Troubleshooting American Harvest Pellet Stoves

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You need to make sure that you properly maintain your pellet stove in order for it to work properly.
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American Harvest pellet stoves were designed to provide the benefits of a wood-burning stove without some of the practical hassle associated with feeding a wood fire. However, all fires are fickle in the sense that they need the right environmental conditions to flourish. Your American Harvest pellet stove must be properly installed and maintained in order for its fires to burn effectively and efficiently. Here's how to troubleshoot some common problems that affect burn quality.

Problems Related to Fuel Quality

Do you know what type of fuel is meant to burn in your pellet stove? You can find pellet stoves from a U.S. stove company that are multifuel heaters and can burn pellets made of wood, biomass or grains, including corn, soy and cherry pits. Others can only burn wood pellets. When in doubt, burn high-quality wood pellets and see if the quality and efficiency of the flame increases.

If you know you have a multifuel heater like an American Harvest corn stove, check for the water content in the corn you're burning. Dried corn with a water content of 11 to 12 percent burns best, and a water content above 14 percent will result in steam coming off the corn or trouble igniting the corn. Other fuel types, including wood pellets, may have ash content that's too high for an efficient burn. Ideally, you want an ash content of less than 1 percent.

Also, be sure to program your American Harvest pellet stove to display Pr when burning wood pellets, and Cr when burning corn, soy or cherry pits. To burn these alternative fuel sources, use wood pellets as initial fuel due to its lower flash point.

Problems With Air Flow

Pellet stoves need negative pressure in order to successfully draw oxygen into the stove and fuel the flame. Without sufficient oxygen, the fire will burn out. If you're struggling to keep the fire lit, make sure all the screws on the stove are tight, that all vents are properly sealed with high-heat silicone and that the door to the heater is closed all the way. Then experiment with adjusting the air damper to a more open or closed position, since too much and too little combustion air can cause a lazy flame.

If the viewing glass turns black while the fire is lit, open the air damper to allow more oxygen to flow into the burn pot. You'll also need to open the damper if you see "black popcorn" in the burn chamber.

American Harvest Pellet Stove Errors

According to the American Harvest Operator's Manual, an error code can display important information to help you use your pellet stove safely and efficiently. On American Harvest pellet stoves, an Err1 code means that the stove has reached its maximum temperature safety limit due to poor ventilation or fan blockage or failure. Code Err2 means that the minimum temperature limit has been reached, which could happen if the hopper runs out of fuel, the auger jams or the fire goes out.

Err3 means that the Room Fan On switch failed to go on, which it should do around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, this error code is also associated with an empty hopper or an auger failure. Err4 signals that a power failure occurred while the stove was hot, and that the stove was cold when the power returned. Error codes Err5 and Err6 indicate a problem with the auger fuse or motor.

Err7 alerts to a blown fuse in the draft fan, whereas Err8 refers to a blown fuse in the room fan. Err9 indicates a problem with the AC supply, and the final error code, Err10, signals a blown fuse in the igniter.

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Cathy Habas enjoys distilling even the most complicated home improvement tasks into bite-sized pieces. She believes in empowering homeowners one article at a time.

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