Pellet Stove Vacuum Switch Error – St. Croix Prescott EXL

Filed in Home & Living by on November 24, 2008 60 Comments

As I mentioned earlier in the season, we had a St. Croix Prescott EXL pellet stove installed in the basement.

Before the Winter season really began, I had my doubts on whether or not the pellet stove would heat the entire house. I was worried that it’s location would hinder the airflow to all the rooms upstairs. Well, I am happy to inform you that the stove does heat the entire house. I mean, if we keep the master bedroom door shut, it does. The master bedroom is over the garage and the furthest room from the stove. It’s also the coldest room, which is why we keep the door shut. When the time hits 10:30PM, the new digital thermostat cranks the heat in that room up to 65 degrees. That’s good enough for me.

We have had some nights already where the temperature has been in the 20s. I think that’s Winter and enough to tell me that the heating situation is going to be okay. I did try burning a fire in the regular fireplace a few times while running the pellet stove. The fireplace actually made things worse. It sucked so much air out of the house, all the rooms dropped a few degrees. Fireplaces are remarkably inefficient and really shouldn’t be used, in my humble opinion. If you want to run something in your fireplace, run a free standing wood stove or a wood stove insert. Even burning a fireplace for aesthetics on a cold day will freeze out the rest of your house. Nuff said.

Okay, we are having a little issue with the pellet stove.

A few nights ago, I tried to start it up. The start up procedure really isn’t very difficult on the Prescott. It basically consists of pushing the “on” button. Once the “on” button is pushed, the room blower turns on for about 10 seconds and the auger turns until the burn pot is approximately half way full of pellets. As the auger is turning, the ignitor kicks on and the pellets light up. It’s fun to watch and I sit there almost every time I light the stove doing just that. I smile when I see that flame dancing around inside that pellet stove.

Back to a few nights ago…when I tried to light the stove this particular time, I pushed the button. The fan turned on for about 10 seconds and then the stove just shut off. I am not sure if the auger ever turned to drop pellets into the burn pot.

I tried to light the stove a few more times when I noticed the #2 light blinking on the control board. I thought this was a little strange, since I had never seen that light blink before. I pulled out the owner’s manual and looked up that error code. Apparently, a lack of negative pressure causes the stove not to light and the #2 light to blink.

What can cause a lack of negative pressure? Well, a really windy day can do it, an open pellet stove door, a fireplace burning upstairs perhaps, a clogged air feed pipe or a clogged exhaust vent pipe. I am sure there are others, but these are the ones I remember.

Since I had a fire already going upstairs in the fireplace, I chalked the whole thing up to that. I got the pellet stove going in this instance by pulling the rubber tube off the vacuum switch and lightly sucking on it. When I heard a little “click,” I pushed the on button again. From here, things were fine. I held the crimped hose for a few minutes and then I hooked it back up the proper way.

Well, I tried to light the stove again the next night. The same thing happened. Since we had no fire going in the fireplace, I thought perhaps there was a clogged area in the stove somewhere that is causing the lack of vacuum, or negative pressure.

Let’s make a really long and boring story a bit shorter and to the point.

I cleaned out the entire stove about 10 times and nothing has changed. Every night, I suck on that hose to get the stove up and running. I have been reading the owner’s manual as well as some websites that deal with this kind of situation, but nothing has helped. One website said that a clogged exhaust vent is the sure-fire problem. I got excited and took off the clean-out cap. A little pile of ashed dropped out, but nothing changed.

This afternoon, I called the pellet stove dealer. I told them that I had pretty much narrowed the problem down to a faulty pellet stove vacuum switch and that I would need the tech to come out and take a look. Before we swap out the switch, I want him to hook up a vacuum gauge to see if there is proper negative pressure. If there is, we can replace the switch…if not, we have to do a bit more digging.

I keep going downstairs to investigate this issue. It is in my blood that I try to diagnose this problem myself. The only things I don’t have are a vacuum gauge or a new vacuum switch. I guess I need those things to solve the problem.

