Help request! Yet another PDV 25 Upper Auger problem

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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Hi All,

Am troubleshooting a feed problem and looking for some guidance.

Here's whats happening:

I am getting an E2 code, when trying to start up.
It's clear that the lower auger is turning.
With the lid open, and the hopper lid switch depressed, the upper auger does not turn.

Here's what I've tried:

1. Bridging the hopper lid switch. --> No change; (switch bypassed by connecting two female spade connectors together with a dual male connector); Will double check this with a continuity test to double confirm.

2. Switched the upper and lower auger motor connections. --> Upper auger spins; lower auger does not.

3. Disconnected hose and cleared the vaacum hole in the side with a long skinny nail and it's clear, goes all the way into the box. --- > No change

This leads me to believe:

1. The motor is OK, since it turns when powered by the leads from the lower.
2. The hopper lid switch is OK, since it checks out.

To confirm, that leaves the remaining culprits as follws:

1. Vaacum switch
2. Control board
3. Vaacum hoses/connections/Gasket for door seals

Questions:

1. I assume that I can test the vaacum switch by bridging the wires in order to rule that out?

I am assuming that if the system works with the vaacum switch bypassed, that would rule out the control board, but could still be a leak in the vaacum system or a faulty switch.

2. How would you recommend testing the vaacum swich itself, if the above comes to bear?

Apologies if this has been covered before, but I haven't come across this yet in my searches for upper auger issues.

Thanks!

Sam
 

sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Thanks BackDoc, that's very encouraging. He's actually helped me before a great deal.

In the meantime I found this and am checking the connections and going to record the control panel display during startup (or I guess shutdown, actually) to see if it goes E1 first, indicating an issue with the vacuum.

 
Last edited:

BackDoc

Member
Jan 5, 2018
97
Maryland
I have had my Englander for a while now. It is an older model made in 2004. With Ssykos help I have it fine tuned and running good but with anything mechanical things will go wrong. I had a very unique issue that I resolved and I encourage other people to check. The collar on the augers have a small set screw that backed out a bit and the auger motor would turn and the shaft would not. I had to take a allen wrench and tighten that set screw and it solved the issue. I dont think that is the case with you if you see the auger turning but it is worth remembering for the future.
 
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ericofmaine

Burning Hunk
Feb 8, 2012
194
Southern Maine
I'm not in front of my stove at the moment, so I'm working off of memory. Yes, you can jump out the vacuum switch to test it. This stove has two, one interrupts the Auger motor and one feeds a message to the control board. It would seem the latter is working as I believe that one will kick the E1 code if it isn't. If jumping the switch "cures" your problem then, yes, your board should be good.

As for testing the switch, you can check the leads for continuity. You have 3 contacts, a common (C), a normally open (NO) and normally closed (NC). With the stove off, you should have continuity between C and NC and none between C and NO. Turn the stove on and it should be the opposite. If you don't have continuity, then either your switch is bad or you have a hose or gasket problem.

Check the ends of the hose as they're prone to cracking which can cause a leak. Also, if you throw a pile of pellets in the burn pot and let them light, how does the flame look? If its tall and lazy, then I'd check your door / window gasket.

Eric
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Thanks again BackDoc,

I did check the square bolt and appears to be snug and when turning the auger from the inside, the motor moves with it.

Thanks so much Eric,

Heres's what I found:

  • The end of the hose plugged into the blower motor was, indeed, crispy. Cut off an inch to soft rubber and re-inserted.
  • Gave it a start and still no top auger turning, so recorded the panel during startup and it went straight from SU to E2, without E1 fist. (stove had been on maybe 15 minutes or so per the recording)
  • There was a small pile in the burn pot, from when the motors switched and the top auger cleared out the bin, and it lit up fine and the flame doesn't look lazy.
So sounds like next step is to test the continuity of the vac switch per your instructions, after the unit shuts down completely. I'm looking at the machine over the top at an awkward angle, due the my size and clearance behind the stove, so want to attach my multimeter probes when it's disconnected so I don't accidentally short something (or myself!).

I'm assuming if the switch passes muster on the continuity test that I should then focus on looking for leaks? Think the local stores usually have the door gasket in stock.
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Hi Ssyko,

I did see and checked two rubber hoses.
  • One that's going from the front box on the right side into the vac switch near the control panel. It seemed OK and soft at both ends.
  • One that's going from the vac switch (labeled PU/VS) near the exhaust blower and connected to it. It had a crumbly end, which I cut off and then re-attached.
Having just tried to bypass the 2nd vac switch (labeled PU/VS) bridging the 2 blue cables, still no turning upper auger and same E2 error code after several minutes.

