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Worst upper auger jam yet

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by blackbear219, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    Loc:
    Maine
    I had a doozie in my 55SHP-10 last night that I'd like to share. I was on the road for work yesterday, 90 mins from home, when my wife texted me to say the stove had jammed. This is something we've been fighting with all season. I bought four tons of MWP and one of the tons has a bunch of long pellets in it. I need to post a pic, I have a bunch of pellets at home that I saved out that are over 2" long.

    Anyways, I started pulling bags from the other tons and discovered that it is only one ton that seems to have this problem so we've been burning the other 3 ton and haven't had a jam in a month or so. When this one jammed up, my wife tried to wiggle the motor a bit to free up the jam, which usually works. However, this time she didn't have the upper arm strength to get it to move (it can be pretty tough) so ultimately, I think she just ended up jamming it harder.

    I got home and couldn't get it either. I ended up having to pull both augers, clearing the jam and putting it back together. It's not THAT hard, but man, it was annoying. This is the first time that I've had to take the stove apart to clear a jam. Hopefully the last time also.

    I don't think MWP and the 55SHP-10/25-PDVC play well together. When I reported it to MWP they asked me if I had a 25-PDVC so I'm not the only person that's had this problem with these pellets in this model stove.

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  2. wellsme

    wellsme Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I have three 55SHP-10 stoves (which we love) and I am having almost the same problem I believe the problem
    is the pellets.
    I too purchased four tons of MWP, but we seem to have a lot of fines. The way I remedy the jamming problem is
    to run the feed between 7-9 and turn the stove(s) off if it gets too hot.
    I'm basically happy with the pellets and would buy from the dealer again, but as you stated working to the stoves to get
    heat is "annoying".
  3. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    These aren't even the longest I've found, just the ones I had on hand.

    [​IMG]
  4. HD41

    HD41 Member

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    Northern Ohio
    It appears you may have found what can be a contributing factor to a more expensive problem-auger motor failure. I have wondered why some PDVC stoves have auger motor problems while others don't and long pellets may be a factor when other causes are ruled out. When the auger stalls the motors dramatically overheat until the pellets in the burn pot are consumed and proof of fire protection shuts the stove down. I remember an occasional auger motor thump in the past. No thumping currently, I am using are Lignetics and Somerset, longest pellet in a random check was 1.25". Wonder what Englanders take is on this?
  5. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    Couldn't agree more. There is no doubt these pellets are putting unnecessary wear and tear on my motor. Unfortunately, I still have over 2 ton to burn :(
  6. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    WEll I have a solution, not practical on a long term basis but you can get that bad batch used up.

    Get a piece of heavy duty 1/2" hardware cloth and either screen the bottom of a bucket or nail some 2X4 together to make a little Box ( boards on edge)

    Dump the pellets in a little at a time and then roll them over with a suitable roller like a small pain roller.

    Break the pellets up and allow them to fall into a box or do this manuever over the hopper.

    I know this is a hastle, but it will get the stuff broken up into usuable sized pieces.

    Good luck

    Snowy
  7. DneprDave

    DneprDave Burning Hunk

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    I read about auger jams, but I haven't experienced one. What kind of auger do these stoves have? Mine has a screw type auger, it just cuts the long pellets as they go through, the pellets aren't very strong and break easily.

    I could see where a spring type auger might jam. It might be a good thing to keep track of and avoid the brands of stove the have the augers that have jamming problems, when purchasing a new stove.

    Dave
  8. HD41

    HD41 Member

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    I sent you a PM, might want to give the Stoveguy another shot at this.
  9. titanracer

    titanracer Member

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    South Central PA., Newville
    I have been burning pellets now for 5 years. I have the same stove. Bought at lowe's & installed myself w/oak. I have never (knock on wood), have had a jam up of any kind. I would say it has to be the pellets. I never had pellets that were real long. Most about 1" long. I did try some Cheat Rivers, early in this season, that had some longer one's in them, but still never had any jam ups. Maybe a good spray down with some dry graphite spray, hopper, augers, & auger tube might help. I do a tear down, about every 2 years, where I tear the auger out & everything, clean & spray all components with this dry grahite spray & put everything back together. Maybe this is actually working for me.
  10. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    I've had...hmm, somewhere in the range of 30-40 jams in the past two months.