If you have ever experienced something like this with your pellet stove, please let me know. I am racing against time here. I want to beat the repair guy and figure this out myself.

Comments (60)

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  1. Ginny W says:

    Our St. Croix Hastings is on it’s fifth season and suddenly started to experience problems. The stove started to shutdown and give us the vacuum error. My husband replaced both tho p o f switch and the vacuum switch. The stove worked well for a few days then back to errors. We cleaned the heck out of the stove multiple times, or so we thought. Would work randomly. We both got online to do research. I landed on this site. Thanks to all the comments here we determined that we’re missing a cleaning spot. We found ours! Yay, the stress level has been eradicated!
    Our spot was located behind the ash pan. There is a panel held on by two screws. Unscrewed the panel and my husband stuck his gloved fingers in there and found caked up ash stuck between the air intake tube and the outer walls of the hot air plenum. Look at the air flow diagram found on page 49 of the Stuck a piece of wire hanger up there and knocked out a significant amount of ash. The stove is now burning like brand new!

    • Jay Gaulard says:

      Hi Ginny,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m sure many people will benefit.

      I’ve been thinking recently about the degrading performance of my pellet stove and think you may have touched on something here. Laura and I talk about how our stove burned so well when we first purchased and ran it but how it seemed to have burned cooler as the years went by. Perhaps we were missing some clean out areas, like the ones you mentioned.

      Also, just a quick tip on the vacuum switch – I eventually just removed the switch and used a paperclip as a jumper between the two wires. I had no worries after that. But now you’ve got me thinking that if I had spent the time to investigate further, I could have not only fixed the vacuum situation, I could have continued to run the stove at peak performance.

      Thanks again for the comment,


  2. Drew says:

    I have a similar issue going on with my stove, but I have a St. Croix Hastings model – although I do not have a heat level light flashing on my unit, it still will not light on its own. Please let me know if you figure out what your issue is. Thanks.

  3. Jay Gaulard says:

    Oh, you can count on it.

  4. Bill says:

    I’m having he same problem and I’m only in the second season of using my stove (only used it sparingly last year). I initially thought I might have a dead animal in the venting system, but that wasnt the case. Initially, the number 2 light flashes and the fan clicks off. After awhile and once the stove gets hot, the fan will continuously run but the auger never drops pellets. I think its a defective vacuum switch? I have the dealer coming out on Dec 9th…

  5. Jay Gaulard says:

    I have only burned about a half ton of pellets so far. It seems a little strange to be having this issue so early as well. In my case, I made sure there was nothing clogged, such as the exhaust vent screen or piping. I cleaned the stove throughout. Then, I just unhooked the two wires from the vacuum switch (right side of stove) and used a paper clip as a jumper. Now, I don’t have to worry about sucking that hose anymore, until the service tech comes out to do his thing and fix it the correct way.

    I sure hope this isn’t going to be a regular occurrence with this St. Croix pellet stove. I never had this kind of issue in the 2 years I heavily used a Harman P38.

    Please let me know what the problem was after the dealer comes out on Dec 9.

  6. Bill says:

    I thoroughly cleaned out my stove and tried sucking on the hose into the vacuum switch but nothing worked. Then I tapped gently on the vacuum switch with a small wrench and it clicked on..(similar to a car starter..) Next day had to do the same thing to get it started, but then today it worked without tapping on it? Not sure what fixed it, but it seems to be fine now. Might have had some dust or something stuck inside? Cancelled the tech and we’ll see how it goes.

  7. Jay Gaulard says:

    I was actually thinking of the same thing. I believe that ash may have gotten into the vacuum switch. Since there is no filter, the ash may have traveled up the tube and contaminated the contacts in the switch.

  8. Curt says:

    Not sure if im posting right but here goes,I have a Prescott also same troubles from time to time,I’ve had to turn the stove off then unplug for a couple mins.Also had to adjust door latch so door would close tighter ,the seal gasket around door gets a bit worn air flows abit i think and kicks switch off as if door was open too long,their are 2 allenhead screws for door adjusting.also there is a high heat switch that may be bad.

