Quadra fire MT Vernon AE Auger Issues

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Kemper14

New Member
Mar 20, 2018
2
NY
2010 MT Vernon AE. I was getting a consistent auger jam message so I pulled the auger assembly, cleared chute, etc. The motor was working so I was baffled until after many startup attempts I noticed the auger was turning in reverse the entire time. I checked the pressure switch, good, broke down the assembly, cleaned the disc and optical sensor.

The normal start up sequence occurs, when the auger starts up, it rotates in reverse for a rotation, then pauses, then continues rotating for about 3 minutes again in the reverse direction then the auger jam pops up on the wall controller.

I was thinking it was the optical sensor but they don't detect direction. Help please!
 

corkman

Minister of Fire
Dec 3, 2009
717
SE,Mass
I believe I read a post recently where the fix for this was to replace the capacitor. Did you do a search on here for anyone having similar issues
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,477
Iowa
The AE is different then the other Quad stoves. It has a 12V auger motor. So no capacitor. If it senses an auger jam, it will reverse to try and free itself. kap
 

corkman

Minister of Fire
Dec 3, 2009
717
SE,Mass
Interesting and good to know. Thanks kap
 

Kemper14

New Member
Mar 20, 2018
2
NY
So, being an engineer I couldn't just let it sit there. I ordered all the parts and my mind wouldn't let me stay away.

Correct, it's DC so no capacitor. I broke down the step motor, basically 2 DC motors hitched together in opposing directions to provide a clockwise and counter clockwise rotation. I cleaned the gear case. I applied 12V and nothing so looked up the motor specs and its 6V...don't apply 12V! I found the motor in the clockwise (auger feed) was not working but the reverse (auger clear) was. So the sensor was not picking up rotation forward and sent the unit into "clear" mode prompting the reverse motor to kick in. The bearings are going in it so I lubed it up and it is now working.

I will need to replace it eventually but this will keep me going until the parts arrive or until spring. Saving me $500 in parts/service from the dealer.

By the way, in my research, I discovered as expected:
-The step motor is a johnson controls, saica motor. You can review the specs and locate the motor alone, or a suitable 6V replacement for about $30. As opposed to the quadrafire assembly for $213 dealer, $150 online price.
-The optical sensor can be replace sans bracket and harness for $4. As opposed to the dealer $119, or online price of $60. Just cut the connector off and solder old harness to the sensor.

Thanks!
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,477
Iowa
Nice info to share. Glad you are up and running, and saved a few bucks. Stay warm. kap
 

KipL

Member
Nov 16, 2015
21
Massachusetts
So, being an engineer I couldn't just let it sit there. I ordered all the parts and my mind wouldn't let me stay away.

Correct, it's DC so no capacitor. I broke down the step motor, basically 2 DC motors hitched together in opposing directions to provide a clockwise and counter clockwise rotation. I cleaned the gear case. I applied 12V and nothing so looked up the motor specs and its 6V...don't apply 12V! I found the motor in the clockwise (auger feed) was not working but the reverse (auger clear) was. So the sensor was not picking up rotation forward and sent the unit into "clear" mode prompting the reverse motor to kick in. The bearings are going in it so I lubed it up and it is now working.

I will need to replace it eventually but this will keep me going until the parts arrive or until spring. Saving me $500 in parts/service from the dealer.

By the way, in my research, I discovered as expected:
-The step motor is a johnson controls, saica motor. You can review the specs and locate the motor alone, or a suitable 6V replacement for about $30. As opposed to the quadrafire assembly for $213 dealer, $150 online price.
-The optical sensor can be replace sans bracket and harness for $4. As opposed to the dealer $119, or online price of $60. Just cut the connector off and solder old harness to the sensor.

Thanks!
My motor hums but does not turn. This is when it's completely out of the stove. With 4 wires going into it, I was initially thinking it was a stepper motor, but based on your post it isn't - it's just two DC motors, right? How did you separate the motor from the auger ass'y? On mine the motor shaft fits into a thick (what appears to be brass) sleeve with a set screw, but even with that set screw completely out, I can't budge it. You said you cleaned the gearcase - does it come apart?
 

wolfeman

New Member
Dec 27, 2019
1
New Tripoli, PA
I was getting auger jammed issues all of a sudden on my Quadra Fire Mt Vernon AE.
Found auger going in reverse for the most part trying to un-jam itself.
I was reading a lot of good posts out here and decided to test the pressure switch.
While putting test leads on the physical switch I noticed the switch was kinda loose in the unit and didn't think much of it until it became so loose I could take it out.
At that point I removed the entire pressure switch assembly out and determined that all the glue that was holding the switch to the unit was brittle and floating around in the pressure switch baffle.
The switch was testing good, so I decided to hot glue it back into the unit the same depth as it was originally glued.
You can blow into it and put a meter on the switch and make sure a light blow closes the switch before you install it again.
All started working for me once again.
The switch not only has to get nudged by the internal rubber baffle when there is pressure, but there needs to be a seal around the switch.
I find this a poor design to begin with, but it lasted 10 years.
See attached pictures and thanks for all the troubleshooting hints.
 

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kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,477
Iowa
Thanks for sharing that info. Stay warm. kap