Stalled Motor: My Mockmill is humming but no flour is coming out.

How to Avoid a Stalled Motor:

The most common mis-steps people take are to either have grains in the hopper when the Mockmill is off; or to turn on the Mockmill with the adjustment lever too tight.  

Either of these conditions can “stall” the motor.

You know this has happened because when you turn the Mockmill on, the motor does not happily whir as expected. Instead, it just hums.

When this happens, be certain to turn your Mockmill off immediately, and be comforted knowing that this phenomenon is common when you are just getting started.  You’ll see that it’s easy to resolve and avoid in the future.

I’ll explain how to recover from a stalled motor on startup in a moment but first of all, let me explain how this problem can be prevented in the first place.

The Mockmill is designed to start up with virtually no resistance. That means that a) the stones must not be touching, ie. too tightly adjusted, and b) there must not be any food (grains) in the hopper of your Mockmill.

Action steps to avoid stalling:

  1. Ensure you don’t have your Mockmill too tightly adjusted when you start it up. We like to keep ours set on 9, and to move it down to 1 with the motor running. That way we can listen for the very faint ticking of the stones finding first contact, and stop right there for the Mockmill’s finest grind setting. (If you don’t ever hear any light ticking, your Mockmill may not be making the finest flour it can. This is easily corrected; just loosen the adjustment lever, move it back towards 9 a bit, tighten it up, and move it back towards 1 until you hear that faint ticking.
  2. Turn your Mockmill on before loading food into the hopper.
  3. Let your Mockmill finish its work (empty the hopper) before you shut it off. That will ensure that there is no food left between the stones.

How to Resolve a Stalled Motor on Startup

1) First of all, turn the motor off right away! It’s not good for the motor to stay in “stall mode” for more than a few seconds..

2) Next, gently tip your Mockmill with one hand on the bottom of the front, and another hand across the back (do not lift by spout or hopper as this may cause damage or dislocation to these parts), and pour the grains from the hopper into a bowl.

3) Then simply adjust your Mockmill to a coarser setting. Turn the motor on, and if it still hums, go to an even coarser setting. (There is a video you may watch on our website that illustrates how to go beyond the “fine meal” grade you get by simply adjusting your Mockmill to 10. You can continue to a MUCH coarser milling grade than that!) Here is the link:

In the worst case, you may have to open your Mockmill and empty it out. That shouldn’t be necessary as long as you move to a coarse enough setting, allowing the stones to free up and begin rotating again. Remember that if you ever would like to invert your Mockmill while it is open and the stones exposed, put the stator (the top, stationary stone) aside, along with the two small springs that support it. Once your Mockmill is sitting safely again on your countertop, you simply replace those springs (and the stator) before closing your Mockmill up again and getting back to milling.

If your Mockmill stalls while milling:

In rare cases your Mockmill may stall while milling.  In other words, the mill is still on with grain in the hopper but flour stops coming out and the stones stop turning but yet the motor hums audibly.

This only happens when you mill something that is simply too hard for your Mockmill. Our experience with this is limited to milling parboiled rice or adding salt to grains during the milling. Please avoid doing either of these! If this happens to you in any other case, please let us know. We haven’t tried milling everything that can conceivably be milled with our product, so we’re happy to learn!

On a further topic, your Mockmill has an automatic shutoff that activates should the motor ever get too warm. That may happen if you mill for a very long time (longer than 30 minutes, for example.) You will then simply have to wait until the motor has cooled back down, 90-120 minutes.

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