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Harmon Accentra problems

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by noheat, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Hello, lots of problems with my Harmon accentra right from the get go. Ignitor went out less than 8 months after purchase. Now, less than 2 years after purchase, auger won't run. New auger motor, new control board and new low pressure switch make no difference, I'm running by jumpering across low pressure switch leads. Also, after reading some other messages here, was dealer supposed to install and test??? No one told us anything about that. I just about killed myself installing it myself. Just had a chimney sweep out to clean the flue, unfortunately he apparently clogged something, as all the smoke is exiting inside the house, not out the roof chimney. I thought we were purchasing a quality product, I guess we were wrong. The dealer is content to exchange parts, but it is a 60 mile round trip for me trying to figure out what is wrong. I was not told the Gold warranty includes labor. Is this true? Feeling "stuck" in Colorado, and winter is coming fast.

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  2. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    You're exhaust is plugged........
    if it won't start and you jumped the vac switch, and now smoke is blowing into the house.
    With the stove off turn it on and crack open the front door... do you feel air blowing out the door?

    EDIT.................... or you're combustion blower is not running...
  3. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Yes, combustion blower functions, and there do not appear to be clogs in the flue. Do you know if Harmon dealer is supposed to install and test? If they don;t alert a buyer to their responsibilities, is there liability? Under my state's law, there may be certain liability even though a manufacturer asserts a disclaimer. This stove is turning into a health hazard. Any other reasonable explanations. This failure to operate successfully came on suddenly, after working fine for a year. After this experience, I would think twice before buying a Harmon.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Check the exhaust blower itself and not just the flue. If the sweep shoved a brush down the pipe and the exhaust blower already had some crud in it then the residue from the brushing could have plugged it and be causing exactly what you are experiencing.

    The stove ran fine for a year. Keeping it cleaned and serviced isn't the dealer's responsibility it is yours.
  5. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    You chose to install yourself right? The manual clearly states that it should be draft tested at the install. It was you're responsibility to do this, if you had a qualified dealer do the install they should have draft tested it...
    How did the sweep clean it?
    Describe you're venting setup... Do you have a cleanout tee? do you vent through a chimney? How? full liner? Through the wall? Do you use outside air?
    If you're comb blower is running and the little flap(air intake) is open and jumping the vac switch let the auger run then you have a restriction in you're flue. That's about it...
    Jumping out the safeties is only for testing purposes, running the stove with the vacuum switch bypassed might even void your warranty. I don't know...

    I would say you have a birds nest or something in the pipe.
    Look at the exhaust flue. and remove the jumper.......
    And make sure you're stove is cleaned, see the link below
    http://www.harmanstoves.com/maintenance/accentracleaninginstructions.pdf
  6. Souzafone

