Pelpro PP60-B LO burn not reliable

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sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
New Pelpro PP60-B. I am on my third bag of pellets. Not third season, but third bag of pellets.

It lights up fine. But I was not able to achieve a LO setting reliably. What I want to do is to set it to LO and forget it. What it is doing:
1. always ignites and fires up.
2. If I set it to HI (max burn) it stays at HI and works well.
3. If I turn it down from HI to LO, it will stop feeding at some point and blink 1 red.
4. If I turn it to shutdown, and re-start it right away, it will ignite and go into HI mode with no issue.
5. I was never able to directly go into a sustained LO mode from a cold stove.
6. If I run it in HI for a while then turn down to LO, sometimes it can run in LO for hours with no issue. But this is not reliable. It typically takes several tries before it sticks.
7. I have never been able to run on LO for a full bag.

It is a brand new stove and I clean it best I can. Not sure what is up. Appreciate any advice!
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
I have never run my PP on low for an extended period of time, always just used comfort mode.

The only adjust on these stoves that I am aware of is the trim adjustment located below the comfort/control dial.

The 1 red blink would mean the stove think that the hopper is empty so the fire went out. How low does the fire get on low?
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
6F89D815-A697-4D5C-8AFC-7AA5562E9672.jpg


Looks like it says to turn it clockwise if the fire goes out.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
I have never run my PP on low for an extended period of time, always just used comfort mode.

The only adjust on these stoves that I am aware of is the trim adjustment located below the comfort/control dial.

The 1 red blink would mean the stove think that the hopper is empty so the fire went out. How low does the fire get on low?
The LO setting has a flame that is just a little over the burn box. You can see it from the window but it is not more than a couple of inches higher than the burn box.

My hopper was full and the stove ignites fine and it drops plenty of pellets at the ignition stage. It has trouble maintaining the LO level burn for extended period.

The other possibility is the temperature sensor that is attached to the exhaust pipe. It doesn't sense there is a fire burning so it turns it off.

I might give comfort setting a try and see if that works. The comfort setting is kinda annoying when it ignites repeatedly and generates smoke and all that. I am using the stove as a secondary so I just want it to stay on LO all the time.
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
The LO setting has a flame that is just a little over the burn box. You can see it from the window but it is not more than a couple of inches higher than the burn box.

My hopper was full and the stove ignites fine and it drops plenty of pellets at the ignition stage. It has trouble maintaining the LO level burn for extended period.

The other possibility is the temperature sensor that is attached to the exhaust pipe. It doesn't sense there is a fire burning so it turns it off.

I might give comfort setting a try and see if that works. The comfort setting is kinda annoying when it ignites repeatedly and generates smoke and all that. I am using the stove as a secondary so I just want it to stay on LO all the time.

The trim setting might fix that. Make it so you can run on low continuously.
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,266
Upstate NY
The trim setting might fix that. Make it so you can run on low continuously.
Agreed here. I would try and adjust the trim setting a few notches to see if that is helpful for you. I think Jeremy has the simplest thing to try.

Some other thoughts...

Also, try the dollar bill test on your door and see that it is sealing properly. If you are sucking air through the door and not the firepot, could be a lazier flame.

What kind of pellets are you burning?

Not sure if the 60 has the baffles in the fire box, but if so, are they seated properly?

Are you using the outdoor air kit for your stove?
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
Agreed here. I would try and adjust the trim setting a few notches to see if that is helpful for you. I think Jeremy has the simplest thing to try.

Some other thoughts...

Also, try the dollar bill test on your door and see that it is sealing properly. If you are sucking air through the door and not the firepot, could be a lazier flame.

What kind of pellets are you burning?

Not sure if the 60 has the baffles in the fire box, but if so, are they seated properly?

Are you using the outdoor air kit for your stove?
I tried trim level 1 through 4 over the week end. I ran different trims with a combination of start at HI, stay at HI, start at LO, stay at LO, start at 2, then go to HI, start at HI, then go to 2,.... Trim didn't make a difference.

I tried two different pellets. One from Menard's the other from Tractor supply. They are the only ones locally available right now. both hardwood.

I will try the dollar bill test later. I am drawing air through the Oak kit.

The problem is it sometimes works. Like yesterday, it sustained on a level 3 burn for hours. But the fire went out more than it stayed on, that is for sure. I'd rather it failed all the time. This is not a complex machine to troubleshoot. But the sporadic performance makes it hard.

Pelpro support isn't back to work yet. I will call them once they are back.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
One thing I noticed while sitting around the stove all day playing with all sorts of settings was that, I could hear the auger motor. But it didn't drop pellets every single turn. Sometimes the pellets dropped after it turned five or six times. Some other times it dropped pellets with every turn.

