New guy with a fairly stupid Harman question

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Smoke’n

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
3
Chester County PA
Hello all, long time lurker first time poster. Bought a new house last year that had an existing Whitfield advantage II from 1993. Worked great but with tax credits this year wanted to upgrade to something a little more user friendly for the Mrs. After reading many threads on here I pulled the trigger on a P61a. Absolutely love the stove! More heat then I could ever want and 10x less work then the Whitfield. Only complaint I have so far is that when left alone for a few hours the stove will shut it self off due to the pellets literally not falling to the bottom of the hopper. I know it sounds stupid but just wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar issue. Currently burning TSC white bag and they do seem a little more “dusty” in this batch then usual. Wondering if that’s just causing enough grip on the pellets that they’re staying stacked on the sides. Any input is appreciated! Going to attempt to add a photo to show what I’m talking about. Typically me opening the hopper lid is enough movement to make the pellets fall to the auger so that’s what’s happened in this pic.

Thanks!
-Brian

E1A80286-8F30-435E-B857-A2AF6366CF5B.jpeg
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,609
park county montana
Run it empty(well,almost). Clean really well. Then treat the sides and the slope. People do different things-- rub with wax paper, use car wax, cooking non-stick spray, silicone spray, etc,
They also make extended hoppers,to hold more.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,856
Eastern Ontario
Welcome to the forum
Do a search you will find all kinds of treads that
have helped people with your problem from
sanding hopper, wax, paint, and putting foil tape on hopper walls
 
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Smoke’n

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
3
Chester County PA
Appreciate the advice guys! I did do a quick search but didn’t see anything related, I’ll search a little harder next time. Thanks again, looking forward to all the great info on this forum!
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,032
Colorado
No problem just wanted to be helpful and see the stove--nice looking stove..I am not experience with wood stoves let alone pellet stoves for I lite my very first piece of wood on my stove last week so I am learning...This is most likely stupid but could the pellets be too big or long or something and that's stopping them from dropping down "if that's the problem"--just suggesting..lol clancey
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,033
Newport, Wa
Get some spray on wax they use for Copper Sinks. that lasts long time. I have yet to have any problems with my Harmon XXV (2018) but have bottle sitting if it happens
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
876
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Here ya go

 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
3,010
South Central NH
Hu, I don't have that funneling issue with most pellets, including the TSC (which I mainly burn). Most posts Ihave seen about that issue are for pure softwoods. Although I have noticed a funneling effect on both my stoves running some Nature's own - but not to an extreme. I've herd of some people using wax, and others sanding the sides down.

Please note that I never, ever let my hoppers get as low as what you show in the picture, so that may be the reason my stove acts differently (plus, I have hopper extensions so there is a lot of weight there to help it flow down).
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I get that on my 6039 off and on. I give it a shot of silicone when that happens which is rare. Don't sand it whatever you do, that will only make it 10 times worse. Usually keep mine pretty full so it's not an issue very often.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Very rarely let it get more than 1/2 empty. I keep a 5 gallon bucket next to the unit so if it won't all fit in the hopper, it goes in the bucket. Only time I'll let it get low is when I'm shutting it down and then I'll physically move the pellets (or in my case the corn/pellet mix) over the auger.
 
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Lmn1966

New Member
Hello all, long time lurker first time poster. Bought a new house last year that had an existing Whitfield advantage II from 1993. Worked great but with tax credits this year wanted to upgrade to something a little more user friendly for the Mrs. After reading many threads on here I pulled the trigger on a P61a. Absolutely love the stove! More heat then I could ever want and 10x less work then the Whitfield. Only complaint I have so far is that when left alone for a few hours the stove will shut it self off due to the pellets literally not falling to the bottom of the hopper. I know it sounds stupid but just wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar issue. Currently burning TSC white bag and they do seem a little more “dusty” in this batch then usual. Wondering if that’s just causing enough grip on the pellets that they’re staying stacked on the sides. Any input is appreciated! Going to attempt to add a photo to show what I’m talking about. Typically me opening the hopper lid is enough movement to make the pellets fall to the auger so that’s what’s happened in this pic.

Thanks!
-Brian

View attachment 284988
The pellets look huge! Maybe that's the issue. Are u use both hard and soft wood?
 

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,223
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
Don't sand it whatever you do, that will only make it 10 times worse.
I have to respectfully disagree...
I have polished my sides to glass smooth,
Stared out with 220.. to 320 to 400 grit
Sanding in the direction of flow..
and treat them with either Mothers wax, or,
Blaster dry teflon, every now and then.
A lot of people have had occasional problems
with the 100% white pine pellets.
I have not.

Dan

P.S. Smoke.. It was not a stupid question.. :)
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
966
Northwest Lower Michigan
The pellets look huge! Maybe that's the issue. Are u use both hard and soft wood?
I agree, it could be a difference in pellets. Last pellets I burned, the bags were pretty stiff and held their shape when carrying them. Ones I burn now are like carrying a bag of water almost, they are very polished and slippery. Really had to get used to it. My hopper is steep enough to clean itself out, but if it wasn’t, these would definitely slide down easier.

If mine didn’t clean itself out, I’d be trying some of the great ideas mentioned.
 
