1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Harman P38 will not stay lit?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by bmwbj, Sep 19, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ
    OK I'm new to a pellet stove...My mother just purchased one and it was a joint effort between my brother and I to install.
    It was a normal install into an exsisting fireplace hearth. We set up a new hearth pad and ran the pipe straight out the back
    and up and into a block off plate.
    Put it all together, plugged it in and filled up the hopper. ran the test mode to make sure all the "Fans" and auger was feeding
    properly. So far so good. I added a decent hand full of pellets to the burn pot. Added some "gel" starter fluid. Lit the gel and closed the door and waited a few minuets for the gel to get the pellets started, than turned on the feed to position 1. After about 5 min. the pellets slowly go out. This process was tried 5 time with the same results.
    I checked the chimney for no blockage ---- it will suck a candle out when I place it near the the exit pipe of the stove with the pipe disconnected from the stove. I can feel a fair amount of air flowing from the stove exhaust exit with the pipe disconnected.
    The air exiting will increase when I turn up the feed rate.

    Please help, Mom is really upset, and you all know how moms can be...any ideas are welcome...

    Thanks

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. cncpro

    cncpro New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    341
    Loc:
    NE Connecticut, USA
    I don't have a Harman so maybe somebody else knows of something more specific to tell you but I would guess that the pellet auger is not yet filled with pellets...

    The initial startup for my Quad was to keep hitting the reset button until pellets started dropping into the pot...

    Can you tell if the auger is putting pellets in your burn pot ?
  3. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ
    cncpro,

    I checked the auger operation and it's working fine and full.
    It just seems as if there is not enough air flow for a good fire
    to build. The pellets just seem to smolder and then go out.
  4. cantman

    cantman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Try to leave the door slightly open after lighting the pellet/gel mixture.
    After a few minutes, close the door and the initial fire will be more
    "set into" the pellets. Remember to use enough gel and mix well with the pellets
    before lighting.
  5. crausch

    crausch New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    747
    Loc:
    Littlestown, PA
    Can you try a different bag of pellets (different brand) from some where else? I would eliminate the pellets as the problem first since that would be the cheapest replacement. Also, I saw a post on I think it was in this forum where someone had suggested taking some pellets in a bowl, placing in the microwave for I think 45 seconds with a plate over top of them. When you remove the plate, I don't think there is supposed to be any condesation under the plate.

    I would search for the post first although I could not find it again.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    407
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
    I agree with cantman. I think it is possible that you are not using enough gel.
    It takes a couple ounces, and you really do need to mix it around to all the pellets in the burn pot and make sure it is "cookin" pretty good before you start feeding a bunch more pellets.
    If that doesn't work, is it possible your pellets got wet?

    Obviously there are quite a few things that could be happening, but best to start with the easy stuff :)
    edit: code beat me to the punch on the pellets...I agree with him too :coolsmirk:
  7. CelciusMaximus

    CelciusMaximus Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    48
    Loc:
    eastern,PA
    i have a p38 .the other posters are correct ,you need alot of gel mixed with the pellets in the pot.leaving the door open for a short time helps as well.
    also,i hope you ran your pipe all the way up your chimney???
  8. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ
    The pipe goes into the existing chimney through a block-off plate.

    I did notice however, I don't think the "combustion" fan is running. I can
    hear the exhaust fan running and the auger and heat fans run ok during
    the self-test. But I don't really feel any air coming out of the "burn-pot".
  9. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    353
    Loc:
    poconos pa
    what does the flame look like???

    when you close the door all the way does the flame change? it should change from a lazy type flame to a blown flame more like what would come from a torch.
  10. Dwsmls

    Dwsmls New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Plymouth,Me
    Hi i just started with a p38 as well. The first time i tried to get it going i had the same problem. I discovered that i had the hopper lid open and it will not run the auger if the a door is open or the hopper lid is open. I use a medium tin can out a handfull of pellets in pour in about 2 table spoons of gel mix it really really well then dump it into the burn pot. i hope this helps. I had to have mine professionally installed do to insurance purposes. I video taped him going over the lighting and cleaning of the stove. If i get the time i would be willing to put it on a dvd and mail to you if you would like.

