Think your pellet stove is good?

scajjr2

Burning Hunk
Dec 9, 2010
190
Kingston, NH
4th season with our Harman P43. Did a lot of reading on this site for a long time before deciding that Harman was the brand I wanted and we have not been disappointed. No parts replaced, do a cleaning every 3-4 weeks.

Sam
 
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MCPO

Minister of Fire
MY 2004 Harman P38 runs 24/7 on #3 using approx a ton each month between cleanings. The ash pan is always full and overflowing with these lousy/dusty/ashy pellets I have. I simply brush the heat exchanger and vac out the insides and fan blades (3/4 hr)
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,372
Kentucky
Currently I have been running my P68 Harman since its last cleaning on January 21st and that was an overdue clean. I've had some chaotic stuff going on for awhile now. Count up those weeks or months and that will let you know how long I've ran it with nothing other than a quick daily pot scrape while it remains running. I lost both my mom and dad within about 6 weeks of one another so cleaning my P68 has not been a priority recently to say the least.

I have been meaning to do a good clean for awhile but other things have taken daily priority. My firebox is nasty and full of ash but the stove trucks along anyway. I do know it is not burning at 100% optimum levels but it has no problem keeping my place warm and cozy either. It is still probably running at 90% at least. I usually clean every ton burned or average 4-6 weeks on that. I know I have ran at least 2 tons thru it since my last clean. I was wanting to clean it today and still might but it is raining and nasty here today. If not another day will not hurt it. That's what I've said for weeks now.

All that said, I have noticed my flame is not as crisp and I know it will return to that as soon as I do my clean. It is not a lazy flame but just not as crisp, intense, and tight. I'm glad the trusty 68 is pulling its weight currently. If I had a problematic stove during the last coupe of months I would have probably taken a sledge hammer to it and chucked it out of the house. I'm in no mood for any more issues.

Also, I have not had to fix anything on this stove as of yet. Bought it new Oct. 2014 so it has basically had 3 full seasons at this point. I dump pellets and usually do regular cleanings. One of the big selling points was the dealer I bought from was a great guy and very good to deal with. He also heats his shop / showroom with a P68 and he purposely neglected cleans to show customers how they continue to run. Now I have zero doubts there because I have had to do the same. There are other good long running stoves but I am sold on mine.

My PC45 is 8 years older and I bought it about a month after I picked up the new 68. I bought the 45 from the original owner used. All I did to it was an over the top clean to get it like new again. I replaced the rope gaskets on both the firebox and ash pan doors. I've replaced no parts on it per se but took things apart to recondition / clean when i brought it home. I think the reason the guy sold it was that he had not cleaned it well the entire time he ran 100% corn thru it. He gave me replacement parts too and the old were still good. He was some know it all pompous cocky dude. I guess he was too cool to read up on sites like this and ask for help. I don't know but the old 45 is a kick butt stove too but I don't run it much each season. I have it in an area of the house that isn't used much. That is going to change and I plan to somewhat relocate it and open that area of the house up soon. So next year both will be running all season.
 
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mrmojo182

Member
Oct 18, 2009
53
East
Interesting thread. I too have thought the same sentiments as the OP. I'm burning a 1996 Whitfield Cascade. My dad gave it to me last summer. He had never replaced any part on it, except for gaskets, ever. When I got it, it was still running, but a little loud. I replaced the fan assembly, the auger motor, upper auger bearing, endplate gasket, firebrick, and the upper baffle plate in the firebox. I repainted a lot of pieces. The thing runs super quiet. This stove has always had the cheapest pellets possible bought for it. My dad always bought them on a weekly basis wherever he could get them the cheapest. I bought mine this season at HD, and they have been running fine. The glass gets dirty pretty quickly, but I let the stove run and run until the ash is up to almost level with the burn pot, and then just dump the ash. I try to do a complete vac out once a month. This thing heats my 1600 sqft ranch 100% this winter in southern Mass (we keep the bedrooms around 64). We normally leave the stove on low. Its been awesome, the burn grate is always clean. Its the same way the stove has been run since 96. I want to get a new one, but don't know if I want to spend the money since this one runs soo good. I just wish it had the auto on/off feature. The stove room, our TV room gets too hot.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,372
Kentucky
Interesting thread. I too have thought the same sentiments as the OP. I'm burning a 1996 Whitfield Cascade. My dad gave it to me last summer. He had never replaced any part on it, except for gaskets, ever. When I got it, it was still running, but a little loud. I replaced the fan assembly, the auger motor, upper auger bearing, endplate gasket, firebrick, and the upper baffle plate in the firebox. I repainted a lot of pieces. The thing runs super quiet. This stove has always had the cheapest pellets possible bought for it. My dad always bought them on a weekly basis wherever he could get them the cheapest. I bought mine this season at HD, and they have been running fine. The glass gets dirty pretty quickly, but I let the stove run and run until the ash is up to almost level with the burn pot, and then just dump the ash. I try to do a complete vac out once a month. This thing heats my 1600 sqft ranch 100% this winter in southern Mass (we keep the bedrooms around 64). We normally leave the stove on low. Its been awesome, the burn grate is always clean. Its the same way the stove has been run since 96. I want to get a new one, but don't know if I want to spend the money since this one runs soo good. I just wish it had the auto on/off feature. The stove room, our TV room gets too hot.
Many fans of the old Whits around here and other pellet stove hangouts. Damn shame they are no longer made. I believe they were one of the first in the pellet heating show too. The way I see it is your Whit ran for two decades without any wrenching. That is impressive.
 
