Pellet Stove Auger Stops Feeding Pellets [7+Easy Solutions]

“A pellet stove auger stops feeding pellets” is a major sign of an empty hopper, a jammed auger, or a failed motor.

Plus, obstruction in the hopper and lack of combustion air in the system creates restrictions in continuing the feeding operation. 

pellet stove

At times, due to poor airflow, the safety switches get tripped and prevent the auger from feeding pellets.

Whenever you will encounter such an issue, clean the pellet stove thoroughly. If that fails to prove well, you need a comprehensive solution guide. 

Read out the below article to get all effective solutions! 

Quick Solutions To Pellet Stove Auger Stops Feeding Pellets

There are a bunch of factors responsible for occurring pellet feeding issues in a pellet stove.

pellet stove auger stops feeding pellets

But if you are in rush, look through the below table highlighting all probable causes with quick solutions!

Probable CauseRecommended Solution
An empty hopper Fill the hopper with an adequate amount of pellets.
Bad hopper conditionRemove the obstructions from the hopper.
Jammed augerInspect and vacuum out excess dust from the auger
Failed auger motorReplace the faulty auger motor
Malfunctioning of the safety switchesExamine the pressure switch, hopper lid switch & high-limit sensor. Reset or replace the defective ones.
Thermocouple failureReplace faulty thermocouple
Poor airflowClean the air vents, burn pot, and exhaust chamber. Adjust the damper. 

Pellet Stove Auger Stops Feeding Pellets [7+Easy Solutions]

Here we have covered 7 reasons and easy solutions to each. So keep reading to know the details.

1. An Empty Hopper

If suddenly the auger is stopped feeding pellets, it is sure that the hopper might be going out of pellets or not have enough pellets.

pellet stove empty hopper

It is essential to have an adequate amount of pellets in the hopper to run the auger and feeding system smoothly. 

Solutions:

  • Inspect the hopper and check whether there are sufficient pellets in the hopper. If not, refill the hopper. 
  • After filling the hopper, it will take up to 7-8 minutes for the auger to start dropping pellets into the burn pot.  
  • While cooking sessions, always ensure to keep enough fuel getting to the burn pot to sustain the fire. 

2. Have You Checked The Hopper Condition

Well! After confirming the sufficient fuel amount for burning, still, the auger won’t feed, there might be bad hopper condition to blame.

 checked the hopper condition

If the hopper is blocked by excessive dust or anything that is not a pellet, it creates obstructions for the auger from turning. 

As the auger takes pellets from the bottom of the hopper, thus it should be free of any constraint.

Solutions:

  • First, unplug your pellet stove and let it be cool. Open the hopper lid and drain all the pellets into a bucket.  Now, vacuum out the excess sawdust, and pellet dust from the hopper.
  • Then, wipe down the inside of the hopper using a damped towel and let it dry.
  • Ensure all the parts/bolts of the hopper are secured.
  • Then, examine the pellets, if there are any hard objects mixed with them. Finally, reinstall the hopper.

3. The Auger Might Be Jammed

A jammed auger is regarded as the leading culprit in case of malfunctioning in the feeding system. The auger might be jammed due to obstruction from debris, which creates obstacles for the feed motor to turn. 

auger jammed

At times, the pellet chute becomes stuck with pellets, preventing the pellets from being fed to the combustion chamber and causing the auger to jam. 

So, it is highly recommended to remove and manually clean out the complete auger system. 

How To Clean Jammed Auger In A Pellet Stove

Follow the step-by-step guide to clean the auger jam: 

 clean jammed auger

Step 1: Inspect The Auger

First, ensure that the unit is unplugged and completely cool. Now, locate the auger of your pellet stove. On certain models, you can access the auger by removing the back side of the stove. 

Loosen the nuts from the bushing plate that holds the auger. Pull out the plate and remove the auger from the housing.

Step 2: Clean The Auger

After inspecting the auger, check it for any stuck debris on the inside. If so, take a nylon bottle brush to loosen the stuck debris.

