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Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Hammerjoe, Nov 17, 2007.

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  1. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Hi,

    I just had my ignitor replaced (which was a replacement) and I am not sure what is causing them to go bad so quickly.

    The only suspect imo is bad electricity, maybe it has too many surges, or undervoltages, or whatever.
    So I am looking for a solution to filter the electricity so the stove gets continuous clean energy.
    I've look at surge protectors, but I am not sure if it is enough, my understanding is that they protect against surges, but what about undervoltages?
    Or maybe undervoltages is not a problem for pellet stoves.

    I am also looking at ups, as they do provide continous clean electricity.
    I have these two in mind:
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pr...angid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10059333&catid=10446
    http://www.thesourcecc.com/estore/p...118507&category=UPS&catalog=Online&tab=6#more

    Battery back up is not a concern, altough a few minutes of battery would be welcomed to give time for the stove to shut down.

    So I need the advice of the experts, does a surge protector bar be suficient to protect the electrical components of the pellet stove, and if yes what are the recomendations for joules?
    If not are those UPS any good?

    I dont want to spend alot of money on this.
    Thanks

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  2. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I bought a UPS for this season to stabilize the power supply and to give me a few minutes to shut down the stove in the event of a power failure. The one I got is no frills, and it seems to be working out fine so far.
    This was the best "bang for the buck" UPS I could find.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842117005

    The thread that went around on this a while back is here:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/8622/

    For the record, I am also somewhat unimpressed with the igniter system on the P61A. I replaced mine when I got the stove used, but even with a brand new igniter I get a lot of smoke on start-up and it takes longer than I would expect for the stove to light (sometimes 2-3 minutes). My Hastings St Croix lights much more quickly and with much less smoke.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A basic UPS is going to provide filtered power to the stove electronics. That's better than a simple surge protector because it works for low voltage as well. During wind storms we can get wide transient voltage swings, especially when a transformer or line breaker trips. The UPS chirps frequently at these times.
  4. defilic

    defilic New Member

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    If you think you have power issues what you need is PCU (power conditioning unit) which filters out the surges, spikes and brown outs. The average ups will not do this, the power passes right through to the load and then switches to battery nearly instantly in the event of a power loss, but this may not be quick enough for some electronics and they will shut down. So there are UPS and PCU built into one unit that solves this problem. It is usually installed to correct power issues first and as a UPS second, as these types tend to expensive you would not buy it just for the UPS. I dont know if they sell this type at your average computer store, but i would really doubt it. I work in big industry and have always bought direct from the manufacture, so i dont know where to get them localy.
    you need to read the specs carefully before you get a UPS. My rule of thumb in knowing if i got PCU/UPS is if its twice the price im heading in the right direction. Good Luck

    master electrician that learned this the hard way.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good point, don't get the cheapest model out there. My APC UPS says it does this with an input range of 98 - 140V -> 120v nominal out,

    "Full time multi-pole noise filtering : 5% IEEE surge let-through : zero clamping response time : meets UL 1449"
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I don't think that dirty power would affect your ignitor, at least it should take out other more sensitive stuff first,(like a control board)
    And if a stove were to start up once a day and run for 16 hours The ignitor would only be on for say 5 minutes a day, and it just seems odd that the surge would only happen at startup
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, the UPS is for the electronics. In the case of the P61 it just sounds like it may be a wimpy ignitor design. They should last years. Ours was like new after 5 years and cycled many times a day.
  8. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Well I would appreciate any ideas why I had to replace the ignitor within the space of one year and in less than two years it is the third one installed?
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Heard from a reputable source that they MAY have had a problem with the ignitors for a batch...
    Like the old gearmotors for the auger with a date code of before late 2005 had a slight flaw that may be amplified on certain models :coolsmirk:
    I went through 3 gearmotors in a 2 1/2 year period.
    But something that I didn't think about till a recent post and when searching through the archives I remember Harry saying to make sure your polarity on the outlets are correct..
    It's something to look at as a culprit, besides the floating neutral that I had mentioned in the past.....
  10. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    I must be really unlucky to be stuck with two and hopefully not three bad ignitors... what are the odds? :)
    Hmmm, interesting... I can see that being possible when connecting the ignitor to the board control, is that what you mean?
  11. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    No the recepticle that your stove is plugged into, make sure the hot/ neutral are not reversed..
    The ignitor doesn't matter with polarity. The control board does, But I don't know if this is affecting it or not.. Just something to check...
  12. cantman

    cantman Member

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    If the polarity is backward, is the solution as simple as reversing the ignitor leads? Will correcting the polarity @ the wall outlet
    change the longevity of the main controller board or even the motors? (auger/combustion/distribution)
  13. cantman

