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1995 PelletMaster 3000 Titan for $400...good purchase?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Ashamatash, Aug 31, 2007.

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  1. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Good afternoon,

    I am new to this forum and its good to know there's good solid support as I am in the market for a used pellet stove. I recently saw a listing for a PelletMaster 3000 Titan freestanding stove (1995). It is manual lighting bottom auger feed. I believe it is 40,000 BTU.

    I have never owned a pellet stove and I'm looking to save some money this year on heating costs. My home is a 1919 Colonial in good condition and is 1,350 SF.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Is this a good purchase for $400...could probably get it for less?
    2) Will this work in a room with 8 ft. high ceilings (enough room for exhaust)?
    3) Can I still get parts for this unit should anything need to be replaced?
    4) What should I be looking for when I go inspect the unit to know it's in good working order?

    I appreciate any feedback provided.

    Thanks,
    Scott

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  2. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

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    Scott,
    I am a return "Newbie", so I can't tell you much personally about stoves in general much less a specific stove. However, I searched the term "PelletMaster 3000 Titan" and I got a couple of hits. I didn't check them all out carefully but I did find one that might be of interest to you since it includes posts from a dealer that --as of the writing of his posts-- had a manual and parts for this stove. He may be able to give you the kind of feedback you need. He seems pretty helpful and informative based on several posts from another member.

    I don't recognize the name so I don't know if he posts regularly or if he's been around recently but if you click on his name in one of his posts or go to the Member List you should be able to PM him.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/881/

    Good luck, ~Cath
  3. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Cath,

    Thank you for taking the time to get back to me and pointing me in the right direction. I will take a closer look at that post and try to get in touch with the people involved.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would also strongly suggest that you take a very close look at the economics of pellet pricing and availability vs. the method you are using currently. While the stove you are looking at is a reasonable price (assuming it's in good condition and all that...) pellets are not cheap, and consequently the savings MAY be less than you are expecting. (bias warning, I'm a cordwood burner, not a pellethead) It might be helpful if you could post some information on your current heating system (fuel, system type, age, efficiency, etc.) What you've been paying for heating bills, and how much fuel you've used - also your location. That will let us give a better guess as to how much you will need for a pellet supply, and that will give you an idea of how much (if anything) a pellet stove would save you.

    (As a cordwood person, I would say that a wood stove would be more work, and probably more expensive to install, but IF you are willing to process your own wood, have the place to store it, etc. then you will have a hard time beating a wood stove for savings.)

    Gooserider
  5. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Gooserider,

    First off, thanks for getting back. I live in Middletown, CT in an old Colonial (1919) that's updated and has new double-pane windows. I spent one winter here and it's a pretty well insulated 2-floor home, and I will plan on improving the weatherproofing to be even more efficient. I have a top-of-the-line 20-25 year-oldThermaPride oil burner (forced air) and it does a great job; will heat my entire home in 20 minutes. I ran the boiler intermittently, and kept the thermostat around 65 to help curb costs. Also, at night, I used an oil-filled electric heater (veryefficient) in my bedroom as it didn't make sense to me to heat the whole house (not zoned heating), and used these at times during the day as well. All in all I estimated that we used 1.5 tanks of oil (250 gallon tank?) and the cost was roughly $650-$700. for oil consumption. Iestimated the additional cost of the electric heaters to be $500. So it was roughly $1,150-$1,200. to heat my home last winter and possibly a bit more.

    I understand the price of pellets is going up...I confirmed this with my mom who owns a pellet stove. It is currently at $240./ton in my area and I estimate I'll need 2.5-3 tons to heat my home for the winter based on the burn rate for thePelletMaster 3000 (this info was on another thread within this forum).

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/881/

    At this rate I could heat my home for $600-$700 using pellets as opposed to the $1,150-$1,200. to heat my home last winter using oil/electricity. It doesn't seem like much, but over the cost of 5 years itcould save me roughly $3,000. The price of oil and electricity is going up as well so to me it is logical that it's all relative? I understand that wood is the cheapest option minus the cost of finding, processing and preparing the wood for use. I should mention the following that help factor into my decision:

    1) I have a 3 month-old daughter and I'm concerned she could burn herself on a wood stove
    2) I'm environmentally-conscious, particularly when it comes to my carbon footprint/global warming and I know pellets burn cleaner than wood and use less natural resources to process/generate than oil/electricity
    3) I'm installing this stove on my own and I understand pellet stoves are easier/more cost-effective to install as opposed to wood stoves
    4) I've heard that wood stoves generate more smoke and my wife is opposed to our home having a "smoky-smell"
    5) I work 50-60 hours a week and have trouble meeting my social obligations with family/friends as it is (no extra time to process wood)