    Souzafone Feeling the Heat

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    Dealer install and set up is not automatic because many people want to do the install themselves. I have the same stove as you and I love it. Have you done any work on it besides replacing electrical components? Do you have the manual? I had some problems in the past, but they were all my own doing, I wasn't doing enough to keep the flue and temp probe clear, then I found a foreign object, probably from some e-bay pellets I bought. Make sure you clean per the instructions, including the feed door behind the right rear cover, and clear the flue and exhaust area through an open trap. You'll need a $40 pellet stove brush from HD or similar. Report back on this thread what happens.
  7. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Its funny that you mention the ignitor replacement.
    I am about to have it replaced a second time and I had the stove for less than two years.
    I start to think that there is a flaw with the ignition system on this stove. :(
  8. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    In response to a couple comments from some of you readers who passed along suggestions. Firstly, thanks for any and all input. I'm not dissing Harman products, but lemons do come off the assembly line. I meticulously clean the stove several times each year, and especially this year as I was experiencing difficulties, and I am always careful not to damage anything. I follow the recommended procedure from Harman, I actually did it intuitively before reading the procedure. I don't think I've damaged anything in the process. Today, I removed and visually inspected all exhaust components from the burn pot to the roof cap on top of my flue, to confirm no simple clogs. No birds nests, and no clogs from the chimney sweep. The combustion blower runs when I set it on the test function also. Sorry folks, I don't believe it is that simple of a problem, and I am not a nincompoop. I've had other pellet stoves in the past, and maintained those as well; Whitfield comes to mind. In fact, the Accentra is a replacement of the Whitfield. As for initial set-up: I "chose" to set it up myself as the dealer never mentioned that for them to do it was an option, and I never thought to ask. And yes, maybe that was a bit naive on my part. Frankly, after revisiting with my chimney sweep the other evening, he mentioned that dealers sometimes don't want to get involved in installation because of permitting for woodstoves differing among counties, etc., and that homes built in different decades may have different flue components, etc. which may or may not be approved presently, i.e., just more work for them. And yes, maybe he was passing the buck, but after my flue inspection today, I think there is some merit to his opinion. In the past, the authorized repair people have not proved reliable, so I am reluctant to go with them again. They didn't seem to be much more than parts changers themselves, didn't show up for a scheduled appointment inexplicably, and such nonsense. But back to the problem at hand, I am not certain about the room temperature probe, it may be a source of the problem. I will disconnect that and give it another try. As far as the ignitor goes, if you start and stop your stove frequently, it will wear out on a more frequently. To replace the ignitor is relatively simple. Again, thanks for the interest. When it funtioned properly, it was a great stove. But right now it is nothing other than a big, heavy room decoration.
  9. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Ok how about checking the voltage to your wall outlet and the polarity of the wall outlet?
    As for the dealer, ask them if they have the Dealer Diagnostic Meter. This i'm sure will tell what the problem is, or at least narrow it down.
    If they are throwing parts at it then they should join the forum too.
    Here is something I want you to do.
    Find the draft meter hole on your stove... It's location is shown in the manual. Page 11, figure 18
    Remove the 3/8-16 bolt with 9/16 wrench
    put the stove in test.
    strike a match and hold it near the hole.
    What happens?
    Is it drawn into the stove?
  10. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Hello again, I have made some progress since last post. GVA, thanks, I realize you are probably one of the most experienced/aware posting here, and that you are sincerely trying to help. You obviously have good suggestions. My wall voltage is 124.7 volts by my meter, polarity is correct. With respect to conditions, really nothing different we are doing since last season when stove funtioned properly. Also, let me be more specific about this stove. This stove is an Accentra 2 free-standing, my manual supplied is MIP-1347. Yesterday afternoon, I reassembled everything, and started the stove in test. All blowers were working, so we added fuel to see what would happen. Stove fired right up. Now this is with the low pressure switch which 3 days ago was not apparently working, i.e., not permitting sufficient voltage to combustion blower. Last night, all systems were go, no smoke in house, etc., but after about an hour, it went into shutdown mode, and we got the 6 blink status code, indicating insufficient combustion of fuel. We reset a number of times, and the same thing happened multiple times. I admit that ambient temps are very high here, right now. So with the cold front moving in the beginning of this week, I will try to readjust dial settings, and clean stove, auger, hopper etc. and try with some new fuel. The pellets I used this past few days have begun to deteriorate and it may be that there is too much fines in them. I have cleaned the ignitor box and all holes in burnpot, and cleaned it thouroughly. Any comments, ideas, suggestions or musings are welcome.
  11. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I'd have to check but the shutdown could be a problem with the ESP I think that would give the stat 6 after about 45 minutes,I'm not a dealer or anything so I'm not privey to info on the control board but I HIGHLY recommend that you ask your dealer to come by and plug in the DDM and see what it says.
    Also the vacuum switch cuts out the ignitor and the auger motor not the comb blower.
    6 blink sometimes means there is just a bridge in the hopper from pellets too.
  12. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Thanks, you are making a lot of sense. Auger and ignitor cutting out but not combustion is starting to sound like we are adding things up to an answer. At this point, I can't do much with getting the dealer out until later in the week if at all. I'll keep you posted.
  13. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Good luck, we'll be here.
  14. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Fired up the stove again with new, clean pellets. Same problem, stove shuts down after about 45 minutes, even in automatic mode. A phone call to dealer directed me over to "authorized" repair people. A call to them lets me know that although they are authorized to work on the Accentra, they do not have the diagnostic meter for this stove??? But they will do "diagnostics" on it, so that it will only require one trip for them to solve any problem. Something not adding up here to me. They told me they can fix any Accentra without the diagnostic meter. I'm smelling natural gas here, funny thing is I'm only trying to burn wood pellets. Still getting the 6 blink status code. Stove is not feeding pellets at the rate I would expect, even on high feed rate setting. I've cleaned auger and hopper several times. I think at this point it will be cheaper for me to physically haul the stove back to the dealer and let them address it. They indicated they would fix it 100% if I bring it back to them. Since they are closer to me than the authorized repair people, I think that is the cheapest solution for me. Too bad, the next week here it is supposed to be in the single digits with snow. I've been messing with this thing for 4 weeks now. Any suggestions or ideas?
  15. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    Did you pull out and check your Exhaust Probe or replace it?

    That sounds like it could be the problem as some others have suggested.

