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Harman Advance Changes?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by toastyinri, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Changes in Harman Advance?

    My Advance was replaced this November for "smoke in the hopper". Original Advance was purchased in November 2005 which means I burned for two seasons with the problem. I never really got an answer as to why I had the problem from my dealer or the company, but I've been reading here about modifications being made on the Accentra and Advance.

    When I fired up the replaced Advance I noticed three things immediatly. The burn pot was larger (longer same depth) and the distribution blower wasn't as powerful as the older one....meaning on high blower setting, it just didn't blow with the power of the older one. The front end of the auger was different with what I can only explain as having an extended "wing tip" at the end of it. The other difference that the dealer commented on was that the "lava brick back" had been replaced with a metal one....steel?....who knows. ..guess it won't ever crack or break,,,,but a dull gray color instead of the reddish lava brick.

    Workmanship in the building of this Advance has become an issue with me. The left door will not come off without me having to bend the upper hinge attached to the main body of the unit. Decorative grill does not seat properly and falls off on occassion ( I kept the old grill and it falls off too) The blower"holes" cut in front are unevenly cut (they look like someone came in and cut them on a Monday morning with an awful hangover...or they eyeballed it instead of using a template (this could account for the grill falling off) My older unit had evenly cut holes and the grill never fell off. The workmanship on my older Advance was excellent....meaning everything fit properly and came apart with no effort.....this one is another story to disassemble to clean.

    So, I'm wondering.....Harman replaced my stove with a new one....but was it a "second"?

    Is it operating properly? Yes, I think so, my house is toasty and so far have no issues to how it operates (other than the lower blower speed). It's using about the same amount of pellets as the older one....60 pounds per 24 hour period or less ( I like to fill the hopper to its capacity) With only 2 months and a few days since it's been fired up, I would expect that its too soon for any operational issues to pop up.

    Have any other Advance owners had their units replaced and noticed the changes I have...I think the manufacture date was 8/07....the box it came in had it written on it...the back plate says Advance 2. No changes are noted in the Instruction book that came with it....it's exactly the same as the older one.

    Am I being a little bit too picky about it's construction? I've held off calling my dealer with my gripes about the workmanship issue because they are probably something I can fix and resolve myself with a tweak here and there and a metal cutter and file !

    If I can figure out how to post pictures here,,,if anyone is interested in what I mean,,,I'll do it the next time I give it a good cleaning.

    Thanks in "Advance" for any input.

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  2. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    When you take the back panel off is there a # 2 etched in the back under the auger?
  3. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    I've read here before about the "2" being under the auger.....I'll be checking for thAt this weekend when I pull it apart for a cleaning.
  4. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    My dealer faxed me a copy of the modification that should be done to correct the smoke in the hopper issue,
    2 holes are to be drilled 1 above the auger the other next to the air intake and a tube goes in each hole, He said that should solve your problem? See if you have the tube modification also?
  5. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    If you want you can e-mail me the pics and I'll shrink them and post them.... or you can go to http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/27/
    The Advance 2 is most likely what you had before, easiest way to tell is to look at the slot for the airwash and see if it is the same size... If it is bigger you HAD the advance 1..
    Another check is under the firebrick panel they didn't have panels that were easily removed.....
  6. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    My other one was also an Advance 2. I'll take some pictures when I clean it this weekend and if I can't figure out how to post them, I'll take you up on your offer.
  7. rayers2

    rayers2 New Member

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    BXpellet Could I possibly get a copy of that fax?
  8. John H

    John H Member

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    BXpellet Could I also get a copy of that fax?

    Thanks john
  9. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Cut holes that I refered to in original post. Hope the photo shows up here.

    Attached Files:

  10. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Grill fit....grill falls off. Under auger looking for etched "2". Auger "wing" tip. Size of burnpot.

    Attached Files:

  11. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Wow! The boys in Quality Control must have been on a coffee break when that stove rolled by! Sorry, I know it's not funny but that's just piss poor workmanship! Sort of makes you wonder if the outside is that bad what the heck the workings look like. I sure hope the same guy who cut those holes didn't also do the welding!

    I'd be making someone get me another stove or at least getting a partial refund because that's a "second" if I ever saw one and you shouldn't have to pay full price for it. Yes, you could likely file the cut outs and make them look better and you could fasten the grill on so that it doesn't fall off and you could even live with the bent hinge but.......why should you have to? I'm sure that you paid good money for the original stove, those aren't inexpensive stoves, and IMHO you deserve what you paid for, a top quality stove that works!

    I've got to admire your patience. You've been a lot nicer about all this than I would have been but I think it's time to take the gloves off.
  12. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Peggy,

    I knew after the first season with my old Advance that it needed to be replaced. My Harman "broke down" midway into the 2nd season. It took me 7 months to get my dealer to come out here and pull the auger to see what I was complaining about and within 1 minute he said he would have to call Harman....and Harman immediatly said "send the stove back, it will be replaced". I know that I do have an issue here with the workmanship of this "new" Advance,,BUT I also have a new GOLD(?) warranty on it. As far as I'm concerned, they can replace the stove every two years if something goes wrong till they get it right. My dealer, right now, is up to his ears in service calls with people he has sold Harmans and Quadras to.....service calls that are mostly operator fault. I don't want to bother him with a quality workmanship issue until the heating season is over.....then the gloves will come off.

