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Whitfield Advantage II--Half the Burn Pot Doesn't Burn

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by susb8383, Jan 20, 2011.

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  1. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Ok, more stuff. This is from the description of an ebay auction for the end plate/nylatron bushing:

    "This Bearing Endplate assembly is a direct replacement for all Whitfield stoves that came with the old style brass bushing. If you have the older style bronze - brass bearing, you will likely find that it is loose in the mounting plate. It is recommended that you replace it with this Nylatron style bearing. Continuing to use your stove with a loose bearing will cause undo stress on the auger motor and will significantly decrease it's life expectancy. With normal use, this Nylatron style bearing would need to be replaced approximately every 7 - 10 years, depending on how much you use your stove.

    To check your Nylatron bearing for excess wear, see if the auger shaft wobbles where it passes through the bearing on the very bottom. It should have very little play in it. Another tell tale sign that your bearing is worn is finding an unusually large pile of fine sawdust under the base of the auger. "

    Do y'all agree? I saw another post somewhere (I think on Mike's site) and the person said they just found another brass bushing at their local hardware store that fit which fixed their problem.

    Do you think I should buy this to fix my debris problem?

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  2. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

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    Your Advantage Plus is so new that it most likely has the nylatron version like my Quest Plus which is from 1998.

    The quotes you found there says it all very precisely... if the augershaft has so much clearance that it can wobble, the nylatron bushing certainly must be replaced.

    $17.10 at Wood Heat Stoves:

    http://woodheatstoves.com/auger-bushing-threaded-nylatron-p-16917.html

    Now, let's hope that your present nylatron bushing is not worn so much that the auger shaft has been allowed to grind too much in the end plate, in that case you might consider to renew that as well.

    Wood Heat Stoves has a kit consisting of both nylatron bushing and end plate $37

    http://woodheatstoves.com/whitfield-auger-endplate-pp4010-psp-whs-p-12867.html
  3. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    This is pertinent info in relation to my Whitfield also since I have the same problem with sawdust dropping from the end of the auger. Just my bushing must be worn out. I figured it was something like that but wasn't aware that a bad bushing could put a strain on the auger motor. I'll have to work on that. I guess the fact that the motor isn't making any noises isn't necessarily a confirmation that all is well.
  4. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    It's about 15 years old.

    But I will pull out the auger and look. It didn't leak at all until I took the auger apart and put it back together. But I didn't do anything to the bushing...
  5. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

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    Well, then it's about the same generation as my stove and most likely equipped with the nylatron.

    If, however, it has the brass ( bronze? ) bushing, then this photo below of an older style augershaft and some brass bushings may give you a hint as to what you should be looking for in that case.

    The nylatron type can be seen on the Wood Heat Stoves web site through the link that I posted further up in this thread.

    The signs of a badly worn bushing is easy to get proof for... with the stove turned off and unplugged, take a firm grip on the augermotor and shake it: If there's any excessive clearance between augershaft and endplate, you'll discover it immediately.

    Attached Files:

  6. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Ok, I took the auger apart again. You're right--there's a nylatron bushing. I never noticed that because it looks like it's part of the end plate. It was pretty worn so I'm ordering a new one.

    But I'm not getting it from WoodHeatStoves, much as I'd like to. They really need to fix their shipping weights. Dave, if you're reading this...a little bushing weighs a few ounces, tops. They want to charge me over $10 for shipping as if it weighed 1.25 pounds. The same thing happened when I ordered a sheet of anti-vibration gasket material from them. It was really light and came in a padded envelope but they charged me a huge amount for shipping as if it weighed 2 pounds.

    It's just a setting in their shopping cart, but they really need to have someone look at that problem.

    Also, the top of the auger was all black and sooty, probably because of my heat problem.

    I went to You Do it Electronics and got an electric cord and connectors so I can plug the auger motor directly into an outlet and test the RPMs. I'm going to compare the old motor with the new.