I then looked at the pellets. Some of them were long like 2 to 3 inches, some were short bits. I would imagine this could possibly make a difference. I mean if it is too long and the auger had to catch and break it when it turned, this could delay the feed and the fire could die.

What are your experience on this?
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,266
Upstate NY
One thing I noticed while sitting around the stove all day playing with all sorts of settings was that, I could hear the auger motor. But it didn't drop pellets every single turn. Sometimes the pellets dropped after it turned five or six times. Some other times it dropped pellets with every turn.

I then looked at the pellets. Some of them were long like 2 to 3 inches, some were short bits. I would imagine this could possibly make a difference. I mean if it is too long and the auger had to catch and break it when it turned, this could delay the feed and the fire could die.

What are your experience on this?
It typically wont drop pellets each time at a lower setting. The way the logic works is that depending on the power level, the auger cycles for a longer "on" time within a 7 second period. So when on low, it sometimes doesnt turn far enough to drop any pellets down the tube.

That being said, your pellets shouldnt be that long for sure... I think that most of mine are less than an inch. The auger should be able to crunch them down, but the longer ones might not feed as nicely as some smaller ones.

I did have a problem when I first started that there was a metal plate that was glued to the lid of the hopper. That metal plate fell off and got buried in the pellets. So my auger was having a hard time turning because it was trying to eat that plate... Needless to say, things work much better when there isnt a plate covering the feed opening. Hopefully thats not your issue, but could be something to check.
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
3A7DA53E-AF00-425C-80ED-B3FFE5707A3E.jpeg
8BCDE0F2-AD47-40A8-B983-031F99062CD9.jpeg
I
D77A2632-4877-4D1E-B605-CE02FCD2B520.jpeg

am home today and testing low on my PP130. Lit and burning on low for 3+ hours now with no issue. Here are pics of my pellet size. Longest are about an inch. Also 2 pics showing the range of the flame size.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
View attachment 289173 View attachment 289171 I View attachment 289172
am home today and testing low on my PP130. Lit and burning on low for 3+ hours now with no issue. Here are pics of my pellet size. Longest are about an inch. Also 2 pics showing the range of the flame size.
Thanks for the detailed reply!

Over the past couple of days, I played with more combinations of settings: start HI, then LO, start 3, then LO, etc. It seemed to be able to maintain a constant burn at a comfort setting with no issue. It used to go out even at a numbered setting.

I try to do my best to clean and vacuum it daily. Then I dig my arm into the pellets and stir them a little. I have no clue if it actually helps but it works better now than it did a couple of days ago.

I'll keep you guys updated. Maybe it just need "broken-in"?
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
It typically wont drop pellets each time at a lower setting. The way the logic works is that depending on the power level, the auger cycles for a longer "on" time within a 7 second period. So when on low, it sometimes doesnt turn far enough to drop any pellets down the tube.

That being said, your pellets shouldnt be that long for sure... I think that most of mine are less than an inch. The auger should be able to crunch them down, but the longer ones might not feed as nicely as some smaller ones.

I did have a problem when I first started that there was a metal plate that was glued to the lid of the hopper. That metal plate fell off and got buried in the pellets. So my auger was having a hard time turning because it was trying to eat that plate... Needless to say, things work much better when there isnt a plate covering the feed opening. Hopefully thats not your issue, but could be something to check.
I dig my arm into the hopper and stir a little. Won't hurt anything. It seemed to have helped somehow.
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
Glad it seems to be working for you now. I am surprised the trim setting didn't adjust much.

If yours is like mine it does go into a burn down state every once in a while. Cuts the pellet feed and kicks the draft on high. The idea is that if helps burn down any buildup in the pot and keep the ash low.

I vacuum the inside of mine out about 2 times a week. Turn it off and dump the burn pot. If it is cycling on and off a lot I dump the burn pot more due to the ash buildup blocking the ignitor.

Then I give it the leaf blower treatment a couple of times a month.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
Unfortunately the problem came back. The flame still dies out on its own if I set it to a number, or LO. I didn't try to run it on HI for too long because the room got extremely hot. Was on support line with Pelpro and he told me to jump the vacuum switch, or the auger motor. I am going to try these.
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
Unfortunately the problem came back. The flame still dies out on its own if I set it to a number, or LO. I didn't try to run it on HI for too long because the room got extremely hot. Was on support line with Pelpro and he told me to jump the vacuum switch, or the auger motor. I am going to try these.

