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How to figure out what is wrong with your stove

People call us all the time saying their stove doesn’t work. Our first question is always what exactly is it doing, or not doing? 80% of the time cleaning solves the problem. This page does not get super technical. This is a quick overview on some of the most popular problems we run into that can be easily solved by a home owner. If you’re not comfortable opening up your stove and working on it don’t!!! Call a professional. We are not responsible for any damage you do to your stove.

Dirty stoves

I know, you think you’ve already cleaned your stove. Well, you haven’t. Seriously. At least not good enough. Here is what you need to do to actually clean your stove well.

1.Vacuum all the ash out of your stove
2.Take the brick panels out of the stove and open the access ports. Vacuum all the ash out of these ports.
3.Remove the combustion blower from its housing, vacuum all the ash out of the housing and clean the impeller wheel.
4.Remove the convection blower and clean it too.
5.Vacuum all the dust bunnies out of the back of your stove.
6.Clean the exhaust pipe attached to your stove.

OK, so now we have that covered. After you have your stove clean as a whistle we can move on.

My stove won’t feed pellets!

This is probably the most common problem we run into. People always think they need a new auger motor. Quite frequently it’s a limit switch (older stoves) or in the newer ones it can be a photo eye.

1.Do any lights come on when you press the button? If not check to be sure it’s plugged in. If still no lights possibly a bad control board.
2.Do you have pellets in the hopper? (silly but we have had people look and sure enough, empty!)
3.Check for loose wires in the stove.
4.Check your limit switches. A bad limit switch will keep an auger motor from turning on.
5.Bench test your auger motor. If you can stop the output shaft with a pair of pliers you need a new motor.

Weak / lazy flame

A weak flame or a fire that isn’t quite burning right is usually due to two things:

1.A dirty stove or combustion blower OR
2.Your combustion blower is starting to go out

To check this take the combustion blower out of the stove and look at it. If the impeller is packed with creosote it isn’t able to give the fire enough air and you won’t get a good clean burn.

You can also bench test your combustion blower. Hook it up and watch the impeller spin. It should be spinning at 3000 RPM. If you need to give the blade a flick with your finger to get it going, or it looks like it’s spinning really slowly it’s about time for a new one.

My stove won’t light!

Your igniter is probably bad and needs to be replaced. A few Whitfield models have a fuse that can burn out and cause the igniter not to come on. You can check to see if you have this fuse. You can easily light your stove by hand until your new igniter arrives.

My convection blower won’t turn on!

If your convection (warm air) blower won’t turn on it’s typically one of two things:

1.Your convection blower is bad.
2.Your control board is bad.
You can bench test your convection blower… If it doesn’t run replace it.