FAQ and Technical Support Page
Pellet stoves are a great way to help heat your home. Since they are an appliance that you rely on for the comfort of your family, we offer this section of the website to help you save time and money by helping you solve most problems on your own.
Approximately 98% of issues with our products are related to maintenance and cleaning, installation, or misunderstanding. The owner's manual contains valuable information to guide you through proper installation, operation, and maintenance of your stove. Additional concerns are available here to assist you.
Pellet Stove Installation
your stove. We highly encourage you to have your unit professionally installed, but many people successfully install their stoves themselves. Information for proper installation can be found in the
owner's manual. However, we have also put together a detailed pellet stove installation and venting page
to better assist you.
Below you will find different FAQ sections. Follow the links to view the page relating to your issue.
Below you will find common questions regarding the use and operation of our pellet stoves. These questions do not involve troubleshooting information and pertain to more operational aspects of the stove. Click on the question to see the answer.
CAN I BURN CORN IN MY PELLET STOVE?
No, you cannot burn corn in your pellet stove. The pellet stove was designed and tested for wood pellets only.
Burning corn in your stove will void your warranty and may create a safety hazard or cause damage to your stove.
You should only burn premium wood pellets in your pellet stove.
CAN I INSTALL A THERMOSTAT AND HOW DOES EACH THERMOSTAT MODE FUNCTION?
Yes, all Breckwell pellet stoves are capable of being used with a thermostat. We offer a handheld remote
thermostat (Part # AG-RCN) available from your local dealer or direct from our website.
In addition, you may use almost any millivolt thermostat purchased from a local retailer with our pellet stoves. For stoves manufactured in 2008 or older you will need to have a 250 or 500-millivolt thermostat. The 750 millivolt thermostats do not work well with these stoves. There are a few on the market that will work, but you will be much better off getting a 250 or 500 millivolt thermostat for these older pellet stoves.
For pellet stoves manufactured in 2009 and later you can use any millivolt thermostat including the 750 millivolt models.
All of our pellet stoves have the capability to operate in two different thermostat modes; high/low and on/off. Each of these two modes operate the stove slightly differently, and you should be familiar with how each is supposed to function.
The high/low thermostat mode is the recomended thermostat mode for all of our pellet stoves. In this mode you will have to manually turn the stove on by pressing the on/off button on the control panel. The stove will start to operate and you would then set the heat level to either the #2 or #3 setting. Once the stove comes out of the pre-programmed start-up mode, the unit will then operate in the high/low thermostat mode. This means when the thermostat is calling for heat the pellet stove will run on the heat level that you have set the stove. When the thermostat is satisfied and not calling for heat the stove will cycle down to the #1 setting and idle. The heat level light will remain where you set it, and the on/off light will be flashing during this time. When the thermostat again calls for heat, the on/off light will become solid again and the stove will run at the heat level setting that you have set the pellet stove. The stove will continue to function this way until you manually press the on/off button on the control panel.
The on/off mode is different because the thermostat will automatically cause the stove to turn on and off. When the stove starts for the first time, set the heat level to the #3 setting. The unit will run on the #3 setting until the thermostat is satisfied and no longer calling for heat and it will then shut down. Once the thermostat calls for heat again, the unit will start and run on the #3 setting again until the thermostat is satisfied.
DOES BRECKWELL OFFER A BATTERY BACK-UP FOR MY STOVE?
Here at Breckwell we do not offer a battery back-up or recommend a particular brand for our pellet stoves. However, there are several companies that manufacture systems that will work with our stoves. In the event that you decide to purchase one, here are the power requirements for the stove so that you can see exactly what you will need. In addition, you must have an invertor that produces a full sine wave for the pellet stove to function correctly.
4-RPM Auger Motor – 1.65 AMPS – 182 watts
1-RPM Auger Motor - 0.45 AMPS – 50 watts
Combustion Blower – 1.6 AMPS – 176 watts
Convection Blower – 1.5 AMPS – 165 watts
Hot Rod Igniter – 2.72 AMPS – 300 watts
Total of 7.47 AMPS & 823 Watts of electricity with 4-RPM Auger Motor during startup.
Total of 4.75 AMPS & 523 Watts during normal operation.
Total of 6.27 AMPS & 691 Watts of electricity with 1-RPM Auger Motor during startup.
Total of 3.55 AMPS & 391 Watts during normal operation.
** FIGURES BASED ON 110 WATTS PER AMP & CURRENT COMPONENTS **
** ORIGINAL COMPONENTS MAY VARY. **
We generally recommend the gas-powered generator as a back-up power supply for our pellet stoves. The generator has several advantages over the battery back-up. Most battery back-ups that will actually power the stove for any length of time (minimum of 6 hours or more) are generally very expensive, even more expensive than a generator. In addition, with a generator you have the option of powering additional appliances, and you will have power as long as you have fuel for the generator.
WHY IS GLASS SOOTING UP/GETTING DIRTY SO QUICKLY?
Pellet stoves are good for the environment both because they use a renewable waste product for fuel, and they burn very clean. However, it is possible that your glass may get dirty or soot up quickly (within one or two hours).
If your glass is doing this, it is probably a combination of two factors. The first is the quality of the wood pellets you are using. You should be using pellets that are free of any glues or binders. We do not recommend particular brands of pellets, however we do recommend that you get a wood pellet that is manufactured by a company who subscribes to the Pellet Fuels Institute standards. They will have the PFI logo on the bag if they do.