  9. Tigh says:

    Jay – my # 2 light is blinking

    I can light the stove – it always starts up and runs sometimes it runs for 4 days then turns off and the blinking #2 light goes on – I clean the stone start it up the the same thing happens ????

  10. John says:

    The issue we are having is the over feeding of pellets. We have cleaned and overhauled the stove, replacing burn pot, the wall, adjusting the flow, etc. Still having the same issue this whole season. We have not been able to get this stove working at all and because there is a long wait for service we have been trying to get this working ourselves.

  11. Jay Gaulard says:

    Could it be the thermostat setting? Do you have it set to “manual?” If not, set it to manual on the control panel. It’s a little black switch at the top of the panel.

    Also, the problem may be a faulty control board. For that, you would need a service tech to come out and look at it for you.

    I would get on the phone and start screaming. It’s their responsibility to hire the necessary people to service these machines. What’s the sense of a warranty, if no one ever comes out to take care of the problem?

    Have you ever noticed that these places are always fully stocked with sales people, but never enough service techs? Funny, it never takes a month and a half to sell the stove, only to service it.

  12. Debbie Lutch says:

    Hi, I have the same blinking #2 light and am trying, like all of you, to avoid the service call if possible. How do I find the vacuum switch to try what you all have tried? Behind right side panel and….? Thanks for helping me out – I have a prescott model too.

  13. Brian says:

    I have a Harmon P68 stove. I was worried it would not heat the whole house, but like yours it does! I have a ceiling fan with a heater on it which helps with the master bedroom. I love my pellet stove. I burn about a bag a day, and I keep 6 tons of pellets in the garage. Getting 6 tons of pellets into your garage is not fun. I think for the winter I use 5 tons. Much much cheaper than oil. You can read all about my pellet adventures.

  14. Rich in MA says:

    I have a St Croix Prescott EXL, installed 11/17/06. So it’s out of warranty as of two months ago. The thing has run great, 2 tons of pellets the first year, 3 tons last year. I do regular cleaning and complete annual maintenance myself. Running good this year until today. Stove shut down with a flashing #2 light. I did a thorough cleaning. Still would not start – flashing #2. Based on the above and other similar stories, I jumped the vacuum switch. No luck – same problem. I pulled the vacuum hose to check for vacuum during start-up, no vacuum. I pulled out the combustion fan, and left it where I could see it and started the stove…the fan was turning at about 1 RPM. After unplugging the stove, I removed the fan – the shaft is very difficult to turn – it’s toast. I have to call the dealer tomorrow and see how much they cost. Since the freaking gasket cost $20.00 last time I was there, my guess the motor will be $200.00+. So if you are diagnosing a flashing #2, also check your combustion fan. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  15. Jay Gaulard says:


    I’m not sure how far the walk was for you to get your 6 tons of pellets into your garage, but I feel your pain. I purchased 4 tons this year and had to put 6 bags at a time into a wheelbarrow to wheel around to the back of the house. Then, I had to hand lift each bag, walk it inside and stack them neatly in the basement. What is that…200 bags? 40lbs per bag?

    If we had a three bay garage, the delivery guy could have simply wheeled the pallet jack into the garage. No problem.

  16. Brian says:

    If I had a nickle for every time I said: ” If we had”…I hear ya pal.I keep telling my wife, we need another garage for the pellets and tractor. Fortunately for me, she agrees. It is on the “to be constructed” list. For my pellets,we backed the truck up right to the garage door and with one guy in the truck and two of us on the ground, walked back and forth about a hundred times. Good times. Nothing like having 40 lbs dropped onto your arms than walking 15 feet and staking the bag, then rinse and repeat. Next year, I am having the pellets delived by a truck with lift gate. I will purchase a pallet jack for about 200 bucks from If you have not visited that site yet, I suggest you do. Remember as a kid looking through the Toys R Us catalog circling what you wanted for Christmas? Remember that feeling? It is that feeling you get with this site. Toys for us big boys. Back to pellets…..I will use my new pallet jack and lift the whole pallet at a time into the garage. Hopefully, that will work.

