Quadra Fire Mt. Vernon AE vacuum switch error
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  1. #1

    Quadra Fire Mt. Vernon AE vacuum switch error

    Need help in diagnosing vacuum switch errors. Question on the port that the vacuum hose connects to from the vacuum switch to the feed tube. I have the older model Mt. vernon stove in my basement, and the port on the feed tube is clearly open, this is where the vacuum hose from the vacuum switch connects too. You can stick a small screwdriver through the hole with nothing stopping it. I have another newer Mt. Vernon AE stove upstairs, constantly giving me vacuum switch errors. I have tested by bypassing the vacuum switch and the stove functions normally. When checking the port to the feed tube, is that hole suppose to be fully open or is there some type of a one way air valve in that port. I cannot pass a paper clip through this hole, it is blocked. When I attempt to blow air through it, very little air passes through it. It is not like the older model being freely clear of any constriction. Can someone check their stove to see if this is normal or not. I have replaced the older rectangular vacuum switch with the newer round style and the stove does not even fire up, and immediately gets the vacuum switch error. Upon power up, the stove opens the firebox and cleans, then the exhaust fan kicks on, next should start dropping pellets, this is where it stops and shows the vacuum switch error with the newer style switch in place. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    this port should be open and you should be able to blow a decent amount of air through it. most likely clogged with pellet debris

  3. #3
    darthvader, it is definetly not free, it feels like a hard piece of metal in the port, or maybe left over casting, so it is your understanding that, there is no small type of a air valve in the hole, it almosts looks like a small sharder valve head, could it be left over casting from when is was manufactured. Another question, is the autoclean on the firebox suppose to happen everything the stove shuts down once temperature on the thermostat is met. It seems we are getting smoke from the stove intermittently after shutdown and the autoclean dumps the firebox. Have you heard of the newer style vacuum switch modules not working?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    There should be nothing in the hole. something is jammed in there. It is normal for the stove to auto clean after shutdown. The fire should be out by the time it does auto clean, make sure the stove is thoroughly cleaned, refer to owners manual on doing a full cleaning. And no, the newer style vac switches have been very solid.

  5. #5
    Update: OK, I took a punch and knocked whatever was in the hole out, it a was small peice of metal, I suspect it was there from the manufactoring process, the hole is now clean. Yesterday evening, I fired the stove back up with the new style vacuum switch, it ran for about 15 minutes, then got a vacuum switch error again, shut it down for the night. Tonight, I put the old style rectangular switch back in, and so far through two power ups and shut downs, no errors. Question about the exhaust pipe going to the outside, I have no vertical section going up, only a horzontal output, have you run into any problems with not have any vertical pipe to create more draft? I live near Gettysburg, how far away are you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    Check to make sure the vac switch hose is clear. next make sure stove is clean. check burn pot to make sure all hole are open.
    Remove baffle behind burn pot. clean all the fingers off the heat exchanger. At the bottom of the heat exchanger there are two openings going down where they join together going back toward the exhaust blower.
    Make sure those openings are clear all the way, I use a 1/2 inch hose adapted to my vacuum to get down in there and clean it all out(that is the problem spot on these stoves). then remove the exhaust blower be careful with the gasket as it is very fragile.
    Take your vac and clean out the 5 inch exhaust passage going back toward the center of the stove, where the two openings below the heat exchanger join. Then clean out the 90 degree elbow just above the exhaust blower and finish by cleaning the venting.
    No you do not need any rise on the venting, it is recommended in the case of power outage so you have so natural draft to pull out the smoke.
    Also on your old vac switch does the black box move in relation to the silver box? it should not, the glue on these old style switches break down and cause the switches to no longer be calibrated. If the switch feels solid you can continue to use the old style. Sometimes if your hopper is near empty you can get a vac switch error due to air being pulled from the hopper, this is rare.
    I live about 2.5hrs away :P

  7. #7
    Now this is strange, after the stove shut down Wed. eve with the vac error with the new style vac switch, this was after I removed the metal piece from the vac port inside the pellet feed tube and cleaned behind the baffle along with the two holes you mentioned, made sure fire pot was clean along with the vacuum hose. I installed the original style switch from my older Mt. Vernon stove in the basement Thursday afternoon, the stove has not had any errors now for 36 hours, been working perfect, I have thermostat set at 73, turn on at 70, running on MH manual setting with utility pellet setting. I hope it is solved, still does not make sense why it failed with the new vacuum switch.

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