I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: cabinover On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:48 pm

Had to post over on Hearth.com today. Nope, it's not really for me nor am I burning pellets except to try lighting my AA once. Smoky mess that ended up being.

My wife's grandfather bought a Harman PF100 pellet furnace. It's made him warmer in his house than he's ever been (when it works) so I really hate to tell him I'd as soon yank it out with a chain and put a coal furnace in it's place.

Stupid thing works when I'm standing there watching it but the minute I turn my back it won't relight itself, or it's smoking the neighbors out like an OWB because it didn't stop feeding pellets.

In the 5 years or so that I've had my AA I've replaced the fan belt (because I wanted to), the smoke pipe every year, 2 baros from poofs, and had the fan rebuilt this year to stop a vibration I caused. Total less than $300 or so.

We've replaced two firepots from bulges and cracks, a combustion blower motor, an exhaust sensor probe, and a couple gaskets on his pellet headache and that's over $400.00 for two years. Color me impressed.


What a POS. That is all.
Last edited by Richard S. on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved to Wood, Gas, Oil, Geothermal and Other Heating Units
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:50 pm

Makes us grateful we do what we do here don't it :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: cabinover On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:55 pm

I'm just glad I was blessed with a full head of hair, gives me more to pull out :lol:
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.


Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: Lightning On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:03 pm

cabinover wrote:2 baros from poofs


Really?? Puff back blew that sucker all ta hell, huh? :lol: That's Crazy!

I have a pellet stove insert I enjoy using a few weeks per year :D
Between warm weather and cool weather..
Then its ALL coal!
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: cabinover On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:13 pm

Those little pins on either side of the damper aren't meant for flying I guess and that's what happens with some of the volatile stuff I got last year.

Thank god that doesn't happen often when I'm around it, I don't have enough little white pills in my pocket lol.
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: mmcoal On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:21 am

That tends to happen when you involve too many electronics. At work we run 2 boilers and a whole HVAC system off of a computer network that can be controlled by us or the company that hosts the network and let me tell you it's a nightmare. Constant flame failures on the boilers do to computer errors, AC units constantly going into fault mode and all the stupid little senors that go along with it. If a fan belt breaks on a AC unit, as long as the motor is still turning the computer thinks everything is fine and we are now starting to find that the computer is telling us the fans are working in air handlers that have seized up fan motors. I guess that's progress though :roll: . Makes me feel that much better that I can come home to a simple heating source that relies mainly off of me.
mmcoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: nut

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:24 am

When I hear the term "pellets", I think of rabbits .. or alpacas ... toothy

Yep - ain't electronics great? :roll:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: cabinover On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:32 pm

Screwed around with this Harman POS tonight for a couple hours. Changed the igniter around to how it's supposed to be (I guess). Still wouldn't start. Hit it with a LP torch, damned thing went out!

Now how does something with combustion air from underneath go out? Dug out all the pellets and threw a handful of freshly opened ones in. Hit with LP torch again. Almost went out so I threw another handful on and it took off. Hurray!!!

Waited for the exhaust probe to get up to temp so the feed motor would work. It did. Fed for over two minutes before I shut it off. It pushed the fire off the burn pot at 50 seconds.

Did I mention this is a POS? Harman gets a call tomorrow. I think the control board is FUBAR.
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:52 am

cabinover wrote:Screwed around with this Harman POS tonight for a couple hours. Changed the igniter around to how it's supposed to be (I guess). Still wouldn't start. Hit it with a LP torch, damned thing went out!

Now how does something with combustion air from underneath go out? Dug out all the pellets and threw a handful of freshly opened ones in. Hit with LP torch again. Almost went out so I threw another handful on and it took off. Hurray!!!

Waited for the exhaust probe to get up to temp so the feed motor would work. It did. Fed for over two minutes before I shut it off. It pushed the fire off the burn pot at 50 seconds.

Did I mention this is a POS? Harman gets a call tomorrow. I think the control board is FUBAR.



So would NOT recommend this stove to another, I'm guessing. "Its not that the computer doesn't work .. its just that you cannot work the computer" explaination?
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: 009to090 On: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:15 am

Lightning wrote:I have a pellet stove insert I enjoy using a few weeks per year :D
Between warm weather and cool weather..
Then its ALL coal!

Same here. An insert in the Dining Room Fireplace. Its only 25kBTU, but that is enough to keep the chill out of the kitchen until the coal stoker comes online.

I also found out that pellets that sit around for a year are hard to start. I guess they absorb moisture right thru the bags.

I do use pellets to start my coal stokers. Its the starting procedure that is in the Owners Manual, and it works well first time every time.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: I've gone to the dark side....pellets.

PostBy: cabinover On: Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:01 pm

Well I think I beat it finally. I believe it all came down to pellets (and sawdust) left in the hopper from last year. The sawdust would plug the holes under the fire while the combustion fan was running but drop when the door was opened...so you couldn't see them.

The only way I figured it out was by watching the flame, where it would and wouldn't go.

Cross my fingers but when I left around 7PM it had settled into it's idle mode, the house was a balmy 71°F and Gramp was happy. If his foot wasn't bothering him I think he'd have danced a little jig.

Will find out tomorrow evening if it's still going.

As for whether or not I'd endorse this furnace, I'll take my AA130. If someone wants pellets the furnace does heat well IF it's working right and no operator error is screwing with it. That said, most everything does it's job if it's working right.
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.