  17. Jay Gaulard says:

    Oh you should have seen the setup the guys had who delivered the pellets here. 4 pallets, shrink wrapped, lift gate, self propelled pallet jack. The whole delivery would have taken 5 minutes if I wanted them to be stored in the garage.

  18. Tigh says:

    How do you jump the vacuum switch ?

  19. Brad says:

    Jumping out the vacuum switch is done by connecting the two wires that are attached to the switch itself. This test will basicly tell the control board that you have vacuum. The vacuum in the stove is created by the exhaust or combustion fan and is located in the left side panel. this switch is normally open and is set at .05 wc negative pressure. to test this switch i would check the combustion fan first if it is not running replace fan… if fan is running check to see if the gray wires are attached if they are use a multimeter with dc volts should have 5 volts if dont have 5 volts follow the gray wires back to the molex connector and check for loose connection. if you have voltage jump out the switch if stove runs with the vacuum jumped you should check your negative preasure but i dont expect you to have a vacuum gauge… you can use the multimeter and change to ohm’s and check for continuity. if you do not have continuity the switch is bad. make sure the door gasket and ash pan both are sealed properly. you can use a piece of paper stick it in the door, shut the door and pull on the paper it should have slit resistance. rotate the paper around the door to check the gasket in all area’s. hope this helps

  20. Tigh says:

    BRAD – thanks – what about the stove pipe could it be clogged the t going into the flue – my stove always starts up – runs its five minutes and as soon as the fan goes on ( the one that pushes the hot air out) the stove shuts down and the #2 starts blinking ??

  21. Jamie says:

    I’ve read this entire blog several times as we are having #2 blinking light issues ourselves. I’ve gotten to know my stove very well in the process! Everything from cleaning , sucking on a hose and removing and checking the combustion fan. I just replaced the gasket and hope it was the issue as I THINK I’ve checked everything I can. Does anyone know how long I have to let the cement dry before I can safely try and fire up my St. Croix Hastings?

  22. Linda says:

    Hi to all. I have figured out the cause of the that nasty #2 error light. Like all of you I clean my stove regularly. Once the issue started we basically ran thru everything physically possible to check (i.e. vacuum switch, auger, combustion fan, electronic control panel etc). Nothing was wrong with anything that we tested. We started believing it was the pellets, but found that a lot of people were using the same brand with no issues. Then I went into “deep think mode”. I believed there had to be an issue with the combustion fans. This is the fan that sends air to the burning chamger (fire pot). The solutions was simple: There was not issue with the fans. Now I had to figure how the fan air got into the stove. There are 2 small rectangular openings below the fire pot. (You have to open the ash pan door to see these). These are the combustion air feeds that adds air to the fire pot to assist in the burning cycle much like bellows. I had been using a shop vac regularly to clean these out. What I discovered is that is not enough. I grabbed an old bottle brush and stuck it up the openings as far as possible and totally cleaned them out. I could not believe the amount of ash that came out of those vent combustion air ducts. This solved the whole problem. Who knew?? This is not clearly defined in the Operation and Maintenance manual. If you don’t have a bottle brush you can get creative and use something else like a flexible straw. etc. Be careful that it does not get stuck in the duct.
    Hope this helps someone. It took me 2 weeks to figure this out. I hope this info helps someone out and saves you an expensive service call.

    • Jeanne says:


      Oh my gosh, your advice worked!!! I would like to add that anyone else having this problem should remove the rectangular covers to the ash vents. Imagine a tunnel running behind the burn pot from one vent to the other. It is in this imaginary tunnel where tons of ash accumulates. I believe later models of the Prescott fixed this by putting another ash vent behind the big ash pot in the bottom, but my model is 10 years old and did not have this vent. I did not have a bottle brush, so I used one of those huge flexible straws that come with the tervis cups. I bent it and stuck in behind the ash pot and could feel a lot of ash. After trying to push the ash to each vent opening from each side and then vacuuming up the ash over and over, I felt I had cleaned out enough ash to try to light the stove again. It worked!!

