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Harman Advance pellet stove problems

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Alan, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. Alan

    Alan Member

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    I’ve been using my new Harman Advance pellet stove for about 2 months now & am not happy with it...being a new user of pellet stoves, I’m hoping forum readers might callibrate me on what’s normal & what’s not.

    NOISE: I’ve got two noise issues.

    1) The auger motor is noisy. When I removed the panel & stuck my ear near the motor it sounds like a very worn clock motor. If I put tension on the chain, the noise is substantially reduced. Note that I’m not talking about auger sounds or clunking pellets.

    2) There is a high pitch whine from the exhaust motor.

    I’m having trouble with my dealer—the maintainace guy is hard of hearing!!!

    GLASS FOGGING UP: Facing the stove, the left glass panel starts to build up after only a couple of hours of use. After 24 hours of burning, it is almost completely opaque.

    SMOKE: When starting up the stove, there is a lot of smoke which is understandable—but I see what looks like a high-pressure jet of smoke coming from the rear left side of the burn pot—like something is burning behind the burn pot. This jet of smoke only lasts for a few minutes until I get a steady pellet burn & exhaust.

    Thanks for any comments,

    --Alan

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  2. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Hi Alan,

    I don't have any noise issues with my Harman Advance (it's a few years old, but this is my first year with it... new house)... yeah, it sounds like you definitely need to get a service tech that can hear properly.

    I do, however, have the same exact problem with my glass fogging up. I'm a little relieved to hear it's not just my stove, so hopefully someone else can chime in who knows how to fix this issue.

    Thanks
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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  4. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    My Advance glass also gets dirty, same way left to right. I find that the home depot pellets make it dirty faster the the New England pellets I think that is normal with all of them.
  5. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Ok... so a few days after I post that I had no noise issues, my stove (harman advance) starts squealing like a b*stard.

    Let me start by saying I have absolutely no experience with machine parts what so ever... so describing this is going to be difficult. Bear with me.

    I did a major cleaning the other day... the first time all year I opened up the front, took out all the panes and plates that the online maintenance guide said to. Scraped and vacuumed... everything looked good. Didn't touch the back.

    Everything was fine for a few days, then all of a sudden it started squealing. Soft at first, but now it's pretty loud.

    I searched the board and saw that other people have had the same issue with various solutions, most kind of technical.

    I opened up the back and watched what was going on when it squealed... looks like whenever the feeder (or auger... whenever the chains start moving, essentially) the squealing starts and maintains a constant pitch until the feeder stops.

    I can't really tell if it's the auger or the motor or something else. I haven't cleaned out the fines from the feed mechanism yet this year either (powering stove down now to try that), maybe that's it?

    Anyone have any suggestions? I saw a few posts about graphite... should I try that? Is that ok to do with a Harman Advance?

    Thanks in advance... this noise is driving me crazy.
  6. STOVEGUY11

    STOVEGUY11 Feeling the Heat

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    Pellet stoves are pretty noisy all around. I usually tell customers if its in the room with the television there going to have to turn up the volume. I have seen some right out of the factory where they do squeal more than others, turning out to be a bent part. Harman will warranty the part if that is an issue. As far a built up on the glass, check the gasket, I've noticed on mine when the gasket goes, I get a build up of ash alot quicker.
  7. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    You need to try and describe the squeal as best you can and when it is squealing in relation to the auger cam follower.
    That is, is it squealing all the time or only when the cam follower is running in the horseshoe cam....
    I'll just throw this out there now.... The chain drive whether it's the Advance, accentra, or XXV, can actually pull the auger out of line with the tube a bit if it gets in a good bind....
    Come to think of it I don't think I've read one post about the direct drives squealing......HMMM
    EDIT......... Dohhhhhh
    I just read about a P-68 Squealing but it can be remidied the same way
  8. Fire

    Fire Member

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    Try chiselling out carbon build up from around auger in burnpot, squealing could be auger resistance due to buildup and not being able to spin freely!
  9. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Hmmm... sorry GVA, but like I said I'm not good with machine parts. I looked for a schematic or diagram that pointed out what each part was, but no luck. So, I"m not sure what a cam follower or a horshoe cam are.

    That said, here's the best description I can give. It's a high pitched squealing that almost sounds like whistling (I hesitate to use the term whistling, because i'm 100% sure it's not an air issue). The sound is constant and consistent... no breaks or change in pitch while it's happening... and it happens the entire time the feeder is running. Once the feeder stops (the chains stop moving) the sound ends.