    I've read in this forum that Harman is addressing problems on a case to case issue. My first issue with my old Harman was smoke in the hopper, which I knew could become a fire hazard. I also knew that something was burning inside the auger tube...how did I know this? Easy. My auger chain jammed at 2 a.m. and fell off. I was able to manually, with a lot of effort, turn the auger backwards to break up whatever was in that tube.....what came out was a charred "mold" of the auger wing...lots of it...which I saved to show the dealer. I also knew I hadn't gotten all of it out because the chain would "jump". I'm reading now that there is a modification that can be made by drilling holes and attaching a tube. Here's the thought that keeps running through my head. Harman has probably sold hundreds if not thousands of this and other models. What would make ONE particular stove have a problem and not others. If they are all built the same, wouldn't all have the problem....and if so...are THOSE owners even aware that they may have stove that could be hazardous? Auto dealers have recalls when problems pop up....get my point? Ok, so now I've had to look under the auger box to see if there is a number 2 etched in......which there isn't as far as I can see (check photos from above) which means my stove has not had the modification. Drilling holes and inserting a tube is a fix? You mean some guy is going to come out here with a drill and .25 bit, and a fax from Harman and start drilling holes ? Yeah! and I'm going to grow wings and fly and also get a blessing from the Pope.

    With all of that being said, I know my Advance inside and out....right now its operation is excellent....but I know what to listen for, I know what to look for when a problem arises.

    What I need is other harman advance owners to take a good look at their stoves and compare them to my pictues and state that they think the workmanship on my stove is shoddy.

    Would I buy another Harman? Absolutely yes! Would I inspect it before delivery? YES

    I think of my pellet stove as an appliance. If I buy a can opener, microwave, toaster etc. and something is wrong with it...shoddy workmanship or operation, I can just pop it back in it's box and return it.......not so easy with a pellet stove :)

    Sorry for the long rant....I'm only on my first cup of coffee.

    Deborah
  13. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Deborah,
    It does sound like Harman needs to issue some type of recall on the stoves. I also understand what you are saying about it not being a simple task to return a stove but I guess that's where I'd be a real "B"! I'd be wanting someone to come get the old stove and install the new one. Harman could pay your dealer to do it if that's what it boiled down to. (Personally, after wrestling ours into the house I've decided that should it ever quit working I'll simply throw a table cloth over it and use it as a table or take a tourch to it and cut it into manageable pieces rather than wrestle it out of the house whole! lol )

    As far as the "fix" I think I'd let a tech do it but only if I had a copy of the instructions for it and could stand by and watch to make sure they did it as directed by Harman. If it didn't work, however, I'd be right back on the phone raising sand with someone.

    Hopefully some other Advance owners will jump in here and comment.

    Go have another cup of coffee. :)
  14. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Peggy,

    I always try to operate on the principle that you can catch more flys with honey and save the "B" stings for later when the flys don't respond. Luckily I have a dealer who knows
    that a phone call from me isn't a social call....and he listens....and believes. As far as Harman paying for dealers on warranty work....mine has told me they pay $35.00....I don't know if
    thats true or not. To deliver my replaced stove, he had to rent a truck and pay two helpers to lug out the old one and install the new one. He let me know this in advance of delivery and I asked him how much it was costing him. He told me $150.00. I told him I'd pay him the difference because no one should have to work for nothing and also take a loss. After installation I asked him what I owed him and he said "is a hundred fair?" I said yes, with the stipulation that when and if I needed service that I couldn't take care of myself that he not tell me it would be a few days, a few weeks or a few months before he could get here. I'll see what happens when he gets my phone call in April.

    Can you tell I've had more than 2 cups? :)

    D
  15. POTO

    POTO New Member

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    Hi Deborah,

    We've had many conversations about our stoves before. I've changed emails, lost yours, and forgot my ID for this forum (but obviously got a new one). Anyway, last we spoke you had asked how my 3rd Advance was doing and just as an update, its doing great. Its been close to a year now. No smoke, the 'chute' is still silky smooth as it was the 1st day. As I think I said to you previously, what I dont like about this 'New' model is that it hardly ever shuts down ( on room temp) it will go into a very low burn for hours where the old one would shut down after about 45 minutes of being at the set temp. This definately causes me to use more pellets during the warmer times ( Fall/Spring when the outside temp is around 50's) but no problems when its much colder out. The auger modification you mentioned is also on mine. I dont have any holes drilled like you mentioned but I dont really see what you are taliking about in your picture. as far as the burn pot, mine also looks like yours and I did not go looking for the etched #2.

