1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Whitfield Optima 3 shuts off after cleaning

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by hutch761p, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. hutch761p

    hutch761p New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    I picked up an old Whitfield optima 3. It ran well until I cleaned it. It shuts off after 30 minutes. Thinking that I may have dirtied the photo eye when trying to blow out the ducts. Anyone changed or accessed the photo eye in this machine, it looks like it is in the hopper.

    any suggestions are welcome

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    4,008
    Loc:
    Southcoast, MA
    remove the photo-eye from inside the hopper, the culprit may be the filter (amber glass) under the eye, all can be removed with a 11/32 socket, clean the filter lens, remove the eye from the solenoid and make sure it seats back in. The control board is sending a 5v signal to the solenoid, the fire allows the eye to generate enough power to close the solenoid. Common part to fail,,,but its usually a dirty lens OR faulty eye. The solenoid is usually ok but the eye isnt generating power. Eyes and solenoids canbe bought on Amazon.com for under $20....dealer price will be over $135
    mralias likes this.
  3. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,123
    Loc:
    NH
    I find the 30 minutes to be curious. usually see the photo-eye fault at about 10 minutes. when it goes out are there still pellets in the burnpot burning?
  4. hutch761p

    hutch761p New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    -
  5. hutch761p

    hutch761p New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    After inspection the Eye looks clean. I actually have 2 problems it turns out-
    1) When the stove ignites it will only dispense pellets once or twice and then burn out or
    2) After the stove ignites it feeds normal and shortly after the blower turns off it goes into fault
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,542
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    In issue #2 what blower is turning off and when?.


    In issue #1 did you hit or move the damper setting by any chance?
  7. hutch761p

    hutch761p New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    #1 - The stove was given to me, I think it is about 8 or 10 years old. I read on these forums how to clean the chambers for the damper. When I opened them up they were so full of ash there was only a quarter size space for air. I cleaned them out and then (yes) messed with the damper.
    #2 - when you turn on the stove a blower comes on until about 10 minutes, after which the blower can be adjusted by the controls. So for #2 , the start up blower tuns off and the stove functions normally and then shuts down.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,542
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Well if it is the stove shuting down after lighting either the POF isn't seeing the flame (bad sensor) or the control started its normal poll of the vacuum switch and isn't liking what it sees and shuts things down. If it is the sensor system and you are certain it is free of dirt then you you are faced with a bad sensor, if it is the vacuum switch not being seen the way the controller wants it you can jump the switch and see if it then continues to run. After which you might need do a bit more cleaning with the vacuum, firebox thumping, and brushes and retrying before settling on a possible vacuum switch replacement.

    I suspect your #2 is caused by a bad photo cell or loose wire or dirty lens or ash between the lens and the burn pot.

    It is very possible that #1 is the same as #2 and is vacuum related.

    I'd start by seeing if jumping the vacuum switch allows the stove to run, remember this is for a test only and do not leave the stove. Please report back here after trying this and if the stove runs let it run for about twice the time it has in the past but no longer until you get at the real problem. The vacuum switch is a primary stove safety device and the stove shouldn't be run with it jumped without constant attention.

    Used stoves usually are packed with ash and it can take several attempts at cleaning to get all of the mess out they also may have set around long enough the the various quick connects on the wiring have corroded and could use a little attention in the cleaning department as well. Nothing like flaky connections to cause headaches.
  9. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,123
    Loc:
    NH
    might be some sawdust in the pellet chute blocking the eye as well....sneaky sawdust.
  10. hutch761p

    hutch761p New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the help, I missed a key part.....photo eye filter!!. I removed the eye it looked clean, wiped it down and same results. I hit the forum again and realized I was looking for the filter, the filter was completely black. Cleaned the filter and so far so good. Thanks again.

Share This Page