Need Appliance Repair Help? Ask a Technician for Answers ASAP

Ask an Expert, Get an Answer ASAP!

Pellet Stove Problems

A pellet stove is which burns compressed wood or biomass pellets to generate a source of heat for residences. The functioning of the pellet stove is based on slowly providing fuel from a storage container or is referred to as a hopper into the combustion area or the burn-pot. This will create a continuous flame which requires minimal physical interference or regulation and could be left unattended. Listed below are a few common asked questions that are answered by the Experts on pellet stove problems.

A Breckwell pellet stove is providing pellets faster than the burn pot unit can use which is leading to an overflow within an hour, how can an individual fix this problem?

This is most likely a damper control issue on the furnace. There is insufficient draft to burn the pellets and hence their burning has slowed down causing the overflow of pellets. First thing you should try is thorough cleaning. Clean the following components, the fire box, the grates below, and the air intake, fan blades on the exhaust system, vent damper and vent screens. This will most likely resolve the issue.

What can an individual do to troubleshoot their pellet stove that is flaring up when ignites and smoke is coming from the ash pot door?

The first option you should try is to clean out the hopper. If the unit is dirty, sufficient amount of oxygen will not flow through the system to allow it to remain lit normally. It will also have an effect on the ignition since dust could have clogged the unit. Clean the dust from the ignition box. Ensure the small holes on the burn pot are clear as well. Failure to do this could result in your pellet stove reacting in the manner you have described. After cleaning if the problem persists, the dirt could have jammed the auger motor. To resolve this problem it would be better to contact a Harman authorized service technician.

What could cause a pellet stove to have black soot and ash collected in the interior even though the stove is cleaned every day? Is there something the individual needs to check to stop this problem?

This problem is occurring most likely due to inadequate air circulation. Good air circulation allows the pellet to burn efficiently. With less airflow, the pellets produce less heat and more soot. You should check the following things. The inlet air ports on the stove and the forced air fans should be clean with the fan operating at a high rate. The draft diverter and roof weather cap on the chimney should be clear and wide open. Another external factor which should influence the air draft could be the presence of trees over the chimney partially blocking the draft over it. If you check into these elements and correct them where needed, your problem could be resolved.

What could be the problem with a pellet stove that has stopped taking more pellets and started grinding, also after a while the stove has stopped feeding and completely stopped working?

This is a fairly frequent auger issue with these stoves. The auger is not a very refined component and is quite primitive in form. If the manufacturers were to install better designed augers, this problem would probably not occur. In your case, the auger could have jammed causing the motor to stall. It will need some time to cool down for the motor to come on again. If you are a handy person you can remove the auger (from the back of the stove), use a dremel tool or a grinder, clean and sharpen the auger itself. This will help it cut and crush the pellets more efficiently. Finally clean the auger tube by removing any high spots allowing for free flow within the tube. You can also buy a new auger to replace the old one.

What could be the problem with a pellet stove that has an abnormal amount of soot on the glass, and the stove is not generating enough heat because the flame gets extinguished?

One possibility could be a bad batch of pellets from the supplier. Next ensure the blower is working fine and sufficient air is blowing on the pellets. Check the auger to ensure it runs slowly, dropping pellets intermittently. It is controlled by a “snap switch” on the fire wall of the stove. This switch could be failing to sense the heat from the fire due to the wall being caked with soot/ash. Find this switch and clean the inner burn chamber to allow the heat to reach the snap switch. This will activate the auger when more heat is needed or more pellets are added.

Pellet stoves are useful device especially when you need heating. They are convenient to use and fulfill the heating needs easily. Some common issues as stated above are with the auger, air flow or soot problems. Minor issues can be resolved by you as long as you have the information and guidance from the thousands of available Experts to guide you through the process.
Please type your question in the field below

3 verified Appliance Technicians are online now

Appliance Technicians on JustAnswer are verified through an extensive 8-step process including screening of licenses, certifications, education and/or employment. Learn more


Home Appliance Technician

Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho

13453 positive reviews
Tom Goellner

Home Appliance Technician

Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho

1546 positive reviews
Tyler Z.

Appliance Doc

Bachelor's Degree

81856 positive reviews
See all Appliance Technicians
JustAnswer in the news:
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.