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  1. #1

    Quadrafire Mt Vernon (original, not ae) will not ignite

    Last night, during outside temp of 2 degrees, my Mt Vernon freestanding pellet stove stopped working. The red call light on back lights up, fan comes on, pellets drop, but igniter doesn't heat up. I found out that it is standard AC voltage to igniter, so I made a wall plug cable to plug into igniter, and it heats up (directly to wall outlet). Looking into it more, I found the yellow light flashing in control box (gray one, not clear) which is 'trouble with thermocouple'.

    My question is: if the thermocouple is bad, would it stop the igniter from heating? I am concerned that the problem could be the control box instead of the thermocouple...

  2. #2

    Update

    Quote Originally Posted by tomalpena View Post
    Last night, during outside temp of 2 degrees, my Mt Vernon freestanding pellet stove stopped working. The red call light on back lights up, fan comes on, pellets drop, but igniter doesn't heat up. I found out that it is standard AC voltage to igniter, so I made a wall plug cable to plug into igniter, and it heats up (directly to wall outlet). Looking into it more, I found the yellow light flashing in control box (gray one, not clear) which is 'trouble with thermocouple'.

    My question is: if the thermocouple is bad, would it stop the igniter from heating? I am concerned that the problem could be the control box instead of the thermocouple...

    I bit the bullet and bought the thermocouple as the lesser/cheaper of two evils... It is apparently working fine now. So, the igniter will NOT heat up if the thermocouple is bad. (And it was bad - 5/8" of the tip was broken off inside ceramic tube)

    I hope this can help others with this same problem...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    You are correct. The reason it will not work with a bad thermocouple, is the control board doesn't know what the fire is doing, so it sets the "yellow" light and waits for someone to fix it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    I have a Castile pellet stove with the same problem. Is there a way to test the thermocouple or is it just a replace the part and hope that works? I don't have a yellow light on my grey box, only a red and green...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    what exactly is your problem, there are many reasons for a pellet stove not to light. First thing you should do is thoroughly clean the unit and try again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    I have had this pellet stove for 10 years and nobody knows better than I do how to keep the stove clean and the consequences if you don't. My problem is I only get 10 volts AC to the ignitor instead of the required 110 during start up... Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    Just to let everyone know, I installed a new control box and that solved my problem... The old box would not send a signal to power up the ignitor coil to 110V. AC.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    212
    Rebeltown,

    Just seen your post and it made me laugh. I show up to many homes where customers have made their own repairs and fouled up along the way, I hope it works out seriously. I do my best to educate my

    customers on operation, heck today gave a customer some notes and one of my tech manuals to help him understand failures/error codes etc.. I am in the business of saving people money but its a fine line of

    DIY'ers fing stuff up too. Most customers know their systems more than some techs out there, and I have to admit that sometimes I fall in with the previous comment. Not for lack of preparation/training but

    experience. Me being a year removed out of trade and you have had over 10-12 techs before me out working on your system 10-14 year old pellet stove parts replacement/service hopefully one of them

    explained operation/causes for failure/preventative/predictive maintenance etc... So because of that the customers insight/information rings pretty high on my list when looking for symptoms to problems vice

    versa. Its funny because you sound pretty defensive about your personal cleaning maintenance and most customers who care/love their pellets are. Just some advice though don't ask for help or answers to a

    question and then snap back that you know how to work on your system, if you did you wouldn't have asked. We are all on here to share/learn/question but common courtesy/manners apply.

    Apologzie for hijacking just one of those days.......

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    Ashtree, As you could see from my question, I was asking if there was a way to test a thermocouple to see whether it was functioning correctly or not and was letting darthvader know that I had an older model control box that does not give a yellow light indication that the thermocouple may be faulty. You read way too far into my reply and assumed I was being defensive, instead I was supplying more information for any responders. Darthvader is probably one of the best professional members on this site dealing with Quadrafire pellet stoves and he is right suggesting that many of the problems pellet stove owners experience do turn out to be stoves that are not adequately cleaned. I also responded with the results of my fix so that others may profit from my experience. Too many times we do not find out the outcome of many of the problems that stove owners experience. I think very highly of Darth...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    I did not take offense at the reply, just as I hope you didn't take offense at my suggestion of cleaning the stove. I know a lot of people are very thorough cleaning their stoves, but I also know most pellet stove problems can be solved by cleaning the stove. Which is why it always my first suggestion.

    EDIT: also ashtree is right about how customers can take offense at suggesting they clean their stove, they can get all defensive, and then when it turns out it just needed cleaned they look like total morons.

    pro tip: exercise humility and you wont hurt your pride

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    212
    Read too far yes, apologize long day and respect what you said and will bow out....... Just to throw it out there rebeltown responding with the results is awesome, when I go back and read old posts and study problems from these

    boards too many times are they open ended and no one reports back so cool and thanks. You guys have a cool one. Darth, Hearthman and the rest of you guys: appreciate it the info over the last couple months. The more I get

    into these systems the more respect I gain for my boss, you guys and anyone who is crazy enough to work on these hot boxes.

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