Pellet Stove Update

I finally figured out the problem I was having with the pellet stove! Here's the deal....

I have been testing with both the heat setting and the room air fan set on low. After the lighting cycle completes, it takes about 6 minutes for it to go into a fault cycle that shuts down the stove.

Yesterday I kicked up the heat and the room air fan to med and then later dropped the fan down to low. The stove has been running continuously now for approximately 18 hours without shutting down. Something it has never done since we moved here over 4 years ago.

My suspicion while on the low setting was that the photeye element was failing so I started looking for a solution. At that point I hadn't tried the higher settings either.

At one point Whitfield (Lennox) was offering a photoeye relocation kit for free that basically allows you to relocate the photoeye so it looks directly into the firebox. That kit now runs around $66.00 w/o the photoeye and $160+ w/photoeye. Obviously, the reason for the free upgrade was they hadn't located the photoeye in the optimal place in the first place. The upgrade is no longer free though and my serial number WH-003505 suggests it's a fairly old stove.

The low priced kit makes more sense if I decide to fix it since I do have a working photoeye. It's just a pain to remove the old one. The problem though is that it just can't see the fire at the low setting. Yesterday I found some High temp ceramic jet turbine paint I believe I could create a mirror of sorts that should or could work also. The photoeye is located behind a slot in the pelet feed slot on the side...the kit moves it to the top to look straight down. My idea is basically just to reflect the flamelight a little better...a $15.00 fix.

Of course, on the safety side, It could reflect roomlight more readily and fool the photoeye into thinking there is flame when there isn't. When no flame is detected it stops the feed mechanism from dumping pellets and shuts the stove down.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...nothing is ever simple!

2 responses
No, it isn't simple - but some things shouldn't be rigged either. I can't believe they'd make a relocation kit - unless there was a problem with the original location (which is what you said) - and IF there was, you'd think they would offer it as like a recall fix or something. I imagine if you sent a note to the company asking something like that and throwing in "I have friends that are interested in these pellet stoves, but they just aren't sure about them because I've had (x) problems" - maybe they'd either send you free or greatly price-reduced kit. It doesn't cost anything to try.See - I'd go the mirror route and then later after the room light triggers it, I'd think "ugh - I wish I'd done it the right way". I do that a lot.
I emailed Lennox and they DID at one time offer a free upgrade...obviously not long enough for everybody to hear about it though in areas where there are no Lennox dealers. At that time it was a $50.00 value for the dealer. Fortunately it was a design flaw and not a real safety issue.
In the past, I worked with some mechanical engineers as a custom farm machine designer. It was my job to draw the design they had in thier head and provide the reality check they needed. One of my design recomendations, changed drastically the efficiencey of a $1 million dollar harvester built for the John Haas Company. It was built to harvest pyrethrum flowers (a natural pesticide extract) and went from a 10% yeild at 1 mph to 80% at 3mph.
Design flaws run rampant even among those who hold the degrees. Sometimes these flaws take time to surface. Look how long NASA has been designing and building rockets...and they just had a project land in the ocean trying to put a global warming study satellite in orbit. GEEZ!