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Trouble shooting help with Santa Fe please.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by John Choquette, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Hey fellas I'm having an issue with my Santa Fe pellet stove and would appreciate any help or advice given.

    My stove won't keep feeding pellets after the thermostat kicks on, initially it will drop a few pellets and get a small fire going, But it won't keep feeding the pellets and so it dies out. Now if I hit the reset switch it will feed pellets as normal bringing the stove up to temperature properly. But then when temp goes down the same issue arises, thermostat kicks over auger feeds only a few and a small fire dies out.
    Now in years past once I hit reset there wouldn't be an issue with the stove kicking on when calling for heat and staying on until the room was warm. I have done a full cleaning at the end of last season, as well as beginning of this season. I have also removed the clean out cap on my vent in case I had any excessive soot build up. There was very little so I know that isn't the issue, Now I've seen talk of 'snap discs' being pressed to reset the system? I have located both of them but neither will press in, am I correct in assuming that they haven't tripped and do not need to be reset?

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  2. reallyte

    reallyte Member

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    Make sure thermocouple is all the way in the ceramic housing.
  3. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    It is seated properly and cleaned gently with a wire brush.
  4. reallyte

    reallyte Member

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    The wire going into that housing is the important part. If that is good. Watch the call light after first ignition.
  5. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Ok I'll check it when I get home tonight from work. It should be solid red right?
  6. reallyte

    reallyte Member

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    Yeah if I remember right. The troubleshooting section in manual can clarify.
  7. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If the resettable snap discs were tripped, you wouldn't be feeding anything. In the one case, you wouldn't even have power so that's not the problem.
    When the thermostat kicks on, try to listen to how long the auger runs and compare that time to the time for when you hit the reset. Should be the same. Hitting the reset just resets the timer to run the auger for the same amount of time.

    Have you looked up the drop chute with a light and a mirror to make sure nothing is blocking the passageway up there? I would also open up the inlet gate a healthy amount just to see if that helps. If it does, then you can throttle back a little to get the correct flame height on HIGH. I know you said it feeds fine after hitting reset but it could just be a feed issue. Is this a new batch or brand of pellets you're using? Are they left over from last season and perhaps they got wet or crumbly?
  8. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Well the light is still red after the thermostat kicks on and it does the initial feed and burn out, it's just not continuing to feed, unless reset is pressed. I'm assuming the thermo couple is good the wired connection looks sound and intact but that's just an eye test. The auger feed chute is clear I actually take apart the auger every spring and clean it so no dusty pellet bits jam it up. I've seen people talk about a vac line that runs to the control box that can sometimes be an issue, I may try and take that apart tomorrow and see if there's a blockage. I doubt it's the thermo couple though, since when reset is hit it does add pellets until the room is at temp. So it is reading heat from the fire pot and adding accordingly. I dunno I'm striking out on all the easy fixes
  9. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

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    As a test, put a small handful of pellets in the burnpot before you start it. See if the additional pellets give you enough temperature to get it going.

    To get the stove going, the control box has to see a certain temperature from the thermocouple within a certain amount of time. You're either not getting enough pellets in the initial feed, or maybe a weak ignitor could be taking too long to light them. (The reset button gives you another dose of pellets and I believe it resets/restarts the timer.) Also, are the burnpot and its holes clear of ash?
  10. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Have you tried opening up the feed chute to get more pellets to feed? Hence bigger fire to satisfy the thermal probe proof of fire. The Santa Fe is a simple stove. Adding the handful of pellets as Swineflue suggests is just manually doing what the stove would do if the feed is proper.
  11. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    When you start up, is the green light coming on inside the control box? Is it then turning red as the stove heats up? I'm not talking about the external red call for heat light, but the one inside the control box. Also, do you see an amber light inside the control box, which would indicate a bad thermocouple?
  12. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Ok so this did work, a small handful plus the feed when the thermostat kicked on and it brought itself up to temp fully. So then when the thermostat kicked on again it puttered out as usual since I hadn't added the initial handful of pellets.

    Feed rate is opened all the way up, which I never do because once it gets going the fire pot is out of control flame height wise. I am seriously wondering though if the heater core is starting to go, it's definitely not that cherry red hot color when first firing up and I have noticed it tends to smoke and smolder longer before actually catching fire.

    Negative on the control box lights as well, just the usual red call light and green for when the room's at temp.
  13. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, it sure sounds like it's the ignitor.
  14. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    But then again why would it light and operate fine if reset was pressed and not when thermostat kicked on? So maybe it isn't the heater core.
  15. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

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    Were you hitting reset just after the failed start, when the burnpot was still hot?

    Also, I'm not sure why adding a handful of pellets would help if it was the ignitor.
  16. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    No I wasn't hitting reset only after failed starts, So the pot was cold and it fired up. For whatever reason it's not calling/feeding pellets when thermostat start occurs, after the initial drop that is.
  17. SwineFlue

    SwineFlue Minister of Fire

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    Wow, pressing the reset button simply interrupts the thermostat connection, nothing more.

    Have you been in the room when the thermostat reaches temperature, and when it calls for heat again? I'm wondering how cold the stove gets (or doesn't get) when the problem occurs versus when you start it successfully.
  18. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    The stove is in the finished basement/game room so I'm always near it. I'll let it cool and try it dead cold again but if memory serves the Reset starts works every time because it feeds more pellets initially than when it starts via thermostat turning on.
  19. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Cold start from reset just fine, cold start from thermostat dropped first initial batch of pellets and never dropped anymore, red call light on the whole time. Fire just burned out and call light is still on..argh
  20. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    I had the same issue today. to the t. I wound up emptying the hopper and found a big clump blocking the flow. at that point I vacuumed and cleaned the area well and had been running great.
  21. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Suppose it's worth a shot..course I had to just fill the damn thing hah.
  22. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    haha, so did I. hope it helps. like I said it was a ditto for me and that was the problem. good luck.
  23. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    Son of a...yeah it's feeding after thermostat kicks on now. This is very curious though since in Sept. I took the auger out of the stove and cleaned/vac'd inside the auger tube. Well I'm not going to complain I just should have remembered Occam's razor!
    SwineFlue likes this.
  24. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    glad to hear it is working.
  25. John Choquette

    John Choquette New Member

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    So am I and thanks to all who offered suggestions on the issue, I'm just clueless as to why the reset would fire up no problem but the thermostat start would always fizzle out.

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