    cantman Member

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    tt
  14. FireJumper

    FireJumper New Member

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    reversing the leads to the ignitor will not make any difference. Harman did have a bad run of ignitors go through there building late last year into early this year. I believe they have had the issue corrected at this point. Not that this is your issue catman but I have heard of a few circuit boards sending constant power to the iginitor even when it's not calling for it sending voltage to the ignitor and making them burn our prematurely. Again, this may not be the issue at hand but it has happened before. The only way to test this is to check for voltage going to the ignitor once the ignitor light on the board is off. If you're getting current to the ignitor once the light is turned off you're getting current to the ignitor when you shouldn't be.
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    The polarity problem being discussed is NOT in the stove! It is the possibility that the outlet in the wall could be miswired - it is all to common that an outlet gets miswired, and most things will appear to be working correctly, at least as long as nothing goes wrong. It is an important safety check as some miswiring errors can result in dangerous situations, especially in the case of a secondary failure.

    The quickest way to check this is to pick up an "outlet checker" that you can find at any store that sells wiring supplies - it looks sort of like a three wire electrical plug with three LED's on it, some of the fancy models may also have a button to test GFCI outlets with as well. Cost should be around $5.00, max, I've seen them as low as $2.00... You simply plug it in and look at which LED's light up - you will get one pattern if the outlet is wired correctly, and a different pattern if it isn't, with the pattern telling you what the problem is.

    If the outlet is wired wrong, you may be able to fix it yourself, if you feel comfortable with electrics, if not you will need an electrician - Important - if you find one outlet wrong, be sure to check ALL the outlets in the house, as if one is wrong it increases the odds that the others might be as well. Also re-check all outlets on the same circuit if you fix one, as sometimes fixing one outlet can cause problems with other outlets that were depending on the miswiring of the one you fixed to correct their own miswiring.

    Gooserider
  16. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    If you wanted to check if the ignitor was running once the ignitor LED was off, you could also use a power meter on the AC mains (the ignitor draws abut 300W). Without the ignitor, a P61A draws about 95 to 150W (depending on blower speed, wheither the feed auger is running, etc). Using a Watts Up (or similar) power meter may be a less invasive method of checking if the ignitor is always on....
  17. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    jumper is correct , rod type igniters should not blow that fast , the start sequence is too short , the type they use is similar i think to ours, and usually the only things that take one of those out is if the igniter runs constantly (board problem (rare but happens)) or if the leads go to ground (ie where the wires go in there is usually an insulator, if this insulator is not in position to prevent the wires touching or arcing) this will take the igniter every time. usually it will also trip a breaker of pop a fuse if the unit has one. bad igniter runs do exist , ive seen them too, but for our poster to have more than one , there is a high degree of "aint likely" that the replacements came from that same batch. gotta be an underlying problem. need to see if the board is running power to the igniter all the time.
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Just wondering if a draft test was done during instsallation part of the test is to macth the set screw setting to th line voltage if that ia not done could this be tour problem?
  19. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i wouldnt think that would matter, line voltage coming in is distributed by the board, it will only allow a certain amount of power through it, the igniter (while a power hog) should only be getting the wattage it needs, an excess duration of power shouldnt be getting to the igniter unless the board lets it. even then its only going to draw what its capable of recieving. at least i wouldnt think it would. essentially an igniter core works like a light bulb converting resistance to heat. if more energy than a light bulb could withstand was passed through it , it would pop immediately , or within seconds once the filament burned through. most igniters range from 300 watts to 525 watts, essentially thats all the current that can pass through them due to the resistance factor of the filament. problem is they can only withstand that much current and heat for a finite amount of time, so the popped igniter would likely have to have been subjected to this current for a longer duration than they are rated to handle. when this happens, just like a light bulb, they break the filament, usually when a light bulb burns out, its not because of the initial surge so to say , it generally happens when turned on , but the filament is weakened over time from the heat and becomes less able to handle the current , so it breaks and the bulb is done. igniters are the same, they utilise a filament so to speak, when they go , usually its because the filament becomes brittle and breaks, this opens the circuit and power will no longer flow, just like a light bulb.
  20. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    does your igniter use a direct contact , or kinetic system , kinetic being the igniter being placed outside the pot and air is drawn past it to ignite by air heat not contact?

    if kinetic, it may be a mis positioned igniter rod, this allows less heated air out to hit the pellets , causing the pellets to smolder longer then usual. it should be adjustable if this is the case, maybe open up the distance between the igniter rod and the hole it feeds into the pot through to allow more air in. might help
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