Bought a house with a pellet stove that needed an extensive cleaning--the flue collector box was 1/2 full...the baffles were 1/2 full of ash. Wow! Soot-vac'd it all clean and cleaned off the various motors, etc.

The problem I'm having though is with the cup and then by extension the cup motor.
I noticed this morning, during the "service call" on my own fireplace that the cup was locked up and was packed with pellet dust. I removed a small plate that is mounted on one side of the cup, removed the restriction of dust, and then operated the cup motor with no load for quite some time--much longer than it ran with a load of pellets the other night. There is the unfortunate sound that makes me think the gear box might have taken a hit, but it's still operating at this time.

Are cheap pellets to blame for that trash? Should I screen the pellets? I'm thinking no, that it's not worth it... but I'm just asking.