Pellet Stove

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by string1946, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    I heat my basement (man cave) with a pellet stove. I just got a ton of pellets and fired the stove up for the first time of the year just to make sure it was working. I reckon I'm ready to go but I will go get another ton just so I have enough for the whole winter.
     

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  2. FishinLuke

    FishinLuke New Member

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    My dad goes through 4-5 tons a year depending on the winter. :eek:
     

  3. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    Got one myself. Will post pic in morning.
     
  4. msup752

    msup752 New Member

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    I was thinking about one but opted for a wood burner. The major reasons were the requirement of power and maintenance of a pellet stove.

    I'm thinking of putting one in my basement so I'm curious what others have to say about their pellet stoves.
     
  5. FishinLuke

    FishinLuke New Member

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    The maintenance my dad goes through is emptying out the ash once every week or two. And then a once a year maintenance where he takes it apart and cleans everything out really good and oils the turbine fan and auger. The yearly maintenance he does takes him about an 1-1.5 hours. Cleaning out the ash every week or two takes 10 minutes.

    Major maintenance that he has had to do on his pellet stove has been a new control panel and a new blower motor, but those parts I think lasted him 10-12 years.

    He is a heavy user, obviously, with the 4-5 tons he uses every year. He has had good luck with his Whitfield, but they are a higher end pellet stove (at least they were when he bought his 18 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  6. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Just curious~ Can you burn the pellets in a regular wood stove. And how much does a ton of pellets cost?
    In addition if not regarding the wood stove question. Who handles the pellet stoves?
    One last question. Are they free standing I do not see a stove pipe on them?
    03
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  7. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    To answer your questions Sniper, I don't think it would be pratical to burn the pellets in a wood stove. The pellets go in a hopper and are fed as needed by an auger where they drop into a kinda cup in the bottom of the firebox and are lit by an electric igniter. The stove runs off a thermostat just like my gas heating system. When the temperature in the basement gets up to 67 degrees where I ususally keep it set, then the stove stops feeding pellets and the fire goes out. When the temp. drops a couple degrees below set point the stove starts feeding pellets and the igniter starts the fire back up. My stove will hold two bags of pellets which are 40 lbs. each. Because I heat my ground floor with gas the temperature in the basement never drops below about 55 degrees so my stove doesn't have to work as hard as it would if it was my main heating source. A bag of pellets will last me for around 24 hours depending on the outside temperature so one fill will run for about 2 days. I get my pellets at either Lowes or Tractor Supply and the ton I just bought was $280 including sales tax. I like to get all the pellets I will need at the first of the winter because if you run out near spring they can be had to find as no stores want to store them over the summer. Two tons for me will be more than enough. The stoves are more expensive than wood burners because of all the extra mechanics and electronics involved. My stove is one of the higher end models and I think it was between $4k and $5k three years ago. It came from a place called "Hearth and Home" which I think is a chain but around here most any place that sales wood stoves and inserts handle pellet stoves. The stove does have to be vented to the outside but it doesn't need a chimney. Just a vent kinda like a dryer vent. I'll include a picture of mine. Anyway I love mine and would buy it all over again. Just as an aside, the stove can also be set to burn corn, wheat, sunflower seeds, switchgrass pellets or cherry pits if needed for whatever thats worth and I think not much. Also if the power goes off you can run the stove off a car battery if you can figure a way to keep the battery charged.

    www.quadrafire.com/Products/MT-Vernon-AE-Pellet-Stove.aspx
     

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  8. msup752

    msup752 New Member

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    I almost bought a Mt Vernon instead of my soapstone stove. The installed cost was the same.
    I have not seen the dryer vent option here. All pipes are 3" diameter and have to have a rise a foot or two outside.
    I think the Mt Vernon is overkill for my 1k sq ft basement. Pellet does seem to be a good choice for it though. Thanks!
     
  9. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    I pay 300 to 400 euros a year compare to 5000+ a year others pay for oil. The stove is connected to floor heating for my two story house. It also heats my water. When the sun is out, I heat my water with solar power.
     

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  10. FishinLuke

    FishinLuke New Member

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    What does the boiler run off of? What did the boiler cost you, not the piping but just the boiler?
     
