Beginner needs help!

Wisconsin Northwoods Posted By Wisconsin Northwoods, Apr 2, 2019 at 7:06 PM

  1. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Hi All- I'm new to pellet stoves and new to forums so I'm hoping you can give me a hand with some issues I'm experiencing. My wife and I recently bought a cabin that had an already installed US Stove model 6041. The owner was an older gentleman and his wife and they had all purchase, professional installation and repair paperwork with the stove. The owner stated he had "given up" on the stove after only a few months of trying to operate it. The cabin is seasonal and they spend little time there in the winter so there were only a few opportunities to use the stove. It appears in "like new" condition. He had his original order which showed the purchase of 15 bags of pellets of which 6 still remained. The stove is approximately 3 years old. The owner had documentation of the circuit board being replaced, the auger and auger motor being replaced and two agitator motors under warranty. He had two additional auger motors that he purchased outside of warranty and installed himself. The stove was not operational when we purchased the cabin as the agitator motor was burned out once again. He "gave up" on the stove when the last Agitator motor burned out within 15 minutes of installation. He described that the agitator fuse would blow and the motor would smoke almost immediately and burn out the winding. This had happened with the last few motors.
    I started by thoroughly cleaning the stove as per the manual and checked the agitator system for binding. There was no binding and the stove was whistle clean. I then visually inspected the wiring routing for any pinching and could not find any. I purchased a new agitator motor and started the stove. It ran near perfectly for about 6 hours before I began having multiple issues. Mostly, the stove would continue to burn slower and slower until the low temp switch was tripped and it shutdown. I could always re-start it, but it would shut down at shorter and shorter intervals. I believe I solved that problem by adjusting the hopper door switch slightly as I believe it may have been sensing the door open when it was closed. When I readjusted the hopper switch, the stove seemed to get an overload of pellets as the burn pot overflowed and pellets began backing up the fill chute. I manually shut the stove off as I feared the fire could potentially ignite the hopper or cause other damage. The stove shut down normally. In hindsight, I believe I did not have the bottom damper open enough for adequate airflow. I was running the stove with new pellets on level 5, had the vent air at 6 and everything else on auto. Once the stove shut down and cooled, I cleaned it thoroughly again and attempted to restart it. During the start-up process, I noticed a flash-bulb type flash through the side grate and smelled a burning. I took the side panel off and the agitator fuse was blown and the agitator motor had burned. I ordered a new motor and replaced the fuse with the proper fuse as per the manual. When it came, I installed the new motor and tried to start the stove again. Almost immediately, the fuse blew again and smoked the new motor. I again replaced the fuse and ordered a new motor, however, I am hesitant to try to start it again in fear of smoking yet another motor (they are not cheap)! I don't want to give up on the stove because it has less than 100 hours of use on it and it seems to be a well built item, however, if I can't get it to run... I may need to move on. Any advice you can give would be fantastic... Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Fibersport

    Fibersport
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    Feb 7, 2018
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    Sounds like you have a wiring problem more than a stove problem. While I have no experience with your model, the fact that the motor burns up even after a fuse blows is very suspect, fuses are there to protect things like motors and circuit boards. Also, the fact that it won't run correctly for very long might mean that there are other wires crossed. I would think you could find a wiring diagram and trace it all out. Have you tried the manufacturer? By the way, are you anywhere near Minocqua?
     
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  3. fmsm

    fmsm
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    Just for yucks and giggles, how do you get your electricity? If it is “dirty” your stove may be too temperamental. Putting an APC between your power source and your stove may solve your problem IF dirty power is your issue.
     
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  4. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    I am on a standard power grid provided by a residential electric company. I think the power should be fine, I have no issues with any other items and I don't seem to have any power glitches to speak of.
     
  5. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Thanks for the reply. I am in the Tomah area. I tend to agree, I've been looking for a wiring problem but on visual inspection, I can't seem to find anything that appears suspect.
     
  6. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    and I do have a wiring diagram from the manufacturer.
     
  7. blades

    blades
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    Nov 23, 2008
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    Us stove-- best to cut your losses. With what US Stove charges for parts you are likely 1/2 way to a new stove from a Local dealer that can provide support. Us stove equipment is chi-com manufactured . Personal experience with them was less than adequate.
    Englander stoves are made state side with excellent support provided by them. SBI a Canadian firm owns Drolet and several other brand names- another good company to do business with.
    size of pellets can play havoc with the units, causing jams and such, I can not give you any ideas on why the motor is burning out other than the overload of a jam. Fuses blow pretty slow in the realm of electronics so I suspect the main board power supply for the motor is shot. It is unusual for those little gear box motors to burn out so quickly.
     
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  8. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Thanks for the perspective and experience with US Stove. I'm a fixer by nature so aside from the $, I'd like to spend a bit more tome figuring it out. I do really appreciate your theory. The fuse is only on one branch of the two wires going to the motor. The other leg is inline with the low temp limit switch, then back to the board. If I isolate each component with an inline fuse, I should be able to narrow down where the problem is occurring and save the components in between. Thanks for the thoughts and the England recommendation, I'll keep that as a bsck-up.
     
  9. bob bare

    bob bare
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    Oct 31, 2013
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    Had to read this several times,lol.but you were pretty concise with your information.Will try to help.What burns out small electric motors?Heat,usually from overloading the motor,and/or voltage too low,voltage too high.A wiring "short" on the leads to the motor will not burn it up.But,can burn up the electronics(control board).A poor connection,anywhere in the curcuit,can cause low voltage.By this time,you would see brown/burn stuff inside the connector,or on the crimp terminal,as many times as it has failed.High voltage can almost always only come from your power supplier.I highly suspect a wiring problem in the house,or to the house.You want to check the outlet itself,the wires connected to it,the wires at the other end,inside the fuse panel,and the main wires in the fuse panel.Carefully.Intermittent problems have occurred,even at power poles connections.Check what you can,or get an electrician to do it.If nothing positive found,If nothing found,buy a good UPS,that stores data.A voltage/line recorder would be nice,but kind of rare,you could see similar results on a good UPS that stores data.Hope this helps,good luck.
     
