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Harmon Accentra feeding continually but no ignite

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jonnytelzr, Jan 14, 2008.

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  1. jonnytelzr

    jonnytelzr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Lower Hudson Valley, NY
    We just cleaned our stove and now it keeps feeding pellets but won't ignite. I tried unplugging, resetting, emptying front tray, and even manual lighting (no gel). I can't get a fire started and I can't get the pellet feed to stop!

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  2. cantman

    cantman Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    You may have a bad ignitor. Does the burn pot get hot after you restart the stove
    and let it feed for a few minutes? Make sure all ventilation holes in the burn pot
    are open and not plugged with ash or caked on carbon. Also, tap the burnpot to
    knock down all ash laying on top of the ignitor and empty the burn pot clean out
    door.
  3. jonnytelzr

    jonnytelzr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
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    Loc:
    Lower Hudson Valley, NY
    It's getting warm but no ignite. I think the burn pot is clean, she vacuumed the darn thing.

    Correction - After turning it off and back on, it sat another few minutes, then started smoking terribly (inside) and now I've got a raging fire which looks like it will explode through the roof!

    And Harmon doesn't talk about this issue!
  4. cantman

    cantman Member

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    Loc:
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    Usually, the fire will be "tall" after the stove has been initially lit on "auto" mode.
    This should calm down after a few minutes and then catch up after the feed mechanism
    starts to feed more pellets in. You may have to adjust the pellet feed level slightly lower.
  5. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    335
    Loc:
    N. Central Mass
    Did you clean out the ignitor home under the burnpot? Mine has a couple of wingnuts and a cover to remove.
    Also make sure you put the ignitor wires back into it correctly. I am sure the manual says something about it.
    You will have a hard time starting the stove in manual mode without starter gel.
    Just my 2 cents.
  6. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    125
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Kanata
    The ignitor is on its last legs and it wont be long before it stops working altogether.
    How do I know? No reason, only I am on my fourth one in less than two years. :)
  7. HV14

    HV14 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Southern NY
    Hammerjoe is right. I posted a thread to Accentra Problems posted by Noheat in november with my igniter story if you want to read it. The igniter is simple to replace however there seems to be a serious problem developing with the igniter that is supposed to be the best on the market. It's actually on back order at the factory for a while, so unless it's in stock with a dealer, there are no more for distribution yet.
  8. Redryder

    Redryder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    We have a P68 and the ignitor died last weekend. A quick call to our dealer on Saturday had us use a gel to restart while a new ignitor was being shipped. That worked out OK for the interim. Today (Thursday, 1/24) the dealer was here with the new ignitor and replaced it without incident. He advised there is a known problem with the ignitors and he was on his way to replace another (this was the 10th he's replaced). As an aside, he mentioned that we had a potential problem in running the stove in "room temp" as when it cycles down it causes a low burn near the auger and that results in a build-up of carbon which can clog/damage the auger. He recommended we run in "stove" mode and just turn the stove to "off" when the desired temp is reached. That sounds like it defeats the reason we bought the stove in the first place (the ability to automatically control the room temp and turn itself on/off as needed). Anyone else have this issue? Right now we're running it in stove mode and have the feed at "4" and the temp dial at "4 or 5" depending on how warm we want the area. Thanks in advance for any input . . .
  9. HV14

    HV14 New Member

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    Loc:
    Southern NY
    In the accentra, I'm sure its the same for your P68, stove mode is primarily used for viewing rather than heat. The idea is that when a temp setting is under 5 the distribution blower will not operate. The feed rate can be turned up and it will produce a larger fire. In my accentra the window is large and the view is great. I mention this because heating efficiency is compromised in how you are running your stove. Feed rate burns more fuel for a taller flame but doesn't distribute the heat into the room. There's heat for sure but it is operating like a radiator instead. Now that you have a new igniter, run the stove in room temp like you bought it for. The stove shuts off at the desired temp and restarts as needed. The service guy you were talking to is likely referring to the way you have to run the stove with no igniter, which is manual mode. In this mode the stove does not shut off. It just burns at the lowest possible setting until the room temp probe requires more heat to stay at the setting you selected. I am forced to do this everytime I lose an igniter because my stove is my primary source of heat. Restarting with Gel each time is both time consuming and inconvenient.
  10. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
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    Loc:
    Upstate, SC
    Not familiar with the Harman but I've found that using a map gas or propane torch to start the pellets manually is less trouble than messing with the gel.
  11. Stilllife1

