Harman P68 - 3 years old

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
Hello,
We purchased a house in 2014 - 3 story, 2,000 SQ FT Colonial built in 1906. Newly renovated on the first 2 floors, still get some drafts We live in Maine,R-60 insulation in the attic, and the walls are insulated pretty well. We started burning in Mid September and have used about 3.5 tons of pellets so far. I've been doing a bit of reading about the ash line being 1" from the end of the burn pot. I took out a tape measure this morning and noticed my ash line is 3" to 3.5" from the end of the burn pot. I currently have my feed rate set to 4 - the default and i'm burning Fireside Ultra pellets from Home Depot. I typically buy 10 bags a week. I do a combination of Room Temp and Stove Temp depending on the outside temperature. Generally when it gets down below 20 I use stove temp, higher and I use room temp so the stove shuts down and saves on pellets. I feel like we are using an abnormal amount of pellets, the stove has no issues keeping the house up to temperature, we keep it on 70. The downstairs stays at 68-69 and the 2nd floor is usually 66-67. 3rd Floor being the same temp 66-67. Our house has 2 sets of stairs that go up to the 2nd floor - on opposite ends of the house. Hot air goes up 1 side and cold air comes down the other, our house is setup pretty well for a pellet stove. For reference we use the pellet stove to heat our house 100%, there is no supplemental heat at all. We have an oil boiler as backup but never use it.

How can I fix my settings so the ash line is 1" from the end of the burn pot? Instead of 3" to 4". I have tried adjusting my feed rate down to 2 and 2.5 and that seems to leave a 1" ash line when running in stove temp mode with the temp at 7. Reading online that's where it should be. Is that the correct setting? Everything i'm reading online is saying not to lower the feed rate, and to leave it on 4 or higher. Our stove is a direct vent out through the wall.

Looking for some advice on what to do next.

Thank you.
 

jackman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 15, 2013
477
Oregon
Well, it's perhaps a matter of some debate and everyone's situation is different. My philosophy is to keep the pellets burning near the back of the pot allowing them to burn hotter and reducing the amount of clinkers. To accomplish that I keep the feed rate at 3 and keep the burn pot scraped clean every day.

From all that you describe I'm impressed that you're able to keep everything warm with just the pellet stove. I have a heat pump which also runs to keep my upstairs warm.
 

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
Well, it's perhaps a matter of some debate and everyone's situation is different. My philosophy is to keep the pellets burning near the back of the pot allowing them to burn hotter and reducing the amount of clinkers. To accomplish that I keep the feed rate at 3 and keep the burn pot scraped clean every day.

From all that you describe I'm impressed that you're able to keep everything warm with just the pellet stove. I have a heat pump which also runs to keep my upstairs warm.
When the temps get cold - below 0. The pellet stove can struggle to heat up the house. I usually turn the boiler on to bring the house up to temperature. We usually turn it down to 62 at night to save on pellets. But once the house gets up to temperature, the pellet stove does not have any issues keeping it there. Granted we do use a lot of pellets. When it gets down below 0 we could use 2.5 to 3 bags a day. Luckily we haven't had too many cold days like that this year. Maybe 8-10 total.
 
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Washed-Up

Member
Nov 5, 2011
130
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
The burn pot doesn't need to be an inch clear...my P61 is about 3" from the end...do you have an outside air kit installed on your stove?
 
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Peterfield

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2013
1,376
New Hampshire
I bought a Harman in 2014 and when asked, the installer recommended that the feed rate at 3 rather than the old standard of 4.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,730
South Central NH
I personally don't think your pellet usage is bad considering the size of your house and at 3 levels too. I have a 950 sq/ft main floor and a partial basement. I use two stoves, neither works very hard, to keep both floors warm. I use 2-4 bags a day depending upon temp and wind. I have used just over 3 tons so far this season and am happy about it.

I personally don't worry about where the ash line is. The P61a tends to be closer to the lip than the P43. It can also change depending on quality of pellet I use. I just scrape off the mustache once a day, or as needed and call it good.
 
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Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
Do you have an outside air kit installed...and you may also benefit from reading this sticky...
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/how-your-harman-works-what-your-manual-doesnt-tell-you.91030/
No we do not have an outside air kit installed. Our installer told us one was not needed based on the pellet stoves location and where the windows were located. Our pellet stove is in our sitting room that has 3 windows in it. It's kitty cornered with 2 windows to the right of it and 1 window to the left of it. They said one was not needed. Even though I had asked about it. Should we have one installed? What are the pros + cons?

I did some playing around with the feed rate last night, and on a feed rate of 2 the pellet stove flame seems to be a lot smaller, the stove eventually heats up/gets up to temperature but it takes a lot longer vs having the feed rate on 3 or 4. I have settled on 3 for now to see if that helps. Trying to conserve pellets where I can.
 

