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Harman Stove Temp VS Room Temp

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Gene, Mar 2, 2006.

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  1. Gene

    Gene New Member

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    I have a Harman advance that was replaced by the dealer for the same problems as others have experienced. Now some of the same old symptoms are starting to appear in the new stove. smoke filled hopper, noisy auger feed. The dealers solution is NOT to use room temp, but stove temp. This does not seem like a solution to me. why advertise/have a room temp mode if it doesnt work? hey I'll sell you a 4 wheel drive truck. the 4 wheel drive doesnt work so dont use it, but its still 4 wheel drive..

    Anyway I figured I have no choice and have tried it for the past week. I still get smoke in hopper and feed is still noisy, however my question is what does the stove temp numbers correspond to? I asked the dealer and all he would say is its NOT a room temp, its Stove temp -- Oh really, kind of like the sky is blue because the sky is blue. I would like to understand what the settings correspond to. I really hate using it in stove temp mode, I cant seem to regulate the temp in the house, I am using DOUBLE the amount of pellets daily, the stove never shuts off

    Can someone explain the stove temp setting and possibly how to set it and if the feed rate needs to be set with it ( other than you have to experiment)

    Thanks

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  2. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Stove temp vs Room temp:

    Stove temp only utilizes the ESP probe in the exhaust to monitor temperature. The stove tries to keep the corresponding setting temp set on the dial (I think max setting is around 450 degrees or so, but dont quote me on that). The Room temp setting, when set, actually utilizes the room sensing probe to regulate temperature, rather than the ESP probe. Know that even in Romm Temp mode, the ESP probe is still utilized for other functions in the stove. And yes, you have to experiment with the feed rate, but its going to be usually around 3-4.
    The auger feed should be any noisier in room temp or stove temp.
    Smoke in the hopper is another issue...not a good one either. Do you only get smoke when the pellets are really low, or on windy days, or on very cold or warm days? If this continues, you will get deposits on the auger and slide plate, and the stove will stop working...might take a bit, but it is an eventality. Your dealer should get with Harman, explain the issue, and try to get it rectified.....again, its NOT normal OR good to get smoke in the hopper.
  3. Gene

    Gene New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I guess I sort of understand, however I am confused on the feed rate in conjuntion with stove temp. If in Stove temp say I have it set at 4 which lets call 350 degrees on the esp probe, why would the feed rate matter at all? shouldnt the stove adjust the feed itself ( over ride the feed setting) to keep the esp probe at/about 350?
    Also, does it make sense then that in stove mode I am using 2 times the amount of pellets I use in room temp?

    As far as the smoke in hopper , I am NOT happy at all with that whole problem it happens 90% of the time if the hopper is less than 1/2 full ( wind definately doesnt matter, and I dont think the temp does either) - I open the lid to add more pellets and smoke comes pouring out stinking the place up. I know this is what causes the the build up on the auger and slide plate, I've already had the stove replaced once for this same thing. I was told then it was a bad motor and the new stove has a new type motor. well that was great at 1st, I never even knew it was running but now its slowly gets louder and louder. When I ask the dealer about it i get -- "HMMMMmmm, ahhh... I dont know.. you have the new motor everything should be fine... just let it run and let me know if it gets real bad." supposedly they have talked to Harmon about it. I've questioned them a few times about it and get the same response ea time. I think they are trying to put it off a short time until warmer weather when I wont use it- then forget about it untill next season when it will become a "oh.. its too late now, you should have had that taken care of when it was newer" - I love the Stove, but I hate the fact that Harmon wont deal with the end user. Makes me think that they are scared of a bad product and can blame it on the dealers or end user if they never have to talk to the end user.
  4. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    With normal usage, your feed rate will remain the same....not something you really need to play with, unless you decide to "test" the unit and see how much it will put out....Ive never done that.

    I havent really heard of many problems with the Advance, smoke-in-the-hopper-wise. BUT the ones I have heard of, well, it wasnt a motor problem. Try running the stove really low on pellets, open the hopper door, and see if you can feel or hear a "suck" at the throat of the hopper, where it enters the auger. Smoke should NEVER come POURING out of the hopper. NEVER. I dont question the veracity of the fact that your dealer spoke to Harman or not, but be persistant. I dont think its a motor. A few ideas....did they check the intake damper, seeing if it swings freely? Do you bring in outside air? If so, is the intake pipe blocked or clogged? Is it excessively long? Has it done this since it was new? (thats important).....Harman wont deal with you, simply because its the dealers job to fix this issue, not theirs.

