Can't diagnose problem with 1991 Breckwell P24FS

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hondaman900

New Member
Nov 11, 2020
5
hondacb900f
After much research I found a lot of great info and tests for this unit, along with a user manual, circuit diagram and test protocols for various issues like mine, but even after those tests, I can't determine the source of my problems.

Symptoms: Turn on stove, circulation fan comes on but not the combustion fan. Auger works when manual feed button pressed. Pressing the auger button doesn't turn on the green light. Given that I had no green light/activated auger, yet the auger could be run by feed button, that indicated in the docs that this was likely a vacuum pressure switch issue.

Vacuum switch can be manually activated (pressing down the nipple that holds the microswitch open) and it also works if I suck gently on the hose creating a small vacuum. The vacuum port into the combustion chamber is clear, as are the chimney pipes and the combustion chamber is all cleaned out. The vacuum hose is good, though it has two round holes through it that look intentional, not a fault. Regardless, blocking off those two holes doesn't activate the vacuum switch.

I can bypass this switch and everything seems to work fine then, getting the auger green light as expected for normal use. So diagnosis seems to point to the vacuum switch, but testing it seems to verify it works. Is it maybe that it's not working well enough, that the vacuum is not strong enough for this old switch and I need a new one that's more sensitive? That's my best theory but I wanted to check here.

The part that really concerns me is that the combustion fan needs to be running to pull the vacuum, right? So what activates the combustion fan initially when the stove is turned on, so as to pull the vacuum that keeps it going thereafter? Shouldn't something else start the fan off? I'm not getting the combustion fan running (at least when cold) unless I bypass the vacuum switch.

Also, feels like the top auger bushing is missing or completely shot, as the motor can move/wobble about freely (should it be mounted to something?) . The auger still functions though.

Any advice is very welcome. My family are complaining about the cold nights! :) I love this old stove and would like to get it working again.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,622
Eastern Ontario
Maybe your door gasket leaks or some other leak
not allowing enough vac. to activate switch
If stove runs with switch jumped I'd retest vac
switch and look for vac leaks Door glass gasket and door seal
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,204
Lorraine NY
Hi hondaman.
First thing to do is check your wiring diagram to the stove and make sure it is correct. The combustion fan should come on when the stove is turned on. The convection fan should not come on untill the stove is up to temp and the snap disc trips @ about 120::F. The top of the auger only has a guid hole with no bearing or bushing so they do flop around a little till filled with pellets. Ck that your wires are not reversed on the 2 blowers and let us know and we can go from there.
 

hondaman900

New Member
Nov 11, 2020
5
hondacb900f
Thanks for the quick replies. I double-checked the wiring and it all checks out, and it's not been touched and had been working before, so I'm confident the wiring is correct. I do have running convection fan when turned on, just no combustion fan without bypassing the vacuum switch. I thought the combustion fan came on as well right away, but maybe I'm remembering wrongly.

My confusion is that the auger light won't come on when I press the button unless the combustion fan is running with the vacuum switch activated or bypassed. Is this correct? I was sure that when I lit it in the past (like two lifetimes ago pre-COVID in February) that I'd let the fire catch, close the door, turn it on and after a couple of seconds pressed in the auger button and the auger activated and the green light stayed on. Maybe after all the cleaning I need to leave it burning longer before the temp switch activates and everything works again...?

Should the auger motor be mounted to something, or just loose? And should the vacuum line have a small round pinhole through it, or should it be sealed/solid?
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,204
Lorraine NY
Yes the auger gets its power from the vac switch, the combustion blower needs to be running and the vac hose should not have any holes in it. The auger motor floats on its shaft can you post some pics of the hose/ vac switch. If the stove was not on a surge protector and plugged in all summer it may have taken a spike and let the magic smoke out of the triac that controls the combustion blower.
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
1,118
bc
Replace that vacuum hose as it should not have any holes in it. Also check your door gasket if its bad it will not be able to draw a vacuum... I have the Big e version on the stove and i have never been able to leave the door open to light when my ignitor is bad, as soon as i see flame i have to shut the door or the unit will go into shut down,,
 

hondaman900

New Member
Nov 11, 2020
5
hondacb900f
Thank you all. I'm going to try this again this evening with careful attention to the door seal and blocking the vacuum line holes.

Here's a video of the floppy auger motor. I can't believe that this is normal, but if this is by design then I'm good to go.

Here's pics of the vacuum switch and the holes. They are on opposite sides of the tube (each pic is each side), look very purposeful and have always been there.
HnKaWsTh.jpg

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XZy4xVqh.jpg
 

hondaman900

New Member
Nov 11, 2020
5
hondacb900f
On further examination, it looks like I don't have any combustion blower. What I thought was the combustion blower was the convection blower running faster. The combustion motor is not moving. I have to start over and re-evaluate this one...

Feedback on the "floppy auger motor" as seen in the video clip is still very much appreciated - thank you.
 
Last edited:

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
1,118
bc
those holes are not suppose to be in the vacuum tube... Looks like something burnt them
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,204
Lorraine NY
The lower auger shaft bushing is pretty worn out, you are correct it should not flop around like that. You figure out the combustion blower issue im thinking you gonna be burning pellets:)