Our pellet stove auger demonstration video continues to be a highly watched video, as well as a helpful resource for troubleshooting and maintenance. We’ve transcribed the video below.
The Magnum and Country Flame product line of flex fuel pellet stoves will burn a variety of fuels through the auger system we have in each appliance. What we’ll do in this segment is go through each type of auger system. We’re going to talk a little bit about the fuel, how it affects the auger, and how the condition of the auger system itself can affect the operation of the unit. To begin with, let’s talk about what causes the auger system not to feed fuel. The first thing we’ll go over is the quality of the fuel. If the quality of the fuel is not up to premium quality, what you’ll find out is that the fuel will get caught in auger flighting and as a results the fuel will expand and pack into the auger system and the fuel will spin around and around in the auger flighting and will not come out of the end of the drop tube and down into the fire box chamber. What if your fire goes out inconsistently? The fire may burn for an hour or two. It may even burn for a day or two. And then you come home and the fire is out and there is no fuel in the fire pot. What’s happened there is that something has gotten lodged in the auger system and caused the fuel to stop feeding for a predetermined amount of time and then the safety system shut the unit down and the unit when into a shut down mode and then possibly whatever was lodged in the auger system now broke loose and during the purging cycle the fuel is exiting the unit. You look into the fire pot and there is no fire in there. There is very little fuel, but there is a little bit of fuel in the bottom of the firepot. This is an indication that something jammed up the auger , the unit went into a shut down cycle, and then it freed itself, and then the fuel started coming back out again; but the safety system kept the unit shut down.
Now we’re going to look at a couple of the auger systems for the pellet stoves, how they operate, and what can happen. The first thing we’ll look at is the auger system for the Magnum Baby Countryside and the Winchester. They both use the same type of auger system. This is a cut-away portion if you were looking into the back of the unit. You have this aluminum housing. There is a hopper that goes on top of this so you’re not able to see this whole housing. Then the fuel is fed down into the base of the auger system. Then, the auger motor goes ahead and turns at intermediate speeds to get the fuels going through the system. Now, if something gets lodged inside of this auger, what will happen is the auger motor will run up against this stop over here, and then it stops. If the fuel does not dislodge itself, or if the fuel can’t be cut off by the action of the flighting, the auger will sit there up against the stop. After a while, the motor heats up and the thermo protectors that are built into this motor will shut the motor off so that it doesn’t harm the system and jam everything up so tight that you can’t get it apart. Also built into the control center is what’s called amp limiters. Those amp limiters, when this motor gets really hot, will shut the control board into a shut down mode. That way it protects the motor and it protects the auger system.
So let’s say you have something jammed in here. How are you going to get it loose? The first thing you want to remember is that you don’t grab a hold and put a pliers or a vice grip onto the flighting and try to move it backwards. Two things could happen. One, you’ll damage the flighting on the auger system itself and then it won’t work after that. Or two, you could break the gears in the gear case. One point that you’ll want to remember is that the gear motor is not designed to be forced backwards. So what you’ll want to do is gently work the motor back and forth, because there is a small amount of area in there that you can move this motor back and forth. That typically will dislodge anything that is caught inside the auger system. If that doesn’t work, then what you do is take your allen wrench, and carefully holding onto the auger motor so it does fall out of the back of the unit, (because as this is sitting here, it is facing downward like this) you go ahead and loosen this and take the motor gently off. Set that down. Then, just leave your wrench right in the collar and move the auger back and forth. You may even have to turn it all the way around. And turn the auger backward like this so that it pushes the fuel back down the auger system and dislodges whatever is caught.
If you have gotten something in the auger that has jammed it so tight that you are not able to get it out doing this, then you aren’t going to have any choice except to take the bolts loose, that are located on either side of the auger system. Remove this plate off the back and then you will be able to slide he entire auger flighting out the back of the unit and dislodge any fuel.
Now, remember before taking the plate off, get all the fuel out of the hopper system so that the only fuel that is going to be in the auger will be what is left inside the tube. When you have the system apart and you’ve dislodged what is caught in there, make sure to check the flighting that there are no knicks and make sure the flighting didn’t get bent. If it got bend, then you are going to want to go ahead and take a file or emery cloth and smooth it off good and then resemble the auger system.
