Quadra Fire - starts, then flames goes out?

Amin1992

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
9
PA - USA
Hi guys. New here and this is my first post. I really appreciate your support!

Just bought my first home with my wife and the house has a pellet stove - Quadra Fire Classic Bay 1200. Previous owners lived here 4 years and never used it, so it was sitting idle all that time. I read up on pellet stoves a bit, got the manual online, and got to cleaning the thing inside and out. All ash is cleaned completely as per the Quadra Fire cleaning procedure in the manual.

Anyway, loaded it up with pellets, and started it up as per the manual. The pellet stove starts, big flame will eventually appear, and heat is radiating out - so cool! However, about 15-20 minutes in, it stops feeding, and the flame eventually goes out. Call light is still on on the side. I try resetting it a few times, unplugging/plugging back in, but I can't get it to start up again until the next day.

The thermostat it's connected to is set to 90*F so I don't think that is the issue. Likewise the thermocouple is cleaned off, wire pushed in all the way, and it seems to be about in the right spot (extends about an inch into the pot).

Any ideas here? The snap disc #2 is working. Definitely enough pellets inside. When it first starts up, there is vaccuum it seems as the exhaust motor is running, and when I go outside there is hot exhaust coming out the pipe. Front door is tight and sealed. The door that opens/closes the pot to clean ash is closed.

I read online about a vaccuum switch. I found it, but kind of confused from there. There is a hose running from this switch to what looks like the feed motor? I tried blowing into the hose from the vacuum side and couldn't blow through it - not sure if that means its clogged or if that is just normal?

I really appreciate the help guys - worst case, can someone let me know about how much it would cost to call a professional and have them come out and diagnose/fix?

Edit: also wanted to add, I believe the previous sellers already replaced the feed motor, as I found an old used feed motor in the attic in a box labeled "still works" - maybe they had this issue, replaced the feed motor, and it didn't solve their issue?

-Al

PS: on a side note, I have a lesser question that I was trying to figure out before this issue came up. In 20 minutes (before the flame dies) the convection blower never turned on. Is that normal? I replaced the snap disc #1 and no luck. I tried plugging the convection fan wires into Snap Disc #2 to test, and it turns right on. Likewise, if I heat up the Snap Disc #1 with a lighter, it makes the convection motor turn on. I guess I assumed it would turn on pretty quick but maybe it takes a long time to heat up and turn on? Just wanted to make sure that was normal. Thanks again.
 
Last edited:

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,233
Iowa
Oh boy. Where to start. First of all, snap disc #1 runs the conv. fan. And only snap disc #1. Snap disc #2 is a over ride snap disc if conv. fan should fail to start and stove overheats, this disc will trip and shut off feed supply, shutting stove down. It has nothing to do with Snap disc #1. One thing to try is to use a jumper wire and jump the two screws that the thermostat wires go to on the stove. IF the stove runs and continues to run, you have an issue with tstat wires or the tstat itself. Another thing to try is to run stove with the #1 snap disc wires jumped(conv fan runs all the time.( IF stove stays running, you might have an issue with the #1 snap disc not tripping and the stove is shutting down due to overheat. SInce you say it won't work till next day tells me this might be the culprit as the snap disc has to cool to reset. Some are manual reset. A little more info and timing of things would help a lot. IT does take a while for conv fan to come on. You should see the green light come on in control box, indicating that firepot has reached 200* and then auger will start feeding again. When pot reaches 600* the red light comes on and a few minutes after that, conv. fan should start. Let us know how it goes. kap
 
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Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
467
Miller MO
If you couldn’t blow through the vacuum line it is probably partially clogged with pellet dust. Blow away from the switch through the line with canned air or an air compressor and if you can’t get it cleared where you can blow through with your mouth, you can take the hump inside the hopper off to get to the top of the auger where that hose ties in. If you take it loose and blow back through it, it will usually clear, but never blow or suck directly into a vacuum switch.
 