      Thanks Linda-you rock!

  23. Jay Gaulard says:

    Wow. Not bad detective work. I am going to give this a shot. I have a few bottle cleaning brushes that I might be able to use. I’ll let you know how it works out.

    Thank you so much.

  24. Tigh says:

    My #2 blinking light was fixed by closing the air intake valve to about 1/4 of an inch -the pipe that sticks out the back of the stove with the flapper on it with a set screw- as soon as I did that it worked fine – but It worked fine for 2 years at the factory setting until this winter – all the dealerships still can’t schedule appointments because they are so busy – but they are quick to sell you a new stove – what a joke.

  25. Tigh says:

    Also I have been cleaning the stove as Linda is saying and still got the # 2 blinking light – so check your air in let tube also – back it down real low then you can increase it as needed just watch the flame until it looks real jumpy and clear.

  26. Wendy says:

    We had a Prescott EXP installed this past year; been working great, except last night the inside of the stove was all sooty. The flame was high and the burn pot was starting to overfill. The flame also has smoke coming off of it. This was installed by the place we bought it from (we’re not “do-it-yourselfers”), so they would have adjusted the damper, etc. Would the damper have to be re-adjusted (due to weather, temp, etc?)? Thanks!

  27. Jay Gaulard says:

    The Owner’s manual says that the damper only needs to be adjusted once. I am pretty sure the damper would not cause what you experienced.

    This same thing actually happened to me yesterday because I let the pellet stove run out of pellets. The stove shut off and the number 3 light was blinking. When I tried to restart the stove a while later, I noticed that the burn pot was way overfilled with pellets. I just scooped up some of the pellets, put them back in the hopper and hit the on button.

  28. Dave says:

    I am not sure if i have a vacuum switch problem…i have 2 prescott exls bought exact same time…. 1 downstairs never have had a problem…the upstairs stove turn it on blowers come on pellets feed but ignitor does not get hot??? and pellets just overflow pan?? cleaned everything retried 2x still no luck….any1 know what could cause ignitor not to work??? ty in advance.

    • Jeanne says:


      I had this problem–it was a blown igniter. I ordered a new one over the internet. When I got it, I tried to install it myself, but was a little gun shy. The technician came and since I had already diagnosed the problem and had the part, it took him about 3 minutes to install it. He installed it exactly how I thought the part went in. You just take out the old igniter an feed the wire through to the back, but you have to remove a rubber gasket type thing to get it through the hole. You’ll see it if you open the right side of the stove. The part was $100 and the service call was another $100.

  29. Tony says:

    I think they are all individuals and we need to take time to know our stoves, I swear I’m not a hippy

  30. John says:

    Ok-so I am told by a service tech that my problem is the vacuum box is clogged. Apparently, when they designed this stove they did not allow access from that side of the stove. We were told that we did not burn high enough at times-this stove was used quite a bit. Here is what we were told, the tech has to take out the stove and burn it with a hose connecting to the air chamber-they wanted $800 dollars not guaranteeing it will work. So we have to try ourselves-so far not good. This stove is about 3 yrs old and guess what-the stove shop went out of business-nice really nice. St. Croix was no help-told us to read the instructions-like that helped.

  31. Rik says:

    I am having the same problem with my St Croix stove with the #2 flashing after startup. I had a tech here for 2 hours and he replaced every part in the stove, excluding the auger motor. Still no luck, now they have to call the home office to see what the problem is. I have jumped the vaccuum switch as above suggested, my question is can I keep it jumped until they figure the problem out. I have a parrot to keep warm as well as myself.

  32. Jamie says:

    We have a St. Croix Hastings. Last year we had the #2 blinking light issue at start-up (or lack of). After doing all of the above: jumping the vacuum switch,changing gaskets, p.o.f switch, and thorough cleaninig. It seemed to be a clog behind the back plate and btwn the two ash traps. This year we have a new problem same blinking light. Stove starts up just fine, flame looks good on 1, 2 looks a little higher than what I remember but still good flame. When we raise it higher than 2 it will run for a little while and then go into automatic shutdown. Originally I though it was the high limit switch but that would trigger the #3 light to blink…Anyone have any thoughts on this one?
    Dealer and Manufacturer don’t return calls! Help!!

