Pellet Stove Not Feeding Pellets | 13 Causes And Easy Fixes

In the heart of winter, there’s nothing quite as comforting as the radiant warmth emanating from a pellet stove, transforming a chilly home into a cozy haven. However, the frustration sets in when you find your pellet stove refusing to feed the fuel it needs to keep the fire alive.

A malfunctioning pellet stove that is not feeding pellets can quickly turn a tranquil evening by the fireplace into a chilly ordeal. So, why pellet stove not feeding pellets?

A common culprit for pellet feed issues is a blocked or jammed Auger. Open the hopper and inspect the Auger for any obstructions. Clear away debris or accumulated dust that might impede the Auger’s movement.

A pellet stove burns compressed wood or biomass pellets to generate heat. These stoves are designed to be an efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood stoves or heating systems.

Here’s an overview of how pellet stoves function:

  • Pellet Hopper: Stores compressed wood or biomass pellets.
  • Auger System: Transports pellets from the hopper to the combustion chamber.
  • Combustion Chamber: Area where pellets are burned to produce heat.
  • Ignition System: This can be automatic or manual, initiating the pellet combustion process.
  • Exhaust System: Expels combustion byproducts through a venting pipe.
  • Heat Exchanger: Extracts heat from combustion gases for increased efficiency.
  • Blower or Fan: Distributes heated air throughout the room.
  • Controls and Thermostat: Users can regulate temperature, fan speed, and other settings.
  • Ash Pan: Collects ashes produced during the burning process.
  • Safety Features: Includes automatic shut-off mechanisms and sensors to prevent overheating.
Pellet Stove

Several pellet stove models, including Heatilator, Harman, Quadra fire, Pelpro, Castle, Comfortbilt, Englander, King, and CAB50, are experiencing a common issue of not feeding pellets. The troubleshooting guide below is applicable to all models of pellet stoves.

A pellet stove not feeding pellets can be attributed to various causes, ranging from simple issues to more complex problems.

Here’s a list of potential causes of pellet stove not feeding pellets and their corresponding fixes:

  1. Empty Pellet Hopper:
    • Cause: The pellet hopper is empty.
    • Fix: Check and refill the pellet hopper with enough pellets.
  2. Pellet Jam:
    • Cause: Pellets may have become jammed in the auger or feed system.
    • Fix: Clear the jam by carefully removing any stuck pellets and inspect the auger for any obstructions.
  3. Auger Motor Issues:
    • Cause: A malfunctioning or burnt-out auger motor.
    • Fix: Replace the auger motor if it’s not functioning correctly.
  4. Faulty Limit Switch:
  5. Incorrect Pellet Type:
    • Cause: The pellets being used are of the wrong type or size.
    • Fix: Use the recommended type and size of pellets as specified by the manufacturer.
  6. Airflow Issues:
    • Cause: Insufficient airflow may disrupt pellet feeding.
    • Fix: Check and clean the exhaust and intake vents to ensure proper airflow.
  7. Dirty or Faulty Sensors:
    • Cause: Dust or dirt on sensors or sensors malfunctioning.
    • Fix: Clean the sensors and check for proper functioning. Replace faulty sensors if needed.
  8. Pellet Quality Issues:
    • Cause: Poor-quality or damp pellets.
    • Fix: Use high-quality, dry pellets to prevent feed issues.
  9. Control Board Problems:
    • Cause: Malfunctioning control board.
    • Fix: Inspect the control board for any signs of damage or malfunction and replace it if necessary.
  10. Igniter Issues:
    • Cause: The faulty igniter prevented the stove from starting.
    • Fix: Check and replace the igniter if it’s malfunctioning.
  11. Power Supply Problems:
    • Cause: Issues with the power supply to the pellet stove.
    • Fix: Ensure the stove receives the correct voltage, and there are no issues with the power supply.
  12. Exhaust System Blockage:
    • Cause: Blockage in the exhaust system.
    • Fix: Inspect and clean the exhaust pipe to remove any blockages.
  13. Improper Installation:
    • Cause: Incorrect installation or setup of the pellet stove.
    • Fix: Review the installation manual and ensure the stove is installed correctly.

A dirty burn pot can hinder proper pellet combustion. Regularly clean the burn pot to remove ash buildup, allowing for optimal airflow and combustion. This simple maintenance task can significantly improve pellet feeding.

Unclogging a pellet stove auger is an essential maintenance task to ensure the proper functioning of your stove. Here are some general steps you can follow to unclog a pellet stove auger:

  • Turn Off the Stove and remove any remaining pellets from the hopper. 
  • Depending on your pellet stove model, you may need to remove the access panel or hopper lid to gain access to the auger and combustion chamber.
  • Carefully inspect the auger and remove any visible obstructions or clogs. This can include clumps of pellets, debris, or foreign objects that may be hindering the auger’s movement.
  • A small handheld vacuum can be helpful in cleaning out acceptable debris and dust around the auger and in the combustion chamber. Ensure that the vacuum is suitable for ash and fine particles.
  • Some pellet stoves have a manual override that allows you to rotate the auger by hand. Consult your stove’s manual to see if this feature is available, and use it cautiously to dislodge any stubborn clogs.
  • If the auger motor is not working correctly, it may be a contributing factor to the clog. Check the engine and its connections to ensure everything is in good working order. Replace the engine if necessary.
  • Examine the pellets themselves for signs of moisture or clumping. Wet or clumped shots can contribute to auger clogs. Store your ammunition in a dry place to prevent this issue.
  • Always refer to your pellet stove’s manual for specific instructions and safety guidelines related to maintenance and unclogging procedures.
How Do You Unclog A Pellet Stove Auger?

Why are the pellets not dropping in my pellet stove?

Pellets may not drop if the hopper is empty, the auger is jammed, or the feed rate is too low. Check the hopper, clear any obstructions in the auger, and adjust the feed rate.

Why is my pellet stove not burning pellets?

A malfunctioning igniter, insufficient air supply, or dirty burn pot can prevent pellet combustion. Inspect and replace the igniter if needed, ensure proper ventilation, and clean the burn pot regularly.

Why is my pellet stove auger not feeding enough?

A worn-out auger motor, pellet bridging in the hopper, or an obstructed auger can cause feeding issues. Replace the motor, break pellet bridges, and clear any blockages.

What causes pellets to pile up in a pellet stove?

 Excessive fuel delivery, a faulty auger motor, or incorrect settings can lead to pellet accumulation. Adjust settings, inspect the auger motor, and ensure it’s working correctly to prevent piling.

How do I know if my auger motor is bad?

A malfunctioning auger motor may exhibit slow or no movement. Test the motor with a multimeter, check for electrical issues, and replace it if it fails to function correctly.

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