Quadra-Fire Santa Fe, notes from 12 years running

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whit

Member
Sep 15, 2009
171
Southern VT
Since I just did a bit of an overhaul to get it in operation for the season, some random notes on what I've learned. This is for the original style Santa Fe, bought on sale just before the B version was released. On the whole, it's served us well, heating about 1/3 of a 2200 sq. ft. home. Last year the auger motor gave out, so replaced that. This year it wouldn't start until I replaced the exhaust/combustion blower. While at it I replace the room blower too, as that had been getting noisy. These were all simple operations, in themselves. But in pulling the stove out from the corner I took apart the vent pipe. One of the places I took it apart was between a 3" to 4" adapter and a 45" elbow in Excel pipe. It turned out there was no good way to get these to go back together. That was fortunate.

When I bought the stove, the shop sold me on the idea that I should just have them vent it straight out, without an OAK, which the dealer claimed would lead to various problems. Of course venting it straight out meant whenever the electricity failed, smoke would come into the house. Folks in this forum were kind enough to help me find parts to build a relay to switch the thermostat off when power goes out, which along with a battery backup adequate to run the fan on cool down got around the problem. But I really should have had it installed with a vertical stack, to have avoided that.

So I grabbed a DuraVent kit from the local big box store. To get to exit the wall at the same place as before, I found an additional 6" DuraVent Pro piece through the Internet. There's some confusion about whether big-box DuraVent and DuraVent Pro parts fit together. They did. The one shortcoming of the kit was that its stove adapter took a lot of silicone to connect to the stove outlet. Other than that the kit assembled well and is tight. I put some foil tape over the seams inside the house, but there was no obvious need for it. Taking advantage of having the stove out from the corner, I also got a standard OAK kit. Between the stack helping pull the air, and the OAK providing colder, thus more oxygen dense air, and maybe the new blower too, the flame is noiceably happier. And I can shut off power without smoke in the house, so have retired the relay.

The one weird thing I ran into a few years ago has been seen by others: The baffle falling down -- https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/quadra-santa-fe-baffle-falling-down-falling-down.146529/. In my case, the metal had shrunk slightly after many firings. While the baffle itself isn't a common replacement part, it is available as part of a kit that was put out to upgrade the earliest release of the Santa Fe, which had a straight back wall, to the later model, where the two side pieces are angled inwards. That kit is still available, uk-30kpel (a search engine will find it -- also mentioned here: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/quadra-fire-improved-air-flow-system.18797/). The replacement baffle from the kit, swapped in several years ago, has not fallen yet.
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,365
park county montana
I would say overall you have ha good success. But to be fair, most issues are from poor cleaning, and you obviously clean yours well. It's a Quad,should last you many more years.
 

Ocelot

Member
Dec 27, 2010
88
Hudson Valley, NY
Sounds like you got it all fixed up and better than it was. Nice job!

Ray
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
111
Lancaster, PA
Nice, I have a "new to me" Santa fe B from 2006 and has been running well so far this year. Gave it a fairly thorough cleaning before putting it to daily use.

I'm lucky mine had the upgrade kit done to it for the baffle.

Did the auger motor make noises before it failed or did it just outright stop working one day?
 

whit

Member
Sep 15, 2009
171
Southern VT
You have a 2006 Santa Fe B? My end-of-the run earlier model I bought in the winter of 2009. Thought the B came out in Fall of 2008. As for the baffle, I didn't upgrade it -- the back plates were already angled. But I needed to replace a baffle that had shrunk just enough that the tab wouldn't hold it from falling. Held it up for awhile with a screw shoved in the slot where the tab goes, but that wasn't 100% dependable. The old one didn't appear warped, just somehow shrunk. I didn't expect metal could do that. It's possible I have it wrong and the rest of the stove expanded, with the replacement top baffle just somehow manufactured slightly larger to begin with. I'm just happy the replacement has for the several years I've had it stayed in place with no fuss.

The failing auger got to where it would make a struggling noise. It was gradually weakening, There had been several years where it took some manual prodding of the corkscrew on first start or two of the season. Then the exhaust/combustion fan was sounding rough last winter. It wouldn't start this season at all. I replaced the auger with an OEM part, which works fine. For the fans I used aftermarket parts, which are also good so far.

Incidentally I've run across a solid case for OAKs: https://michiganwoodpellet.com/what-is-an-outdoor-air-in-take-kit-and-why-all-the-fuss/ -- well reasoned and written.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
111
Lancaster, PA
Going back on archive.org looks like Sante Fe B1 was existing as early as November 2005.

From a quick glance between a 2003 manual and a 2005 B manual it looks like the collar assembly was no longer required for OAK (which was definitely not needed for my install). The B manual is a bit more detailed, but otherwise the same.

I'm assuming someone had the baffle upgrade done as part of warranty as I believe that kit came out in 2009? Maybe? I forget when there's some old threads on here mentioning it previously.
 

whit

Member
Sep 15, 2009
171
Southern VT
Just to make things more confusing... I found this: https://downloads.hearthnhome.com/serviceParts/Santa-FE_Retired.pdf

So according to Quadra-Fire the dates are:
SANTA-FE (6/03 - 4/04)
SANTAFE-B (4/04 - 7/09)
SANTAFE-B1 (10/05 - 7/09)

So I have a 'B' and you have a 'B1'
Yikes. Checking the current model, it's named the Santafe-C since April 2019. Which leaves the question: What was the full designation was from 7/09 to 4/19? Update: For at least a few years, that was the "MBK."

Shorter span for the B here: https://downloads.hearthnhome.com/serviceParts/SANTAFE.pdf -- just 4/05 to 10/05. So I believe we both have the B1. The kit that included the top baffle as it's main component was one they released to update the original model to the baffle design of the B. It was just the only way I could find to get a replacement baffle for what I now see i see is my B1.
 
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maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
111
Lancaster, PA
Hey, you're right! I just checked my serial number and it falls within the B1 range. 008-1640606 here. It only took two of us to crack that mystery! lol.