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Does anyone know how to contact harman stoves directly??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lime4x4, Dec 22, 2005.

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  1. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    Starting to have issus with my new magnum stoker and the dealer is just avoiding me know..Thought the stove was working pretty good till it got really cold out now it's nothing but headaches.First i have 1500 square feet of spcae to heat.Basement,1st floor and 2nd floor.originaly installed the harman in the basment after running the stove on high for 4 days straight the basement was cold with no heat going upstairs.Was told to move the stove to the first floor.Did that seemed to be working oki then it got cold very little heat output from the stove unless you were within 5 feet of it.Now for some more back ground on the house.It's 1500 square feet half a double.One side is totaly protected from the elements plus it's heated.So i was told that drastically lowers the btu's required to heat my house.first year in the house we used hot water radiators with a natural gas boiler.There was single radiator in each room.Even during the coldest months i could easily heat the house to 80 degrees with no heat in the basement also no insulation either.Second year installed a 30K btu pellet stove on the first floor.Turned the water off to the first floor radiators and moved the thermostat for the boiler to the second floor. Boiler hardly kicked in during the winter.Thrid year i gutted the first floor and insualted it.Ran the pellet stove but this time the natural gas boiler only kicked in maybe 5 times the whole heating season still no heat in the basement.4th year pellet stove kicked the bucket used only gas boiler Major mistake...This year i installed an efel handfired coal stove in the basement.it would heat the basement to 95 degrees in a few hours.first floor 50 degress the 2nd floor 75 degrees all the heat was going right up the staircase to the 2nd floor.Got tired of finding ways to get heat on the first floor not to mention tending to the fire every of hours gets old real quick.bought this harman magnum stoker that is rated at 85K output btu and the damn thing can't even heat a 12 by 16 room.this is no lie the other night it dipped into the single digits came downstairs the thermosat said 45 degrees the stove which is 10 feet away said 550 degrees..What gives??Also when the dealer tech came he checked my draft with his gauge it showed 10 the specs on the stove call for .04 He has the barometric dampner fully open to obtain .04 then he checked the fire box well he ended up practicly closeing the combustion fan restrictor plate almost all the way to obtain .04 in the fire box when it's set to there specs the stove burns like crap.temp goes no higher then 350 to 450 plus i have to turn the feed rate all the way down to 1 dot. By the way 1 dot= low burn 2 dots= med burn and 3 dots=high burn. So basically the best this stove will ever run when set to there specs is a low burn.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    All the time we all tried to help you the money spent for the insulation, stoves and the only thing I can think of is to say this really sucks. Sorry Craig the only way to explain it. Anybody at Harman monitoring this forum better get ear plugs, because a whole lot of bad PR is comming your way. My suggestion to Harman, is find a way to get this straighten out. I will research and get you a direct tell number in to there. All others are welcome to beat me to the punch.
  3. kzad

    kzad Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Killingly, CT
    I'm sure you've noticed, Harman does not list a number anywhere for you to call them direct. I got their number in Pennsylvania by using an online phone book. When I called, I spoke with a very nice young lady who explained they were just a manufacturing facility, that all customer service was handled through the dealers. There was absolutely no-one there in any position of authority that I could speak to. The best I could do was leave my name and problem, she would contact a tech rep, and the tech rep would contact my dealer. I asked if I could speak to the tech rep myself, she said no. She also said they were extremely busy......I asked if that was because they were having a lot of problems with the stoves, she said yes, I asked if she was getting a lot of calls like mine, again she said yes. It sounds to me like they are having quality control issues, probably due to ramped up production to meet the high demand.

    As far as your settings, I can tell you that when I set my stove (advance) up the way my dealer recommended, I had low heat output and high pellet usage. Through advice on this forum and just playing around with the settings I now have it set up much better.

    The three numbers that I found for Harman stoves are
    (717) 362-9080
    (717) 896-8077
    (717) 896-3145

    Good luck.....
  4. bruce

    bruce Member

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    i would find a way to report that dealer, its hard to get good help, dont just blow it off,,
    thats why i picked a dealer 50 miles from home
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Harman is not a client of mine, so I take no offense. But one of my good friends is a GREAT Harman Rep.

    What you have to do is simply ask the factory or dealer who your rep is. Harman pays the reps very well and they are constantly handling such situations.

