppy.

    Hopper modified, using grinding wheel the huge weld was softened up a bit. My welds were 1/2+ the height of a horizontal pellet. Now they are smooth, and the longer pellets travel with no difficulty all the way down to the burn pot. I have seen 10+ make it all the way to the end on a turn.

    Door glass, stays clean for 12 hours or so, then a little deposit occurs.

    I am fuguring the stove ran hotter dirty, but yet it ran dirty also.

    Currently running 6-2-1 at 9-9 to try to warm as much of the house I can before backing it down.

    The inside of the stove is extremely clean, however on Low -1, I get a black V pattern just abouve the burn box. Is that normal?

    My ashes are light and fluffy, and no clinkers.

    My fire on Low resembles a gas fireplace.

    Any Response would be helpful.
  6. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,219
    Loc:
    western Ma , close to NY state border
    I do like my 25 PDVC mainly because of it`s price point and visual simplicity but there`s no question this stove is strictly an entry level pellet stove made to heat small spaces ,(set on d mode). Of course it can be adjusted/pushed to put out significantly more heat than the factory settings allow for (try c Mode) but it will burn up pellets extrordinarily fast and burn a bit dirtier. It`s more to do with the design and less to do with the pellets. The heat exchanger design/efficiency isn`t bad but it could be improved.
    The dual auger system works ok but not as good as most of us owners would like. It`s too slow to react to setting changes and the fire in the burn pot is really inconsistant. The flame fluctuates from high to low , mostly noticeable on the mid to low settings. This is caused by the less than ideal dual auger pellet delivery system that simply dumps pellets into the burn pot in a hit and miss pattern.
    Personally I think the touch pad control itself is overkill and hard for many folks to understand and use correctly.
    After burning mine for the past 11 months it`s obvious that this stove uses more pellets to produce the same amount of heat as a better quality stove would . I know because I have a Harman in the house. For me none of the above shortfalls are a big deal since mine is used in the back garage/workshop a few hrs a day at best .
    That all said, I`d not hestiate to buy an Englanders pellet stove again but I`d definitely choose one of their newer models . From what I understand they are much better.
    I`m tempted to use that old cliche , "you get what you pay for" but the fact is , even with the bottom end PDVC you get a lot more. You get service and it doesn`t end after the warranty runs out .
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Just curious what happened to the Englander recommended 2-2-1 setting that you said was so good?
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,938
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    the inconsistant feed sounds like the fuel is getting delayed inthe drop chute , sometimes a longer pellet or two can get caught in the drop chute and cause a bit of a backup in the chute ,most times this will get pushed through but sometimes it doesnt and results in a jam of the upper auger , if the condition persists ,pull the lower auger and look up the drop chute from behind the stove , you should be able to dislodge the debris with a butter knife or screwdriver, then reinstall and align the auger and put the motor back on, oh and if you see consistantlky long pellets (more than 1 1/4 inch in length) switch brands of pellets
  9. PlaAkilr

    PlaAkilr New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Clearfield County, Pennsylvania
    Inferno,

    I will get back to you on that. I am beginning to believe that calling and talking to support isn't what I need to do.

    Ex, the bearing on the augers... they have fittings.... I asked what type of grease should I use? The Support guy, "you'll never have to worry about those, they are industrial and they never need to be greased.

    So why then do they sell them in their parts store? And boy would I love to see his car / truck... I bet he hasn't heard of moving parts and friction.

    As for themostats.... there lots posted on here. I personally think the website is ok for a basic rundown... but there isn't clear instructions on some matters.

    The last guy at support, actually took my name and number... and he told me to never sway from the 4-4-1 setting.

    I will keep updates, as I am learning much.

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