Tried a startup with one blue wire from the PU/VS disconnected and got an immediate E3.

Other observations, the small pile that lit appears to have burned completely, not clinkers.
 
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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,203
Lorraine NY
Ok the vac switch that controls the auger is the one that the hose goes to the front rt side of the firbox(as you face the stove). Check the port on the rt side with the door open make sure it is not plugged ( you can see the hose if you look through the decorative grate)
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Got it. Looks like I bypassed the wrong vac switch.

I had removed the louver earlier and put a skinny nail that I could see the end of when poking into the firebox, so think that's clear but will double check.

Giving the other one a try and will report back. (just waiting for the fans to stop from the last E2/shutdown before unplugging ).
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
OK, progress! Bypassing the vac switch on the right side and we have a turning top auger!

So I assume next steps are to check the switch for continuity?

And if fails, then replace it and if it passes try replacing door gasket?
 
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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,203
Lorraine NY
Well your 50% correct. If the vac switch has continuity it could be an obstruction in the stove or vent pipe not allowing the combustion blower to move enough air to create a vacuum. Which means leaf blower clean out
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Looks like the switch checks out, if I tested it correctly.

Having removed the part labeled CU-VS, I connected my multimeter using the ohms setting to C and NC and at rest there is continuity (small resistance reading). Giving a bit of suction to the grey port, gives an open (infinity) reading.

Connecting to C and NO, I get an open reading at rest and suction on the grey port gives continuity.

Will see if I can get to the exhaust end for a clean out. Hesitant to attach the leaf blower from the inside and blow out, as I heard that makes a real mess.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
It needs sucked again. ...lol One thing to keep in mind that is usually not mentioned and that is, when sucking the venting ALWAYS do it with the door open on the stove, never closed. If the door is closed, you stand a good chance of rupturing the diaphragm in the vacuum switch as the leaf blower will pull a vacuum well in the excess of what the vacuum switch diaphragm can withstand.

Mine gets 'sucked' in the spring and again halfway through the heating season. You'd be surprised how much fly ash accumulates in the venting and just popping the cleanout cap on the cleanout Tee won't get it out.
 
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ericofmaine

Burning Hunk
Feb 8, 2012
194
Southern Maine
What Flip said. I always leave my door cracked when using the leaf blower. I do it about every ton and vacuum out the stove roughly every other week. 13 years later and its still running like a champ.

Eric
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
One thing I might add on the hose that connects the vacuum switch to the combustion fan housing (or the firebox) and that is, don't be tempted to ever replace the hose with a rubber one. It has to be a silicone rubber high heat hose. Replacing the hose with a common rubber one will result in almost immediate failure of the vacuum sensing function. All the online parts suppliers have it for sale.
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Roger that Eric and Flip.

Just waiting for mother nature to melt some of the pack ice accumulated on my deck to melt so I can access the exhaust easier. We've had much warmer days recently so not using the stove.

Down a foot and a half from 2 days ago, so will give it a go this weekend as it should be half that by then and I won't have to shovel out /break ice so much. (had enough of that in the front, where my snowblower can't go)

leaf out.jpg

Right side of the doors are immobile due to the exhaust clearance requirements, otherwise I could reach the exhaust from the inside pretty easily.
 

sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
Well, almost one month later, the ice on my deck is down enough I was able to walk over to inspect the chimney.

Those who guessed it needed a cleaning were right.

There's a burned up birds nest in the horizontal run exiting the house. Whatever kind of bird this was sure likes sticks.

Unfortunately, I siliconed all the pipes, so will have to somehow scrape it past the grill on the exhaust piece before performing the 'suck out.' In the meantime, ordered/received a new door gasket. Will report back after the vac job this weekend.

Sam
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I never silicone my external sections. I take them apart every year and clean them inside with my pressure washer.
 
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sam08861

Member
Jan 30, 2019
98
NW NJ
I never silicone my external sections. I take them apart every year and clean them inside with my pressure washer.
Great advice.

If I could do it over again, I'd definitely leave the silicone off the last stainless piece that terminates the chimney.

Will also have to fashion some sort of high temp, high flow screen so that no more critters make homes there in the future. Maybe there's something online? Will have to search around.