Whitfield Advantage II Insert Problem

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New Member
Feb 2, 2022
Buffalo, NY
I have a Whitfield Advantage II that I bought around 10 years ago. Picked it up used, slapped it in and fired it up. We only use the stove for ambiance. We like the flicker of a fire and the extra heat it throws out in the living room as we watch TV in the evenings. On a typical evening I might fire it up around 7 and let it run till 10 or 11 before shutting it down for the night. Repeat 4-5 days a week on average. With regular light cleanings and the rare deep cleanings it's run pretty much without issue for these 10 or so years. This year in late December as the case usually is in Western New York State the temperature finally got to the point which we felt like a fire would feel good. I tried to fire it up with a manual light as normal. The fire started and the auger turned. All seemed normal. However it only ran for 15 minutes and the blower stopped. Got some smoke in the house and other minor disturbances. If I hit the button the stove would restart and run another 15 minutes.

After reading some forums this seemed like a classic "low-limit" switch issue. So I opened the access panel and started to poke around for the likely offending low-limit switch and found it and another seemingly obvious problem. The hose going to the pressure switch was dry rotted and broken right in half. So that's fine add high temp hose to the list of parts that I can replace with the low-limit switch. Not that big a deal. However, this made me curious.

Question 1) Why did the auger run if this hose isn't even connected?

Onward. The high temp hose was an easy find at my local hardware store. I decided to start there and see what happens. I replaced the hose and to my surprise now the auger doesn't work at all. Remove hose from barb on pressure switch the auger immediately kicks on. Replace hose, auger off. Back to question 1.

Anyway, I decided maybe I should remove the exhaust blower and check for a buildup/blockage. I did so, and there wasn't much to find. I did clean what little was there however. Re-attached everything, same results.

Question 2) seems likely the low-limit switch is indeed bad, correct(stove only runs exactly 15 minutes)?

Question 3) Is the pressure switch also bad? I did find a good amount of filth in the exhaust chimney and vacc'd it clean. Would this blockage cause the Pressure switch to fail?

Question 4) Overall I guess the main point is, should I buy both a new low-limit and pressure switch and replace both or will one "fix" the other? I'd prefer not to buy parts I don't need on a 30+ plus year old stove. Wondering if some how the pressure switch hose venting free didn't allow the low-limit switch to get to temp?

Question 5) when the stove runs with the pressure switch hose unconnected(15 mins) I detect a small amount of smoke in the house. Just enough to make you throat scratchy. Is this coming from the pressure hose or is there another leak somewhere else in the stove.

Thanks in advance to everyone for giving this a bit of your attention. Even though we don't rely on the stove for heat we sure do enjoy the sights, sounds and warmth of a fire!(sorry if this topic was already covered elsewhere)