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55-TRPIP-what's the latest?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by AppaVA, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. AppaVA

    AppaVA New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    VA
    I have been reading about this reasonably new stove and it was high on my list until I was given (read free) a Whitfield. I have since suggested that my SIL take a look at this one. I think there are a couple of owners here and I am curious about your experiences thus far. Pros/cons? Noise? Size and style of your home?

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  2. mchasal

    mchasal Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Loc:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Just burned through the first ton with mine. It is my first pellet stove but overall I am quite happy with it.

    It's been pretty easy to clean and not finicky about it. I tend to do a quick clean where I just knock all the ash down into the pan every day and stir up the burnpot. When the ash pan looks to be getting full I do a slightly more thorough cleaning and empty that out.

    Heat output is as expected, though I struggle getting the heat distributed around my house. It works great for drying wet clothes after the kids come in from a snowball fight. ;)

    It is physically tall, this could be an issue if the people filling it were below average height, but otherwise it's not a problem. It does have a visually imposing size, but since the footprint is the same as other stoves, it really doesn't take up any more space. The hinged panels are nice and the fact that it has that front panel means it looks nice and clean as it hides all the functional parts that get ashy.

    I don't think it's especially loud, but it's not whisper quiet either. The room blower is moving a lot of air, but it's a decent "white noisy" sound. Not rattly or anything. Since it's a drop style, you do get the tinkling of the pellets as well.

    You probably already read about the initial problem I had with the igniter adjustment. Since that's been fixed I've had no issues, and support from Mike was excellent in getting that figured out. Can't really comment on anything long term but everything's working fine so far. I do get an occasional squeak from the auger, so I'll have to take a look at that in the off season.

    Some random observations:
    • Though the ashpan isn't small, I wish it were a little bigger. The ash tends to pile in 2 mountains right under the holes in the chamber, so it "fills" before it's really full. Ash tends to get around the ashpan because of this. No problem to vac it out though.
    • The hopper is listed at 80#, but it's barely that. It's a bit of a struggle to get 2 full bags in. Again I wish that were bigger. The 120# hopper on the PAH was calling to me. The hopper lid is also on the small side and I tend to knock it closed with the bag when I'm filling. It is easily removable though.
    • Thermostat mode works well, but I wish there were an indicator on the panel of the thermostat status.
    • The service access is good, mostly because of the size of the stove, but the back panel is a single piece, so you have to disconnect the flue/oak to remove it. Would be nice if that were a 2 piece panel, I may end up doing that mod.
    • The hinges are nice, if you have space. If you mount it close to a wall (the stove allows 6") you won't be able to open that side panel much. So I'd try to give more than the minimum clearance if possible. Lift off hinges would help this issue too, another mod I might attempt.
    metalsped likes this.
  3. AppaVA

    AppaVA New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    VA
    Thanks mchasal. Sorry for not getting back sooner. So it sounds like the 55 is, for the most part, as advertised?

    I did read about your initial problems and it sounded as if Mike got you squared away. I am glad to know that the unit appears to be working out well for you. If it works well for you up in NY it should be a beast down here in VA! My SIL and her husband are heating approx 2200 sqft. Right now they are on a heat pump with electric backup. They have done alot of insulation work including covering their main HVAC trunks which are located in the attic. It has made quite a difference in their electric bill!

    My SIL still wants me to sell her husband on a pellet stove. The tough part is ROI. I think this one would fit the bill cost wise and should pay for itself in reasonably short order with its heating capacity.

    Thanks for the input!
  4. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    Quabbin Woods
    How about a followup mchasal? Thanks
  5. mchasal

    mchasal Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Loc:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Anything in particular? It's (unfortunately) running right now. Started up no problem after sitting all summer. I continue to struggle with circulation issues, but that's nothing to do with the stove itself.
  6. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    Quabbin Woods
    Overall quality thoughts? Issues with parts going bad? Ease of use? Would you recommend the stove to anyone else looking?

    Anything you can give about your overall ownership experience.
  7. mchasal

    mchasal Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Loc:
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I'm still happy with the stove it started up with no problem and runs well. The only part I've replaced is the fake brick backing, which was done under warranty. The new part was shipped quickly and with no hassle at all. I do wish it used a few standard firebricks since those can be sourced locally and cheaply, but if the replacement holds up better than the first one, it's really not an issue. I'm not sure if it would be practical to change the design.

    As for a recommendation, I would recommend it, but not unconditionally. It does require maintenance which might be higher than some of the much more expensive brands. As I've said, I don't find the cleaning cumbersome, but it's not one of those stoves you can clean once a ton. It's also somewhat utilitarian in it's construction. No cast iron panels with snowy mountain cabin scenes embossed in them, just steel boxes. I find the build quality is there and you get a lot for your money. So I would recommend it to anyone that I felt was realistic about what they would need to do to keep the stove running well. I also like that all the components are more accessible than on most stoves due to the size. If I do need to replace something, it should be easier on this stove than many others.

    I haven't done any of the mods I mentioned, so can't comment there.
    metalsped likes this.

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