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PF100 and PB105 Burn Pot Issues

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Skippydo, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. Former Farmer

    Former Farmer Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    NE Wisconsin
    I agree. It seems that the more that my unit ignites, the quicker the burn pot cracks. I still have the finned ignitor.

    Have thought of upgrading to the ignitor that uses the compressor, but after seeing that Wil still has many issues, I don't think that it is worth it.

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  2. Skippydo

    Skippydo New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Butler, Pa
    Wil
    Both my son and I burn on manual.
    You would think that Harman would take that into consideration.
    With the continuous burn, there is always heat going through the vents.
    That, I like..
    Ar-ef-bee:
    I am just using the recommended stainless.
    My run is up 2 feet and slight rise Horizontal to outside.
    What I am going to do this year at the end of the season, is bag off the end.
    We had a wet spring/early summer, and moisture did get into the pipe. No big deal.
    My son has the same stainless, but goes straight up through the roof.
    10-4 on the Steelers!!
  3. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    NW Washington State
  4. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    Well, that shoots down my thought that Red wasn't having an issue because of manual operation. I'm convinced that with the testing by Harman to determine temps within the combustion area, these temps exceeded the heat resistance of the steel alloy used to manufacture these burnpots which IMHO (Harmans also) result in the burnpot bubble issue.
  5. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    I think your are right. Especially with the information in this thread about the large temperature differences between pellets. Appears that the pellets that burn the hottest range outside the temperature ratings of the burnpot plate. Couple that with weakening of the plate from air holes being drilled in it and the temperature difference between the burning surface and the intake air surface of the plate and it doesn't take much imagination to see a weakness there.

    I wonder if outside moisture from an OAK adds to the problem. The underside of the plate of the first burnpot I replaced was in far worse condition than the top side of the plate. There is a picture of it in the link noted in one of my other posts.
  6. Ar-ef-bee

    Ar-ef-bee Member

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    Dec 28, 2011
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    Loc:
    South East, PA
    No OAK yet (until I finish the basement) but I did just start using a better grade of pellet. I wonder if I should have stuck with the $3.83/bag stuff from Wally World.
  7. Skippydo

    Skippydo New Member

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    I also DO NOT use an OAK.
    Large first floor and keep doors open, also spreads the heat.
  8. bwep

    bwep Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
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    Loc:
    Northern Ma
    Hmm..... looks like i might be getting added to the list of burn pot failures. Not a bubble up, but down on mine. Looks like one of the holes is starting to elongate. Not sure how long its going to last, hope the rest of the burning season. This unit has burned 8 ton since installing last year. I'm guessing a new replacement must be around $250 ?? Have already replaced the auto igniter @ $85.00. This keeps up going to be pretty tuff saving any money. On a side note, gas funace is 10 years old and has never needed any parts ......
  9. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Brimfield, MA
    How do you remove the burn pot from the furnace? I scrape mine in place but haven't removed it as yet.
  10. Skippydo

    Skippydo New Member

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    Loc:
    Butler, Pa
    Never replaced mine in this 4th year of burn.
    Yes, I use the scraper provided, and a sharp screwdriver.
    My fingers do the feeling, screape till it is smooth and all the scale is gone.
    Did you check with your Harman dealer and see if your problem area are covered?
    The burn pot(with all the problems) should be replaced by your dealer for free.
    Don't know if there is a service call or not....lot of people on here that have had theirs
    replaced, wether they did it themselves or not, I am not sure.
    Happy New Years to you and your family.
    I would think that it is a little bit of a major project.
  11. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    vermont
    Why did you have to pay $85.00 for the igniter, it's covered under the warranty?? The burnpot is also covered under the warranty, the burnpot in my boiler has been replaced 15-20 times over a 4 year period, lost actual count, under the warranty.
  12. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    No reason to remove the burnpot unless it needs to be replaced. The PB105 boiler burnpot is real easy to replace, swings out with the pellet bin, the PF100 burnpot doesn't swing out, more difficult to remove the 4 nuts that hold it in place plus the top flame guide can be a bear to align properly. If you decide to remove the burnpot for whatever reason other than having to replace it, you will probably need a new gasket at a cost of around $8.00.
  13. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

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    Brimfield, MA
    Just wondering how people are seeing that they are cracked or bubbled. I can't see the bottom of mine. Are they feeling the crack or bubble or viewing it with a mirror?
  14. Labrat

    Labrat Member

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    Coastal Maine
    I use the camera on my phone and take a pic of it. I can see all the way down to the auger.
  15. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    I would guess that a "mechanic's mirror," swival head, extending handle, and a light would be very helpful in detecting the start of a bubble on the burnpot burning surface.
  16. Skippydo

    Skippydo New Member

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    I use my hand and feel all the way down to the auger, and the full burn pot.
    If there was a bubble, (either way), I would be able to feel it.
    If needed be, I would use a camera, that way I could "see" what was on the burn pot.
  17. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    The bubble does not form at the bottom of the burnpot. On mine it is midway in the holes just above the igniter location.

    I use an inspection mirror and clip a high intensity goose neck book lamp on the far side of the burn pot. This lets me see all the way down to the end of the auger. I made a small modification which allows the removal the fire box door from it's hinges making it easier to see down to the mirror and burn-pot. Removing the door also makes a deep clean easier. But this is NOT a recommendation to make any modifications to the PF100.
  18. bwep

    bwep Member

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  19. Ejectr

    Ejectr Minister of Fire

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    Wow. The manual says it has a 6 year warrantee. Must have been just over the wire. That's too bad.
  20. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    Wil
    You have replaced more burn-pots than the rest of us. What brands of pellets have you been using?
  21. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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  22. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    The first year I used PA pellets, second year Pot O Gold, third year Vt Wood Pellets, this year Okies. The burnpot bubble issue has been occurring quite often, usually in about 2 weeks, using the softwood pellets, my guess because they burn hotter.
  23. exoilburner

    exoilburner Feeling the Heat

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    Same here. The only pellet I have ever burned is premium softwood.
  24. Smolson

    Smolson New Member

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    Loc:
    Central N.Y.
    Hi folks, I am new to site and looking to buy a PB105 boiler this summer. Has Harman made any changes to to correct the bubbling issue of the burn pot? Concerned about multiple replacements and downtime. Plus, this is a great site!
  25. wil lanfear

    wil lanfear Feeling the Heat

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    Please read post # 13. This is the newest burnpot design but it only can be used with the pressure ignition system so.......... if you do purchase a PB 105, make sure that the one that you purchase has this ignition. This burnpot has been installed for about a month now, still looks the same today as it did when it was installed. All of the other burnpots after a couple of weeks I could see a small bubble forming so in my case this is a improvement.

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