Hmmm. I guess if it losses vacuum somehow it could stop the auger and the fire would go out. Jumping it temporarily could test that.

Here is the service manual I found for our stoves. It is much more in depth than the owners manual and may help you trouble shoot.

I am kinda surprised yours is giving you this much trouble. The only times mine has had an issue it was an easy fix and if I had good air flow it runs great.
 

Attachments

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Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
Also, I switched mine to Low when I left for work today since no one will be in the house. A good test to make sure it will keep burning for the 8 hours I am gone.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
Also, I switched mine to Low when I left for work today since no one will be in the house. A good test to make sure it will keep burning for the 8 hours I am gone.
Thank you! I am sure the manual will come in handy.
When it works the stove is great. The issue is intermittent so kinda hard to troubleshoot. I am OK with that. I'll report back what I find out.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
Low all day worked fine for mine.
I made a jump cable and bypassed the vacuum switch. Last night and this morning, I tried turning it on, then off, at LO setting, and a numbered setting, and it worked flawlessly. Flame never went out during all these cycles on its own.

I will be talking to Pelpro support again. It could be a faulty vacuum switch, or some other reason, that caused a good functioning switch to cut the power.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
If it works fine jumped, then I would think either a faulty switch or a leak in the vac system somewhere
I am thinking more of a faulty switch right now because it never had any issue with igniting. I think if there is a leak somewhere, it won't go through ignition. Pg 14 of the Service Manual that you posted here, one step in the ignition stage is the vacuum switch needs to close. In my case, it closes and works every single time during ignition. After ignition, it somehow opened. I am guessing the vacuum is too "sensitive" and as a result, during normal burning, when the exhaust fan runs slower, and the pressure difference is smaller, it tends to open. Whereas during ignition, the exhaust fan runs a lot faster and the pressure difference would be higher.

This also explains why the stove can stay on HI for extended time.

I can also see if there is a small leak somewhere, and a good vacuum switch would also cause the stove to behave the way it did.
 

Jeremy6500

Feeling the Heat
Jan 22, 2021
295
Indiana
I am thinking more of a faulty switch right now because it never had any issue with igniting. I think if there is a leak somewhere, it won't go through ignition. Pg 14 of the Service Manual that you posted here, one step in the ignition stage is the vacuum switch needs to close. In my case, it closes and works every single time during ignition. After ignition, it somehow opened. I am guessing the vacuum is too "sensitive" and as a result, during normal burning, when the exhaust fan runs slower, and the pressure difference is smaller, it tends to open. Whereas during ignition, the exhaust fan runs a lot faster and the pressure difference would be higher.

This also explains why the stove can stay on HI for extended time.

I can also see if there is a small leak somewhere, and a good vacuum switch would also cause the stove to behave the way it did.
Those are the 2 possibilities I would think.
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,266
Upstate NY
I am thinking more of a faulty switch right now because it never had any issue with igniting. I think if there is a leak somewhere, it won't go through ignition. Pg 14 of the Service Manual that you posted here, one step in the ignition stage is the vacuum switch needs to close. In my case, it closes and works every single time during ignition. After ignition, it somehow opened. I am guessing the vacuum is too "sensitive" and as a result, during normal burning, when the exhaust fan runs slower, and the pressure difference is smaller, it tends to open. Whereas during ignition, the exhaust fan runs a lot faster and the pressure difference would be higher.

This also explains why the stove can stay on HI for extended time.

I can also see if there is a small leak somewhere, and a good vacuum switch would also cause the stove to behave the way it did.

The small leak was my thought on doing the dollar bill test. Didnt know if having a leak around the door might cause you to show less vacuum. Then again, I suppose that probably doesnt matter since it pulls air from the house or the OAK, so you would still have it as you needed it.

Is there possibly a split in the line connected to the vac switch? Or something jammed in the fitting it goes into that would prevent it from reading properly? What does your venting look like?

It might just be as simple as a bad vacuum switch. Hopefully PelPro sends you a new one you can swap out and the issues will go away.
 

sweaty

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
46
USA
The small leak was my thought on doing the dollar bill test. Didnt know if having a leak around the door might cause you to show less vacuum. Then again, I suppose that probably doesnt matter since it pulls air from the house or the OAK, so you would still have it as you needed it.

Is there possibly a split in the line connected to the vac switch? Or something jammed in the fitting it goes into that would prevent it from reading properly? What does your venting look like?

It might just be as simple as a bad vacuum switch. Hopefully PelPro sends you a new one you can swap out and the issues will go away.
Pelpro has a new vac switch on its way to me. Once here, I'll put it in and see what happens. With the jumper cable, it has worked well with no issues.