St. Croix Auger Motor & Safety Switch Troubleshooting with Mr. Pellethead

John purchased a new auger motor for his 2005 St. Croix Afton Bay. John called and said the motor did not work. Mr. Pellethead recommended he run the motor direct to troubleshoot whether it was the motor or a safety issue. John replied back that the motor ran fine when operating to direct power. He asked how he would go about locating what was causing the problem and not allowing the motor to operate. (Check this blog post to learn how to direct test/bench test an auger motor.)

Mr. Pellethead Replies:

I’m going to assume it’s either the pressure/vacuum switch or the high limit snap switch in your stove that’s not allowing the auger motor to work.

1. Make sure your exhaust vent pipe is clean all the way through. Combustion/Exhaust motor housing is clean as well. We offer vent cleaning kits and a high powered vent vacuum cleaning option.
2. Make sure the door seal and ash pan seal are tight all the way around. (Use a piece of paper, stick halfway in and shut door. Should have strong resistance when you pull out). Do around the main door and ash door.
3. High limit snap switch may have a red ‘reset’ button in the center of it. Push that in. If for whatever reason the stove got to hot it may have tripped the high limit. Located in the rear of the stove either by the back wall or auger shaft tube. Not all models had a re-settable snap switch. Your owners manual will indicate which one and where for your year model.

How did your fire look when the stove was running last? Was it a torchy, vibrant, clean looking fire or was it a lazy, dirty, sooty fire? Could also be the combustion fan no longer providing enough air. This would trip the pressure switch and not allow the auger motor to run.

Both the Vacuum Switch and High limit Snap Switch can be bypassed TO TEST ONLY. You can make up a short jumper wire using male connector ends. Pull the wires off the safety switch and connect together with the jumper wire. if the motor works you know it’s either the switch itself that is bad or something else with the stove that needs to be addressed before it starts operating again (safety issue/s like plugged exhaust, leaky gasket, weak exhaust fan, etc..) Learn How To Create a Jumper Wire

NEVER LEAVE SAFETY SWITCHES BYPASSED; FOR TROUBLESHOOTING ONLY.

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  • Steven says:

    St Croix Auburn Corn stove will not run for more than 30 seconds. #2 light is flashing. I bypassed the vacuum sensor but it still would only run for 30 seconds. Exhaust fan is working.

    • Earth Sense Energy System says:

      Steven,

      Thanks for contacting us. Yes, the #2 light will indicate a vacuum error. It may not necessarily be an issue with the switch itself. Vacuum is checking pressure both in the firebox and exhaust. Additionally on newer models it is also checking pressure inside the hopper. It’s good that you have verified the exhaust fan is working correctly. Check the simple things first.

      1. Do a complete thorough cleaning on the unit. Ash blockage in the stove or vent pipe is the #1 cause for this issue.
      2. Check your door and ash pan door gasket seals. Ensure they are making a tight seal all the way around.
      3. Make sure your fuel hopper lid is closed while in operation

      Let us know what you find, we are happy to assist.

      Thanks,
      ESESstoves

      • Steven says:

        Wouldn’t bypassing the vacuum switch (by shorting the two wires together) prevent this error even if it is a blockage or air leak issue?

        • Earth Sense Energy System says:

          In theory it should, I just thought it would be good to double check those areas. From there the only other thing to look at would be a circuit board issue. Make sure it’s a 2 blink and not a 3 blink. If it’s a 3 blink it would be a proof of fire issue.

  • Steven says:

    After seeing if it would work with all switches jumped I did a continuity test of all of the wires. It looks like it is definitely a control board issue. Thank you for your time!

  • Earth Sense Energy System says:

    Thanks Steven, glad you got to the root of the issue here. If you do need a new control board, link is below. We offer all parts and accessories for St Croix at the guaranteed lowest prices.
    http://pellethead.com/product/st-croix-digital-circuit-control-board/

    Cheers,
    ESESstoves

  • bruce schneider says:

    replaced convection fan on my st croix afton bay.on start up the fan comes on then shuts off as it should.then when internal temp reaches the point the blower wont turn on.i’m stumped.

    • Earth Sense Energy System says:

      Hey Bruce,

      Thanks for contacting us. Based on what you are saying it sounds like you have an Afton Bay with the digital control board. If you do have the digital control board there is a timing sequence in the board for it to turn on the convection blower after a certain period of time after the start-up cycle. I would double check all the simple things and wire connections first. From there if you are still experiencing the issue it more than likely is an internal issue within the circuit board. If you do end up needing a new circuit control board, here is the link to that. http://pellethead.com/product/st-croix-digital-circuit-control-board/

      Any other questions please let us know.

      Thanks,
      ESESstoves

  • Paul says:

    I have a St Croix Ashby. When I turn the stove on, the unit goes through it’s normal power up cycle. After the power up diag is finished, the power light flashes and pellets start feeding at a pretty fast rate, about every 2-3 seconds. I’ve gone through all 4 programs and all behave the same. Pellets feed every 2-3 seconds. I did a vacuum test by leaving the door open and the #2 light came on, but pellets continued to feed at the fast rate.

    After resetting the unit, setting to program 3, and starting it up, the unit will run. But with pellets feeding at he fast rate, the unit gets extremely hot.

    The unit is meticulously cleaned every week. I am certain that all ash has been removed. All gaskets are in great shape and seal up as they should.

    What should I check next? Thanks in advance for any/all advice.

    • Earth Sense Energy System says:

      Paul,

      Thanks for contacting us, happy to assist. Very odd.. For the pellets to continue to feed after you leave the door open and the #2 light is on gives a direct indication that there is something going on with the control board. I know during initial start-up it’s normal for the unit to feed every few seconds, but in your case it sounds like it is continuing to do this after the start-up cycle. Here are a couple videos covering the diagnostics and program set up for the St Croix board. It does appear you have tried everything and are still experiencing an overfeed which would indicate an issue internally with your control board.

      Videos:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljpBV4zUxIE
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4VpjN6Bq9s&t=26s
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osOxZk-Z2Z0&t=137s

      If you do end up needing a new control board here is the link to that http://pellethead.com/product/st-croix-digital-circuit-control-board/

      Any other questions please let us know.

      Thanks,
      ESESstoves

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for the advice. I was afraid that it might be the control board. This will be the second one that I’ve had to put in this stove. I ordered one from your site and will report back after I get the new one installed.

        My next problem is finding a source for pellets! All of our local suppliers are out right now.

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