Igniter burned out and took my control board along with it

Snowmobileaddict Posted By Snowmobileaddict, Mar 23, 2017 at 9:15 AM

  1. Snowmobileaddict

    Burning Hunk 2.

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cedarburg, WI
    As it turns out, the small GMA 5A fuse that is attached to most of the ACE-manufactured control boards doesn't BLOW quite fast enough to protect the tiny conductor traces on the printed circuit board for a stove controller.

    My igniter recently gave up the ghost and when it did, it most likely had a section of the internal nichrome wire contact the stainless steel outer sheath, which is held in place by the stove framework and therefore is equipment grounded.

    When this short occurred, it did blow the board fuse but it must have simultaneously cooked the trace for the igniter on the board.

    This is the obvious location of the issue:


    The upper most trace that is blown is, in fact, labeled "IGN".

    I was able to source a replacement board direct from the manufacturer Applied Control Electronics


    They manufacture a TON of pellet stove controllers for many brands and they sell on ebay and Amazon. If your control board looks like this, they built it for your stove manufacturer:

    They ship FAST, and surprisingly, this replacement board was about the lowest price board of all that I have seen advertised across many stove makers names at $189 with free ship.

    ACE appears to be stepping up to provide control board parts support for BOSCA owners. Say what you will about the BOSCA's. They are a well built, and a heavy stove. I'd say overbuilt. I've been running mine every winter since 2012 on T-Stat (on-off) mode with no issues. The challenge with BOSCA ownership is parts support. The manufacturer doesn't offer any. That said, most parts that are prone to failure are industry generic and easy to source. In my BOSCA spare parts bin, I have at the ready:

    Spare igniters (generic : 3/8" OD by 5" long 300W Tempco HDC00317)
    Spare Auger Motor (generic 1RPM Auger)
    (2) NIB Spare Burnpot Grates (unique to stove but found a score that showed recently up on ebay)
    Spare Air Switch (generic)
    Spare Low Limit Switch (generic)
    Spare High Limit Switch (generic)
    Spare Gaskets (generic)

    The combustion blower and room air blower are both industry generic as well.

    Considering that I am skilled with a soldering iron, and have made a couple successful board level repairs on other home appliances, I am going to attempt to repair this blown trace and salvage this board as a spare. I think it is totally doable.

    Taking it a step further, I have decided to isolate my control board from this type failure in the future. Now, instead of the control board sending power directly to the leads of my igniter, I have the igniter lines (hot and neutral) from the control board connected to a simple SPST 120V relay, a Supco 291Q. That relay, in turn, handles switching the 120v hot line into the igniter, which is now wired up with a 4A AGC fast blow fuse between the relay and the igniter. Problem solved.


    I got the idea to add a fuse from this thread here: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/fusing-your-harman-pellet-stove-ignitor-save-the-board-fuse-and-power.126865/

    The relay is just an additional precaution I decided to take. Anyhow, I thought I would put this out to the board to show what can happen when an igniter craps out, and an inexpensive way to prevent a board failure in the future. Adding the relay may be overkill and I doubt it is something most folks would do. However, adding an inline fuse at the igniter is easy and CHEAP insurance. Just be sure to outfit the fuse holder with a fuse tailored to your igniter wattage and most likely one or two steps lower in rating than the fuse on the control board.

    For example, most of the ACE board have a 5A GMA fuse. My stove specs a 300W igniter, so it draws around 2.5 - 2.75 amps under normal conditions. You want a fuse that is rated lower than what is on the board, but strong enough to handle the igniter current when it operating normally. So a 3A or 4A fuse would do the trick.

    I'll be sure to check back in on this thread after my board level repair attempt (hopefully with positive results).
    Lake Girl, bags and vinny11950 like this.
  2. vinny11950

    Minister of Fire 2.

    May 17, 2010
    Eastern Long Island, NY
    Great post. I am sure it will help other Bosca owners at the very least, maybe even myself one day.

    Thank you.
    bags likes this.
  3. Tails1

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Nov 19, 2016
    Ajax, Ontario Canada
    This gives me an idea regarding my stove, I want to be able to turn off my igniter for manual starts during a power failure, using a double pole double throw relay with a toggle switch would work. Also isolate the control board from the igniter in case of short circuits.
  4. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl
    Moderator 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    NW Ontario
    Boards they manufacture seem to be for Bosca, Kozi, Breckwell and Winrich. Great info !
    heat seeker likes this.
  5. Snowmobileaddict

    Burning Hunk 2.

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cedarburg, WI
    Add to that list:

    St Croix
    Country Flame
    heat seeker and Lake Girl like this.
  6. Letsburnwoodnotoil

    Member 2.

    Oct 1, 2013
    If you need a board level repair, let me know!
  7. Snowmobileaddict

    Burning Hunk 2.

    Oct 12, 2012
    Cedarburg, WI
    Lake Girl likes this.

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