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Any Harman P68 owners? w/ thoughts

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jsparkz, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    I bought a P68 late last heating season and I'm still trying to get optimal burn set on it. Harman's manual is very vauge on how the controls work and my dealer or should I say ex-dealer :mad: is dumber than a cord of wood with about as much hot air. I live in sw lower michigan so winters are cold. I have a <10yr old house w/ 1300 sq/ on main floor with same in basement. The stove is in the basement. I am currently experimenting with the stove temp setting b/c on room temp the distribution blower will slow or shut off and I hate to not get the heat out of what I'm burning even though the rate of feed is adjusted automatically in a short amount of time. Like I said I'm not convinced this is the setting I want but I wanted to try it. The manual states on stove temp mode that distribution blower will not run at a setting of 5 or less since the stove output would be below 80% this doesn't hold true with my experience and puts the rest of the manual in doubt as to how correctit is. I want a manual from the guy that designed/builds it not the from the secretary or salesman.
    I have read other posts that have very good info in them and would love to get some feedback.
    To me and my $ pinching, wood/coal burning buddy the rate of air blowing through the unit seems to be too much which would be blowing more of my heat out the vent. Our other quandry is the relation of the feed rate control and the room/stove temp control. They seem to be redundant controls since a change in either of them will result in a change of amount of air feed and the length of auger feed. I currently have the feed rate set at 4 and adjust the stove temp dial based on how cold it is. Stove temp is set about 4 on average.
    I am currently averaging two bags a day this winter to heat the house to about 68-70 (bigger flux due to trying stove temp vs. room temp) with no propane use. Does this fit with others use?
    Sorry so long but I want to understand and would love to have the actual control diagram to see what causes what to turn on and off since I'm a electrician. Anyways I'll leave it at this and see what you have to say and go from there any input greatly appreciated.

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  2. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Well, first of all, your stove being in the basement.......if the basement is uninsulated, you are losing a HUGE amount of heat to that big heatsink, the concrete walls. Yes, heat does rise, but only after alot of it is sucked up by the concrete to keep the dirt near your foundation warm......if you have a studded and insulated basement, then youll get more heat upstairs.
    As for settings, Id rather see my customers use the room temp mode, as it allows the stove to better regulate the heat given the setting. It is pretty important as to where the room temp probe actually is....obviously you want it in an area of active air movement, not in a dead spot behind the chair, or next to the side of the stove where its hot, or sitting on the bin, etc.......how about low, near the floor, where the air is colder, and near, say, the combustion fan, which is always on when you have a fire? The feed rate has been a matter of argument here on the net, with some extremists pointing out that to really get the heat cranking, turn up the feed, and set the stove to 90 degrees....who runs their stove at 90 degrees? I suggest, humbly, of course, that you set the feed rate normally between 3 and 4, room temp mode, i dunno, maybe 70 degrees? See what happens. I burn a p68 at the store, my brother burns a p68 at home, I burn a p61 at home. His p68 is in the cellar and he uses ALOT of pellets....mines in my living room, used a little over 2 tons so far this year (sept-now). I use New England Hardwood pellets. I guess I average 1.5-2 bags per day in my 61.
    Its also possible to slow down the combustion fan....potentiometer on the control board, but I would be very leery of doing it without a Magnahelic to check draft. Actually, you can vary slightly the voltage to the comb blower, but not a huge amount really, no more then a few volts.
    I pretty much heat my whole house with mine, about 2000 square feet, two floors, saltbox colonial. Downstairs is about 10 degrees warmer than upstairs, which suits me fine.
    As for an electrical blueprint of how the circuitboard works, Ill doubt youll get one....proprietary and probably patented as well.
  3. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    "The manual states on stove temp mode that distribution blower will not run at a setting of 5 or less since the stove output would be below 80% this doesn’t hold true with my experience and puts the rest of the manual in doubt as to how correctit is. I want a manual from the guy that designed/builds it not the from the secretary or salesman."