    Like it or not, most companies in the hearth industry have few, if any, customer service people in-house....and if they do, you can bet these folks are on the phone with dealers most of the time.

    Not to make excuses...surely they might be able to hire more people - and also raise the price of the stoves!

    Customer service in this industry has never made it to the international standard of always having someone to take to whenever you want. I have complained about it internally for years. I don't think it will change much except for perhaps here when certain makers check into the board, etc.
  6. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    Well i guess i'm screwed..Harman rep just called was told that basically they ain't going to do anything and it's up to the selling dealer to take care of it...The dealer said they will take the stove back but charge me a restocking fee of 400.00 bucks..Oh and the rep is basically saying it's my house that is causing the problem...poor insualtion and if i have to many windows and he ain't coming out to look at it either
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Say what??? a re stocking fee for a malfunctioning coal stove?? I am hearing that correctly??? $400
    and this is from a company, that claims it is the best in the business best warrantee.
    I'm glad you posted this to open up some eyes, so much for standing behind their product.
    Makes me want to run out and over pay for a Harman? I am sure your stove is not the only one currently having problems
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hate to say it, but it does not sound like the stove is the problem.....
    We have to go back to square one.....

    one pound of coal = 14,000 BTU.
    Considering efficiency of 70%, that means about 10,000 (rough) BTU into living space for each pound.

    So, how much coal are you burning? If you are using, for instance:
    50 pounds in 24 hours = 20,000 BTU's an hour (size of a kerosene heater)
    75 pounds in 24 hours = 30,000 BTU's per hour - Pretty decent amount of heat!

    So report to us how much coal you are going through....

    Obviously, Harman can do nothing about your house, heat loss or "perceptions" of heat. They can only make certain the stove is working correctly.

    The heat from hard coal has to go one of two places: Either into the home or up the chimney. That's the options, since it is almost impossible to burn hard coal improperly (it is pure carbon, as opposed to a lot of gases).

    So, in my opinion, two things matter:
    1. The amount of coal you are using
    2. The chimney draft - it sounds to me as it you have an overdraft. Even with the baro.
    If possible, use a turn damper in the pipe between the stove and the baro to throttle down the chimney. In the old days, they simply dropped a big rock into the elbo!....

    So, work with it for while. Forget about the other stoves and let's attack this problem from a common sense viewpoint. There is no magic. A coal stove is basically a box - that leaves the chimney and the amount of fuel as the largest variables.
  9. kzad

    kzad Member

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    Knowing what I know now, I would never have bought a Harman. The warranty is only as good as your selling dealer, you will get no help from the company. It's a shame, I personally think they have the best features of any stove out there, but if you have a problem with either the stove or your dealer you're on your own. I've been telling everyone to avoid Harman for that reason.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, Elk, don't jump the gun! Do you know the stove is malfunctioning? or could there be other problems?
    See my post above.

    I'm the first one to say they should take it back if something falls off of it or it has a number of mechanical defects, but none of this seems to be the case.
    As it stands (at this very moment), I think they are reasonable to take it back at all considering that the problem is most likely not the stove.

    Let's see the reports on amount of coal used, and what happens if the chimney is tamed.

    With all the talk here about chimney lining and great draft, we sometimes forget that great draft has it's own set of problems, including shorter life of the stove, more heat up the chimney, etc. etc.

    Consider how much heated room air that baro is sucking up the flue! Now consider that the house is sucking in VERY cold air to replace that air!
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Out of about 4,000 dealers in the US, I would be pushing it to say that 250 are of the quality that you might be seeking. So life is a compromise, sometimes you just have to grin and bear it!

    In this case, taking the draft test and changing the baro were the right moves. Not making excuses for the dealers, but they are deluged at this time of year and since many of these problems work themselves out, you can't expect a dealer to drop everything for each customer that has startup issues.

    You can find good and bad dealers for all products. You can find good and bad customers for all products (although I do agree that the customer is always right....perhaps they just need a little TLC and some answers.).....

    Craig
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Lime, I'm hoping you're not screwed. I thought that my Jotul was jinxed, factory defective too. We were approaching replacement, restocking fees etc. What finally solved the problem was patience and observation.

