Harman Advance smelling smoke after deep cleaning

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Faay

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
10
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Hello all , first time posting. Harman Advance. We've been getting the stove ready for this year of what can mother nature dump on us. Husband did a deep clean and found even more nooks and crannies that were packed. They were up around where the distro air blows out into the room. We had also just replaced the auger motor. A few nights ago, we decided to fire it up to really ops check the auger. It was in the 40's. Had the initial fill the box with smoke on ignition. Really didn't notice anything, cleared out, nice flame all is well. When the distro kicked on and that's when we started smelling some smoke. Nothing major, just enough to go ..hmmm. Pressed on, watched the Sox kick ass then went to bed.. Got up in the morning and when I came out, I could really tell the 'smoke smell' was lingering. No detectors or co2 went off, so nothing major.
Is it possible that when hubby cleaned out all the nooks and crannies he found packed with ash that it 'opened' something? We were using the pellets left in the hopper from last season to run our ops check. We burn New England Premium wood pellets. The glass used to get dirty and ashed/coked up after about 6 hours. during this ops check run it did not, after running all night. Not sure if that means anything.
We haven't done the led in the dark check yet, that's on the list. Just an overall visual has been done looking for the obvious.

Back story, we bought the house 3 yrs ago with a pellet stove, never having owned one, we were very new. Sounded like a freight train when we were using it...became more than novices after that,learning, researching etc... replaced the distro blower, combustion blower. Much better. Auger was replaced this year...wow...so quiet now. Really love this little workhorse.
any feedback would be welcomed.
thank you
Faay
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,099
Wherever we're parked
Check the venting sections & make sure the seams at the connection joints aren't leaking.
I sincerely doubt you damaged anything else. If the gaskets are failing on the door & hopper,
you would get an error code as the vacuum switch wouldn't operate correctly.
Then again, it just may be the dust burning off the unit after it sat unused all summer...
Others may chime in here...
 

leaver441

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
5
Yellowknife, NT
Definitely check the venting pipe joints as per the post by Daksy, to see if smoke is coming out of the joints. Easiest way to identify smoke leaking is to start the pellet stove up in the dark (when it is in the startup phase, beginning to smoke), then use a flashlight to look around the most obvious places to see where the smoke is coming out.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
791
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
As DAKSY mentioned, check your connections…if there’s a leak at or near the tailpipe, the smoke would be drawn into the distribution fan and blow the smoke out of the heat exchange vents….and yeah the led flashlight or laser in the dark should narrow it down if not point out the breach.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
As an aside, you might want to carefully check where the combustion fan housing is connected to the firebox, HX. The gasket may be leaking or the securing screws are loose. I had to do mine a few years back and I removed the gasket and replaced it with a bead of HT silicone. If it puffs, and the housing isn't tight to the firebox-HX, it will leak smoke there. Mine did.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Also, see my recent post about the combustion fan housing being loose. The unit I'm rebuilding, all the screws securing the housing to the firebox were loose. While it is gasketed, those loose screws would allow some exhaust gas out during startup when the combustion fan is ramping up and exhaust vacuum is lower.

Came as a surprise to me. All tight now.
 
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Faay

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
10
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Hello all, just a quick update.
We fired the stove up and found smoke leaking from the joints on the exhaust pipes (stove to chimney opening). LED flashlight did the trick. So for now we busted out the speed tape. Guess you call it aluminum tape too. Good to go for now. Not sure why it was bleeding off smoke (on start up). First time in our few years it's done that. The only thing that was done was removed for cleaning and reinstalled.

Is it possible that the piping joints get 'worn' out or was it just not seated properly. Could there be a possible blockage in the chimney? We just had someone come out last year and clean chimney to clean-out and everything in between. Things that make you go hmmmmm. We'll probably look into replacing the piping pieces, but as I said, the speed tape is working great.
Sidenote...who knew a new auger motor was sooo quiet :).
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
181
PA
Hello all, just a quick update.
We fired the stove up and found smoke leaking from the joints on the exhaust pipes (stove to chimney opening). LED flashlight did the trick. So for now we busted out the speed tape. Guess you call it aluminum tape too. Good to go for now. Not sure why it was bleeding off smoke (on start up). First time in our few years it's done that. The only thing that was done was removed for cleaning and reinstalled.

