Whitfield Quest WP 4 igniter replacement?

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Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,813
Salem NH
Hello
I have seen many Whitfield Quest Plus wood pellet stoves with igniters but this is the first 20 year old Whitfield Quest I have ever seen with an igniter. The Advantage II-T and Quest are Whitfield’s first models to have a Fast Fire ignition system!
Not all of these stoves can have the igniter either!
The Advantage II-T igniters start at serial # 75,864
The Quest igniters start at serial # 12,140
The good news is that the igniters and optional igniter upgrade kits are still available for these stoves!
The reason why this is a fast fire system is because the igniter tube is tapered ad the end facing the burn pot to increase the velocity of the heated air so the pellets light in approximately 3 mins!
I just cannot understand why every stove on the market today does not follow suit and we still have those slow poke igniter stoves that take approximately 5-6 minutes to light up???

All other Whitfield model stoves, the igniter can be replaced following the instructions in the last pic below. The Whitfield Quest model is quite different! In this example we have a Quest serial # 26585 with the igniter kit installed. The electronic igniter module is on the left side under the room blower where the igniter is plugged in. It was easy to just unplug it and connect a test cord that proved the igniter is dead!
We removed the auger motor and auger which was another feat since the auger was jammed solid and the set bolt for the motor was facing down to make it impossible to get the Allen wrench in.
:)

Then to my surprise the igniter could not be removed from the back of the fire wall inside the stove because there was a metal box welded around it!
Therefore the igniter & the igniter tube must be removed from the front in the burn box cradle! The tube does pull out by using prying the pin from the slot on the bottom of the tube only accessible by removing the ash pan! However the real trick is to remove the 4 lock nuts from under the burn cradle and remove the top of the burn cradle to have enough room to pull the igniter and igniter tube out the front! LOL
In this case since all parts were original we had to clean and dry moly the auger, install a new nylon auger bearing and end plate, then install a new high quality auger motor with the needle bearings on the output shaft!
After removing the igniter tube & igniter we just removed and replaced the igniter in the igniter tube after cleaning the tube a spraying it with dry moly to prevent rust and give an even better air flow for a super fast fire!
Then we installed the new igniter and tube then fished the igniter clips and wires thru the welded box before installing the new auger motor to easily get our hands in!
Not an easy job this time but since these parts lasted 20 years they should be good for a very long time now! Lol
Note: In the newer Whitfield Quest Plus and Advantage Plus pellet stoves the Igniter can be removed from the inside back of the firewall with a 5/8" deep socket and ratchet much more easily! See last pic of OEM Whitfield instructions
Picture file names below:
WP4IgniterReplacement01-Model&SerialTag
WP4IgniterReplacement02-WireDiagram
WP4IgniterReplacement03-IgniterModuleBottomRightSide
WP4IgniterReplacement04-ControlPanel
WP4IgniterReplacement05-IgniterUnderBurnPot
WP4IgniterReplacement06-WeldedBoxAroundBackOfIgniter!
WP4IgniterReplacement07-FrontOfIgniterPin
WP4IgniterReplacement08-IgniterTubePullOut
WP4IgniterReplacement09-TwoOfFourNutsForBPCradleTop
WP4IgniterReplacement10-ReplacingIgniterCartridge
WP4IgniterReplacement11-CleanedBurnPotNewCradleTopGasketNewIgniterLights
WP4IgniterReplacement12-CloseUpFire
WP4IgniterReplacement13-Fire
WP4IgniterReplacement14-AllWorking!
Last Pic is Whitfield OEM Igniter Replacement instructions but does not cover the WP4 Quest!