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kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,233
Iowa
If it don't blow clear, stick a pc. of wire in nipple where it attaches to the drop tube, and work any clog free. If it was plugged, I wouldn't think it would feed period tho. kap
 

Amin1992

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
9
PA - USA
Thanks for the replies so far. I was stupid and messing with the Snap Disc 3 and caused a spark, and blew the 7 amp fuse... ugh! Have to find somewhere with one of those (calling around stove shops today). While it was sitting off though, I finally got the vacuum line unclogged!

It was definitely clogged up - weird though that it was just feeding a few days before. Before the short, I couldn't get it to feed at all yesterday. Cleaned out the hopper and removed/reinstalled the auger. Felt jammed up and is now loosey goosey.

Once I get the fuse and start it up again, we'll see what happens.
 

Amin1992

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
9
PA - USA
Oh boy. Where to start. First of all, snap disc #1 runs the conv. fan. And only snap disc #1. Snap disc #2 is a over ride snap disc if conv. fan should fail to start and stove overheats, this disc will trip and shut off feed supply, shutting stove down. It has nothing to do with Snap disc #1. One thing to try is to use a jumper wire and jump the two screws that the thermostat wires go to on the stove. IF the stove runs and continues to run, you have an issue with tstat wires or the tstat itself. Another thing to try is to run stove with the #1 snap disc wires jumped(conv fan runs all the time.( IF stove stays running, you might have an issue with the #1 snap disc not tripping and the stove is shutting down due to overheat. SInce you say it won't work till next day tells me this might be the culprit as the snap disc has to cool to reset. Some are manual reset. A little more info and timing of things would help a lot. IT does take a while for conv fan to come on. You should see the green light come on in control box, indicating that firepot has reached 200* and then auger will start feeding again. When pot reaches 600* the red light comes on and a few minutes after that, conv. fan should start. Let us know how it goes. kap
Thanks for long thought out response.

It is not the thermostat. Jumping didn't fix it, and adjusting the thermostat makes the call light go on/off so I didn't think that was the culprit.

Jumped the Snap Disc #1 wires, Convect Fan turns on but not getting the stove to feed so I don't think it's that.

I had someone tell me 90% of the time it's the thermocouple. However, that seems to be working fine: it is properly placed, wires touching inside of ceramic, and when I took a lighter to it to heat it up, the green light came on on the control box. I would think that signifies it's working?

I tried jumping the wires to the vacuum sensor, still didn't start. However, shortly after that I tried jumping the Snap Disc #3 and made a dumb mistake: sparked, and blew the 7 amp fuse so now I'm dead in the water til I get a new one. While it was out, I found the vacuum line was completely clogged so I got that opened up. However, wouldn't jumping the wires for that sensor make it work? Also took out the auger and reinstalled in a nearly-empty hopper - maybe that was jammed?

I'll try to outline below timing/order of things.

Over the last week:
-Plug in stove, turn tstat up to 90F
-Stove exhaust kicks on, starts feeding a few pellets, call light on
-Eventually fire starts up. Pretty large. Tried adjusting the feed rate and waiting 15 minutes
-Before 15 minutes was up, stopped feeding, so fire eventually was a smolder and then went out.
-Ignitor still hot, call light on, just not feeding after 15 minutes or so

Yesterday:
-Plug in stove, turn tstat up again
-Ignitor heating up, call light on, but never starts feeding at all. Full hopper.
-Waited 30 minutes, exhaust still on, ignitor hot, but never feeds.

Here's to hoping when I get that fuse in, that it starts again! Thanks for the help
 

Overfireinthehole

Feeling the Heat
May 5, 2017
467
Miller MO
It could be the hopper lid switch if yours has that. It’s usually a magnetic switch on the right side of the hopper with the magnet on the lid. If is barely making contact it can cause sporadic feed issues and the magnet bracket gets bent if the hopper is overfilled. You can bypass or put a magnet on the switch to confirm.
 

Amin1992

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
9
PA - USA
It could be the hopper lid switch if yours has that. It’s usually a magnetic switch on the right side of the hopper with the magnet on the lid. If is barely making contact it can cause sporadic feed issues and the magnet bracket gets bent if the hopper is overfilled. You can bypass or put a magnet on the switch to confirm.
I don't think mine has a hopper switch but I'll check thanks!