Harman Pellet Stove P38 Auger Not Turning

Filed in Home Improvement by on November 9, 2007 0 Comments

Last night, I started a little fire in Harman P38 pellet stove. I usually fill the little area with pellets, squirt some gel on them, light it and start to eat dinner. It usually takes a few minutes for the gel to get the pellets to start burning.

Well, Laura and I got into a good conversation and I totally forgot about the pellet stove. The door was open and the pellets were kind of smoldering. I got up to close the pellet stove door. After I did that, the stove was burning fine. Here’s the problem…after a few minutes, I noticed that the auger wasn’t turning to feed more pellets so the stove would keep burning.

I got the flashlight and started poking around some things in the back of the stove, to no avail. I tried a few times to restart the fire, just to see if things would kick in normally. Nothing. The pellets just kept on burning normally, but they would eventually burn out, because there was no replenishment.

I looked up some things on Google and came across this site, with a page titled, “Harman Accentra Pellet Stove Problems.” There were some good posts there, but nothing that helped me. I decided to let the fire burn out and call the place I bought the stove from today. Also, just as a kicker, I lost the user manual. I think someone stole it…yeah, that’s it.

At this point, the fire was completely dead and all the fans on the stove stopped. I decided to go for it one more time. I filled the burning bowl with pellets and squirted the gel on. I lit it and quickly closed the door. This time, as soon as I closed the door, I heard the auger turning. After that, things were fine. The fire has been burning all night.

I am thinking that since I left the door open too long the first time, the switch that starts the auger never flipped. Something like that. After I let everything die, things were reset. Who knows.

So here is an update on how the pellet stove is working this year. I bought three tons of pellets at about $600 and change. This is more than enough for the season. The thing cranks out heat. It doesn’t make any dust or mess because I caulked the exhaust pipes (high temp). I heard someone, on the radio this morning, say that they already spent $3000 on heating fuel this year, and that is only going to last until December. Must be nice to live in a 60,000 square foot mansion. Anyway, you would think they would consider alternatives at this point, instead of calling radio stations to complain about how stupid they are. For $2000, they can have a brand new pellet stove…installed. Oh yeah, they also mentioned that they drive an hour each way to work every day and are spending $95 per week in gas. How do you spell H-Y-B-R-I-D? Ahhhhh. Why do we even bother?


Tick-Tock says:
December 10, 2007 at 2:40 am

Pellet stoves are the shizzle that’s for sure – but not for everyone. Doubt that jackass who spends 3 grand on heating fuel would care for the cleaning and overall maintenance of a pellet stove let alone lugging 40 lbs bags of pellets. Me I love mine. Had this sucker four years and she’s never missed a beat. I feed her 4 tons of pellets each year to heat my house. That figure would be less but we like it on the warm side at about 75F. Stick my toes in the sandbox and whip up an ice cold margarita. Mmmmmmm, love that heat. The main switch on my furnace has been in the off position since the test fire in September. It’s a beautiful thang this pellet stove invention. tee hee.
pellet says:
December 12, 2007 at 12:18 pm

There is a pressure sensor on that stove. If you leave the door open it triggers the sensor and the auger will not turn. This is a safety feature. You also need to clean the exhaust probe. On startup the probe checks temp, and will trigger the auger only when the exhaust temp is hot enough. So you either left the door open too long, or have a dirty exhaust probe, or the initial fire di dnot get hot enough to trigger the auger during startup.
Brian says:
January 8, 2009 at 2:25 pm

I commute 80 miles to work, one way. Why? It was taking me an hour and a half to go from work from home when I lived on Long Island. Why?…Traffic. Forgettabout it if there is an afternoon Mets game. Plus, the house prices on Long Island were outrageous. Shacks with a little lot were going for 400K with 12K a year taxes. So, being in the car for the same amount of time, my house was half the price and 2000 sq ft instead of 100 sq ft. To offset my carbon footprint, I bought a Harmon P68 pellet stove. Now, I only use 700 gallons of oil for a whole year. I love the thing. I load my garage up with 6 tons of pellets a year, sure that is overkill, but I have the room and it is still cheaper that oil. I like to have more than I need. I also take the train from Middletown whenever possible. Why not all the time? Schedule is not conducive to my hours at work. If I miss the 4:05 pm, the next one is not until 7 and gets me home at 9pm. Why bother going home at that point? (i get up at 4am)Plus I only have to do this communte for 9 years, that is when I retire.
cafay1 says:
October 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm

We have a Harmon P38 wood pellet stove also. We’ve had this for about 4 years now and we love it! We did have to replace the auger this year. I think it was because of the bad pellets we go last year. I had to sift the pellets through a colander before the could be put in the hopper. They were so bad that they would just disintegrate into dust. The company we bought them from did reimburse us for them so that wasn’t bad but towards the end of the season we started hearing a noise from the auger as it turned. When my husband took it apart to check it out he found the auger was in real bad shape and we had a hard tar like substance that had to be chiseled off in the feed tube. So, moral of this story is get good pellets or you pay in the long run. Now, auger is replaced and we are back to great heat from our stove.
admin says:
October 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Agreed. I once bought a bag of pellets that got wet. I think I got 10% off or something like that. I figured the pellets would dry while in the hopper. No such luck.

The pellets turned into sawdust and made for a miserable fire.

Have you been burning your stove a lot so far this season up there in New York? We lit ours for the first time yesterday. Mmmm, cozy.
brian12566 says:
October 14, 2009 at 6:41 am

I lit my stove for the first time yesterday. After reading Cafay1′s post, I will have to be more aware of the dust from the pellets. I just kind of rip the bag open and dump the pellets in with reckless abdandon. I want to avoid auger problems.
Dave says:
December 27, 2009 at 8:19 am

I have a new Harman Accentra stove which ran fine for the first two bags of pellets,on the third bag I went to turn the heat and feed higher and the feed just shut down.Wont feed even in test mode. Anyone have any ideas?
Vince says:
January 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm

My p-38 is about 10years old. Has always treated me well. Last winter I noticed “dead spots” in the feed control. Auger/blower would only work when the knob was in certain places or if I jiggled the knob. I guess I should have had it checked out over the summer; but didn’t.
When I tried to start the stove yesterday, everything seemed normal untill I noticed that the feed wasn’t working. It simply would not start regardless of knob position, even though the blower was turning on/off with the feed knob. I have cleaned the stove and the ESP.
Could it be the feed rate control pot? Or possibly the pressure switch? Thanx very much for any input!


Blog » Blog Archive » The Remaining Wood Pellets Have Arrived says:
November 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm

[…] with the pellet stove have been going pretty smoothly, except for that one small hiccup. It’s half way through November, so that’s not too bad. I say this every year and then […]

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