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Accentra smoke in hopper update

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Trying To Keep Warm, Dec 30, 2007.

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  1. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

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    My Accentra (freestanding model) is burning fine now. Earlier postings of feed/start up/flashing light problems seem to go back to the combustion motor. It was plugged enough with soot and ash to prevent it from starting. No combustion motor -- no feed -- no ignition, etc.

    But I still have some smoke in the hopper when the hopper is getting low. I've checked with two dealers about this and both have told me about a Harman factory authorized modification that should be done. It involves drilling a .25" hole in the feeder body housing. The slide plate cover is removed and the hole is drilled into the wall next to the auger. This is to fix some sort of backdraft/pressure problem. I quickly saw the service fax that Harman sent to the dealers regarding this fix. It should slow down pellet resin build up on the slide plate.

    New Accentras come through with this modification. If there is a number 2 engraved on the back of the feeder housing the stove is all set. My stove is a year old and does not have that number or the fix.

    Also, the outside air is contributing somewhat to the problem. The very cold outside air may condense and be part of the problem -- really not sure about that.

    So both dealers have techs to do the job -- depends which one is availble the earliest after the Holiday. And it's under the Warranty.

    Any one hear about this Harman mod?

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  2. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    good to hear it's working.
    yes I've heard of the mod but your stove being so new I would have thought it had been done..
    It should STOP resin build up on the slide plate this is not normal.
  3. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

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    I think reference to resin build up on the slide plate is also mentioned in the service bulletin fax as well as the detailed "hole drilling" info. My stove was purchased new last Fall but I don't know when it was built. Could have been in a warehouse for a while.

    Although it does have the additional five small rear holes in the burn pot which makes it newer production. I remember seeing a Harmon sheet about those five holes a year ago. Dealer said they help prevent excessive carbon build up in burn bot.
  4. John H

    John H Member

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    Does anyone have a copy of this technical bulletin?
    I would like to read it.

    Thanks John
  5. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    Suffice it to say that the information you have recieved from your dealer(s) is correct. My only addition is that you need to get this mod done ASAP, as it is a good thing to catch it early, as cleaning the feeder later is very involved. The mod works beautifully and makes the stove burn even better. Actually, there is no "technical bulletin." Some dealers have been given instructions about this but it does not have the status of a TB.

    SMK
  6. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    How can one tell if this mod has been done?

    I got my Accentra this fall but it was made in '06.
  7. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    Does this modification apply to all Harman stoves or just your model, Where is the date to see when the stove was made?
  8. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    The month and year the stove was built should be "punched" out on a plate on the
    back of the stove.
  9. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    I see the plate with model, serial #, UL listings and test dates but no Manufacture date.Am I looking at the right area,
  10. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like the right spot. On my stove, the bottom left of that plate
    shows the date stamps.
  11. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    On my advance, there is a plate top right, looking at the back of the stove, the only number stamped is the serial #, everything else is printed, is the test date the same as the manufacture dates?
  12. rayers2

    rayers2 New Member

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    After 1 1/2 years I started getting smoke in my hopper like many others here in my Harman P38.I am using outside air and a thermostat. I let it go for a while and was seeing a residue on the slide plate in the hopper. I kept cleaning it up and did a total clean of the stove to no avail. Finally the stove refused to feed pellets and was clunking at times like there was a jammed pellet or something jammed in the feed area of the stove --
    Cleaned the stove and saw nothing jammed. I called my dealer Ace Swim and leisure and they sent a tech the next day. He pulled the auger on the stove and said the stove was history and needed replacement. He showed me the auger and said that the ash should go no farther than the second ring on the auger and mine went all the way to the back of the auger. He said that there were problems with some of the harmans. The tech said that he a had a stove in stock but had to get Harman approval for the replacement and modification. I questioned him on the modification. He told me that they had to send the new stove to a machine shop and modify the burn pot and pressure relief chamber tube. I thought this was odd that Harman had an issue and the new stoves were not corrected. I finally got the stove and they had drilled 10 extra holes at the bottom of the burn pot and drilled 2 holes in the back of the stove and ran a piece of hose from one hole to the other by the feeder assembly So far no problems with the stove and no smoke in hopper. The tech also said that outside air was not the cause of this. I guess I was lucky to get a tech that knew the issue. He said that my stove is the 3rd one to get this mod no problems with the others. I noticed that the window on this stove was getting dirty real fast tan residue and the flame seemed a little lazy so I increased the draft just a tad and glass is staying clean now and have a good active flame. I'll keep you updated if any problems arise with the mod but is looking real good so far...
  13. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    How would I know if my Advance had the modifications done I purchased the stove in the summer, On the back panel it is stamped Advance 2, I got some smoke in the hopper 2 or 3 times sinse I started using it, The dealer said it was the OAK, If I disconnected it that would solve my problem. does any one have this modification in writing from Harman that I could get a copy of, I would love the go there in person and presented to them, and see what they have to say, they are already hinting that you are out of my territory for servicing, Never told me that when I forked over my $$$ at time of purchase, But I will deal with that when the time comes!!!!!
  14. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

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    I'm not familiar with the Advance stove, just the Accentra. Dealer only told me that if there is not a number 2 on the feeder body the stove needs the mod. He showed me the sheet from Harman with instructions about this. He had no problems showing me the sheets. If I had asked for a copy he probably would have given me one. I won't attempt anything myself -- this is Harman's fix.

