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Harman hopper smoke

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by freebird77, Feb 21, 2008.

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  1. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    Freebird, I have seen this situation on a very small percentage of stoves but always with the fresh air intake hooked up. Do you happen to have this? I have never found anything connecting the pellets or sawdust or foreign objects to this. This is an issue your dealer CAN and SHOULD be able to help you with. The retrofit of the air intake will reduce the vaccuum pressure inside the hopper. On all machines that I've seen modified the problem immediately stops.

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  2. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Thank you both. I havent been called back yet. Ill wait another day and call them back.
    Delta- T Thats something I hadnt thought of either. Ill keep it in mind and see what comes of my call, and if I can get them out here bring it to there attention.
    Toasti, your right the manual is very vauge. But with three years parts and labor warrenty, Ill be damned if I should have to mess with this.
    Its only been a day Ill wait and if I dont here from them by Sat. will call them back.
  3. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Oh and yes it has a fresh air hook up.
  4. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    Does anyone have a theory as to why the outside air kit would make a difference?
  5. KJF470

    KJF470 Member

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    Dealer called me back today after speaking with Harman. Dealer said to remove sift plate from hopper and if there is soot on the plate Harman instructed dealer to give me a new stove as the stove is defective and cannot be fixed. If there is no soot on the plate dealer will add a fresh air intake tube. Dealer has did this to two other Harmans already. Looks like my Saturday will be spent on the sift plate and if the plate is clean I'll remove the auger to clean and lubricate it! Harman reps are in Atlanta for a home show for the next couple days.
  6. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    If I were you I would demand a replacement straight from the factory WITH the factory modification as I will be doing with mine. You've had smoke in your hopper......even IF your slide plate is clean ( maybe it hasn't had enough burn time to accumulate soot)......the "defect" is still there.

    Let me know if your slide plate looked like this.

    Attached Files:

  7. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Why should we even half to be pulling these things apart? I would think that they should come out and look at them rather then suggesting what we do. There is a three year warrenty on these stoves, am I right?
    I dont really mind having to mess with mine if I have to, but like I mentioned earlier, Ive, weve, all shelled out some hard earned $$$ and with that, should be service.
  8. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    I agree with you and yes, 3 years on parts and labor, 5 years on workmanship and when you place a call to the dealer during normal business hours one should get a call back from them in a reasonable amount of time (like the same day)and an appointment made for service and not be left hanging for days with no call back and the customer having to track them down.

    I think one of the problems the dealers have is that they get many calls with problems that relate to user error or routine maintainance with simple fixes and they try to save a service call by having the customer try this or that. When you're on the other side of the phone, with 10 degree temps outside and a stove not working or doing strange things, at least in my case,,,,you tend to pull out the tools and try to solve it yourself. My own dealer, who is very good at trouble shooting, has told me a few stories about his own service calls, which I won't go into here on a puplic forum. The dealers don't have a fleet of service men to send out, like the oil & gas companys...it's usually just them or one other guy. With that being said in defense of dealers,,,here's my gripe. The dealers are right there when you go in to buy the stove, they deliver and install it, hand you the plastic bag with your users manual and a scraping tool, if you're lucky they'll stay long enough to fire up the stove to see if it's working,they might even answer some questions....then they shove off,,,and when you're having a problem and "think" you should be able to call Harman directly for tech support, you're referred to the dealer who probably told you to call him for service first anyway, but failed to mention it could be days before you hear from him. Lucky for me I live in the smallest state and my dealer is never more than a few miles away on a service call...and he's always been on a service call the few times I've called. The three times he's been here in the past 2 1/2 years his cell rang every 5 minutes,,sometimes he'd look at the incoming number and answer it sometimes he just shook his head and didn't. My personal opinion is that a pellet stove is not for everyone. It does require that we get our hands dirty, it does require us to become our own servicemen at times,,,,but there is a point when the dealer HAS to be more responsive....like when you've got smoke billowing out of your hopper, grinding noises, fans screaming or stopping,,,,and your manual is vague and not detailed enough,,,,and the stove is only in it's first season of burning. Those hard earned $$$'s we all shelled out deserve some respect. Once again, in defense of dealers, from what I've been told the profit margin on their sale isn't too much, and factoring in the price of gas and time to make a service call and what Harman pays them for those warranty calls is laughable. BUT, and thats a BIG BUT....if the dealer chose to sell the model based on the companys reputation ...he has to BACK IT with prompt , resonable service and communication with the customer. I blame Harman for not having a department to field customer calls when the customer has has an unresponsive dealer.

    I'm wondering what happens when the warranty has expired and the warranty service calls become paid service calls. Will we get better service? I don't know.