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  10. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Thanks, I will check those as thoroughly as possible this weekend and let you know. I am suspect of a house wiring problem as there are no other signs or symptoms on anything. The stove is on a dedicated circuit so I will change that and see if thed result is at all different. The board shows no sign of burn and neither do any terminals. I wouldn't tink low voltage would blow a fuse would it?
     
  11. bob bare

    bob bare
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    Yes it can,in some situations.
     
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  12. FirepotPete

    FirepotPete
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    You need to run that stove on a surge protector. With the history you've provided I'm almost 100% sure it is you power to the cabin that is the problem.

    Don't listen to the negative comments, I've run a USSC 6039hf for many years and the 6041 is almost the same stove. I run 100% corn and have saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars and you can do the same if you learn the stove and how to tweak it for the fuel you are burning.

    A good surge protector will save that control board and that control board is one of the best in any stove made, it is a true proportional controller and can run just about any fuel that will fit down the auger.

    While some of the USSC Stoves have been made in China the last few years most of their line was made in the US in a Union shop and I'll bet the 6041 you have was made here. Not that that really makes a difference in a lot of cases as it depends on the build specs and acceptance of the company.
     
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  13. Monica in France

    Monica in France
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    Jan 22, 2014
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    I was thinking along the same lines as Bob B , < what burns out small electric motors ? >
    Obvoiusly heat ! things like bad voltage and surges .
    But why only the agitator motor ?
    I've never seen an agitator ( except in the streets of Paris ! ) but it sounds like something that gets hot.
    Could it be that it is simply jamming as the burn pot heats up ?

    It also sounds that you've got the wrong sort of fuse protecting it.
    I know little about fuses - slow / fast / surge etc - but I do know that they should protect the motor - not blow when the motor is already on the way to becoming toast..
     
  14. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    If you have a multimeter i would check the voltage coming from the control board to the motor and see if is 120vac. If its getting a low voltage the motor will try to turn but just gets hot (very short period of time less than a minute) that will smoke them little motors quikly. If you have low voltage constant i would lean twards the board being damaged.
     
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  15. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Thanks for the comments, I'll pick up a surge protector and try this weekend.
     
  16. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Thanks for the idea. I do have a multi-meter and I'll check voltage this weekend. I am hoping it is not the board as that is a substantially expensive part. Also, According to the receipts I received with the stove, it appears the board was replaced initially. (Doesn't mean it's not bad).
     
  17. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Thanks for the reply, the fuse is manufacturer specification and factory correct. I agree, there is clearly some sort of current draw anomaly that is causing the winding on the motor to burn. I was leaning toward a grounding situation between the motor and the board somewhere which is smoking the motor and then blowing the fuse to protect the board. The agitator (I have been on the streets of Paris and that's a great analogy), stirs the pellets in the pot to promote thorough burn, and yes it gets hot, however, the condition occurs when the stove is cold, I have not yet had it occur while the stove was at operating temperature.
     
  18. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    As a follow-up, I appreciate your confidence in the stove, If I can get it operational, I'd like to pick your brain a bit on fuels and fine tuning. With the little amount of time I'll be running the stove, I'd love some pointers beyond trial and error.
     
  19. FirepotPete

    FirepotPete
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    The boards are at around $175.00 now from USSC, they came way down in price from 6 months ago when they were over $300.

    First thing is to look at the link on the bottom of my post where it shows some cleaning tips. Then after that I can guide you through tweaking the board for how your stove is installed and the type of fuel you are using.

    And do as Ssyko said and check that voltage. Just make sure if you touch the board to discharge any static before messing with it as that can fry the board. The interior of the board is what I mean.
     
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  20. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Thank you... I apologize for the ignorance, but how would I discharge the static?
     
  21. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    And there does not appear to be a link on the post that I can see..
     
  22. FirepotPete

    FirepotPete
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    Use a ground strap used for working on boards or wrap some copper wire around your wrist and ground it somewhere. Actually you can get away with just touching something metallic like a light fixture as long as you don't have a lot of static build up around the house to begin with, like with certain carpets or microfiber type of furniture.

    The link is in my signature line, here it is: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/ussc-6039-6041-internal-cleaning.152067/
     
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  23. Wisconsin Northwoods

    Wisconsin Northwoods
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    Apr 2, 2019
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    Ok, tested all po
    Ok, tested all cabin power and it tests fine. I added a surge protector to the circuit. I tested the power to the agitator motor and it is 55 volts. Even if I turn the power off on the board the power to the auger motor remains at 55 volts. I have to unplug the stove from tje power to get the 55 volts to go away. I am also not getting any power to the ignitor.. the only thing I can conclude is a bad board... thoughts?
     
  24. Former Farmer

    Former Farmer
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    Apr 12, 2008
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    Is the agitator motor 120 volt? I am assuming that you have 2 wires going to the motor. Test for voltage from one of the wires to the metal frame on the stove. Then test the other wire for voltage to the metal frame on the stove. You should have 0 volts on one wire and 120 volts on the other wire if the motor is 120 volt. If this is the case, it sounds like the neutral wire going to the motor is bad somewhere.

    Also check for 120 volts to the ignitor. Maybe you have a bad neutral connection somewhere inside the stove.
     
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  25. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    this is telling me there is a leak at the board. not many boards out there that can take a motor burn out and blow a fuse without damage. triac failure can allow 120vac into the 15vdc side which is very bad. it usually doesn't get by the optoisolator
     
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