Harman P61A igniter and auger motor issue

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Dec 22, 2023
After cleaning out the stove (burn pot, ash bin, etc.) this morning, went to start it up, expecting it to fire up quickly like it usually does after a cleaning. Auger motor filled the burn pot, but then nothing. Felt the burn pot and found that it was cold, so I knew it was an igniter issue. Opened up the panel under the burn pot and saw that the braiding on one of the igniter wires had worn off, and realized that it must have shorted out when the exposed wire came into contact with the metal. Went to my local stove store and got a new igniter. Installed it this afternoon, but when I power up the stove neither the igniter light nor the feed motor light turn on. The stove is receiving power and the combustion blower is working. Here's are the lights on the panel when I turn it on:

Power: On
Status: On
Distribution: Off
Combustion: On
Igniter: Off
Feed Motor: Off

I read that the igniter and the auger motor are on the same circuit, so I'm thinking that maybe I need to replace the auger motor too? Does this make sense? Fuse appears to be fine, and my pellet store advised me that if the fuse was blown the stove wouldn't be powering up at all. I'm thinking that another issue such as the vacuum switch is unlikely given the fact that this coincides with the igniter problem and has otherwise been operating perfectly.

I have been told that I can test the auger motor independently using another power source, such as an old extension cords with the ends stripped and clamped to the leads, but I'm a little bit wary of trying that since I don't have much experience with electric work. But it's a holiday weekend and I don't think there's any chance of getting someone out anytime soon .

Good news is that I have a new auger motor in the basement. Bought it last year when I thought the old one was dying. Should I go ahead and replace with my fingers crossed, or is there something else I should look at first?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Opened up the panel under the burn pot and saw that the braiding on one of the igniter wires had worn off, and realized that it must have shorted out when the exposed wire came into contact with the metal.
Two wires to the igniter, one becomes bare and came in contact with metal? :eek:
We call that a short here, I don't see how the fuse can be fine after that. Is there just the one fuse, or are there others?

My 1992 VC stove is like looking at the Harman P61 once it's opened up, I can easily see one in my future ... if ever I need to replace this one.
Last edited:
Just the one fuse on the back of the control panel. I wondered the same thing, but figured that if the fuse was damaged the combustion blower wouldn't be running . . . maybe I should replace the fuse first, just in case?
I looked at the only schematic I have, you are right, just one 6 amp fuse it looks like. I'd try it, can't hurt to try replacement.
I would jump out the vacuum switch before I started changing anything. Try that and see if the feed light and igniter light come on. If they do it is either a bad vacuum switch an air leak somewhere or a dirty stove somewhere blocked. DON'T LEAVE THE VACUUM SWITCH JUMPED AND KEEP USING THE STOVE'
Just posting the schematic I forgot, maybe it helps someone?

Harman P61A wires.jpg
Just to note- the hopper lid switch hasn't been on the stoves for a while. My 2013 P43 doesn't have one.

I am always suspicious when someone does a cleaning, then the stove suddenly doesn't work - that is a huge coincidence in my mind. When that happens, I always suggest looking at the simple and free things before throwing money and parts at it.

Your first issue sounds like it might have still been in test mode - with just the exhaust and augur powering, but nothing else. Now that you've put in new parts and perhaps even taken it out of test mode, check everything you've touched during cleaning and replacing those parts. Check your control settings first. Turn all dials completely counterclockwise (or clockwise depending on the mode you run on), then put them back where you want them.

Then start checking all else. Don't just look at stuff, physically move them. I'd start with opening and closing all 3 doors (and check to make sure that hopper door doesn't have any pieces of pellets keeping it from making a tight seal. Make sure your hopper switch moves freely (if you have one - mine does).

Best of luck
Last edited: