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Whitfield Adv ll-T Lazy burn

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by smyler316, Nov 11, 2011.

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  1. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    I'm new to the forum and just bought my 1st pellet stove. It's a whitfield advantage ll-t. I did quite a bit of research before I bought it and have been reading through the forum to try and figure out my problem. The stove was working fine after I 1st put it in. Then, after my 1st burn over an hour it started developing a lazy flame. Opening and closing the damper had 0 effect. I shut it down and cleaned everything out again.

    I tried running it again and got the same result immediately. This time I noticed that the ash drawer was missing the knob and the fire rope between the ash chamber and burn pot had come loose on one corner. I also played around with the heat settings and discovered that turning it up to 5 resulted in a better burn. Every other setting produced a lazy burn. I pushed the fire rope back in and sealed up the ash drawer hole with a bolt. I played around with the combustion fan some more and it seemed to be running really slow on all heat settings except 5. I pulled the side cover off the stove to get a better look at the fan and ran it some more. In the middle of all this it started running better so I fired the stove back up. Ran like a dream for about an hour and then the same thing happened. This time I payed close attention to the fan and it was running really slow on all settings except 5.

    From what I've read I'm guessing that the culprit is either the fan motor, the control board, or one of the limit switches. Thoughts, opinions, advice? Am I on the right track here? Thanks in advance for any help.

    Tyler

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    First welcome to the forum.

    Now a few questions.

    Is this a used stove?

    Second describe how you cleaned the stove if is it was a used stove.

    Third do you have a voltmeter and the service manual for the stove?
  3. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

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    I had a stove just like yours. I would try the dollar bill test.....put a dollar bill between the door and the door frame, then close the door. If you can pull the dolloar bill out easily, you should replace the door gasket. Try this test with the dolloar in different locations.

    Good luck!
  4. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    It is a used stove. My roommate cleand it out. He pulled the firebricks out and vacuumed out the burn and ash chambers. He said there was about 3-5 inches of buildup behind the firebricks. The heat exchanger tubes look good. Exhaust vent is good. We emptied the auger, vacuumed out the bottom and put brand new pellets in.

    Dollar bill test shows one spot that is a little looser than the rest but I still have give a little pull to get it out. The right hand firebrick has a small chunk gone from the top.

    I do not have a leaf blower but I do have a shop vac that is reversable.

    What factors will cause the combustion fan to throttle back to the point of barely doing anything? That seems to be the problem in the end.

    Thanks!
    Tyler
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Does your exhaust blower have oil ports on its motor?

    If so read the makers plate and see what they say to use also check your manual.

    The combustion blower answers to the controls, wrong voltage wrong speed provided the bearing/bushings aren't gummed up or dried out.
  6. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    Does your exhaust blower have oil ports on its motor?

    If so read the makers plate and see what they say to use also check your manual.

    The combustion blower answers to the controls, wrong voltage wrong speed provided the bearing/bushings aren't gummed up or dried out.[/quote]


    It does have oil ports. I'll try that next. Forgot to say that yes I do have a volt meter. No I do not have a service manual....just an owners manual. Now when I turn on the fans without the stove lit, the combustion fan runs really slow no matter what heat setting it's on. It also makes a vibrating/humming sound.

    What would cause the control board to send the wrong voltage to the fan?
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That would depend upon the control board on that stove. A lot of control boards have components that fail in differing manners. A common failure might be an open triac which would result in a zero voltage on its output, they also can fail closed resulting in whatever the voltage entering the component appearing on its output in the case of a blower section that is usually line voltage.

    On analog controllers variable resisters can control the voltage and these devices being mechanical as well as electrical can suffer from wear causing poor contact and all sorts of variation on the output.

    It is also possible on some controllers to have a thermostat hooked up and it might be able to be used in a couple of different modes.
  8. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    I'll try oiling the fan motor 1st. If I can find a model number for the control board would that help in getting some advice on doing some electrical diagnostics? It looks like the stove was made in 1990. Serial # is 20936.
  9. imacman

    imacman Guest

  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Wood Heat Stoves also has a number of manuals including service manuals.
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Bad Gaskets or Dirty Plugged stove. Did you do a Full Cleaning when you got ot home. Stoves have hidden passages that go through the back of the stove and its likely that the seller sold it because it was plugged up.

    I have bought 2 stoves that were plugged. My Fahrenheit was only used a little over 1 season and the guy never did any maintenance other than vacuum the Firebox. It was plugged after 1 yr.

    Finding and following the passages that go from the firebox to the combustion blower and cleaning them with small brushes, along with the leafblower trick (vacuum mode/search leafblower) will unplug the best of stoves.

