Breckwell Combustion Fan Turns Off During Fire - Help!

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New Member
Nov 6, 2021

I’m totally new to the message board and pellet stoves. Hi! I just bought a house that came with a Breckwell P23FS stove that is acting up.

Top to bottom I brushed and vacuumed out all the spots, cleaned fan blades, and cleaned the chimney with a spilling drill brush. It was severely neglected. It was a solid 3 hours detailing it. At the moment it’s clean as hell.

I have a problem where the combustion fan randomly turns off during a fire, the room fan stays on, red light #2 flashes, and a ton of smoke gets blown into the house. Smoke detector goes off, kid starts screaming… it’s a disaster.

So I did the deep clean and it just happened again and I’m baffled. I don’t have a local Breckwell dealer to help me and am hoping I can figure out what part might be bad with your help.

When this shut down happens the control board locks out for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes or so the combustion fan will come back on and the smoldering fuel in the burn box will reignite and it resumes normal operation.

I don’t trust this thing.

Does anyone know the problem?

Thank you

Grantham, NH

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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
park county montana
Possible motor overheating and shutting down
Possible bad connection to motor,unplug and check the terminals are tight, including the big connector at the control board. You may even see burn marks on the terminals
Possible control board is dying
One thing you can check, hook a volt meter to the motor,and see if you have voltage when it dies. When checking the terminals,make sure stove is unplugged

Now lets talk about cleaning. This stove is known for clogging the internal passages. Remove the inner fire brick panels, remove the 4 clean out covers, hammer the sides and back with a rubber or such mallet,some just use a block of wood.See if chunks fall out. Run a fairly stiff wire up and around,see if chunks fall out.
Good luck


Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
Lorraine NY
Unplug the stove. Take the exhaust blower out and test it with an old lamp cord for 20-30 minutes and see if it shuts off. If it does shut down it’s probably ready to be replaced. Let us know when your done testing


Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
S.E. Michigan
Not at all crazy about the install either. Next to a window is always bad and I have a feeling the stove still has a load of solidified ash in the passages.

Stoves that are neglected and ash is allowed to sit in the passages, the ash solidifies and is hard to remove. Why a spring cleanout and maintenance is vitally important.

Just refurbished one that was neglected and I had to beat on the inside with a dead blow hammer to dislodge the ash, then I used a bottle brush to move it to where I could vaccum it out with a crevice nozzle and I had to do that a couple times to get it all out. Ash was like concrete in it. Far as the venting goes. I take mine apart yearly and pressure wash it inside. Don't use a twirly brush at all. If you take a gander at my thread about my 20 year old venting, you'll see I have quite a long run. Mine is all 4" from the cleanout Tee vertically, in keeping with the recommended inner diameter the stove builders specify.
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New Member
Nov 6, 2021
Hi SidecarFlip, Ssyko, Mt Bob -

I appreciate you replying to my post!

Since posing I have been running the stove (when I’m home and awake!) at 1 or 2 waiting for it to crap out on me again so I can check voltage at motor as suggested by Mt Bob. It’s just ticking along with no issues. I think it running fine shows that the combustion fan motor itself isn’t the issue.
Does that pretty much nail it down as a controls issue?

Mt Bob and Sidecar - thanks for the heads up on really banging the sides out to get ash to fall out. I will do that in my next clean. I didn’t specifically do that.

It’s obvious the previous owner didn’t ever take care of it. I estimate that roughly 50% of the venting free are was loaded with ash, the access doors in the burn box were totally full of ash, room fan blades were caked in hair and ash. Attached is one photos of some of the concrete that fell on the floor while brushing the vent out. It was pretty bad.

I suspect that my issue here is with the control board. I looked at the plugs and the board up close and don’t see anything that got burnt up. Maybe the issue isn’t visible?

(Sidecar- I agree on location. Not idea but it’s how the house came!)

Does this sound like a control board replacement or should I not jump to conclusions here?

Thank you


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Sep 27, 2021
Lancaster, PA
Could be dirty or intermittent connections from control board to fan (or safety device related to it if there is one). Take the connectors apart, clean them with electrical contact cleaner and reinsert and disconnect them a few times while they are wet with the cleaner to work them clean.

Could be bad filtering electrolytic capacitors on the control board. If they're cheap caps they may be leaking when exposed to hot temps. If the caps are more than 10 years old its a real possibility.

Could be cold solder joints on the control board. Special attention to any relays and surrounding components related to the fan.

Could be another component that is going bad on the control board. May be hard to isolate. Ways to test this id using a blow dryer on the board to simulate heating things up. Alternatively, when the fan dies you can try spraying freon or a can of computer duster UPSIDE DOWN TO GET THE LIQUID OUT on various spots of thr circuit board to see if its a component drifting out of tolerance when exposed to heat.

I would start with cleaning the connectors first, all of them in the stove if possible. Then bench test the fan as stated previously. You can also try a blow dryer or heat gun over the fan while bench testing to see if its overheating or acting strange at higher temps.