    Do you have a magnetic stove thermometer? If not, pick one up at the local hardware store together with a butterfly damper for the stack. Measure the stack temperature and make note of this. I agree with Craig, it sounds like the stove is over-drafted and most of the btu's are going up the chimney. Install the butterfly damper between the chimney and the baro damper. (Don't use a rock, they can explode if there's trapped water in them.) Start with the butfly. dmpr half-closed and keep working with it more closed, until you can run the stove safely above the #1 setting. Keep measuring the stack temp above and below the butfly dmpr. Hopefully, you will find a point where the stove can be run at a normal, medium setting. Then, I suspect, you'll find the temp above the damper significantly lower than before the damper was installed.
  13. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    criag i do hear what your saying but alot is perception.Example my old handfired efel was in the basement after 1 to 2 hours of running the basement was 95 to 100 degrees 130 to 140 in the ceiling joists.installed the harman in the exact same spot after 4 days of running non stop on high the basement barley reached 65 degrees.perception #2 ran a 30K btu pellet stove on the first floor last year kept the first floor at 70 to 75 all winter long. Moved harman to the first floor most days can barley make it 65 degrees and that's running non stop.Nothing has changed house wise since last year.Stove setup to harmans draft specs.Lower heat output and now have to set feed rate to lowest setting if not it pushes burning coal over grates harman can't explain why that's happening.flue temp about a foot off top of stove is 177 degrees..i can try installing a manual dampner and c what happens to get the flue temp even down lower but how low should i go with the temp? Still doesn't explain why the stove can't satisify the thermostat which is only 10 feet away.Also according to harman as long as the stove hits 500 degrees it's working properly well a propane torch flame is over 500 degrees but it's not putting out btu's neither..
  14. wenchris

    wenchris New Member

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    Ok, I've been following Limes problems from the get-go. My Harmon Magnum Stoker is in route from Harmon(according to the dealer) Expect it any day. Problem- I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Did I pick the right stove???? The wife liked this stove the best, I am away from home for 24 hrs at a time, so it had to be wifeproof. This is why I went with a stoker. Is there anyone on this forum that has said stove? Are you happy with it? Come-on, don't be shy, tell me your opinion. On the review pages the three that reviewed said stove were generally happy with it.(they seem to be older models 1998-2001) PLEASE tell me I did'nt make a $3000 mistake!!!!!!
    Thanks Jimmy & MERRY CHRISTMAS(happy holidays)
  15. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    I'm starting to think it might be just draft issue if i'm at 10 with a draft meter in the afternoon it could be way higher yet at night time when it gets colder and chimney drafts even better.The tech has the baro open all the way just to obtain .04 if the chimney really starts to draft late at night the baro isn't gonna compensate anymore cause it's already open and since it's already fully open it's probably gonna really suck all the heat out of the room..Might've have to talk to the dealer and c if they will atleast allow me to return the stove and get a direct vent model instead..
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Still have not heard the amount of coal you are using in lbs per hour. That should tell us a lot.

    There is one other issue and that is the exact coal and it's size. You opened up a new can of worms when you said the coal is coming over the pot unburnt.

    The problem here is that you have to explore this whole thing and then come to a conclusion as to where the problem(s) lie. I know from experience that, as a dealer, it is difficult listening to the "my last stove heated the whole house" stories. Does anyone want to look up the temps last year? Were they the same? 50 pounds of coal burning at one time in your hand-fired are ALWAYS going to ace 3 lbs burning in the stoker.

    The draft may be an issue somewhat, but I suspect multiple issues. If a turn damper does not help greatly, then we have to explore the coal going over the pot unburned. This should be looked at as follows:

    1. Is coal OK? (let's assume yes)...but you could always get a bag or two from dealer of known source, different size, etc.
    2. How much coal can you burn per hour without it tumbling over the grate?
    THIS IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS....
    Let's say you cannot burn more than 3 lbs per hour without this happening. If so, you can go to Harman and say:
    "OK, the stove cannot even accept 42,000 BTU input - why?" or a similar question.
    Coal in = heat out (to a large degree).

    As far as surface temp, heat is a function of the SIZE of surface that is at a certain temp, plus the radiant heat through the glass and hot air out any heat exchangers.

