Strange behavior on Castile Insert

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Peter Martin

Member
Oct 27, 2013
32
Chappaqua, NY
I have a 10 year old Quadrafire Castile insert. It's always given me far fewer problems than my Mt. Vernon AE (which I still love). This year, however, I've had an issue with the Castile. Sometimes the stove doesn't start in the morning. I will see that there are some ashes in the firepot, but only a few and the stove is cold (it's set to turn on in the middle of the night). The call light is on. After this happens, I hit the reset button and everything works fine. I don't do anything else but hit reset. Then the fire runs great all day.

So, why do I have those bad starts? I've seen it happen, and it looks as if not enough pellets are dropped in the starting phase. I guess when then happens, the fire never reaches the critical temp needed to trigger the stove to start feeding more pellets? What could be driving this phenomenon? There's no vacuum problem, the auger motor is fine (just put it in), and both fans seem fine. Maybe the control board is shot? Anyway, it's a mystery that's going to get more annoying as the mornings get colder, so would appreciate any hints.

Thanks,

Pete
 

jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
605
Northern Michigan
Feed gate possibly closed too much, try opening it further, maybe longer pellets than usual limiting feed volume, thermocouple ceramic cap packed with ashes or thermocouple not contacting tip of cap, vacuum switch that is intermittent and limiting auger feed during
Start-up..
Few ideas to check.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Former Farmer

jschlo4

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
1
MD
I am having the same issue as OP. The strangest thing about this behavior is that it only occurs at night. I can leave the stove on all day and check it with varying frequencies to know that it is shutting off and restarting as needed. HOWEVER, overnight it will shutoff and never restart. As a point of troubleshooting, I adjust the thermostat to restart it and it will go through the motions of dropping pellets and igniting, but petering out before critical temp. Only if I hit the restart button will it restart.

My snaps are not tripping, and my feed is all of the way open. I plan to clean the thermocoupler housing tonight, but outside of that any thing else to check?
 

Former Farmer

Minister of Fire
Apr 12, 2008
608
NE Wisconsin
My snaps are not tripping, and my feed is all of the way open. I plan to clean the thermocoupler housing tonight, but outside of that any thing else to check?
How long are your pellets? I have never had to have the feed gate open all of the way for the stove to function properly. Have you tried to empty the hopper and auger area to make sure that nothing is partially blocking pellets from feeding properly?
 

forest2000

Member
Jan 9, 2017
5
california
I have a 10 year old Quadrafire Castile insert. It's always given me far fewer problems than my Mt. Vernon AE (which I still love). This year, however, I've had an issue with the Castile. Sometimes the stove doesn't start in the morning. I will see that there are some ashes in the firepot, but only a few and the stove is cold (it's set to turn on in the middle of the night). The call light is on. After this happens, I hit the reset button and everything works fine. I don't do anything else but hit reset. Then the fire runs great all day.

So, why do I have those bad starts? I've seen it happen, and it looks as if not enough pellets are dropped in the starting phase. I guess when then happens, the fire never reaches the critical temp needed to trigger the stove to start feeding more pellets? What could be driving this phenomenon? There's no vacuum problem, the auger motor is fine (just put it in), and both fans seem fine. Maybe the control board is shot? Anyway, it's a mystery that's going to get more annoying as the mornings get colder, so would appreciate any hints.

Thanks,

Pete
hi, thanks for your post because i am having the exact same problem. i have an older castile also and just changed out a bunch of parts but i didn't change the auger motor. i had changed the vacuum switch not to long go. anyway, did you get anywhere with the problem? thanks, pam
 

forest2000

Member
Jan 9, 2017
5
california
Feed gate possibly closed too much, try opening it further, maybe longer pellets than usual limiting feed volume, thermocouple ceramic cap packed with ashes or thermocouple not contacting tip of cap, vacuum switch that is intermittent and limiting auger feed during
Start-up..
Few ideas to check.
hi, i am trying to figure out the same problem. if the call light is on, then the problem wouldn't be the thermocouple or vacuum switch would it? i am beginning to think it has to be just a feed problem.
 

Peter Martin

Member
Oct 27, 2013
32
Chappaqua, NY
Strangely, my stove has recovered back and seems to start up normally now. In the last couple of weeks, I've only had one misfire, and I think that is because the stove hadn't been cleaned in 10 days. I don't know what I did. Maybe I had some bad pellets or something, but I can't think of anything else.