This is a very typical auger system that fits the Magnum Baby Countryside or the Winchester. Check out our YouTube Channel for more videos.
Michael T says
Thank you for this post – I had my auger jam—first time in about 8 years. I would have not done the correct fix if it was not for this post. Thanks
You are very welcome.
I have a corn pellet stove in my home and I must say that it’s a great addition to any house. It saved me a considerable amount of money in heating bills this past winter. I highly recommend them!-d
Thank you very much. Did you know that you can earn reward dollars if you refer a friend or family member and they purchase a unit? Some customers have paid for their fuel for the winter referring folks.
Does the feed auger motor run the whole time ? Or does the motor run then cut off of then run again in a couple seconds
Depending on the unit model, the auger would cycle on and off different times depending on what heat setting that you are on. If you can email [email protected] with the model number and what is happening they will help you get the right parts.
On any heat setting, my auger works the same. It heats my house to 70°. If temperature outside drops the stove can’t keep up and my house gets cold. How can I make the auger work correctly again?
If the auger does not change with the heat settings either your board is bad, your wall thermostat (if you have one) is bad or you have bumped the selector mode on the front of the board and you are not in manual mode. Check all of that and if you need part identification email [email protected] and they can help with that. Be sure to have your model and serial number along with pictures for them.
Artie nemeth says
my magnum P 3500 pellet stove keeps filling up with ashes in the burn pot when I got it on setting 4 or 5. I have taking the stove apart and cleaned everything good I’m using the same pellets I’ve always have I have the draft pulled all the way out and when I start it the burn pot fills up with ashes within 2 hours it’s completely full and not burning right. it just started about a month ago and it’s getting worse all the time. I’m not sure if my exhaust blower motor is starting to fail.
This is an indication that the exhaust blower is plugged or going out, possibly the top door seal is worn and leaking, there is something plugged that you have missed, the exhaust manifold is plugging and/or the fuel just is bad. Check the exhaust manifold area and impeller on the exhaust and perform an amp meter check on the motor on heat level 3. Should be around .8 amp. If high or low replace blower with MF3542 exhaust blower.
Artie nemeth says
I tested the amp draw on the exhaust blower and the white wire tested .70 and the black wire tested 1.10 on setting # 3. Is that within specs? I also found door latch needed tightening to get a better seal that helped a little bit.
Yes, this is right where it should be. Do a paper test on the door to make sure that it is tight. To do that insert a piece of paper and close the door. Then pull on the paper. Should have tension and not pull out easily. do this all around the door.
Artie nemeth says
Yes I did the paper test around the door. I couldn’t move any of the paper its a good seal.
Great, if the fuel continues to build up then the fuel might be bad. Open the air a little more and it should be good.
Artie nemeth says
I’ve been running it with the air slide all the way open and I tried different fuels and still builds up to the top of the burn pot. I have to shut it down and scrape the burn pot every 12 hours.
Make sure that there is nothing plugged anywhere, especially behind the brickboard. You might need the high output exhaust blower to burn your fuel. MF3542.
Artie nemeth says
about 3 years ago I replaced the exhaust blower is there any way that you could check to see if I replaced it with the mf3542
Artie nemeth says
I looked at the blowers and the one that said high output was the cf3542 or do I need the mf3542-o like you recommended.
If you ordered the MF3542 or CF3542 that would be the high output, might just be very dirty inside with soot and just needs to be cleaned off.
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I Put my augar motor on the bench to test it because it stopped turning and
connected to 120v I found it was turning. question:
I left it on the bench for a few hours running and when i checked on it
I noticed the gearbox and motor were hot to the touch. I measured the current draw
it was around 3.5 amps ( less than the rated 4 amps) does this seem like it is operating normal when it is so hot?
my stove Country Flame NPS 1000.
Auger motors will get very hot to the touch if they are bench running and there is nothing to cool them. That should be fine. If the auger is not running once it is installed then check for a vacuum hose plugged where it goes into the exhaust motor port or a loose gasket. There might be a code coming up on the back of the control board also. For further technical assistance email [email protected]
I have a big problem and don’t know what to do. The pellets are burning in the auger, thus sending smoke back through the hopper and clogging the auger. Any info. would help, Thanks
When the pellets back up into the auger housing that usually is a sign of one of several things. Biggest culprit is bad quality fuel, a lot of that out there, next is something plugged in the system, worn exhaust blower, no fresh air connected to the unit, plugged venting, loose gaskets on door or you are trying to burn pellets in the corn firepot. Please email pictures of the unit, problem area, fuel, etc. to [email protected] and they will help you out with parts, etc. to get you back up and running.