    Depending on the age of the stove, it may be a good idea to replace the gaskets. Its not expensive to do and most gaskets can be found at HD, Lowes, and local hardware stores. Just find out what size and determine if its a round or flat gasket.
  12. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

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    The complete installation-/owners manual can be downloaded for free at the Whitfield/Lennox homepage here:

    http://www.whitfield.com/resources/...vantage_II_Installation_Operation_775096M.pdf

    And here you can download some very useful .pdf-technical documents related to older Whitfield pellet stoves ( Advantage II T, Quest, Cascade, Prodigy ). These pages appear to be copied from the original service manuals.
    Through the last four years I've gained so much Whitfield related knowledge from this .pdf-document.
    Please give it a read:

    http://www.hearthtools.com/parts/whitfield_wire_diagrams.pdf
  13. imacman

    imacman Guest

  14. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    Thanks again everyone for all the help and info. I oiled the combustion fan (2 drops of 3 in 1 SAE 20 in each port)and it immediately started to run better and quieter. The stove fired right up, no problems. Woke up this morning and it was out, pot half full of pellets. I had it on the lowest heat setting so it might have just burned out due to the damper not being set quite right. I lit it back up at 7AM. Seemed to be running fine. Checked it at 10AM and it was back to its lazy burn and the blower was throttled way down. I shut it off and let it cool down. As soon as the fans turned off I put another drop of oil in each port and turned the fans back on. Combustion fan spun right up and ran quiet. I started the stove back up and got about 20 mins or so before the lazy burn was back with the fan running slow. Only heat setting 5 caused the combustion fan to speed up and produce any airflow work talking about but it still wasn't enough to keep up with the rate of pellet feed rate.

    I have not done an aggressive cleaning behind the burn chamber with brushes or a leafblower/shop vac. I have no problem with doing one but I can't help thinking that clogged air passages aren't causing the problem. Something is causing the combustion blower to throttle down. I'm going to start looking through the wiring diagram next. Any advice on what I should be looking for, components to focus on, basic electrical testing, etc would be greatly appreciated.

    Tyler
  15. burrman

    burrman Member

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    it needs a top to bottom clean-out sounds like...and maybe a new fan
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Is that the oil the manual or the makers plate says to use on that motor?

    Some of those whits required a different oil than SAE 20 ....

    What kind of control panel is on that stove, yes it makes a difference.

    There is a thread on here by Snowy Rivers dealing with making a replacement stove controller for whits (and other stoves) using off the shelf parts...

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/80023/
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The combustion blower is what pulls the air through the pot. If there is a clog before the exhaust can get to the blower, it slows the exhaust (plugged/dirty stove syndrome). You have a plugged ash trap somewhere. Clean the stove from top to bottom, like stated above. Use compressed air and a leafblower and it will run better than new. More oil in the motor is doing little. It has oil now, more wont help much. It needs the path to the blower cleaned, so the the blower can suck more air through the pot.
  18. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    The plate on the motor called for SAE 20 so I went with that. I double checked oil types with the local electrical shop and they said that a 3 in 1 was what I needed.

    It has a rotary control board. Heat Setting dial, Convection Fan dial, Start button, Auger on/off switch and light.

    I know you all keep saying to do a more thorough cleaning but I can't help feeling that I would be chasing ghosts. The stove runs perfect right up to the point when the combustion fan throttles back. The lazy burn isn't always present. It only shows up once the fan slows down which. However, you guys know way more than me so I'll still do it. I just need to find the proper tools and I live quite a ways from town....don't get out of the mts that often. What all do I need? I do have a 4HP shop vac...that's the best I can do for the leafblower trick.

    One thing I just noticed after reading another thread. Should there be a hose going from what I think is the vacuum switch (right above the combustion fan) to a small barbed port on the exhaust housing next to the...low limit switch I think?

    Tyler
  19. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yes. On most stoves, this controls the auger. If there is a lack of vacuum, the auger stops running to make the stove go out. However, it may work differently on that older stove. If you get a replacement hose, make sure the switch port and hose barb are clear of ash before installing it.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ok, just wanted to make sure about the oil and that the 3 in 1 you got was the blue and white can not the red and white.

    It is possible that heat setting pot is worn or gunked up. With the stove off, turn that pot from low to high and back many times.

    There should be a hose going from a barb to the pressure switch. If there isn't one then it is likely the pressure switch has been bypassed and that presents an operational hazard to you and anyone in the building with you.

    This may also be the reason why the stove feeds pellets and lights. It would also be a possible indication that the prior owner was having issues likely due to crud in the stoves plumbing.

    You should not run the stove if that switch is bypassed.
  21. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    Ya, I got the blue and white can.

    The switch has been bypassed and the port on the exhaust was gummed up. I'm assuming any type of fuel, air or heater hose will work as a replacement hose. I'll rewire the switch, clean the port, put a new hose on and see what happens.
  22. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Remember, one end will be on a high temp part of the stove. Make sure that whatever hose you buy can withstand the temps, or it may just melt. I'd check with an auto parts store and explain what it's going to be used for.....many of the under hood hoses are high temp rated.
  23. smyler316

    smyler316 New Member

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    Well, I hooked the pressure switch back up and it ran great for around and hour before the lazy burn came back. I looked in the back during the cool down process and found that the combustion fan wasn't running. Later when stove had cooled down more it came back on. Once it was completely cooled down I turned the fans back on and everything was good. Obviously something is causing the fan to slow/shut down once the stove gets hot. All the switches test out fine on the ohm meter with the stove off.

    Bad heat setting switch, bad control board? I have no idea how to go about testing that stuff. Should I try removing the CSR?
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    OK the thermal on the combustion blower is being tripped, please tell us all about your vent system.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Or the bearings are old and worn. My old Englander I got last year was like this. I oiled it and it helped. But in the end, there was to much play in the bearings and it would slow down or even stop a couple times. New combustion blower fixed it.

    Not saying to buy a new motor, just make sure the bearings are o.k.. No freeplay or wiggle. If you spin the motor, does it "feel" o.k.?

    Very possible its a thermal shutdown. Just another observation that I have had personally.
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