Lopi Declaration Blower Problem?

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kylecarmen

New Member
Nov 30, 2009
8
montana
I have been reading this site for about a year, but this is my first post.

My wife and I upgraded our open fireplace this year and installed a Lopi Declaration insert. We even went so far as to build up the bottom of the old firebox before installing the Declaration. This accomplished two things, it raised the bottom of the insert off the floor (easier to load), and made our opening/surround roughly symmetrical. Obviously looks were important on this install. We also had to relocate the blower control to the front of the unit. The final result looks great! I have posted those pictures along with this post. We are very proud of the work we did, I had never attempted a big carpentry project like this and we couldn't be more pleased.

The insert has worked flawlessly for about 2 months. It was used almost every night during October and cut our gas bills from last year $200 to $43!

A couple of nights ago the blower took about an hour longer than normal to come on. Later that same night, with the fire dying down, but still a little flame, the blower shut off. Normally the blower would stay on for about at least half an hour after the fire has gone out (stove still hot). The next night, the blower shut off after I opened the door to reload. In about 15 minutes the blower came back on. Then last night, the blower took an hour and a half to come on. It then shut off during burn. After I loaded more wood, the blower came on again in about 10 minutes. Approximately an hour later it shut off (fire still burning hot). It has not come on since.

The problem doesn't seem to have anything to do with the blower speed control (rheostat) as when the blower is on, I could still adjust the speed.

We have fallen in love with this stove (and how it makes our living room feel), but I'm not sure what went wrong.
 

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budman

Minister of Fire
Nov 13, 2006
620
Valley Cottage,NY
Either you don't have any coals on the bottom right of stove, or
the wire connection on rheostat was loose and now came off, or a
bad snap switch.
 

kylecarmen

New Member
Nov 30, 2009
8
montana
I have the insert cover off right now...
Wires are connected well. And I had good coals every time it stopped working. So you said something about a "snap switch" --- is that the heat sensor? And if so, where is it on the Declaration? It isn't shown in the manual along with all of the other parts and locations.
-Kyle
 

andybaker

Feeling the Heat
Oct 31, 2008
391
Northwest OH
Sounds like you might have a bad motor. Can you go back to the dealer/manufacturer and inquire what to do. Might just be the motor itself, maybe the thermal protection. Mine went bad last year and I replaced it with a new dual blower unit from Grainger. I could have just replaced the motor itself but thought I'd upgrade a bit. Good luck.
 

raybonz

Minister of Fire
Feb 5, 2008
6,208
Carver, MA.
kylecarmen said:
I have the insert cover off right now...
Wires are connected well. And I had good coals every time it stopped working. So you said something about a "snap switch" --- is that the heat sensor? And if so, where is it on the Declaration? It isn't shown in the manual along with all of the other parts and locations.
-Kyle
Ash acts as a heat insulator and I suspect that you have ash build up in the area your t-stat is located... This happened to another forum member here a while back... Oh and welcome to the forum... search the posts and you may find your answer...

Good Luck,
Ray
 

budman

Minister of Fire
Nov 13, 2006
620
Valley Cottage,NY
The snap switch is in the bottom right of stove where the wiring comes in.
Since this is a new stove why don't you call the dealer.I had mine for about
one year and i had a bad rheostat,to check this jump the wire's on the rheostat
while the stove is hot to see if the motors come on.
 

AbeAinPa

Member
Dec 30, 2008
67
Southeastern Pa
I have a Declaration and had the snap switch go bad after about two months. It's fairly easy to replace. I think I slid the right hand blower forward and out of the way a little bit, it sits in rubber grommets and slides right out. The snap switch is back on the right hand side and it also slides right out, two wires are connected to it. You might want to make sure that it's firmly pressed against the bottom of the stove, when I got my new one (free of charge from the dealer), I had to bend the spring stand it's mounted in a little bit to get a snug fit. When putting the snap switch back in there is a locating pin that fits into a slot on the bottom of the snap switch assembly. Hope this helps.

Abe

Ps - I also raised my install to get a more symmetrical look, great minds . . .
 

kylecarmen

New Member
Nov 30, 2009
8
montana
Thanks for the info about the snap switch. The dealer ordered a new one for me today. I had originally asked the question on this forum because our dealer was closed on Monday and I was hoping to fix it sooner. I will probably have the new part on next monday or tuesday. What stinks is that the weather just turned cold here yesterday, and I now have snow on the ground.

