Starting Harman Pellet Stove

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Oregun

Burning Hunk
Jan 12, 2017
149
Oregon
I had hoped my comment had been recognized as humor.;)

Anyway, this morning, too late to use in this morning's light-off, I stopped short of 100% emptying a bag or Hamer's and laboriously sifted through the bottom couple of handfuls of pellets. I now have about 1-1/4 tablespoons of fines/sawdust. I guess I could keep doing that. Plus, I have not emptied the "sawdust collection system" in my workshop in a long time, I suspect there might be a lot in there.

Now to find a decorative stove-side sawdust container, perhaps in polished brass.

I've been spooning a heaping spoonful of retained ash on top of the pellets about 2 minutes after turning on the stove. With sawdust/fines, what is the preferring amount, and preferred location, on top of pellets, under them, whatever?
I think sawdust works a little better than fines. I put them under the pellets .
Since fire like to burn upwards I put a trench in the pellets so that the fire will start on the sides of the
trench and burn up the sides.
 
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tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
438
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
I think sawdust works a little better than fines. I put them under the pellets .
Since fire like to burn upwards I put a trench in the pellets so that the fire will start on the sides of the
trench and burn up the sides.
Hmm, two answers and, if I read them correctly, conflicting. This AM I put a spoonful of fines on top of the pellets and got ignition in about the same amount of time as ash. Perhaps a cuvee of 50/50 ash and fines or sawdust would be ideal.
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
1,038
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
I’ve never tried fines on the bottom but have had success with fines and ash on top
 
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gfreek

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2010
1,589
WNYS
Interesting, What is the theory behind putting ashes on the pellets. How does that help?
Never done that, also would like to know...
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
438
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Interesting, What is the theory behind putting ashes on the pellets. How does that help?
No theory that I can offer. That said, I always found my Harman to be much slower to start after a light cleaning including the firepot, etc. So my conjecture was that the ash contributed as a catalyst in some way I did not fathom. Seems to help.
 

mr meener

Member
Aug 11, 2017
60
NY, USA
I have a p43 but had some igniter issues, not sure what they were. But I has to light mine a few times manually. I would scrape the pot well, put a few pellets in 1/4 to 1/2 cup maybe, less seems to work better than more for me. Torch them up and when I have some flame going I turn the stove on, I usually open the hopper lid to stop the auger, the fan feeds the flame, I shut the door and let it burn for a bit I will push down on the hopper lid cut out to feed a few at a time until I see it going well. then close the lid and it keeps going. I have also used cotton balls with vaseline or crisco on them. Had someone tell me to use Doritos a couple of chips lit the oil and the corn will start it. It did work but not that great. I had thought about trying corn chip like Fritos as they are pretty oily.
I have the same stove and ignitor does not work cause of a burnout on the control board. best firestarter I have found is lamp oil cheaper then starting gel. no need for sawdust ashes fines vaseIine cotton balls etc . fill a 16 ounce plastic cup half way and squirt the lamp oil in then shake it up a little. shake the pellets into the into the pot out of the cup with the stove off feed rate on one. 20 seconds with the torch close the door turn the thermostat dial which was set to lowest temp to max . it never fails to lite and stay lit
 
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Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
4,075
park county montana
I have the same stove and ignitor does not work cause of a burnout on the control board. best firestarter I have found is lamp oil cheaper then starting gel. I fill a 16 ounce plastic cup half way and squirt the lamp oil in then shake it up a little. put it into the pot with the stove off feed rate on one. 20 seconds with the torch close the door turn the thermostat dial which was set to lowest temp to max . it never fails to lite and stay lit
Yep,BIL does it same way,on his old St Croix
 
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Tim_M

Burning Hunk
Mar 28, 2010
240
Halifax, NS
When lighting my Invincible I used to use gel but a couple years ago I switched to citronella/torch oil. I find it works much better, lighting reliability every time. Plus it’s cheaper than gel. I think it works better because it soaks down into the pellets whereas the gel often just burns off the top and the fire goes out before the pellets start to burn. I still leave my stove door open a crack for a couple of minutes to let the burn get established, otherwise too much airflow coming up through the burn pot will blow it out.
 
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