    Thanks
    Dale
    good luck
  11. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ
    [quote author="rayttt" date="1221849359"]what does the flame look like???

    when you close the door all the way does the flame change? it should change from a lazy type flame to a blown flame more like what would come from a torch.[/quote


    rayttt,

    Yes the flame is very lazy, the flame seems to die down even more with the door shut. I do believe the "Hopper" lid
    was open for every attempt. I will try again tonight to see if it better with the lid closed...

    Thanks, Bob
  12. Jester

    Jester New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    206
    Loc:
    Seacoast Massachusetts
    The old timer I bought my Harman from told me to keep the pellets to the front of the burn pot, and make about an inch opening down the back ( you can see the feed auger) and to get the fire to light at the bottom back. I know you were mentioning that you were experiencing a "burn out" but what he explained to me when he followed the directions the fire lights, and before it can get to the base of the burn pot, the heat generated from the top fire caused the stove to think that all was going along well, and it would start feeding pellets, causing the fire to be put out.
    This doesnt sound like your issue, but it was something he showed me as he was lighting to stove for a test fire.
  13. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,238
    Loc:
    western Ma , close to NY state border
    This is an excellent response (above) and maybe the best yet that I`ve seen regarding the whole starting procedure. Many discussions on this have passed without good explanations and solutions.
    If you look at the burn pot on a P-38 you will see that the air holes do not go all the way back towards the auger and that 1 cup of pellets saturated with starting gel/fluid and placed deep into an empty burnpot can barely approach the air holes and by the time more pellets push this mass forward a burnout has happened.
  14. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    the exhaust air and combustion blower are one in the same...
    If your combustion blower is running and you don't have airflow through your burnpot then you need to make sure the air intake flapper is able to move freely.....
    Fire ok with door open (but lazy) is normal
    fire dieing out when you close the door you don't have air coming into stove.....
    check it and let us know...
    And I agree with the others on the gel and startup....
  15. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ
    [/quote] the exhaust air and combustion blower are one in the same...
    If your combustion blower is running and you don't have airflow through your burnpot then you need to make sure the air intake flapper is able to move freely.....
    Fire ok with door open (but lazy) is normal
    fire dieing out when you close the door you don't have air coming into stove.....
    check it and let us know...
    And I agree with the others on the gel and startup....[/quote]


    OK, I got it. First off the "hopper" lid was not shut, and second there was just not enough starter gel to get it all going.
    After rectifying these issues, the stove works just fine...

    Thank all of you for your ideas, Mom is now happy again, and so am I.

    Bob
  16. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    378
    Loc:
    Leominster, MA
    what kinda flame did you see it have when it was set to around 3?
    was it consistently high - say about the middle of the window or higher?
  17. bmwbj

    bmwbj Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Ringoes NJ

    Hell I only had a flame of about 3" that was it.
  18. slink

    slink New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    Western NY
    the exhaust air and combustion blower are one in the same...
    If your combustion blower is running and you don't have airflow through your burnpot then you need to make sure the air intake flapper is able to move freely.....
    Fire ok with door open (but lazy) is normal
    fire dieing out when you close the door you don't have air coming into stove.....
    check it and let us know...
    And I agree with the others on the gel and startup....[/quote]


    OK, I got it. First off the "hopper" lid was not shut, and second there was just not enough starter gel to get it all going.
    After rectifying these issues, the stove works just fine...

    Thank all of you for your ideas, Mom is now happy again, and so am I.

    Bob[/quote]

    The P38 can be a bear to get fired up at times especially in the configuration you describe. There is actually too much air going through the firepot. I know it sounds wrong but trust me.
    There is an adjusting pot on the control board that lets you slow down the combustion fan. Its set on high(full line voltage) from the factory. Now that you are installed in a full chimney there is too much draft and you will continue to have problems startting the stove. Plan on keeping the door cracked open while you light the stove til you get the hang of it. Turning the draft adjust pot down will help but without a draft meter you won't know where you end up.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page