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Advice from fellow Mt Vernon insert owners

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by caseyclan, Dec 24, 2007.

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  1. caseyclan

    caseyclan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Missouri
    Greetings,
    My wife and I did a lot of research and "browsing" at local stores, and we settled on the Mt Vernon by quadrafire. We had it installed on the 22nd, and a few issues have been noted. First, the "low fuel" icon stays on the thermostat continously - it never goes off regardless of how full the hopper is. Second, it never cycles down as it never reaches the set temp on the thermostat. My house is roughly 3900 sf on the upper 2 floors (and I have a basement). The insert is installed in a great room with 18 foot ceilings, with a cat walk above to the childrens' bedrooms, which stay fairly warm. The back of the house is fairly cool, but I believe its a restriction based on air flow, not the stove. And, it has been pretty cold recently (in the teens and twenties at night). We have adjusted the flame height to the highest (+5), and it feels faily warm. However, there appears to be a significant amount of ash in the actually firebox - it covers the floor of the stove and even enough accumulates on the ceramic logs to the point where the lines in the logs are not visible. The ash evens accumulates on the interior glass. Is this normal for premium hardwood pellets with less than 1% ask ( based on the label)? I was hoping to hear from fellow owners to see if my problems are normal or abnormal. The dealer seemed trustworthy in the beginning, but after contacting some of his staff today about our issues, I am not feeling warm and cozy (pardon the pun) about their knowledge base. Any input would be appreciated.

    Joe

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  2. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Central Massachusetts
    Damn .. 3900 sq feet? .. if you are asking for 72 degrees or something like that you may be asking too much of the stove. My stove heats approx 1500 so it hardly has to gets to medium-low but I haven't gotten below zero outside temps yet.

    On the low fuel icon .. probably there is just a sensor that needs adjustment/replacement.

    On the ash ... well how many pounds do you burn before the ash accumulates up to the lip of the burnpot? I can go 8-10 bags at least ..... all the ash does not drop into the pan ... especially if she's chugging away trying to heat 3900 sq feet. That being said, wood pellets can vary on the amount of ash.
  3. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    3900 square feet and vaulted ceilings are too much area for a pellet stove, even one that puts out 60K BTU's like the Mount Vernon. Stove manufacturers are often wildly optimistic about how large an area their stoves will heat. Quad said that the 40K BTU Classic Bay would heat 2500 square feet. Well, my house is a whopping 1800 square feet, and the Quad could not even come close. My Harman P61A puts out 61K BTU and it is able to keep the house warm. A guy at Quad told me that they base their numbers on a well-insulated, open floor plan house with 8-foot ceilings. For a house as large as yours, you will probably need BTU output beyond what a pellet stove can do. Some big woodburners or coal stoves can crank out a true 80-100K BTU, which is probably closer to what you need.
  4. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    Upstate, SC
    Joe, welcome to the board!

    My reaction was the same as Jabberwocky's....3,900 sq. ft. is a lot! I hope the dealer didn't promise you that the insert would totally heat that amount of area. I can't comment about the ash but you might want to do a search on the forums here to get some tips on moving the heat around your house a little better. Loads of good suggestions on that in other threads.

    I'm sure some Quadrafire owners will be in after the holiday to help answer your questions but in the mean time you might want to post the name brand of the pellets you are burning, that CAN make a big difference, and also describe what type of exhaust you have as well as whether or not you have an outside air kit installed. Understanding your exact setup, what settings you're running the insert on, etc. will help them help you to figure it out.

    Merry Christmas!
  5. caseyclan

    caseyclan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Missouri
    Thanks for the feedback. Type of exhaust? Forgive my ignorance, as I am not sure how to answer that question. It is an insert, and the installer ran the exhaust pipe up the chimney - is this considered direct vent?
  6. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    The ash accumulates fairly fast in mt mt vernon. I have to vac the area around the burn pot about once per week. This seems to be normal for the stove. I take the baffle out and vac behind it about once every two weeks. I get ash around the top of the glass.

    It sounds like your second story is open to the first? If that is the case this stove should do pretty well heating it. Mine is in the basement which is about 1550 and heat it and the second story, also 1550 fairly well. It is usually about 5-7 degrees cooler upstairs. So I am heating 3100.

    BIH
  7. caseyclan

    caseyclan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Missouri
    Thanks for the feedback. Good to know that my ash buld up isn't excessive when compared to other Mt Vernon stoves. I do not mind doing the cleaning, but I feel that I had unrealistic expectations regarding the stove based on information from reps of the dealer. That is slowly being resolved. Yes, the open area up to my catwalk does help heat the upstairs failry well - the upsatirs is usually 5-6 warmer than downstairs, which is perfect since the kids sleep upstairs. Now, I have to get the auger sensor fixed (it shows low fuel constantly) and I will be happy. Thanks again.

    Joe
  8. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    my fuel level does that sometimes. I think humidity level effects the sensor...or so I was told.
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