    Big thanks that this forum exists with many problem solving end users who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help others.
  9. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    KJF,
    Please let us know how you make out. What stove do you have?
  10. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry, its early here, I see its a P68
  11. KJF470

    KJF470 Member

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    No computer at home so I have to wait till I get here to work to reply! I pulled the slide plate on Saturday, no excessive build up as shown in the picture, but there was discoloration on the edge of the plate. I called my dealer and he said he'd come out Friday to put on an intake tube along with the one that is currently on the stove. The first 1/4'' of the slide plate had build up but it appeared more like tarnish so I scotch brited it off and put it back together. I also pulled my auger and cleaned it and the auger bore, had a build up of hard creosote near the burn pot so I cleaned it up and gave the stove my normal cleaning and put it back together and lit it up. I'll burn it till Thursday nite and shut it down when I get home from work. Only takes a couple minutes to pull the slide plate so I'll ask my dealer Friday to check it to see if it warrants the new stove!
  12. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    KJF, How hard was it to pull the slide plate? Whats involved? Is your stove in a corner like mine?
  13. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Had to call dealer back as this is about the third time he hasnt returned my calls. He left me a message saying we,d set up a time to come out, that there was some sort of upgrade/ modification to the stove they could do. Of course, when I called back to set this up had to leave him another message to call me and, guess what, no call. Ill keep you all posted
  14. KJF470

    KJF470 Member

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    Sorry bout not staying up with this thread, only computer I can use is here at work.First thing is to shut stove down and let it cool. Second thing is to make sure the hopper is completely empty, I shop vacc'd out the dust and fines that remained. Very easy to pull the slide plate and the auger. As you face the stove, door glass in front of you, circuit board on the right, air intake on your left, (mine is in a corner of the room) remove the rear sheet metal at the back of the stove, should be a piece on each side plus a center piece, think it takes a 5/16" socket,(1/4" drive is good), I took the screws all the way out from the side pieces, center piece loose enough to slide sheet metal over the screws, sheet metal is slotted for this. On the air intake side of the P68 there is enough room to turn the auger motor drive shaft to the left side of the stove, think it takes a 7/16" socket with extension to get to the bolt, unscrew the bolt bout 3/4 of the way out. The auger motor will slide easily of the shaft, lay the auger motor on the air intake pipe and secure with tape or a wire coat hanger somehow. With the motor off this frees up the arm that drives the slide plate. Now to the right side of the stove by the control board remove the wing nut and plate directly behind the control board, good time to vac out the dust, rotate the arm by the auger shaft over to the control board and the slide plate will come with it, plate is slotted which accepts the tab of the arm. Pull the tab either staight out or down at an angle BEING CREFUL NOT TO CATCH THE CONTROL BOARD WIRES. I laid down on the floor and took my time and worked slow to not wreck anything. Don't have my manual with me now so can't give you the technical names of the parts!
  15. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey, great help. While Im hoping I dont have to do this right now, Im going to print out your instructions and put with my paperwork in case I have to do this in the future after the warrenty is up. Doug
  16. KJF470

    KJF470 Member

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    Sorry about this part! There is also 2 bolts that hold the auger motor on that will need to come off. These bolts go into barrel nuts, so make sure to keep track of the barrel nuts if they fall out! Sorry for any confusion, but once you start looking things over it will all make sense. I kept the manual handy for reference also.
  17. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    I got a hold of the dealer today at lunch, and they are supposed to come out next Tuesday. Something about drilling a couple holes and putting in a tube to draw the smoke away fromthe hoper. I asked him if its benn a problem with the P61 and he said no, but woth another harman model.
  18. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Please excuse the spelling errors. I was drinking
  19. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    The other model he's talking about is the Harman Advance.

    My own Harman Advance problem has been resolved....Harman is replacing my stove...counting my original stove this will be my 3rd. I would not accept an inhome modification from the company because the original "defect" that caused the stove to smoke would still be present. I also specified that the "new" stove would have to come off the Harman manufactuing line with the factory modification being made there with a manufactoring date of either late 2007(whenever they began modifications) or 2008,,,or delivery would not be accepted. They had no problem with my reasoning or demands.
  20. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Toasti, Good for you! And good luck.
  21. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Tech guy just left, and did the little tube mod. Have to wait and see but so far it seems ok. He said that there was a little discoloration on the slider plate and cleaned it up. Said that He wasnt supposed to say anything but as some of you mentioned, if it turned out there were more problems and it was due to the slider they would replace the stove, and actually have done so in the past. the Accentra has had similar problems I guess also, but he said that mine was the first P61. Ill keep you all posted on this. Thanks for all the advice. Doug
  22. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    Did he drill two holes one under the auger then one in the fresh air intake and insert the tube in both holes?
  23. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

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    Best I could understand and see, yes
  24. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    It was done to my Advance 2 months ago, I haven't had any smoke in the hopper, flame seams to burn higher and wider, I was told this is the repair for this problem
  25. toastyinri

    toastyinri Member

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    Did he show you how to remove the slide plate to check it in the future? Was it removed from the right side or back?
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