The second factor is the airflow in your pellet stove. Damper control and general maintenance/cleaning of the stove will have a large impact on this. When you clean your stove, make sure that you clean behind the small access doors in the firebox very well. Ash and creosote will collect and build up there, which reduces your airflow. It is also important to clean your exhaust flue for the same reason. Generally, these should be cleaned once every ton of pellets burned. You should also stir your burn pot every day.
The exhaust configuration for your pellet stove will also have a major impact on your airflow. Make sure that your exhaust is installed according to the specifications in the owner's manual. It is very important that your EVL and flue size match, and that the exhaust flue is sealed properly. Consult the pellet stove installation page of our website for more information regarding the installation of your pellet stove.
Your damper should also be adjusted for each heat level setting. The damper should be open enough to give plenty of air to the fire without causing a blowtorch appearance to the flames. You do not want any white or blue color in the flame. It should be a robust yellow flame that stands basically straight up. You also want to avoid a lazy, orange flame with black tips that flickers.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE A SERVICE TECH TO SERVICE MY STOVE?
Before calling a service tech, check the extensive trouble-shooting guide in the back of the owner's manual, or browse our website for additional information. Be sure to consult this information if your pellet stove isn't functioning to expected standards.
If you require professional assistance with your pellet stove, contact your dealer for any technical or service related issues. Most dealers have service technicians who can assist you. If they don't, they can likely refer you to a reliable source.
Another option would be for you to contact an independent service technician. There are two organizations that maintain databases of independent service technicians: The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, which can be found at hpba.org, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which can be found at csia.org. Both of these organizations have lists of independent technicians. These technicians are not affiliated with Breckwell in any way, but many of them often work on our pellet stoves. In addition, check for personal recommendations from a neighbor, friend, or family member in your area. The local Yellow Pages are also a good source.
You can also call us directly for troubleshooting assistance.
HOW DO I ORDER REPLACEMENT PARTS?
Most dealers stock parts and have technical expertise to assist you and we encourage you to contact them.
However, if you prefer to purchase your parts from us we will be happy to assist you. Parts can be purchased by going to our online shopping cart and placing your order. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
WHY IS MY STOVE NOT PRODUCING ENOUGH HEAT?
Your pellet stove has a digital control panel that can operate differently depending on how it is configured. Look for your control panel on the upper right side. There is a switch with three different settings: On/Off, High/Low, and Manual. That is called the Mode of Operation switch. Check that the switch is in the Manual position, unless you purchased and installed a thermostat. If that switch is not in the Manual position, do not change it while the pellet stove is running. First, shut the stove down completely, unplug it, and then move the switch to Manual. Afterwards, plug the stove in again.
The On/Off and High/Low positions on the control panel are only for use with a thermostat. If you have the pellet stove set to one of these positions and did not purchase and install a thermostat, the pellet stove will never get off of the #1 heat level because it is looking for direction from a thermostat.
WHAT IS THE LOW FEED ADJUSTMENT (RESET TRIM) FUNCTION AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Low Feed Adjustment is used to change the feed rate for your #1 heat level setting. It will not affect the
feed rate of any of the other heat levels. Only the #1 heat level feed rate is affected.
When the pellet stove is on the #1 setting, you can adjust the feed rate by pressing the Low Feed Adjustment button. This will cause the 1 & 4 light to be displayed on most units. This is the highest feed rate setting for the #1 heat level; it is still less than the #2 setting.
You will be feeding just over a pound of fuel an hour to the fire. If you push the Low Feed Adjustment again, the 1 & 3 light will be displayed.
This is the lowest possible feed rate for the #1 heat level, and you will be feeding just a little less than one pound of fuel an hour. Press the Low Feed Adjustment button again, and just the #1 light will be displayed.
This is the factory normal feed rate and is approximately 1 pound of fuel an hour.
This option is available because different sized pellets will pack into the auger differently. If you find yourself feeding too few pellets to the fire on the #1 setting, you can increase the feed rate; too many, and you can reduce it.
Most people will never need to use this feature of the stove. However, in some circumstances it is a good feature to have. Whenever using the pellet stove with a thermostat on the High/Low mode, we recomend changing the Low Feed rate to the highest setting.
WHY DOES MY WOOD STOVE SMOKE?
A smoking stove is generally a sign of insufficient draft. Wood stoves have a damper system allowing air to flow under the fire, drafting the smoke up and out of the chimney pipe. Without that draft, the smoke sits in the burn chamber and flows into the room instead of up the chimney. When starting a fire in your wood stove, fully open the damper so the air flow pushes the smoke up the chimney. Once the fire has a good flame and is producing a decent amount of heat, the damper can be adjusted to maintain the flame. Without the initial full open damper and draft, the wood stove will produce a lot of smoke.
WHAT TYPE OF WOOD SHOULD I USE?
• Seasoned and split hardwood, wood that has been dried for one year
in a well-ventilated and sheltered area. Hardwood comes from slow growth trees like Oak and Fir.
• Avoid green unseasoned wood which will only burn at 60% of the fuel value of
dry seasoned wood and will deposit creosote on the inside of the stove and chimney.
• No sap!
• Use only DRY wood!
(wet or damp wood leads to creosote - creosote also comes from incomplete combustion when a stove is burned too low)