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Pellet stove modifications

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Birdman Jack, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    Does he have a way to kill the stove if the power goes out so it does not super heat the water? That was one of my fears if a coil was placed inside. I had a regular wood boiler once and when the power went out it really hammered before I could get the fire out. Got rid of it for that reason.

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  2. Elad

    Elad Member

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    Northern Mn
    I too been thinking of heating water as well. Nice idea using baseboard radiators :)
    I was thinking about using automobile A/C condensers to capture the heat.
    The Harman p68 sides and top are super hot! I have fans on both sides and above
    blowing at a 45^ angle to move some heat away.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    One thing that bugs me about the Harman P68 is the lack of a remote temp control.
    There is only a temp dial on the control panel to set.
    No good if you want a timer/setback thermostat.
    I am gone 14hrs/day working so I lower the temp dial before I leave
    and turn it up when I get home. But it takes hours to re-heat the house
    and by that time, am already in bed fast asleep.

    I'll be making a mod for the Harman P68 to use a dual temp thermostats so that
    my home will be nice n toasty when I get home without burning fuel all day long.

    There are a few ways I can do this as I know electronics, but it means I would
    be voiding the warranty so am on hold before I start modifying the electronic
    control board unless they give me approval (yea, right...).
    I yet to take any readings even to get the parts needed.

    A simple way (assuming one has a time-control thermostat) is to have the
    remote thermostat to trigger a resistor across the control board's temp
    potentiometer (pot).
    I will need to take resistance readings on the current pot set at 75' to get the
    base value so that by adding a resistor in parallel (through remote stat) to equal
    the same value while pot is set at 60' in order to trick the board so that it thinks
    its set at 75'.
    [​IMG]

    Another way with more control is to get a 3 pole contact relay and have it totally
    bypass the boards temp pot when remote stat timer kicks in.
    Would require another potentiometer, but there cheap. Would also require cutting
    the circuit boards contact tracers to the original pot.

    [​IMG]

    The relay will be very small as there is no current to worry about.
    I've already complained to Harman as it would of been simple & cheap for them
    to include a remote stat control. They claim to be high-tech, but its not user friendly!
  3. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    I see what you are attempting to do. It has me thinking there might be a simpler way to do it but my brain is not fuctioning this morning. I am going to see what I can come up with if you do not mind. I love this stuff. Most of it is so simple you have to wonder why they did not do it in the first place.
  4. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Pellet stoves are made expressly for heating the exchanger and blowing hot air out through them. I just can`t imagine any water heating retrofit to any pellet stove that would make sense with regards to efficiency.
    Pellet stoves are nothing like a good wood stove that produces copius amounts of heat during much of the burn cycle.
    That said I can appreciate and applaud the efforts. It`s a lot of fun tinkering and even more so when it works , if only to a certain degree. If he can get both enough heat and heat water with it he has to be eating pellets like crazy since pellets stoves are usually marginal heating devices at best.
  5. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    Loc:
    Newark Valley,NY central NY
    One thing that bugs me about the Harman P68 is the lack of a remote temp control.

    I was only looking at part of your diagram this morning and thought the relay could be eliminated. Brain was not yet awake. You do have the simplest solution and it should work good. Mine is set up basicaly the same. Everything is set to high so when the stat calls for heat it must ramp up on the cicuirt board and then drop down to cut back the augar motors. Mine must have a relay built in.
  6. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    I use my pellet stove as primary heat and use just two bags of pellets a day and that is with the water it is heating.The most I have used is two and a half and that was last night. House is at 72 to 74 most of the time. I will admit with it being -4 degrees last night and windy it did drop down to 68 in the house but that is what I kept the oil funace set at when we used that. I assume you are using pellets and fuel. You must have an older stove because I know at least four or five of us all using about the same. If I was using four bags a day then I would use the oil because it would be a little cheaper.
  7. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I`m sorry to have lost track of the whole thread (first page) and I now see that original picture you posted. Yeah, I have no doubts now about what you say you are doing. For some reason I was thinking you were heating water to hotter temps than what you actually wrote. My apologies.
    I know first hand that stove puts out a lot of heat and plenty on the top and sides , much more than my Harman.
  8. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    No need for an apoligy. We are here to learn and help each other. I would rather be critizied if I can get something out of it I can learn and I have learned a lot on here.
  9. Panhandler

