More Quadrafire Castille problems
well, I'm back with more issues with my castille pellet stove. I've been having problems with startup, but that was fixed. I had a tech come out a couple weeks ago, he fixed that problem by replacing the T/C and snap disc#2.
Ever since he fixed the startup problem, I started having new issues. Snap Disc #2(the one the tech replaced) constantly trips.
I've read the manual, so I know snap disc 2 controls the feed system. I'm not a pro when it comes to this by any means, but the feed system never gave me any issues, so I don't even understand why the tech replaced that snap disc.
Anyway, ever since he fixed the startup issue, the snap disc 2 trips, after about an hour of running. I'm at a point where I keep the side of the insert removed so I can get to the snap disc easily. When it trips, I press the button on the snap disc back and it starts feeding pellets again and continues to work.
I've read stuff where it says that if the vacuum switch is having problems it could trip the snap disc2.
So here is the thing, the tech removed the vacuum switch to look at it (no idea why) and then put it back. Is it possible he didn't put it back correctly? The reason why I'm asking if it's possible he didn't put it back correctly, because when he was working on the stove, he loosened the bolt that holds the floor of the firepot and never tightened it back, I had to do it myself.
I know this site doesn't allow any DIY advice, and I'm not asking for any. I'm just wondering what could be the issue here.
I've had this stove for less than a year and had it serviced 3 times already, I'm constantly having problems with it.
have you contacted the manufacture?
George - Certified Letter to the Manufacturer. That's what you need to do. If you are unwilling to do that it's clear you will have no resolution to your issue. I tell everyone this but I don't think any of you consumers care enough to send it out. Certified letter has a DATE attached to it and somebody SIGNS for it. That means you have a confirmation of WHEN they are aware of your issues and then, AND ONLY THEN are they obligated to provide some sort of timely response. Typically that RESPONSE is POSITIVE as they don't want to ignore your plight and have it end up in front of a judge. A judge will not act favorably to a manufacturer ignoring a customer with an equipment problem.
The vast majority of the resellers are incompetent and the stoves themselves (although not usually this model) have issues.
Your only recourse is top down and if they are unwilling to have a higher standard for their resellers your only recourse is to get the manufacturer involved. Hopefully they understand their own stove.
All your correspondence should be in writing and if any phone calls are made follow that up in writing mentioning WHAT/WHEN/WHERE/RESULT with your phone call.
Nothing with the vac switch can cause snap disc #2 to trip. They both do almost the same thing though, which is cut power to the auger. That disc is the firebox over heat sensor, there is no way for it to go off unless the firebox is overheating, unless its defective which I have never seen. When it trips its saying the firebox is getting too hot. Is your convection fan working properly? Check behind all the baffles and make sure the stove is cleaned out good. How tall is the flame? I should be about 6" out of the firepot. Maybe the tech increased the feed rate? Normally I set it all the way closed then open it just a tad from there, if its all the way open I have seen stoves trip disc #2 from that.
Originally Posted by jtp10181
the stove is cleaned out. I vacuum out the ashes behind the baffles and the heat exchanger every week and clean the firepot and firebox every day.
The feed rate is set to a little over than the middle setting. The flame being too tall was my first guess as the manual says that this snap disc trips if an "over-fire" condition occurs. I kept lowering the feed rate until the flame got real low and it was still getting tripped. So I increased it back. The flame is maybe 4-5 inches above the firepot.
As far as the firebox overheating, the outside of the firebox on which the disk is mounted is very hot, to the touch that is. As far as if it's too hot for the snap disc, I have no idea. It's hot enough so that you can't even touch it after it's been running for an hour or so.
The convection fan seems to be working OK, I mean I can hear it. How can I check that?
If the convection fan seems to be blowing as hard as it always had it should be fine (thats the room air fan). Does it looks like they mounted the disc in the same location it was in before? I think its right above the #1 disc which controls the convection blower. If its mounted correctly the only thing I can think of is that its defective (and your old one probably worked fine). It should have a number on it saying what temp it trips at but you would need an infared temp gun to test that.
Its obvious the tech does not understand how the stove works, because if that disc was tripping before all he had to do was ask you if you ever reset it, if the answer is no then leave it alone. If it has never had to be reset before then why would anyone replace it?
Originally Posted by jtp10181
he never asked me about that snap disc, he just said he replaced it. Now, here is the thing, I don't know where the original one was mounted, but this one is mounted under another snap disc. There are 2 snap discs on that side, and the one that keeps tripping is the lower one (they are positioned vertically).
Also, the convection blower DOES seem like it's not as loud as it used to be originally. I actually brought that up to the tech and he said it's fine, his exact words were "maybe the fan is just broken in". My friend who has a stand-alone version of this stove, also said his stove seems to be louder on "high" setting.
Sounds like your conv blower might not be moving enough air which would cause the stoves shell to overheat. Could have just worn out or it could have gotten damaged during repair if he removed it at all.
The mounting of the disc sounds right. You would notice extra screw holes if it was moved. I have no idea why anyone would waste their time making new holes and moving it but he did waste time in replacing it the first place so I was just covering the bases.
You waste time with it because the technician is more of a DIY than an actual technician. Your technician needs to give you some facts. I'll bet he had no temperature probe and no way of telling how much volume was exhausting or the actual speed of that motor. George, write the letter.
Originally Posted by jtp10181
Last edited by sysint; 02-18-2009 at 01:22 PM.
Reason: clarification of who the DIY guy is.
I'm not trying to make any repairs myself. My main concern is to make sure I'm not doing anything wrong to break the stove and to learn. I'm a software engineer and know nothing about pellet stoves. I didn't even know they existed until 2 years ago when my friend got one.
Originally Posted by sysint
I already called the dealer that installed it and they are sending out their tech again, hopefully this week.
As far as writing a letter to the company, I really don't think it's going to accomplish anything, short of making me feel a little better about complaining about their product. I can't really complain about the dealer because they really have been very helpful, maybe not as knowledgeable as they should be but helpful nonetheless.
I'm pretty sure Quadrafire themselves don't provide any kind of technical support directly, they do it thru their dealers, so they will just tell me to call the dealer that did the work, or point me to another one.
I will mention what you said about the convection blower to the tech.
I don't know if this tells you anything, but he plugged in some kind of a device in place of the control unit in the stove, when he was diagnosing the problem. And whatever that thing told him, made him believe that it was the T/C that was going bad. Not sure if it would tell him anything about the convection blower.
Sorry George... I meant your technician was more of a DIY... If it is overtemp, WHY is it overtemp and WHAT is THAT temp? If it is the exhaust venting motor, how fast is it supposed to spin and how fast is it actually spinning? Is there a problem with the venting?
A good technician ASKS and ANSWERS those questions. If everything is within parameters then the switch was faulty. So, if you ASK your technician and you don't get an ANSWER, then your technician may be the gosh darn nicest guy on the planet but that's not solving your problem.
Well, this problem is getting worse. The stove won't even start dropping pellets unless I hit the reset button like 10 times.
Also, JTP, you're probably right about over-heating, because the snap disk doesn't trip as often if I take the side of the stove off.
I just don't understand why this wasn't happening until he replaced the snap disk. I do have a theory though. I know in computers, when you put a heatsink on top of the CPU, there is this paste that you put on between the CPU and the heatsink that absorbs some of the heat. Is there something similar to that, that should be going between the wall of the fire chamber and the snap disk?
let me guess, made in china on all the controls,just like there electric units