Pellet stoves are a great way to heat a home on a winter evening—if they work. Because pellet stoves have many different components and features, multiple problems can occur. But thankfully, it’s possible to identify what’s wrong with your pellet stove and fix it. If you plan to embark on pellet stove troubleshooting on your own, here are four common problems and what’s causing them.

It Won’t Turn On

If your pellet stove is not working when you turn it on, then double-check that it’s been fed enough pellets—you can’t have a pellet stove without burning pellets. However, if you’ve added enough pellets and it still hasn’t started, then there may be something wrong with the ignition. Pellet stove troubleshooting can be as simple as plugging it in. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. A power surge could have disrupted the electrical components of the stove, or they could have been damaged some other way. Further, there may be something wrong with your household’s electricity too. Inspecting both and getting necessary maintenance might be all your stove pellet needs.

Feeding Issues

You need to continue feeding pellets to your stove so it keeps running. Sadly, there can be feeding problems preventing you from adding more pellets to the stove. They’re often caused by the auger, which is responsible for bringing the pellets from the hopper into the burn pot. If there’s sawdust, debris, or pellets that are too long, it can jam the auger and prevent it from working. Furthermore, adding too many pellets at a single time can damage the lid switch for the hopper.

Even if your stove’s auger is clean and unclogged, that won’t mean anything if the motor isn’t working properly. Pellet stove troubleshooting might entail oiling and lubricating the auger motor to operate more efficiently or repairing it if necessary.

Low Heat

If there’s a small flame in your pellet stove, then there might be something wrong with the airflow. When the oxygen in the air comes into contact with the pellets combusted by the igniter, it burns and provides warmth. Therefore, it won’t burn efficiently when there is improper airflow. Make sure that there aren’t any leaks that let air escape or any blockages in the inlet cap. It’s possible that you’ll need to clean or replace the cap entirely during your pellet stove troubleshooting.

Excess Soot

If a pellet stove is producing a lot of soot and smoke, then it could mean there’s a problem with the burn pot—also known as the combustion chamber. Adding too many pellets can result in high levels of soot, so consider lowering your feed rate if soot is a consistent problem. Alternatively, it can also be caused by too much debris building up over time. During your pellet stove troubleshooting, clean away the debris with a rag to reduce smoke and soot.

Is your pellet stove not working? Then we can clean and inspect it! Contact On Duty Chimney Service and Stove for all your maintenance and repairs. We offer a variety of services, including professional wood stove installations, and provide chimney sweep services in Westford, MA, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to learn more and schedule your appointment.

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