Englander 25 EPI Control board issue

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KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
I just ordered my second 25 EPI control board last night. The first board lasted about 7 years. The symptoms were auger not feeding enough pellets to keep the flame at anything over a flicker (Like it was stuck on setting 1). I went through the usual diagnostics, checked convection blower, stove and chimney clean, Auger motor ok, Room blower (Not asociated, OK) Replaced all gaskets, vacuum switch ok, hopper switch ok. For shites and giggles, I replaced convection blower and auger. Finally ponied up the 300.00 and replaced the board which fixed it immediately. It ran perfect for 2 years and then last night, started with the same issue. I always keep the stove cleaned and maintained. Have it on a high quality surge protector. Quite frankly I'm baffled. Are these boards just junk? I can't justify spending 300.00 on a control board every 2 years so any input would be appreciated. Also, I think I remember seeing a guy who built his own control system some where on here?
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
Have you had any power outages, even quick blinking ones? I ask because several years ago I had a similar problem with my old Englander. In my case the auto light stopped working and the auger feed was out of whack. Anyway, somehow during flickering power outage the board reset and switched modes. I had an EP-25 and I'm told the boards are used in several different Englander stoves and can be set to the proper mode to match the stove model, some with two augers, some corn, etc. I had to get on the phone with Englander tech support and they seemed baffled and couldn't explain how it got in the wrong mode since I hadn't touched it, much less doing the sequence to change it, but when they had me go through steps to set the mode, it fixed the problem. They seemed to thing it reset to a default mode that wasn't the correct one for my stove model but couldn't explain why. The steps involved unplugging, re-plugging and quickly pressing a combination of buttons on the control panel. The unplugging and re-plugging is why I think it had something to do with the rapid flickering power outage we had where the power only went completely off for maybe 30 seconds at most.

Ray
 
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KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
Have you had any power outages, even quick blinking ones? I ask because several years ago I had a similar problem with my old Englander. In my case the auto light stopped working and the auger feed was out of whack. Anyway, somehow during flickering power outage the board reset and switched modes. I had an EP-25 and I'm told the boards are used in several different Englander stoves and can be set to the proper mode to match the stove model, some with two augers, some corn, etc. I had to get on the phone with Englander tech support and they seemed baffled and couldn't explain how it got in the wrong mode since I hadn't touched it, much less doing the sequence to change it, but when they had me go through steps to set the mode, it fixed the problem. They seemed to thing it reset to a default mode that wasn't the correct one for my stove model but couldn't explain why. The steps involved unplugging, re-plugging and quickly pressing a combination of buttons on the control panel. The unplugging and re-plugging is why I think it had something to do with the rapid flickering power outage we had where the power only went completely off for maybe 30 seconds at most.

Ray
Actually, yes, we have lots of outages here. Flikering just last week during a storm. Do you happen to have the sequence for 25 ep? The weird thing is its jumped back to working ok on its own last night. The old board did the same thing on and off until it just stayed to hardly feeding pellets. I can force it to feed more pellets by adjusting low burn number higher than 1 but it uses a lot more pellets. This thing has driven me nuts from the day I got it.
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
If it went back to working on it's own, that doesn't sound like a mode change. But here is a link to an older thread that has instructions for mode, reset, etc. Englander Settings
If you do have a lot of outages, surges, etc, and the board is damaged again because of it, It's a good idea if you don't already have one, to use a surge protector on the stove. Even better yet, a UPS, even a small one to protect against those quick on and off would help. A pure sine is best for that. After my problem, I put a CyberPower Pure sinewave UPS on mine and it gave more than a half hour runtime on the Englander. As far as the boards themselves, I can't speak for all of them, but when I sold the stove this summer, it was still the original board from 2009 and going strong. I had that mode switch problem that one time, but after it was reset and put back on the correct mode with help of Englander tech support, it was fine ever since.

Ray
 
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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,293
Lorraine NY
call englander customer service . the reset to factory settings in the link are for the 25PDVC and 25PDV, not your 25EP. all the programming in your stove is different.
 
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Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
call englander customer service . the reset to factory settings in the link are for the 25PDVC and 25PDV, not your 25EP. all the programming in your stove is different.
The settings in the link were exactly the same I did with Englander customer support. Actually, the link lists the EP as mode 2. But I do agree that customer support is a good way to go.
 

KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
It's actually pretty straightforward as far as I can see. It was still in Mode 2 for EP stove but I did a hard reset which leaves the board in mode 1. I set it back to mode 2, made sure bottom 3 settings are correct. Didn't test as it was an unseasonably 69 deg. yesterday. Will try tonight when I get home as the temp went back down to 30's. I've been researching building my own control and it seems easy. I'm going to make one to have on hand. I'm done paying 300.00 for a crap circuit board. I can build a control that will be reliable for under $50.00. I can tell you that I got nowhere with customer support when I first got the stove. The auger constantly jammed and they were pretty much useless and I was left on my own to figure it out. It turned out that a big piece of weld splatter was stuck to inner wall of auger flight tube and it kept catching on it. Talk about a fun time getting that smoothed down. Pretty poor quality control. I'd never buy another Englander but I'm kinda stuck with it now. It does heat great when it runs.
 
