Harman XXV-TC brand new, with tons of problems

cd201

New Member
Jan 28, 2020
1
Dillsburg PA
We just bought a Harman XXV pellet stove from a dealer showroom in August 2019 and my husband installed it up to code et al. in October. We've burned 2.5 tons of pellets in it now (January 28 2020) and have been cleaning weekly along the way. Last week, I noticed the ash pan was overflowing and up to the inside of the door, which was odd since my husband had just dumped it out completely the night before, after its usual 1-week build up. When I opened the stove, the ash pan was overflowing with what looked like singed pellets covered in ash (not just ash). I guess we had the feed rate up too high, and pellets were getting pushed into the burn pot too quickly. I shut down the stove and cleaned it all out, and plugged it back in and got it going back at the factory default settings, and it worked except now it started setting off a "Door Open Warning" alert every 5-7 minutes, which then shut down the stove for about 2-3 minutes, and then it would go off by itself and start running again, and continue doing that over and over again all day. Later that night, I woke up to a "Combustion Error" warning message and the stove was completely shut off. The house had gone down to 58.

The door open warning has continued for a week, and the combustion error had started showing up more frequently, shutting off the stove. The other day, we did a deep clean where we took everything apart and followed every instruction to a T. No dice. Today, I thought I would take another look and try to clean out the combustion blower and ash pan myself, so I ran a paintbrush around the fan blades and brushed a bunch of fly ash out of it, and when I put everything back together, the stove started up its ignition and then began spitting smoke from the back right-hand panel where I had just cleaned the blower. Scary! I panicked and unplugged the unit but that didn't prevent smoke from spilling into the room. My husband suggested I had maybe not screwed things back in right so I checked again and sure enough, I forgot to completely secure the rod that supports the bottom of the combustion blower fan, so I screwed that back in tighter and then fired up the unit again. This time, everything was fine UNTIL ignition. When the pellets ignited, smoke started billowing out of the stove around the heat exchanger area in the front, inside the firebox (but it wasn't smoke from the actual burning pellets, it was coming from somewhere else). When I closed the door, smoke came out the top of the stove where the warm air usually blows into the room. I unplugged the unit right away. Now our house smells like smoke, and we have no working unit. Technician is coming on Thursday morning, but until then we have to stay with family. The house is freezing and our oil delivery isn't until tmrw.

We are SO disappointed, as this is a new unit, and we were confident we were making a good choice by installing this as our primary heat so as to avoid relying on our oil furnace. Would love any thoughts on what is going on with this stove which was NOT by any means CHEAP.
 

Nitro-Fish

Burning Hunk
Feb 5, 2009
136
VA
The good news is it is under warranty, the bad new is that doesn't get you heat. Was the combustion blower housing full of ash or partially burned pellets? What kind of shape was the blower housing gasket in? Blower seated properly when re-installed after cleaning? The ESP wasn't damaged during cleaning? Vac switch still operational? No overspill of pellets into any of the motors?

Door open warning could be associated with a clogged/bad vac switch, combustion error could be due to bad seal, or clogged housing, smoke from behind panel could be due to not seating properly or bad gasket, and a bad esp will make them do many crazy things, I don't know what kind of pellets you are using, but by 2.5 tons it was probably due for a decent cleaning, let us know what they find.
 

Nitro-Fish

Burning Hunk
Feb 5, 2009
136
VA
As far as the oil delivery, you may want to purchase enough fuel from one of the local stations (diesel/ kerosene) to get heat through the night, maybe a few 5 gallon cans worth.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
As an aside, I never bank on my bio mass stove as a primary heat source, always secondary. It's false security to do it any other way. We run ours only as a supplemental heat source to carry the heat load when it's not too cold outside but when it's cold or windy and cold, both the central furnace and the bio mass stove run together to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
716
Newport, Wa
On my 1nd year of Harmon XXV. Only problem was screws touching distribution fan and it caused buzzing. Easy fix. Got spare fan.

Do you take out the ESP probe when you cleaned it for spring?

You can get some cheap oil heaters and plug them in for basic heat.
 

rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
779
ohio
I will bet exhaust is clogged and needs cleaned. That is not a warranty issue. All symptoms are breathing issues and typically that is from a clogged exhaust. Have you checked it?
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I always get a kick out of the 'plug and play attitude today. No pellet appliance is plug and play. Quite the contrary.
 
  • Like
Reactions: johneh

ABusWrench

Member
Sep 11, 2015
96
East Canton, Ohio
You ALWAYS should have a backup! Especially with heating your home. Pellet stoves NEED maintenance! If it's trying to ignite, it's not sensing a problem. If it's spewing smoke out of every orifice, I'd say the exhaust is plugged! You make no mention of how the stove is installed, exhaust routed, OAK installed or if it's plugged into a surge suppressor. Having burnt 2.5 ton of pellets, and if they are an ashy pellet, she's all plugged up.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Sounds like another one for the stove tech thread....lol
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,800
Eastern Ontario
Just a suggestion Clean your stove from door to top of the chimney.
The back of the stove is plugged with ash My stove gets a full cleaning after 2 tons
and after 2 tons it runs poorly
Another suggestion read your manual from cover to cover
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Aren't manuals optional today?:p
 

Oregun

Member
Jan 12, 2017
89
Oregon
Haven't emptied our XXV ash pan yet this season (2/3 ton) so far burning douglas fir pellets.
The pan is 2/3 full though.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,800
Eastern Ontario
Haven't emptied our XXV ash pan yet this season (2/3 ton) so far burning douglas fir pellets.
The pan is 2/3 full though.
She has burnt 2.5 Tons
Better than 2.5 times what you have burnt
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,800
Eastern Ontario
Her stove obviously has a major problem to be producing that much overnight.
Agreed: If you read the whole post at the end she states that there are
unburnt pellets and chared pellets. This indicates to me a combustion air problem
In other words, a stove plugged in ash seeing as they clean only the combustion area and the
ash pan and used 2,5 tons of pellets
 

Oregun

Member
Jan 12, 2017
89
Oregon
Agreed: If you read the whole post at the end she states that there are
unburnt pellets and chared pellets. This indicates to me a combustion air problem
In other words, a stove plugged in ash seeing as they clean only the combustion area and the
ash pan and used 2,5 tons of pellets
You are misunderstanding my posts, I did fully read her post and understood it. I wasn't trying to suggest
any cause or solution to the problem. I'm on your side in trying to find a solution to her problem.