    [Edit: Well I ended up ordering it from Wood Heat Stoves after all. They all charge a huge amount for shipping, except for an Ebay auction that charged $5.00 but wanted $22 for the bushing.]
  7. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    with 16,000 parts online, not all can ship usps, but this one can
    please always feel free to contact me for a discount!
    i'd gladly ship a bushing for $4.95

    dave
  8. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Yeah, I know. I use ZenCart too. One of the limitations of it is that you can't specify a shipping method by product without custom programming. No worries.

    But I did find the problem! I was able to plug the auger motor directly into an outlet and measure the rotation (thanks, Dave, for that tip on your video about drawing a line on the shaft and motor housing. I was wondering how to mark the rotation).

    Even though the label on the motor says 1RPM, it went for almost a full half rotation past that after 60 seconds, so it was more like 1.4 RPMs. So I was getting about 50% more pellets being fed than I should have. No wonder my stove was running so hot!

    I emailed the person I bought it from on eBay. Hopefully I can get a refund, but since I had it for over a year, maybe I can't.

    But if I buy a new motor, I really hope I don't find the same thing. Is this common?

    Well at least that's one problem figured out.

    --Susie
  9. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

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    This is good news :)

    As mentioned in a previous post my stove works perfectly with the 1.5 RPM auger motor, but the fuel feed trimpot has to be tweaked down permanently.
    This trimpot, you know, is on the control board... a small screwdriver is needed to turn it.

    In some cases it's an advantage with a faster rotating auger... for instance when I burn the thick 8 mm pellets.

    8 mm is the maximum diameter for the auger to handle and the flow of pellets is decreased remarkably with 8 mm pellets in the hopper, but with the 1.5 RPM auger motor there's allways plenty of RPMs to tweek from ;-)

    BTW, did you ever check whether something on the door hinge got bent when one of the rivets popped out? You know, exactly the same happened to me shortly after installing it three years ago...
    As you also experienced, the door suddenly jumped off and was hanging in just one hinge :bug:

    After this there was a leak at the hingeside, because one of the hinges got bent a little. I had to remove the sidepanel in order get acces and repair the bent hinge, but after that it worked just fine and it still does.

    I was wondering if the asymmetrical burn might be caused by this?

    Just my 2 cents.

    Bo

    PS, plugging the ignitor hole also made the burn more symmetrical.
  10. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Hi,

    We already had the pellet feed control on the control panel turned down to the lowest settings, and it was still so hot that the flame was enormous, even on setting #1. So I think I'm going back to the 1RPM motor.

    Yes, what I did with the door is replace the gasket which had been the original. When I took off the door to do so, I could tell that one of the hinge pins was bent (the lower one). So I ordered more, but in the meantime, I got a metal rod from the hardware store to serve as a temporary replacement. I also wanted to use the rod to make sure the hinges on the door and the hinges on the stove body were all in alignment. I suspected they weren't, but it turns out they were perfect.

    After I put the door back on with the new gasket, I adjusted the hinges so that both the top and bottom were even (one had been closer in which was causing the door to hang slightly crooked and causing an asymmetrical wear on the hinge pins.) But...when they were even and the door felt like it was closing straight (not shifting up or down when I press the latch onto the pin), there was a big gap in the top right corner of the door so that I could see into the chamber. Now I know why the door had been adjusted to hang crookedly; it's the only way to keep that gap from happening.

    So now my door is crooked again, just slightly, but I sealed up the hole. I think what I might try next is stay with the metal rod but put some washers on both the top and bottom of the hinges. My theory is that it will raise the door up so that the gap disappears but still keep the door level so that it won't cause the hinge pins to bend over time.

    --Susie
  11. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Oh, there's also one more piece to the puzzle about the burn pot that I didn't mention.

    On the left side of the ultra grate, one of the rods had come unwelded and is hanging. So this means there's a big gap. It could be that the faster RPM of the auger (and also possibly a defective combustion fan; next thing to check) is causing the entire burn pot to fill up, but since the left side has this extra gap, more pellets are falling through so it looks like it is burning correctly.
  12. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    If the burn pot is damaged to that point then the pellets under the grate are going to interfere with the air flow through that part of the burn pot. That in turn will cause burn issues.
  13. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    So got my replacement auger bushing in the mail today. But before I put everything back, I have a question.

