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Accentra Insert Igniter

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by pfmaloney, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. pfmaloney

    pfmaloney Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Southeastern PA
    Well, there goes another igniter!
    This is the fourth igniter that has failed in my Accentra Insert in the two years that I have owned it.
    Unfortunately, this last time, the igniter went out just after the two year electronic warranty expired.
    The new igniters have all been the newer model, which is supposed to have a longer lifespan!!
    The scenario is very consistent. The accentra fuse blows and all power is out. I have never seen blinking error codes at any time. Once it cools, I pull out the unit, replace the fuse and change the Igniter mode to manual. I then manually light the stove and it works flawlessly.
    The tech will come out, inspect the insert and wiring and replace the igniter that is visibly dead.
    In the past, the tech has connected the Harman diagnostic tool and nothing abnormal has ever been detected.

    When the igniter/fuse blew on Sunday, I happened to be in the room at the time. The flame was high and the distibution blower was on full blast and then the blower just stopped.
    That seemed odd so I checked the lights and sure enough they were all off. It didn't seem like the igniter should have been firing at that time.

    I run the insert 24x7 in Room Temp mode on Auto. Since I am pushing the Accentra to the limit (and beyond) by heating our 3000 sq feet home, the Insert never shuts down and cycle back up.
    I clean the Accentra religiously as the loss of efficency is felt rather quickly due to the square footage that we are asking it to heat.
    My normal 1-2 week cleaning inlcudes cleaning the heat exchangers as well as the clean out chamber under the burnpot.
    After the first igniter failed, we installed a separate dedicated circuit/outlet for the insert. I am using a Belkin MasterCube surge protector that was recommended on this forum.
    Whenever the igniter has failed and the fuse has blown, the surge protector has remained on with the green lights.

    I did a rather full cleaning last Thursday, which included cleaning the exhaust and combustion fans as well as the ESP probe.
    I called my dealer yesterday and they said they would contact Harman about this ongoing issue.
    I am waiting to hear back from them before I proceed.
    Have any of you with Harman experience ever witnessed a similar igniter issue?

    Aside from the igniter, there have been absolutely no other issues with the accentra, which makes it more confusing.
    Is it possible that the igniter is firing when it shouldn't be and that it is just wearing out?
    thank you for looking,
    ..Pat

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
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    5,285
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    If you're running 24/7, why not switch to stove temp manual? Once she's fired, it'll never go out - unless you run the hopper empty - so it'll never call for the igniter to fire. Leave the blower on high & leave the feed at 3-4. Leave the temp knob wherever it does you right... My P61A runs 24/7, & during this time of year, the only time it's on room temp is when we're not home. Running in stove temp will also get you a more even heat. No off time til the thermister tells it to fire.
  3. pfmaloney

    pfmaloney Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southeastern PA
    I've been happy with the consistent room temperature that room temp mode delivers. While in Room Temp mode, my accentra has never turned off and then fired up again. Maybe that's another symptom to the problem.
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I think you're on to something:
    I'm wondering if the stove is keeping the ignitor on all the time, hence the high burnout rate. A bad triac or control board would be suspect. Can you attach a meter or test light to the ignitor leads and observe the voltage while the stove runs?
  5. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Fire may not go out completely but igniter still will come on. I've seen it. One way to test it too see for yourself is turn the temp dial down real low. Let it burn down a ways then before the embers are gone turn the temp dial back up and watch the igniter light on the control board.
  6. pfmaloney

    pfmaloney Member

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    Southeastern PA
    Unfortunately, I can't test the igniter at the moment since it's fried. If the triac or control board were suspect, would that be detected by the diagnostic tool? The first time the igniter broke down, the tech ran the diagnostic tool and all was well.
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I am guessing the diagnostic tool doesn't check for a shorted triac, but it could.

    You probably don't need a good ignitor to look for voltage on its wires. A shorted triac would still put voltage on the wires, although a merely leaky triac could do the same but not damage the ignitor.

    One thing I would do is to connect the meter to the leads, then plug the stove in. If the triac is shorted, it will probably put voltage on the wires immediately (but there may be other factors).
  8. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

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    W Michigan
    DT only says whether igniter is on or off which is what the status light does... Maybe they would tell different stories...
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Or maybe it just tells if the controller is asking for the ignitor, not whether the ignitor is getting power through a fault.

    What would be more useful (but more expensive to manufacture) is a 110 volt light across the ignitor to indicate what's really going on.
  10. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    I subscribe to the igniter "on all the time" theory. If your not comfortable probing around with a volt meter tell your tech. Maybe he can work out with Harman that the control board failed while under warranty.
  11. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

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    Room temp manual. I use the igniter once a month when I shut it down for cleaning.
  12. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    That may not help - if the triac is shorted, or there's a board fault, the igniter may stay on no matter what. That's my theory, at least, to explain the very short lifespans.
  13. pfmaloney

    pfmaloney Member

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    Loc:
    Southeastern PA
    Thank you for the replies. I will bring this up with my dealer.

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