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Thermal Switch - can they malfunction

Sault Ste. Marie, Canada

I have an RSF Delta2 fireplace. It was installed 4 years ago. I later added a blower to it, which I installed. I put the thermal switch for the blower near the front of the fireplace. It worked fine. I had to replace the blower this year, and while reading the install instructions I realized that I had the thermal switch in the wrong location (or so I thought). The new blower package came with a new thermal switch, but I decided to just move the old switch to the correct location (farther back in the heating area).

This setup seemed to work better because the blower came on sooner and stayed on longer. After having a continuous fire for four days the blower stopped working. It appeared to be a thermal switch problem because the blower ran if the switch was bypassed. Assuming a bad switch, I replaced the old switch with the new one that came with the replacement blower. I again put it in the new location. Everything was working great for about another four days, then the blower stopped working.

I asked the manufacturer for help. They suggested doing a hair-dryer test on the switches to verify operation. They said it was highly unlikely that the thermal switch would be bad, less likely that two would be. I used a hairdryer to heat the switch and it did indeed make both switches work.

So, I re-installed both switches, in parallel, and put one in the old location and one in the new location. Enough heat at either, or both, locations would start the blower. Again, things worked great for four about four days. Yesterday I had the fire on all day and the blower wouldn't start.

Is it possible that a thermal switch can get too hot, and then cease to operate properly? I seems that if I let the fire die down, and then start a fire the next day, the blower will work again for another four days.

Thanks. :-)

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