    This is clearly listed in owners manual as "Igniter Switch In Manual Stove Temperature Mode". The first sentence under this section states " The advantage of this mode is to allow the operator to have a large viewing fire without blowing extra heat into the room. Thus it gives you the huge X-mas fire during the holidays when all the relatives are over without pushing heat into the room.

    Having the stove set to "Igniter Switch In Auto Stove Temperature Mode" allows the distribution blower to run constant. Running in "Stove Temp" controls BTU output manually by adjusting the setpoint on the control panel. The exhaust sensing probe (ESP)
    controls the feed by maintaining the temperature the "ESP" relays to the circuit board. The only way the heat output will change in "Stove Temp" is to manually adjust the setpoint or if the setpoint is above #5 the stove may hit the "high limit" on the ESP and knock the feed back to allow the exhaust temperature to drop, the stove will resume feeding once the temperature drops below the "high limit" on the ESP.

    I hope this helps, the manual is correct.
  4. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    "Room Temp"

    The feed rate setting on Harman pellet stoves is based on a 60 second cycle. When the stove has a demand for heat based on your “Room Temp” setting of 74* and is 3* below the setpoint the stove will initially run the augar on a 60 second cycle, feed rate of 4 means the augar will run for 40 seconds, idle for 20 seconds. This cycle continues until the temp being registered by the room sensor approaches the temp setpoint on the stove, before the temp over shoots the target setpoint the circuit board over rides the initial feed cycle and starts to maintain the heat output by running the augar only to keep the room temp satisfied, this will vary within the 60 second cycle. When the room temp is satisfied the stove will run the augar approx. 7 seconds every minute to keep fuel in the burnpot. If you are running your stove in “Auto” with self ignition the stove will shutoff when it “CAN NOT” maintain a temp within 3* (77*)of your setpoint. Mostly on warmer days in the spring and fall. Having the feed rate set to low will not allow the stove to bring the room temp up in a reasonable amount of time, thus it will take much longer to achieve a setpoint with a feed rate of 2 because the augar will only cycle fuel for 20 seconds and sit idle for 40 seconds. You can potentially consume more fuel with a low feed rate setting, because you limit the max BTU output of the stove.

    I hope this helps.
    :coolsmile:
  5. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    well put, pelletheat!
  6. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    HARRYBACK
    Thanks for the reply My basement is in the process of being finished. Walls are all insulated and drywalled floor is still bare. I did lower the draft voltage setting which did help but as you said it's only a 10 v adjustment. Really appreciate the info on how much fuel you and brother have used so far. Baring weather differences.... so on it at least lets me know I'm at about the same rate. I'm working on my third ton. I'll have to switch back to room temp and try that again.
    Any input on putting temp probe upstairs with stove down? Manual says 100 ft max extension with 25' being max recommended
    One other point I didn't mention I have cut in a cold air return in ceiling of basement above stove and run my furnace fan all the time. Works great little more electricity but whole house is even temp. No cold rooms for the young kids.

    PELLET HEAT

    Thank you also I see where you got that it says in manual ignitor mode but... on page14 which is P68 automatic ignition/operation it states that " During the operation, with the temp dial set at #5 or less, the distribution fan will not operate. So I stick with my "the manual is wrong :smirk: But regardless I do appreciate the input and if you have any other comments I'm interested to here. As I stated above maybe time to try room temp setting again. How about the thermostat ? above? any thought
  7. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    I'd suggest putting some floor registers in the basement ceiling to allow heat to move to the first floor, keep the door open at the top of the steps to work as natural air return. Remember that all stoves are "space heaters" and dependent on natural air flow thru the house. No heat pump to push air to every room.
    :coolsmile:
  8. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    As I mentioned in above post I have a large cold air return ( which is what the furnace sucks from) in the basement ceing and I run the furnace fan all the time so I have no problem distributing the heat with the help of some electric for the fan. I would rather I could let heat convection and gravity cycle it around but the way the house is setup it wasn't posible.
  9. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    Any input on putting temp probe upstairs with stove down? Manual says 100 ft max extension with 25’ being max recommended

