Help with Mt Vernon AE Insert

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Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I bought a Mt Vernon AE 2014 model. It isnt putting out a lot of heat unless it is set on "sunflower mode". I have tried just about every setting, some with better results but just about all with mediocre. Currently on Manual High, +5 flame height, Normal Elevation, softwood. I have been burning between 1-2 bags per day. Trying to heat first floor of 3700sqft colonial with 9ft ceilings. Now just trying to heat the room the stove is in. Ive read on these forms that the Quad should "be like the sun" when standing in front of it, or "blow me out of the room". Neither has occured.

Any suggestions? There is a small crack in the baffle plate that I dont think is significant. I have been cleaning it. Strong air coming fron the vent. Not sure where to start here.

Thanks
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
Go to your wall control under user settings and see if the fan is on quiet or normal mode. Should be on normal mode. And you said you were on +5. Is there a chance you are feeding too much fuel? Does pot get too full? Is the flame nice and active and bright? kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
Go to your wall control under user settings and see if the fan is on quiet or normal mode. Should be on normal mode. And you said you were on +5. Is there a chance you are feeding too much fuel? Does pot get too full? Is the flame nice and active and bright? kap
Blower is on normal. The flame rarely is 4 inches above the burn pot. If I set it to sunflower fuel, the flame kicks in. Otherwise it is nowhere near what Quad says it should be. I do get a large amount of ash in the fire box. I’ve had to vacuum it every 5 bags or so. I feel like for the amount of fuel that I burn I should have a much better Output
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
How much fuel is in the pot when running? Might try looking up drop chute with a mirror and flashlight to see if there is any obstruction in opening, slowing fuel drop. May need to pull auger to look for issues also. Is all firepot holes clean? Is pot floor up tight against pot walls? kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I cant qualify how many pellets are in the pot, but it is not a lot. The bottom isnt entirely covered. The holes re all open. The plate seems to be firmly to the pot. I cleaned out the auger earlier in the week. Had lots of fines in there. The baffle plate wasnt completely secured and I fixed that. Here it
is on Softwood, Manual, High +1, normal elevation, normal blower. View attachment 238777 View attachment 238777 View attachment 238778 View attachment 238778 View attachment 238777 View attachment 238778
 

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kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
Did you look up drop chute for any blockage? Not near enough fuel getting to pot for whatever reason. Try +5 and see how it goes. As I said before, you may have to pull auger to check things also. When you said fines, was that at bottom of hopper? kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I havent pulled the auger out yet. I dont know how actually. When I cleaned the hopper, I put the shapvac up the chute and seemed to have gotten all the dust out. It hasnt changed anything. Im going through a decent amount of pellets. I have it on Sunflower Seed now and it is cranking. I jst have no inbetween. Either it is cranking and guzzling pellets or it is underperfroming.
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
Did you look up drop chute for any blockage? Not near enough fuel getting to pot for whatever reason. Try +5 and see how it goes. As I said before, you may have to pull auger to check things also. When you said fines, was that at bottom of hopper? kap

I went to the dealer today and they and some guy I met said something is wrong with my stove. One theory is the combustion blower. Im feeling some air near there or someplace on the machine int he back. Could the gasket be gone? Im going to clean it tomorrow.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
You can see if there is a gasket behind the mounting plate on the blower. If you need one, be sure to get the orange re-useable one. In your first post, you mentioned that you had good air coming out your exhaust, so this doesn't make sense. kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I thought I had good air, but I went to the store and noticed the floor model burned hotter. That could be the heat. The also dont get a of soot on the glass, their flame is larger and more consistent on a lower setting, and their unit is quiet. I clean my glass weekly at least. I spoke to a guy who repairs them yesterday and he thought it was the convection blower.

So I did this. Opened the Convection blower and cleaned it. Didnt see anything that made me think it is dirty. I spun it without a problem, so no bearing issue. I opened the combustion fan and housing and it had a ton of dust in it. It also had a gasket that was paper and destroyed. I ordered the one you mentioned last night. The housing had buildup in the sides too so I cleaned it. I also got a wire attachment for my drill and went to town on the heat exchanger. That did have a lot of buildup that I didnt realize was there.

