Cost of replacing a combustion blower for a Whitfield Quest Plus

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I have a Whitfield Quest Plus WP4. It came with this cabin I purchased in late 2014, and I have no idea of the service history. I had it serviced August 2016 and have used it quite a bit from November 2016 until now.

A few weeks ago, it started making a slight, not very loud "rattling" sound upon start up, which would last anywhere from one minute to (yesterday) six minutes. The auger is not turned on during this time -- just the two blowers and the ignitor. I had my wood pellet stove guy make a service call on February 27. Of course, it did not make the sound for him when he started it up. He did stay for quite awhile, listening. He did hear some sounds that, combined with the rattling sound I hear on start-up, he thought were indicative of the combustion blower possibly starting to fail. I know what sounds he is talking about -- not loud, but an occasional sound that is different than what you hear during normal operation. He did take the right side panel off and inspected things. He tightened the screws on the combustion motor housing (or, whatever screws hold it), hoping that maybe that was the problem. But, the next day, when I started it, the rattling started again. He suggested a new combustion blower. The stove runs just fine other than the rattle for the first few minutes.

He wants to purchase the combustion blower through the company he usually purchases parts from. It is $370. With tax, just under $400. Yikes. Although I found some "reasonably" priced combustion blowers online and sent him links, he is only comfortable using OEM parts."We only deal with the manufacturers which in this case would be IHP. This is done for a couple reasons: 1) They warranty out parts that can possible be brand new and fail immediately 2) You get the OEM motor which this pellet system had during product testing when it was designed.I just do not have history with ordering from non OEM companies. I do not like when they have a no warranty no return policy and it raises questions. [one of the companies that has a combustion blower for about $238] says "Factory part, but no returns". When we buy parts they give us 90 days most parts and some a full year...if you want to purchase the [non-oem] motor I don't mind installing it, I just can't guarantee or offer recourse if it fails prematurely or causes other issues with the stove."

He is a diligent, thorough, and reliable guy, so I am inclined to just go with his advice, but would appreciate input from the knowledgeable people in this forum.

I'd like to see if in the future, I could replace a part like this (either the "full" combustion blower [the one that comes with the housing, etc] or just the motor (with impeller) myself. I pretty handy and can usually figure out how to do things like repairs, etc. I think I can see how the right side panel comes off -- there is only one screw in a bracket near the top. The damper rod and knob are in the way, though, and I am wondering if the damper rod unscrews so I can remove it, or if the knob on the damper rod unscrews, so that I can slide the side panel off (I should have paid closer attention when the service guy removed the panel). This info is not in my owner's manual, and I've spent hours online trying to find instructions on how to move the side panel, but cannot find the info. I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me how to remove the right side panel.

Thank you very much for your time.
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Here is a youtube video which may be your part. It isn't hard to do. I would do a search on youtube on your stove and others if necessary then decide if you want to do it. Good luck. If you do proper cleanings on your stove you should have no problem replacing the motor. Especially since it is part of the annual cleaning.

Pageyjim, thanks very much for your quick reply and for the videos. I had seen the first one, but not the others. I'm sure they will be very helpful. I had the stove thoroughly cleaned last August (it was very dirty -- I have no idea when or if the previous owner of this place cleaned it) and the service tech replaced a disintegrating gasket of some type. I plan on having it serviced/cleaned/checked once a year. I do want to learn the stove inside and out in order to possibly do some things myself, if the need arises. Thanks again for the info you provided.