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New P61A "dirty burn" - 6 blinks. `

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kmuenchow, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. kmuenchow

    kmuenchow Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
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    Loc:
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Brand new Harman P61A installed at 8,500' MSL in below-grade, walk-out basement, with outdoor air kit. exhaust starts with 3.5' vertical rise, 4" flue, 45 degree bend, rises 8" on diagonal over 1.5' to 90 degree bend & wall penetration. Vents outside to a sheltered area under a deck (32" clearance above vent termination, 18" to house wall), but 36" below "grade" (house sits on the side of a VERY steep hill).

    Here's the issue - it burned fine for about 10 bags of premium pellets, then started sooting up & shutting down with error code 6 "blinks". Not sure why first 10 bags burned fine (multiple "auto" re-starts using room temp & settings feed:4; temp 70), now it does auto shut-down.

    I cleaned thoroughly (incl. ESP), verified damper operable, verified outside air not blocked, verified chimney clear. After cleaning, I blocked the intake air damper "full open" to see if I could increase the combustion air - didn't help - same 6-blink "shut-down within 1 hr. Thoroughly cleaned again (incl. ESP).

    I consulted with an installer, then did the install myself to save $450. Dealer wants $100 just to show up for warranty 'look-see" (Harman SUCKS this way - while their product is good, their dealer & service network is quite "hit-or-miss" - they'll soon be out of business unless they address this part of their business model!)

    The issue seems to be that the install location just sucks - I think I need to somehow increase the stove's negative pressure inside the box. Can I use the "low draft voltage adjustment" to increase the combustion blower speed to get greater negative pressure? if so, which direction would I turn the plastic screw - far clockwise or far counter-clockwise?

    BTW- my house usually runs at 115 - 116 volts, not 120...

    Ideas? Thoughts? Advice?

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  2. aaronnoel

    aaronnoel Member

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    I'm not a pro at "vent pipe math" but to me it seems ok seeing that your at 4 inch pipe you should be good there. I'm with you on Harman, dealer deal, I had a bad dealer that was useless ,so I went and found another dealer to take over. Neither my old dealer or my new one however charged me to come out while the stove was under warranty. good luck
  3. 76brian

    76brian Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    I'm no pro either, but you didn't mention what brand pellets you're burning. Or, if you scraped the burn pot extremely well (the included Harman tool doesn't do a great job, it works but a large flat head screwdriver or old chisel works best). Also make certain the holes in the burn pot are totally clear... and check for and remove fines from the chamber in the back. I'm guessing if they're bad pellets they could clog that up in 10 bags worth (even if it says "premium" on the bag, it's not really a good indicator, look up "Inferno").

    I agree your dealer is a prick trying to charge you $100, but my guess is that would probably not happen if you'd have had them install it. I'm not excusing them from it by any means, but if it turns out to be an installation issue, which you seem to think it may be, it is definitely not their problem.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    You might want to ask your dealer if the stove has the high altitude combustion fan on it and have them put the diagnostic to the stove and properly set it up.

    ETA: Please post a picture of the exterior portion of the vent.
  5. 76brian

    76brian Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Ottawa, Canada
    D'oh. Of course.
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    +1 on the burnpot holes. Also drop the access cover at the
    bottom of the burn pot & make sure the ignitor's not
    covered with fly ash (#3 below)...

    From the manual:

    A 6 blink status may be caused by several things:
    1. Blocked or partially blocked flue.
    2. Blocked or partially blocked inlet air.
    a. backdraft damper on the inlet pipe may be stuck
    closed.
    b. if outside air is installed the inlet cover may be
    blocked.
    3. The air chamber under the burnpot may be filled
    with fines and small bits of ash.
    4. The holes in the burnpot may be getting filled with
    ash or carbon buildup.
    5. Combustion blower fan blades may need cleaned.
    6. No fuel in hopper
  7. kmuenchow

    kmuenchow Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Evergreen, Colorado
    Thanks to all for ideas.

    cleanings included thorough pot scrape & vac, incl. holes, as well as vac igniter area below burn pot. also vac the few pellets on "back" side of auger via cleanout wingnut & access port removal.

    will post pics when it is light enuf to take them tomorrow.

    I also own an older Harman Invincible insert (1rst floor heat) that came with the house. Serviced it for years, and is a great stove - why I stuck with Harman instead of getting a (less expensive Quad)... anyway, the pellets (NewEarth) burn great in the old invincible insert stove. reinforces my suspicion it isn't the pellets.

    I agree that the dealer isn't responsible for the install/location. I would like to find a solution, however, otherewies I'll have no choice but to return the stove and find another that works where I have it.

