Harman Accentra Insert Distribution Fan Access

JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
Hi Folks,

I've learned a lot from reading the forums here and have been a lurker for years. I've become fairly well-versed with my Accentra Insert. It was manufactured in 2007 and purchased and installed in 2008 by the previous house owners. I bought my house in 2014 and have been using the stove as our primary heat source since.

To cut to the chase, I clean and maintain the stove regularly but have never touched the distribution blower. It seems like it's turning off and on intermittently and doesn't run consistently, so I'd like to get in there and clean it, since we have a dog and used to have cats (as did the previous owners), so I'm guessing it could stand to be cleaned out. I do clean the ESP regularly and am prepared to replace that as well if cleaning the distribution blower doesn't fix the issue.

The insert not on a raised hearth, so I've read on here that the best way to access the distribution fan underneath is to pull out the insert and tip it forward onto a bag of pellets, being careful to not bend the door handle or break the glass. I'd really like to see pictures or video of this being done before I dive in, but haven't been to find any on here or Youtube or anywhere else.

Does anyone happen to have a link or can offer any advice before I go ahead and try it this weekend? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
It's probably worth mentioning also that when the fan powers down, it makes a rattling sound. Does that sound familiar?
 

DAKSY

Patriot Guard Rider Moderator
Staff member
You need to buy or fabricate something like what's shown in this video.
It's a Harman Service Rail Kit.
I've used it a couple of times on the older Accentra inserts & it works very well.
You have access to the entire underside of the unit when it's supported on the rails...

 

JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
Thanks for the reply. I've seen those but my stove isn't on a raised hearth, it's floor level, so I think a rail system is out for me.
 

Peterfield

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2013
1,377
New Hampshire
I recall a comment from someone with your vintage stove that if you have dogs and cats and the stove is not on a raised hearth, the area under the stove is a magnet for hair and dust and needs to be periodically cleaned. When the technician comes to my house to clean the stove, he simply puts a 2x4 on its side perpendicular to and centered in front of the stove. After taking of the trim and unfastening the clips, he simply horses the stove onto the 2x4 and slides it inch by inch until he has access to the area behind the stove.

The last time I had my stove cleaned, the tech commented how dusty the blower motors were and used an air compressor to blow out the dust.
 
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fedtime

Feeling the Heat
Sep 13, 2009
256
Down East Canada
Mine sits on the floor also.

When I changed my distribution blower a few years ago, I just pulled out the stove and titled it forward until I could get at the blower. I stacked a few bags of wood pellets in front of the stove to provide something for the stove to lean against while I changed out the blower.
 

JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
Mine sits on the floor also.

When I changed my distribution blower a few years ago, I just pulled out the stove and titled it forward until I could get at the blower. I stacked a few bags of wood pellets in front of the stove to provide something for the stove to lean against while I changed out the blower.
Thanks. That's what I'm aiming to do as well. I've pulled the insert out plenty to do a thorough cleaning, but never so far out to pull it off the rails.

Did you have to disconnect any wires or anything else in order to tip it forward enough to access the blower on the bottom?
 

fedtime

Feeling the Heat
Sep 13, 2009
256
Down East Canada
Thanks. That's what I'm aiming to do as well. I've pulled the insert out plenty to do a thorough cleaning, but never so far out to pull it off the rails.

Did you have to disconnect any wires or anything else in order to tip it forward enough to access the blower on the bottom?
On mine, I did not have to disconnect any wires, but you do have to be careful about that. The last thing you want to do is pinch or tear a wire off, which would be easy to do because the stove is so heavy.

I have enough wire on mine that the stove will come out quite far for cleaning, blower motor changes, etc. I keep the excess wire coiled up and zip-tied out of the way when the stove is in place and operating. When it is time to pull it out, I just cut the zip tie and carefully pull the stove out.
 
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JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
Update: I pulled out the insert, cleaned the distribution fan and everything else while I was at it. Pulled the circuit board and cleaned the pots behind the knobs. All I have to say is, holy, what a difference! Once I got everything back together, the blower is running like I've never seen after 4 years in this house. Knock on wood, this should make a big difference in the heating capacity of the stove. There was a ton of hair and dust matted into the fins of the fan. It's a wonder the motor didn't burn out, but I think there's a thermal switch to prevent that. I'm guessing this is the first time that fan has ever been cleaned. It's going to be part of my annual cleaning routine now.

Thanks for the tips and all of the information here. It certainly saved me a lot of money on a service call.

cloggedfan.jpg fandebris.jpg cleanfan.jpg insertout.jpg
 

JPort

New Member
Nov 16, 2018
27
Maine
Back to the drawing board with this one. The stove ran great after the blower cleaning yesterday, now it's back to the same issues, but now the distribution fan doesn't seem to run at all, even in test mode. Ordered a new blower and will take it from there. I did notice the last time I heard the blower going this morning, when it shut down, it rattled loudly then stopped. Maybe that was its death throes.

The stove was a lot hotter than normal, even hot to the touch, without the fan to move the heat, so I turned it off until I can get it running properly. Hopefully this will take care of the issue.