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Harmanbob

Member
Oct 13, 2016
6
British Columbia
Hello all, long time lurker first time poster. Bought a new house last year that had an existing Whitfield advantage II from 1993. Worked great but with tax credits this year wanted to upgrade to something a little more user friendly for the Mrs. After reading many threads on here I pulled the trigger on a P61a. Absolutely love the stove! More heat then I could ever want and 10x less work then the Whitfield. Only complaint I have so far is that when left alone for a few hours the stove will shut it self off due to the pellets literally not falling to the bottom of the hopper. I know it sounds stupid but just wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar issue. Currently burning TSC white bag and they do seem a little more “dusty” in this batch then usual. Wondering if that’s just causing enough grip on the pellets that they’re staying stacked on the sides. Any input is appreciated! Going to attempt to add a photo to show what I’m talking about. Typically me opening the hopper lid is enough movement to make the pellets fall to the auger so that’s what’s happened in this pic.

Thanks!
-Brian

View attachment 284988
Well Brian you are not alone on this issue. After owning a Harman Pellet Pro II for close to 25 years which never had this problem( even the sawdust made its way to the auger), I recently bought a P 61. Nice stove except one has to be mindful of idiosyncratic issues like pellets not sliding down the hopper walls. To me, this is a design issue. No manufacturer making quality products should have to rely on caveats informing purchasers to be mindful. But this is what Harman needs to do as there is obviously more than 1 buyer of their product experiencing this issue. Some will say it’s a pellet issue, I don’t buy that. That would be a caveat stating “Use this stove with only….” I see the problem stemming from a marketing problem. The stove is claimed to hold 72 lbs. of pellets in the hopper. This looks great in the specs. Did they have to compromise the dimensional integrity of the stove to achieve this? Absolutely. How much testing did Harman do to eliminate this issue? Quality Control? When you buy a car does it come with caveats? How about that refrigerator? No, of course not. Neither should this stove. Either the hopper does what it is intended to do, or it does not do it good enough. Unfortunately the consumer ends up swallowing the imperfections and substitutes work around like painting, waxing, spraying, taping or buying the “just right” type of pellets at (higher price) simply to get to the worry free stage.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
876
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
For me it’s a minor issue, and I’ve actually gotten more than 72lbs in the hopper a few times(smaller pellets)….but I also drive VW’s ;)
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,032
Colorado
I agree pellet stove hoppers that put pellets into the stove should be fixed and a new buyer of a new stove should not have that problem and worry about having to jump around--small pellets, big pellets, more expensive pellets, waxing and cleaning and all the rest--terrible and a terrible design as well that they evidently are not taking care of to fix in their stoves and most likely just blaming the stove owners "somehow" to justify.. I do have sympathy here and these type of problems should be addressed and fixed so that a stove burner would not worry when they leave their home..clancey
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,609
park county montana
Cleaning your hopper is part of maintenance. When new, they usually have a slight coating,to prevent corrosin, as you use stove,hopper gets hot,and lignen and possibly other chemicals leach from pellets.
 
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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,033
Newport, Wa
3rd year on Harmon XXV and pellets flow out of the hopper just fine. Only had 1 problem. Buzz from Distribution Fan when new. Screws impacting housing of fan. Easy fix.
 

Harmanbob

Member
Oct 13, 2016
6
British Columbia
I agree pellet stove hoppers that put pellets into the stove should be fixed and a new buyer of a new stove should not have that problem and worry about having to jump around--small pellets, big pellets, more expensive pellets, waxing and cleaning and all the rest--terrible and a terrible design as well that they evidently are not taking care of to fix in their stoves and most likely just blaming the stove owners "somehow" to justify.. I do have sympathy here and these type of problems should be addressed and fixed so that a stove burner would not worry when they leave their home..clancey
Well all I am saying is that I believe there should be no caveats in this product. It’s made in America . I could accept this issue from Chinese products, but Harman is a strong product. One has to wonder if it would have passed with the original company owners.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,032
Colorado
Don't know much about it but if this problem has come up often on a brand new stove---terrible --even if the stove is "top shelf" and it should be addressed and fixed--new owner or old--These are not cheap stoves we are talking about...old clancey
 

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,223
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
Different pellets do indeed react differently in the hopper..
Seems mostly that the white pine pellets have the issue..
Or those with a larger percentage of them.

I spent about 10 minutes on my P68, cleaning the hopper of excess silicone,
and then sanding it..
Started with #220, finished with #320. .. go with the slope..
After, use dry teflon spray..
The only time my stove ever went out because of a pellet issue,
was when it ran out...
The 10 minutes I spent was worth it..
I am using 100% White pine pellets.. (Matra)..
Before the polishing job, I used to use car wax..
Burned every kind of pellet around my area..
Never had a problem.
The white pine, we have heard people with the issue..
If you're willing to spend an hour or so cleaning your stove a few times
a season, I don't see the big whoop spending 10 minutes on the hopper..
the smoother the better...

Dan
 

mountainmike

Member
Jan 30, 2019
18
Western Maryland
I have been running a P61a for 16 winters and have only had this happen one season. The pellets I was burning that year were excessively long and they bridged the auger opening. The next winter that manufacturer (Turman) switched to clear bags- I believe because many people had problems and they wanted everyone to be able to see that their manufacturing problem was taken care of.