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New Owners of the Harman P68

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MySpecialGuys, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    I feel for ya, it seems that things are not right with that stove. And three bags of pellets a day is nothing to sneeze at.

    You said you are running in stove mode. I use the room temp mode (I'm lazy, and like the stove to do the work ;-) ). I set mine for whatever temp I want (75 right now), put the blower into med-high room temp mode, feed rate to 3, and *ping* the stove holds the room to the set temp.

    So, in room temp mode, the room is not being held at a constant temprature? That is a real problem. The temp probe is connected, right? Where is it? Mine is just at the back of the stove.

    You mentioned that you were operating in stove temp mode. In that mode, it will feed pellets at a constant rate. In the first post, you talked about having it set at the 60 mark. I think that would be about 3 lbs per hour (Zeta mentioned that it can run from 1 to 8 lbs per hour), and 3 * 24 give 72lbs in 24 hours. That may be something to keep an eye on.


    And of course there is the squeal - has your dealer looked into that yet?

    Cheers



    Kenny

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  2. MySpecialGuys

    MySpecialGuys New Member

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    Can I ask what your stove is using in pellets daily? That's the stove we were going to get but went with the P68 because the window was bigger. We were assured when buying this stove it would only need a bag of pellets or less to run
    a day. I called them back today because I didn't want the stove and he agreed with me again that it shouldn't be burning that much and again had the guy come down to check it, and (these people are great) changed the probe again!
    Didn't look damaged either...Did have problem the first time with it. Now on his way down to my house he told me he talk to the Harman people and they said this stove can use 2 to 3 bags a day!!! But thats not what has been told to
    us! And if that's the case I'll be spending 2,000 on pellets to heat 1 to 2 rooms. That's crazy! and right now he set the stove at 55 and Blower to (Med) Feed rate at 2 he wants me to keep it there for a day to check the pellet burning...I've tried all this before plus much much more. I love this stove but not the consumption of the pellets wish I could just set it to my thermostat like my last one...and yes the temp probe is connected, I've moved that everywhere too! right now
    it's away from the stove but did have it under. Even on this low setting the stove is burning a lot of pellets..Don't know what to do now except get another type stove..And the squeal we figured out and he said the same thing has to do with the auger closing and chopping the pellets when it closes..
  3. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    SpecialGuys, How many seconds is your auger feeding?
  4. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    "We are new owners of the P68 and I am so frustrated, stressed, and depressed...Please will someone help us"

    If a member of my family became seriously ill, I'd be stressed and depressed, but a over a pellet stove? Think of this as a puzzle to be solved, not something to get wigged out over.

    "you want more heat you turn it up, Down for less.....Well, that’s what my pellet stove should do… NOT eat more pellets as this is doing!"

    If you want more heat, your stove will eat more pellets. If you want less heat, it will eat less pellets.

    "The last stove we had, only ate a bag of pellets, but wasn’t efficient"

    Are you sure that the Harman is the stove that is "malfunctioning" and not your prior stove?

    We don’t want to eat the pellets so fast, but we want consistent heat.

    You can have pellets, or you can have heat. Not both.

    Thank you for all your responses...but I am tired of this P68

    You've had the stove for a week and you're tired of it?

    "That’s the stove we were going to get but went with the P68 because the window was bigger."

    You picked one stove over another because of the size of the glass?

    All we know so far is that the stove is consuming more pellets that you want it to. We know nothing about the venting setup, whether there is outside air hooked up, if unburned pellets are being pushed into the ash bin, ceiling height, total square footage of the rooms in question, brand of pellets other than they are premium, etc., insulation and weatherproofing of the house, etc. Your dealer has been very responsive and has replaced the circuit board and exhaust probe. As mentioned, heat from this stove is going somewhere. If there is thick smoke pouring out of the exhaust, there is a problem with air and fuel ratios and the stove is malfunctioning. If the exhaust is clear, there's a good burn going. If the distribution blower is running, then heat is being pushed into the house. You said that the stove is doing a good job of heating the house... "I have to admit it keeps the rooms very comfortable"...if the rooms are "very comfortable", then the stove is not overfiring or running out of control.