    I'm not opposed to a wood stove, and I'm sure I'd save some money over the long-run, but due to the above factors I feel at this point that the pellet stove would serve me best. My main concern is that the price of pellets rises to the point of being equal to oil/electricity but even if this was the case, I'd feel better about using a cleaner burning fuel. I don't however anticipate that the cost of wood pellets will exceed oil/electric. Natural gas heating systems are also an option, but from what I can see, the cost is not much below that of oil/electric.

    If any of my information is inaccurate, please let me know as I've only been researching this only over the past week. I'm trying to make and solid decision and explore the options carefullybefore deciding what to do. If I could get started with a used unit and it works out, I could upgrade to a new/newer unit as needed. Thanks for all your valuable information and expertise and if there's anything I'm leaving out in my consideration, please let me know.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
  6. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    More research has shown that this stove also burns coal and corn. What's the story on corn fuel? Cheaper than pellets? Availability? Does it burn clean?

    Scott
  7. KeithO

    KeithO Minister of Fire

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    Scott

    With the fuel, it is all about Location, Location, Location. Pellets are still scarce (and expensive) in Michigan. The nearest reasonable source is a relatively new facility in Northern Michigan which is selling $175/ton. It would be about a 300 mile trip to collect and that would very likely be a lot less expensive than delivery.

    Corn is abundant in the midwest, not sure about availability of corn near the east coast ? Do you see any cornfields on your regular driving routes ? If not, transport costs will have a major impact on the price and choice, neither of which is good when you want a readily available and cheap source of fuel.

    Right now the corn price is quite high ($4/bushel or about $140/ton) and the heating value at the "normal" 15% moisture level is less than a ton of pellets. I think the economics works out better that pellets and if there is a good crop this year the price may drop from November when the next harvest comes in. Since the corn price doubled last year, a lot of farmers switched to growing corn and there may be a glut of corn this season which will put downward pressure on the price.

    Whatever happens, I see no reason why the price could be expected to go up, so I'm waiting to see before making any comitment to purchasing a few tons this year.

    Be aware that most pellet stoves are only able to burn a % of corn (maybe up to 50%) because corn is a lot harder to ignite. "Corn" stoves are specially designed to burn corn but still have to be started with pellets. Once the fire is going real hot, it can run while burning corn only. Corn produces very little ash but mostly a glassy clinker, which is yet another reason why corn stoves are designed differently. If you burn only partly corn, the ash from the pellets gets between the clinker and prevents the formation of hard glassy "bricks" of clinker which would otherwise pose a problem for a regular pellet stove. I suspect that an older pellet stove is more likely to choke on corn than the latest models and you have to consider the hassle of having both fuels at the stove and mixing them right every time you need to add fuel. Sounds like more trouble than it would be worth.
  8. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Few points about the Titain 3000

    36k BTU heats up to 1900 sq feet

    Top vent
    Need a min of 5' rise before you go out the wall then up a min of 8' if you are venting out a wall
    I would not have any more than 24" of Vertical pipe.

    If you are going up through roof have a min of 10 feet.

    Other wise you will smell smoke.

    True bottom feed Positive draft system:
    Glass WILL GET DIRTY in the first day.
    Can burn all types of wood pellets for it is a True bottom feed.

    Coal.
    Will only burn coal if it came with the coal kit.
    this is a Taller burn pot with more air holes in it.

    Got to get to work i will add more soon
    huggmeister likes this.
  9. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    More
    $400 is a good price if the control board works in High and Keep fire mode.
    There is NO refractory brick available but not needed.
    As of now we have a few control boards left.
    Auger motors will be available for every
    We are having a machine shop make the auger motors and Bushing kits. IN STOCK
    Some burn pot and clinker rings parts are still available.
    Hopper lids gaskets instock
    Door and ashpan any stove store or Hardware store
    Convection blower we have but you have to remove the old motor and Blower wheel out of the houseing and replace just the motor because the housing had a Factory welded bracket.
    Combustion blowers available.


    To test use times in our trouble shooting page
    Set the stove to high with the Stat wires TOGETHER the stove will feed for aout 17 seconds and off for 3
    To check if the stat Mode is working pull the wire apart as it is feeding and it will stop. put the wires back together and it will start feeding right away. if not then the Keep fire mode on the board is bad or the wires are broken from that point back. Or the Over heat limit switch is bad.



