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Harmon Advance rattles the windows

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by SilverCityzen, Dec 23, 2007.

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  1. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    Greetings -

    Please excuse the incoherency of this post - I am a brand new Harmon Advance owner, and my ignorance will no doubt be evident. :)

    My old QuadraFire Nova gave up the ghost last year, and I replaced it with a Harmon Advance. Winter was late arriving this year, and as of today we have used the new stove regularly for maybe two months.

    The stove has developed an intermittent rattle during operation that is sometimes so loud it echoes through the house. From reading the manual and posts on this board, it looks like the problem may be due to fine build-up behind the ash box, causing that box to not seat properly so the two metal panels on the sides rattle.

    So yesterday I took the whole thing apart and cleaned everything in sight, making sure to get the area around the back of the ash container as clean as possible.

    This solved the problem for most of yesterday, but then the rattle started up again, after the stove had been running for a while, and nothing had been opened or removed. This is not the feeder grinding when a pellet gets crossed in that mechanism - we have that as well, and have identified it.

    This is a constant (when it happens) loud rattle that happens when the distribution fan is running. We have not noticed the rattle when this fan is off, even if a fire is burning. It sounds like two pieces of metal vibrating against each other. Like a chunk of steel in the metal bed of an old pickup going down a washboard road. Currently this is intermittent - it won't rattle at all for a while, then, with a constant fire and no opening of the stove or anything, it will start up and rattle like the dickens for a while ('while' is hours in each case), then stop, again with no activity such as opening the door or anything.

    When I had the thing apart yesterday I looked at pieces and nothing was obviously bent or warped, and all the gaskets look to be in good condition.

    I guess my main question for now is, how 'picky' is this stove in terms of re-assembly after cleaning? I am mechanically inclined, but as mentioned still ignorant regarding this stove. Is it most likely that I just didn't get something exactly back in the right place and that is causing this rattle? Or could something be warped and that is causing it? Or ???

    Any thoughts or ideas from you folks that know this stove better will be most appreciated. If I have been unclear about something (likely, I reckon... :) ), please let me know and I'll do my best to provide more information.

    Thanks in advance...

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  2. Bxpellet

    Bxpellet Feeling the Heat

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    I had the same rattle, after listing carefully, I realized it was the marble inserts was not sitting correctly, hold it down when you hear it rattle. sounds stupid but it stop the rattle.
  3. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    Thanks for that idea... we checked that and no luck, sadly... took the tiles clear out.

    We also just got lucky and it was rattling with a low fire, so we could open the door and poke around... and EVERYTHING we can get to is tight. It sure sounds like it is directly related to the distribution blower... we turned it down and that stopped and it sounded for all the world like a metal blade fan with something in it coming to a stop...
  4. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    If it is in the distribution blower you can take it off and inspect it....... 2 bolts and it's off
    could be something in the vanes of the blower.....
  5. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    Thanks... didn't realize it was quite that easy from looking at the owner manual... btw, I've looked for and so far failed to find a tech manual on this thing... is such available?

    Anyway, I'll take a look at taking a look at the the blower this afternoon... we usually get a warm period when we can let the stove cool down... at least, warm enough, if not actually warm. :)
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I actually had a spare blower that I would swap out every other ton. With 3 dogs and having hardwood floors it would get quite plugged.
    Then I would clean it up and put it on the shelf...
    If I remember right you need a ratchet with a 6" extension and a 3/8" socket (maybe 7/16")

    You won't find a tech manual unless you are a dealer..

    Is it a rattle or does it sound like a helicopter in the far distance?
    Or both?
  7. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    You are a gold mine! Thanks for mentioning this... we have four big dogs and also hardwood floors... I hadn't even thought of a connection there, but now that you mention it, it makes sense... they all shed, even in winter, so it is entirely possible there is some 'stuff' in there...

    Bummer... :(

    The problem noise is a rattle, like two pieces of sheet metal vibrating together... that kind of noise. We also have some noises that could be described as helicopter in the distance, but that seems to be the feeder mechanism just doing its thing.

    Thanks again for this tip, I'm going to take a look at it this afternoon...
  8. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    OK, the mystery begins to clear. Got the back off, and the distribution blower out and cleaned, and in the process found a hose clamp just sort of hanging out on a flex pipe coming in from outside to the combustion air intake backdraft damper. From reading the manual, it doesn't sound like this has to be an air-tight connection... and it sure isn't, in any case.

    This pipe is a hold-over from the old stove installation; I have yet to figure out why they left the clamp on there, but it isn't doing anything useful and is the only thing I saw that was at all loose.

    Question of the moment: Is this supposed to be an air-tight connection? See photo.... maybe. not sure I did the photo thing right...

    Thank you for all the great help!

    Attached Files:

  9. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    Update:

    The errant hose clamp was not the problem... although I'm glad to get that out of there...

    The problem rattle is in the distribution blower itself. Sometimes at high speed it rattles like the blades may be hitting somewhere on the housing or some such. When we slow the speed down it stops.

    Today when it was rattling I applied a bit of upward pressure on the bottom rear of the fan, at high speed, and that also stopped the noise.

    The fan is pretty clean... not 100% clean, but pretty close... cleaned it yesterday.

    Would this be considered a defective fan? Would it be a good idea to put some padding material between the fan and where it connects to the stove body? Since this area is not very hot at all...

    When I had it apart yesterday I checked the fan unit and did not find anything loose, but of course I didn't think to check end-play on the shaft... I'll pull it apart again in a day or so and check that.

    Many thanks!
  10. aweya

    aweya New Member

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    Silver,

    I had the same problem with my Advance. I took the distribution blower off and noticed the steel ring on the open side of the blower (where the squirrel cage is) was vibrating. I took the ring off (3 screws) and bent it a little so when I reassembled it it was tight around the entire circumference. The noise went away and has been silent since. Give that a shot.
  11. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    I would put the outside air pipe in the hole about half an inch otherwise you'll have cold air pouring in, especially when the stove is off.
  12. SilverCityzen

    SilverCityzen New Member

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    aweya - Thanks! I'll take a look at that and see what I can do in that regard. I appreciate the tip... :)

    Dougsey - Thank you, as well... I'm not sure there is any available slack in that pipe (a hold over from the other stove), but I'll check and see if I can move it any.

    I hope all had a good day yesterday... I cleaned a rodent nest out of my pump-house... yuck! :)
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