    Now, I powered down a few hours ago, opened up the back and vacuumed out all the dust and wood fines in the feeder box thing. Tried to get as much crap as I could with the vacuum. I started it back up... the sound started for a second, then stopped. Haven't heard it since.

    BUT... I'm not convinced it's gone. I'll post an update whether it comes back or not (for future post readers). Based on my sound description, if anyone else has an idea what may have caused it, please let me know.

    Thanks again.
  10. Alan

    Alan Member

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    Update...my dealer replaced the auger motor. That fixed the motor noise...seems they had a bad unit from the factory. I.E lousy quality control. No answer on the other issues.

    Yet another issue is smoke. In my original post I failed to mention that at install I could smell smoke coming from the back of the stove at startup. The tech called his rep & was told that the tee in the back of the unit should not have been installed -- that they don't seal well & put out smoke. So the tech came out & replaced the too with an elbow. MUCH WORSE!

    I could actually see the smoke coming from the supposed sealed joint in the elbow with lots of smoke smell. I then sucked the smoke out with a whole house fan & when running steady state there is only a slight smoke smell. Then at shutdown, another surge of smoke smell.

    The tech is coming back on Wednesday.

    --Alan
  11. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Update...

    So, i bought some lubricant and applied that... seemed to halt the noise for a bit, but then it came back. I apply a little more and it goes away for a week or so. Not ideal, but manageable.

    New issue, I was cleaning the out the back of the unit, and i must have applied too much pressure to the feeder chain, it popped off but didn't break.

    But now I can't get the chain back on... not sure what I need to unscrew/remove in order to get the chain back on there... anyone have any ideas?

    I've got a service call scheduled, and I guess I should keep it and see if they can solve the noise issue, but part of me wants to fix it myself and save the money.

    Let me know what you think. Thanks.
  12. Alan

    Alan Member

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    An Allen nut holds on the drive gear. Pull the drive gear off the shaft & the chain can be put back on. It may be necessary to turn the stove on test mode to cause the shaft to rotate into position to have access to the Allen nut.
  13. CREEKY

    CREEKY New Member

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  14. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    the smokey left hand glass is common on all Advances, it just happens. The airwash is so big, and the induction fan is on the other side of the machine it just doesnt create enough suction to keep it totally clean. I have always seen the same 2 things causing the high pitched squeel (sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard). 1- Carbon mass in the burnpot rubbing against the leading edge of the auger- fix this by scraping your burnpot. I like a long handle flat head screwdriver much better than the scraper tool. 2- a pellet is caught on the wall of the auger tube and is just rubbing against it every time the auger turns- fix this by puling the auger out and putting it back in or.....I hate to say this, wait it out. It usually doesnt last that long. You could be experiencing something different but those 2 things are not uncommon. As far as the smoke from the exhaust, get some 500RTV silicone and goop it on to make a better seal. If you paid to have the unit installed they should have done it right the first time, its not rocket science. If all the pipes are sealed it doesnt matter if they use a "T" or not.
  15. CREEKY

    CREEKY New Member

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    Hi, As a Harman stove dealer I suspect that you may have a bad feed motor. Even on new stoves occasionally we replace motors on new stoves. The glass will get dirty very fast on that glass panel. Just wanted you to know that in 17 years I have sold five brands of pellet stoves and the Harmans are definitely the cleanest burning & highest heat output. Its unfortunate you can,t get your dealer to hear the problem. The dealer will get credited for the replacement.

    jim
  16. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    So here's my final update for anyone who had a similar problem (auger noise).

    I had the maintenance guy come and take a look. he didn't see any major issue, but in his experience the noise was caused by a build up of sawdust around the auger. He commented that my pellets (New England Wood Pellets) are a common culprit, in his opinion. He recommended a good cleaning every month, and to clear out the clinkers (nothing new here).

    A new technique that he did introduce to me was letting the hopper empty out, and giving that a good cleaning with the vacuum cleaner. I'll give that a try more often to try and suck up a good amount of saw dust.

    Since he did a thorough clean, I haven't heard the noise anymore. If it comes back, i'll try all the cleaning tricks he showed me.

    Thanks for everyone's input.
  17. Yardbird

    Yardbird Member

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    My glass gets dirty left to right as well. I don't have the auger squeel like you describe. The Advance puts out a ton of heat, and runs great (as long as the ESP is functioning :)) Make the dealer do his job. For the amount of money you paid for the Advance, he should fix it under warranty, and be happy to do it.
  18. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Read your post and answered via the way you contacted me. Let me know if you received it.
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