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KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
From my research, it is fairly simple to make it work. 2 fan speed controllers, 1 for combustion blower, 1 for room blower. And one short period repeat cycle timer to cycle auger on and off. Simple, reliable and inexpensive. I've already taken the igniter off line as a propane torch gets the fire going a lot quicker. I never leave the stove running unattended so I'm not to worried about the safety switches being bypassed.
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
Yeah, that hard reset that put it in mode 1 is what happened to mine on it's own after the rapid power flicker. It was probably just a fluke that would be hard to repeat. Good luck with your board project! I've seen it done a few times on videos, YouTube, I think it was.
My EP25 did it's job for a decade, but my biggest complaint was lack of feed adjustment. My problem was usually too much feed. The low feed button only works in level 1 and 2 and there wasn't even an adjustable gate in the hopper. Any setting above 3 and I would get huge flames splashing the top of the firebox. Sometimes even on setting 3 with good softwood if the pellets were on the smaller side. At one point I put a triac speed controller inline to the auger motor. That did help some, but only gave me a small amount of adjustment because of course being a gear motor any more then a small decrease would also lessen torque and it would stall under load.
 
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KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
Yeah, that hard reset that put it in mode 1 is what happened to mine on it's own after the rapid power flicker. It was probably just a fluke that would be hard to repeat. Good luck with your board project! I've seen it done a few times on videos, YouTube, I think it was.
My EP25 did it's job for a decade, but my biggest complaint was lack of feed adjustment. My problem was usually too much feed. The low feed button only works in level 1 and 2 and there wasn't even an adjustable gate in the hopper. Any setting above 3 and I would get huge flames splashing the top of the firebox. Sometimes even on setting 3 with good softwood if the pellets were on the smaller side. At one point I put a triac speed controller inline to the auger motor. That did help some, but only gave me a small amount of adjustment because of course being a gear motor any more then a small decrease would also lessen torque and it would stall under load.
I really pine for the old days when the controls were something like I intend to build for it.
 

dubbz

Member
Jan 18, 2007
78
Pocono Mts, Pennsylvania
Interesting, a triac speed controller for the auger. That's the first I've heard of a way to slow the auger. Too bad it ended up stalling. I have a brand new auger for my EP25 but it runs faster than 2 RPM. Speed 1 feeds like it;s on 5. It's a good little stove with small flaws. The Fasco motors definately suck. The control board is pretty sturdy. I've run on a 5000 KW generator many times over the years with no problems.
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
Interesting, a triac speed controller for the auger. That's the first I've heard of a way to slow the auger. Too bad it ended up stalling. I have a brand new auger for my EP25 but it runs faster than 2 RPM. Speed 1 feeds like it;s on 5. It's a good little stove with small flaws. The Fasco motors definately suck. The control board is pretty sturdy. I've run on a 5000 KW generator many times over the years with no problems.
I didn't time it out exactly under operating load, but I'd estimate I was able to get maybe 10-15% reduction at most without stalling which was still helpful, but It would have been nice to get at least 25%. I also found inconsistency between different motors. I had a few of them over the years kept as spares that I had replaced bearings and re-lubed to rotate as they got noisy. All of them were the same model number Gleason-Avery 2 RPM, but on bench testing with a timer I had some that were slightly under 2rpm and others as fast as 2.4rpm which is a 20% difference. I never counted all the teeth on the many gears in the reduction unit, but they should be the same so It must be that some of the motors just run faster than others. The difference wouldn't really be a problem if Englander had built in some way to adjust the feed rate for different pellets on the EP25, even if that was just an adjustable gate in the hopper.

Ray
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,293
Lorraine NY
a triac in laymans terms is a glorified on - off switch controlled by low voltage. shaded pole motors, like the common auger motor do not like low voltage. if you under power them they "WILL" fail prematurely. the best way to control the auger feed rate is with a small timing circuit with an LM555 that you can set your intervals with and adjust as you desire. with that device your motor will always have 120vac and last a lot longer. does this sound familiar? oem boards all do this but the processes are pantented and cannot be duplicated comecially

circuit explained
 

KLRCris

Member
Feb 21, 2019
23
RI
Well, so far, it has been running fine. One thing I did notice this weekend is the hopper safety switch was really hot like in you could not push the button for to long with burning your finger. I'm now wondering if that switch is somehow starting to go bad. Nothing else was hot but the switch button. I wound up making a bypass and it seems to be fine, wires and jumper wire are nice and cool. The bad news, I probably ordered a replacement board for no reason and will get hit with a 15% restock charge if I return it. I'm still planning on building an emergency control for it and will use the timing device that Ssyko mentioned above.
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
Well, so far, it has been running fine. One thing I did notice this weekend is the hopper safety switch was really hot like in you could not push the button for to long with burning your finger. I'm now wondering if that switch is somehow starting to go bad. Nothing else was hot but the switch button. I wound up making a bypass and it seems to be fine, wires and jumper wire are nice and cool. The bad news, I probably ordered a replacement board for no reason and will get hit with a 15% restock charge if I return it. I'm still planning on building an emergency control for it and will use the timing device that Ssyko mentioned above.
You know, now that you mention that, it could cause low pellet feed. If the switch is getting hot, it could be a weak or intermittent connection on the switch contacts causing it to heat up. The same way an outlet or wire nut heats up with loose wire connections and can cause a fire. If that's the case, it might be rapidly or intermittently stopping the auger motor which is what that switch does. In the 10+ years I used my 25EP, I had to replace that switch at least 4 times. I think it's the fine wood dust that gets in there that causes them to fail. The last one I installed I tightly wrapped the case with electrical tape and hit was still working a couple years later when I sold it. That switch is 110V, not low voltage, so I could see it heating with bad contacts.

Ray
 
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