    So, my suggestion is to weigh the coal - even crudely by the bucket and see how much it burns...and how much it can burn before dumping fresh coal.
  17. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    yes i will weigh the coal to get an idea how much btu it is making.I never had a problem till the tech adjusted the restrictor plate on the air intake of the combustion motor to meet harmans spec for the draft.I moved the restrictor plate back to where i had it and it will burn at a high rate 3dots with no hot coals going over the grates. And i'm burning rice coal by the way.The manaul says rice or buckwheat.But if u use buckwheat to increase the draft to .06.Also they claim if burning at a constant max btu of 85K 100lbs of coal will last 17 hours
  18. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    well installing a manual dampner is a no go.if i don't keep it always wide open i get coal gas in the house and the co2 detectors go crazy.I beleive the gas is coming from either the hopper or from around the front glass.The front glass uses a gasket only on the sides not the top or bottom
  19. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    ok i have it pushing out around 550 degrees.hot coals aren't falling off the edge of the grates.Just finished off filling the hopper 100lbs i'm gonna let it run full bore till the hopper is empty
  20. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    hey nice remodel job on the house I like your Craftsman compouns miter saw Does it tilt to both sides is it laser? Also nice dog and I like your man made pond
    I made my own platform extention. I have a Makita LS1212 12" dual direction compound slide miter. Is that t&g 6" pine on your walls?
  21. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    yes it tilts to either side and it's laser guided.It's tongue and groove center bead board..the whole house is a work in progress.tomorrow installing more insulation in the attic.beleive it or not that pond holds just over 700 gallons of water..are female is expecting puppies..Just what i needed more dogs....lol..But it's all good
  22. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    after this 100lbs of rice coal is burnt i'm gonna try buckwheat since my chimney drafts really well probably to well for this stove.Since buckwheat is bigger i could probably slow the feed rate way down and still get the same temps and the manual says to increase the draft for buckwheat..Also might end up running 2 stoves due to the layout of the house.might end up putting one in the kitchen/dining room to help even out the heat flow.no matter what i do the kitchen/living is 25 to 30 degrees cooler then the rest of the house..Right now i have the living room at 80 but then again it's only 30 degrees outside.
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Being as it is a stoker and forced draft, perhaps the turn damper was not a good idea....

    BUT, it would seem that the restrictor plate on the input that you spoke about would do the same thing!
    It would seem that a stoker properly tuned on the input would be almost able to completely control the chimney with only a small need for the baro...since the sytem is basically a closed one.

    It would seem a matter of tuning all the ins and outs to match...

    Will await the amount of coal burned...that will say a lot.
  24. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    not really a coal stove guru, but I will toss out my thought based on what i know about wood and if it's wrong feel free to correct me.

    You seem to have no problem establishing a good draft on the meter. You reported an initial draft of "10" (maybe .10?) and closing down a restrictor to get to .04. It seems to me that the term "draft" in this instance is somewhat misleading. I believe what you are measuring is really the static pressure (or vacuum) of the firebox relative to the outside (room) air. IE - 0.04 inches of water vacuum inside the firebox.

    There would seem to be two ways to achieve this, either open up the forced draft fan so it can pull more air, or restrict the inlet air. If you think about the worst case with the stove being totally sealed, the draft fan would still be able to pull the .04 inches of vacuum, but no air would be flowing and no coal would be burning. This is why I feel the term draft is somewhat misleading...you arent really measuring the air flow to support combustion, you are measuring the pressure difference and hope that equates to air flow.

    When you talked about having to close the draft fan restrictor substantially in earlier posts, this sounds like the intake may also be blocked for some reason...you are only needing a very small amount o fair out to get the required vacuum. But this very small amount of air can only support a small amount of combustion in the coal. If the intake can be opened wider or unrestricted, then more air can flow for a given pressure drop and more coal can be burned.

    I guess the bottom line is that it seems to me that you have some sort of restriction letting fresh air into the stove which is causing a high draft reading, but allowing low overall air flow and low heat output. Just my .02 but hope it helps or you can track down the real solution!

    Good Luck
    Corey

    PS - I can't believe the elkimmeg has not blow a gasket for having the stove infront of the craft paper faced insulation, but if it works OK for you, go with it.

    Again, good luck with a solution
  25. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    40lbs of coal in 7 1/2 hours is what it used running full bore
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