An Overview Of Thelin Stoves and their Error Codes
Thelin Hearth Products was founded by Jay Thelin and Terry Thompson in the 1970’s. Like many wood stove companies of the day, everyone with metal fabrication skills jumped into the alternative heating craze. The round, “pot-belly” designs of their stoves filled a niche not seen in wood stove design since the parlor stoves of the mid 19th Century. They were easy to use and were very efficient for their day. The company enjoyed nearly a decade of success with a strong and loyal following; their designs were one of a kind in the marketplace and their forward-thinking approach allowed them to be the first wood stove maker to certify their products to the strict EPA emission protocols established in the late 1980’s.
Their forward-thinking approach didn’t stop with emissions. Thelin’s first pellet stove designs, introduced in 1993 and were some of the first stoves to take overall power consumption and power outages into consideration. The Parlour 3000, a 47,000 BTU pellet stove made in the shell of the of their parlor wood stoves, consumed only 27 watts of electricity at full power and could run continuously for 3 days without power if connected to a 12-volt deep-cell marine battery. Back in the early days of pellet stoves, the biggest criticism levied against pellet stoves was they required power to operate and wood stoves didn’t. Thelin seemed to offer a solution out of the gate to discredit this.
The Parlor 3000 boasts state-of-the-art electronics that allow it’s 100-volt power inverter to trickle charge a battery when the power was on. During a power failure, the internal relay would automatically switch to 12-volt so the stove would continue operating. Because it could run on 12-volts, the stove could also run directly from a 65-watt solar array. The panels could power the stove and charge batteries so it could continue running during an extended outage.
Thelin makes 4 different model pellet stoves; the Parlour 3000, Gnome, Tiburon and the Providence Insert. Sometime in the early 2000’s Sierra Products, another manufacturer of hearth products, used the Thelin technology to create their own pellet stove line called Easyfire. The 3801B1 is a small freestanding pellet stove and the 4001B1 is a small pellet insert that uses the Gnome engine and the 5001B1 and the 5001B1U each uses the bigger Parlour engine. In 2009, Sierra Products took over the distribution of Thelin Hearth.
Control Functions: Control functions for all Thelin and Easyfire pellet stoves are: OFF, FAN, LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, CLEAN. Here is how each function works:
- When the Control Knob is turned to FAN, a timer is activated and you will have about ten (10) minutes to get the pellets lit and reach a minimum temperature. Should the pellets not light in the 10 minutes simply turn the knob to OFF and begin again. This will give you another 10 minutes to get the pellets lit. The reason for the timer function is so that the heater will automatically shut down if the fire goes out. Pellets do not feed in the FAN position.
- In the LOW position, the pellet stove will be feeding approximately 1 to 11⁄2 lbs. of pellets per hour and the flame will fluctuate between 1" and 6" in height.
- In the MEDIUM position, the pellet stove will be feeding approximately three (3) pounds of pellets per hour and the flame will fluctuate between 3" and 8" of fire.
- In the HIGH position, the pellet stove will be feeding approximately 4.5 lbs. per hour and the flame will fluctuate between 3" and a full flame. The fan speed will increase accordingly as the heater automatically adjusts itself based on the temperature inside the heater (see G below).
- The CLEAN position is to be used only when the heater is not burning and you wish to clean out the accumulated ash in the burn pot. This feature works sometimes and other times not so well. Opening the air damper to the full position will increase the air pressure during the CLEAN feature
- After the heater is running for several hours and you wish to turn it off simply turn the knob to OFF. The heater will continue running until it cools down and then will automatically shut itself down.
Underneath the control knob, you will find a small round knob that will turn forward and reverse. This knob can control the feed motor rate. By turning the knob clockwise you can increase the burn rate and by turning it counterclockwise you can decrease the burn rate. Use this to change the overall rate for different pellets. For instance, if the pellet has high ash and burns dirty decrease the "trim" and if the heater goes out on low or has low flame increase the "trim".
Beside each heat selection, there is a light to indicate which level of heat the stove is set to burn it. At startup, these lights blink ON and OFF. Once proof of fire has been established (the T1 Sensor has detected 140°F) these lights come on solid and the stove will come out of startup mode and go running mode. During startup, regardless of heat setting that is selected, the stove runs on a startup program.
HI TEMP/FLUE RED WARNING LIGHT:
When the Hi-Temp/Flue indicator light comes on (red lite beneath control knob) it means a fault has been detected in either the flue system, over temperature, or fan/feed motor.
- Slow Flash Red Light - Indicates a blocked flue. Check flue and clean out for built-up ash deposits. And is triggered by the T2 sensor not detecting air flow.
- Solid Red Light - Indicates an over temperature reading from the T1 sensor. Check the air intake, it may need to be closed some or turn the feed trim down 25% to reduce fuel rate.
- Fast Flash Red Light - This fault requires the stove to be unplugged to reset. This light can be two things, either a feed motor jam or fan motor fault.
With the unit off, press the CLEAN button. If the blower comes on and the light does not reappear, you have a feed motor jam and the feed assembly needs to be removed from the stove and inspected. There may be an obstruction OR the feed assembly may have seized up OR the feed motor may be burnt out.
If the red light appears when the CLEAN function is pressed, the internal blower motor is either jammed (a bird or other obstruction may be stopping the combustion impeller) OR the blower may be faulty. Older versions of this motor (pre-2004) used brushed motors, newer versions of this blower motor are brushless. If you are not experienced with electronics, especially brushed electric motors, you may want to just replace the motor brushes. It's a cheap fix, otherwise, I’d opt-in for the brushless replacement.
Sometimes when trying to start a Thelin, the stove will start up like normal but within a few seconds it will shut off and there won't be an error code...nothing. If this happens, you need to check the power at the step-down transformer. The stove needs 12 volts but can actually run down to 10 ish volts. If the transformer drops below 10 volts while the stove is running, the stove will shut down and no error may be present.