    This is a decent stove.
    A little harder to work on than the other pellet master models because the blowers are Crammed into a small area at the bottom back of the stove.

    Recommend to use the thermostat.
    This will put the stove in a less than 1# per hour keep fire mode when you dont need the heat and will save pellets
    RUN IT ON HIGH ONLY if you are using a stat. This will keep the stove cleaner. the stove will run hot and burn off any crap.
    then on keep fire it will run just below the low setting.
    If you run it on Low with a stat you are defeating your purpose and the stove will build up Crap and more clinkers inthe burn pot.

    our help page
  10. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Rod,

    Thanks for getting back to me with this useful information. I'm not sure if this stove is still hooked up, and if not, it will be tough for me to test anything other than giving it a visual inspection. Do you have all the replacement parts should it need something? You mentioned this would be a good deal IF the control board works in High and Keep fire mode. If this doesn't function properly how much might a control board be?

    I would like to invest in a new unit but it's not in the budget at this point. I'd like to get up and running with a used model then upgrade in a few years if I find it's working well for me. Once I set up the pipe going out the wall, can I use this setup for a newer model once I upgrade? Should the age of this unit be a concern for me or do pellet stoves have a generally long life?

    Thanks for your help as I don't know too much about pellet stoves.

    Scott
  11. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    KeithO,

    Thanks for the information on the corn fuel. It makes sense for me to use wood pellets due to the availability of that fuel in my area. My concenr was that the price of pellets is certainly going up...the question is how much? I wanted to explore alternative options if that were the case.

    Thanks,
    Scott
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Coal? Will that thing really burn coal?
  13. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    400 Bucks is cheap for a functional pellet stove. However, if you are patient and wiling to check Craig's list on a daily basis, I think there are better deals to be had. Personally i'd be a little concerned about buying a 12+ year old stove unless I had reason to believe that it had been recently refurbished. As you may know from your research, there are auger, motors, fans, control boards etc that will fail from time to time. If any of that equipment is original on this stove then you're most likely going to be replacing it within the first season or two. If you are truly looking to burn more than a ton of pellets, then IMO you should budget a little more on the stove. I picked up a 2004 Harman P-61A for 600.00 a little while back. The deals are out there if you can spend a little time scanning.

    You've probably already thought about this, but you'll also need to have a good plan for moving the heat from the stove around. 40,000 BTUs is a fairly small stove, and the 1900 square foot estimate is probably for an ideal configuration.

    If you do go with the PelletMaster, I would recommend pricing out all those key componenets. In addition to the Harman stove mentioned above, I also own a St Croix Hastings. Parts for the Harman are significantly cheaper than parts for the St Croix. The Harman design also allows easier access to all those "consumable" parts, so that a handy do-it-yourselfer could handle most any repair work that might come up.
    Just my 2 cents....if you're working 60 hours a week you don't want to be spending much time messing around with a stove. Some are definitely mor work than others
    Best of Luck!
  14. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Good question!
    I've wondered if my P61 could handle rice coal, but pretty much assumed that this would be a dangerous experiment. Coal burns a lot hotter than pellets from what I understand, so I could see it wearing down the stove prematurely. A mix of rice coal and pellets might be interesting.....
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Those numbers sound like you are doing a pretty good job on heating with your current system, though certainly savings would be nice. I think you may be underestimating your pellet consumption - most people I see on the board look to be getting 4-5 tons. The pellet price you are mentioning does sound good - I'm not going near the pellet brand debate, but it does seem to make a difference, so that may be a factor. Also note that as the season progresses the price seems to go up, especially if the winter is long and hard as some are predicting for this year. The general rule on pellets seems to be to buy early - look for bargains at the end of heating season, otherwise stock up late spring, early summer. Also don't forget delivery costs.

    If your numbers are right, it could be a definite savings - I hope they are... SOME of the calculations I've seen suggest that NG and oil are pretty much competetive with each other, never really enough difference between them to justify switching for cost savings alone. There is arguement over whether pellets are cheaper than those two or not, they definitely seem less expensive than LP or electric. A great deal seems to depend on the design and efficiency of the existing heating system, and how well the heat from the stove can be moved around - a pellet or wood stove is an area heater, not a zone heater, so it's a question of how big an area you can comfortably heat.

    Either can get hot enough that a kid gate is a good idea - though it seems that kids and critters both learn pretty fast that it is a good idea to stay away from the stove when it's hot.