    Panhandler Minister of Fire

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    I made a hopper extension for my PDVC before last season. I used .030 sheet metal. Stitch welded a box the same dimensions as the original hopper (21.5" x 9 3/8) 14" high and sealed all inside corners with high temp RTV. The 14 " box holds about an additional 45-50 lbs. I put a flange inside the top and bottom of the box. I used gasket material and RTV between the top of the original hopper and sheet metal screwed it. I used the original hopper lid on top with gasket material (like the original hopper seal). Rustoleum High Temp Grill Paint just happens to be the exact color as the Englander stove. Real happy with it. I was thinking that 1/8 steel might be a little heavy for this purpose. Just thinking it might be overkill. Wish I would have thought of the sightglass idea. Might be project for the spring!
  10. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    You must have the same unit I have. My son in law works in a machine shop and got the pieces cut for the heater boxes today out of 1/16 steel. I gave him the measurements tonight for the hopper which will also be 1/16 steel. Everything is laser cut so it comes in nice pieces with no burrs. I have access to a couple wire feed welders so welding them up is not a problem. I take it your hopper lid was screwed on to the original hopper like mine is. This makes it simple to just take it off and use it again. Will post pictures as I get things put together. Would like to see a picture of yours if you can.
  11. Panhandler

    Panhandler Minister of Fire

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    I also used a wire feeder (MIG) to weld mine. I just stitch welded it as my steel was galvanized and nasty to weld, besides it's not really a structural piece. Yes, I just sheet metal screwed the original hopper lid hinge to the new piece. I also cut a narrow, thin piece of metal to cover the old screw holes in the original hopper and secured it with RTV (silicone). Try this link I posted last season. I'm having computer problems so it's the best I can do right now.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/panhand...nsion?authkey=zO7bFvGIz7s#5265333883495816626
  12. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    although in my official capacity i cannot condone mod's to our products , it appears this was not actually done to the stove as it was when uncrated , pretty neat idea. i see no problems as the stove's intended design was not altered. this unit in particular is likley a great model to do this with as the whole front of the stove and frontal parts of the sides are part of the firebox so radient heat is present in abundance. pretty neat idea!
  13. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    You guys make a great product and I am proud to say I own one. This being my first pellet stove and only having it almost a couple of months I love it. We have cold temps now and it keeps us snug as the bug in the rug. I have suggested this to a couple of friends who wondered how good it could work being as cheap as it was. When they stop by and actually see it working it really impresses them. The thing that gets them the most is the fact it is easy to install chimney and all. Then I tell them I have only burned five gallons of oil this year and that was before I got the unit. It is nice to get something that actually works like it is supposed to. I knew I was taking a chance puting the heaters on the stove that is why no holes drilled. I did not see how this could effect the stove in any way. All I know now is that it is even better than before and you have a customer who will buy again. Keep up the good work.
  14. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I can't remember the name off the top of my head but here was an old thread.
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/3441/
    I'll dig some photos up this week if you're interested.
    I figured Harman or someone would have looked into this further, it wouldn't add much cost to the stoves.
    Oh well
  15. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    well... damn , jack ,nice to hear my friend. i know its a good stove , used one for 5 years myself,(i install new models to learn them when they come out ,hated to pull my "c model" though , was a fantastic heater , will be heating a home soon as it will be donated to charity) . an indorsement like that is priceless. i'll just have to pass that one on makes good "bulliten board material" for my boys out in the shop , they get a real rise out of posts like that. i appreciate it a bunch!!! im sure the "line animals" (their title according to them , not mine) will hoist one for ya when they read it
  16. 603BOB

    603BOB Member

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    For Birdman Jack and Elad

    I use night setback on my Harman Advance - no internal connections - just a variable resistor switched in parallel with the thermistor probe will lower the temperature. I use a 50K pot and set it about 30 K for a 6 or 7 degree set back.
    The P68 uses the same probe setup. I switch the extra resistor in with a battery operated clock thermostat used as a switch only. Program the thermostat for 90 degrees when I want the lower temperature, and 50 degrees when I want the normal operation.
    Has worked flawlessly for several years.
  17. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    Looks like this thread is going to help a couple people after all. That sounds pretty simple. No need to cut traces on the board and it can be put back if you want to sell it. I know a lot of people don't trust things that have been altered because they don't understand why it was done.
  18. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    I must have missed your post but I went to look at the picture and the stove is the same one I have. I am ready to weld up the covers for my heater boxes so I should have them on in the next day or so. Metal should be here for the hopper this week. Should look just like yours. I will post the pictures of it finished as soon as it is done.
  19. pellet

    pellet New Member

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    This sounds interesting! But I need it simplified down to my level. It sounds like there are no connections to the stove itself, just in the setback and origional stat. Could you explain in detail....maybe a step by step how to. This is USEFUL! Thanks!
  20. 603BOB

    603BOB Member

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  21. pellet

    pellet New Member

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    Thanks, interesting reading.
  22. Elad

    Elad Member

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    603BOB

    Thanks Bob :)

    So simple an idea, why I never thought of even.
    Why I love forums. Great minds at work making this one quite humble...
  23. Birdman Jack

    Birdman Jack Member

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    If you see a great mind on here let me know. We will make sure he gets the pellet award. That is the highest good for nothing award you can get.
  24. Al in MN

    Al in MN New Member

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  25. Elad

    Elad Member

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    WHAT? A Nothing Award?


    How about this one at least?




    [​IMG]

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