    Stilllife1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
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    11
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    The Accentra/Advance (I think my XXV needs it too) has a modification where 5 holes get drilled into the burn pot near the auger. This is to help prevent the carbon build-up. Only the newer stoves come from the dealer with the mod. My dealer told me that mine should have it since i bought it in May. It does not. I also get smoke in my hopper when the pellets are low. There is a mod for that as well. Mine does not have it. Apperently Harman has only issued that mod for the Accentra and Advance, but I know mine needs it. I'll be talking to my dealer about it soon.
  12. Redryder

    Redryder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    Thanks HV14, pegdot and Stilllife1 for the information. We've switched back to room temp mode. I'll ask our dealer about the mod to the burn pot. I figure we have another 18 months on the 3-year warranty so if the igniter dies again it will still be covered.
  13. BetterHeat

    BetterHeat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    SW Maine
    Just had the same issue with my P68. Contacted Harman dealer and they had me try a few tricks. Ensured all five rows of holes were open. Loossened screws holding igniter in place and tapped to ensure clean. Started stove back up and let run for about 15 minutes then felt burn pot to see if warm, nothing. They are waiting for more ignitors to come in but having issues getting them right now. Said the best way to run until then is with toggle in manual and dial on stove temp to ensure stove stays running.
  14. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    smoke in hopper = potential issue, sooner or later = talk to the dealer. All "mods" can be checked to see if they are there, but some cant be seen without pulling the auger out. The "5 hole" mod seems to help with the carbon accumulation, but doesnt help with the smoky hopper or gummy slide plate issue. In fact, recent correspondence with Harman suggests actually filling the lowest holes near the auger (if they exist), which to me suggests that they *might* be detrimental to the smoky hopper or sticky slide plate issues. Only 10 ignitor changes? I dunno, we are somewhere near 100 right now.
  15. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Epping, NH
    Lousy, Have you seen any connection between OAK and gummy slide plate?
  16. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    Not really Dougsey.....at first, we tried to correlate it with an OAK, then with type of pellets, then with stove......couldnt find a discernable correlation EXCEPT one model seemed to have an inordinate amount when compared with others in the line. I dont really want to divulge which model it was, since I'd really rather not create panic where its most likely not due.
  17. HV14

    HV14 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southern NY
    To everyone still reading this post. Probably going to jinx myself any minute now but hopefully this gives all of you some extra info much needed. Concerning the igniter. Harmon (who doesn't own the company anymore) admitted to the defect with the igniter and offered a replacement. If you've received any new igniters under warranty, you'll notice they stopped shipping them with the housing anymore, which is a simple swap from the old one. These aren't necessarily the new ones I've found but I did receive the replacement and unbelievably, I haven't had an igniter problem this whole winter. I normally burned through 1 every 5 - 6 weeks. Most of your good stove company's can tell the difference which is what I did. I actually got this one outside of warranty. As for whether the igniter is going or not, just check for continuity with a multimeter. Super easy and it's either got an open or it is still working. It's very rare that they are "going". If you are keeping the stove beyond warranty, just order a new igniter from a good stove company. This way you have one on hand to swap out immediately without waiting for a service call and you can still trade in the old one for a warranty replacement. Then when the warranty runs out you'll still have one on hand that seemingly was free since you paid for it so long ago. I've been doing this with a company for the last 2 years on warranty. Swapping out the igniter takes 15 minutes. A quick trick to keeping the igniter clean is to use canned air from an office supply store. Use a vacuum to clean out the chamber below the burn pot and then just shoot a puff of air through the igniter holes. You'll easily see if any of the holes are clogged. I do this 2x between cleanings. I believe it allows the igniter to light the fire quicker, bring the stove to temperature faster and shut down the igniter, which should prolong it's use. Just my 2 cents and use if needed. Take care
  18. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    accurate...what HV14 said. I dont agree with the 15 minute changeout.....an insert takes between 30 and 45 minutes, but freestanders are easier. Also, while you have the multimeter out, check the resistance of the igniter. The "old series" igniters, often faulty, had lower resistances, 40-44 ohms, while the newer series (good) igniters have 46-49 ohms. If the igniter has failed, HV14 is right....no continuity....and often the igniter will be slightly bent. Please note though, the igniter has nothing to do with a gummy slide plate.
  19. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,641
    Loc:
    South Coast MA
    My ignitor just went poof this week.
    What a PIA to start manually when I am so spoiled with an ignitor ;-)
    Guess I cannot complain though, it lasted about 2 yrs.

