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Whitfield P20 issues. Starts up but won't drop pellets.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by letsblaze, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. letsblaze

    letsblaze Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Loc:
    40 minutes north of Grand Rapids
    My dad just called me saying his stove is acting up. Fires up, flame goes nuts and burns out with no dropping pellets after the initial fill up in the pot. He cleaned it up good including the photo eye and there was no change. I think he may have lost his eye. Any other suggestions?
    He also cleaned the pipe to make sure Ot wasn't blocked by something. I recommended a good old leaf vacuum treatment to insure it was good and cleaned but his leaf vacuum has an oblong intake so he would have to tape part of it off to get good suction.
    HELP PLEASE... :(

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  2. letsblaze

    letsblaze Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Loc:
    40 minutes north of Grand Rapids
    What....
    No one has any ideas. :(
  3. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Denmark, EU
    Hi Letsblaze,

    A non working photo eye ( faulty or dirty ) will not just stop the pellet feed, no it's even more dramatic: It will make the stove shut down, once the start up cycle has finished ( after approximately 30 minutes ).
    Normally this type of shut down will produce some smoke in the room where the stoves is, since a handful of burning pellets is still present in the burn pot, when the stove shuts down, but this is not the case here??
    No, I'm more optimistic as for the cause of the missing pellet feed on your dads Profile 20 stove, you see, whenever my Quest Plus stops feeding pellets, it's usually caused by one simple thing: Too many fines/sawdust accumulated at the bottom of the hopper ( intake area ).
    Please ask your dad if his cleaning routine included this: Emptying of the hopper for pellets and a thorough vacuuming of the intake area.
    If the fines are the source of the issue, you can't help noticing a large amount of fines/sawdust in this area.
    These fines accumulate over some time, and unfortunately the top feeders like ours are not able to transport such an excessive amount of fines. Bottom fed stoves like the Harmans and others have no problems feeding fines.

    Note: The fines do not block the rotation of the auger and that's good news, or else the auger motor and its surroundings would suffer severe damage from being blocked.
    The fines make an infinite loop of material that is really stuck down there, until it gets vacuumed away.

    Good luck and keep us posted
    Bo
  4. Stovensen

    Stovensen Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Denmark, EU
    Letsblaze, This picture shows a severe case of fines blocking the auger intake on my Quest Plus stove. I took it last winter.
    If you find something similar in your dads Profile 20 stove, you certainly have found the cause of the issue.

    If, however, you don't discover any fines, we will have to start searching for mechanical or electrical faults, but let's take it from there then.
    Fines blocking auger intake.jpg
  5. ekarlis

    ekarlis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    50
    Loc:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Letsblaze:
    You might want to check the vaccum switch. You can check the hoses & jumper
    out the switch. If you look at the wiring diagram, it might tell you what color wire & usually
    the vaccum switch is round on most stoves. Good Luck
  6. letsblaze

    letsblaze Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Loc:
    40 minutes north of Grand Rapids
    so I tore the photoeye filter out and it does show sings of discoloration on it. The pellet hopper was spotless as was the photo eye itself. I cleaned it and reassembled it and also checked the vacuum line for cracks or blockages. That was all good. I'm going to reassemble and see if there is any changes.

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