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Replaced the ignitor on my new Harman XXV - anyone else have one fail?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by adam, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. adam

    adam New Member

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    With the first real cold snap in the area recently, we've been reallly enjoying our XXV purchased in the fall.

    I just started into my second ton and had the ignitor fail on a weekend recently. My Harman dealer offered to come out the next business day to inspect/fix it, but I was headed out on business for the week and didn't want to bother with the logistics of having my wife stay home from work to let in the repair crew, etc.

    So, I exchanged the old ignitor for a shiny new one and installed it on my own. Prior to this I'd only done routine cleanings of the stove. The accessibility of the ignitor isn't that good. It is in the front of the stove, but you need small hands and easy access to the back of the stove to swap the part. ..Not exactly an accessible design for a part that according to my dealer " is a common part that fails " The only cost was my RT to the dealer, a cold night, and some swearing while I wrestled the stove around on the hearth.

    Just thought I'd share. Has anyone else experienced ignitor failure with a relatively new XXV? Otherwise the stove has been great, and we're heating a large first floor of a 3200 sq foot house with it.
    Cheers,
    -Adam

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ignitor failure used to be common when they first came out. However, I wouldn't expect that with a modern stove. The Quad 1200i came with a spare igniter, but after 5 years it was still in the box. I gave it to the new owner when he bought the stove.
  3. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    I'm just wondering something here. Do you shut your stove down often?
    The only time the ignitor runs is when it's starting up (or has run out of pellets and trying to re-establish a fire)
    With the temps we have had here (your about 20 miles north of me) that stove should never shut down...
  4. adam

    adam New Member

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    Lately it's been running most of the time, so the ignitor isn't used that often. The last night the original one was used was particularly cold, and the stove was running pretty hard (temp 5-6, feed 5). I wonder if the sustained heat caused the part to fail. Similar 'hot cycles' haven't affected the replacement part.

    -Adam
  5. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    It appears to me that the insulation has changed from a smooth waxy looking cover to a thicker and uncoated insulation. Failed igniters show fraying where the wires go into the ceramic element. Check it out.

    SMK
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Well a quick test for heater elements would be ExE/P= R
    or 120 volt times 120 volts divided by 500 watts equals 28.8 ohms.
    Well I will assume that the voltage is 120 volts....... Harman dealers what is the wattage of the ignitors???????????
    I would still check to see if that ignitor is to blame or not....
  7. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    A while back I took some measurements on my P61A. I believe that the ignitor is drawing about 290.9W.
  8. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Prior to 2006, we didnt see many ignitor failures, but in late 2006 and 2007, weve seen a few more....nothing really epidemic, if thats what youre getting at. As SMK says, the few we've seen "go bad", are a bit frayed where the wires go into the element.....pretty easy replacement tho, especially in a freestanding stove, like the XXV. Im sorry to hear your dealer couldnt hook up with you and your shcedule, but thats the way it is sometimes. Actually, one of the hardest things to do in service is to coordinate schedules!
  9. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Add another one to the list that have the ignitor fail.
    I have an Accentra btw.

    Yesterday while I was at work the stove shut off (for whatever reason) and could not restart.
    We had a storm yesterday with some power outages in the middle of the mess.

    Basically I got home to a freezing house, and the ash pan full of pellets with all the attempts the stove made to start a fire.

    I quickly realized that it is the ignitor that went bad because during the sequence the burn pot was not even warm, it stayed cold.

    I did look at the element, didnt really see anything wrong with it.
    Now I have to wait till next week for the dealerto show up to repalce the part.


    Now what a frigg pain it is the ignite those pellets. :)
    I spent a couple hours using different methods with no result, they need to be hot to burn.
    I ended up soaking some pellets in gasoline and trow them in the burn pot to get it hot until the stove could take it over.

    As a result I bought a bottle of starter gel today. :)

    I also changed the stove to manual ignition, so that way the stove wont let the fire die as long theres pellets.
  10. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Hammerjoe.
    In desperate situations like that a nice piezo igniting mapp gas torch will get those pellets going..... Yeah propane works too!
    Be careful with that starting gel I've had it flash off the vapors in the stove, it scared the s&*t out of me.

    EDIT gasoline? :eek:hh: be careful......
  11. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    Ya, there are other things around the house that would be better, say petroleum jelly.
  12. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    I had no other combustible source around.

