Suggestions for the best pellet Stove Please!

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Dafinny

Member
Dec 28, 2013
3
Limestone, Maine
I have a Pleasant Hearth cabinet stove. I just don't like it because it MUST be cleaned every day and thoroughly! I gotta get behind the baffles or the flame doesn't burn right. I had another pellet stove but it was a hand me down and I can't remember what it was. But this big oaf is just filthy every day. Not without trying every pellet type known to mankind...... I have also had a lot of problems and I've only had it for 4 years.

I go through 2 bags of pellets a day and wonder if that is average or too much. I DO live in Northern Maine where below 0 isn't uncommon. I am looking for a good less trouble free stove mechanical wise that has a nice ash pan below and has given you more than 4 years of trouble free service. I know cleaning is part of it but this one takes a long time and is ridiculous! I am going to buy a new one next season and am just looking for guidance.

What would you recommend?
 
Thicker construction, burn platform is setup better to clean and scrape while they're running. I bought a line from lopi that just came out last year so it doesn't have a track record. I like it, but the cost was the same as a harman which the store was trying to recommend. I live in Seattle ten minutes from Travis industries (lopi) and wanted to support a local business. Good product, but it's having some issues that need to be fixed which they are. But overall, look at ratings on this site which I didn't do before my purchase. Incredible track record and people run them for 24 hours a day for 6 months.
 
But as far as my stove goes, it's great on maintenance, I clean it once a week and it take me 10 minutes. The issues mine has it the thermostat is quirky some sort of software issue and the back case is designed poorly and rattles on startup pretty bad. Other than that I burn 3/4 bag a day and keep my whole home 70-75, but knowing what I know now I'd have a harman p61
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
harman P61A here...
very easy to clean and maintain..[freestanding type.]
very very large ashpan.. can go month or longer before emptying..
parts east to get as made here in us..[prob same for most US made stoves..
auger type for pushing pellets to the burnpot as opposed to drop in.
less chance of a "dam"... pellets jamming up and not dropping due to longer size..
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
3,171
South Central NH
Love my Harman's (P43 and P61a). Even running sketchy pellets, and as my only source heat (back up is propane boiler but I don't use it), I can go anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks between cleanings. I have hopper extensions on both of them so even on 2 bag days I don't have to worry about running out of pellets. They have been trouble-free and I've only had to change door gaskets in the P61a since I had it installed Jan 2014. Haven't had to do anything to the P43 - and that was bought used.

Just be aware that the P-series runs very hot on the sides and may have a larger clearance needed to combustibles than your current stove (P61a is 20" without side shields), so that is something to keep in mind.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,408
Kentucky
Harman P Series is what you want with given requirements. How many square feet and what space are you trying to heat? Layout, insulation, ceiling heights, windows? So stove size can be suggested. Harman P Series have a loyal cult following for a reason or three....

I'll put it this way: I guarantee you can run a P Series for a month without any cleaning. Not even a daily pot scrape so there is your answer on cleaning. Just dump pellets into the hopper and you will have a stove that runs and heats.

I do not recommend this but they will do it. To run optimally crack the door for about a minute while it is running and burning an do a pot scrape or two daily. I usually do it when I dump a bag of pellets into the hopper. Also follow the suggested cleaning routine weekly and monthly which also is not very time consuming nor difficult to do.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,408
Kentucky
Bogie pointed out another huge plus. They are heat throwing beasts in two ways: 1). The distribution blower (adjustable) moves a lot of heat and pushes it out well. 2). The stove top and body radiates a bunch of heat as well much like a wood burning stove.

We love ours here also. Buy in is spendy $$ but well worth it and zero regrets nor concerns here. If I would have bought a high maintenance stove from the get go I would have not enjoyed my pellet heat. Busy and non-stop cleanings, issues, etc; would have pissed me off.
 
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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,408
Kentucky
Just to relieve some Harman love and bias I would also suggest a Castle Serenity. They seem to be a dependable stove that performs pretty good and pretty quick and easy to clean. Much cheaper buy in too. They run differently than the Harmans though without the set it and forget it. But after you dial them in you'd get used to that and setting it for different outside temps, type of pellets, etc;

Harman P Series has the luxuries of a high end series BMW with bullet proof high mileage reliability and low maintenance cost / time of a Toyota or Honda. Change the oil on intervals and roll.

The Serenity is a cost effective and reliable 5 speed Honda Civic with hand roller windows and no cruise. Pick your poison.
 

Jim S

Member
Feb 19, 2016
10
NJ
I am following the post as well as I will be buying a Harman this year. Is the P series better than the Absolute 63? I always see everyone suggest the P series but I personally l8ke the look of the Absolute 63.