    I am neither a Harman dealer or tech, only a P61A owner, and the only thing I can see is that this stove is using more pellets than you think it should. Don't mean to sound snotty or that I'm picking on you, but measured expectations are in order for pellet stoves.
  5. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Yeah, I think Rich just stated what many of us have been thinking. the stove "might" not be working 100% as designed, but we have not heard anything concrete that would support that theory.
    I suspect the problem is mainly related to unrealistic expectations of the buyer...quite possibly reinforced by the dealer. We don't have all the info, but based on what you have provided it sounds like the dealer was either not knowledgable or was "overpromising" just to sell the stove. It is disappointing that he told you that the stove would use about a bag a day, as that is (at best) incomplete information.
    If my math is correct, at a rate of one bag per day that stove will give you (roughly) on average 11,000 BTUs per hour. I think someone mentioned earlier that that would be about like running 2 of those electric space heaters on full blast. That might be fine under some conditions, but results/usage will of course vary drastically based on al the conditions mentioned previously. The dealer did himself and you a disservice if he did not go over this with you. I would venture to say that he did Harman a disservice as well, becuse now he is going out and (seemingly) randomly hanging new parts off a stove that may be operating perfectly fine. This kind of stuff can also be damaging to the industry as a whole, since you seem to be extremely frustrated, confused and disappointed....and I imagine you may go on to tell some people about your bad experience.

    Read through some other threads on this site. You are absolutely not alone. Pellets stoves very seldom save thousands over alternatives. After paying a few grand for a stove and then 5 bucks a bag per pellets it can take several years before it starts looking like a good financial decision. I have 2 pellet stoves, and I believe they do save me money over other alternatives in my area, but the savings are pretty modest after I factor in maintenece and time spent lugging around pellets.

    Having said all that, I sincerly hope i'm off base with my guess and that your stove is a lemon :). Perhaps you'll post something tomorrow that says "the dealer fixed the problem and i'm now toasty warm burning less than 1 bag per day". That would be great!!
  6. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    This may be a silly question.......probably is....but could it be that the stove is just oversize for the area being heated? By that I mean could it be running on such a low setting that it's never reaching it's maximum efficiency range like their old much smaller stove was? I know way oversizing a furnace can cause such a thing just hadn't considered it with a solid fuel appliance.
  7. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey MySpecial, good to hear from you.

    I go thru 1.5 to 2 bags in the winter, and sometimes more if it's cold, but I'm heating most of my home (I just got an oil delivery - first one in maybe 10 months).

    So you are OK with the squealing resolution?

    Have you totally given up on the stove? I don't see any replies to GVA and others.


    Cheers


    Kenny
  8. MySpecialGuys

    MySpecialGuys New Member

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    I'm thinking about just giving up on this stove...When we bought this pellet stove he told us that it would use a bag or less and even when we were calling in because it was eating so many pellets he was still saying it shouldn't be going though that many...they've now come here three times, first time changed the temp probe inside which was damaged...second time changed the circuit board "them" thinking that the probe short circuited the board and came back the third time that's when he set the stove at 55 degrees feed on 2 and blower on (med) and wanted us to leave it there for a day we did that and still burned a bag in less then 24 hrs. We are no experts on Pellet stoves by no means and definitely know a little more now ...But Since our last stove only used a bag or less to heat what we needed I would agree with the person saying it might be to big for what we need...BUT we weren't told any of this when we bought it..
  9. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Please, don't pay me any attention! lol I'm new to pellet stoves myself, still trying to learn, and that was a total guess on my part.

    I'd hate to see you just give up on pellets since you obviously had a good experience with them in the past. I know absolutely nothing about the stove you are running but I think what the guys here, and maybe your dealer, are trying to do is get you to put the stove on it's absolutely lowest setting and run it to see how long a bag of pellets will last. If it goes through to many pellets at the setting they are recommending then that would prove that there is something wrong with the stove and give them a starting point to try to diagnose what the problem is. Don't be concerned about the heat it's putting out just run the test to check it's feed rate.