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
The burn pot doesn't need to be an inch clear...my P61 is about 3" from the end...do you have an outside air kit installed on your stove?
We do not have an outside air kit installed. The installer said it was not necessary based on the location of our install, and the fact it is surrounded by windows. What are the pros and cons of an outside air kit?
 

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
I personally don't think your pellet usage is bad considering the size of your house and at 3 levels too. I have a 950 sq/ft main floor and a partial basement. I use two stoves, neither works very hard, to keep both floors warm. I use 2-4 bags a day depending upon temp and wind. I have used just over 3 tons so far this season and am happy about it.

I personally don't worry about where the ash line is. The P61a tends to be closer to the lip than the P43. It can also change depending on quality of pellet I use. I just scrape off the mustache once a day, or as needed and call it good.
I guess i'm just over-reacting, lol. I guess 5 tons a year for the size home we have is not bad considering. I was just trying to conserve pellets where I can. I'm going to set the feed rate to 3 and leave it there based on what others in this post have said. That seems to be a sweet spot. We will see what happens when it gets really cold.
 
Feed Rate does not matter when in "RoomTemp", the computer/ room temp sensor is in control. I have a newer home, very well insulated and do pretty much the opposite of what you do. I run stove temp 95% of the time, when it gets down into the low teens or colder I switch over to room temp.

Room temp will burn hotter than stove temp.; there is a thread here that is VERY GOOD info for you to read on how your Harman works. They describe stove temp more like a fireplace only reaching temps at the ESP probe of setting 1 at 100 degrees, 2 at 200 degrees & so on, on room temp you set it at, let say 73-75 degrees the stove burns hotter to reach the set temp.
Also I've noticed when temps are in the 20's or warmer the stove while in room temp shuts the blower off & on more than I like, and I feel I use MORE pellets in this mode vs. stove temp!

Hope this helps
 

Washed-Up

Member
Nov 5, 2011
130
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
We do not have an outside air kit installed. The installer said it was not necessary based on the location of our install, and the fact it is surrounded by windows. What are the pros and cons of an outside air kit?
When you burn without an OAK the air is replaced from outside. No OAK creates drafts and is also very inefficient.
 

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
Feed Rate does not matter when in "RoomTemp", the computer/ room temp sensor is in control. I have a newer home, very well insulated and do pretty much the opposite of what you do. I run stove temp 95% of the time, when it gets down into the low teens or colder I switch over to room temp.

Room temp will burn hotter than stove temp.; there is a thread here that is VERY GOOD info for you to read on how your Harman works. They describe stove temp more like a fireplace only reaching temps at the ESP probe of setting 1 at 100 degrees, 2 at 200 degrees & so on, on room temp you set it at, let say 73-75 degrees the stove burns hotter to reach the set temp.
Also I've noticed when temps are in the 20's or warmer the stove while in room temp shuts the blower off & on more than I like, and I feel I use MORE pellets in this mode vs. stove temp!

Hope this helps
I'm leaning more so towards running stove temp. But i'm still having a hard time gauging where to set the temp when going to bed. When I wake up in the morning it might be single digits outside. So I crank the stove up to 7 in stove temp mode to bring the house up to temperature. It runs like that for 2 hours or so. By the time I leave for work I am unsure where to set the gauge so I don't waste pellets throughout the day. My wife and I are both at work 9-10 hours a day, so we are not home to adjust the stove up and down to save on pellets. and the same thing happens in the overnight hours. We like to sleep cool and usually like the temps in the house to get down to 62 or so. I look at the overnight temps/lows and try to figure out the best setting in stove temp mode to keep it at 62 over-night. It's a guessing game most of the time. Too higher and we waste pellets, too low and I wake up and it's 60 in the house.
 

Kenstin1983

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
7
Maine
When you burn without an OAK the air is replaced from outside. No OAK creates drafts and is also very inefficient.
How in-efficient is it? I may call the company I bought the stove from and have them come install and outside air kit. They said it was not needed. Any idea what that usually runs?
 

Washed-Up

Member
Nov 5, 2011
130
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Its pretty simple to do, 3" flex pipe, here's a video

 
When you burn without an OAK the air is replaced from outside. No OAK creates drafts and is also very inefficient.
I'm curious.... do you also allow your cloths dryer to exhaust out into your house, during the winter months??? Same theory/principal here too I use a filter to catch the last of the lent, you can't imagine how nice that warm/humid air is!
 
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bob bare

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
2,957
park county montana
Do not run feed setting down low,false economy,as you found out,and,over time,can burn off end of auger,and possibly damage auger tube.Buy a thermostat and hook to your stove.Heck,buy a programmable one,and have it come on before you get out of bed.On really cold days,start stove,then flip switch to manual,stove will remain in low burn until t/stat calls for heat,then burn will ramp up.
 