Sorry to hijack but I am reading up as much as I can as well and hopefully some comments on the Absolute 63 help with your purchase.
 

P51mustang

Burning Hunk
Jan 7, 2014
141
Upstate, NY
I have a P61A and love it. However, I have noticed the Absolute 63 and discussed it at length in a previous thread started by an Absolute 63 owner. I think you can't go wrong with either choice. One thing I would add is that the P61A is an older model and thus has a much longer record of maintenance and reliability.

The Absolute is more modern and sleek looking and has the digital control panel. While I don't know this for sure, but I suspect the P61A may be a more effective "radiator" as it's solid metal while the Absolute has that beautiful enamel finish that may potentially make it slightly less of a "radiator" if you follow me.

Lastly, I strongly suggest you go to a reputable Harman dealer and witness both stoves actually in operation. I suspect the Absolute 63 is also more quiet while in operation and seeing and hearing both may give you your answer on which to choose. Be sure and ask the dealer what the track record of the Absolute 63 is given it's a relatively new model.

Good luck and post some pics after your installation.
 
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Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Harman P Series is what you want with given requirements. How many square feet and what space are you trying to heat? Layout, insulation, ceiling heights, windows? So stove size can be suggested. Harman P Series have a loyal cult following for a reason or three....

I'll put it this way: I guarantee you can run a P Series for a month without any cleaning. Not even a daily pot scrape so there is your answer on cleaning. Just dump pellets into the hopper and you will have a stove that runs and heats.

I do not recommend this but they will do it. To run optimally crack the door for about a minute while it is running and burning an do a pot scrape or two daily. I usually do it when I dump a bag of pellets into the hopper. Also follow the suggested cleaning routine weekly and monthly which also is not very time consuming nor difficult to do.
bought this to attack the burnpot with the "door open..:cool:
 

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Tim_M

Burning Hunk
Mar 28, 2010
240
Halifax, NS
A few years ago I replaced a Whitfield Profile 30 insert with an Accentra insert. While heat output and pellet usage are probably comparable, the difference in maintenance was like night and day - the Whit required almost daily emptying of the ash pans, and the ash usually included smouldering partially burned pellets requiring very careful handling. The Whit’s glass turned black within hours of cleaning, and the burn grate needed frequent removal for scraping. My Accentra can easily go 2 - 3 weeks between cleanings and before the ash pan needs dumping. My glass stays relatively clean, and while the burn pot does need scraping daily, it only takes about 30 seconds.
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
1,035
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
harman P61A here...
very easy to clean and maintain..[freestanding type.]
very very large ashpan.. can go month or longer before emptying..
parts east to get as made here in us..[prob same for most US made stoves..
auger type for pushing pellets to the burnpot as opposed to drop in.
less chance of a "dam"... pellets jamming up and not dropping due to longer size..

This^^^ I just set up my new to me P61-2/A in November and love it! It’s my second Harman, first being a 1987 PelletPro 2....which is still running great across the street at my neighbors.
 
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whiteboii01

New Member
I am following the post as well as I will be buying a Harman this year. Is the P series better than the Absolute 63? I always see everyone suggest the P series but I personally l8ke the look of the Absolute 63.

Sorry to hijack but I am reading up as much as I can as well and hopefully some comments on the Absolute 63 help with your purchase.
I just installed an Absolute 63 4 days ago. It’s awesome heats my entire house with ease. Went with it over the P series due to the newer design I just liked how it looked better. I was actually really looking at the XXV until I went to another dealer and saw the Absolute 63 in person. Extra 200$ for an extra 11k BTU, 7LBS hopper, and multi directional heat distribution was worth it to me. I have only burned 3.5 bags of pellets through it so far but it seems efficient. I bough 5 different kinds of pellets 5 bags each to see what works best for me.
 
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Tonyray

Minister of Fire
I just installed an Absolute 63 4 days ago. It’s awesome heats my entire house with ease. Went with it over the P series due to the newer design I just liked how it looked better. I was actually really looking at the XXV until I went to another dealer and saw the Absolute 63 in person. Extra 200$ for an extra 11k BTU, 7LBS hopper, and multi directional heat distribution was worth it to me. I have only burned 3.5 bags of pellets through it so far but it seems efficient. I bough 5 different kinds of pellets 5 bags each to see what works best for me.
Absolute is a cool looking stove....
 

