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Can I use pellets in my Wood Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ItsKaryn, Jan 5, 2010.

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  1. ItsKaryn

    ItsKaryn New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    I was very excited to come across this forum in a google search.

    I have a Quadrafire wood stove that I had installed 6-7 years ago and I love it! I am having problems finding affordable, seasoned wood and not getting shorted upon delivery. I would like to burn wood pellets in my stove. I found some sites that sell steel baskets to burn the pellets in a wood stove. Has anyone tried this? Is it safe? Does it produce decent heat?

    I apologize if this has been covered before but I couldn't locate the topic in any forums/threads and the retailer I bought the stove from has closed shop.

    Thanks,
    Karen

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  2. spirilis

    spirilis Feeling the Heat

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    I looked into this but didn't look much further once I found compressed sawdust brick products (ala BioBricks, EcoBrix, Envi-logs, WoodBrickFuel, Liberty Bricks and the like...)

    These are similar to pellets but specifically designed to burn in woodstoves and the like. I haven't tried any devices yet but there exist baskets, and this thing called the "Bradley Burner" that's supposed to make pellet burning doable inside a woodstove. Search around a bit for more information.
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Probably more of a gimmick than it's worth.
    Don't know for sure, because I haven't heard
    from anyone who has one.
    Not sure where you are in the Hudson Valley, Karen,
    but up around Albany, we've got art LEAST one reputable dealer
    who doesn't short his cords & has seasoned product,
    but a moisture meter is a great tool to have if you doubt that
    a fire wood vendor is truthful...
    PM me if you are within about 25 miles of here & I'll give you
    his cell number.
  4. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    I have experimented with a pellet basket in my US stove add on furnace (16” X 26” burn space). I made the basket from an old fire place screen. The pellets burned really hot with hardly any ash (1/4 cup of ash per bag of pellets). The only thing I didn’t like was it burned for 3-4 hours ( to quick for me). I then tried mixing nut coal with the pellets, WOW! I got a 6 hour burn and could have gone longer If I continued to add pellets.
    I’m so impressed with a pellet basket I’m now going to make a better basket using 1/4” expanded metal I got from http://www.metalsdepot.com/
    Simple to make!
    I have used Envi blocks but I like the pellet basket better do to less ash.

    US stove add on furnace & James Town pellet stove.

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  5. RDCrazy

    RDCrazy New Member

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    What type of stove top temps were you getting? Fish....
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, that would be helpful to know. Also helpful would be to know what stove? Signature only shows a furnace and pellet stove.
  7. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    I have a 1537G Hotblast Furnace by US stove company and my pellet stove is a James Town J1000.

    The temp's I am getting from burning pellets in a basket are about 175 F in the plenum that is from my blower limit control box. I would get 150 F for burning Envi blocks and 125 F burning cord wood. Surface temp's would be hotter, around 200 F.
    I have a 2 family home with one unit being 2500 sq ft ware the Hotblast is connected to the duct system and the James town pellet is in the 1500 sq ft unit.
    This is my first year with the pellet stove and I purchased 2 tons for this season. After a month and a half of burning pellets in the pellet stove I found out that I will only use 1 ton this season with the James town. That is why I'm starting to burn pellets in my Hotblast furnace.
    By the way! I finished my new expanded metal basket today. It took longer than expected to make, about 4 hours, but it looks good and strong. I will take photo's of it in use tomorrow.

    IT'S GOING TO BE FREEZING TOMORROW!!!! :bug:
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hey, that's pretty interesting. I hadn't thought of burning them in a furnace. Are you supplying any air with the lower control under the basket or are they burning with just the automatic air control?
  9. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    The Hotblast has an below fire draft control knob. But when I tried burning coal last year it wasn't enough air, so I connected a blower in it's place. no mater what I burn now the blower makes every thing burn with more consistency.
    The blower limit control box is only to turn on and off the blowers that circulate the air though the duct work.
    The Hotbast was $1500. 2 years ago. After having The James town pellet stove, I now wished that I purchased an add-on Pellet Furnace instead of the Hotblast, But pellet furnace's are expensive, $3000-$4000.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    So, essentially, the furnace has been modified to be a big pellet stove. Could be wrong, but I don't think this is quite what Karen had in mind.
  11. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    No, not really. I have a big pellet basket that holds about 1 bag of pellets at once. and I don't have to use the under fire draft blower since the pellets burn quite nicely. I only use the blower when I mix coal with the pellets for a longer burn time.
    The company that makes this stove claims it as a wood and coal furnace, but every time tried coal it wouldn't burn long because the bottom draft is to small ( coal requires allot of bottom draft) that is the only reason why I added a bottom draft blower. I don't need the blower with any wood product. I given up on trying to burn all coal because out of 1 bag of coal I burn, I get a half of bag of ash. To much work and mess for me.
    For burning pellets Its simply fill the basket, light with gel starter and open the bottom draft flap and damper. After it started I back the bottom draft flap and damper down so the pellets don't over fire. ( the pellets burn like kindling when first started) After all the pellets are started and burning well I back the damper down more and open the bottom draft a little more.

    I think if some one's stove has a bottom draft control then they should be able to burn pellets in a basket quite nicely.
  12. SteveT

    SteveT Feeling the Heat

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    I used the Prometheus pellet basket a few years back when I ran short of wood at the end of the burning season. I believe I paid about $100 for it.

    The basket had rather tall legs so there was a good bit of space for air movement under it and therefore initially a decent burn. The basket needed refilling every couple of hours. On the minus side the ashes still collected in the basket, so there was diminished draft unless I knocked the ashes out with a poker at every refill and then spread them out every few refills (the ashes only accumulate directly below the basket).

    It wasn't great. Maybe overall a C- experience. I would not recommend using a pellet basket in the stove, particularly with products like BioBricks available.
  13. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    I haven't had a problem with ash clogging the basket. I think it's because I'm using super premo pellets and because I close the top draft and open the bottom draft all the way. I think it makes the ash fly up the stack.

    Ok here is the pic of my home made pellet basket.....

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  14. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    Burn Baby burn!!!

    Once I close the door it roars

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  15. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    I filled and started it at noon EST. It's 1:30 now, Let's see how long before having to add more pellets.
    Oh and I made a mistake, the basket I made holds about 3/4 bag of pellets.
    I believe the pellet basket the pellet basket will work on stoves that have a good bottom draft. I'm not using my bottom blower ( blower not on) but I have an air intake adjustment on the blower to let the air in though the bottom.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Exactly right, coal and wood/coal stoves have an air feed under the grate. Wood stoves do not. That's why most people's experience burning with a pellet basket in a wood stove is not that satisfying.

    It looks like it's working great for your wood/coal burner. What do pellets sell for in NE, MA?
  17. hookthefish

    hookthefish New Member

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    Super premo pellets go for $250. in summer, $300. in winter. When I lived in the big unit ware the Hotblast is connected to that unit heating system. I would burn mainly Envi blocks which coast about the Same price per ton. Now that I live in the smaller unit with the pellet stove I only run the Hotblast on weekends and I'm trying to use up the pellets.
    I have friends renting the rooms in the bigger unit and if I could save a little on the gas bill then that's great.
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