E5 error code on a pellet heater can be caused by a few factors and has to do with airflow and sufficient vacuum on the burn chamber. First, there may be something wrong with the vacuum switch or door on your pellet heater. A faulty door gasket, blocked or faulty vacuum switch means negative pressure in the burn chamber may not be sufficient or can’t be detected. The other cause for this error is due to excessive ash build up inside the pellet heater. Ash build up is usually the most common cause for an E5 error code on pellet heaters and is very easy to fix.
What to Do if You Experience E5 Error Code
If you encounter an E5 error on your pellet heater, wait until the heater has switched off and shut down completely. First, you need to clear the error code. Hold down the thumbs up button until the heater beeps and the error is no longer displayed on the screen. If this fails then switch the heater off and back on again at the wall. With the error cleared you can restart the pellet heater but there’s a chance you’ll encounter the error again unless you troubleshoot and fix what caused it.
Excessive Ash Build Up in Pellet Heater and Flue
The primary cause of E5 error on most pellet heaters is ash. Pellet heaters need to be deep cleaned once a year to remove ash build up inside the heater. The side panels and ports have to be removed to access exhaust ports and clean out areas deep inside the pellet heater. You may also notice the ports in the burn chamber at the very top have ash building up inside of them. If you aren’t comfortable opening up and deep cleaning your pellet heater then it is best to contact your pellet heater retailer and schedule a service. Also check and clean any ash out of your flue. Ash builds up in flues and will also restrict airflow.
Blocked Vacuum Hose or Faulty Vacuum Switch
The second most likely cause for E5 error is a blocked vacuum hose or a faulty vacuum switch. The vacuum switch in pellet heaters makes sure there is negative pressure in the burn chamber. Negative pressure in the burn chamber means air is being sucked out of it through the exhaust and isn’t leaking into the room the heater is in. There is a tube that connects the burn chamber to the vacuum switch which can sometimes become blocked with ash. Simply remove the tube from the vacuum switch and blow into it. This will help clear any ash build up inside. If this doesn’t fix the error, the vacuum switch could be faulty and may need replacing.
Door Gasket Damaged
Another possible cause of E5 error is a damaged or worn door gasket. The door gasket is the “rope” that goes around the edges of the glass door. When closed, this gasket provides a vacuum seal so air cannot escape from the burn chamber into the room it is in. Over time door gaskets wear out and can become damaged. If damaged the seal may not be tight enough, which will trigger an E5 error as the vacuum switch can’t detect negative pressure in the burn chamber. Check the door gasket looking for damage. If damaged then you will need to replace it. If you aren’t comfortable doing this book your pellet heater in for a service with your retailer.
Door Not Closed
Finally, if the door on your pellet heater isn’t closed then this will trigger an E5 error warning. With the door open the vacuum switch is unable to detect if there is negative pressure in the burn chamber. Make sure the door is closed and handle is pushed all the way in until it won’t go any further, ensuring a tight seal. If this doesn’t fix the problem then there is a chance the door gasket is damaged and made need to be replaced. If the door gasket looks fine, then check to see if there is any excessive ash build up in your pellet heater and give it a deep clean or book it in for a service.
E5 Error Code Summary
An E5 error is typically caused by ash build up in a pellet heater, a damaged door gasket or faulty vacuum switch. If after trying the above you are still experiencing the error, please book your pellet heater in for a service. Remember to get your pellet heater deep cleaned once a year either by yourself or a retailer. Pellet heaters burn much cleaner than wood heaters but ash still builds up inside the pellet heater and the flue. This needs to be removed at least once a year to ensure your heater burns efficiently. If you burn a lot of pellets you may need to deep clean more than once a year.
If you’d like to learn more about what parts may need to be replaced in a pellet heater besides the door gasket and vacuum switch listed here, check out the pellet heater reliability post.
The PFTas pellet heater manual will provide some brief and basic information about Error codes.