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xraydog

Member
Aug 16, 2009
57
Northcentral PA
Wood burner for years and switched to pellet stove this year (Harman Absolute 43).
Been burning 24/7 since November and have put about 2 Ton of pellets through the stove. Absolutely no performance issues or problems. I have tried a few different pellet types, all produce great heat. The amount and type of ash and "clinkers" (carbon deposits) differ with pellet brands, something to consider for next year's purchase.

I set the thermostat and make sure the stove has pellets and that is about it. I feel a little guilty, like I should be doing more so I scrape the burn pot and clean the glass window much more often than recommended.

The heat with the pellet stove is different with less radiant heat from the stove, however, it is so easy to regulate the room temps, especially in the shoulder parts of the burn season.
 
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gfreek

Minister of Fire
Wood burner, coal burner, now using for 6 years my Harman P38+. Warranty noisy auger motor replacement first year..2 years ago just for maintenance replaced combustion motor, thought it was getting noisy, and kept it after bearing replacement as backup..Clean stove once a month, ESP, pull ash from burn pot daily. The "pots" were getting spotty, so I tried to replace them myself, it did not go well so I sent it out and had it redone and tested..have a newer version backup board...Other than that I'd highly recommend a Harman, at first I disliked it, but it was a learning curve and now find it easy to run. My dealer has been great..You get used to the noise as others have stated...
 
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Flammam

Feeling the Heat
Dec 29, 2007
357
Western, Ma.
I am running a 1992 Austroflamm. I would imagine its had around 100 tons through it. Its quiet, cranks out the heat and reliable my only parts have been an auger motor about 4 years ago and I updated the EEprom around the same time. My only complaint is no ash pan so it needs to be scooped out(if your quick) or shut down weekly for cleaning. Got it for free in 1994 the previous owner didn't realize you needed to clean the exhaust passages and replaced it when they couldn't keep it running.
 
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mjlav3

Member
Nov 16, 2014
5
New England
3rd season with Quad Castile fs. No parts replaced. Daily drop firebox and weekly vacuum. No issues. It's a simple machine that's been very reliable.


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guatamican eye fake

New Member
Sep 23, 2016
17
minneapolis mn
I am running a 1992 Austroflamm. I would imagine its had around 100 tons through it. Its quiet, cranks out the heat and reliable my only parts have been an auger motor about 4 years ago and I updated the EEprom around the same time. My only complaint is no ash pan so it needs to be scooped out(if your quick) or shut down weekly for cleaning. Got it for free in 1994 the previous owner didn't realize you needed to clean the exhaust passages and replaced it when they couldn't keep it running.
That's quite impressive. I wonder if the rebranded Rika is of the same quality
 
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Cincinnati Kid

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2009
294
Cincinnati
So I visit this site daily more so just to see what stoves are problematic. I've noticed there are repeat offenders that seem so finicky. They have to be cleaned just so, every passage, nook and cranny, and don't forget you can burn this pellet but not that one. I think its asinine what.it supposedly takes to keep some of these brands up and running. If it won't run on its own for weeks just putting pellets in I would be dissatisfied to say the least What I want to know is who has owned a stove for 2 seasons or more and has had no issues, also the model of stove you have. I have a pellet stove manufactured in 2006 and to date the ignighters were replaced , gaskets and now I hear the bearing in exhaust fan, that's it! I know other stoves like this exist.
I have a Harman Accentra Insert and a P-43 that are six years old. No problems to date.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,793
Cape Cod, Ma.
Yep and it seems most of this lays at the feet of the dealers as well. How can someone by a brand new stove and then a week later be appalled at how much pellets there stove is using. Seems like this would be prudent info to nail down. Of course there are those dealers who do the consumer right
My dealer told me we would use 1 ton a year !!!!! I'm serious, but we knew better than that, since pellets aren't as hot as coal and we used a lot more coal than that. We've been around the stove block a few years though, you might say we are seasoned LOL . My signature reports the stove and repairs.
 
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Tim_M

Member
Mar 28, 2010
214
Halifax, NS
This is my 6th season with my 1992 Harman Invincible T. It runs 24/7 and still has all of its original motors. I had to replace the ESP when I first got it, had the board repaired 3 years ago, and patched a hole in the auger tube a couple seasons back. It's nothing fancy - no auto ignition and it has a manual feed adjustment knob - but with a quick cleaning every 2 weeks it keeps chugging along on low, burning a bag a day and keeping our basement toasty warm.
 
