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Harman P68 auger squeal/whistle?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ninjarob, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. ninjarob

    ninjarob New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Andover, NJ
    Hi All!

    We bought our new Harman P48 approx 1 month ago and all has been well so far until this morning. I woke up to a squealing, well more like a whistling as the auger would feed the pellets into the stove. Only at the point when you can hear the pellets hit the burnpot does it stop. It then starts back up as the auger moves past this point in it's turning.

    I called the dealer this morning, was told this can happen when I have the stove in 'room temp' mode but that is why we bought the stove. I have only gone through 8 bags of pellets since installation (10/26) and would hate to use stove temp mode when on some days, it only comes on once or twice a day. He said the fire would burn too far back in the pot, causing carbon near the auger. It however, sounds more like a whistle to me than a squeal of something rubbing but am worried that something may break and leave us w/out heat downstairs.

    Any thoughts or idea's? I am not too mechanically inclined and of course would not want to void the warranty. I am worried that something might be damaged if I leave it as is and since our bedroom is right next to the room in which the stove is in, the noise is very annoying and noticeable.

    thanks for any help!
    Rob Snyder
    Andover, NJ

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  2. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Loc:
    NW Washington State
    You can get a real education on stove noises by searching for SQUEEL, WHISTLE, SQUEEK, P68, HARMON and any other words that describes your noise and situation. There are many forum threads on this that have good discussions.

    The reply from your stove shop sounds suspicious to me.
  3. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yea, I dont buy the reply either......and I sell them. Fact is, this is a warranted stove, so, the dealer should check it out. There's only been 8 bags through it, so its likely not dirty......I would be looking for airleaks, paticularly in the hopper....it would be a small one if it whistles, a bigger gap would cause the stove not to feed. Take a flashlight, turn it on, put it in the hopper, close the door, douse the room lights....see if you see any gaps.....still could be other things, but try it first! And get the dealer out there....
  4. lordgrinz

    lordgrinz New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    168
    Loc:
    Western MA
    Like you, my XXV within the first week was squealing, the dealer came out and checked on it, he ended up replacing the motor that runs the Auger.
  5. ninjarob

    ninjarob New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Andover, NJ
    Thank you all for the replies, I have to say this is a great forum for such fast and informative responses.

    I do have an update, I cleaned the stove thoroughly this afternoon, it hadn't come on since 8AM this morning. I have been keeping up with the cleanings but as I stated, we are only on our 8th bag so really the window is about the only thing that has really been getting dirty but I did a really good job on it today. Tried really scraping some carbon down in the burnpot and got some up and out but it really wasn't down by the auger. Stove came on again at 2:45PM and was whistling/squealing as before but now as the stove warmed up, the noise stopped. Now as the fire is burning and the pellets are feeding, it is quiet again.

    I will have to wait now for another cold/hot cycle to see if this is somehow causing this noise. Will let you all know what I find, I am not optimistic that I have this licked.

    As for the dealer, I am really surprised at his reaction. I live in NJ but went back to my old hometown in PA to get this stove, bypassing all the NJ dealers for some old hometown service. I thought for sure he would either tell me:

    1. It is nothing, it will go away
    2. Have some real exact tips on how to alleviate this situation
    3. Set up a service call

    Only reason I didn't push it before I spoke with you all was I got the impression they were rather busy (they never called me back from my initial call this morning, I had to call them and only got through on the 3rd try) Guess I will see how this plays out over the weekend and call again on Monday if nothing improves.

    I am kinda embarrassed, I talked the SO into a pellet stove purchase instead of letting the fuel oil company rip up our downstairs to put in baseboard heat (our in-floor radiant heating finally gave up the ghost last April) and I was lookin like a real money saving hero there for a while! Hope I come out of this with my rep intact! - lol

    Thanks all!
    Rob
  6. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    dont give up on the unit, Rob!

    I can attest that this is the BUSIEST time of year for dealers, and they generally prioritze the calls in the order that they are called in. Many dealers at this time of year can be 2 weeks out for service, unfortunately. Your issue is somewhat exacerbated (sp?) by the fact that you didnt buy the unit locally, so the dealer who sold you the unit is looking at a significant travel distance, which is lost time for them. I know it doesnt help, but its usually a good thing to buy locally.
  7. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    NW Washington State
    rob, was this unit a floor model that had been used or brand new out of the crate?

