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.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
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.
[QUOTE=bcb1;676031]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 have a new santa Fe and am having the same problem with over feeding...
I have moved the feed plate as low as it will go by modifying it and still get an over feed condition on startup and on run setting.
I have a bleu plastic plug on the side of my control box and it has a copper jumper on top of that with some wax like glue???
The manual says nothing about the plug other than it might be a accessory jumper???
If I unplug it it really overfeeds and sounds like a rocket and fills the box with flames.
the copper bar jumper thingie just sits on top of the pins and is loose and not "pluged in" so if I stand there and hold it down it seems to feed ok...
Anyone know what this plug is and what it does???
Seems to me if it is a feed jumper they are taking a big risk by leaving a meltdown to such a poor conection.
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.
Keep the fire inside the fireplace.
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]
Originally Posted by chimney doc
I have the new box in my Santa Fe Pellet Stove and was still having problems with intermittent operation. Some of it I've traced to a problem with the thermostat. I must admit it has less than desirable performance with that cheap thermostat that comes with it.
But I have had a different problem, that I don't think is in the control box. It sometimes would fill the pot with pellets but not ignite them. I thought it was a bad igniter at first and replaced it. It worked, but not for long. So the intermittent problem continued and I've had the huge flame thing too. So one time I touched the control box and the relay clicked on while I held it. Then the igniter started while I held it in the socket. Let go it shut off the relay.
So I pulled the control box out. Obviously the problem I was having wasn't related to a bad control box, but most likely the socket that it plugged into. I would wiggle it and the relay would click. What I then did was found the best spot where it would keep contact. Then wedged and taped the box in. Although it now works, occasionally about every 3 or four days it loosens up and fails to start again. The stove although 3 yrs old is basically new, because when the problem first started, it was at the end of the first season of use. Now I just pulled it back out of storage and must keep a watchful eye on it. I feel like, if I leave for any long period of time, will I end up coming home to cold house? A real pain!
I haven't even bothered contacting the dealer here, cuz he wouldn't help the first time in the first season. So is there a way to buy that part, that the control box connection fits into direct from the company?
Thanks! (a frustrated Quadrafire user)
I live out in the boonies where calling a for repair is not cheap. Especially
You can try firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe they can get you a part assuming that you know the part name.They deal with QuadraFire stoves and parts.I never ordered from them personally so I am not recommending them I just heard of them thru word of mouth.
Hope that helps you somewhat. You probably already looked at your pellet size--are they too large? Everyone I talk to asks me that question also.
I'll check it out. But I don't think pellet size has anything to do with it. Although, yeah... that seems to be a standard question. But from what I understand this is basically a Multi-fuel stove that can even burn corn and various grains. So it has that adjustment plate in the fuel feeder compartment.
Originally Posted by KEITHL
BTW.... I just finished pulling the control box and using alcohol and Q-tips, to clean all the contacts on it and in the socket. It's running fine. But we'll see if that took care of the connection problems! Thanks!!!
Edit: Cleaning contacts did not solve the problem. However I went ahead and pulled the Control Box, removed the Socket from it's housing and by inserting a very fine screwdriver in where the wires push into the socket, spread the prongs in toward the center and aligned them. Apparently some socket prongs were installed properly in manufacture and some weren't. The ones showing wear, were. The others were shiny and almost new looking. Not sprung out at all. So this factory defect, was responsible for my intermittent connections. That were plaguing me since I've had this stove. The ones the dealer couldn't even figure out!
So design wise, they should change this control box socket setup to be a lot more solid. Like in the automotive industry. Second thing is make sure before a stove goes out of the factory that this socket is installed properly. This would solve many problems blamed on faulty control boxes, thermostats, pellet size and things that aren't problems at all!
Last edited by kroneage; 01-12-2010 at 01:13 AM.
Reason: Problem Solved!