This is part one of a two part post. Both of what I’m about to write play off of the post I just wrote two days ago. If you haven’t read that, please do. You can find it here. It’s important to get my frame of mind before you read what follows.
Okay. Yesterday morning, I was laying in bed looking like a beauty queen. Things were pretty good. It was cold the night before, but our cozy little house was keeping us well protected.
As I was laying there petting Voleman, Laura, who got up just a few minutes before, came back upstairs and said the following to me – “Bob, the pellet stove is out and the water doesn’t work.” Hmmm, what in the world could have happened?
I hopped out of bed, walked downstairs and gave the pellet stove a once over. It was strange because there were still pellets in the hopper. There was also a small pile of pellets in the burn pot. I really didn’t have a clue as to what could have caused the stove to go out. I vacuumed out the stove, scooped a handful of pellets up and put them in the pot and re-started the stove. It did its thing with the auto-light and everything was fine for about five minutes. After that time, I realized that the fire that had started was getting smaller. It appeared that the lower auger wasn’t turning. When I see things like this, I fear the worst, which would be a bad auger motor. That’s a mechanical malfunction and would require a trip to the store only to learn that they either don’t have any motors in stock or don’t sell them at all. Remember when I talked about the pellet stove breaking in my previous post? It happened. The pellet stove broke. I didn’t know what to do and the temperature inside was only 44 degrees.
I waited a few minutes and then opened the stove door. I wanted to see if I could manually turn the auger with a pair of pliers the previous occupants of this house left behind. Of course I have my own pliers, but these were handy. I started putting the pliers into the stove when I realized that a bunch of black crud had built up in the lower section of the tube the auger sits in. It looked like one part of the auger had jammed itself up against the crud, which cause the auger to stick.
I got a flat screwdriver, tapped it a few times with the pair of pliers and began chipping away the crud. Right after I hit a certain spot, the auger jumped and loosened. Ahhh, I gave a sigh of relief. I put some more pellets back in the pot as a primer and started the stove again.
After watching the lower pellet turn beautifully for a few minutes, I discovered that the top auger wasn’t turning. Apparently, when the lower auger jammed, the top auger kept feeding pellets, jamming itself in a similar fashion. To remedy this, I grabbed the screwdriver and began working the auger back and forth. Each time I did that, the auger turned just a little bit, until it loosened up and turned by itself. Pellets began feeding naturally and all was well in pellet stove world.
But wait, that’s when things get interesting…Read on.