Harman PB105 Pellet Boiler

Product Type: Central Heat Pellet Stove
Brand: Harman Stove Company
Description:

Pellet-burning stove from Harman is designed to provide central heating for the entire home. The unit features:

  • Cast-iron construction
  • Automatic ignition
  • Heats 2,500+ square feet
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Large,easily accessible ash pan
  • Insulated water jacket
  • 120 VAC
  • 3 Pass heat exchanger
  • Heat capacity: 105,000 BTU  
  • Hopper holds up to  205 lbs.
  • EPA tested 
  • OMNI-Test Laboratory testing

Comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I don't know if I got a lemon or what, but it seems I'm not the only who has problems. I've had this thing for over a year and have had technicians out here to look at it multiple times. I've had periods where it just won't burn at all and always shuts off. Lately though, it just has internal explosions in the burn pot multiple times a day. I can feel the floor shake a little when it happens and usually some amount of smoke comes into the house. One day, it exploded and shut off so the fans weren't running and all the smoke poured inside. The carbon monoxide detectors went off and I had to open up all the windows and doors in December. That was fun... I'm coughing regularly and always have allergies because smoke comes into the house so frequently. It's not usually a lot at once, but it's enough where when it happens multiple times a day, it gets to my asthmatic lungs.

    Unfortunately the technicians out here also have horrible communication skills. It takes me forever to get someone to come out here and most of the time they don't even bother calling me back. I think they're sick of hearing from me. They've already replaced the ignitor which stopped working after 3 months of use. The replacement appears to still be working in the mean time.

    Now they think the problem is the gasket on the door. The most common problem is the lack of air flow which causes the explosions, which is why they think it's the gasket. It seems weird that a door gasket would go bad only a year into using it. And the explosions started very early on. I think there may be more going on than that. A faulty design in the burn pot area would be my guess.

    Overall, aside from the fact that it doesn't function properly half the time and sometimes I wake up to a 50 degree house, the maintenance is more than I was expecting too. It needs cleaning every few days and pellets need to be dumped in every couple of days. We simply won't be able to go away during the winter ever, unless someone can house sit for us and babysit the boiler. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law ordered this contraption for us when we were heat-less and had no money after I was laid off from my job (our old boiler kicked the bucket 2 months after I lost my job). It's great that she helped us out and I'm so thankful for that, but we didn't get to investigate this before it was ordered. If I had the chance to look into it, we never would have bought it. We wanted to get away from oil, but this is not the best alternative.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I wish i remember what the settings are on my boiler right now but what it sounds like is happening is that the little dip switches have probably been changed. My experience with the local tech has been very poor as well. It seems like they will call anyone a tech for these things. The boiler is very likely over feeding fuel into the burn pot. The dip switches at least a couple of them control how much fuel is feed into the burn pot especially when it has to start a fire not so much when it is maintaining a fire. Myself not to be insulting to you at all but i would read the manuael many times and keep it as a handy referance. Every tech i have meet for this product is fairly incopetent. I have even taught a few of them some of the features on the boiler and why something like the brass spring that comes with this thing is actually important. (it ends up transfering a lot of the heat from the boiler to the sensor so the boiler can figure out how hot its water is) Initially my installer that was harman certified tossed it to the side and then sat there for 2 hours trying to figure out why my boiler wasnt running well. I pulled that spring from the garbage and used a little bit of water based lube (ky) and slipped it on over the fat part of the sensor and the really tight fitting adapter and then there was a nice little bit of pressure putting it into the well on top of the boiler and it was like magic everything started to run so much better.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Hi All

    I have a PB-105 as well good performance after modification. There are too many combustion air holes in the burner. I also have a P-61 stove with the same blower and it has 100 fewer air holes. I welded all the lower rows shut and the burner works great no mor surging. We have been running ours since 2005. If anyone wants an exact hole count I can get it for you. It has been a while since I've had to look at it.
    Harmon had a good idea ,but I do not think they did any testing in -35 conditions!!!

    Tip the coak that forms on the tubes and walls is water soluable!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Looking into purchasing a used pb105 boiler. Checking to see if your still happy with it?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I have had my Harman PB 105 Since December 2008. I have to say that I love this unit and any issue i have had is only when it gets too dirty or the pellets are junk. After a few months of trial and error, I have a pellet company that works well with the boiler. I use a hard /soft wood blend and fines at .05%. I find that the low fines are important if you are going to be running in Auto at all. The fines will clog the ignitors and the system will fail until it is cleaned. When I run Auto, I will switch it to manual when it get close to a cleaning to preven a failure.

    The writer who figured 2 bags a day for 365 days is way off. I have to say that my PB 105 has paid for itself already. I burn a 1/4 mbag maybe in the summer and up to four bags in sub zero weather. The average during the winter is two bags. Overall you will save money with a pellet boiler.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I love the option of heating with pellets, but cannot believe that Harman Customer service won't talk to their customers. The tech. in their Service Dept. said the smoke was likely the result of too many pellets in the burn pot.
    Then, when I asked for more information and a solution, he hung up on me after saying he needed to talk to installers instead. - Boy, I do feel like Harman couldn't care less about me as a customer.

    Ironically, their customers are passionate about pellets (and many are opposed to imported oil), and these customers could be their best advocates. Therefore, it is unbelieveable that they won't help these customers get their boilers to work well.
    --- Even an FAQ with some answers on their website would go miles to help improve their awful customer satisfaction!

    Btw, when I bought my PB105 two years ago the suppliers in my area wouldn't have any for 6+ months and so bought one from 100 miles away. Now that local supplier is no longer selling Harmans and the selling store says I am too far away.
    - Does Harman customer service care about their customers? - or is it easier to just hang up on me?