    I wish I was kidding.
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Can you tell us where the forward end of the jam was?
  12. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    Every jam I've had has been in the drop tube between the two augers. Presumably, the long pellets are blocking the tube and causing a log jam.

    However, I've also jammed when I've had a "good" bag in the hopper so I don't know if that was due to fines or if I have something wrong with my stove.

    I need to buy a different kind of pellet and run that for a while and see if I jam at all so I can better say whether I think it is the stove or the fuel. I've been meaning to, I just haven't had the time to go pick some up.
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I remember seeing where the drop tube between the augers was not particularity smooth and at least one person on here removed burrs fixing his problem. I'm not saying you have the same thing going on but it is something to look for.
  14. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Is there a way to see up in there and tell if there is a batch of Burs or other issues that are causing the jams to occur????

    I have not personally owned a stove with two augers, but am familiar with the way they function.


    Snowy
  15. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    Nope, she's smooth as a baby's bottom. Checked that when I pulled the augers during the jam mentioned in my original post.
  16. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    I just looked over the exploded view of the stove.

    Hmmmmm
    I am assuming (dangerous) that the jam is on the top auger and that the pellets are not dropping into the lower auger that feeds the burn pot ????

    The picture I saw does not show a very good view, just a rough drawing.

    Is there a small passage that the pellets fall through from top to bottom or ???

    Any way to get a good piccy of this ??

    Does your stove have a cast iron "feed pot assembly" or the welded (fabricated type) ???

    There must be a reason that the pellets are not falling though.

    If you can get a good piccy, it would help diagnose the issue.

    I can understand the long pellets causing issues, but you say that it has happened with the "good stuff too"

    Snowy
  17. blackbear219

    blackbear219 Member

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    If I take it apart again I will get a pic.

    The upper auger carries the pellets out from the hopper. At the end of the upper auger, there is a chute that goes 45 degree backwards towards the rear of the stove so that they fall in to the very back of the lower auger which then carries them into the burnpot. That chute gets clogged on me.

    When I spoke to Englander, the theory was that a long pellet gets stuck in and bridge the chute. Then more pellets come in and stack on top of that stuck pellet. The auger keeps turning and piling more pellets in until the whole thing is completely gummed up. Like I said, it has happened with good bags that did not have long pellets in them too, so I'm not so sure that is the whole problem. As I mentioned, I really want to go pick up a dozen or two bags of Oakies (which I know I can find around town) and burn those for a couple weeks and see how many, if any, jams I get. If I have no problems with another kind of fuel, I have no problems just forgetting I ever knew what MWP stands for.

    It looks something like this if you were looking at the stove from the side with the rear of the stove being on the left of this "scientific diagram" and the front of the stove on the right.

    upper auger
    ---------
    /
    /
    / drop chute
    /
    /
    --------------------------------[BURNPOT]
    lower auger
  18. Dr.Faustus

    Dr.Faustus Burning Hunk

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    take in 10 bags of pellets. put them in the room where the stove is. when you fill the hopper, replenish the "stockpile" but use the bags that have been in the stove room the longest first. I suspect moisture or condensation in the pellets. the hot dry stove room air dries em out over a few days. then they get more brittle so the auger cuts them easier and they flow better. this is just a theory. i have had problems taking bags straight from the unheated garage to the hopper. stopped after that.

    if it works, maybe you can get away with a 5 bag rotation etc.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Use the advanced search top left side set it to older than 1 year and use PDVC jam chute as keywords.

    You'll get two threads might be some usable information for this situation.

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