    And oh yea, in stove temp, its possible you could use ALOT more pellets, especially if its warmish out. In stove mode, the stove has no idea of what room temp is, so it just chugs along, keeping a constant exhaust gas temperature......the room could be 50 degrees or 100 degrees....doesnt matter. Whereas, in room temp mode, the stove adjusts the fire in an attempt to make the area the probe is in the correct temperature. If it gets to that temp, the fire will get smaller, and can actually go out, until the room sensor feels the temp drop, below its set point, and will relight the fire.....so, in this case, you could use many times more pellets in stove temp than in room temp.....

    I guess I am curious what you want Harman to do for you that the dealer cant do for you. If the dealer is calling Harman, Harman is of course telling them what to check and try. Its in Harman's best interests to get your problem resolved, and you DO have a problem. Ive heard many folks "dis" Harman for not dealing directly with the customer, but what would that really solve? Do most poeple own a Magnahelic to test draft? No, so how are we going to get that reading? Is Harman expected to guess on what part might be bad and mail the part to the end-user until they "get it right"? Are most pellet users technically proficient enough to change the parts? Ad Nauseum. I dont want to sound like Im down on you, because that isnt the case. I think you have a real problem which the dealer should resolve. Im just not sure how much help can really be given over the phone, with people in most cases who are upset (deservedly so, sometimes), and in many cases lack the technical know-how to deal with these issues themselves. I know Im gonna get slammed by guys and gals who could build a supercomputer out of an old battery and some weeds, but I find thats by far the exception and not the rule. Good luck!
  5. Gene

    Gene New Member

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    Talking to Harman direct 1st of all would make me FEEL 100 times better- that accounts for alot. However sometimes removing the middleman makes things easier, some times not. If I have a problem , I ask the dealer, the dealer asks Harman, If Harman has a question they have to ask the dealer who than has to get a hold of me, (and IF they need to see it they then have a 80mile round trip to make) after the dealer talks to me they have to call harman back and so on. The dealer doesnt always know all the details of a problem and it could take many calls back and forth. now if I could talk to them directly it may only take 1 call and a picture/video could be emailed imed. if they wanted. If people thought they should use their dealer only, then they wouldnt be reading/posting here and this forum wouldnt be as excellent as it is. Yes I agree the dealer is an important part of the equation and should not be left out but Some communiction between Manufacturer and customer should happen. and lets face it, some dealers shouldnt be dealers.

    "Do most poeple own a Magnahelic to test draft?" No I guess they dont, ( but i do have access to one but havent used it myself) However from reading a few different forums it seems that the Advance often will not produce the proper draft regardless of the settings/Setup

    As far as your questions about the flapper/air intake and such. It has all been checked multiple times by myself and the dealer. the air intake is only 2 1/2 feet long and I have briefly tried running it without the cover on the outside. the flapper works fine ( on both stoves) the dealer even had me buy another $115 worth of pipe to extend the vertical more to "MAYBE" create more draft and prevent the hopper smoke. ( of course no difference)


    I see that now, I'm going to try stove temp for another week, but back to room temp it will go - the increase from room to stove would cost me apx $170 more a month ( so why do people use stove temp?)
  6. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    exactly...very good point...some dealers shouldnt be dealers, but thats true with anything, any business. The thing that amazes me, is they actually stay in business....I wonder how?

    I said it once, Ill say it again....most people dont have the tools or the technical proficiency to troubleshoot or fix the pellet stove. Some do. Some are more proficient than the dealer himself....but I submit its exceedingly rare. Most issues are cleaning issues....and EVERYONE cleans their stove, right? Cant tell you how many "broke stoves" Ive seen that simply needed to be cleaned. Before we go out, we ask the folks if the stoves been cleaned, to avoid that very issue. Harman requires the DEALER to service the stove...thats the way it is, whether its good or bad. If there is a manufacturing issue, they will provide a fix, albeit not as fast as I would like sometimes. This kind of dovetails really well into the good dealer/bad dealer argument. DONT BUY A STOVE FROM A BAD DEALER! A good dealer will work with you to solve problems, not dodge the issue. And the parts issue...are they supposed to just keep sending parts, just to narrow down whats defective, if anything? The draft issue....its good you have access to one...whats your draft? I dont loan mine out to ANYONE...far too expensive to do so.....and itws a KEY too in diagnosing difficulties, as well as the DDM Harman makes. I submit, most folks dont have access to one. Ill gladly go out and read a draft, for a fee, of course, unless I sold the stove and its under warrantee. First thing we do after checking the overall cleanliness is to take a reading.....absolutely critical. The advance has erroneous draft readings? First Ive heard of that.....if your draft is low, your draft is low....you need to take remedial action.....maybe too LONG a run of pipe, maybe a weak combustion fan, maybe a constriction in the intake, constant downdraft, etc. Your stove is a positive pressure exhaust stove, the longer the pipe, the more restriction to draft you will have. The only possible reason for a longer pipe is to offer a negative pressure draft when the power is out, which is fairly rare....all it will do for a bit is exhaust smoke.