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Rgerek

Member
Nov 25, 2014
25
Rubicon WI
I have US Stove 8500 had it for 6 years now run 6 tons a year have had only one problem the pin for the pellet auger breaks once a year, other than that it keeps a 1800sqf house 78 all winter long, love my stove
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,372
Kentucky
I have US Stove 8500 had it for 6 years now run 6 tons a year have had only one problem the pin for the pellet auger breaks once a year, other than that it keeps a 1800sqf house 78 all winter long, love my stove
That may be a shear pin of sorts that is supposed to break when it experiences a load. It is likely designed that way so it does break instead of damaging the motor etc;

I'm not sure and know next to nothing about your stove but it reminds me of shear bolts in say a post hole auger. The bits are attached using a shear bolt and I have snapped a few on it attached to the three point on the rear of my Kubota tractor. Hell, I've even bent on of my augers before and the front of the tractor was doing a wheelie...... Then the shear bolt popped finally about the time I was slamming the clutch in. It grabbed the side of a big rock beneath the dirt and happened very quickly.

It'd be worth knowing if your pins are in fact designed to shear. If so make sure to use the same ones to prevent damage.
 

tbear853

Burning Hunk
My dealer told me we would use 1 ton a year !!!!! I'm serious, but we ... etc ...
He was right too ..... I will bet you use a ton every year ..... at least! ;)
 

Former Farmer

Feeling the Heat
Apr 12, 2008
465
NE Wisconsin
3rd season with Quad Castile fs. No parts replaced. Daily drop firebox and weekly vacuum. No issues. It's a simple machine that's been very reliable.
I think this is our 9th season with our Quad Castile Insert. Changed door gasket twice, snap disc once and convection blower once. Daily clean burn pot (drop out ashes) and weekly clean glass and vacuum.
 

jerl77

Burning Hunk
Nov 24, 2016
140
Brookhaven
I have a Harman P43 that I've used for 4 years and burned 12 tons of pellets in that time. It has had zero repairs and burned a dozen or so different kinds of pellets and also cherry pits. They all burned fine and without checking them all with a digital thermometer and a precision scale I would be hard pressed to tell the difference in heat or ash output. The pellets I burn every year are the cheapest I can find at the time and most have been less than 200 per ton. None have been over 215. This years 189.50. I burn it on room temp automatic on a programmable thermostat so the stove shuts completely down many times a day every day. The stove heats my whole house during the shoulder seasons and half the house (2250 sq ft) in the dead of winter. I've run it for as much as 10 days without opening the firebox door. I clean the stove once a month and dump the ash. The exhaust is a 4" stainless one piece liner up my existing chimney and I only cleaned it once after the first season. It hasn't needed it since.
Ron




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anthonyj124

Member
Nov 1, 2014
42
New England
2010 model year Breckwell P23i here. 2-3 tons/yr.

Doesn't like cheaper fuel, but with douglas fir pellets, it runs incredibly hot and can go 5 days without a cleaning running 2-3 bags a day.

The auger occasionally creaks, but that's easily addressed during early or mid season cleanings. Otherwise I've only replaced the burn pot and door & glass gaskets.

If I buy another stove, it'll be the same unit in freestanding. Super simple, super reliable, and easy to run.

My only complaint is the exhaust blower outlet is too close to the base. Makes for finicky install/removal from in my hearth.

Since I'm sitting here watching it run..
acd7e3c40bd03d1d878312682dace81d.jpg
 

BigJohnfromCT

Burning Hunk
Dec 29, 2012
249
Danbury, CT
So I visit this site daily more so just to see what stoves are problematic. I've noticed there are repeat offenders that seem so finicky. They have to be cleaned just so, every passage, nook and cranny, and don't forget you can burn this pellet but not that one. I think its asinine what.it supposedly takes to keep some of these brands up and running. If it won't run on its own for weeks just putting pellets in I would be dissatisfied to say the least What I want to know is who has owned a stove for 2 seasons or more and has had no issues, also the model of stove you have. I have a pellet stove manufactured in 2006 and to date the ignighters were replaced , gaskets and now I hear the bearing in exhaust fan, that's it! I know other stoves like this exist.
Quadrafire Mt Vernon AE installed in 2011 by dealer. Unit built 11/2010.
Runs on a thermostat. Stat calls for heat, unit starts, runs on high until satisfied.
3000 square. ft house, two story, vaulted ceilings, open floor plan, heated with propane.
Bought stove to save some money. Has paid for itself.
Four to five tons per season. I'm a Hamers bigot. Have tried other pellets with no problems but feel Hamers put out a little more heat with a lot less ash. Have yet to try Okies.
Clean it every Sunday morning like clock work. Vac, vac, vac. Scrape, scrape scrape. Clean the glass. 40 mins from the time it cools down. About an hour.
Replaced one igniter. That's it.
Love it. Another benefit is that it is close enough to our bedroom that I can see the light from the flames flickering on the ceiling at night when we go to bed. Very relaxing.
 
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