    If the stove is shown to be working as it's designed to then I think it MIGHT be an issue with the size of the stove. Perhaps, if that the case, the dealer might be willing to trade you down to one with a lower BTU rating.
  10. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    MSG, Good luck with your stove.

    Punchin' out.
  11. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    I've been reading this thread and really I have nothing much to add than to think that Pegdot is correct.
    The stove is overkill for the room and it just burns too many pellets. Just think about it, the stove burns minimum 1lb /hour on its lowest setting just to keep the fire going.

    Just try this to test how long one bag will last.
    Set the stove to room temp, manual ignition, feed rate 1 and set the temp down to the minimum.
    In manual mode the stove will always keep a fire going at the lowest feeding possible and yuou will be able to determine if the stove is operating as it should.

    In any case this is a good testimony for those that are looking to buy a new stove to not go out and buy the biggest one available, it might not be what your house needs.

    I think you should replace the stove with a smaller output one, its clear that this is not the right stove for the job.
    Good luck wiht your decision.
  12. MySpecialGuys

    MySpecialGuys New Member

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    Thank-you so much for that reply...I will try that even though I'm going out to return it and get a smaller stove..The stove is overkill for our needs We blame ourselves for this one..but them to! We told them we were only doing a room or two not my home and he did keep telling me it wouldn't use more then a bag of pellets but it has even on the lowest settings...I wish I had come on here earlier but we have learned much more then we ever knew esp. about BTU's...
  13. moralleper

    moralleper New Member

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    which stove are you now considering? maybe ask some questions about it before you get it? also sqft of room you are heating and setup?
  14. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    Do you know the SQF your heating with that stove?

    I have a P68 and mine is heating 1800 sqf and depending on temps I'm using 1- 2 bags per day. Most days I can get by with refilling the hopper once but nights like last night when it gets down to single digits I burn 1 bag in less than 12 hours. Several stormy cold days so far I burned 3 bags in 24 hours.


    Hopefully if you try it on the lowest burn mode that will help.....on low burn mode mine barely uses any pellets....and could easily go for 1 day.

    Will the dealer let you swap stoves? If so you might want to post on here more about your setup and what stove.

    Direct vent or through an existing? Year and insulation of yer house? Square footage your trying to heat?
  15. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Ask them if the smaller stove has a different control board............. If it is a advance, accentra P-68 or pretty much any Harman they use the same board.....
    So now Back to the questions, you won't answer........
  16. samandlillie

    samandlillie Member

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    Regarding the comment"the last stove was burning a bag a day but was not efficient" deserves some deep thought.Did one bag per day actually give enough heat and three bags a day in a Harman did not? Hard to believe. My XXV works best when I scrape a couple times a day in the burnpot.I really hope we get to the bottom of this problem. I wish the questions by GVA were answered. There must be a large # of pellets (unburned) somewhere because 3 bags a day is 5 pounds per hour and that's a lot of BTU's.

    Wayne in NS
  17. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey MySpecial -

    So, have you picked out you next stove? It's too bad you couldn't get the Harman going the way you liked. I hate to hear people unsatisified with their pellet stove, and I am partial to the Harman brand (I like the underfeed system).


    Cheers


    Kenny
  18. MySpecialGuys

    MySpecialGuys New Member

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    My last stove was efficient and it gave the heat I needed with a bag a day and less sometimes...My Harman is directed out side (Straight) I have it set on same settings I mentioned above...If I turn the blower up will that make the stove burn more pellets temp is at 55-58...What won't I answer? I don't know even what to ask! Before I thought a pellet stove was a pellet stove, mine would use a not even a bag a day and I thought they all did that now I know they don't ...He told me it would use a bag or less and it doesn't even on the lowest setting....And know I have the Mother of all Pellet stoves and can't make it do what I want...