    But what I did was to soak a bunch of pellets and put them in the burn pot and lit them and add more soaked pellets as the other ones started to burn to keep a steady temperature until I felt that it was hot enough for the pellets to close the door of the stove and turn it on.

    I didnt throw gasoline into the stove... that would be insane.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No vegetable oil?, motor oil? I don't care what the situation, I wouldn't use gasoline. Nope, I'd go cold first.
  14. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Hmmm doesnt vegetable oil need to be hot to burn as well?

    Anyway, why is it so wrong to use gasoline compared to the other options?
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Heavier oils don't vaporize quickly, gasoline does. The unburnt vapors are exceptionally combustible, aka explosive.
  16. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    sudden ignition with the door closed could blow the glass into the room, your face, etc. Propane torch, Mapp gas, all works ok. I use gel.
  17. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    yeah Joe, if you go through a few cycles and it doesnt light, the burn pot should be warm if the ignitor is working. If its warm and it doesnt light, the stoves dirty, most likely.
  18. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    What causes the ignitor to go bad?
    My stove is not an year old yet and I've burnt so far maybe two tons of pellets.

    I hope this wont become a trend and having to replace th eaprt every year...


    As for the gasoline, all I did was to soak the pellets, put them in the burn pot and lit them up, and gradually add some more.
    The door was open until there was a nice bed of ambers and only then I closed the door and let the stove take over.

    The way I did I dont think there was any danger whatsoever, because the pellets were burning so no gases had time to accumulate in the chamber (the door was open anyway) and I stopped feeding soaked pellets when there was a bed of ambers and the fire was pretty much out (meaning no more fuel) and only then I closed the door.

    I didnt like the idea of using gasoline, but I was frustrated with the all exercise at that point and I just wanted to get the fire going, because it was -20 outside and the house was cold.
    Also to be honest I didnt think of using vegetable oil.

    I bought some starter gel so I dont have to use gasoline anymore...
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    An ignitor will fail if it is defective or poorly designed. A good ignitor will last for years.

    Good to hear that you got the starter Joe. I'm not trying to beat up on you, but I wouldn't want encourage anyone else to try using gasoline to start a fire either.

    This is a little extreme, but it will give you a good idea of the explosive power of gasoline. I cringe everytime I see this video.

    http://www.hallpass.com/media/gasolineexplosion.html
  20. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    That raises the question:

    How good are harman ignitor, especially the ones for the Accentra? :)
  21. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Well the stove run out of pellets today.

    I switched the ignition switch to auto and started the stove so it could fill the burn pot with pellets.
    I also scrapped the burn pot again since last thrusday.
    The burn pot was starting to feel cold.

    I decided to let the stove complete its cycle until it would start blinking.

    Well guess what? The ignitor works becuase the fire started.

    Interesting, I didnt touch the ignitor element, I both times I scrapped the burn pot.

    The only difference was the weahter.

    Last thrusday we had a very nasty wind, and I could hear it in the stove.
    Could it be because of that wind coming down the pipe would prevent the ignitor from working?
    I mean that the burn pot was cold, it never warmed or anything.
    Maybe the heat from these past couple days might have done something to the ignitor and now it works.
    Either way I think I will have it replaced while it is under warranty.
  22. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    If you heard the wind in the stove pehaps the comb blower couldn't overcome this and close the vacuum switch. Although the auger wouldn't feed either.
    Did your stove push pellets out of the burnpot when it didn't light?
    Check your gaskets and describe that venting.
    hmmmmm.
    The burnpot should be warm though........
    Have you cleaned out under the burnpot yet? give it a couple of taps on top of the burnpot too and this will free up more ash off the ignitor.
  23. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    you state above that you switched the stove to auto so it would feed pellets for the ignition cycle, so i assume that prior to switching it, it was in manual mode....has to be either manual or auto. The stove wont ignite itself in manual, and you should keep it in auto mode if thats your aim. In auto, the stove will light itself.....in manual, it wont.
  24. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Naw Harry he had it manual because of.....
    But he ran out of pellets......
  25. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    Sorry for the confusion.

    I changed the stove to manual mode to keep the fire going. I just miscalculated last night and obviously there wasnt enough and the stove shut down.

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