    Do you still have the vac switch jumped? If so that is the problem your looking for. I picked up a draft meter (magnahelic) off e-bay for 30 bucks a few weeks ago so I could check things as such and I would recomend you do the same.
  16. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    No, low pressure sensor is no longer jumped. hasn't been since since last week. I will pull esp and clean, but the dealer does not have a replacement in stock presently. He will call me when it gets in. If the cleaning does not change things, and the replacement doesn't rectify the situation, then it goes back to the dealer. My dealer told me he has never heard of a diagnostic meter for the accentra; the repair people say there is one, but they don't have it, and don't need it. And of course it is impossilbe to get a phone number for Harman to ask them. lots of conflicting stories abound in this neck of the woods concerning these stoves, among and betwixt dealer, repair people and owners. Who do you believe?
  17. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    The Dealer Diagnostic meter plugs into the control board.......... This is the same control board for ALL harman pellet stoves, have the heard of one for the advance?or p-68? If they have tell them to bring it with them :)
    Who should you believe.......... HMMMMM
    I would go with the accumulated knowledge here.. there are many knowledgeable dealers here but they seem to be busy this time of year....
    Not having a DDM is like an auto mechanic not having a code reader...... Tough to diagnose that check engine light without it...
  18. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    GVA, you are preaching to the choir here. I did not ask the repair people or dealer if they have a ddm for advance or p-whatever, it simply never occured to me to ask. I did clean the esp and retry just an hour ago. The stove is set to automatic (feed rate 4, room temp set at 70) and is functioning very erratically. Still, it does not feed fuel at the rate I expected from previous season when it appeared to operate successfully. the fire is very low in the burn pot. I'm at a loss at this point. The stove has been burning for a little over 40 minutes, we will see if it stays lit or burns out here, quickly. Will advise. But seriously, as you said, whom to believe? I believe you faceless forum(ites) WAY more than I believe the dealer or repair people. After all, the dealer and repair people have lots of economic interest in my misfortune. Stay tuned.
  19. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    News Flash. Fire has gone out. Status 6 code. Stove is going to dealer.
  20. toastyinri

    toastyinri New Member

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    Do you have an outside air kit attached? Sounds to me like your Accentra is not getting enough air and not reaching the temp to "kick in". Had the same problem with my Advance 2 years ago...small flame, six blinks and shutdown. after 45 min. Turns out a little sliver from the air intake hose had jammed the little door flap inside the unit....pushed it open with my finger and all worked fine after that. I clean my ESP probe with a paper towel with a little windex on it until no more brown crap comes off on the paper towel. Probably not the problem with your stove, but might be worth checking before you haul it off.
  21. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Hello, thanks. The air is from inside the house, and I checked the intake and flapper multiple times, doesn't seem to be any apparent problem there. I've cleaned the esp multiple times with scrubbie, so it is very clean also. The only possibility with that is that it may just be gone. I have one on order but will not be in for at least another week, maybe more. I will put the new one in and give it a last chance. I have already put an inordinate amount of time into this thing, and being an otr driver I am gone 5-6 days at a time, leaving my wife to suffer with the electric baseboard heat. I need to get this thing fixed/replaced soon, as we already have below zero here at night. Thanks for any suggestions, though. As an update to some comments from others, the dealer told me they also passed on buying the ddm, said it really didn't supply much useful info for diagnosing problems with the stoves; couldn't justify the cost, etc. Guess I'm scratching my head on that one, since they told me they have a lot of Harmans out with customers, and the repair people told me they service a lot Harmans. Am I missing something here? Of course, the same picture always looks different depending on from what angle the viewer looks. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  22. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    For those who are interested, this is an update on my situation with the Accentra. After a month, we are still waiting for new esp's. Half way thru winter and I am relying on electric baseboard heat. Dealer seems to be getting reluctant to return my calls. This $2500 piece of cast iron won't even serve to hold open a door. Very poor experience here, both with product and service. To all of you who have Accentras and have had good luck with them, consider yourself just that, lucky. I will never purchase another Harman product, and will never recommend them to anyone. Enough said.
  23. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry you are having such a bad experience. I would expect the ESP to be an in stock item at your dealer.

    If they are not returning calls, perhaps a personal visit to the store is in order. I would go on a Saturday when the store is busy and complain in a loud voice about the lousy service. Not screaming like a crazy person but loud enough so other customers hear you.

    Good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.
  24. noheat

    noheat New Member

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    Gosh, if it were only that simple. I've been to the store in person at least 6 times in the past 2 months, a 70 mile roundtrip each time. Also, I've called at least 40 times in the past 2 months about this problem. They are dropping the ball here, not me. They could care less my 2-year-old warrantied stove doesn't work, they have my money. I'm spending my money doing their job. In my experience of this politically-correct world, if you so much as mouth one word of disgruntlement in public, it gets you arrested, or at least a police escort off the property. your mileage may vary.
  25. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    call harman for the esp or try another dealer and get it shipped to you
    you might have to bite the bullet and pay for it but someone out there has one
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