Our 4-month old Quadra Fire Santa Fe pellet stove has developed a new problem. When we originally installed it, it smelled smokey whenever it started up. Sealing the pipe joints fixed that.
However, now when I run it on "high", sometimes the fire goes CRAZY - I mean; the entire firebox is filled with flames! I'm not talking about just a large flame; I'm talking about the entire box filled with flame! Luckily I've been there when this happened (twice so far) and I ran to the thermostat and shut the stove off.
I normally run the stove on Medium speed. Sometimes the flames get a little high; but nothing like that! Calling quadra-fire tech support did nothing. (they said to check the little blue resistor plug in the side of the control box to make sure it was facing the label, which it was). My dealer knows less about pellet stoves than I do; which isn't saying much.
Anyone with good Quadra Fire tech advice, manuals, troubleshooting tips, etc? I'm a computer geek during the day, so I could probably fix it if someone can walk me through what to do. Is there something in the control box that can be adjusted? The only thing on the entire stove that's adjustable is the feed lever, and i've got it pushed down as far as it will go. I've thought about somehow filing the groove out so I can slide it down further?
I really do like the stove; but the huge "fireball" in the box worries me. What if I wouldn't have been home...would the stove shut itself down automatically somehow by a safety device...or is there a chance that it could burn the house down?
Quad Tech Support
You should call Quad Tech support and ask for Steve Tate. He's their guru and one of the best in the industry. Tell them a HHT Field Operations Manager from Region 13 suggested contacting him.
FYI, if you modify the stove, you void the warranty so please don't.
Thanks for the tip
I appreciate your advice. The first time I called (2 days ago) I got stuck with a low-level person that basically told me to check the resistor on the side of the control box and said "gee, we might have to get one of the tech support guys involved". Not real helpful.
I will give Steve a call and see if he can help.
By the way...I happened to be talking to the company that opens and closes our pool, and they deal with Harman stoves. The guy said they are a little expensive, but they are "bottom feed" or something like that, so you don't have problems with clinkers in the firepot building up. Any truth to that? Although I hate to think about swapping out a stove that's as new as my quadra fire.
Found problem with stove
I happened to be sitting by the stove yesterday when it kicked on. The auger started running...and it kept running and running! It wouldn't shut off. Normally it feeds pellets for about 45 seconds, lights, and then after that it drops a few pellets about every 7 seconds.
That's what was causing the gigantic fires - the auger was running on startup and wouldn't stop feeding pellets for a couple minutes.
To troubleshoot the cause of the problem, first thing I did was unhook my digital thermostat and hook up the simple, cheapie Quadrafire thermostat that comes with the stove. Did the same thing - auger runs nonstop. Then I jumpered the 2 thermostat terminals at the rear of the stove, and it still had the same problem. So the only possible cause would be the control box, correct? Is there anything else that would cause the auger to run non-stop?
Did you talk to Steve yet? Ask him about the boards in the control modules.
I did talk to Steve. He said it had to be one of two things: The thermostat (or wire), or the control board. Here's the weird thing:
I swapped out my digital t-stat for the cheapie quadrafire thermostat that came with the stove. That didn't fix it; the auger kept running nonstop. Next I jumpered the stove at the back 2 thermostat connections (taking the thermostat out of the loop). That didn't fix it either. Therefore, the control board must be bad, right?
I took out the board and took it to my Quadra Fire dealer; who is totally clueless. He ordered a new one from his distributor; but only because I stood there and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Since it is going to take several days to get it in; I went back home and plugged the control board back into the stove and gave it another try. NOW IT WORKS FINE.
The only thing I can think of is that there is a resistor, diode, capacitor, or something on the pc board that is intermittant. But for now it's working again. Ever hear of such a weird thing, or is it common for the boards to act intermittantly like that?
The new control box finally was delivered to my dealer. I installed it last night; and it fixed the problem. The pellets feed correctly now; and the fire is a consistent size - it doesn't vary nearly as much as it used to.
Quadra Fire has re-designed their control boxes; so obviously they knew there was a problem with them. The new ones are in translucent "see through" box; and there is a big metal "clip" that you can see attaches to the capacitor inside (I'm guessing the metal band acts as some sort of a heat sink).
In any case; if you own a Quadra Fire pellet stove and are having problems with over-feeding of pellets, flames that are too tall, etc. -- Go to your dealer and tell them you need a new control box! (After of course you make sure that your stove is clean, and that your thermostat and wire is working correctly)
That's why I said ask about the board in my post on the 27th!!!
Glad to see they got it corrected for you. From what we're hearing, these new boards have the problem fixed.
IDK about the control box being fixed. We had a Quadrafire stove installed in January of 2009 and it definitely had the new translucent control box.
We had several issues with the unit and the most distressing was the auger filling the pot to overflow with pellets and then just about exploding when the flame caught on.
They finally replaced the control board and so far this season it seems to be running OK but from personal experience I would say getting a stove with the new control box is no guarantee that it will work correctly.
[I just ran across this thread while looking to see if it's OK to install a digital thermostat as the mechanical one supplied with the stove is pretty much a piece of crap -- other than the problems I'm pretty happy with the stoves heating performance]
There is always the possibility of getting a defective part, that's why there is a warranty.
IN JUNE OF 2003 BC B1 TALKED ABOUT HIS QUADRA FIRE SANTAFE PELLET STOVE CONTINUING TO FEED PELLETS INTO THE HOPPER NON STOP WHICH FILLED THE HOLE FIRE BOX WITH RUN AWAY FLAMES. HE ALSO STATED THAT HE WAS GLAD THAT HE WAS HOME WHEN THIS OCCURED. HE ASK A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER HIS SANTAFE STOVE HAD AUTOMATIC SHUT DOWN IF THE STOVE OR FLAMES IN THE FIRE BOX RUNS AWAY WITH ITS SELF? I DON'T THINK THIS QUESTION WAS EVER ANSWERED. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE FILL ME IN ON WHAT SAFE GUARDS IS THERE IN THE QUDRA FIRE SANTAFE MODEL# B-1 SYSTEM TO PROTECT US FROM RUNAWY PELLETS AND FLAMES WHEN WE ARE ASLEEP AT NIGHT OR AWAY FROM HOME? THANK YOU VERY MUCH. GREAT SITE !!!
There are two over temp switches. First one shuts down the auger only, second shuts off all the power to the whole unit. One is on the side and one is on the auger tube (in cause of auger fire).
I couldn't believe what I was reading concerning your pellet stove--I am having the EXACT SAME PROBLEM with mine right now.I had the dealers service man was here the other day he told me my problem was because the exhaust was clogged so he cleaned it out and charged me $100.00 and it is still doing the same thing.( smoke comes into the house, drops a million pellets & flame is huge and wavy).I just called the dealer and told him about control box etc. and he told me he needed to contact the service man that worked on my stove and would contact me on Monday--1/4/2010.
Do you happen to know how long the warranty is for those boxes? My stove is not as new as yours and hopefully the warranty is still in effect!! I know that is an expensive part.
P.S.* Sounds like you bought the stove from the same place I did--my dealer had no clue on what is going on.He told me the holes in the burn pot were clogged and I should stick a paperclip thru them and that would solve the problem.LOL
Thanks again for the info