Tom Noden says
My auger runs when plugged in the wall but the voltage is 24vac when connected.
Any suggestions ?
It sounds like either a wire is loose, the power plug on the back of the stove is loose, the ground wire is bad or loose, or the control board is bad. Check the voltage coming out of the board, check your wiring on the circuit and if all is well, then replace the control board.
I have a countryside magnum. When my auger turns it makes very loud squeal and driving us all crazy. I’ve had for about 9 years. I just recently had an auger jam, took auger out, clean and sanded auger tube due to some scoring but after it still squealed. I removed auger, cleaned and polished auger tube a second time and no change. It sounds like it may be the actual motor. Could the auger motor be making a squealing noise? It is difficult to tell exactly where it is coming from as it is loud. It doesn’t squeal with every auger turn but about every 2-3 turns. Weird. Any help would be appreciated.
It sounds like your fuel is really bad. Typically if the fuel is bad it will pack in the auger system and the friction will cause the auger to squeal as it turns. You can clean it out and it will run for a while but then it starts to squeal as the fuel feeds again. It does not sound like the auger motor as it would not squeal unless the fuel is binding the auger motor sideways and the delron bushing is worn out. I would suggest that you mix some shelled corn in with your wood pellets, and also check the bushing that the auger runs on in the back of the unit to make sure that it is not worn out and running on the metal plate. For further information email [email protected].
Ross sumner says
I have the country flame pellet fireplace it has power to the control board but will not turn on .
If the board does not light up at all, then either the fuse in the back of the unit by the power cord is blown or the board is bad. Check the fuse first and then contact [email protected] for information on how to test the board and or order a new board. Be sure to email a picture of the front and back of the control board and the model of unit that you own.
Cheryl Jackson says
I have an older model Country Flame Harvester. I bought it used last winter and it has worked wonders in heating my home. This winter when I started it up it seems that everything that could go wrong, has. We have replaced the blower motor, the auger motor, the auger. We can start the stove up and it will burn for just a few hours and then the auger will bind up and the stove will shut down. Cleaned all of the pellets out of the auger and make sure that everything is free moving and restart. The same thing happens. The pellets that I have used last winter and this winter are very dusty so I try to keep the dust vaccumed out. Don’t have any idea what else to do. Can you give me any suggestions on what to do? Have replace all of the motors and had one reworked and still it will not fun long enough for me to get a bag of pellets burned. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.. Please help!
Hi Cheryl, it is important to diagnose exactly what is going on before replacing or throwing parts at a unit. Unfortunately you have found out the expensive way that your problem is not related to motors. The fact that your fuel is dusty right out of the bag indicates that the fuel is really bad. Even vacuuming out the dust will not help with fuel that is not binding due to improper raw materials. What probably is happening is your batch of fuel has a lot of bark or tiny granules of sand in it and as soon as it get into the auger it breaks up and those tiny beads bind up the auger system. An easy way to test is to mix in at least 50% corn or if you do not have easy access to corn right now, mix in a handful of corn starch into the wood pellets (about half a bag) and see if it helps. If it does, then either take your fuel back or mix it with 75% corn. The nice thing about the Harvester is it loves to burn corn and will do that very well. Email [email protected] for further help.
Cheryl Jackson says
Thanks I will give this a try and see if that makes a difference. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out with this!
I have a breckwell pellet stove. ,when plugged in motor runs blower runs auger will turn manually but not by automatically ,left it run all night didn’t move an inch push manual feed button auger turns fine. Any ideas. ???? Thanks
We are not authorized to comment or repair another companies product. You would need to contact the Breckwell company and talk to their technical department or call a local dealer. It does sound however, that your safety system has an error in it and will not allow the automatic system to run. Check your unit for plugging and the vacuum sensor.
John Boden says
We have a countryside magnum and it will burn wood pellets in it will burn all day long! Corn on the other hand will burn for ten minutes then flood and go out wether with damper pulled in or out?
Sounds like the corn might be high in moisture or the exhaust motor could be getting plugged or weak.