    Are there a lot of very short pellets in your bags?
    Do you have a lot of sawdust in your pellets?
  8. ninjarob

    ninjarob New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Andover, NJ
    Hi all and thanks for the replies!

    It took me a while to get back to you, I had a busy work week and finally had a moment now to reply.

    It seems as though the squeak issue has been resolved but I am totally not sure how. I gave the pellet stove two thorough cleanings over the weekend and the noise slowly abated to the point where by Sunday night, it was gone totally. At this point I am going to have to guess it was some carbon down by the auger but there was nothing there that was big enough to see as causing the issue, nor did I remove anything that looked suspicious from the auger area.

    Question here, is it easier to remove the carbon while a fire is burning in the pot or when cold and shut down? It takes quite a but of effort to break the stuff up to remove it, any easier when hot or cold?

    As for my pellets, they seem to be mostly one size, some small ones and very little saw dust and the stove was a new one, out of the crate. Are short pellets bad?

    Thanks again for all the help!

    Rob
  9. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Messages:
    424
    Loc:
    NW Washington State
    Short pellets are not bad. The long ones (over 1.5 inches) cause jams in the pellet hopper.

    Sometimes small chunks of pellets and excessive sawdust gets packed around the slide plate and cause a squeeling noise. Mine does it after around a ton has been run through the hopper. I have to vacuum around the top of the slide plate to get it to stop squeeling. But that does not sound like your problem.
  10. rickwa

    rickwa New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Loc:
    ohio
    our burn unit on the showroom floor has the same squeek i noticed this morning. I have not had time to check it out.
  11. trgleason

    trgleason Member

    Joined:
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    4
    Loc:
    Poconos, PA
    My P38 auger was making a horrible squealing noise lately. Never heard it before, happened all of the sudden. An extra good clean and running some dry graphite trough with a cup of pellets as suggested did the trick. FYI you can also get graphite at most hobby shops (I had some left over from making pinewood cars with the boys for scouts). Thanks to everyone on the forum. Always great advice here.
  12. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    A few months after purchasing my new P38+, I got the "squeal" , ended up warranty auger motor..........
  13. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I have a hard time believing that the motor was causing the squeal. More likely a misalignment of the motor / auger mounting. I think dealers will sometimes replace things to placate the customer.
  14. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

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    Fairbanks, Alaska.
    I've seen this "answer" like 8 times now, I think they just do it while they are there re-aligning / connecting the auger just to avoid the call back. I went and pulled mine apart, and when it was all put back together, stopped my squeal. I had the squeal after my first ton or so.
  15. roadking88

    roadking88 Member

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    Loc:
    central Maine
    i had the same problem..took off the wing nut under the hopper plate and it was full of small pellets and sawdust
    cleaned that, noise gone..
  16. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    sometimes, you can get a very small chunk of wood dust caught in the back flight of the auger against the auger bearing.....will cause a squeel when it feeds.....unfortuntately, you dont know this unless you pull the auger out...I usually end up pulling the feed motor off and rotating the auger by hand....if its a piece of dust/wood, you'll still hear it with the feed motor off of the auger....therefore, NOT the feedmotor in some cases.
  17. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    I have a hard time believing that humans walked on the moon, but I guess it happened........
  18. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    hey, thats better than ignoring it or doing nothing.....
  19. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I agree. If it is under warranty, it doesn't cost the customer anything anyway and it gives him warm fuzzy's.
    My only complaint is that after the story gets told two or three times, it becomes the magic fix for the problem. We create myths and then become protective of them because we heard it from at least a couple of sources. It's still a myth.
  20. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yea, hard to argue with that one really. And you cant discount the fact that mucking aroundin there changing parts might actually result in realigning whatever is misaligned, thereby inadvertently fixing the unit......
  21. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    Isn't that how most problems get fixed?
  22. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    no, it isnt......believe it or not, a competant tech can look at a unit, and with a modicum of inspection with the right tools, can USUALLY disagnose and fix the unit, and not by trial and error.
  23. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    ...doesn't sound like much fun to me...;)
  24. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I'm sorry, after 40 years of designing electronic equipment, I have a jaded attitude. You're right, a competent diagnostician can, in a short time, recognize the relationship between symptoms and root causes.

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