    (This device from "Harman sucks" up the smoke poorly).

  7. Anonymous Says:

    i called on my pt105 boiler to ask what to set my high and low temperature settings at they could not be bothered and told me to call were i purchased it and hung me up.i have a lot of trouble. i have had it for 5 years and if you want to know why not to buy a harman pt105 boiler look at the reviews or call me at 802-236-5397 Gene

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I have the same problem sometimes. What I have noticed is that the amount of pellets that are fed into the burnpot at startup is not always the same. Sometimes there are just enough to see them in the pot while waiting for them to light. And other times they are overflowing out of the burnpot when waiting for them to light. Whenever there are too many loaded in at startup, the system will backfire. I think this is caused by a reduction is airflow over the pellets causing a delayed ignition. I spoke with my local dealer about this today and the amount of pellets that are fed into the burnpot at startup can be reduced by the first 3 dipswitches on the control board. All down (off) is the factory setting. If you set any to the up position, you will decrease the amount that is loaded. Speak with your dealer about this and maybe it will fix the problem. When I noticed that it was trying to light and I could see that the pellets were overflowing, I would open the front door and push some towards the back of the burnpot to unblock some of the little breather holes. This would eliminate the backfire for that startup. Check all of the small holes in the burnpot to make sure they are not plugged and then fire it up. Before it lights, look in the window and see if you can see a lot of pellets. If you can, use the little tool that looks like a poker to push some back away from the door (one with window) and allow more air to pass throught the area. See if this results in a more normal ignition.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    You may also want to consider the pellets (fuel) you are burning. Hardwood pellets will create more smoke on ignition versus softwood pellets. Softwood pellets should light better and you can also purchase them mixed Hardwood/softwood. Harmon also has come out with a fix for the ignition issues (unsure if it works) but it involves a new burnpot and air hoses. Try contacting a dealer for the kit.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I also have had consistent problems with my Harman boiler and have had very little satisfaction from the manufacturer. The dealer has tried to help as much as possible but it is really difficult having to go through him to get problems resolved. He has even gotten conflicting responses from different techs at Harman. I tried e-mailing Harman but got no response. In the few years I have had the boiler we have not gotten through 1 season without having to replace parts in efforts to keep it operating. Thank goodness we kept our oil burner for backup. We have recently been having more trouble with explosive ignitions which Harman claims is due to an air leak or a dirty unit. I have checked all of my gaskets and clean the unit and chimney several times a year so I don't believe these are the causes. For the large amount of money that Harman charges for these units you would think they would try to keep their customers happy. I am so disappointed in Harman and would never recommend their products to anyone!!! My husband refers to it as the white elephant in the basement wants me to get rid of it. I just want it to work!! THANKS FOR NOTHING HARMAN!!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    My sister started experiencing smoke explosions with her PB105 after running flawlessly for about a year. I thoroughly cleaned the entire system. Still getting explosions. I read about changing the 2nd dip switch to "on" and decided to try that. In doing so, I noticed that the ash pan door was latched but not making good contact with the frame. I removed the catch from frame, bent it down a little (1/8" or so) reinstalled and now have a good seal around the ash pan door. We fired up the boiler and it started as smooth as ever!
    The burn air HAS to come through the burn pot. Any air leak in the system limits this from happening and increases your chance of a smoke explosion. Below the hopper there is a 6" x 8"(approx.) pressure relief door. Make sure there is no debris around the edges of this door that might create an air leak as well. If you are clean, all of your seals are tight and you are not putting too much fuel in to start with (unburned/partially burned pellets in ash pan) you should get nice, smooth ignitions. Good Luck.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    We purchased the PB105 in 2007 as our primary heat source for our new construction home in VT. Since that time, we have had numerous problems with the ignition system, resulting in "explosions" within the unit, shaking the house and filling it with smoke, thereby setting off the fire alarms. Our local distributor has been very helpful in trying to solve the problem but are finally at a loss. The unit has currently been inoperable since the middle of October (now beginning of Dec). Only after requesting a full refund from Harman have they agreed to come examine the unit. And we are not alone with this problem. I would discourage anyone from purchasing this boiler until Harman figures out a better ignition system and becomes better focused on customers needs.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Approximately how much is the PB105 pellet boiler?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    5800 bucks delivered. Installation is extra.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Could you give me a ballpark figure what the installation cost
    was for the boiler? How's it been working for you so far?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I called locally in Albany, NY price as of today was $6747.00. Since I just read a review about a house of about 2500sq ft and using about 2 bags a day..that really doesn't pay for me, let me explain ...
    2bags x 365days x $4.18 per bag (ton = $209) that would be $3050+/-
    when my house uses 700-900 gallons of oil per year. Thats 3.65 x 900 = $3285. So for $233 bucks I'm going to invest almost 7k on a boiler to get the benefit of saving $233 a year... thats not great turn around and would take a long time to get back upfront cost in return.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    if you heat your house 365 days a year you have probelms, I live in canada and my furnace runs maybe 200 days out of the year so if your going to compare , compare apples to apples.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Your calculation assumes 2 bags a day for 365 days.
    This is not realistic as you would not burn this (if any) during the warmer weather.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    I have one of these boilers and during the summer I only burn 1/4 bag a day to heat my hot water.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I love the boiler. I bought it Jan 2009 and have never regretted buying it. My only wish is that Harman resolve the burn pot bubble above the igniter issue. I had my burnpot replaced in Dec. 2009 and it is soon time to replace it again. I do find it hard to believe that Harman engineering hasn't been able to resolve this problem. If steel can't withstand the heat, what about cast iron? They use it for the grates in their coal stoker. This is an important problem and for some it will detract from purchasing the unit, which would be a shame considering all it positive attributes.