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I don't think my P38 is burning properly

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ducker, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    So I've done two test fires so far.
    And both time experienced a very short flame when the stove starting operating properly (ie after I had manually started it and it started running on its own). I'm seeing a very short, fast, flame at all but the highest setting - if I set the stove to 5/turbo then the flame starts to extend a bit out of the burn pot.

    Otherwise the flame/fire seems to be localized pretty much in the bottom of the burn pot, and it is so short I can see the auger.

    After reading the consumer guide part 2 on this site, it sounds as if I might have too much air, as the flame does have a bit of a "blowtorch" look to it. Come to think of it, my wife called it "the forge" as it does look like a forge, it's blowing so hard. In addition, there seems to be more fly ash then I'd expect once the stove has been operating for a good 30 minutes or so. (might be caused from the pellets though)

    Does this sound like what's happening? Is this something I can tweek myself, or should I call the company that came out the other week and installed it? Would this type of situation decrease the amount of heat the stove would output? I'd imagine it might, and perhaps burn through pellets faster then it should.


    If needed, I could make a short video, or take some pictures tonight and post to help show what I'm seeing.

    Thanks for any feedback!!

    -Mike

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  2. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm. I don't know what a p38 is but it seems like you are getting air from a leak below the flame. As the air rushes by it is able to fan the flame similar to the blow torch and forge look.

    If this thing has an ash pan door I would check the seals there. What ever the cause is I suspect it to be a considerable size air leak.
  3. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry a Harman P38
    http://www.harmanstoves.com/callouts.asp?id=10

    Yes there is an ashpan under. The flame looks considerably different if I actually do open the ashpan door while a fire is running.

    the air seems to be the forced air under the burn pot rather then a leak.
  4. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    When you say the flame stays the same at all settings other than 5, are you waiting long enough for an actual change to take effect? Remember, it takes quite a while to see the changes...

    It's hard to say if you actually have a problem (I'm guessing probably not), but you might want to call both your dealer and Harman.
  5. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, the difference between setting it at 2 and say 4-5 is minimal at best, and that's giving it a good 15minutes or so to adjust.

    At a setting of 2-3 the flame doesn't each reach outside of the burn pot. That's why I think it's not correctly burning.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Sounds like it could just be something with finding the "sweet spot" on the settings. I would try adjusting feedrate to 5 but turning the blowers down to the lower setting. I believe that when you put the feedrate in turbo mode it forces the fan to high, right?
    Ultimately a short video might be useful
  7. CelciusMaximus

    CelciusMaximus Member

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    here is a pic of mine after shutting everything down to allow the stove to go out. it may not be much help.make sure you turn up ypur feed rate.
    also how long are your pellets and what brand?

    Attached Files:

  8. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Yeah P-38 that is a German pistol , made by Walther...same maker of the PPK ,380 that james bond carries...It is a short 9mm and not worth a chit in a confrontation.
  9. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Naa, P38, WWII twin engine, twin boom, fighter plane.
  10. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    yea the shutdown pick doesn't really help since there are too many additional variables involved.

    pellets are a cheaper brand - most of which are 1" in length. a couple of them are a bit longer, couple smaller.

    the pellets are burning well, it's just the flame coming off them that seems odd, it's as if there's just too much air on the burn put.

    again, I'll take a couple of pics tonight and make a short vid.
  11. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Well yes there was p 38 Mustage ...does that have and e At the end or not? .... There is something going funny here.... It sounds like my hard drive is burning up in space... there is is heat coming my way but no sound, The heat is hot and i fear I am doomed with this PC as I think something amiss. I think I will shut down now.
  12. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    I'm back and the heat and noise was from a hair dryer beneath my console that I inadvertantly kicked on. Everything has cooled down and i am back on line to take questions and doubts
  13. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Maybe a damper transition in the first piece of pipe will slow your draft down
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think dampers in pellets stoves are allowed.....forced combustion from the front end could result in smoke spillage. Most dampering is on the intake of such stoves.
  15. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    i'm not seeing any smoke leakage, and there's a noticeable difference in the flame appearance when I open the front of the stove so I really don't think it's a leek in one of the gaskets.
  16. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I looked in the P38 owners manual, nothing about how to adjust for first fire, must be dealer only.
  17. JPapiPE

    JPapiPE New Member

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    Jesus H. Criminal...I did call all my local hardware stores in search of a 6" storm collar ( which of coarse has to measure 8" circumference) But nobody home, no where, no how. I did get to speak to Bert and I though
  18. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    can you stop posting random junk in this thread.

    Thanks.
  19. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    I just got my P38 this past winter.
    If I put it on turbo..it seems to take it a good hour to hour and a half to get the flame to be really cooking.
    It's about a foot high or more and really cranks out the heat.. for the first hour it didnt so much.
    I ran it most of the time last year at about a 3 to 3.5 on the feed rate (fans I always put on full).
    and the flame was probably settled out around 4 inchs or so above the burn pot.
  20. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    thanks for the great comment. I didn't get a chance to try it out again last night. I'll give it a try again tonight
    or this weekend setting it at 3-3.5 and see how it looks after about an hour.
  21. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    It also matters what pellets your burning I'd suspect.
  22. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    does sound like draft is too strong.
    Was it draft tested?
    What is your vent setup? I bet its a short straight run... right?
    How many pellets are in the burnpot? a small amount of pellets will yield the blast furnace look. more will have a more natual flame look.
    It's all in the fuel to air ratio.........one of them is off a bit it seems.....
  23. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    No it wasn't draft tested as it was quite warm out and there really wouldn't show accurately what the draft would be.

    It's a short straight run to the chimney. (see pick linkabove)

    There are a small amount of pellets in the burn pot after I let it run for 30min at a lower setting.

    I'm going to test it tomorrow running at a medium setting around 3.5 for 30min or so.

    If the fuel/air ratio is off, I'll contact the installer company and set up a time for them to come out and modify the stove. I don't suppose I can't modify this on my own.. if I can, please feel free to tell me :)
  24. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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  25. ducker

    ducker Feeling the Heat

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    yea I won't be doing that. I'm waiting for another cool night (low 50's) in order to fire it up again for another
    test run to let it sit at 3-4 for a good 45min.
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