WP4IgniterReplacement01-Model&SerialTag.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement02-WireDiagram.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement03-IgniterModuleBottomRightSide.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement04-ControlPanel.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement05-IgniterUnderBurnPot.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement06-WeldedBoxAroundBackOfIgniter!.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement07-FrontOfIgniterPin.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement08-IgniterTubePullOut.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement09-TwoOfFourNutsForBPCradleTop.jpeg WP4IgniterReplacement10-ReplacingIgniterCartridge.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement11-CleanedBurnPotNewCradleTopGasketNewIgniterLights.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement12-CloseUpFire.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement13-Fire.jpg WP4IgniterReplacement14.jpg WhitfieldOEMIgniterInstructionsH8127-5__79913.1493948671.jpg
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,421
Colorado
I think pellet stoves are beautiful and so convenient and my first choice was a pellet stove but as I thought more I ended up with a wood stove because of what I wanted out of it.. I wanted no electric usage on these type of things and the one I pick out first would have not been good for me and would have made my life difficult. lol So I am glad with some help I switched to another type of stove..But my question is: Why do they make these stoves so complicated to fix for you must have a masters degree to do this..Why in the world would they progress to making a ignition more complicated and so hard to take out even when you know the problem is and is this done on purpose so that a common person without stove knowledge would have to buy another one..Can't someone figure out how to make a pellet stove that would have handy parts that you could exchange in a less complicated mode. The manuals to these things are Greek to most people. In our day and age would not you think that someone could make a pellet stove "simple to fix and nice to use"..with having faith in the stove knowing that if it breaks down that a person can fix it without too much of a jumping around..You either have a lot of patience or you love tinkering with stuff like that--for --I would have my own method of handling that situation..What difference does a quick start of mere seconds make on pellet stoves like that anyway..? Educational to say the least--thank you..clancey
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,813
Salem NH
I think pellet stoves are beautiful and so convenient and my first choice was a pellet stove but as I thought more I ended up with a wood stove because of what I wanted out of it.. I wanted no electric usage on these type of things and the one I pick out first would have not been good for me and would have made my life difficult. lol So I am glad with some help I switched to another type of stove..But my question is: Why do they make these stoves so complicated to fix for you must have a masters degree to do this..Why in the world would they progress to making a ignition more complicated and so hard to take out even when you know the problem is and is this done on purpose so that a common person without stove knowledge would have to buy another one..Can't someone figure out how to make a pellet stove that would have handy parts that you could exchange in a less complicated mode. The manuals to these things are Greek to most people. In our day and age would not you think that someone could make a pellet stove "simple to fix and nice to use"..with having faith in the stove knowing that if it breaks down that a person can fix it without too much of a jumping around..You either have a lot of patience or you love tinkering with stuff like that--for --I would have my own method of handling that situation..What difference does a quick start of mere seconds make on pellet stoves like that anyway..? Educational to say the least--thank you..clancey
Hi Clancey
You have a good question about the igniter being hard to replace on this model stove. The reason is this model, the WP4 goes back 20 years and it was one of the very first pellet stoves in existence at the time to have an igniter. In the very next version of these pellet stoves the igniter could be easily changed with a 5/8” deep socket wrench. LOL
I had worked on these stoves without igniters and I was absolutely amazed that a stove of this age really had one. LOL
As far as the fast fire igniter goes, again I think it is absolutely amazing that a stove this old has such a superior design over many new stove that can fire up 2-3 Minutes faster not seconds than most stoves built today!
Dr Whitfield who designed this pellet stove was far ahead of his time!
I had a wood stove but only used it for 3 years. I could not control the heat.
A wood pellet stove gives the same great penetrating wood heat with no creosote and the temps can be easily controlled. I would never go back to a wood stove with all the work and dirty dangerous creosote.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,421
Colorado
Yea I love those pellet stoves and even checked into a battery back up because I did not want to depend on electricity. If I was having a stove to heat a house permanently I would have a pellet stove especially with all the modern things and thermostat --so easy --compared to a wood stove without a cat.. But the batteries only lasted for a time and some people had two of these special batteries connected together and it just got too daunting for me---not only the wood---but the batteries too...lol...Glad you have your nice stove and my that technology years ago was really ahead of its time...and back then someone who sold pellets could make a good living out of it...Yes...thanks clancey
 

Stovensen

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
540
Denmark, EU
Hello Don, and thanks for sharing many interesting details with us on your work on igniter replacement on a regular Quest. Very useful info for us owners of a Whitfield stove and also for pellet stove owners in general... I didn't know that the patented "Fast Fire Ignition" was among the fastest on the market. Three minutes until stable fire, that's fast!

But the purpose of that metal box/shield covering the igniter at the back has me scratching my head. Could it be to ensure that the airstream to the igniter tube doesn't get disturbed by the airstream to the fresh air intake, which is right next to it?
My Quest Plus is quite different in this area. I found this picture from when I was cleaning the stove for the first time many years ago ( yes the worn out Nylatron bushing was leaking a lot of fines :)) We see the wires leading to the igniter, which is easy to replace from the back, simply by unscrewing the nut on the tube and pulling it out backwards.
Notice the fresh air intake... it is led further to the back of stove by a metal box. This metal box has an opening facing away from the powerful airstream from the convection blower. And one of the two hi limit switches is mounted on the back of it. And we can also conclude that neither the regular Quest nor the Quest Plus are true OAK-ready.
DSC00871.JPG

The Advantage II-T, however, is OAK-ready from the factory, as we can see here:
OAK-ready, Advantage IIT.jpg

I found a list of some of the first Whitfield pellet stoves including the very first pellet stove for residential use in the world, The Legend!
The Prodigy1 and Prodigy2 are missing , though.
Don, have you ever worked on a Whitfield Frontiersman or the Explorer? I searched the internet, and it's hard to find anything about them.
Modeloversigt.jpg
 
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Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,813
Salem NH
Hello Stovensen
Thanks for sharing your comments and
Information which is always a great help here.:)
I have worked on many Whitfield stoves including a Prodigy II and a Renaissance and Waterford Erin WW1 & WW1A stove but not a legend or frontiersman or Explorer.
I did notice that all models after the Quest do not have the metal box. I think it helps the igniter get more air for better starts.
I do really like the Quest Plus better than the Quest since the control board is more readily available and the damper is not connected to it so it is easier to replace.
Also the Quest does not have the Ash Trap doors for cleaning so you have to really blast it out with a good compressor so the ash chambers do not get clogged up and the stove stops working!

I noticed your list does not include the Whitfield Winslow PS-40 wood pellet stove still being made by IronStrike who purchased the stoves from Lenox a few years ago?
The only stove made that still has the Nylatron Auger Bearing! That bearing is the best in the Biz! Every Stove should have one!
http://ironstrike.us.com/products/winslow

WhitfieldRenaissance (4).JPG WhitfieldRenaissance (6).JPG WhitfieldRenaissance (16).JPG
 

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Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,813
Salem NH
Took me about 30 minutes to change my harman ignitor 1st time... not a big deal..
It took me 4 hours to put an igniter in a Harman P61 :-(
That is because it never had one. :)