    There are no pellets unburied and I have been scraping the burn pot also....
  19. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    Thoes are standard questions that keep getting skipped over in this thread. Please answer them.
  20. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Winkey, not everyone is as technical as some - and you can understand a customer simply listening to what the dealer and brochure says.

    There are some variables which were pointed out earlier in the thread which ARE important, and cannot really be verified (at least by us)...

    1. It has been guessed that bottom feeding is less efficient at lower rates. I would agree with this, in general, based on my observations. Obviously it would need to be studied further in a lab to be verified. However, way back in the early days of pellet stoves, some field tests were done - the #1 worst stove was a bottom feed Earth (Traeger mechanism), which I think came in at the low 50's (52%) efficiency! Have things changed? Certainly? How much and can we prove it? no.

    2. Further to the point above, a big and heavy stove and mechanism may lose more heat (in numerous ways) than a smaller and lighter one. We are talking about an appliance which is connected (usually) to outside air, and also sends vast amounts of air OUT the exhaust. Just as with a "cold" prefab fireplace or regular fireplace insert which takes a certain amount of heat to counteract the mass itself - this may come into play.

    Note that I am 100% guessing at these answer - but I do have a "gut" feeling that some come into play. A smaller and lighter top-fed stove, IMHO, will burn better at rates of 1 1/2 lbs per hour and less.

    Again, this calls out for additional independent testing.

    BTW, to further "prove" some of the theory above, the most efficient pellet stove in those earlier days was the Quadrafire, which burned pellets at ONE setting - HIGH, and turned off and on (like a gasifier or oil burner) to match the BTU's needed (used electric ignitor). So the theory is based on reality (also see oil burners, gas furnaces, etc. which all work best on "full")
  21. MySpecialGuys

    MySpecialGuys New Member

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    Outside air hook up (yes) We hooked it up did everything manual called for...Had draft test done ...I'm guessing it was okay because nothing was said..No burning pellets being pushed out..No lazy flame either.I'm using premium grade
    Hard pellets saying 1% ash..Have mine on stove mode to many drafts in that room still to have it on room mode and on low settings in between 60 and 55. We did at one time on room mode wasn't doing any better..
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    There is really nowhere else the heat can go. If the pellet actually burn, that means the heat is being produced. That means heat is either going up the stack or in the room. According to your report, it can only be up the stack (in your case).....again, I'm guessing on the idea that a big stove like that works best at medium to high. I certainly could be wrong.
  23. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    I told myself I was stepping away from this...but I guess I just love a good mystery!
    Have we ever gotten any detail of the layout in the house? I think early in the thread it was mentioned that the stove was in a living room, a couple steps below the kitchen, right? I'm wondering if there is a larger staircare anywhere where the heat may be escaping to the upper floor? I'm only mentioning it because our stove is in our kitchen, and a lot of the heat does make its way upstairs to the bedroom and bathroom. However, I find that when I close off those rooms I can run the stove at a much lower rate.
    Did I also just hear something about "too many drafts"? I know, I know the old stove did a pretty good job, but this winter has been very cold so far. I am definitely going through pellets much much faster than last year, or the year before.

    Is it keeping both rooms reasonably warm when it is set to 55, dist blower on med, feed rate 2? How about dropping that feedrate down to 1?
  24. DeweyMI

    DeweyMI New Member

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    Are you using the same brand of pellets with your new stove as you did with your old one? As I wrote earlier today, the quality of the pellet can make a HUGE difference in the BTU output.
  25. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    There is something wrong......For all I know your slide plate could be missing...but probably not
    So lets get to work....
    Since you direct vented if you hold your hand in front of the discharge is the exhaust really hot? On mine I could hold my hand about 6" away and keep it there without any discomfort....
    Can you post a pic of the termination cap too?
    When you have the stove at the lowest settings how tall are the flames in the burnpot.....(from the bottom of the burnpot)?
    I would think the dealer could find a stove malfuction with the DDM Has he been out and plugged into the board yet?
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