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  1. Snowmobileaddict

    Snowmobileaddict New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
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    Loc:
    Cedarburg, WI
    Have you tested or jumpered the leads going to the vacuum swtich to rule out any issue there?

    You can jump the leads together that go to the vacuum switch and see if the stove operates.

    Also you can, extremely lightly, suck the stove side of the of vacuum hose and listen for a faint "click" inside the vacuum switch. If it clicks it is actuating. It shouldn't take too much vacuum to actuate the switch.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    There are three snap discs that control some of the Mt. Vernon's operation one of these (#3) is a manual reset 250::Fburn back protector switch, the actual overfired/high temperature switch is #2 AND IT IS CALLED THE THERMOSTAT OVERRIDE SWITCH and it is an auto reset puppy and trips on rise at 170::F shutting down the auger system.

    So in short the quads are able to feed after a high temperature shutdown without reseting anything.
  3. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
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    54
    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    When I got home yesterday, I fired the stove up, it ran through its partial cycle like it had been and then went out. I pulled the 2 wires off the vacuum switch and jumped them together. Pellets started dropping and the stove fired back up and ran like it should.
    It was the vacuum line. It wasn't plugged, the ends were getting a little funky. I cut 1/2" off each end and away she went. Has been running great all night long.
    Thanks so much for all of your help.
    At least after all this, I'm no longer afraid to tear into my quad. It is a pretty simple piece of equipment.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Glad you are off to the races.

    Take a look at post #42 in this thread.

    Yup you shouldn't have anymore concerns about doing your own work on the stove and now know all of the things that can get in the way of the startup.
  5. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    Yup, post 42 was the one that made me wonder if I had a vacuum leak. I knew I didn't have a vacuum blockage because I had checked that, but it never dawned on me that the hose might be leaking. Thanks again!
  6. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    Well, here I am a week after I thought I had my stove all set. It runs great, but keeps misfiring. I will go down and there will be a handful of unburned pellets in the firepot and the call light is glowing like Rudolph's nose. I hit the RESET button and off she goes, like nothing is wrong. A few hours later it will do the same thing.
    Yesterday evening I vacuumed it out real good, pulled the ash pan, vacuumed the compartment out. Checked the ignitor and it was loose and not seated all the way in. I thought "BINGO!" and put it back in it's place and snugged the wing nut down firmly. Hit the RESET and away she went. Until a few hours later. Changed the control module setting to "2", Hit the RESET again, away she went. Adjusted the feed shute to the correct flame height with the new control box setting. Ran fine for the evening. Went to bed, woke up at 5 and went down to check the stove. Unburned pellets in the pot, call light lit. Hit RESET and away she went. Got up at 5:45 and she was still running fine. However, I don't trust her one bit at this point. I am wondering, the ignitor is the original. I installed the stove in 2007 or 2008. Even though the ignitor is glowing red, could it be weak???? Maybe it isn't getting hot enough to light correctly. It does seem to take a good bit before I start seeing sparks in the stove when I hit RESET. How long should it take for ignition on this model? I can't remember how long it used to take.

    Any thoughts on this?
  7. Snowmobileaddict

    Snowmobileaddict New Member

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    Loc:
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    I was having a similar issue for my first couple of days with my new stove. I found that there is a bit of play in where my burn-pot liner will sit inside of the actual burn pot. There is a critcal liner postion for my stove to ensure trouble free starts.

    I found that my burn-pot liner must be in such a poition that it is touching the igniter tube (the air tube not the actual igniter element). It it wasn't, the T-stat would call for heat, it would inititate the start-up sequence and drop pellets at start-up rate with the igniter on. However, with the liner not touching my igniter tube, the hot air would not be directed enough into the slowly-growing pile of pellets during startup mode to set off a flame before start-up mode would elapse. As such, the programmed time for startup (10-12 mins) would expire, the fire wouldn't start therefore the proof of fire switch would not trigger and the stove would indicate an error code on the LED graph and it would require a reset.

    Upon reset, the existing pile of pellets in the mis-adjusted burn-pot liner would get just enough heat from the igniter and would light eventually during the reset. So in my situation, it was starting with a loaded burn pot vs. an empty burn pot with a misadjusted burn-pot liner. With the misadjusted liner, the stove would start a flame within the start-up program. With an empty burn-pot it wouldn't.