    Distances of more than 25 feet from the unit or in another room are not recommended. Having the room sensor to far from the stove will most likely cause higher fuel consumption, always trying to satisfy the room temperature upstairs may not be the answer.
    But you'll never know if you don't try. I quess it depends on how much warm air is being moved to the upstairs using your current setup.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Have you considered the btu requirement of all the combustion appliances in your basement needs of combustion air? Having a return vent sucking air near the pellet stove does not help removing needed combustion air?., I am really suprised you have not thought this threw Remember all the fire caulking and sealing of you wire holes? Your basement floor is a natural fire containment structure. Suggesting cutting hole in it goes against all efforts of draft stopping and containment. By using you HVAC system to draw air away from your combustion air demanding appliances does two things and neither are healthy If you draw air away one you will have incomplete combustion( wich addes to the carbon monoxide pressense) and two you are risking drawing in Carbon monoxides . By using you HVAC system should you be drawing in poison gasses you are helping distribute them threw out the home. Should you have a fire in the basement you also are providing and express way to spread smoke which is counter to all containment measures one should be taking. If you do not have the free air vollume needed for proper combustion You could also be drawing in exhaust from all feul burning appliances such as a gas hot water heater Or furnace. Very easy to do with gass appliances equiped witha draft hood. If you post your base ment dementions l, w, h, and the imput BTU's of all fuel burmning appliances I will do the math to see if there is a defeciency. then also tell me the measure ment of that return vent you are drawing air from.
  11. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    Not real concerned about the combustion air situtation you described elkimmeg. I have the pellet stove drawing combustion air directly from outside and my mechanical room also has a fresh air supply duct in it and my cold air return system has another fresh air input all per local? state? code.
    You have apoint on the spreading smoke if there is a fire but...any time your furnace is on it would spread the smoke no matter where the cold air returns are.
    Thanks for the thought though.
  12. davemich

    davemich New Member

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    Jsparkz...where in Michigan are you? St Joseph here.
  13. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    Lowell, just east of Grand Rapids.
  14. davemich

    davemich New Member

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    Born and raised in Hudsonville...welcome aboard!
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Actually there are codes that require certain rooms in your house not to have returns, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and code also governs the location of a return in close proximity of a fuel burning appliance. At some point the residential codes will require what comcercial codes do now. Either be equipped with smoke and fire dampers or have the system wired into the smoke alarm system to automatically shut the burner and distribution system down, if the smoke detection system alarms..

    Getting back to your original post. It seems Harman is taking quite a few hits in the Pr and QC departments. So much for that gold warranty plan, when the guy doing the trouble shooting does not know his A** from his Elbow. BTW I wished you had posted it was taking in a direct air feed. Would have saved me some typing. However it would not be the first time this situation existed
  16. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    Thanks davemich

    elkimmeg
    Thats the frusrating thing you call Harman and all you get is you have to talk to the dealer and as far as I can tell the dealer has recieved no training at all. I still think from what I've heard that Harman stoves are good quality but definetly need to work on the customer relations part. On the air returns I understand what you are saying I know my family is happy no air returns in the bathroom...the stove is in a big future recroom type of area and sitting on a 45* angle in a corner the return is about straight in front of it(perpendicular line to face of stove) so 45* angle from corner on the opposite wall so it's probally 15-20' from face of stove.
    It almost seems they are gettting to many controls for the explanations they give you. Redundant. Anyways maybe this weekend I'll try to get the stat upstairs and switch to room temp and see how that goes.
  17. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Dave. Im guessing a bit here. Harman has all of 25 workers. They sold out all their pellet stoves before the end of Oct.
    The next delivery date was to Be Jan. I think with that un anticipated demand, a couple of things happened. They had to vamp up production probably hired more workers, though not skilled to manufacturing Harman stoves. The pellet industry also shares some
    same parts for Coal stoves, caught those supplyersby suprise, supplies got depleted. So substitute suppliers and parts were used. Stoves are rushed to the market. All of the above is not a formular for quality. People spent a lot of money for advertised quality As more disgruntled owners post here. Revealing like you, preformance not up to expectations, Dealer techs lacking, No help from Harman,
    Issues get un resolved. I would be my advice to wait before purchasing a new Harman and monitor how all this plays out. Either that, get your deposit back and purchase another brand that is less problematic. Harman could turn out to be, the best reson for getting a Qudrafire Pellet stove
  18. davemich