  11. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    I do not have a boiler. I have a water tank that is connected to the solar panels. The water tank and stove are connected to the floor pipes. Water tank cost a couple thousand euros.
     

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  12. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    Jagermeister, that is one impressive looking set up.
     
  13. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I don't see the savings in the pellet stove, at least in NC. My home is all electric. Our power bill is under $100 a month except during the coldest months. For a few months during winter we get $125 to $160 power bills.

    I had an engineer for the power company select all the appliances and heat pump for my home. I did hang on to the 10 gal per minute well pump. I like good water pressure. The electric company even provided financing. They did a great job!
     
  14. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    I have a friend who has a corn burning stove. Has anyone had any experience with those?
     
  15. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    String, I love my Quadra Fire Mount Vernon, it replaced my old very manual old TSC Pellet stove. How old is yours, they had some issues in the first couple years and I made them pretty much replace all the electronics, plus they had to drill some holes in the firepot and knock out a couple exchanger fins to get the airflow up higher. Other than that, Ive only replace a couple ignitors, a 15 minute job, $35 for the element.

    I burn about 3 or 4 ton a year and it does about 2/3rds of my heat. I buy my pellets from Lowes, $219 a ton minus 10% Veterans discount, that pretty much pays for the delivery. After growing up cutting wood, I decided I would never deal with doing wood again, its messy, dangerous and brings bugs in the house. Pellets are pretty clean, just a little dust and a scuttle of ash a week and I get a free recycling bag every time I fill it! A buddy of mine did coal for a while then changed to pellets, coal is nasty.


    Jager, thats a high tech rig you got there! Not the stuff I remember in the Villages back in the 80's, little tiny water heaters in every room with a sink and tiny little refrigerators! Is your water heater both electric and Exchanger coil fed or do you run the furnace all year round?
     

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  16. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    My stove will burn corn but I haven't tried it yet. I wonder how popcorn would work. That might be interesting. Stay warm and a never ending supply of snacks if you get the munchies.:D
     
  17. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Yup, I just dont think its a great Idea to keep that much critterbait anywhere near my house, Ive got a cornlot across the road and beside the far edge of the property, I have a tough enough time battling field rats as it is! Besides, corns so damn high right now, pellets are actually cheaper.

    $269 seems high for Lowes, must be regionally higher, Its been pretty steady $219 here for the last couple years here but were power users in this region. About 4 years ago, we had a huge warehouse burn filled with the seasons pellets, the price spiked to $340 a ton for 6 months.

    I do have a pretty new Buderus Boiler that runs year round to heat my domestic Hot water and offsets the pellet stove when the temp drops below 20 outside (2 or 3 months a year) but thats pretty cheap even with fuel oil prices high. I cut my electric to less than half switching over to an indirect Water heater and I have endless hot water. Its also better to have a boiler run year round, they dont sit idle well.
     
  18. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    The pellets I got at Lowes are Greenway Super Premium pellets. I have bought some that were just Premium. I guess the Super Premium means they have been blessed by the Pope or something. I think that price is about the same as I paid at Tractor Supply last year. I've had the stove for 3 years and have had to have the igniter replaced one under warranty.
     
  19. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Your 3 year old Mt Vernon should be OK Electronics wise (from what Ive read), Im pretty sure the times I burned the igniters was because I didnt empty the drawer soon enough, there has to be air flow or it cooks the element. The extra holes in the burn pot helped prevent that also.

    Super Premium Pellets sound Super, Pope-age Blessings cant hurt either! Never tried them, I cant imagine less than 1% ash can be beat by much but I have heard burning pure softwood will result in more BTU's but they are 20% more cost so I never tried them. I burned a couple bags once at the end of the season, I cant say I felt the difference but they are supposed to be better.
     
  20. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    The Villages? Isn't that the old folks place in Florida? lol.

    I can't remember if it was Germany or England (England I think) but I lived in an apartment that had those little water heaters. What a pain. Had one over each sink and one over the bathtub. You had to turn them on (timer of course) a while before you needed the water hot. It also had a meter just inside the front door you had to put coins in for electricity. If you forgot to keep an eye on the meter all of a sudden you would be sitting there in the dark and had to fumble around for a flashlight and a hand full of coins.

    And where to you get your replacement igniters? About the cheapest I've seen them is around $70.