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Harman P61A combustion blower fan blade cleaning or removal tips?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by tgordo49, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. tgordo49

    tgordo49 New Member

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    The set screw is frozen badly, and awkward to work on in the small recessed space. Any tips on freeing it? Besides heating it up...! :)
    Or has anyone got another way to chip away the year's creosote behind the wheel without risking damaging a vane? (Yes, there's some creosote from burning super-hot softwood pellets, so sue me.) Harman's official cleaning tool is "ok" for this but hard to control with enough strength to clean the back wall without endangering the fragile vanes you are sticking it between to do that.
    This baby is like 10 years old now and still great.

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  2. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    If you need to free up that set screw, use PB Blaster

    [​IMG]

    If you want to clean behind there you can stick a 1" putty knife between the fins and rotate it around. If it is too glazed to remove, feel free to use some hot soapy water...though I will warn your first...it makes a huge mess unless you are outside. When I perform this service I use a powerwasher out in yer back yard.

    To note, the creosote is NOT from burning softwood pellets. It's from running the machine with poor airflow. Softwoods actually burn cleaner in pellet stoves because it is a mechanically controlled burn throughout the burn cycle.
  3. CJ-SR4ever

    CJ-SR4ever New Member

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    Alot of times that allen set screw will not unfreeze. If you are unable to get it free, I would suggest using a 1 inch wide paint brush to clean the fan blade. Works like a charm on my P38.
  4. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Why is there creosote down there in the first place? My P61A has nothing but fine ash in the CB impellor fan.
  5. tgordo49

    tgordo49 New Member

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    Why the creosote? Well, I experimented with some crappy pellets in the last 2 months, and things got nasty. Some I posted about in not-too-glowing terms. Nothin' but nice clean fine ash when I stick with Lignetics or other super-premiums.

    I tried regular penetrating oil... y'all think the PB is that much better? I've seen it but haven't tried it yet.

    Thanks for the replies!!
  6. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    I wonder how common cleaners would work, like carburetor or brake cleaner, engine cleaner would probably be too much. Also, there are various foaming cleansers, and maybe some spray for cleaning mechanics hands or barbecues.
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    You'd have to be very careful none gets in the bearings - some will wash the lube off in a heartbeat, thus dry bearings.
  8. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    I don't know about other stoves, but with mine, I can't see how you could get anything in the bearings even if you wanted to since the fins are attached to a circular plate that blocks the front of the fan from all that's behind it. Though I can't say that it would be impossible.
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    What about some solvent running down behind the fins along the face of the plate? I don't know exactly how our stove fans are laid out, but the industrial blowers I've worked on had a space behind there where liquids could (and did) run down and get onto the motor shaft, then into the bearings. I would think that if one is a bit careful, it wouldn't be a problem. I can imagine someone soaking the area with solvent to do a good cleaning job, but getting some down behind that plate.
    Might be a non-issue, it's just a thought, worth what it cost... :cheese:
  10. arnash

    arnash New Member

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    A legitimate concern. Any such cleaning liquid should be allowed to dry completely before starting the stove, otherwise it might spin and vibrate its way down the shaft to the bearings. But even in the event of worst-case-scenario, you'd hear the bearings make a whining sound next time you start the stove (like mine made) and then you can fix that with oil in the oil holes, if the motor has oil holes.
  11. rickwa

    rickwa New Member

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    2 more ideas. I take a straight blade screw driver between fan blades and spin fan around and scrape that way. Or heat up the collar on the fan with a plumbing torch, not red hot ofcourse. I have done this also to get the set screw to break loose.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I take a small gun bore brush, .270. put it on a Cleaning rod (pistol type/short) and scrub the daylights out of the bottom of the fan blades. Followed up by a very small scraper. As far as removing it, applying small amounts of heat to the collar that is on the shaft, (Not the shaft itself) and using crayon's. Yes Crayon's make a great lubricant when hot. Once the Collar is heated and you apply the crayon (or wax) to the connection point between the collar and shaft. The crayon will "Draw" itself down in the gap, following the heat. Creating a great lubricant. Make sure to not heat the motor shaft to much. Don't want to ruin the bearings. You want the collar of the blades to expand and the shaft not to.

    PB Blaster was recommend. You can get a saucer or plate that you can fill with (WD-40, Blaster). Make it deep enough to submerge the entire Blade assembly. Turn the blower so it is fin side down and let it soak in this for a couple hours/days.

    Or another idea I had was, if your stove has the blower that is removable with 6 screws, (round plate stays with motor and blades). You could detach the motor from this plate and use that as a puller. If you used any kind of puller on the blades themselves, they would bend and become out of balance (Ruin Motor Bearings). But by using that back plate, it would keep all the blades flat and flush and give you something to pull, while applying even pressure across the entire surface area of the blower fins. (Do this after soaking in the 1" deep solution and/or heating with wax/crayons)

    I have not tried the one I listed directly above ^ yet, but it seems feasible. Keep them balanced, that's the key. Or just use a small brush.
  13. deepwds

    deepwds Member

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    If you are able to get the set screw loose, I suggest putting a little "never.seez" (high temp grease with graphite) on the threads when you replace it. I've been taking off my combustion fan to remove the ash behind the vanes every other time I clean the stove for the past 3 years. A drop of never.seez each time and removing the set screw is never an issue.

    I saw an aircraft mechanic putting some on the threads of sparkplugs going into the aluminum head of a small plane engine a few years back. He said he never had an issue removing seized sparkplugs after he started using the stuff.
  14. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

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    I had the same problem with a set screw tucked in amongst the fan blades and there was no corrosion,the screw was tightened in there to stay.(maybe loctite) so I had to use a method of cleaning including powering the fan(off the stove) and spraying some cleaning agents. Probably not the best way but the bearings were sealed and so there was little I could hurt that I could see. Later I found that I had a very long screwdriver that could have gotten a better go at the screw.....but in the end all was well and don't think I would bother trying to get the damn thing out again because I may just wreck it(the screw).
  15. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    As long as the allen set screw isn't corroded at the had, PB blaster works very very well. Once I get the bit in there I'll leverage the allen key with a crescent wrench...there is always the grinder...but then you need another impeller.
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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