    davemich New Member

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    I can vouch for what Elk just commented on as my coal stove dealer just got back from NEPA. He went to pick up 2 stoves at Keystoker. The sent him the wrong stoves and his customers already paid for them in Sept. When he went into the shop, he saw about 200 "shells" of stoves sitting there. They all were waiting for electronics. Their supplier got hit with massive orders and they did not have the parts. I beleive the stove mfgs. get a lot of their parts from the same folks. So Elks premise may be correct.
  19. pelletheat

    pelletheat New Member

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    Elk,
    I never saw 1 post by jsparkz having issue with the quality & performance of the Harman P68, just questions regarding operation. Does it pump out heat?
  20. FireJumper

    FireJumper New Member

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    Getting back to your original post. It seems Harman is taking quite a few hits in the Pr and QC departments. So much for that gold warranty plan, when the guy doing the trouble shooting does not know his A** from his Elbow. BTW I wished you had posted it was taking in a direct air feed. Would have saved me some typing. However it would not be the first time this situation existed[/quote]

    I said it once and I will say it again...Harman has one of the best warranties out their and they do use it. However, if they are not being told that there are specific problems by the dealers "fixing" the unit then how can they put their warranty into action. I think the dealer(s) need to step up and call Harman on the issue at hand and specifically ask Harman if this issue will be under warranty. From what I understand they are not told this by many dealers that are in the field. In fact they don't find out about it until things like this are already in circulation.
    I agree that there are issues with QC but most times your hear of noisy BLOWERS and MOTORS, items that Harman does not Manufacture... I also heard that they are getting hit hard becuase of this. just something for yall to think about.
  21. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Part of the problem is the expectation You bought a BMW only to find it runs like a Hyundai. Bad analogy, Hyundai has the best warranty in the business. People paid more to purchase a Harman, when a Cheap Charlie would still heat the same area for thousands less. They expected more or not to be having issues, issues that go un-resolved and drag on. I understand blower noise. If you bought new house from me. You do not want to hear I hired a poor tile man it’s not my problem. You want a less than acceptable job corrected. Actually it would be negligent of me, not to have discovered the poor tile job first and had it corrected before it was an issue.
    That’s quality control, not letting the consumer find your problems, then have the dealer try to figure them out for you. Quality control begins by buying decent components. testing them out. before you install them and have the consumers complain. Unfortunately this does not happen there is a rush to the market and fixes arrive afterwards Can I say Microsoft
  22. jsparkz

    jsparkz New Member

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    Well Elk has a valid point with the ramping up demand and filliing labor with less skilled and qualified. Maybe just jumped on bandwagon a little to late. But as pelletheat states technically it runs and throws out heat and how do you know if it's operating as efficiently as it could or should when nobody knows what it's potential was when designed. It definetly isn't all the dealer made it out to be unless you have an unlimited supply of free pellets then you could heat a factory with it. But how is one to know when the factory won't talk to you and the dealer(other than being a great salesman) has no actual working knowledge of the product and seems to to just blow you off because he has your money and not the next guy's in his showroom lookin.
    Well I moved the stat upstairs today and switched to room temp. The length is farther than recommended but not over the max 100'. So far the stove seems to either give it all it's got or shuts the fan off one extreme or the other which is why I had originally switched to controlling it with stove temp setting at least it was even heat and distribution blower always ran(regardless of how the manual says it operates). But I'll give it some time and see what happens.

    POUR THE PELLETS TO IT!!!!!! It's only money and the pellets are so readily available.............................
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