Harman absolute 63 caught fire again

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New Member
Mar 7, 2024
Rhode island
I have a two year old Harman Absolute 63. This is the second time in 14 months where we had a fire and house full of smoke. I filled the hopper with one bag of pellets closed the lid walked up stairs 1 minute later smoke alarms house filled with smoke and vent pipe shooting flames. Same exact issue last year. Where I was told I was burning bad pellets from Harman and local dealer. Which I didn’t agree with. I assume there is a draw or vent issue when closing lid. Same issue last year filled hooper smoke coming from bottom of stove vent pipe melted after filling hopper and closing lid. I have had pellet stoves for 30 years never seen anything like this. Stove and vent pipe were just cleaned by dealer in February. Obviously I will never use the stove again. FD responded and suspected some type of draw or vent malfunction with the stove. Any ideas appreciated.
Thank you

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again
interesting, im trying to figure out how the stove could feed enough pellets to cause that much heat in about a min... iv seen stoves smolder and produce more smoke that can be exhausted and then ignite all the smoke in the chamber but then it exhausts all the smoke and all is good. You would think the feeder would have to run non stop the whole time to create enough pellets to get that hot, so to me that would be a board issue.
Personally i do not leave the room while my stove is igniting just incase something goes wrong, then im right their to deal with it.
I should clarify I was topping off the pellets. Added more to the hopper which I have done for 30 years with out a problem on Harman stoves. I am not sure if the weather has anything to do with this. Both times this happen it has been cold damp rain for several days . Fire Dept suspected potential venting draft type issue . Very strange

Thank you
Which pipe had flames shooting out of
Air intake (OAK)
Exhaust (Chimney)
The pipe outside bottom elbow had flames coming out. The inside pipe and bottom of stove were had smoke coming out. Melted interior pipe gaskets again. Both inside and outside. What I don’t understand is how topping off the pellets and closing top lid results in fire and smoke in one minutes time. When stove was running fine all day.

Thank you
That long horizontal run is a red flag for me. Depends on what your area code is though I suppose. And as with johneh, I curious about the location of flame as well
To my little brain, you just described a chimney fire
I will bet you burn on low all the time
Fire. caused by a creosote build-up in the pipe ?????
from burning on low
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The entire stove and pipe were cleaned by Harman partner in late January . They advised to burn on low feed rate last year when the same issue happen. I checked pipe today it was clean. Except for soot from flames
The entire stove and pipe were cleaned by Harman partner in late January . They advised to burn on low feed rate last year when the same issue happen. I checked pipe today it was clean. Except for soot from flames
Were you there when it was cleaned?
The only way to get flame in a pellet stove past the heat exchanger, the combustion fan and into the pipe is if there was a lair
of combustible material in the path which was cleaned 2 months ago or was it?
If the auger ran at full RPM for 1 minute you would not get enough pellets into the firebox to get a big enough fire
to run out of the exhaust pipe and if it did happen there would be little or no smoke from such an intense fire.
I was here when it was cleaned 20 feet from the tech. Why all of a sudden is closing the lid after topping off the common denominator with starting the smoke and the fire ? Fire department
I’m thinking along the same thing as Johneh. The stove is running along fine with the lid closed. That means by design, there is only enough air(oxygen) to burn the fuel in the burnpot(plus a little excess ) so the exhaust gas has very little oxygen in it to support combustion of anything after the combustion blower. So if there was combustible material in the stove pipe it would not be burning. When you open the hopper lid all sorts of extra air (oxygen) comes in allowing the combustibles in the stove pipe to burn. Just a thought.
There was also material found in outside pipe that was fine less than paper thin pinkish color which they thought was remainder of not fully burnt pellets ? Is that even possible?

Thank you all for the answers.
The only thing that is coming to mind and this is a stretch... Possibility of a lot of dust/fines in the pellets you were adding and somehow got sucked up by the exhaust blower and ignited, burning off what ever contaminated that may be in the chimney, i doubt very much it was creosote in the chimney after 5 years of buring i have 0 in mine.

Like i said this is a stretch as nothing make sense how a fire would start so fast and burn hot enough to burn through a gasket that is rated for about 500 degrees.
This is the interior base pipe bottom clean out from the back of the stove not the outside pipe . It is full of debris . Also when viewing the ash pan and interior of the stove the ash is typically dust like normal ash. However this ash was very moist black and thick like not normal ash. The stove walls also are covered with thick black moist ash It has rained all week. I just return the store where I purchased the stove and pellets. They were very concerned said it’s not. Normal and will be on site Tuesday

Thank you all your comments are greatly appreciated.

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again

Harman absolute 63  caught fire again
The chunks in the clean-out look like burnt creosote The material left over from a chimney fire .
I agree with Zrock that creosote is unusual in a pellet stove but burning on low with low-combustion
air leading to a lazy fire creates an oily black tar (Creosote)
Is it possible that your air intake is sucking in moisture?
That’s exactly what I am thinking. It’s definitely moist ash. Not typical dry ash. How that is happening is my question. What could be possibly doing that sucking in air when I open the top lid? Just had a person look and he feels somehow the exhaust malfunctioned. There is definitely moisture in the stove a d how does that happen when the stove is running 24x7 ?

Thanks again
wow.. so much crud in that pipe.. 9 yrs burning and never had that much in total..
anyways, what pellet we;re you using..?
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Recommended and Purchased from dealer. Store where I purchased the stove said this should not be happening with a high end stove. Plus this was professionally cleaned several weeks ago and pipe taken apart and cleaned. I am sure this is from moisture getting into the stove and another issue with exhaust or venting.
If it was moisture find out quickly and Patton the process
I have yet in 75 years seen water burn
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With that much ash in you exhaust pipe and you just had it cleaned by the dealer in February i will say their is no way they are cleaning it well. That is about how much ash i have in my stove pipe in 3 or more months i usually clean my pipe once a season.
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The ash in the stove now is moist and black you can tell it’s wet not a fine grey ash that you normally would see.
Typically I can remove the ash with a brush and vacuum. You would have to scrape this off. I keep my pellets in my house they were not wet and are quality pellets.

It’s almost stuck to the interior of the stove.

I have an ash vacuum I just opened that up to empty it as I am never going to use the stove again. The ash in the vacuum from past few weeks is grey not black or moist. We had 5 days of rain. Somehow not sure however I believe and two others I had look at this the stove is pulling in moist air from outside and causing problems.

Dealer is coming Tuesday I showed them the videos pictures etc. they were very concerned. I guess we will know more Tuesday.

Thanks again for the help greatly appreciated.