Michael Briscoe says
Lately when I cold start my stove it’s becoming more difficult to get the auger to start on my Magnum Countryside stove. I have to turn the stove on and off several times (10-20) before it engages on its own. When its running the auger works great with no issues. the issues occurs whenever I shut it down and then try to start it again. I replaced the circuit board last year. High quality pellets are a must!
Could be the proof of fire sensor on the right side of stove at the top. Can bypass the sensor and see if it works better. If needing new one part number is MF3537 can be ordered at magnumheat.com E-com store.
I just bought a baby used I plunged it in to use it and it flashes a code on the board 3 red flashes did not come with a book
Can someone help me dig this out …. the hours I work and when I get home it’s to late to call in. Plz email me
When the #3 light flashes, that means that the low temp sensor did not close which could mean bad fuel, auger was not primed, fire did not get hot enough or something plugged up and last but not least, the sensor is bad or a wire disconnected. I would recommend that you download the manual from this site and also watch the operational videos on operation.
I have a magnum Winchester T-40 AC insert and my auger will only feed fuel for 10-15 minutes prior to jamming. I have cleaned it thoroughly and dislodged the jammed fuel. The flights are dinged up and I would like to remove the auger to file however can not find specific instructions for removing the auger. Can anyone point me in the right direction for finding instructions to do so please? Thanks.
The problem might be bad quality fuel so try another bag from a different source to see if that is the problem. You can email [email protected] for additional technical assistance and there is a document online that shows the breakdown of the auger assembly I cannot attach it here but if you email the technical department they will be able to help you. Basically to remove the auger you take the auger motor off, take the 2 bolts out of the end plate on the auger tube and then with a screwdriver take the back plate off. Once you have replaced the auger and bushings, take high temp silicone and seal the plate as you put back into place, then replace the bolts and motor. Spin the auger before mounting the motor to be sure the plate is centered and the auger moves freely.
Brian R says
I have a a ussc king ashley pellet stove, i have replaced the auger motor twice now and it keeps shorting the motor out and buring the motor out, what could cause this? im at a loss. thanks
I am sorry but we provide technical assistance for MagnuM or Country Flame product and you would have to go to your local dealer for Ashley stoves to get assistance on your product. Good luck and keep warm with MagnuM or Country Flame.
I have a Breckwell P24fs and I’ve had 4 auger jams in the past week. Seems after 12 hours the pellets jam in the top of the auger flight just where the sheet metal housing angles up into the hopper. There’s a small gap between the sheet metal and the auger housing- that’s where the pellets are lodging. Do I need to create an epoxy dam to seal that off? Also, I often find pellets on the flooring of the back of the stove where the the motors live. What should I do?
I am sorry but this is not one of our products and we cannot provide technical assistance on this model. Please contact the Breckwell manufacturer for support. It might be a good time to get rid of your unit and purchase a MagnuM or Country Flame unit and then we can supply parts and service for you. Great specials going on before the end of the year if you are interested.
My country flame pellet stove won’t turn down below the auto 3 , keeps the house to hot
I would need to know what model that you have, year and what you mean by the stove won’t go below the 3 setting. Does that mean that the board will not change settings when you push the heat setting buttons up or down? If it won’t then you will need to replace the board. I can get you the part number if I know the model and year. It would be good for you to email a picture of the unit and the front and back of the control board to [email protected] and they can further assist you.
I have a Country Flame pellet stove insert. Is there a specific position for the damper to be opened for the greatest burn efficiency?
The best is to have the air damper set on about 2/3 open. You want it adjusted to give you an active flame and about 1/2″ of fuel in the firepot. It is real important to have fresh air connected to the unit from outside for the best burn.
The other day I noticed the motor was off and I put back up were belong and put the Allen screw back were it belongs and tight it down. It run about hour then stop so what wrong
It could be a number of things. First, make sure that you tightened the set screw down on the flat of the shaft. Also make sure that there are not 2 set screws in the locking collar and you are only tightening the outer one. The set screw should be 3/8″ long and go all the way through to the flat on the shaft. If you have the series that has 2 short set screws then take them out and replace with one that is 3/8″ long. I would suggest that you check the wiring to make sure that nothing got pinched or disconnected. Then test the motor by itself to see if it is burned out. Email [email protected] for further into and to email pictures of the auger motor and how it is attached.