  33. Jamie says:

    p.s. When it goes into automatic shutdown the #2 light is the one blinking.

  34. Jamie says:

    Well, I think we answered our own question. Last night my husband reached for a bag of pellets from last season. Pellets we were happy with but but couldn’t find this season. The flame and heat was definitely lower on same settings previously run w/new pellets. We ran the stove all night w/out any unexpected or automatic shutdowns. So it seems the new pellets burn quite a bit hotter w/higher flame. Perhaps this has triggered the high heat switch. Still begs the question why the #2 blinking light is on when it automatically shut down after running for as long as 10 hours. There is higher ash content with the new pellets and makes me wonder if that affects the air flow in the burn pot. We will experiment in the next couple of days with mixing pellets and settings. Long story a little longer keep track of what pellets you buy and how they burn.

  35. Mike says:

    I have a St. Croix Hastings and te convection fan is loud when it first starts up then quiets down after about 5 minutes. The problem with this comes at night when the unit kicks on it wakes my wife up. Does anybody know how to fix this?? Thanks

  36. K says:

    While I don’t have the stove you all have, I have had the same problem with a Breckwell Insert. I had replace the thermodisc which was a cheap part. That was not the problem. The stove still shut down. I had the tech out with a vacuum switch. He should be that it may be the issue. He blew into the old switch and it made a “clicking” sound which it was supposed to ande appeared to work. Well, that was replaced. It was original. He said that there is a diaphragm in there that can stick sometimes. As of now, all is good and the stove is running. I had replaced the control board two years ago and hoped that was not it. Great luck. My insert is 16 years old.

  37. Mary says:

    Help anyone! Our St. Croix Prescott EXL is 2 years old. The last few months we have had a problem with it shutting down by itself and the #2 light blinking. This would happen within an hour of running on high for 1 hour. The last time it shut down, there were no lights on control panel at all so we thought maybe it was the surger but it wasn’t. We have had it professionally cleaned and had the control panel replaced. It still shuts down plugged directly into outlet. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  38. Torriatte De Alleige says:

    Hey….I believe I found a solution for the flashing #2 light!

    Here’s what happened …quickly… The #2 light started flashing a few weeks ago. At first I would just clean the hell out of the stove, and it would run for a day or two. Then it got worse. I tried to “make” it run by hitting the reset button right after it stopped, and when it started up, the damn auger spit a crapload of pellets out, and pretty much wouldn’t stop. The stove filled up with smoke, and I quickly turned it off.

    Then the strange thing happened….I noticed that the smoke was wafting into the living room from the left side of the stove (the side where the vac switch is behind the panel). At the time I didn’t think much about this, and kept getting more intense with my cleanings to the point where I took the whole stove apart to clean EVERYWHERE! The funny thing is that it really wasn’t that dirty, and the fans were most certainly NOT clogged, and neither was the exhaust vent pipe.

    So finally the little light bulb went off in my head. There’s supposed to to be a vacuum happening in the stove right? So how the heck was that smoke able to get out into my living room? The seal on the front door and ash drawer were perfect…no signs of wear.
    So how did the smoke get out?

    Well….I opened up the panel door on the left and found a round hole up on the top right. It is basically an open hole leading into the stove. Is that supposed to be open like that? Or…was there some sort of “plug” there …that fell out, or maybe even burned away? Who knows??? But….I plugged the hole … and it’s worked perfectly since then. So…..this could be your problem too. I hope this helps some of you before you pull your hair out.

  39. ALLAN P says:

    I have had nothing but problems with this toilet pellet stove I bought at home depot a few years ago. Made it threw 1 season of use then 2nd and 3rd year all nothing but problems. I found this site searching for the problem I am having now. I have learned my lesson to stay away from Home Depot.

