Quadrafire Contour not starting, service not available until December, please help

Bill in NJ Posted By Bill in NJ, Nov 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM

  1. Bill in NJ

    Bill in NJ
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 12, 2017
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    New Jersey
    Hello,

    I have benefited from the expertise on this site in the past with my stove and am in need of help again please! Before firing up my Contour stove for the first time this season I cleaned it (I clean at the end and beginning of season) and loaded fresh pellets in. Plugged unit in, call light on, control box blinks but that's it...no exhaust fan, no feed motor activity. So I made a jumper wire and tested snap disc #1--result--convection blower came on, but no exhaust fan or feed motor. So I tested snap disc #2-same as initial start up, no blower/feed motor activity.

    Then I jumped the Vacuum switch-the feed motor came on and fed pellets, but no exhaust or convection fan activity.. After 5 minutes I opened the door and the firepot was warm to the touch. I kept the jumper wire on and the unit powered up and then 10 minutes later the exhaust fan suddenly turned on. No fire in the pot at this point and the call light was still on. Exhaust fan ran for approximately 5 minutes, then turned off. So I pressed the reset button, feed motor fired up as did the exhaust fan. After a few more minutes I had a fire. Feed motor and exhaust fan stayed on and after 7 minutes the convection blower turned on!

    Is it safe to assume that the only problem is a faulty vacuum switch? Also how safe is it to continue to run the stove using the jumper wire in lieu of the vacuum switch? If anyone could offer some advice please do so. I called two 'local' dealers and the soonest they can get someone out to charge me $265 to look at the stove is December 10th....!

    Thank you all in advance for your help!

    Bill
     
  2. Ssyko

    Ssyko
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 6, 2017
    500
    81
    Loc:
    Lorraine NY
    Hi Bill did you try hooking the vac switch back up and start it after the reset. Just to verify it wasn't a fluke. my cb1200 has days its just stubborn and wont fire, i hit reset and it fires up.
     
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  3. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    The exhaust fan could of been stuck. I had a customer that his exhaust fan didn't come on. I pushed it with my hand, and it started. And sometimes a little bit of fire, will help the door seal, if it has a bad gasket. And by passing the vac switch and things work, just means there are a number of possibilities that could be wrong. I would check the vac switch tube to make sure it is clear of dust blockage, and no cracks. Also check the nipple on the drop tube it attaches to, to make sure it is clear. You can push a firm pc of wire thru it. Then you can try the vac switch again. Also make sure your door seal is good and tight. Do the dollar bill test. And exhaust path is clear. Thru stove and pipes. Stay in touch. kap
     
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  4. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    Sometimes a cold, empty pot, doesn't like to fire up. kap
     
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  5. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Nov 6, 2017
    500
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    Lorraine NY
    yep and its in my shop thats usually cold till matilda fires up :)
     
  6. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    I'm burning a mix in my Santa Fe. If there isn't any ashes in the pot, I need to throw a small handful of pellets in, so it will fire. But even then sometimes, I have to hit the reset button
     
  7. Bill in NJ

    Bill in NJ
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    Nov 12, 2017
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    Thank you for the advice Ssyko and Kap. I did try the vacuum switch again without the jumper wire and encountered the same startup problem as initial (no exhaust/motor feed start). Also I inspected the vacuum hose and no damage, and inserted a paper clip into the hose end on the motor and encountered no problems. Exhaust path is clear as I gave her a proper cleaning prior to starting it up. Lastly I did the dollar bill test as suggested and along the top line of the stove it was easy to remove. So should I order a new 'door rope' first and replace that prior to ordering the vacuum switch?

    Thank you!

    Mike
     
  8. Bill in NJ

    Bill in NJ
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    Nov 12, 2017
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    Loc:
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    Update to previous post:

    I fired it up this morning by jumping the vacuum switch as I did yesterday and it worked as it previously had (feed motor turned on, fed pellets, 10 minutes later exhaust fan turned on, then fire, then convection blower on). I let it run for an hour then turned the thermostat all the way down and let the fire go out, then unplugged the system. I unhooked the jumper wire from the vacuum switch and hooked the vacuum switch back up. Then plugged the system back in and voila, the unit started without a flaw. So....would you please let me know what that means?

    Thank you!!

    Mike
     
  9. Ssyko

    Ssyko
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    Nov 6, 2017
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    Gremlins :p
     
  10. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    Exhaust fan should come on, before it feeds pellets, as it has to create a vacuum in firebox, making vac switch make contact, so power continues to auger motor. And there should be no rope on top of stove door as that is the air wash for window. Should just have a flat pc. of rope. Older stoves had that on top. In 2006 I think, they moved it to the bottom. kap
     
  11. Bill in NJ

    Bill in NJ
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    Nov 12, 2017
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    Thanks Kap. So with what I have to do to make my pre-2006 stove run what do you think is not working properly? What can I replace to make it work properly?
     
  12. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    Well from your last report it is running fine. I would think bad connections on vac switch. Tell us exact sequence that stove does to fire up. There is a diagram on one of the other posts on how it is suppose to go. Can't remember which one, and I don't know how to download things on here. kap
     
  13. Bill in NJ

    Bill in NJ
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    Nov 12, 2017
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    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Hi all,

    Sequence is as follows:
    1. I plug stove in
    2. Call light on, but exhaust fan, feed motor do not turn on.
    3. I press reset button, no change
    4. I unplug stove
    5. I disconnect Vacuum switch wires from vacuum switch and connect those wires into a jumper wire
    6. I plug stove in
    7. Feed motor starts, feeds pellets. Exhaust fan does not turn on
    8. 5-7 minutes later exhaust fan turns on, fire starts
    9. Convection fan turns on soon after

    In all previous seasons I have not had to bypass the vacuum switch, and the stove has functioned properly (plug stove in, exhaust fan and feed motor start, etc.). What do you think it is?

    Thanks in advance!

    Bill
     
  14. bob bare

    bob bare
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    Oct 31, 2013
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    Run it for at least a few hours,then see what it does tomorrow.Sometimes cleaning puts a small piece of dirt where it does not belong.Sometimes,when unused,very light corrosion can form on low voltage connectors.If happens again,unplug and plug back in everything.
     
  15. kappel15

    kappel15
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    Sep 14, 2014
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    With the sequence so out of order, I would suspect the control box is messed up. When stove calls for heat, it only has 4 minutes 15 seconds for proof of fire, or it is suppose to go into shut down mode.And if igniter came on right away, with no exhaust fan, smoke would be pouring out of stove, into house. As far as the vac switch, it could be bad, the hose from it to drop tube could be plugged or cracked, Nipple on drop tube that hose connects to, could be plugged. Exhaust doesn't seem to be plugged. Bad seal on door could cause this.. I would try unplugging stove, remove and reseat the control box, as sometimes they can work a little loose, just enough to cause issues. Then plug stove back in and see. IF that doesn't fix it, I would find someone with a Contour, Santa Fe, Castile, cb1200 stove and see how the control box works in their stove. Or find a dealer that has the equipment to test your control box. Just be sure to unplug stove whenever removing or installing a control box, or you run the risk of shorting it out. kap
     
  16. greywolf46

    greywolf46
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    Jan 31, 2015
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  17. greywolf46

    greywolf46
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    Jan 31, 2015
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    Sounds like a problem I had with my Harman 61A. Turned out to be a bad combustion (exhaust fan) motor. That motor - at least on a Harman - should come on first, not after a few minutes. It's tied in with the vaccum switch in the startup chain. Just saying, could be a flaky motor.
     

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