Last night I set it to Manual, 5 output, 2 flame and it kept my room at 68-69. An improvement for sure. The output feels hotter, the flame looks more complete. The flame still lacks consistent output, even though it is on manual. This makes me think something is up with the convection fan, or a sensor somewhere. I will eventually replace my combustion fan but not right not. The stove still isnt hot as advertised, but it is improved. Any thoughts? Im currently using quality pellets with a lot fo ash. Since making the changes, I have had less ash.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
Set your flame height, per your owners manual. A stove has to have the right amount of fuel, to heat at its best. On high, the flame should be above the diamond on the baffle. The drop tube thermocouple, which is on the back of the drop chute, regulates the conv. fan. Try sanding the wire connector and the place it touches on the drop chute. Sometimes a little corrosion, will cause it not to read the heat right and perform as good as it should. kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
Is that the one that is touching the outside of the drop chute? Almost looks like it would be a ground. Im going to replace the door gasket today. Do you think it could be the convection fan? My lights on the control panel are adequately calling for heat. Im running my hopper dry today. Should I take the auger out and look at that as well? I also ordered a new baffle plate, although I understand this might not give great results. My exhaust pipe is really hot. Is that normal?
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
It probably is. Only wire going to back of drop chute. The exhaust does get hot. If the door gasket was bad, the stove wouldn't run as vac switch wouldn't sense any vacuum in firebox, and shut down feed. Would not hurt to pull auger assy. to eliminate any blockage as an issue. And I don't know what you are referring to as far as lights on control panel? There are none. And going back thru the old posts, it sounds like you never did look up the drop chute with a mirror and flashlight, to look for any obstruction. And I don't see where you inspected the whole exhaust path thru stove and exhaust pipe, to make sure it was all clear. There are two holes on each side behind baffle that are open between each other, that can get full of ash.kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I’ll look up the chute today. I did clean it but never looked up there. The exhaust is new. I did clean out the two vents in the baffle as best I could and when I took out the combustion motor I cleaned out that area but I don’t know what else to clean out in regards to the exhaust. The lights I’m referring to are the red and green lights to the left of the unit. I thought one was a call light. I must have been mistaken. I’ll get a diagram of the unit to better get a sense of the venting today and I’ll remove the auger.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
Those lights have nothing to do with the stove as the lights in a control box on other Quad stoves do. When you said control panel, I thought you meant wall control. Those lights are by the control board. Can you see if there is a gasket under the fire pot? And I don't remember if I recommended trying a bag of a different brand of pellets, to see if that is the issue? kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I replced the combustion gasket tonight and stuck my hand in to get a feel for the two holes behind the baffle. Not blocked from that angle. Vacuumed ash out. I did take out the auger and only found a string on it. No blockage in that or the drop chute. I cleaned the entire hopper as well. I did find the sensor on the drop chute. It did have some rust on it. I cleaned it and put back on. Im trying some different pellets right now. A softwood/Hardwood blend I got at Lowe's. I cannot see a gasket on the firepot. I also took a look at the thermocouple in the firebox and it looked fine.

Thus far, I have seen some improvement. I have the stove on med high +1 flame, and the flame seems more full and more crisp. It still isnt kicking out heat like I had hoped, but I can say that putting my hand near the vent, it actually felt kinda hot. I cant imagine how people set it at low heat -5 and have their homes at 72 with high ceilings, but I am seeing improvement.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
The + or - flame height, is your feed rate, to get the right amount of fuel. You should set it per your owners manual. You have to do it on high heat output. Then it is set for all settings. What fuel setting are you on? And make sure you sanded the fitting and the area it is attached to real good. The drop tube thermocouple produces millivolts, to run the convection fan. The hotter it senses, the faster the fan runs. It has 12 speeds.kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
Im on hardwood now but usually am on softwood. Occasionally ill use Sunflower Seed because that one cranks the best. I left it on med last night and only kept my room around 62-63. I have it on high now because Im setting the flame height and it is blower pretty good now. The flame inst consistent. Sometimes it is really high and others below the burn pot threshold. Is that typical? it could be related to the pellets being dumped in. Im reading about snap discs. Could those be playing a role?
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
When the stove is in ssmed. the flame will fluctuate like that, but when it is at setting it is suppose to be, flame shouldn't fluctuate that much. Snap discs won't be playing a role in how stove runs. Those are safety features to shut stove down if things go wrong. And you will want to check on fan quiet or normal setting now and then as it seems to have a mind of its own and drops to quiet sometimes. with high ceilings, that is a lot of area to heat. I doubt med. setting will do it. I would run on high and see what happens. kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
The fan is still on normal. Odd thing here. I had it set on high to calibrate the flame. I left it on high. About 2 hours into it, The flame starts to kick up more, and then the fan kicks in. Now it is really blowing hot air and raised the temp of the room to 69 degrees in a short time. I had it on the same setting and the stove had been running since last evening, so it is not like it is just warming up. Im wondering more about a sensor. My flame flucuates a lot, from a roaring flame to inside the burnpot all within a few minutes. That plus the fan altering speeds makes me wonder.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
The conv fan runs by how much heat is produced. This is relayed thru the drop tube thermocouple. The hotter the fire, the faster the conv. fan will run. As far as the flame fluctuating, It will fluctuate to a point . Mine will fluctuate from a high flame, down to above the pot. kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I just re-read your post. You think I will need to use med-high/high? I was told it doesnt like to run on high for long periods. Is that wrong? Im on medium right now and the room is at 67, but was up to 69 last night. Im going to go back and sand the droptube thermocoupel again. I only saw the wire, not the part of the tube that is in contact with the wire. It is warm, there is improvement. It still doesnt blow me out of the room like people talk about.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
Still a lot of space you are trying to heat. Esp. with high ceilings. I would run on high and see what it does. If ok, then go down to med. high. I run on med high all the time. And when weather gets colder, I usually have to increase flame height a notch or two, to keep flame in good shape. But I am burning corn. And something else you have to remember is that these are oversized space heaters, that will heat a home. It just takes a while, unlike a forced air furnace. kap
 

Smitdawg3

Member
Jan 10, 2019
50
Massachsuetts
I should only adjust the flame height when on High?
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,489
Iowa
To set the flame height, you do it on high, and then it is set for all other settings. But when weather gets colder and the flame gets smaller, you can just kick it up a notch and see how it is, and if it needs another one, kick it up again. But when weather warms up, you might have to kick it back down. kap