    It would be nice if the dealer had notified me about this since I'm registered with them. Would save a lot of phone calls. Sort of like a auto recall notice. Guess they wait until there is a complaint.

    My Accentra (freestanding) serial number is 21665.
  15. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the fast reply, Serial # is 0124925, It says Advance 2 on the back plate above Serial number, still can't find the Manufacture date, other then that issue with the smoke in the hopper, stove is working, keeping the house warm, gas use for Nov. $60.00 Dec .$80.00, I am sure Con Ed. will send someone here in January to check things out, They did the same to my Father in law when he ran his wood stove.
  16. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I believe the date is coded into the serial # though not sure I'll let SMK field this. Also I believe the problem is only on the older Accentra again SMK will probably clarify...
  17. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks GVA, you have a Advance do you see the manufacture date on the back panel?
  18. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    You won't see the mods on new stoves until sometime this year (2008). Advance and Accentra FS are the stoves that are most likely to need this mod. I have seen a positive correlation between outside air and this problem, but not always.

    Put it this way: If you see smoke in the hopeer, the stove has not been modified. Call your dealer ASAP and have them contact Harman ASAP.

    BTW, I (and several others) have succussfully cleaned stoves that had this problem and returned them to service. One important factor is this: catch them early and they are easier to clean. We have caught them fairly far along, done the mod and the pellets did the cleaning.

    SMK
  19. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    SMK, when you say clean your stove are you talking general maint. cleaning, because the only thing that I haven't cleaned is the inside the housing were the auger spins, once a week I give the stove a thorough cleaning with everything scraped clean. Also are you a authorized Harman dealer,and have you seen this bulletin from Harman about the Mod.
  20. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    "Cleaning" in this case refers to the internal cleaning of the feeder, which is beyond the scope of most end users.

    From what you have said, you are doing everything exactly right and that is great. This particular problem has nothing to do with normal routine maintenance.

    Yes, I have seen the drawings for the mods, but they have never been formalized into anything that has been issued to the dealers.

    The way Harman is handling this is on a case-by-case basis, therefore you need to call your dealer and tell them exactly what is going on and that you need an answer from Harman through them ASAP.
  21. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    OK, I got it, I will call and present the info I have recieved about this topic, I will keep everyone posted.

    Happy New Years!!!!!
  22. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

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    My Accentra freestanding has a plate on the back -- says date to manufacture: Sept. 06.

    Hope dealer does not give me a hard time.

    Shouldn't they pull the auger before any mods are done to see the extent of build up?
  23. rayers2

    rayers2 New Member

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    That is the first thing that the tech did when he looked at my P38. He just pulled the auger and said that the stove needs to be replaced. Another issue that he mentioned is that Harman has changed Manufacturers of the auger motor on the P38 and they are real noisy. He could not quiet it down had a bad vibration to it. He tried 2 auger motors and swore a few times cursing Harman. Then he replaced everything the auger and bushings cam the whole works. Was quiet for a day then started again. In the meantime he sent me a bill for $27.00 for a trip charge because he could not figure it out the 1st time. I really was getting steamed now and called him back and refused to pay the trip charge due to the fact that if he fixed it right the 1st time he would not have had to come back. I asked for the manager and explained what had happened
    He said to pay the trip charge or he would not service the stove again. I told him to stick his service and called Harman and explained what had happened they gave me some more dealers in my area and were not to happy with Ace Swim and Leisure. I finally decided to dig into it myself and found that the auger motor only has 1 physical mount and that is the coupler to the auger then the other side of the auger mount is just a shaft that slides into a O-Ring very poor mounting design. The bearing in the auger motor and gearbox is a little out of spec and caused a vibration of the auger motor assembly. The fix was to shim the back of the gearbox with a chunk of silicone like a block which took the slop out of the assembly and you can't even hear the auger motor run now. I am shocked that the tech could not figure that one out all he had to do was grab the auger motor and pull on it a little and the noise would stop. If Harmon is not going to watch the QC on the auger motors they will have a lot of unhappy customers out there. I also did this mod to my Dads P38 and his is finally quiet also. If they are going to continue using the crappy auger motors they should have another mount from the back of the gearbox to the back of the stove to eliminate all the play in the assembly. Well enough on the rant, Over all Harman has a good product but they need to have the engineers take a closer look at things.
  24. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    Do you still have the number that you called for Harman? I would like to call them and ask them about the mod. before I speak to the dealer.
  25. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

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    I don't think that last number question post was directed to me but I sure wish I could talk to Harman first. All my conversations have been with the dealer. I'll be on the phone with them again first thing tomorrow.

    If they do clean the auger and do the mod and say all is OK how does one be sure that the stove is safe and corrected 100%? I can't then bring up the replacement issue can I?

    Stay tuned!
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