    My stove is still under warranty but part is on backorder. After seeing this post today, I called around
    local dealers to see if they had one in stock, but nope, nobody does.
    Good idea to keep an extra on hand, just for this reason
  20. HV14

    HV14 New Member

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    Loc:
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    In response to FHS, I was talking about a freestanding sorry. You're able to get to both the front and back very easy. I would imagine the XXV would be the same while an insert could be more challenging. The 15 minutes for my Accentra is no exageration, but then again I have the practice with 14 igniters in less than 4 years. I have not experienced the gumming on the plate and I do not have the mod done nor do I intend to. The smoke in the hopper is minimal. I do tend to clean it more than most because it heats my cotttage but no other problems aside from the igniter and looks like that has righted itself finally. Good luck all.
  21. AmandaSkye

    AmandaSkye New Member

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    35
    Loc:
    Mid-WesternOntario
    The ignitor in our Drolet Eco35 works whenever it feels like it. We've been manually lighting now for about a month (with lighter fluid...is that ok?) We've only been burning it since December, I was surprised the ignitor went that fast.
  22. HV14

    HV14 New Member

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    Loc:
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    Lighter fluid? That's like lighting a campfire with gasoline. Be real careful. The fluid can easily pass right through the pellets into the blower holes in the burn pot which is where your igniter resides. The gel stuff works just fine and will stay on top of the pellets. I would think a blow torch would even be safer than lighter fluid. Good luck.
  23. Argh2

    Argh2 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
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    Loc:
    CT
    My Harman insert won't start...it's been running fine for a few yrs, usually only not starting when it's overdue for ash cleanout. Cleaned out ashbin, etc. Did thorough cleaning of burnpot. Rapped on clean burnpot with tool several times to shake any loose ash off of igniter and cleaned it out of box thru doorway, but am not sure if igniter's actually impacted with ash, etc. Burnpot holes were all open; had read about them getting clogged, so I tried to clear them with a toothpick from above...all seemed wide open, and when toothpick eventually slipped and fell down hole, it fell right thru burnpot out thru burnpot cleanout doorway into ash bin. Just used a mirror to look up thru doorway...entire inside of burnpot and igniter are clean...no ash, dust or clogging. Restarted, but after 15min, burnpot still COLD.

    So I'd like to check if igniter's shot or not getting power, as suggested:

    1. Do I have to remove insert from fireplace to chk w/multimeter whether igniter's getting juice? I haven't pulled insert (had dealer do preventive maint every year+ or so...was at work, so didn't see it pulled) Fireplace flush w/floor, so no rails needed?

    2. Where are the 2 points to touch w/meter leads? and how do you access them? (thru doorway? around back after pulling insert? Is there some way to pull burnpot off from front?)

    Would like to DIY if possible to save $, but happy w/dealer.
    Thanks
  24. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    You need to remove the ignitor to test it. There is two wires going to it, one is usually baby blue, the other is yellow (these wires go through a plug blow the feeding mechanism in the rear of the unit). Cut the zip ties, feed the wires thought the plug (yes, you'll need to slide the insert out to do this). Then, go to the front, remove the two hex head screws above the igniter access door, also remove the access door. the ignitor should then come out the opening with a little help, followed by two wires. Gently pull the igniter out, and the wires with it. Keep pulling and you will see the spade connectors that attach the ignitor to the blue and yellow wires. Unplug the ignite, take the multimeter and test the ignitor. If the igniter is good, you'll have 40-50 ohms of resistance......closer to 50 is best. If the ignitor is bad, you wont have continuity......get another igniter. Save the old igniter bracket though, because new ignitors dont have them.......replace the igniter, but when ya do it, be sure you pull the wires ALL THE WAY back......if you dont, you'll burn the insulating coating off the yellow and blue wires, reulting in failure of the igniter or circuitboard.
  25. Argh2

    Argh2 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
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    2
    Loc:
    CT
    Thanks Lousyweather!
    Does Harman warranty cover igniter? labor to diagnose & replace igniter?
    What's involved in pulling the unit forward? (latches? screws? is it on rollers?)
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