Now, vacuum out the excess dust from the housing. Next, wipe out the auger with a soft cloth, spraying with a non-lubricating degreaser. 

Don’t miss cleaning around the bushings and motor housing. If the auger has defects, you have to repair or replace the auger.

Step 3: Clean The Pellet Chute

Now, look at the feed chute whether there are any blockages from any stuck pellets. You might need a flashlight in order to see.

Use your fingers or a screwdriver to remove the constraints from the chute. Once cleaning is done, secure all the parts as removed and turn on the pellet stove. 

4. You Are Experiencing Failed Auger Motor

In case of auger pellets feeding issue even after cleaning the auger,  then chances are you are experiencing failed auger motor in the unit.

auger motor

If the auger motor won’t rotate freely, then pellets can’t be fed. The auger motor is mainly connected to the control board. 

When it sends power to the motor, the motor start turning at a constant speed and continues the feed cycle. There are a few reasons for failing the auger motor. 

The incorrect voltage supply is the major one of them, leading to interruption in receiving the signal from the control panel. 

In this case, you can go through short testing of the motor to check the continuity.

How To Bench Test In Auger Motor

To do a bench in your auger motor, follow the steps below:

bench test in auger motor
  • Turn off the unit and unplug it from the wall. Then, inspect the auger motor and remove it from the stove. 
  • Take an electrical cord as a test wire and connect it to the motor wires. If confused, see the below picture. 
  • You might need an adapter. Before plugging the test wire into a surge protector, ensure it is switched “OFF.”
  • Once you have plugged in, turn the surge protector “ON.” It should begin to turn continually. Take a pair of channel lock pliers and try to stop the output shaft from running. 

The motor should not stop due to enough torque. In case you can control it by hand after turning off the surge protector, signifies that the motor has gone bad and needs replacement.

5. It’s a Bad Safety Switches

A faulty auger motor doesn’t only relate to the motor or control board. At times, it points to troubles in the vacuum switch or pressure switch. The vacuum switches work as negative pressure detectors for the stove. 

safety switches

When the negative pressure drops down from the safety range due to poor airflow or incomplete combustion, the switch opens and stops the auger from feeding pellets. 

Like the vacuum switch, the hopper lid switch is designed as a safety feature to detect when the top hopper lid is open and closed. When the lid is open, the auger stops for user safety and fails to feed pellets. 

Besides, a bad high-limit switch can be the culprit as it controls auger motors. 

Solutions:

To troubleshoot the vacuum switches issue, first, you have to ensure that the chimney is clean and there is no poor airflow issue. Then, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Reset The Safety Switches

Start by resetting the vacuum switch and hopper lid to get back the auger motor function. Plus, it will be best to disconnect the wiring and then reconnect it.

Besides, ensure a proper adjustment with the hopper lid. Then, locate the high-limit switch and press the middle red button to reset it. 

Step 2: Bypass The Safety Switch

In most cases, bypassing the safety switches plays the trick if the switch has no continuity or no power flowing through it. 

You just need to pull the wires off the switches and connect them with a jumper wire.

This will bypass the switches. The auger motor should now turn on and start feeding pellets. If not, replace the bad safety switches.

6. Thermocouple Failure

The thermocouple is an essential sensor of the Quadrafire pellet stove that is used to detect “proof of fire”. 

pellet stove thermocouple

You might yet view a fire, but if the thermocouple will not sense it, the stove will turn off after 15 minutes as well as the auger operation. 

Plus, if the thermocouple gets disconnected from the control box or due to a bad connection, it will stop the auger from feeding pellets. 

Solutions:

  • Check the wiring connection of the thermocouple with the control box and ensure all are secured. Also, make sure that the end of the thermocouple is firmly attached all the way to the thermocouple cover. 
  • The best way to check the thermocouple is by measuring the voltage going through it. If the reading is off, that is a sign that the thermocouple is bad and needs replacement.

