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P43 Efficiency Question

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by skidude, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. skidude

    skidude New Member

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    Hello all. I have been reading a lot of threads here on Harmans and wondering about efficiency. I have had my stove for a little over a month. My Harman dealer sells 4 kinds of pellets so I purchased 10 bags of each kind to try them out and see the differences. The differences were fairly obvious.

    With that said I want to try some other brands of pellets too.

    I have been playing around with room temp vs. stove temp. For the last week+ I have been running stove temp, one 1 or 2 (depending on outside temps) with the feed rate around 2. House has been a little chillier than desirable sometimes (obviously I can turn the stove up to solve this). I don't fully understand what the feed rate adjusts. Someone I work with told me I should leave it by 2, but from the looks of it here most people think it should be between 3-4.
    Also I have played around with stove temp/room temp, and auto/manual. Initially I put it on stove temp so the ignitor had to do less work, but after reading a bit more this morning it looks like that maybe isn't a huge concern. I am thinking about switching to room temp/auto. I am thinking about getting a thermostat as well, so I can set it lower in the middle of the day/night.
    I have been leaving the dist blower on high, figuring that if its blowing hot air, it might as well blow a lot of it.
    I guess the question I am trying to get at is what is the most efficient way to use the stove? I figure if its burning pellets it might as well be putting out maximum heat (sometimes on room temp as that goes up the blower shuts off, which seems inefficient to me).

    On a side note, I have been doing a quick scrape of the burn pot each time I put in a new bag of pellets (seems to be every 18-24 hours) and haven't cleaned the ignitor yet (about 20 bags of pellets burnt) but thinking I should do that soon.

    Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    That feed rate is a maximum feed time and what actually takes place up to that limit is determined by the two sensors, the mode you have the stove in, and temperature set point.
  3. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Feed rates also need to be set based on pellet sizes. Longer pellets will actually feed into the burn pot at a different rate than smaller ones simply due to their size and space requirements.
  4. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    On a Harman you just need to set the feed limit so the control board isn't ham strung, that is the reason for the set it instructions in the manual.

    Just keep the stove clean and it will do a lot better job of being efficient than you will monkeying with dials.
  5. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    It is very similar to driving a new car. You have to get used to everything on it. Pellet stoves work the best if you fire and forget. It will take some trial and error but it does not need messed with. Do you mess with your refrigerator every ten days? READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL. The new Harman come with a DVD also. If not go to www.Harmanstoves.com and you will find the videos there. All the questions you asked have the answers in the owners manual.

    Eric
    Lousyweather likes this.
  6. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

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    I've got a P-43 in my basement and the Accentra Insert on my first floor. I run both stoves toally opposite. For the P-43, I run on stove temp, auto. For my insert, I run on room temp, manual. I have set the pellet feed at 4 on both stoves.
  7. skidude

    skidude New Member

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    Thanks for the responses folks! Erik, I appreciate the videos. I did not get a DVD with my install, so that was good to see. I have read the manual (twice so far) but I was curious to see if anyone knew what made the stove run most efficiently. I gave her a thorough cleaning today and she seems to be even warmer than before.
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    A clean stove is a happy, warm, and safe stove. That is what you need to do to keep up the efficiency of your stove after not ham stringing the controller.
  9. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    Looking for some opinions if I am getting optimum heat out of my P43.

    I have a house between 900 and 1000 square foot, that has no duct work to the up stairs (two unused rooms, small landing, stairs), that I also block off with a shower curtain set up. Nothing fancy, kinda redneck, but there is an easily noticeable temperature difference. The house is square. The floor plan is simple, kitchen and living room take up half of the house, each using a quarter, the other half is bed room with a hallway that leads to a bath, the last quarter is the half room with the stove and stairs.

    It has new windows, new insulation, and the walls are 8-12" thick. New dry wall. All but the kitchen and bathroom are carpeted. There is a basement with a garage door, with no insulation on the floor/basement ceiling, its a 1930's house with rough cut foundation.

    I can add some pictures if that'll help. Not sure were paint is on our mac, ha!