  40. Jeff says:

    I had a problem with the lazy flame and too many pellets being dispersed and tar on the glass. Tried numerous things (cleaning exhaust motor and fan, pipe, etc.) and nothing seemed to help. Thought it was the pellets. The stove would shutdown and the number 2 light would come on. Then later the number 3 light would come on. Firebox was full of smoke. Then bang, the flame was perfect and there was big puff of smoke and cinders and ash went out the air inlet and it has been fine since. Don’t ask me how, thanks be to God.

  41. Pete says:

    i have the prescott st croix….the #2 lite was flashing–stove was shutting down. i tried everything. i called my service guy. i thought i had all areas cleaned. i cleaned behind the cleanout doors. everywhere. he showed up. he took the tray out of the top by the tubes. there are holes way back up in there that were plugged. stove was not breathing–no combustion, black soot on glass. all good now. cost me $175, but whatever. i was ready to take a sledgehammer to it. the manual sucks. pete

  42. Pete says:


  43. Maggie Z says:

    Bought a Ashby St. Croix Pellet stove in April its a fire place insert. Thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread till about 1 week to 2 weeks later. I was constantly cleaning it every othe day you couldn’t even see the flame it was so dirty. About a month into it called the dealer and told him the situation. Well after a dozen phone calls a a couple visits and now my stove gone for about a month still haven’t heard what is up with the stove the ash was absolutely terrible it was even behind the stove,! Whats up with that? I should have kept my wood fire place I didn’t have to clean it as much! Will let you all know when I get my stove back hopefully before the snow flies.

  44. Kevin says:

    St Croix hastings bought new in 08 nothing but problems. #2 light blinking after starting stove then shuts off. Tried closing air intake and stove lites then kept feeding pellets and shut off then smoked my house out. I have had it with this stove! everything is clean and i thought it was vacuum switch but will light after closing airintake then smolders.. wish i bought a Harman

  45. Mike says:

    Have had the same issues with #2 light blinking and air pressure switch problem. Here is how I fixed mine. Open the ash pan door. Pull out the ash pan. With a flashlight, look at the sheet metal where the back of the ash pan would be sitting. Do you see a gap where the two pieces of sheet metal come together? If you do then this is your problem. These two pieces of metal were put together with sealant at the factory and have warped and come apart. This allows the room air fan to blow into the combustion area. This pressurizes the stove which keeps the stove from having the necessary negative pressure it needs to operate. Clean the area where the two pieces of sheet metal come together and seal with high temperature silicone sealant and allow to dry. Your stove should work great again.

  46. Darren B says:

    I have a presott exl , i have a problem black soot on the wells and glass . i had a large lazy flame even on setting 1 . I took the stove apart every thing from ash pan to combustion fun , now i have # 2 light flashing will not light any suggestion

  47. John B says:

    If you are not careful when cleaning your stove you can damage the vacuum switch. Open the back of you stove and see where the vacuum switch hose attaches to the firewall. Then look in that area inside of the combustion chamber. You should find a small hole, less than 1/8 inch in diameter. If you use a vauum to clean out uor combustion chamber, NEVER let it get anywhere near that hole. Your shop vac has to high a suction and it damages the switch.

  48. Clint says:

    if you have not solved your blinking number 2 problem i have a suggestion. I own a hastings and had the same problem. I thought I cleaned it real well but i was wrong. First all ash traps need to be cleaned. you will need a thin flexible wire or tubing. i used the back end of my flexible vent brush. you need to push it up the ash traps because lots and lots and lots of ash get stuck there. Be careful not to get anything stuck. When the ash stops streaming out, tap on the metal behind the faux bricks with a hammer. Don’t be afraid to use some force. This will dislodge even more. Then move to the ash trap located behind your ash pan. you can also go UP into this area. You will be surprised how much ash and clumps are in there. Remove all the ash with a shop vac. i hope this helps you as it did me. Remember that you may think its clean but think again. i spent 4 days trouble shooting. please feel free to email me.

