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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. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    thanks for clarifying that, GVA....missed that.

    Usually, the ignitor is good or bad, not usually in between, unless there's alot of ash in with the ignitor that would change the heating characteristics of such......and yea, I know, EVERYONE cleans their ignitors, right?!

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  2. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Kanata
    I did another test yesterday and the stove light up fine.

    Now I am confused.
    I will be talking to the dealer soon, but I dont know what to tell him.
    Should I ask to have the part replaced?
  3. adam

    adam New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Exeter, NH
    Here's an igniter update after a full season of heating and a month into season 2 with our XXV. After 6 weeks or so on the new igniter I installed last season, igniter #2 failed. Our dealer was responsive and displatched a technician within a couple of days and replaced the offending part. The stove ran flawlessly the rest of the season, and we burned 3.5 tons overall.

    This week, 1 ton into season #2, and igniter #2 failed. Work has been busy with year end rush, so I opted for another warranty service visit this week. Within 8 hours of installing an upgraded igniter (I was advised the new ones are a larger resistance) the main curcuit board fuse blew. After a phone call to the dealer and a trip to the hardware store, I installed a new fuse and attempted to light it. After 5 seconds the new fuse blew. Wondering if this was a fluke, I tried another fuse. This time it blew immediately. Our dealer thinks the new igniter is defective and causing the short. We're expectiing igniter #4 later today.

    We leave the stove on most of the time, using the igntion cycle 1x/day at most, 1-2x/week is the norm in the colder months.
    I'm not sure what else to do, other than keep replacing the igniters as they fail. I keep the stove pretty clean and did a throrough between season cleaning a ton of pellets ago. Our 2 year old home has a 'whole house' surge protector, and at our dealer's request we installed another surge protector at the outlet servicing the stove.
    There is a limit to warranty and user patience...Do we have a lemon stove, or just a string of bad luck?

    -Adam

    heatless in NH
  4. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Kanata
    I am now on my third ignitor in a bit over two years now.
    This one is working great, in less than five minutes it gets a fire going, even when the burnpot is full of ash.
    I just hope this one will last longer.
  5. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
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    Loc:
    ct
    Yes , be green has a "thing" , an" issue" with any kind of combustable liquid, which i have run into before. But I have to say, to be fair, that BE GREEN IS RIGHT. better safe than sorry.

    %-P

    Also, propaine tourches are handy items for starting pellets or wood stoves,even charcoal cookers not to mention soldering copper tubing & plumbing pipes.

    Heck, I have even used a propaine tourch to burn off clinker scum from my fire pot, after removing it from the stove & bringing it outside. But a sharp wood chistle & a small stainless steel brush usually works better, as well as awesome spray cleaner and automotive engine degreasser. I always remove the fire pot from the stove to remove clinker scum.

    THE LOW DOWN ON ELECTRIC IGNITORS:

    Electric igniters use a 110 volt nicrome resistance wire encased in a high tempurature ceramic insulator that is prone to damage by physical shock or bending of the steel tube that surrounds the ceramic.

    What happens is that the ceramic cracks & while the ignitor will still continue to function, the crack widens until eventually the nicrome wire touches the outside steel tube making a short to ground. This causes vastly increased current flow which burns out the nicrome wire leaving you with a open circuit.

    The life of your ignitor is the condition of the ceramic insulator inside the steel tube & the condition of the ceramic is weather the ignitor steel tube was ever bent, or dropped or hit or bumped into,
    either before or after installation. Subjected to any physical shock thqt might crack the ceramic.

    The ceramic insulation also has a upper temperature limit ,over which it will not withstand more heat. This is determined by the grade of ceramic insulation and the length of "ON"
    time of the ignitor.

    The length of on time is determined by the computer control board of the stove & I am sure that stove mfg know how long a "on" cycle they can have without premature breakdown of the
    ceramic insulator inside the ignitor.

    I used to repair electric stoves for a living, so it is not a new question for me.

    4 burner rings, & a bake & broil element , so looking sideways at it, you might say that
    an electric range has 6- 240 vac ignitors that it uses to cook with & a pellet stove has 1 - 120 vac burner ring that it uses for ignition.
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