My question is now - is there any harm in bypassing the snap switch for a week and turning the blowers off and on manually from the rheostat? I know I can make a fire without the blowers and get radiant heat, but it isn't the same!

Also, Abe - your install looks great! Our house is an older cottage with craftsman elements, and the inspiration for our fireplace and mantel started with the two handmade tiles that are now on the right side of our insert. We downloaded LOTS of pictures of period fireplaces and mantels as we finalized our ideas. I ended up with what I thought was a pretty ambitious plan (especially since I hadn't ever done this sort of DIY project previously). When I discovered this website, I poured through all of the posts about the Declaration. Your insert installation ended up giving me the confidence that my idea was possible. When the insert arrived the guy from the store gave me a crazy look. It certainly was a fair amount of extra work (as opposed to just using the standard surround size) but I love how it turned out!
-Kyle
 

raybonz

Minister of Fire
Feb 5, 2008
6,208
Carver, MA.
kylecarmen said:
Thanks for the info about the snap switch. The dealer ordered a new one for me today. I had originally asked the question on this forum because our dealer was closed on Monday and I was hoping to fix it sooner. I will probably have the new part on next monday or tuesday. What stinks is that the weather just turned cold here yesterday, and I now have snow on the ground.

My question is now - is there any harm in bypassing the snap switch for a week and turning the blowers off and on manually from the rheostat? I know I can make a fire without the blowers and get radiant heat, but it isn't the same!

Also, Abe - your install looks great! Our house is an older cottage with craftsman elements, and the inspiration for our fireplace and mantel started with the two handmade tiles that are now on the right side of our insert. We downloaded LOTS of pictures of period fireplaces and mantels as we finalized our ideas. I ended up with what I thought was a pretty ambitious plan (especially since I hadn't ever done this sort of DIY project previously). When I discovered this website, I poured through all of the posts about the Declaration. Your insert installation ended up giving me the confidence that my idea was possible. When the insert arrived the guy from the store gave me a crazy look. It certainly was a fair amount of extra work (as opposed to just using the standard surround size) but I love how it turned out!
-Kyle
I see no harm in bypassing the t-stat.. I only have a toggle switch on my blower and it works fine..

Ray
 

AbeAinPa

Member
Dec 30, 2008
67
Southeastern Pa
Should be no problem bypassing the snap switch, just wait until the stove is sufficiently hot, and let 'er rip. And by the way Kyle, your install looks great as well, sorry for not mentioning in my previous post.

Abe
 

AbeAinPa

Member
Dec 30, 2008
67
Southeastern Pa
Oh, forgot to mention Kyle, that yes, my install was a lot of extra work as well, and glad to know I'm not the only "crazy" one out here.

Abe
 

kylecarmen

New Member
Nov 30, 2009
8
montana
Ok. So I now know that maintaining/fixing/repairing these stoves and inserts isn't anything to be afraid of. I removed the old snap switch and bypassed it simple as that. Tonight it is currently 12 degrees outside (before windchill). I have roughly 2 cords of wood split, stacked, and well seasoned (2 years) just steps from my backdoor. My blower is running full on (thanks to the advice of this forum). And my living room is a comfortable 74 degrees.

Winter do your worst! I'm ready!

Abe, are we the crazy ones? Or is it the homeowners forced to go without fire for heat, stuck with their forced air heating systems, and paying high utility bills? Either way --- I'm happy!
 

budman

Minister of Fire
Nov 13, 2006
620
Valley Cottage,NY
Now you just need more wood.
 

kylecarmen

New Member
Nov 30, 2009
8
montana
How much wood do you go through a year? I have been trying to plan, but this is my first year with the Declaration insert and I'm not sure. We also own a cabin in the mountains that we go to throughout the year that has an older (early 80's?) Buck stove as its only heat. I have years of experience with that stove, but it is completely different (inefficient stove, cabin is smaller, uninsulated, and we don't live there year round).
-Kyle
 

mikehaag

New Member
Nov 18, 2009
5
Hales Corners, WI
I also have the Declaration. I am having the same issue and have a service call next week. It takes the internal temp to get up to 600f before blower kicks on.

Nice install, Looks great
 

budman

Minister of Fire
Nov 13, 2006
620
Valley Cottage,NY
Bout six cord 24/7 burning but the way this year is going i think 4 or 5 cord.
 
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