  49. Fred says:

    I had the bliking #2 light for about a year on the same stove. It turned out that when I started my stove the fan shaft was gualted and it would not start by itself. I then tried starting the stove again and very quickly took a screw driver and inserted it into the Exhuast blower to give the fan a push and it worked. I bought a new exhuast fan, it was easy to replace and all is well. It took me one year to try everything that is listed above before I found the problem.

    Hope this will help someone out there.

  50. Dennis says:

    The secret to stopping the blinking light problem is most definitely a good thorough cleaning at least every week or so. The brushes in the traps works very well. My wife made it her mission to end our past problems. She also uses the hose attachment that comes with a stove vacuum like the Cheetah, to get all the built up ash from up above and around the tubs once the baffle is removed. We are both amazed at the amount of soot that appears even after we had always thought we had done a pretty thorough job before. The stove runs like new…..and I have a great new respect for a good woman who can clean a pellet stove.

  51. robin cain says:

    the real problem is they do not want to service what they sell,,,we got a afton bay st croix stove installed in 6/11 stove smokes when we start it and turn it off 2 the point we have to open are windows and vents also omits a thin layer of soot on everything ,we were told this is normal,does this sound normal?

  52. Phil says:

    Going into 3rd season using stove. End of first year had to replace ignitor and wiring harness still under warranty and no cost. Stove had been working fine until yesterday when stove lit had flame in firebox and blower came on to circulate heat. Then auger quit and #2 L.E.D. began flashing and eventually stove cooled down and completely shut off.

    Found this blog and read and could relate to users stove symptoms. Have always thought I cleaned the stove thoroughly in the fire box, ash box and vent pipe of ash but after reading here and the recent comment posted by Dennis on FEB 15 2012 found I wasn’t as clean as I thought.. Removed the baffle plate inside the fire box and used a piece of 3/8″ rubber hose attached using duct tape to a small vacuum and then cleaned that which I never cleaned before that was hiding behind nthe plate. Just 2 sheet metal screws was all that holds it in place.

    Thanks everyone for the hints/suggestions. Will report back if any snafus.

  53. John says:

    I have a st croix ashby-p pellet insert. Bought it last December. Recently after running the stove hard for about 8 hours the fourth LED light started to blink and the auger shut down. Looked it up and the cause is the high limit switch. Did a good cleaning. I let the stove cool down and every thing goes back to normal until it runs again for awhile. Any ideas?

  54. mike says:

    i have scf 050 furnace with vacuum problems replaced vacuum switch and combustion fan finally looked up bottom port with flash light. hole rusted right through what a piece of crap

  55. Gerry Hebert says:

    I am a former certified Chimney Sweep. There may be a number of reason why everyone is having a problem with the #2 blinking light, none of which I can confirm or deny. What I can confirm is that you can save yourself a lot of money and cold nights by thoroughly cleaning your stove. I also have a St. Croix Prescott EXL, and I also have had the blinking light syndrome. Unfortunately the service manual doesn’t do a good enough job of telling people how to clean their stove. You will need a good set of bottle brushes of varying sizes to get the job done. You will also have to remove the baffle and the 2 little clean out doors on each side of he fire pot below the grates. Bend your brushes and get way up inside those clean outs and make sure you go side to side with your brush. Repeat this same step coming down from the top of the back wall once you have removed the baffle. Do the same on the side walls through the oval openings in the side walls. The amount of ash that gets in their and compacts itself is unbelievable and enough to change the entire dynamics of the airflow in your stove. You can always tell if you have a airflow problem just by looking at the speed of your flame. If you have a slow flame that dirties up you glass fairly quickly, you have a flow problem. A stove that is cleaned properly and has good flow will result in a nice turbulent flame. So, as I have said, there are numerous reasons why your stove may be going out and you are troubles with that annoying #2 light, but before you call for service and spend $100’s of dollars in parts and labor…please take the time to clean your stove thoroughly first!

    Gerry – East Freetown, MA

  56. Kim says:

    We have the revolution w the #3 light flashing. Any words of advice?

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