Auger bearings hold the pellet stove auger in place. They need not be replaced if they are sticking or jamming. They just needs a thorough cleaning to remove gummy deposits. However, a pile of sawdust in the bottom of your stove indicates the bearing is very worn, or perhaps even missing. I have seen stoves that passed the factory's quality control without a bottom auger bearing present! In either case, the auger shaft undergoes alot of play, wobbling back and forth when turning. When the fines or sawdust fall and pile up, nothing prevents the convection/room blower from gathering them and blowing them through the hot stove. When the sawdust gets hot, burning embers fly out the front of the stove! This can be an extremely hazardous situation. Having your stove professionally cleaned is a must. In the process, such conditions can be identified and fixed, saving both property and lives!
Also, in some instances, worn out bearings turn with the auger. This creates friction like a disc break, which impairs the auger motor.This most commonly occurs with brass bearings. The friction also damages the mounting plate, which should be replaced along with the bearing.
To replace the bearing:
1. Unplug the stove from the AC and remove side and or back panels.
2. Disconnect the 2 wires connected to the auger motor.
3. Remove the auger collar set screw or hitch pin.
4. Remove the auger motor.
5. Remove the bolts that hold the endplate or backing plate. Cut off any silicone sealant.
6. Pry off the backing plate, removing the silicone sealant or silicone gasket.
7. Remove the auger and check for burrs or splatters of slag from sloppy welding. Grind off burrs, slag, wire brush, and all carbon and corrosion. Protect the auger with "Dry Moly" high temperature industrial lube.
8. Reassemble with the new bearing and a new auger motor, if needed. The high performance Gleason-Avery Auger motor is recommended. Click here to view.
9. Thoroughly clean the room blower and the inside back of the stove to remove all fines and sawdust.
10. Replace side and back panels and plug stove back into AC
Top feeding augers have a top auger bearing as well. Typically, it is the bottom bearing near the auger base that gets worn and requires replacement. Most augers have a back or bottom mounting plate. Kits including the mounting plate and auger bearing, or simply the bearing itself can be found by clicking here. A nylatron endplate and bearing can be used to upgrade the brass bushing for Whitfield as well as Enviro EF2, EF3, and Meridian pellet stoves. This upgrade reduces auger jams and helps the auger motor last longer! A kit containing both the bearing and endplate is required. Click the links below:
Whitfield Nylatron Bearing & Endplate
Enviro Nylatron Bearing & Endplate