Is it possible that the piping joints get 'worn' out or was it just not seated properly. Could there be a possible blockage in the chimney? We just had someone come out last year and clean chimney to clean-out and everything in between. Things that make you go hmmmmm. We'll probably look into replacing the piping pieces, but as I said, the speed tape is working great.
Sidenote...who knew a new auger motor was sooo quiet :).
I put high temp RTV silicone on the inside of all my joints before screwing them together, then wiped off the excess.

Was your chimney cleaned mid-season last year? Or after the season was over?
 

Faay

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
10
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
I put high temp RTV silicone on the inside of all my joints before screwing them together, then wiped off the excess.

Was your chimney cleaned mid-season last year? Or after the season was over?
Midseason and the HT RTV is a good idea too. thanks
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I put high temp RTV silicone on the inside of all my joints before screwing them together, then wiped off the excess.
I don't because I take mine completely apart every spring and pressure wash it inside. RTV'd joints don't like to come apart. In fact, I apply silver never seize to the joints so they come apart easier and on the outside vertical run I don't even twist lock them together, I just stack the sections up and secure them with the stand off's I fabricated from flat stock in the shop. Far as I can tell, none have ever leaked anything. I use Simpson Duravent Pellet Pro. The in house sections that go through the wall thimble are sealed with red RTV, I never remove them. Same way with the end that engages the exhaust outlet stub. That has red silicone in it as well plus I cut the outer galvanized jacked back about 5" to expose the stainless inner liner so I could add a worm clamp for even greater securement. In 15 years I've never taken that inside part apart. I can stick my shop vac hose inside it all the way to the exhaust outlet and with the combustion fan removed, I can readily see when it's clean. eally don't want to ever remove it anyway. The wall that tjhe thimble and fresh air vent goes through is over 13" thick from the inside to the outside. it's a 150 year old farmhouse with some very thick walls with hand hewn timbers.
 
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mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
181
PA
I don't because I take mine completely apart every spring and pressure wash it inside. RTV'd joints don't like to come apart. In fact, I apply silver never seize to the joints so they come apart easier and on the outside vertical run I don't even twist lock them together, I just stack the sections up and secure them with the stand off's I fabricated from flat stock in the shop. Far as I can tell, none have ever leaked anything. I use Simpson Duravent Pellet Pro. The in house sections that go through the wall thimble are sealed with red RTV, I never remove them. Same way with the end that engages the exhaust outlet stub. That has red silicone in it as well plus I cut the outer galvanized jacked back about 5" to expose the stainless inner liner so I could add a worm clamp for even greater securement. In 15 years I've never taken that inside part apart. I can stick my shop vac hose inside it all the way to the exhaust outlet and with the combustion fan removed, I can readily see when it's clean. eally don't want to ever remove it anyway. The wall that tjhe thimble and fresh air vent goes through is over 13" thick from the inside to the outside. it's a 150 year old farmhouse with some very thick walls with hand hewn timbers.
Yes, the downside is the joints are very difficult to take apart. The only piece I take off is the cleanout cap on the bottom, which only has sharkbite tape on it. I run the cleaning brush from inside the stove to the cleanout, then I brush from the cleanout up to the 90 that shoots outside. Then I brush from the outside into the 90. I take off the terminal piece at the end of the heating season and wash that in the sink and store it inside the pellet hopper so that I remember to put it back on before firing up the stove again.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I have a rather large vertical run with 2 45's to get around the second story eave and gutters. It's 20 feet vertical to the vent cap and it's all 4" and none of the verticals are even twist locked, they are all stacked on top of the 3-4 cleanout tee but I custom welded up standoff's from flat stock and light gauge steel plate so once everything is clamped (I use 5-6" diameter stainless worm clamps, once it's all clamped, it's very rigid and secure. All the vent pip rests on the cleanout Tee and the Tee is supported with it's own steel standoff so it don't really bear the weight of 20 foot of vertical venting. I bought the venting in the longest lengths I could get which was 6 foot per, I want as few of joints as possible, joints leak.
 
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