1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Another wierd experience today with my Harman XXV !! Unreliable pellets, or what ?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by newpelletstove, Mar 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Today, my stove quit again. It turned out there were no pellets in the burnpot, depsite a full hopper. Apparently the pellets in the hopper had bridged over the feed screw. So I stuck my clean-out tool down into the hopper, apparently breaking up the bridge, because then I could start the stove.

    Wow this is getting unreliable. Is it because I switched to Sparkman (Walmart) pellets ? They are longer than Energex. I want to be able to depend on my stove !!

    I found that to have oil back-up, my furnace will need to use about 1/4 gallon a day of oil to keep warm and not let acid build up and eat the seals. This is 91 gallons of oil a year, for about $365 a year if oil is $4 a gallon. Burning that oil just to preserve the seals in the furnace, so I can use it as a back-up, would eat a lot into the savings I want from using pellets.

    Any thoughts ?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    I started having problems about 5 days ago when it began warming up quickly during the day. Stove runs nice all night but keeps burning the pot dry during the daytime. These are the same ones I have used all winter so its not the pellets. I guess its the weather doing it. My stove being multifuel perhaps doesn't shine in either mode and keeps burning the pot dry. You might try watching the stove to see if its really bridging or just doing what mine is doing burning them faster than they replenish and tripping the low heat sensor. If thats the case you might try spoiling the draft some by leaving a clean out slide pulled sightly out if you have em or pushing in your draft lever. If you decide to change your controller settings make sure to make up a card and record the original settings so you can put them back later.
  3. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Thank you, Driz. My feed screw had indeed gone dry, because after the stove shut down, I got the screw to turn, but there were no pellets coming out - I could just see the screw turning by itself. After I stuck the tool down in and wiggled it around, the next time the screw turned it had pellets in it.

    Wow if it's the weather that's scary. I don't want that kind of unreliability. I live not terribly far from you, and we've had the same warm-ups you have.
  4. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    make sure when you add pellets to the hopper you resist the urge to push the pellets down into the hopper.....
    you can spread them around but don't push down, this compaction aids in the hopper bridging..
  5. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Wow thanks GVA - I probably did do a little bit of unintentional pushing down. A good point.

    I started burning the Energex again last night, and the stove is running like a champ.

    A question I have for you pros - in order to keep my Harman XXV running reliably (no surprise shut-downs or failures to automatically restart), do I have to burn Energex pellets for the rest of my life ?

    A local friend burned pellets from Lowe's all winter (Green Team and then I think Clean Energy), and they burned well except for one week with the Clean Energy it kept shutting down. I need pellets that will run reliably when no one is home. Is Energex the only way to go ?
  6. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    I have never burned energex so I would say no. I have found that the length can vary from one bag to the next.

    Good luck

    BIH
  7. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Thanks BIH - does your stove shut down unexpectedly at times, or fail to auto-re-light when it should ? Is shutting down a part of having a pellet stove, or can it be avoided ?
  8. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Southeastern Mass
    Depends on the stove and the situation. If it's warm out on a given day, my P-68 will turn off for a period until the temp requires it to automatically turn back on.
  9. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Hello Patriot,

    I did not intend to ask if the stove shuts off for warm times and automatically turns back on later (which is a normal thing). I was still referring to the previous question, "does your stove shut down UNEXPECTEDLY at times, or FAIL to auto-re-light when it should ?" In other words, I want to know if it is possible, with the right pellets, etc, to have reliable operation, with out these kinds of failures ?
  10. Philip

    Philip New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    114
    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    While I only used my Empress for three months before running out of pellets, it never shut down when I didn't want it to except for the one time we had a power outage. I burned Somerset pellets and was very pleased with them.
  11. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Thanks Philip for the feedback. I am hearing that others also run without shutting down.
  12. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Southeastern Mass
    My mistake. Wasn't sure what "unexpectedly" meant. Some may not realize that the stove does turn off occasionally.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page