Pellet Stove Auger Won’t Turn—What To Do?

A pellet stove is a powerful appliance that burns pellets to provide heat to modern, average-sized homes. But, it can cease to work if the stove auger has stopped turning. How can you repair it so that it turns to produce heat? The experts in this field gave us the following answers.

To make a pellet stove turn, you can repair it by following the steps below:

  1. Unplug the stove.
  2. Take the pellets out.
    • Scoop out the pellets.
    • Use your hand to remove the remaining pellets.
  3. Remove the auger.
    • Open the door and access the auger.
    • Get the auger out.
  4. Clean inside the stove.
    • Pick the pellets fallen inside.
    • Vacuum to remove dust and debris.
  5. Put the auger back.
    • Fit back the auger into the hopper.
    • Screw back the door.
  6. Test the auger.
    • Place a few pellets inside the stove.
    • Plug the stove back.

Keep reading to learn how to fix the auger of your pellet stove and the causes of it not turning. We'll also delve into how much it costs to repair.

Burning biomass or Pellet stove inside a house, Pellet Stove Auger Won't Turn—What To Do?

How To Fix A Pellet Stove Auger That Will Not Turn

 Human hand holding biomass pellets by a fireplace

There are various reasons why your pellet stove will not work. One of them is an auger jam. Let’s go through the basic steps to make it work again.

1. Unplug The Stove

As with any electrical appliance, you need to unplug it to inspect the inside of the stove.

2. Take The Pellets Out

Have a look at these pellets on Amazon.

Open the top of the stove and scoop out all the pellets. Also, reach out with your hand far inside where the scoop cannot reach, and remove the remaining pellets.

3. Remove The Auger

Check out this auger on Amazon.

Depending on your type of appliance, locate the door to the auger, unscrew it with a screwdriver, and detach the wires connected to the motor.

The auger normally has only one screw, which you will unscrew. After loosening it, remove the auger by pushing it up and then pulling it out.

4. Clean Inside The Stove

As you pull out the auger, you might notice some pellets and dust falling off. That is what has most likely blocked the stove, preventing the auger from turning.

Pick these pellets, and vacuum inside the oven to remove the dust and debris.

Check out this cordless handheld vacuum cleaner on Amazon.

5. Put The Auger Back

After ensuring there are no more pellets and dust, realign the gasket to the auger, and secure it down into the hopper, placing it on the tabs and ensuring it sits firmly on its own.

Fix back the screw onto the auger, screw it clockwise to tighten it, and reconnect the wires to the motor.

6. Test The Auger

Place some pellets into the feeder on top of the stove. In addition, open the front door, and place a few handfuls of pellets inside to help fire it up.

Close the door and plug back the stove to the electrical outlet. Wait for the combustion of the pellets to begin. It will take some time for the flames to reach their normal height.

You should be able to see some pellets being fed into the fire every few seconds. Wait a few more minutes to ensure it is back to its normal functioning.

Check out the video below that demonstrates how to repair a faulty auger in a pellet stove:

Other Reasons Your Auger Won't Turn

As explained above, one of the reasons for your auger not turning is when it gets jammed. But, there are many other reasons, and here are four of them:

Defective Motor

If your stove is not turning, it could mean the motor is defective. You will need to examine it, to find out if it needs repairs or to be replaced. 

Unplug the stove, allow it to cool, and read the instructions in the manual. Locate the motor by removing the panel on the back or side of the stove.

Disconnect the wires from the motor and loosen the shoulder belt on the right side. Also, loosen the set-screw on the left.

Slide the motor backward and away from the shaft and get it out.

The video below shows how to open and put back or replace the motor:

Screw Is Too Tight

To find out what is wrong with the motor, connect it to a 110V outlet. If the motor is humming, but the shaft and spindle are not turning, it is a signal that it has a problem.

First, check the inside of the motor by unscrewing the bearing cap. If everything is fine, put the bearing cap back, but don’t tighten it.

Connect it back to the voltage, and it should turn because the nuts are not tightly screwed.

The video below explains how to check if the screw is tight and how to loosen it for the motor to turn:

Damaged Vacuum Switch

The vacuum switch is responsible for turning ON the feeder to get the pellets down into the combustion chamber.

It also acts as a safety device that shuts OFF the machine if the pressure drops lower than the required safety scope.

To find out the problem, unplug the stove. Unscrew the side panel and open it. Detach the wires.

Unscrew the vacuum switch, remove it, and check for damages. Sometimes, the problem may be minor such as a clogged hose. If this is not the case, it is best to replace the vacuum switch.

Take your new unit, measure the new hose against the old one and cut it to the exact same length. Connect the hose to the switch. Screw back the vacuum switch, and reconnect the wires and hose.  

Put the side panel back, and plug it back into the electrical outlet.

Watch this video below that shows in detail how to replace a vacuum switch:

Worn Out Wires

With time, the auger motor wires do loosen or wear out. This issue can cause the pellet stove auger not to turn.  

To find out the problem, open up the stove as explained above, and remove the motor. Check if the wires are faulty, and replace them if they are. 

You can use a multimeter to check if an electrical current passes through the wires. If there is no sign, have them replaced. 

How Much Is It To Repair A Pellet Stove?

Industry manufacture close up stock photo... Save Edit Make a video Industry manufacture close up Metallurgy heavy industry. Factory for production of heavy pellet stoves and boilers. Manual worker assembling products. Granule Stock Photo Description Metallurgy heavy industry. Factory for production of heavy pellet stoves and boilers. Manual worker assembling products.

The average cost of repairing a pellet stove can be as low as $150 or as high as $800. Nationally, homeowners spend an average amount of $400.

The costs of pellet stoves vary. An igniter can cost around $30, while a circuit board would cost close to or above $500. 

Also, the cost of a feed motor ranges between $70 and $100, while an auger motor costs between $80 and $150. 

Technicians charge labor per hour, ranging from $100 to $150 per hour. In addition, it is good to note that they will still charge per hour, even though the job takes as little as 15 minutes.

To make it worth the amount you pay for the repairs, ask the technician to perform a full-service. 

In Closing

Bright shot very close to a pile of pellets (pellets, pellets) of firewood.

There are several reasons your pellet stove won’t turn, which include an auger jam, a defective motor, or a damaged vacuum switch. In all these conditions, you will have to open the stove, remove the parts and examine them more extensively to diagnose the problem. Repair or replace them.

The cost of repairing a pellet stove varies for both the parts and labor charged by the technicians. But, remember if you do not have the skills to handle electrical appliances, it is best to contact a professional electrician to check and carry out the necessary repairs.

If you have other electrical appliances in your home, then you may want to read these other posts:

Generac Generator Won't Start - What To Do?

Air-Compressor Won't Start - What To Do?

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