    Talking to Harman might make you FEEL 100 times better, but in reality, youd be NO better off. It seems to me youve lost faith in your dealer. For most of the issues a dealer should be able to answer the question without calling Harman. I also submit the dealer has a better handle on the problem then Harman has. He knows the install, he knows the customer, he knows the house, better than harman does. You can only describe so much over the phone or by email.
    Most folks post here in the forum when they are PO'd already. take a look at some of the complaints....few of them are from people who post alot, most are in fact in single numbers.....they came here after they got mad...like you. Now, I agree that your stove does have an "issue"...smoke in the hopper....not good at all. There are things that can be done about this. Im sure you havent thought of them, because you would have mentioned it. Im sure your dealer is well-meaning, since he has taken the time to go out and try to solve the problem. I feel he needs to be more persistant though. Smoke in the hopper is nothing to be trifled with, and Im really kinda on the fence to suggest that you dont run the stove unless the issue is solved. oh, heck....dont run the stove till its solved. As your stove smokes, it leaves sticky gummy deposits on the auger and slide plate, which left unchecked, will cause the stove to completely stop working and plug up. You dont want a hopper fire.
    Stove temp.....we use stove temp in our store...why? Because our stove sits right next to the door, which is opened and closed300-400 times per day...so the room temp isnt constant...if it were in room temp mode, the stove would be always trying to adjust itself....I want my customers to see a biggish fire, feel alot of heat, ergo, stove temp mode!

    ok- let me have it! *cringe* :shut:
  7. moog5

    moog5 Member

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    Smoke in the hopper... try this forum for more info on it.

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/firepl/msg0212083122960.html
  8. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    pretty much the same info as is on this forum, but this specialized forum seems even more informative.
  9. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    My suggestion would be to write Harman a certified letter saying that your stove is inoperable, your dealer is unable to fix the problem, and you want either a new/different model stove or you want your money back. Someone telling you not to use the stove as it was advertised is BS.
  10. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Not a bad idea, Rich, but Consumer Protection Bylaws are promulgated by the state you live in, not the Federal Government. I think the certified letter, if it goes to anyone, it should go to the dealer who sold the unit. I agree its bs he cant use it in room temp mode as well. Gene also didnt buy the stove directly from Harman, and therefore the onus isnt upon them to replace it. The dealer should be doing all this for Gene. One thing they COULD do: provide Gene with another stove, take the old one back, either send it back to Harman, or rework it and sell it as used. More than likely Harman would like this stove back to evaluate it. Its not in their best interests to manufacture substandard units. The Advance is a fairly well-selling unit, and while I have had a couple stoves with the smoke-in-the-hopper issue, Ive never had an Advance like that. And yes, we did fix the few units we had....all this winter....after the fix, so far, so good, but Ill reserve my opinion there until the units in question finish out the season and our tech can go over to the houses and check each unit.
  11. Gene

    Gene New Member

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    Just wanted to update:

    Exact same problems with the new stove as old- it has been giving Status 6 3-4 times daily. Smoke pours from the hopper, it was dead silent when replaced, now its VERY noisey. I scrapped off a small area of the crude/smokey/sticky buildup in the back corner of the Chute and it is about 3/4 of a pellet width deep. There is no way I can clean all that crap out, nor do I think its something that should have to be done.
    The dealer has checked the setup again and he has no clue as to a solution, but he is supposedly ' in constant contact' with Harmon and they are all trying to find a solution.. but until then just keep resetting it 2 times overnight (I LOVE getting up just to turn the little knob off then back on) and a couple times during the day.... ( I think the "solution" will be Summers about here so the problem is outta site, outta mind)

    Thanks-- I needed to vent again.
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