    I am intrigued by this "high altitude blower fan" - dealer never asked abt it & I didn't even know it was AN OPTION! I will call dealer on that tomorrow. I would guess it increases negative pressure in firebox by moving more air/fan blade rotation into the vent pipe by having a bigger fan? Also, I need to turn the voltage up on the blower fan - it runs at 115 Vac (at the plug), so the existing fan isn't getting 120 volts - which direction do I turn the adjust screw to increase the voltage??

    Y'all are great - I've been "lurking" as a guest on this page for a few years (since I bought the house w/th insert), & the advice & knowledge has been invaluable - thanks!
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    EvergreenHarmanOwner,

    The direction is likely to be clockwise to increase but I can't swear to that.

    It would be best to make that adjustment after checking on the combustion blowers current status in regards to the high altitude version.

    Also, I don't know the instrument that you used to measure your voltage with and not all meters are equal.

    Brian,

    One never knows what is on the stove until one checks, sometimes even if you order something you don't always get it. At the OP's vertical he needs all the help in moving actual molecules he can get and that means means moving more volume.
  9. humpin iron

    humpin iron Feeling the Heat

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    So you believe it is the install (your problem) and if things don't work out you want to return the stove, how fair is that? If you bought a big ole 4 door truck, 4x4, 8' bed and it didn't fit in your garage, you would return it?
    The dealer is entitled to compensation for showing up with $400 dollars worth of testing equipment to test your install, remember they could be out doing an install that someone was paying for. If the stove has a problem then it's Harman's problem. If it's the install it's YOUR problem.
    I would guess a full vertical vent would go a long way toward solving the problem, sounds like the stove can't breath.
    Play nice Santa is watching.
  10. 76brian

    76brian Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Exactly. The "D'oh Of course" comment was because the high altitude option never even crossed my mind.

    Folks like you who know their stuff are why these forums are so good
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I knows nothing I tell ya, nothing, except in principle how these puppies are supposed to work, and from long term experience that systems more complicated than a bolt and nut go crazy in many ways (the systems I'm very familiar with are computer operating and application systems), some of which folks that deal with them all the time forget the corner cases.
  12. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    the high altitude blower isnt really that at all, but rather, a different IMPELLER for the combustion fan......larger fins move more air......8500' is pretty high......at least to us flatlanders!
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That is basically all that most of these combustion blowers (convection blowers as well) change to change their airflow, but that isn't the only change that can be used.
  14. thedak

    thedak Member

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    Smoke em if u got em'
  15. Swaybar

    Swaybar Member

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    A 6 blink control board status indication is caused by poor or incomplete combustion. The Automatic Ignition circuit board has the ability to track the combustion through feed settings and ESP temperatures. When the control board has calculated poor or incomplete combustion, it will shut down the unit as a safety feature.

    If it is not a cleaning issue or blocked intake/exhaust......Could be a bad ESP? Stove worked fine for 10 bags, (7-10 days maybe), other wise I would suspect maybe combustion blower has slowed down.
  16. kmuenchow

    kmuenchow Member

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    Loc:
    Evergreen, Colorado
    I hear ya on the vendor return - I would pay a "restock fee" described in the sales contract (20%, or about $450) & have nothing to show for it, so no, I'm not after the vendor at all...

    It turns out that y'all probably solved my problem as well as helping me find out if the "high altitude" impeller fan option (&/or re=program the "brain board"?) is available.

    Despite the egg I have to wife off my face, here's the story:

    went outside this morn to take pictures, as requested in the posted responses (above). turns out that, once I scrambled back up the hill I slid down & stomped out a platform to stand on, I discovered that the screen on the end-cap termination of the vent pipe was pretty-well sealed up with creosote & soot. I took the screen out & voila! exhaust restriction fixed.

    I guess this makes sense, the install is marginal for the existing firebox vacuum (115 Vac voltage, altitude, flue bends), so the auto shut-down & restart mode had some degree of poor combustion (& associated soot/creosote) build-up on the screen over the 10days of initial operation - until there was probably enuf goop to restrict flow to cause the (6-blink) shut-down.

    so thanks for the info on "high altitude" option as well as the request for photos!

    I'll now go back to "lurking" (with some egg on face this time).
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    He, he.
  18. PJPellet

    PJPellet Minister of Fire

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    Hey I am glad you found the problem. Same thing for me last season. Now I take the screen off during burn season and re-attach when not burning in the summer. Glad it worked out for you.
  19. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Nothing wrong with a little egg on the face - it's just a snack for later on.
    It takes some cajones to 'fess up - good for you!
    Seems like 10 days' burning shouldn't clog the screen, though.

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