    Maybe your issue is similar to what I was experiencing. Try adjusting your burn pot liner or igniter tube and experiment some more with cold start-ups. Since learning what was going on with my stove, I've had 3 weeks of trouble free heating in T-STAT On/Off mode.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    There shouldn't be any umburned pellets?

    If it misfires, only the pellets in front of the ignitor slot should be burnt. Is it the whole pot thats burnt?

    Because if the stove started, (even if T/C doesn't sense 200°) the combustion blower runs long enough to burn the load of pellets in the pot.

    So if the pellets ignite, they should burn up and if they dont ignite, then the pellets should appear normal (few dark ones near slot).

    ow long could your stove run without pulling the pot clean-out?Did your pot fill with ash normally? A lot of caking?

    You may have a significant leak somewhere?
  9. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    The pellets appear normal/unburnt. With the pellets I used to burn, they were high ash hardwood, I would pull the pot cleanout once a day after scraping it with a puddy knife. The softwood Isabella pellets that I have been burning make a lot less ash. They don't fog up the glass either. They are black compared to the hardwood's grey ashes, but much fewer. I scraped and pulled the pot cleanout yesterday when I came home to an unlit stove. It ran fine all evening, starting and stopping. Then this morning, it missed the 4 a.m. cycle where I have it programmed to bring the basement up to about 80 for the first few hours of the morning. I went down at 5:45 when my alarm went off and pressed the RESET button and off she went.
    I shouldn't have a leak. I just replaced the door gasket. I have an OAK installed. I replaced the pot gasket last spring when I had to remove the pot to extract the broken bolt off that holds the pot and the thermocoupler in place (had a bad thermocoupler and a melted cover).
    Being an intermittent problem makes it hard to nail down. Again, I am wondering if there is such a thing as a "WEAK" ignitor???
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    For the cost of $30-$35 for an ignitor, I would try it? Worse thing that happens is you end up with a spare.
    Ignitors can get weak. Over time they will either loose a section all together or not get as hot/bright.

    If its unburnt fuel, then the three most likely causes would be, either a bad ignitor, not enough fuel, or an air leak.

    Check and double check the door and ash pan gasket. Also, check your gap on the ash cleanout. The gap around the plate and the pot shouldn't exceed the thickness of a dime.

    What heat setting do you run the stove on? (Med, High, Quad) I would always keep the gate open a little more than necessary to ensure a good amount of pellets get dropped in the pot. Without enough fuel, you won't have ignition.

    As for start time. Can you start it and write down the times at what happens? As close as you can. Starting with Call for heat light is what starts the clock. Then, auger stops after 90 secs. At 3:34 I see a spark, at 3:58 ignition and 4:25 combustion blower drops down to the Med setting (or whatever setting you run at/But dont use Quad so you can hear it step down).
  11. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    The gap on the ash cleanout, you are talking about the bottom of the pot when I pull the handle? I hadn't thought of that. I will check it tonight.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yes. Look into the ignitor area. The gap between the plate and pot floor shouldn't be more than a dime.

    If so, tighten bolt. Lots of air can sneak by there. The more burn pot bypass air = less super heated ignitor air, which may result in a misfire??
  13. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    Makes sense. Didn't get to try it last night, music practice. Tonight I will have to check it out.
  14. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    O.K. I checked the space and even tightened it up a little even though the space wasn't as big as a dime. I am still getting a misfire when it decides to do it.
    I am wondering if I need to scrape the bottom of the firepot out more often with the softwood pellets, even though they don't make as many ashes as the hardwood did.
    It is hard to chase down an intermittent problem like this.
  15. John Wallington

    John Wallington New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    32
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Your statement above is sort of absurd. Your claiming your house is 'tight' because you added an extra 1/2" GWB. And updated the windows. and is only 17 years old.

    Here is why that makes no real sense.
    1/2" GWB only has an R Value of .45.....yes that is correct POINT 45

    2x6 Wood Studs are 5.5 inches thick, but R-19 batts are placed in the cavity. You think you have R-19 insulation, but you really have R16 insulation because to achieve the full R19 the batt needs to be its full depth which is 6.5". Because it is compressed it loses some of its value.

