Troubleshooting a Quadra-Fire Vacuum Switch


Quadra-Fire manufactures a line of wood-pellet stoves for residential use. The stove burns small pellets of compressed wood for fuel. These are fed from a motorized hopper into the burning chamber. A vacuum switch installed in the unit detects when fuel is low based on changes in air pressure inside the stove. The switch sends a signal to the auger motor to force more pellets from the hopper into the stove. Troubleshooting the switch takes only a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver set
  • Can of compressed air
  • Multimeter
  • Turn off the switch for the auger motor and let the Quadra-Fire burn out if it has been in use. Wait for the stove to cool.

  • Remove the top of the stove using a screwdriver to take out the mounting screws on the side edges. The pressure switch is a rectangular part mounted to the inside of the stove with two screws on the right-hand side if you are looking down on the stove from the front. A flexible rubber hose extends from the switch to the auger motor.

  • Pull the hose gently off the nozzle on the auger motor and the pressure switch. Blow compressed air from a can through the tube to remove any clogs, then reattach the hose to the pressure switch only.

  • Disconnect the two wires on the pressure switch. Each slides off a metal contact on the switch.

  • Clip the multimeter leads to the pressure switch contacts. Set the meter to test for continuity.

  • Blow through the open end of the air hose. If the meter display holds steady at zero or swings into the infinity reading and remains there, the switch is defective and must be replaced.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy a replacement switch from Quadra-Fire or an online retailer. Large hardware stores also stock pressure switches for these appliances.

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