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Troubleshooting Auger Jams on Pellet Stoves

October 31, 2023

Pellet stoves have revolutionized home heating with their efficiency and eco-friendly features, but like any mechanical system, they are prone to occasional hiccups. One of the common issues that pellet stove owners encounter is auger jams. In this article, we’ll delve into the causes behind auger jams and provide a detailed guide on troubleshooting and resolving this problem.

Understanding the Auger:

The auger is a crucial component of a pellet stove responsible for feeding pellets from the hopper to the burn pot. When the auger gets jammed, it disrupts the pellet flow, leading to inefficient combustion and potential damage to the stove.

Common Causes of Auger Jams:

Low-Quality Pellets:

Issue: Pellets of poor quality may have irregular shapes or excess fines, leading to jams.
Solution: Invest in high-quality pellets with low moisture content to ensure smooth pellet flow.
Foreign Objects in the Hopper:

Issue: Debris or foreign objects in the hopper can obstruct the auger’s movement.
Solution: Regularly clean the hopper and inspect for any foreign objects that might impede the auger.
Auger Motor Issues:

Issue: A malfunctioning or weak auger motor may struggle to turn the auger properly.
Solution: Check the motor for signs of wear, replace if necessary, and ensure proper electrical connections.
Misaligned Auger:

Issue: An auger that is not properly aligned can lead to jams.
Solution: Adjust the auger alignment according to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure smooth operation.
Excessive Moisture:

Issue: High moisture levels in the pellets can cause them to clump together, leading to jams.
Solution: Store pellets in a dry environment and avoid exposing them to moisture to prevent clumping.
Overloading the Hopper:

Issue: Overfilling the hopper can put excessive pressure on the auger, leading to jams.
Solution: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for pellet capacity and avoid overloading the hopper.

Troubleshooting Auger Jams:

Power Off the Stove:

Before attempting any troubleshooting, turn off the pellet stove and unplug it from the power source to ensure safety.

Inspect Pellet Quality:

Examine the quality of the pellets in the hopper. If they appear clumped or have a high moisture content, consider replacing them.

Clear the Hopper:

Remove any debris, foreign objects, or accumulated fines from the hopper that might obstruct the auger’s movement.

Check Auger Alignment:

Ensure that the auger is properly aligned. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for guidance on adjusting the auger alignment.

Examine the Auger Motor:

Inspect the auger motor for signs of wear or damage. Replace the motor if necessary and check electrical connections.

Manual Rotation of the Auger:

With the power off, attempt to manually rotate the auger to check for any obstructions. Remove any blockages gently.

Monitor Pellet Flow:

Observe the pellet flow when the stove is turned on again. If the problem persists, consider consulting a professional technician for further diagnosis.

Preventing Future Auger Jams:

Pellet Quality Maintenance:

Invest in high-quality pellets and store them in a dry environment to prevent clumping.

Regular Cleaning:

Implement a regular cleaning schedule for the hopper and auger system to prevent the accumulation of debris.

Follow Manufacturer Guidelines:

Adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for pellet capacity, preventing overloading of the hopper.

Auger jams on pellet stoves can be a temporary inconvenience if addressed promptly and systematically. By understanding the common causes, implementing preventive measures, and following proper troubleshooting steps, pellet stove owners can ensure their stoves operate smoothly, providing efficient and reliable heating for their homes.

At Spring Hill Chimney Service, not only do we provide top-notch quality pellet stoves, but we also offer comprehensive services including repair, installation, and inspection to guarantee your heating system is in excellent condition. Contact us now or connect with our live chat support.

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