What Is An Auger On A Pellet Stove?
The auger on a pellet stove is a screw-like device that’s typically long in length and driven by a motor at one end. The motor turns the auger screw at a low RPM and allows pellets to move up the auger as it rotates.
Where Is the Auger On A Pellet Stove?
The auger in a pellet stove will be found located within the hopper, typically bordering the front side of the container. The auger motor will typically be found at the bottom end of the auger screw and it may be possible to view the top of the auger from within the combustion chamber through the pellet chute.
In our particular model of pellet stove the auger can be seen on the front-facing side of the hopper container when looking into the hopper from the hatch above.
The majority of an auger screw may be not visible and is usually hidden behind a plate that helps to keep the pellets inside the auger in place.
The bottom area of the auger screw will be kept open to collect pellets from the bottom of the auger.
Depending on the model of pellet stove, it may be possible to see the top of the auger screw when looking up the pellet chute from the burn pot in the combustion chamber.
What Does The Auger Do On A Pellet Stove?
The auger on a pellet stove delivers the pellets to the burn pot within the combustion chamber from the hopper. A pellet stove fire requires fuel in the form of pellets in order to keep burning and keep generating heat. A pellet stove auger therefore delivers pellets to the fire at the most optimum rate.
How Does A Pellet Stove Auger Work?
Pellet stove augers work by collecting pellets from the base of the hopper and delivering them to the burn pot within the combustion chamber. The auger motor drives the auger screw which in turn feeds pellets up to the top of the auger where pellets fall down the pellet chute to the fire.
See our guide on how a pellet stove works for more information.
Parts Of A Pellet Stove Auger
The two main parts of a pellet stove auger include the auger and the auger motor, and the auger itself is commonly covered by a collar. The auger motor can typically be found at the lower end of the auger inside a pellet stove and the collar may be found within the hopper.
The main parts of a pellet stove auger include:
- Auger motor
The auger is a long screw-like object that move pellets up the auger as it turns.
The auger motor drives the auger. The motor will be located at one end of the auger and in our particular model of stove is located on the underside of the auger, just under the hopper and can be seen through the back of the stove.
A collar works like a housing and helps hold the pellets inside the auger in place.
The collar doesn’t cover the entire length of the auger and there’s a gap in the collar at the base of the hopper inside our pellet stove where the pellets can be picked up.
Troubleshooting Pellet Stove Augers
Pellet Stove Auger Not Working
Augers are an integral part of a pellet stove and deliver fuel in the form of pellets from the hopper to the burn pot, while also ensuring that the right fuel to air ratio is met by moving the pellets at a certain rate.
It can be relatively common for pellet stove augers to have problems and stop working, either due to an issue with the components themselves or more commonly pellets and/or pellet dust causing the auger to jam.
How Do I Know If My Pellet Stove Auger Is Bad?
A blocked pellet stove auger, or a problem with one of the auger components such as the motor, can result in pellet stove fire that keeps going out, a pellet stove that keeps shutting off, or a pellet stove that isn’t producing as much heat due to an imbalance in the fuel to air ratio.
Hearing new noises from a pellet stove auger can also be a sign of a problem that has started to occur.
How Do You Fix The Auger On A Pellet Stove?
Many of the issues on a pellet stove caused by a problem with the auger can be fixed by cleaning out the auger and/or hopper, which should also be cleaned periodically to keep the chances of problems occurring low. More serious issues may require the replacement of parts such as the auger motor.
How Do You Remove The Auger From A Pellet Stove?
To remove the auger from a pellet stove, remove the back or side panel from the stove to access the auger. Remove the auger motor from the bottom of the auger and remove the cover to the auger housing from inside the hopper. Remove the auger bushing plate and remove the auger screw.
The video below explains how to remove the auger from a pellet stove.
Not all augers can be easily accessed. Depending on the model of pellet stove, there may be a cover where the auger can be easily accessed or there may not be any access plate at all.
For our particular model of stove, we can’t access the auger without professional help, which would be required if any parts of the auger need replacing.
We do however have the ability to manually feed the auger should there be a jam.
Unclogging The Auger In A Pellet Stove
A jammed auger can be the most common problem with augers in pellet stoves.
To help unclog the auger in a pellet stove:
- Manually feed the auger in the first instance, if possible.
- Clean out the hopper from pellets and dust.
- Clean out the pellet chute.
- Clean out the auger.
- Have the stove serviced.
See our article on how to unclog a pellet stove auger for more information.
The video below highlights how a typical pellet stove auger can be accessed for cleaning if it’s jammed.
Testing The Auger Motor In A Pellet Stove
Sometimes an issue with the auger in a pellet stove can be caused by a problem with the auger motor.
Pellet stove auger motors can be tested to see whether they are functioning correctly and to help identify the issue.
Testing a pellet stove auger motor can include:
- Attempting to manually feed the auger, if possible.
- Removing the auger motor and testing power to it.
- Attempting to stop the auger motor output shaft from turning.
- Attempting to manually turn the auger motor when not powered.
For more information see our complete guide on how to test an auger motor in a pellet stove.
The video below outlines how the auger motor of a pellet stove can be tested.
Pellet Stove Auger Making Noise
A pellet stove auger making noises can be an indication of an issue with the bearings, the auger motor or the auger itself. A pellet stove auger and hopper should first be cleaned out to identify if it’s a blockage or the components themselves causing the noise.
Pellet stove auger noises are commonly a result of a blockage and so the auger and hopper should be cleaned out in the first instance.
If noises continue, it may be an issue with the motor.
The video below explains what the auger motor in a pellet should sound like for reference.
Pellet Stove Auger Replacement
Although pellet stoves can last for many years (see how long pellet stove typically last for here), components such as the auger or auger motor may need to be replaced towards the end of the life of a pellet stove to help keep it going for longer.
The manufacturer of a pellet stove will typically outline the spare parts available for that particular model of stove.
For example, the instruction manual for our own pellet stove outlines the range of spare parts available, including a gear motor for the auger or a complete auger set.