7. Poor Air Flow

Airflow is the most important factor in the pellet stove system. If the stove has a lack of combustion air, it will lead to a lazy burn or at times may cause pellets to back into the burn pot. 

 lazy burn

Anyway, let’s know the leading reasons for poor airflow in the system:

  • Dirty combustion or exhaust blower
  • Blocked holes in the bottom of the burn pot
  • Clogged exhaust chamber by ashes
  • Clogged exhaust venting
  • Incorrect installation of the air damper.

Solutions:

First up, inspect the burn pot and clean the holes from the bottom. Then, look at the exhaust chamber and remove all the stuck ashes from there.

Locate the air damper from the base of the intake pipe. Ensure the damper is not too much pushed in. It should be halfway. 

You need to also clean the combustion or exhaust blower. In addition, check the gaskets for a stiff seal around the doors and ash pan.

Clean the exhaust vents. Also, schedule regular inspections of the exhaust vents for any blockages. The clear venting, the better the stove will function.

Things To Consider To Prevent Pellet Feeding Problem In A Pellet Stove [Learn Effective Tips]

There are a few pro tips that need to consider if you want to prevent auger issues from your pellet stove.

pellet stove

Here we are disclosing some essential steps which you can maintain to make your pellet feeding system always healthier!

  • First up, concentrate on the fuel quality you are using for feeding. It should be right in size, moisture-free and healthier. This will help to prevent the auger from jamming. 
  • Next, cleaning the pellet stove is a must! Before and after the cooking session, check the hopper and feed areas for the buildup of ash and pellet dust.
  • To keep the auger running, it is needed to keep the auger motor in good working order. Clean the auger motor periodically and then lubricate it to ensure a smooth operation. 
  • Besides, check for any wiring damage of the auger motor. If you are using the pellet stove for five to ten years, then there is a higher chance that this part has lost its efficiency and needs replacement.
  • Do a visual inspection of every element of your pellet stove to check everything is working correctly. Contact a certified technician for this task. 

FAQ:

How can I Adjust the feed rate on my pellet stove?

There is a feed adjuster in almost all pellet stoves. It is used to adjust the feed rate by turning it counterclockwise. The feed rate will be high through a full turn.

How Do You Fix An Auger That Won’t Turn On A Pellet Stove?

If the auger has stopped turning, the possibility is there might be a motor failure. Also, safety switch failure or jammed auger is the culprit. Cleaning the auger and replacing the bad elements will fix the issue. 

How Do You Reset A Pellet Stove?

There is a reset button in the pellet stove to reset the unit. But in case of no featured reset button, turn off the stove, wait for a few minutes and turn it back on. This way, the pellet stove will reset.

How Much Does It Cost To Service A Pellet Stove?

The repair cost will depend on the complexity of the problem. Generally, the pellet stove repair cost with any replacement part is between $130 and $800. But the national average service cost is about $400 and $250 for only thorough cleaning.

Final Say!

Well! That’s all from us! Hope that now you clear all reasons and solutions to a pellet stove auger pellets feeding issue. Expectantly, our guide is effective enough to assist you in solving the problem like a pro. 

Still, if you are encountering any trouble, do let us know in the comment box. We are always here for you!!

2 thoughts on “Pellet Stove Auger Stops Feeding Pellets [7+Easy Solutions]”

  1. My pellet stove will feed pellets only when I hit the reset button. The stove lights and then burns out the pellets in the fire box. But then stops working!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Patrick

      Usually, the pellet stove won’t feed pellets due to an empty hopper, a jammed auger, or a failed motor. Plus, tripped safety switches, obstruction in the hopper, and lack of combustion air in the system create restrictions in continuing the feeding operation.

      Well, to fix the issue first, clean the pellet stove thoroughly.

      If that fails to prove well, you need to follow our comprehensive solution guide in the article.

      Hopefully, you can solve the issue.

      Wish you all the best!

      Reply

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