    The end of my auger is full of soot because of my high heat problem:

    [​IMG]

    Does this matter or do I need to clean this off before I put it back? If I do, what should I use? I tried glass cleaner but it hardly did anything.

    Thanks, Susie
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Just like on the window a damp cloth stuck in some ash, polish with it, then a clean damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth to get what is left.

    The soot probably doesn't matter but for neatnik in you the above should help.
  15. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Ok, so I finally got a replacement auger motor from these guys today. Side note: I will NEVER buy a stove motor from eBay again! These guys were sooo slow, every little thing was like pulling teeth. Every email I sent them got no response for 3 or 4 days until I emailed "did you get my last email?" and sometimes even then I got no response for days. I'm going through Dave and Wood Heat Stoves next time.

    Anyway, the replacement motor, which is a refurbished one since the warranty had expired, is better but still not perfect.

    Instead of it being a 1.45 RPM which is what the one I returned was, it is a 1.2. The label still says it should be 1.

    They warned me about this and claimed that the 1.2 is the speed when there is no load. This is totally untrue because it was exactly the same when I plugged it into the wall and had it sitting on the floor as when I had it hooked up to the stove with pellets in the hopper. Besides, if this were true, then bench testing the original motor would result in way more than 1.45 when it was sitting on the floor.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has heard this claim before, that motors marked as 1RPM are really 1.2?

    Thanks, Susie
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I have no idea what the slop is those things, however I do know that they frequently are not exactly what they are sold as.

    Folks have been making fairly accurate ac motors for decades that are used in clocks one would think they could get it closer than they seem to be able to.
  17. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Hi,

    I just talked to a very helpful person at Wood Heat Stoves.

    He had never heard that, but just as he was pulling a similar model off the shelf to bench test it while I waited, he asked a coworker who confirmed that all the 1 RPMs are really 1.2. He said the same thing: the 1 RPM applies to the speed at full load. Whatever 'full load' means because I had almost a full bag of pellets in the hopper when I tested it.

    Wood Heat Stoves sells two different motors: the original factory motor and then an aftermarket motor (MaxiTorq.) Both of these are dropped shipped from Lennox so he couldn't bench test those for me, but he gave me the Lennox tech support number.

    I just called it. The tech I talked to, with a little prompting, said there's no difference in the RPMs for those two models. They are both 1.2. (He first said 1, but then when I explained that they are all labeled 1, but are really 1.2 when you bench test them, he said both of the motors they sell are 1.2. Didn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling since he first said 1, but when I asked if he's sure, he said "Yes, Mam.").

    So there you have it. I'll put my stove back together and let er rip (after oiling the exhaust fan. TIP: When I tried finding the 3-in-1 oil in the blue bottle mentioned in other threads, Home Depot said I'd have to go to a stove store, but Robinson Hardware had it).

    [Edit: By the way, I did put the new bushing in (didn't bother cleaning the soot off the auger) and then spun it by hand. No debris falling out! Yay!)
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Lots of things the big boxes don't carry that some local hardware store has.
  19. susb8383

    susb8383 Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I just want to report that my original problem of half the burn pot filling up is fixed!!! Whoo Hoo! The stove has been burning for almost 24 hours now without the problem.

    So to summarize this incredibly long thread:
    It looks like the whole problem was caused by the auger motor having too high an RPM. The fact that the left side didn't fill up is probably caused by my missing bar on that side of the burn pot.

    But along the way I solved other problems I found:

    Replaced the bushing on the auger end plate that was causing a shower of sawdust to rain down on the auger motor, causing a very disturbing noise
    Discovered plugs unique to the Advantage Plus that need to have ash cleaned out from behind
    Replaced the door gasket
    Oiled the combustion blower
    Adjusted the way the door hangs somewhat

    A big, hearty thank you to everyone who has kept with this for so long and gave me such valuable advice.

    --Susie
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Just in time to shut the stove off and clean it up for the no burn season.

    Glad you got all of the little "issues" taken care of.
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