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we are new to the site and have our first pellet stove.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by wenzel, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    good evening
    we have our first pellet stove, it is a Harman P61 (bought used) and have no experience with them. The owner's manual isn't much help for troubleshooting. alittle history on the stove: we got it all hooked up and it didn't seem to respond to the commands from the control board.we puchased and replaced it with a new control board. The new control board had dipswitches which the old one didn't. according to the diagram sheet dipswitch #5 should be ON for the esp. In the explanation for the dipswitch #5 it says "dipswitch 5 is for esp type, this switch will need to be off with any esp other than red", ours is black. When dipswitch is set to ON the combustion motor and distribution fan run constantly with mode switch in OFF position when stove is cold, and the status light blinks 3 times for the esp probe. How can the esp control the exhaust temp with dipswitch is in the off position to keep the status light from blinking the trouble code? Also, should combustion air be coming out the auger hole inside the stove?

    any help is greatly appreciated....

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  2. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

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    I have no info, but congrats on the stove purchase. I will bump this to the top so it gets some attention. These people know their stuff.
  3. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Did the stove exaust fan start when you first plugged it in Before switching the board? How old of stove?
    Welcome
  4. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    good morning-no not with the mode switch in the off position on the old board, the test date on the plate says march 1998. With the old board we couldn't control the feed, even after following the directions. we went through 72 lbs in less than 12 hours (a full hopper) and now I'm going through a 40lb bag in 14 hours. The manual says the ash should be powder when it's burned and the ash is granula not a powder. Anyone we have talked to says their's is just gray powder. Is that a problem or normal for older stoves? The knockout on the back panel of the stove has not been removed so an outside air intake hose has not been installed, does that matter? we have the temp set to 4.5, the feed rate at 2, and the mode selector on room temp inbetween low and high. We're just not sure if it is running correct or not and want to be safe. We have read other posts regarding overheating-how do you know when your stove is overheating?

    hoping you can help thanks
  5. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    thank you for your help
  6. Millsk

    Millsk Member

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    40 #s in 14 hours is a good rate, maybe on the heavy side but alot of that would depend on the space your heating, if it's a larger home thats older your consumption of pellets will obviously be larger.

    Also this is going to depend on the type of pellet you are burning. This sill also affect your ash. What type of pellet are you burning?
  7. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    We are buring Maine pellets which say 1% or less, the whole including the basement (where the stove is) is 2200 sq. feet.
  8. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

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    I have the same stove as you. P61 with black wire esp.

    Its a great stove and you made a really good choice.

    I have had several stoves and the p61 is easily the best ive had.

    For starters you bought the wrong board.

    The p61 requires a different board and thats why you are having issues.

    You can keep using the board you have but im pretty sure switch 5 should be off cause you have a non digital esp.

    But if you just get error codes with it off then i guess you need to leave it on then.

    As far as feed rate and settings in this weather (high 20's at night) i have my feed rate at 5 and stove temp set at 2.

    I use 40 pounds in around 20-24 hours. When it gets colder i will raise temp to 3 or 4.
  9. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Keep in mind there are 2 Maine pellets, Maine Woods Pellets (MWP) and Maine's Choice. The MWP aere better.
  10. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Running my stove in room temp manual, feed rate 4, temp set for 72 when home, 69 at night and at work. I'm using 40 lbs/day at these setting.
  11. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    HI Stoaf88
    When we called the harman dealer they told us that was the board to get (although she hadn't heard of the stove except p61-a) when we took the old board out it didn't have any part numbers. we hope they sent the correct board-we did set it to off now. 5 on this stove makes the auger run all the time even with the old board and eats and eats pellets-then we had unburned pellets. does that happen to you?

    any thoughts on these questions posted earlier
    1. do we need outside air-do they run better (the kit didn't come with the hose but our friends tell us theirs did)
    2. how do you know when the stove is "overheating"-my girlfriend is a bit nervous
    3. if switch #5 is off-how does the esp work -from the directions it looks like switch 5 controls the esp.
    4. is combustion air suppose to be coming out of the auger
    5. we're waiting to hear from "member mllsk about the granular powder that's happening with our pellets
  12. Millsk

    Millsk Member

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    Finished basement? Basement walls will suck the heat outta the air not a huge problem but you are going to go through more pellets.
  13. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    Hi there, we are trying to understand the different posts.. are you saying the higher the feed rate number the less the auger runs-if our is on 4 or 5 it overflows the burn pot???
  14. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    Hi There-the basement isn't finished and we live in NH...we are using the mp pellets with less than 1 % ash...did you happen to see our other questions-it's difficult to find a "service tech" to come check it around here. we have called one place and they never answered the phone or returned the calls. another place doesn't really to seem to know as much as the people posting on the this site...just new to it all with lots of questions and want to be safe and
    Efficient
  15. Millsk

    Millsk Member

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    I did see the other questions. But I do not own your stove, so I'm staying away from the stove specifics. Generally speaking a stove on high setting will burn at the rate you are describing. Understanding that the stove is in a unfinished basement heating a fairly large area, I'd say your feed rates are just about right.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Let's take 4 of the questions comments.