    My concern is I'm only getting a maximum of 72 degrees F. I just upgraded from an old Relient Baron that went out of business in 99 and there is nothing on the internet about them to share, but I was able to attain the same heat with less pellet consumption, but it would over heat, shut down, quit working all the time. Handful of times would run threw the night per year if I was lucky. Would do a full clean out everyday, vacuum, empty the burn pot, clean under the burn pot, vacuum surrounding area because there wasn't an ash box. It was basic.

    I ran the P43 at 80 degrees and 4 feed rate, mid to high fan (stove temp) and got the house to 72. 3 different thermostat readings. Run it at 70 with feed rate at 2 and mid blower get 71. Both eat pellets like crazy. 12 hours will kill a bag. I've been running it at 70 with feed at 3 and stove temp on medium but it now just kicked off. Outside temp is 35. It has been even colder yet, but its only 68 with it 35 now.

    I'm at a loss. I've watched the videos on how to set it up and no luck.
  10. skidude

    skidude New Member

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    I am certainly no expert but I have had much better luck with the blower on room temp, instead of stove temp. I have also had the blower all the way to high, as this just seems more efficient. I haven't been aiming to have the bulk of my house much over 68-70, but the stove seems to be running well.

    Is the room the stove is in very warm? I bought two of the corner doorway fans from HD and have had good luck.

    My house is 1640 sq ft and I use the stove to heat probably 11-1200 of it, generally. I feel it could easily do the rest fairly well. I have used 80 bags in the last 60 days in the middle of Vermont (1.3 bags/day) if that helps you compare any...

    Good luck!
  11. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Read the sticky thread at the top of the pellet forum. This will help you understand your stove as lot better.
  12. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    If you're eating too many pellets and not getting good heat, you have too much air. WIth my damper wide open, I burn through twice as many pellets as I do on half way open for the same feed settings.

    close your damper a bit if yours has one.
  13. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    It doesn't have a damper, Its a Harman....;)
    kinsmanstoves likes this.
  14. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    As someone has already stated please read this: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/how-your-harman-works-what-your-manual-doesnt-tell-you.91030/
    It will go a long way in helping you to understand how your Harman works
  15. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Something is afoul. Warmed up here and the last 24 hr average temp was 15 degrees and I used 40 lbs of pellets. Shutting down stove as the start of Jan. thaw started and is 32 with sun. Have to go and trim some horse hooves. Room temp high with feed on 3 to keep the glowing pellets from dropping into the bin. Poor quality pellet but stove makes due.
  16. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    I'm mostly asking, Is this all I should expect out of this stove?


    Just want to say I had a typo, where I wrote "(Stove temp)" I actually meant I had it turned to 80 degrees on the temperature dial, in Room Temp mode. Right now is the first I've had it out of room temp mode. I did read the link when I found this thread, re read it again just now, and have read the manual. I'm trying the dialing up/down the feed rate to get the 1" of ash. I do appreciate any help.

    The room the stove is in gets warm, its only 7x14ft, its placed right next to the door way leading out of the room. Brought in a thermostat to get numbers. After over 30 mins its 80F in the stove room, furthest point is at 69.6 (28ft) and mid point is 71(14ft). I have one fan blowing air out of the room, and another blowing toward the end of the hall into the living room where the other two thermostats are, but I'm always trying different set ups to get the air moving.

    [​IMG]

    Settings I used for the picture above, since the angle is bad the heat setting is at 5. Per instructions I'll turn up the feed rate to 5.5. Am I supposed to clean the ashes from the burn bot while doing this type of test? I did at the start so thats all from the first 30 mins.

    [​IMG]

    These are the pellets that the dealer sells and what I'm burning now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  17. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    Try blowing low cool air into the room as opposed to blowing the warm air out. It is always a crapshoot trying to move air around. You may want to Ty some different pellets, I would be afraid of any pellet that said "made with Hardwood-By-Products"
    Delta-T likes this.
  18. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Was your old pellet stove a Vermont Castings Reliant Pellet stove? That was a stove that was Modeled after the Harman? Great technology and quit making them in 98-99.