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2011GT/CS

New Member
Nov 5, 2018
10
Lehigh valley, Pa.
My opinion is this. Stove temperature kind of defeats the reason for having a Haman stove. In that mode the stove runs at a temperature regardless of room temperature. As the temperature outside drops the stove will not adjust to keep up. Same kind of thing when the outside temp rises it will get warmer in the house. I have a P43 in a 1800 square foot split level with a Skytech programmable wireless remote thermostat and use between 3 and 3-1/2 tons per winter. I use room temperature exclusively and go between Auto and manual on the igniter. I have found that anything more than a 2 to 3 degree setback takes too long to recover and seems to defeat any fuel savings. If all your looking to do is save pellets you have to keep the house at a lower temperature. I would still try using room temperature for a while and find your best place for the room probe. You can then adjust the temperature dial on the stove fore what you want. This can be done without the wireless set up you just won’t have a setback feature until you add it. Hope the information from everyone helps.
 

Washed-Up

Member
Nov 5, 2011
130
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
I'm curious.... do you also allow your cloths dryer to exhaust out into your house, during the winter months??? Same theory/principal here too I use a filter to catch the last of the lent, you can't imagine how nice that warm/humid air is!
I dry my clothes in front of my P61 ;)
 
I also have a P68 and I am using Fireside Ultra's. We are heating two floors, 1600 SF or so. We use anywhere from 4-5 tons per year. I don't tinker much with the feed rate - I think it's set at 3. Once or twice when the temps are subzero I might have to goose the feed rate just to help get the house up to temp if I've let it run out of pellets. I never thought about the ash line, not sure that makes any difference. If I see a robust flame, that's good. FSU's create a good amount of ash, so I scrape the burnpot here and there. Really does not seem critical though.

I agree with what was said about stove temp setting defeating the purpose of the thermostat. We had some pretty cold weather here a few days ago and the stove kept the house pretty close to its usual temp. During those periods, I don't turn it down at night because it's too hard to catch back up if I do. Once the stove has fully heated the upper reaches of the house overnight, the whole house feels even warmer than normal.

Anyway, I paid around $219/ton for the FSU's, and I would not sweat a little high usage at that price.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,730
South Central NH
How in-efficient is it? I may call the company I bought the stove from and have them come install and outside air kit. They said it was not needed. Any idea what that usually runs?
Technically you may not "need" an OAK. But for comfort you may want an OAK. An OAK allows the stove to use outside air directly for combustion. No OAK means the outside air still comes in - but not from a designated point (ie from around windows, doors, house sill, places that are not well insulated). That means the cold air roams around your house before warmin up instead of just going straight into the stove
 
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Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,110
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
My opinion is this. Stove temperature kind of defeats the reason for having a Haman stove.
I have to disagree.
It gives you another option.. a plus.
I use stove temp a lot, as I like having warm air circulating all the time
when it is really cold. With an older house like mine (1895) and the stove in the basement,
on room temp, it fluctuates too much.. on off on off on off.
Warmer weather ...? sure. I use room temp.
But having that option does not "defeat" the purpose of a Harman.
IMO, it makes it a better choice.. more flexibility to suit the individual's need.

Dan
 

2011GT/CS

New Member
Nov 5, 2018
10
Lehigh valley, Pa.
You can also put your igniter switch in manual in room temperature. Then the stove goes into a low maintenance burn until the stat neends more heat. Mine runs that way whenever the outside temperature is below 40. I’m not saying that stove temperature doesn’t have its place, you just don’t get the automatic adjustability that is built into the stove.
 
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Tonyray

Minister of Fire
before we hooked up and OAK, there was always this draft along the floor downstairs...
this was air making it's way back to the stove.... it was also air that we paid to heat with pellets.
something about that didn't sit well with me...... after we had the OAK installed, the floor drafts ceased and flame was stronger and straighter..

as far as room temp/stove temp, in the warmer weather we use room/auto as we know the temps will rise while we are gone during the day and possibly shut down.
when the temps get down to 30 or below, stove temp gives us a steady flowing heat without the Auto interuptions. up/down/on/off/rinse,;lather, repeat.

In room/manual, I always noticed there are long periods of time that the distribution blower is off thereby sending hot air out the exhaust and Not the living space which is where it belongs.. sometimes for 15 minutes or so..!!!.I'm not a big fan of this mode for that reason and "saving the ignitor" is not reason enough to run this mode.

.#1...replacing the ignitor is EZPZ . anyone can do it. only tool needed is a screwdriver. and it may last 6-7 yrs or more.

#2...to me running any mode to save the ignitor is like driving in 95 degree heat with the windows open just to save gas and not run the AC.

everyones house is different.. some are tighter than a fishermans knot and auto works fine.
we have a 1920's poorly insulated house so always steady heating is best..
my 2 cents for what it's worth...;)
 
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