    And lastly, the 17 year old comment...R value is lost in all insulation as it ages. That is why there is a listed R value and and Aged R value associated with most insulations. Due to outgassing of the insulation it loses its ability to resist heat loss over time. Also, dirt, moisture, etc causes it to be less effective. So the very reasons you listed for your house being 'tight' are the reason why it probably isnt.

    What really makes a house 'tight' is the use of things like infiltration barriers on the exterior, you know them as Tyvek. Or properly flashing around the windows. Yes new windows will help with some thermal heat transfer, but if they did no more than take the old windows out and put replacements in, with no sealing of the window opening, you didnt gain as much as you think you did. Sealing of windows uses products similar to ice and water shield for the roof. It is a sticky backed system that sticks to the substrate and the window frame and seals the opening. Even a good quality caulk, will only last 3-5 years before it needs to be replaced...and if its behind vinyl siding it will probably never get replaced.

    The biggest gain you can do to your house, is to add rigid insulation to the exterior on the outside of the existing sheathing. 1" will get you a continuous R5. Now R5 doesnt seem like much, but because it is continuous and there is no thermal bridging, as there is with the cavity wall batts, it does more for your house than the cavity insulation does. Better would be to add 2" of rigid to the exterior. Not only do you get great R value, but after you build out all the window jambs you end up with really nice deep windows. Also, you will gain some additions by adding insulation to your basement. You think not, but the ground below the frost line is always 55 degrees. And if your basement isnt insulated, the concrete acts like a huge thermal sink transferring the heat in your basement to the exterior. Super insulated basements are becoming the norm in modern construction with 4 inches of rigid at the walls and up to 6-8" of rigid under the floor. But most people are not going to dig up their foundations to put in more insulation, a decent trade off is the batt blanket that can be attached to the joists and hung down the face of the wall. And another common point of heat loss in a house is at the rim board on top of the foundation. If it wasnt put down correctly with a sill sealer, you have a huge 'crack' in your house that is losing heat...and let me tell you that 17 years ago, sill sealers were just starting to hit the market....your house might or might not have one.... And just stuffing the joist spaces isnt really enough. It will slow down the heat loss but the most effective way is to spray foam the inside of the rim board from the top of the foundation to the bottom of the subfloor.

    What really causes heat loss, is not heat transfer through the walls, but heat loss due to air leakage at cracks, door jambs/openings, window jambs/openings, outlets, light fixtures, etc. Even where the stud sits on the subfloor in a platform framed home can leak air. If you really want your house to be tight, you should have a 'blower door' test conducted and have the tester walk through with a smoke pen and see if you can identify areas of air leakage and seal those up. You would be amazed at what a difference that will make....simple things like new door sweeps, or plastic on the windows.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    12,041
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    John,

    Dexter does the fall window treatment thing and if memory serves me (I can hear him now saying what memory?) he might be following the interior storm plans I gave him a while ago.

    You are correct on the sealing air leaks, etc .... Lots of folks forget about such things unless they happen to feel a draft. People also get hung up on only insulating their attics and they actually have more wall area than attic area.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    By sealing... All windows have been sealed as well as possible (caulk and Lots of it). I still use plastic sealing kits, all.door seals were replaced, all Outlets and Switches have been sealed and insulated. Basement Sill has been sealed (did that one last year because of Basement stove addition) I should have been more clear. :(

    Yes. 1/2 drywall may not be much (X2 layers) . But when compared to the 3/8" garbage a lot of builders use now, along with 2x4 construction, it is still a lot better than most. It may not seem like much. But I must tell you, it Did Help. Every bit helps. In my opinion.

    My house is no Mansion. But when I compare my usage and heat needed compared to others (be it friends and family or those here)

    I understand what you say about my 17 yr old house. But over the last 4-5 yrs (Majority done within this time period) I have Peeled and Sealed this entire joint. Many times over :) It may not be the newest or tightest around. But I am much happier (and Much Warmer) today, than I was years ago.

    Last year we were gonna reside the house (hard board insulation (R5) w/ insulated Siding (R4.7 IIRC?))and redo all trim, gutters, soffit, etc.. Probably gonna happen this year. With a Quote of about $20K to do house and garage (this means all new doors for house and garage also/because Mama wants to change the colors entirely :() it was put on back burner.

