Lennox Montage 32FS -- Troubleshooting erratic electrical issue

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Nov 8, 2023
I have a Lenox Montage 32FS installed about 2011
  • has been seasonally, and interseasonally deep cleaned, including around baffle, vents behind asbestos shield, combustion fan, straight-line vent system (24" straight out to exterior of house), and daily to weekly cleaned as need.
  • *Brand new low-Limit (proof of fire) heat sensor (on combustion fan) (this August)
  • Hopper switch tested and proven good
I'm thinking I have a bad control board.

The stove is displaying erratic electrical behavior, seemingly in response to "interruption" in the "line". Here are some examples.

  • Frequently---but not always---the stove chokes when I CLOSE the hopper lid. When I say "choke", I mean, all electrical systems, fans seem to stop/go silent for a moment (as if there has been a momentary power surge), then suddenly they come back to life again.
    • BUT when the stove comes back to life, it doesn't always do the same thing.
      • Sometimes the system acts as if I have pressed the start button---so the auger feed dumps lots of pellets as if I didn't have a fire already running (looking at the control panel display shows the auger feed indicator blinking more rapidly).
      • But other times the system immediately changes into shutdown procedure---looking at the control panel display shows the display lights blinking, indicating shutdown.
      • More rarely, the stove just shuts off completely with fire still in the pot.
    • The hopper switch has been tested and is determined to be fine.
  • ALSO...frequently (not sure if always or not)...
    • The stove is always plugged into a wall outlet in an electrical line that has other outlets in the line. I have a small fan plugged into one of the other outlets. The fan is used to circulate the warm air to an adjacent room.
    • Turning on the fan is affecting the stove.
      • When I'm starting the stove completely from scratch...
        • I press the start button, the stove starts up with fan noises and pellets feeding...
        • I turn on the small fan...
        • The stove "chokes"
          • Last time I did this a couple of days ago, the stove just turned completely off. But, I hit the start button again and the stove started up.
  • ALSO...the other day, I attempted to start the stove and the panels lights all at once kind of flashed together four or five times (kind of like what happens when the stove is in shutdown mode and its display lights are blinking).
    • I had to push the button a few times but the stove actually started.
The stove was displaying these symptoms all last winter season (Oct-April approximately), and I attempted to troubleshoot this summer. I got so far as determining that the low-limit switch was faulty (took it out, heated it up as high as 210 [while attached to a meter] and it never responded to heat) and replacing that, but that was apparently parenthetical and didn't change anything about this problem.

Additionally, parenthetically, this stove is creating a heckuva lot of creosote, which I'm trying to trouble shoot. I don't believe the pellets are the problem...perhaps the ignitor assembly is wearing out? Or is it possible the somehow this is somehow tied into the problem with the control panel? (Adjusting pellet feed, damper don't help; vents all cleaned out).

I mention the creosote parenthetically. What I am really really concerned about are the electrical issues.

What might be causing this electrical interruption?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
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I would say you have a ground/power issue on your house wiring that is starting to show its ugly head. If a fan plugged into another outlet is effecting the stove its something to do with that circuit. Same when you close the lid of the hopper that switch on the lid is hooked to the ground side of things.. I would get a electrician in their ASAP and get your electrical checked out..
So...I used an extension cord (of sufficient weight) to plug the stove into a completely different circuit (line) of the house.

The problem with the stove restarting itself when I close the hopper lid are still continuing when the stove is being run on a completely separate line.

The problem with the little fan may just be an example of correlation is not causation.

So...still looking for help with the erratic electric behavior mentioned in the original post. Any suggestions?