Quadrafire Classic Bay pellet feed rate

GoFish

New Member
Mar 20, 2019
4
Castle Rock CO
New to this forum so thanks in advance for good advice. I have searched around, this is a good, helpful forum.

Bought a house near Denver 4 winters ago now and "inherited" a Quadrafire Classic Bay pellet stove from my brother-in-law. It's a 1999 model, but by all appearances had very little use over the years. It sat unused in his basement for years and did not appear to have much prior use.

Great unit, heats my entire downstairs and will do the whole house if over 20F or so. I have a problem with it, hoping someone here can throw out some ideas.

I have messed with the rather crude slide pellet feed restrictor in the hopper trying to get it right. I've tried various local brands of pellets and have found the shorter the better, but even with the best pellets often times when I lean it out to optimal burn, sliding the restrictor "in" and closing off the auger feed opening, it clogs at that auger opening and stops feeding pellets. So I reach in, very slightly pull the restrictor slide "out" and can hear the pellets drop. Reset 2-3 times and feeding again - until the next clog. That might be a week, might be later that day or night.

To get to optimal burn I always run the risk of closing that slide restrictor just a little too much and having the thing clog and shut off. It's favorite time to do it is just after I fall asleep, so when I wake up at 4:30 am it's mid-50's in the house.

My alternative is to open that restrictor more, then I'm running risk of an overflowing pot by morning. That slide restrictor is a bit crude and I sit right on this edge constantly with this stove, either clog or overflow.

There are two things that control pellet feed rate, that slide restrictor and the auger timing. As I understand it, auger feed timing is pre-set so I only have the slide restrictor to control feed rate. If I could somehow adjust auger timing, I could open up that restrictor to where it would never clog and work out auger timing. On medium settings auger feeds about every 6 seconds. I would love to be able to adjust that and try 8 or 10 and find a better overall optimal for pellet feed.

Is this a known or common issue with this model?
Any solutions I have not found in 4 years of jacking with this thing?
Has anyone been able to change auger timing? It has to be an EPROM or something similar in that control box, just wondering if anyone has had success doing chip mods on this model.
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,284
Iowa
Hello and welcome to the forum. On your control box, there is a little gray dial. It should be set to one. If stove is unplugged and plugged back in, the blue light should blink once every 10 seconds for 60 seconds. If dial is set to 2, that is an extra 10% feed rate. Are you sure all holes in pot are clean, including the 8 small ones? 4 in pot floor and 4 in front of pot. And be sure the pot floor has no more then a dimes width opening on the backside. Your stove shouldn't be acting like this, so something is up. Have you pulled the auger to see if there is anything in auger tube? Use a flashlight and mirror to look up drop chute from pot area, to see if there is any bridging going on over opening. Feed rate for your stove is low-4.7 seconds, med- 6.1 seconds high- 7.5 seconds. These are "on" times. kap
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
2,448
Lorraine NY
your stove should be a 3speed, what setting are you on? check the gasket around the ash drawer and your door gasket and the gasket under the burn pot and make sure they are all good and seal. you should set your flame hight with it on High using the slide in the hopper. the combustion motor will be running at its highest. then as you need less heat you should just need the change the rocker switch to the medium (center) position and you should not need to adjust the feed slide it will slow down the feed and combustion motor automatically
 

GoFish

New Member
Mar 20, 2019
4
Castle Rock CO
Quick response thanks. Auger chute is clear, I will verify that again but I do not think that's the issue. I normally run this on Medium, High tends to overflow the pot, sometimes I would prefer running on High but have had trouble finding a happy spot on high. Door gasket and pot gasket are both in good shape I have checked this stuff. I will verify that dial is set to "1" I did replace the control unit right when I got this, bought a new (updated) one from a local dealer here. Not cheap! New updated control module seems very stable.

I'm getting good airflow from what I can tell and what I think is good seal at the base of the pot. You have to wiggle it into position sometimes but you can tell when airflow is at max and burn rate seems optimal. All holes in the pot are flowing, I do keep it clean with a vac very regularly and I know holes are all clear and flowing air. I'll verify the dimes width on back side, but again I think it's good.

I will pull auger after winter, motor is getting squeaky angry when cold so I'll decide whether to try to lube it along for a while longer or get a replacement. I do not think auger chute clog is an issue, my problem is typically a clog right there at the base of the hopper and you can see the auger in that opening and it's clean, no obstructions or anything. I vac the dust out of there as needed, usually when I do a good vac of exhaust paths and up around the manifold about every ton. I go through about 3 tons per winter, so 150 bags.

So I'm telling you everything is perfect, but I still have this fine edge getting the slide in a perfect spot not to clog and not to overflow the pot overnight. Low setting is just too low, medium is about right. Wish I could change auger timing to about 8 seconds on medium but I'm guessing that's not going to be an option without getting into that Control module and that's going to be a bit above my pay grade.

I'll take any other suggestions, appreciate the quick input, I will look closely at the pot and pull the auger in a few months. It still works and puts out great heat, just finicky with that pellet feed. I have had much better success with shorter pellets. Anything over 1" tends to clog it up guaranteed, so I've ruled out a few brands and have a few favorites that I can get here.
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
2,448
Lorraine NY
i still think you have an air problem. my 2000 cb1200 will run on high with the slide wide open. i will have a killer flame but it never clogs up but mine has the original control. have you pulled the combustion blower and cleaned the back chamber? other than that i have not worked on any of the new boards so i will leave you in Kaps' hands
 

GoFish

New Member
Mar 20, 2019
4
Castle Rock CO
Agree on the airflow problem. I do keep the back chamber clean but with your post I'm suspicious the combustion fan is weak. Appreciate the posts, I'm betting exhaust air is the issue.