    1. You have to get the air from somewhere, with an OAK it comes directly from the outside, without an OAK it still comes form the outside through all of the small cracks in your homes exterior shell, across the floor, into the stove and out of the house, in the process it mixes with and cools the air in the house you have already heated. The stove will operate better with an OAK and it will not be subject to the effects of any other air movers in the house affecting the stoves burn. Your friend likely has an England Stove Works Stove, an OAK is mandatory for the proper installation of their stoves.

    2. The stove will shutdown provided the safeties haven't been bypassed.

    3. Switch #5 doesn't control the esp it tells the control board what kind of esp is attached to it, the esp tells the control board what the exhaust temperature is, the control board uses this to decide how to fire the stove.

    4. The combustion air should be coming from the holes in the burn pot, some of those holes are near the auger.
  17. Millsk

    Millsk Member

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    About the ash.

    I haven't burned Maine wood pellets. But I have burned many others. Currently I'm burning Nations choice and its not fluffy ash at all. It's gritty. When I burn a high grade softwood pellet the ash is very fluffy and gets into the air very easily when I clean the ash pan or just open the door. The current ash does not do this, so the type of pellet really makes a difference, I feel.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/anyone-have-pictures-of-their-ash.93713/

    Try that link. There are seveal threads about ash here.
  18. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    Thanks everyone your help, this is very good informtion. we are wondering if anyone knows of a reputable pellet stove service place in southern nh?
  19. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

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    The boards for the p61a and p61 are different, and if they sold you the board for the p61a that is the wrong board. There is a thread here that has all the Harman part numbers listed and I even posted in it about this very issue, look for it.

    EDIT: the post is here: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...cret-so-guard-this-info-with-your-life.94568/

    When you say 5 makes the stove auger go all the time do you mean temperature control knob or feed rate knob? Temp control dial would make the auger run a ton because the stove will be calling for a ton of heat and you will burn through a bunch of pellets.

    I set my FEED Rate dial at 5, this controls how many pellets drop in when the auger turns. And as I said in this weather I have my temp dial at 2. This keeps my house quite warm and a bag of pellets last 20-24 hours. Your feed rate dial has nothing to do with how often your auger turns, and if it is controlling that then you have a problem. Put your feed rate at 5 and your temp at 2 until it gets real cold, that should be good. Actually you said you have a basement install so you will prolly need to use temp 3 at least. Basement installs are not optimal, you should move the stove upstairs to where you actually need the heat. You will like that a lot better.

    Now for the questions

    1 You dont need an outside air kit, but it does make everything more efficient, it is not the cause of your stove problems right now though.

    2 The stove wont overheat as long as all the safety measures have not been bypassed in the stove. The P61 gets VERY HOT, thats why its such a great stove.

    3 Like I said, I am pretty sure you have the wrong board.

    4 I believe Smokey answered that

    Good luck, and seriously consider moving the stove upstairs, your results will improve drastically heat wise.
  20. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

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    I would also suggest using STOVE temp mode and not using ROOM temp mode.

    Stove temp mode just seems to work better for me, I dont like the thermostat
  21. wenzel

    wenzel New Member

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    wow thanks for the parts pages, when we said #5 we mean on the back of the circuit/control board, dipswitch # 5 . we checked the list and that is the board they sold us, so it looks like we have the right one. but dipswitch #5 on the circuit board is set to off because we don't have the red esp, we have the black. glad to hear we made a good choice .. thanks for the info
  22. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    I always felt that way myself until I tried room temp manual. works a lot better. In stove temp you're just guessing at where to set the stove to get the desired temp. Im room temp, there's no guessing involved and it maintains the desired temp without ever shutting down.
  23. SteveB

    SteveB Member

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    I'm using room temp manual on my P43 and I use room temp auto when its a little warmer. They both work great for me. Might depend somewhat on the area you're heating. We heat a big, old farmhouse with two pellet stoves and a couple small electric heaters for spot heating upstairs. I think you'll really like your P61 once you get the dipswitches set right and you get used to the stove a little bit.

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