    This one gets debatable real fast - pellet production takes a lot of energy (though some of it comes from burning the sawdust coming into the plant) so that while pellets are slightly cleaner than cordwood at the stovepipe, by the time you figure the entire production life cycle, it gets a lot closer - I have seen the arguement made that if pellets were made from whole trees rather than waste sawdust from other wood processing it would take more energy to make the pellets than you get from burning them. Not taking sides on the "goodness" of this, just that the equations are fuzzier than some might like you to think.
    Probably true in most cases, though it depends on the install to some degree.

    Wife appeal is important... modern stoves are less of a problem w/ regard to odor than old ones, and either CAN be smokers if not run properly but arguably true.

    This is a BIG issue - the pellet / cordwood equation gets much closer if you have to do cut & split - with your other issues, a pellet stove probably makes more sense for you.

    Gooserider
  16. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Coal
    The Pellet master is a true bottom feed (not side feed) was designed from a 90 year old Larger Coal Stoker Design with a cast iron Bottom feed Burn pot and Clinker ring on the top to knock off ash.
    The standard unit comes with a standard Cast iron burn pot. the Coal kit is a Ring that bolts on top of the burn pot that makes it taller and more air into the combstion area of the pot. Lots of Pellet masters are being using to burn coal in the Midwest.
    I dont have any kits.

    Heating
    One post said 40,000 BTU was a small heater??

    Most Pellet stove are in the 40,000 BTU range that will heat 2200 sq feet Depending on Layout of the home and Effecintly of the home.
    Not until the past few years that we have seen pellet stoves over 40K btu

    Parts
    All parts we have are listed and priced on my pellet master parts page.
    pellet master parts

    $400 is a good price for the pellet master. This was a Stove well ahead of its day.
    at the time they were being sold they were $500 to $800 more than other stoves made.
    and now stoves are coming out like it.
    the only reason they are no longer made is the Company had a Manufacture that made other thinks as well Deside to go out of busnesses.
    As they were looking for another manufacture the Owners wife got Sick and called it a day. now it has been over 12 years.

    There are about 300 pellet masters In my Local area still going and going.
    You only have to shut them off and clean them about once every 25 bags of pellets Once a month.
    but I have customers that go longer my self included. Just to see I burned my stove over one ton before I shut it off to clean.
    Better to go every 2 weeks and chip the pot.

    Funny A lot of people on this side Recommend the Harmon. (dont get me wrong I think it is a great stove)
    But I seen a Video on U tube Made by Harmon that showed you have to clean it out every day ????
    That is a little ridiculous. I clean my Enviro burn pot once a week and the ashed every 2 to 3 weeks.
    Can wait for my New Enviro Omega. then I will go a month or more before I clean it.
  17. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Forgot the reason I was replying back to.


    You dont need to have this stove connected to anything but power to test
    You dont need to light it or even have pellets.

    Just need to test the Feed rates to be sure it is not suck on Keep fire or a constant feed.
    If ither then the board could be bad or just a limit switch.

    To test the convection blower when it is cold you can Pull the wire the runs to the Fan Limit switch and connect it to a hot terminal on the stoved terminal strip.
    Take off the Combustion blower wire and connect the convection blower wire in its place.
    all this is kind of easy to get to by taking the back panel off.
  18. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Gooserider,

    Once again thanks for your time in carefully addressing each of my points. There is much to be considered based on your feedback. I definitely agree that I did a good job of saving energy last winter but I'd like to do better. My wife and I take a "modest" approach to living and the more we can keep our expenses down, the less I have to work and the better our quality of life.

    I agree with buying bulk in the off-season and I have a shed in the backyard where I can store 2-3 tons of pellets if purchased in the spring/summer and it would be my intention to do this each year to get the best prices. I hope my estimate of 2-3 tons for this winter is correct, but it helps that I'm very conscious of energy use and will make sure the temperature stays at 63-65 degrees rather than the 70 degrees or so that most people prefer...so that should help me use less pellets. I'm not sure how much delivery costs are, but I do have a pellet provider 1 mile from my home and even if it takes a few trips, I should be able to haul all of it in my Jeep Cherokee and/or if it's worth it, just pay the cost.

    I have seen some newer units advertised on ebay and on craigslist (Englander Pellet Stove Model 25-PDV) for $600. that would be a bit more money, so that is something I may consider in addition to the PelletMaster although I have heard good things about this particular unit.