TonyVideo

Feeling the Heat
Feb 20, 2014
457
Rushville, IN
I have a P68 in my living room and a P43 in the back part of my house. Both stoves are great but the P68 (P61 as well) is easier to clean as the firebox is bigger. My opinion. Dealer had a working model that was running for 60 days and never cleans to show how hardy the Harman' s were. He also had a working internal mechanism show how pellets were fed through the stove and just by looking you can see the quality. Scraping the burnpot while running is easy and I do it 2x a day. Every other week I turn the stove down after scraping the pot, open the ash pan door and dump ashes. Once a month or so when we have a warmer day I will shut the stove down and do a cleaning. 15 minutes 8ncluding the fines box. End of year I do a thorough cleaning vent and all. Once a week I do a scraping at the top to drop ash off the heat exchanger and sides before scraping the pot. This thing is built like a tank and very easy to work on as I have taken it all apart and put it back together. I didn't need to but at the end of the season after initial purchase I wanted to know how before I needed to replace something down the road. Peace of mind. I am confident I can do any future repairs down the road. You really appreciate the stove after doing this. I was impressed.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
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gfreek

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2010
1,582
WNYS
Harman "P" series or other model. As with anything, learning curve. Once you get it, pretty much runs on its own with limited attention..
 

Gavin641

Member
Dec 24, 2013
41
Chariton,Iowa
Since you asked Yeah a Harman P Series,been down the road of pellet stove brands and well yeah a Harman is what I ended up with.

Sent from my SM-J327R4 using Tapatalk
 
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batchman

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2013
204
Backwoods MA
I'll chime in with a different data point. This is my 4th year burning pellets with an Enviro Maxx-M, average 3.5tons per year.

With the "right" pellets, I fill once per day with ~2 bags/day of midrange softwood.

I open the door once or twice per ton; with some pellets once to stir the ash bucket and one time to empty it.

I usually clean it once per year, but last year I didn't burn pellets, and eventually realized I never cleaned it beyond the vent path.
So, by my count I've cleaned it two and a half times.

There are some things that annoy me about it, but that's pretty true of everything I own. If it's too big or industrial, the M55 is the same guts (and the M55 Cast is gorgeous), but smaller feed and ash pans LOL. In terms of service, I did have to replace the draft control rod - it's made of aluminum and I broke it. Still need to sort out a steel threaded rod to keep that from happening again.

It took a lot of research to arrive at the lowest maintenance possible, but I did the planning because I know what I'm like ;)

Better luck with your next stove,
- Jeff
 
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klincker

New Member
Jan 9, 2018
36
Andover, NJ
Just to relieve some Harman love and bias I would also suggest a Castle Serenity. They seem to be a dependable stove that performs pretty good and pretty quick and easy to clean. Much cheaper buy in too. They run differently than the Harmans though without the set it and forget it. But after you dial them in you'd get used to that and setting it for different outside temps, type of pellets, etc;

Harman P Series has the luxuries of a high end series BMW with bullet proof high mileage reliability and low maintenance cost / time of a Toyota or Honda. Change the oil on intervals and roll.

The Serenity is a cost effective and reliable 5 speed Honda Civic with hand roller windows and no cruise. Pick your poison.

Serenity here. I clean the pot daily and dump the ashes weekly, sometimes 10 days with a good vac job as well. Max 30 mins a week to do this. It's a bit more hands on but worth me saving 3k. My parents just put in a P-series for all the reasons you've heard.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Serenity here. I clean the pot daily and dump the ashes weekly, sometimes 10 days with a good vac job as well. Max 30 mins a week to do this. It's a bit more hands on but worth me saving 3k. My parents just put in a P-series for all the reasons you've heard.
Just to relieve some Harman love and bias I would also suggest a Castle Serenity. They seem to be a dependable stove that performs pretty good and pretty quick and easy to clean. Much cheaper buy in too. They run differently than the Harmans though without the set it and forget it. But after you dial them in you'd get used to that and setting it for different outside temps, type of pellets, etc;

Harman P Series has the luxuries of a high end series BMW with bullet proof high mileage reliability and low maintenance cost / time of a Toyota or Honda. Change the oil on intervals and roll.

The Serenity is a cost effective and reliable 5 speed Honda Civic with hand roller windows and no cruise. Pick your poison.
don't forget manual door locks.
 
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JerseyRobb

New Member
Aug 29, 2022
13
New Jersey
Love my Harman's (P43 and P61a). Even running sketchy pellets, and as my only source heat (back up is propane boiler but I don't use it), I can go anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks between cleanings. I have hopper extensions on both of them so even on 2 bag days I don't have to worry about running out of pellets. They have been trouble-free and I've only had to change door gaskets in the P61a since I had it installed Jan 2014. Haven't had to do anything to the P43 - and that was bought used.

Just be aware that the P-series runs very hot on the sides and may have a larger clearance needed to combustibles than your current stove (P61a is 20" without side shields), so that is something to keep in mind.
Do you still stand behind your p43?