    For 1,000 sq ft that P-43 should kick some Arse!
  19. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    This was exactly what I was thinking the other night! I brew beer on my upstairs steps, and the brew was down to 62F and its needs to be near 68F, so I opened the curtain I use to block off the upstairs, and it seem to do exactly what your talking about. It didn't raise the temperature a lot but just a few degrees in the other room. I was worried about losing all my heat going to bed so I closed the curtain back up. Turning up to 5.5 really didn't change much in the burn pot and I'd hate to test it out all night and waste a bag of pellets. I will try leaving the curtain open to move some air around for awhile.

    As far as the pellets go, I don't really care for them, don't seem to burn like they should, but this is the only pellets I've had in this stove. I got them in a trade for some winter tires with my brother in law, but his dad got them from the same stove dealer after he installed a propane insert himself and they didn't tell him he needed to change the natural gas orifice from NG to Propane, and he had a tech come out after he gave up and cost him $100 for 10 mins, then the tech asked my father in law how the remote worked, etc etc then the guy said he was there for 45, story finished he got a discount on pellets for my pellet stove so his son could horse trade for my winter tires. Which ended up being to big for his work car so if anyone needs a set of Blizzaks on 15" rims LMK.

    I took some pictures.

    You can see the Baron Logo here near the hopper lid. Only had 3 settings and 2 of them would over heat in under an hour. No argue speed adjustment, possibly broken screw adjuster that didn't do anything. Every morning I had a nice puck to dump out along with all the ash that did make it out of the burn pot since it didn't have an ash tray.
    [​IMG]

    and the Reliant Industries to the left with the model FS/I to the right. It was an alright stove, got it and enough exhaust (minus the thimble needed to install it) for $100 and could heat the house almost as good as the new Harman.

    [​IMG]
  20. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    I'm having difficulty following what you are trying to do. If you are trying to set your feed rate so you can get the "most" of your stove then those settings aren't going to help you. DO NOT look at the manual. Follow the instructions in the "Sticky" at the top of the page or click on the link in my sig.
    In order to set the feed rate properly, the stove has to be run wide open for about thirty minutes. That means Stove Temp Mode, setting 7, Feed rate 4, Fan High. Let her rip! You should have a big fire. Watch what the ash does at the lip of the burnpot. This is where you are looking for the "one inch of ash". If you have more or less than one inch of ash then adjust the feed rate ONLY SLIGHTLY up or down to get the desired amount. This will take time...don't rush it. Your ESP will take some time to communicate with the control board. Grab one of those beers you are making and be patient. When all is said and done your feed rate should be somewhere between 4 and 5. Once you've set it, FORGET IT, and there is no need to touch it. The feed rate on a Harman is not something you change daily or weekly. It is an adjustment that controls the amount of pellets that "can" be delivered to the burnpot(measured in pounds per hour), not the amount that "are" being delivered. Again, The sticky above explains it in better detail. BTW, get some different pellets...those don't look so good. GOOD LUCK!!
    hinkle and P38X2 like this.
  21. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    Thank you good sir! Easiest way for me to explain the difficulty it is that I am stupid. ;em I will try the correct way to set the feed rate this weekend when I have all day to kill, and a currently bottled batch will be ready to drink. If I ever make it to Mass/Maine I'll bring a few dozen with me for you.

    However as I mentioned in the other post about the curtain blocking upstairs heat, I left it open and the whole house is almost 75F, including the upstairs obviously. I'll leave it closed tonight and see what it does. Changed to many variables last night, but good to know that it can indeed warm the whole house now, even if its not the 80+ so the wife will walk around in her underwear. ;lol
    Harman Lover 007 and DexterDay like this.
  22. ffsteve

    ffsteve New Member

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    What is everybody running there feed rate at? Harman P43 on room temp. temp around 70-75
  23. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Should be between 4 and 5. Read the instructions in the link in my signature. Welcome to the forum.
  24. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    A few dozen??? You're on!!! No such thing as stupid here...we are all willing to help.
  25. hinkle

    hinkle New Member

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    Yah! A batch is worth 2 cases, and if I come to the New England area I'm coming prepared. Hope yins have a shrimp, scallop or lobster night like we have wing night down there.

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