    Most of basement is finished (or walled off /insulated) except the laundry/wood stove/furnace area/both furnaces) Yes, its a heat sink. But the wood burner gets it to 80°-90° with ease and keeps it there. The Fahrenheit then idles most of the day (when used).

    My statement was as clear as Mud above. So I hope this helps a little with your understanding. Most burners on here will start to "Tighten" there home with a Solid fuel heating device. Your saving money by burning pellets. Why not save more money, by reducing your consumption? The 2 almost go hand in hand. Install a stove. Then go crazy finding ways to improve your homes heat loss and ways to keep the stove at optimal levels :)
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  18. John Wallington

    John Wallington New Member

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    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Oh i did the same thing. I understand, being an Architect, the correct way something should be done to a house, but then you factor money in and that sometimes goes out the window....but i added a pellet furnace 3 years ago, and last year i had 2" of polyiso rigid insulation to the exterior along with new siding, windows, doors, etc and my fuel consumption went from 7 tons the first year to 3 tons last year....not sure exactly how long it will take me to pay off the 28k investment into the exterior at 800 bucks a year (average cost of 4 tons of pellets) but at the same time i can sit in my living room in a t-shirt and not feel cold cause of the drafts through the windows. Yes an Architect lives in a single story ranch...we dont make as much as people think...

    Attached Files:

    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yeah. I intend to do the same with siding, insulation, etc..

    As for living in a Ranch....... I do to.. But I find it much easier to heat than those of friends and family :)

    I also only have one set of steps to contend with as i get older. And we have a Mud room that can be easily converted to a laundry if that one set of steps becomes to much!!!

    K.I.S.S. method. Another reason for a self cleaning pellet furnace. I am trying to keep human intervention to a minimum .

    An $800 a year savings is pretty good. But were you not spending more total with LP. You went from LP to pellets? So you had a savings, even at 7 ton? No..? So add that savings. Plus the 4 ton savings from insulation and other items... I call that good, in my book :).


    Having another pellet furnace user makes you a Very welcome addition to the Forum. I see lots of people moving to one soon. I love my Quad upstairs, I have no qualms with it. But I LOVE the furnace even more ;)

    Done hijacking the thread. Sorry Ezekiel.....
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  20. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    lol! No problem, but what about some more ideas with my intermittant stove misfire problem????? Last night I had to hit the RESET button again, but then it ran fine all night and was still doing good this morning.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Weak igniter perhaps. Did you check the holes in the fire pot in front of the igniter? And how many pellets were in the pot when the stove mussed its ignition?
  22. John Wallington

    John Wallington New Member

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    Yeah sorry to hijack your thread..I dont know anything about the stove you have but the weak igniter would be my choice too. If you have pellets, you have air, then the only thing missing is ignition. Is the end of the igniter plugged? I know on my St. Croix I have to blow out the igniter every so often to get the ash out of it...Is it possible that the igniter is misaligned and is only firing when you get pellets to fall exactly right up against it? Not sure if that is possible. I know on my stove it is not, it goes in one way and never moves. Good luck and sorry I cant be more help, I am still pretty new to pellet technology myself...3 years and counting.
  23. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    O.K. I was thinking weak ignitor. The shop that sold it to me said that it doesn't happen, however, it is the only thing that makes any sense to me at this point.
    You guys have come across weak ignitors then?
  24. Ezekiel_33

    Ezekiel_33 New Member

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    I have cleaned and re-cleaned the slot, removed the ignitor and put it back in, checked the slot numerous times. I think I am going to get a new ignitor. If nothing else, I will have a spare if that doesn't cure the problem.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The St. Croix doesn't have an air pump on the ignitor? I figured being a Multi Fuel stove, it would have a pump. Both of my Multi fuelers have pumps. The CPM and the Fahrenheit Endurance. The pump blows air through the ignitor tube, which creates higher temps to light stubborn fuels and also keeps the ignitor tube clear of ash..

    Ahhh...!!! !!! !!! I did it again.. (Hi-jack) ;)

    I said in post 60. It cant hurt to replace it. They are cheap.

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