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P61 Pellet Stove Cleaning Your Harman
P38 & P61 Pellet Stoves
P38 Pellet Stove

Here are the step-by-step instructions for cleaning your Harman P38 & P61 pellet stoves.

It should take you about 30 minutes to clean the stove and more time to inspect and clean the venting system (flue pipes & chimneys)

Usually cleaning of the stove is recommended every 8 to 10 weeks.  When the ash pan's completely full it is a good time to inspect and clean the stove.  Keep in mind that cleaning boosts efficiency as ash and soot on the stove's walls and heat exchanger area block the heat from coming out.

Inspect and clean the feed mechanism and venting system (flue pipes & chimney) once at the end of the heating season.

Tools you will need:
Ash Vac (This is a vacuum you can buy at hearth shops which is specifically designed for ash) or a standard shop vac equipped with a fine dust filter. (Sheet rock filter)
  • Drop cloth or newspapers
  • Putty knife
  • Standard screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Dust mask
  • Drop light or flash light
  • Pliers
  • Standard Socket wrench set
  • Paper towels or rags
  • 3-inch flue pipe brush with flexible rod
  • Stove glass cleaner
  • Dish washing gloves

  • Be sure your stove is completely out and cool.  The stove must be completely out before cleaning. Every part must be cool to the touch including the pellets that are left in the burn pot. Live pellets are a fire hazard - especially if they get sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Every year we hear stories of people lighting their vacuums on fire by sucking up hot ashes. Worse still this can lead to a house fire.

    Hot ashes should be stored in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. When they are completely out the ashes can be used as a soil conditioner for your lawn or houseplants.
    Wear a dust mask.
    This is important! Don't be foolhardy when it comes to protecting your lungs. Wear a mask. Professional chimney sweeps do so and for good reason.
    Start by placing a drop cloth in front of your stove. Alternatively you can use newspaper.

    Keep your tools on the drop cloth and within reach so when you are done you can wrap the tools in the cloth and take them outside.

    Remove soot deposits from within the fire chamber.

    Remove the flame guide and fire bricks (log set if you have one) and vacuum the ash from the burn pot and above the burn pot.
    Caution: Do not vacuum the log set. Brush it clean.

    Using the pointed end of the scraper provided with your Harman stove and the vacuum, scrape the accordion heat exchanger and the surrounding areas free of all fly ash. Leave the ash pan in place and the ash door closed when cleaning the walls of the fire chamber. A 2" putty knife will help remove the ash. Holding the hose of the vacuum just below the where you are scraping helps to remove airborne dust and catch the soot as it removed.

    Scrape any carbon deposits from the burn pot.

    You will find that a that the scraper that comes with the stove will work best for this. Alternatively you can use a standard screwdriver and hammer to tap deposits loose. Be sure to scrape the sides of the burn pot as well as the bottom.

    Vacuum the holes in the burn pot to remove particles that may block the holes.

    The use of a paper clip to clear plugged holes may be necessary.

    Clean ash from inside the burn pot.

    Remove the cover plate on the burn pot by loosening the two wing nuts holding the plate in place.

    You may need to use pliers to loosen the wing nuts initially.
    Vacuum ash from the inside of the pot.

    Use your finger to brush out any ash that can't be reached with the nozzle of the vacuum.

    After cleaning, be sure the cover plate is fully closed before tightening the wing nuts.

    You don't need to tighten the wing nuts with pliers!

    Remove the ash pan and vacuum the inner walls of the
    pedestal of the stove.

    Scrape the sides and back of the ash pan.
    Remove the combustion blower cover plate and vacuum the fins of the combustion blower. An old toothbrush works well for removing deposits on the blower fins.

    Brush out the flue passageway within the stove
    Insert a 3" brush through the passageway (shown below left), but be careful not to bend or otherwise damage the exhaust gas probe which is located near the flue collar of the stove. The probe is durable, but bending it can cause it to malfunction. If you don't have a 3" flue brush use the vacuum hose to remove deposits in this area.

