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Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:14 PM

Just got a pellet stove, and I have a silly question.

I grew up with a wood stove, and this thing is quite a bit different. Is the flame supposed to constantly build up and then nearly die out over and over and over?

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Reply Just got a pellet stove, and I have a silly question. (Original post)
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Oct 2013 #1
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #2
NYC_SKP Oct 2013 #3
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #4
broiles Oct 2013 #5
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #7
madokie Oct 2013 #11
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #14
broiles Oct 2013 #16
left on green only Oct 2013 #6
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #8
left on green only Oct 2013 #9
madokie Oct 2013 #12
left on green only Oct 2013 #17
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #13
hunter Oct 2013 #10
GreenPartyVoter Oct 2013 #15
jpak Oct 2013 #18

Response to GreenPartyVoter (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:16 PM

1. I think it's supposed to burn at a very low burn rate, much different than a wood fire.

But I don't own one and hope somebody chimes in who knows better than me!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:19 PM

2. All I know is, it's nice and toasty warm like a wood stove. We have ceiling fans and

doorway fans to help circulate the air. So far, so good, although I suspect I will still need to use some propane to heat the furthest reaches of the house now and then.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:22 PM

3. I miss a little franklin stove I had in a cottage in an almond orchard...

...near Chico, California. And rent included all the wood I could burn, but didn't need much.

The ideal fire would have almost no flame, or very low flames, while the wood burned very hot but slowly.

I think that same principle is at work with pellets, they're more efficient but burn slowly and completely.

Enjoy!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:24 PM

4. My grandparents had a little Franklin stove in their old Cape Cod. I actually have some of the

antiques they had surrounding it strewn about my stove now.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:28 PM

5. I have two. Mine have automatic feeds and adjustable flame.

I love them. They have saved us tons. I only use a low flame when it gets too warm.

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Response to broiles (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:01 AM

7. But does the flame go up and down on every heat setting? I mean, no matter

what it's set on the flame builds up, then dies back down as the pellets drop into the burn box, and then burns high again. Is that how all pellet stoves work?

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 03:10 AM

11. I think that is pretty normal for that type of pellet stove

There are two types of pellet stoves. One uses an auger to feed the pellets into the fire box from behind and the other uses a auger to drop the pellets in from above. Sounds like you have the latter. We've owned three pellets stoves, buying our first in early winter of '91 and it was the type that pushes the pellets in from behind the firebox. About ten years ago we upgraded to a thermostat controlled one that dropped the pellets in from above the firebox. Then we purchased the one we have now that feeds the pellets in from behind the firebox that has a temperature probe that you place up to 25 ft away from the stove that rather than turns the fire on or off it regulates the size of the burn to maintain the heat setting you set. By far the better of the three stoves we've had.

Pellet stoves uses an auger to move the pellets to the firebox and that auger is controlled by a circuit that turns the auger on and off as the need for heat is determined by either the setting you set on the stove or a regular thermostat you have placed on the wall someplace away from the stove, preferably in the same room.

At any rate you will notice a big difference in cost of heating with your pellet stove and don't worry much with the flame as it is as long as it doesn't go out and if it does the stove will simply shut down. If the flame does go out that means you have a tad more air coming into the firebox than the amount of pellets being fed requires. Some stoves have a damper in the air inlet and those are easy to adjust and others require you to turn a potentiometer on the circuit board and on those unless you know what you're doing call the people where you bought the stove to make that adjustment.

The last time I put a pencil to it we've 7000 plus dollars to the good including the purchase price of the three stoves over heating with propane.

Enjoy your pellet stove.

Our first pellets stove was an England pdv 25, next was a Whitfield profile 20 and the one we have now which is by far the better of the three is a Harman Advance.

This past spring we installed a mini-split inverter heat pump that has dropped our cooling bill by over 25% this summer over last. So far we haven't had to burn any pellets as the heat pump is keeping the house toasty. I think this heat pump will pay for itself in less that three years. These new inverter heat pumps like we have have a SEER value of 19.2 and is good for temperatures down to 5 degrees. The compressor is variable speed so it doesn't turn on and turn off rather it speeds up or slows down according to the heating/cooling load needed.