    When they replaced your stove, did they give you a entire new stove? from your pictures it looks a little beat, almost experimental. I recieved 100% new everything - Front door, side doors (which come off easy ), grill, manual, warranty, even a new scraper and can of paint ( 3 cans now.. anyone need 1?). I wouldnt be too happy if they left you with some old stuff, after all, maybe the gaps in the door or a gasket was wrong causing a problem. Also I am a little concerned about the Holes being drilled and the other 'modified' holes. That just doesnt seem right to me. What is the serial number on your new stove? Mine from almost a year ago is a little over 16000, which is 200 over the 2nd one I received and 6000 over the 1st. If you have a "New" stove only a couple months old your S# should be Much higher that mine.
  16. skippy4no2

    skippy4no2 New Member

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    I have a Harman Advance for 4 years now and never had a problem. I think it is a great stove. In regards to the cut holes for the air distribution, I think the holes are actually laser cut so they're consistand every time, looking at my stove it appears the welder was the problem and actually had to much heat when he was welding around the holes.
  17. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Of course I remember you. My dealer hauled the old stove away and took this one out of the box and installed it. Got the whole package, paint , scaper, etc.
    serial no. is 18108. Other than my complaints about the workmanship with cut holes and left side door, the stove is running as it should, although I do think they my have switched distribution fan manufacturer because this one doesn't seem to have the "high" blow that the older one had,,,but it works as it should with incremental speed. When we had outdoor temps here of around 60 the other day....it shut itself off at about 2p.m. and restarted itself around 7 p.m.
    The new stove doesn't have the modification this forum was talking about, if it had been modified at the factory there would have been a "2" etched below the auger area....there is no 2 in my picture. My burnpot is wider than the one in my old advance and I wondered if that was a change they made later on.
    I think using a flash on my camera made the stove look worse than what it is...it does actually look brand new on the outside until you look at the detailing.
    So far I've had no smoke in the hopper...and believe me, I've been checking for any indication that it might happen.

    A couple of weeks ago it was very cold here (11 degrees) and the stove did it's job, but it hasn't been consistantly cold enough to really crank it.

    If I get the smoke in the hopper problem again, Harman can replace it again. I'm not buying the drilling of holes and tube modification unless it is done at the factory and with the workmanship issues, it should be a stove straight off the production line. You can reach me at debbie4244@aol.com.
  18. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Looks like I'm back to square one with the replacement stove. First incident of smoke in the hopper was on Feb 9th, again on 14th, 15th & 16th....twice a day. Had my first shut down sometime between 4 and 7 a.m. this morning. Unfortunately I restarted it without counting the blinking lights and I probably should have pulled the plug for a reset, but it was 50 deg. in the house and I wasn't thinking. burn pot looked like incomplete combustion. It's running now but it's following the same pattern as the first Advance minus the screaming combustion motor noise.

    I know it was running at 4 a.m. because I got up for a bathroom run and checked it. Hopper was half full, great flame, no smoke, & blasting heat. At 8:00 it was off and stone cold.

    It got a major cleaning last Saturday, the next day I got the first smoke in the hopper. Pulled the slide plate and it was gunky. Here's a picture of the slide plate.

    Attached Files:

  19. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    toastyinri, What brand of pellets are you using?
  20. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Primarily Fireside Ultra and sometimes Pennington.
  21. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, another member was told there is a correlation between your problem and NEWP red letter pellets.
  22. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Call your dealer and tell them your slide plate is getting covered with the sticky stuff...
  23. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Call your dealer and tell them your slide plate is getting covered with the sticky stuff…

    Signature
    I burn(ed) a Harman Advance
    I am a fountain of useless knowledge

    **************************

    Have already done that and have also sent photo's and descriptions of my issues. I have two Harman dealers backing me up. ( My original dealer, the one I bought stove #1 from ... the same one who installed the replaced stove ,and the newest dealer in my area who really doesn't know enough yet about Harmans to offer a theory.) My original dealer is no longer carrying the Harman Line but will continue to service and trouble shoot the ones he has sold.

    My original problem with both stoves is smoke in the hopper and the build up of gunk on the slide plate seems to tie in with it. My original dealer has offered a theory on why it could be happening. One theory is that the stove could be sucking in air from the back from a bad seal or weld. I guess the extra air getting into the auger tube and the heat of the running stove gets the pellets in the auger tube and pellet chute really hot and causes them to smolder or ignite back there. (something about positive and negative pressure...all greek to me) The first stove would push out charred pellets after a series of hopper smoke. The new stove is not doing that yet. (gaskets on hopper door and glass door are tight) Could it cause a fire in the hopper? That would be really ugly.

    I had smoke in the hopper from Feb 9th through Feb. 14th, sometimes twice a day. Since the the 15th, there has been none. Go figure. The only thing that has changed is outside air temps......it's been milder here and the unit hasn't had to crank out heat for long periods of time to maintain inside temp. (Unit set at approx. 72 deg., auger speed at 3...set it and forget it) Don't know if that would have anything to do with it, just an observation on my part.

    I don't want anyone to think I'm thumbs down on the Harman line. I'm not. My theory is that when demand was high back in 2005 & 2006 to crank the stoves and get them out....welders got sloppy or short cuts were taken. Some harmans have never had the problem and some have. Lightning struck twice here.

    Just a comment about this forum. This place is the best place to come for information and solutions. I reccomend it to all of my wood and pellet burning friends.
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