    Note: You will be able to clean most of the deposits from a tee, elbow or length of pipe attached to the stove from this passageway.

    Remove soot and fly ash deposits from the glass
    There are various glass cleaners you can buy at stove shops that are specially designed to remove hydrocarbon (soot) and fly ash (mineral) deposits from the glass. Just spray a small amount of cleaner on the glass and use a paper towel or rag to wipe it clean.

    Other things to check and clean at the end of the heating season:
    Clean sawdust (fines) from the feed mechanism (below left).
    Remove the cast iron door on the pellet feeder mechanism and vacuum out any sawdust that has accumulated (shown lower right).

    Clean dust and pet hair from the distribution blower

    The distribution blower is the large black blower adjacent to the combustion blower. If the fins of the blower are covered with dust and pet hair, it is best to thoroughly clean the blower using the following procedure:
    Caution: Be sure to unplug the stove!
    Remove the screws holding the blower in place using a socket wrench with an 8" extension. Use a toothbrush to remove dust from the fins, but be careful not to bend any of the fins. Once the fan blade has been cleaned reattach the fan.

    Clean dust from the auger motor and the back of the combustion blower.

    Vacuum the "engine" compartment, including the blades of the fans, which helps cool the auger and combustion motors.

    Sweep the entire flue system

    Run a brush through all the flue pipes and vacuum out the loose soot and fly ash.

    You may need to take apart sections of pipe in order to do this.

    Note: Professional installers often design the venting system so that certain joints can be taken apart. These joints will often have either aluminum tape or silicone caulking on the outside. Use a knife to scrape off the silicone caulking on the joints you plan to take apart.

    If your pellet stove is installed into an existing chimney you will need to clean the chimney as well as the pellet pipe. To do this you will need the appropriate sized chimney brush and rods. (I.e. a six inch diameter chimney will need a 6" diameter brush) Call a CSIA Certified chimney sweep or other qualified professional to clean the flue system. These professionals have the equipment and the experience to do a thorough job.

    Once the flue system has been cleaned, reconnect and re-caulk the pellet vent. High temperature RTV silicone caulking will work for this. Note: it is very important that each joint of the pipe within the home be airtight. Even small pinhole leaks can leak smoke!

    This is extremely important because a leak can result in an exhaust smell from the heat outlet holes because the smell got drawn into the distribution fan.

    Remove and clean the exhaust gas probe (ESP)

    The probe is located at the flue collar of the stove. Remove the Tek screw holding it in place and pull the probe out. The probe can be cleaned using stove glass cleaner then reinstalled.

    Note: Often the ESP can be cleaned without removing it, but removing the probe allows you to inspect it for wear and tear.

    Inspect and clean the hopper lid gasket

    Remove any sawdust or pellet chips from the gasket in the hopper lid. This should also be done after every filling of the hopper. It is important that this gasket be airtight.

    If the gasket is damaged or compressed (due to pellets being pressed into the gasket when the hopper lid is closed) replace the gasket.

    Touch up the stove with high temperature paint
    You will need to touch up the paint on the stove from time to time. Most people do this once a year. Use high temperature satin finish Stove-Bright paint, which is available from your local Harman dealer.
    Simply shake up the can and apply a thin coat over the parts of the stove that need to be touched up. Use newspaper to mask areas and to prevent over spray. Hold the paint can upright and about 6 inches from the stove when you are painting.

    Cleaning the outside of the stove and the gold plated parts

    The outside of the stove can be cleaned with soap and water. Be sure to wipe the stove dry after cleaning.

    The gold plated components (grills and doors) can be cleaned using soap and water or alternatively window cleaner.

    It is important to remove finger prints. These contain oil that will permanently stain the gold when exposed to the high heat of the fire. NEVER USE ABRASIVE CLEANERS ON THE GOLD. Abrasive cleaners will remove the gold plating.

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    Installation Guidelines

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