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Response to madokie (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:50 PM

14. We got an Ashley by US Stoves at Tractor Supply. It is a top loader/feeder and has 5 heat level

settings, though we have only used 2 & 3 so far, and just turned off the stove if it gets too warm in the great room, which is abt 73 degrees or so. Might make use of a more continuous burn at level 1 when the really bitter winter weather gets here. Fortunately, we have the house set up on 3 heating zones. It's a ranch, so the bedrooms at either end will get the occasional warming boost from the radiators. (Probably before we get up and before bed time.) But the center of the house might only use the stove. Definitely expecting to spend less on propane this winter.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #7)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 02:24 PM

16. Not mine. I have the same level I set it on, unless its running out of pellets.

Mine are Harmans with automatic feeds, thermostats, and blower controls. I've had them about five years. I have them professionally cleaned each year when I have the pellets delivered. I just love them and they have saved me a lot since otherwise I would be on electric (heat pumps).

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Original post)

Mon Oct 28, 2013, 11:54 PM

6. They work great, as long as you have electricity.....

.....but if you live in an area that guarantees the power will go out every time there is a storm with winds in excess of 7mph (like I do), you'll feel warmer if you light matches and hold them under your armpits, 'cause those puppies won't work without the blessings of Ma and Pa Edison. Since you've all ready made the purchase, you might want to think about buying your own gasoline power generator next.

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Response to left on green only (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:03 AM

8. Hopefully we'll get a little generator in the future. Not sure if we can pull it off this

winter money-wise, but we're really no worse off than before since the propane furnace doesn't run when the power is out either. We just got the pellet stove to cut back on the cost of running the furnace during the coldest months of the year.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:43 AM

9. Thinking About It A Little More Critically Now

It will probably be easier than I painted it in my post up thread. Upon further reflection, I think I remember noting that the power requirements for a pellet stove are actually low voltage DC current (I think there is a step down transformer to take your 110v "wall current" down to something like a 12v DC current that drives the electrical requirements of the pellet stove. If that is the case, then you probably wouldn't even need a full blown 120v A/C gasoline driven power generator (dog, those things make such a racket, while at the same time polluting the air with noxious fumes). It would seem like you should be able to drive the electrical requirements of your pellet stove with a 12v back-up DC battery pack (of which it should be possible to get one with power that will last for days).

I would think that it should be a piece of cake for a skilled electrician to come up with the battery pack, a means of using wall current to keep it charged, and some sort of automatic switching device to turn one on when the other goes out. Best part is that preparing yourself in that manner should cost you far far less than the price of even the smallest Honda gasoline power generator.

Just an idea.



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Response to left on green only (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 03:51 AM

12. Of the three pellets stoves we've had through the years

all three used 120 volt AC motors. I have a 750 watt inverter and use a deep cycle 75 amp hr battery to power the stove during power outages but the battery will only last a few hours as the stove uses more than 500 watts total. It gives me time to get the generator out and connected and started though. luckily we've only had two power outages that lasted about 5 hours since we've been heating with wood pellets.

Pellet stoves have at least three motors, one for feeding the pellets, one for combustion air and one for convection air. The convection air one is the one that uses the most energy too as it takes a lot of energy to move the air that keeps the house warm

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Response to madokie (Reply #12)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 10:03 PM

17. >500 watts total! Gad Zooks! I Had No Idea.

My favorite use for wood stove pellets is to use them to line the litter box for my pet house rabbits.

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Response to left on green only (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:40 PM

13. Still want to go with a generator if we can, to keep the fridge and water running as well. :^)

I do want to get a little unit to plug the stove into, just so if the power goes out we can shut down properly while we wait for the generator to be set up.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Original post)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:43 AM

10. You need a thermostat away from the stove.

My parents loved their wood pellet stove when they lived in California's Sierra Nevada.

The pellet stove was in the great room and the thermostat controlling it was in the central hallway. If you didn't want to wake up freezing you left the bedroom door open.

My dad has always been stingy about heat. When we lived in coastal Southern California he figured mostly we didn't need heat. The pipes were not freezing so put on more clothes. Throw another blanket on the bed, and random dogs are warm too. This is not Montana.

I've slept with random warm dogs to keep warm.

My parents now live in a rain forest. Household heating or air conditioning is not an issue. You must simply suffer any sixty degree Fahrenheit nights or eighty degree days. And the water in the taps fell out of the sky and landed on the roof. Hasn't killed anyone yet. Drink the micro-filtrated stuff from the drinking water tap in the kitchen if you are worried.








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Response to hunter (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 29, 2013, 12:55 PM

15. We only have kitties to cuddle up with! Not the best backup heat. LOL The house is a

ranch with 3 heat zones, so the bedrooms on both ends will get a boost from the propane furnace before we wake up and go to bed.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2013, 06:32 PM

18. Yes - they run on thermostats

When the room warms - they reduce fuel consumption or even stop burning pellets.

When the room cools - they turn on and/or burn more pellets.

You will love it

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