    Thanks again for your time and when I own my next house (5-7 years) somewhere in NW Connecticut or Massachusetts with that rural feel and perhaps a few acres that allows for easy processing of wood, I may hear the call of the "wood" stove and give that a try.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
  19. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Rod,

    Thanks for your input. I was starting to second-guess myself based on the age but from what I've heard, it's a solid unit. I have a 1,325 SF home so I'm not too concerned about this having theBTU's to do the job. I would have to test it out to see if the heat makes its way up my stairs to the 2nd floor, but if not, I could cut some vents through the ceiling/floor to get the heat up there more efficiently. Also, I have wood floors in my home so I've noticed that when I run the heat during the day on the downstairs, it tends to get pretty warm on the 2nd floor. I've only needed an electric heater on the lowest setting in my bedroom to maintain the heat at night.

    I've noticed that some of the newer units have the exhaust out the back and when the unit is up against the wall, you don't even see the pipe. From what I've see with this one, the exhaust is out the top and it needs a vertical rise out of the unit, to a slightly uphill horizontal rise to the exterior wall, then another minimum 5' vertical rise on the outside with a rain cap. Is this a picture of the PelletMaster 3000 with this link?

    http://thehowzone.com/how/PelletStove

    I'm glad you've confirmed this is a solid unit and that parts are still available. I may be able to get this unit (if it checks out) for $325.-$350. and even if I had to fix/upgrade something, I'd still be OK. I'm not sure how to check this out based on your instructions though. I'm sure it's not difficult, but I haven't seen the inside of one of these and I'm not sure what part is which. I'll try to find something online that may give me a diagram/photo so I can get a view of the inside of this unit.

    The fact that I would only have to clean this every month or so is a big plus as my time is often limited. Thanks for all your time and if you have a snapshot of theinside of this unit that would help me out. In the meantime, I'm getting a look at this PelletMaster 3000 tomorrow and we'll see how that goes.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
  20. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes most pellet stoves come out the back
    Pellet master made that stove for Better looking Wood stove replacement jobs and for Out the roof type installs.

    Yes I would go up 3 feet min. before going out then a Min of 5 but with a horizontal run I like 8 feet min.

    Yes that page is the pellet master. but it is the CRX/2000 rear vent
  21. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Thanks again Rod.

    Scott
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    DANGER, DANGER!! Don't do this! It is potentially very dangerous - especially putting vents into sleeping areas. There are two main concerns, both have to do with the floors and ceilings in a house being "containment barriers" -

    In the event of a fire, seconds count for getting everyone out. The ceilings and other structures in a house are designed to act as a fire containment - to keep the fire and smoke confined in as small an area as possible for as long as needed to give everyone in the house a chance to evacuate - cutting vents in the floors violates that structural containment, reducing the number of seconds you have to use. Even worse, they allow the smoke products through, increasing the chances that you will have problems waking in time to evacuate.

    The second overlaps the first, if you don't have a fire, but do have a Carbon Monoxide leak (such as a problem that causes backpuffing) then the smoke is likely to go up through the floor vents, possibly reaching dangerous concentrations before setting off the CO detectors (one reason they are required on every floor in many states)

    Gooserider
  23. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Gooserider,

    These are all excellent points I hadn't considered and I appreciate you bringing them to my attention. The safety of my family comes first, and for that reason I will not cut vents in my ceilings/floors.

    Thanks,
    Scott
  24. n6crv

    n6crv Feeling the Heat

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    Is this something new, vents in sleeping areas? Our house was built in around the 1860's or so. There is no heat upstairs except for the vents in the ceilings. They look to have been built in when the house was built. The only other heat is from the furnace brick chimney running up thru the hallway and one of the bedrooms.
    Don
  25. Ashamatash

    Ashamatash New Member

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    Not sure. My house is a 1919 Colonial and has vents in every room due to my forced air oil-heating system. Some vents are in the floors and some are in the walls. A few of them are newer and most areoriginal to the home...you can just tell by looking at them. All floor vents are from the basement to the 1st floor, and all the vents on the 2nd floor are wall vents. I'm pretty sure the heat radiates nicely to the 2nd floor through the wood floors, and the rest will make its way up the stairs.

    I hadn't heard anything about the dangers of cutting vents in the 1st floor ceilings/2nd floor floors. My step dad cut vents in the floor on his condo to get the hot air from the basement (pellet stove) to the 2nd and 3rd floors and that's where I originally got the idea.

    Scott
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