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Corn in the pellet stove...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rjlets, Dec 27, 2005.

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  1. rjlets

    rjlets Member

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    Loc:
    NW Conn.
    During my travels I happend across asupplier of corn (50lb bags). I did send an e-mail to Breckwell support...but if anyone knows. Can you burn corn in a Breckwell P4000 vermont cast?

    Thanks

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  2. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Northwest New Jersey
    Don't know,but got a couple of questions for you. How much was the corn, and where was the supplier? thinking of getting a corn stove, and trying to find a supplier.

    Thanks,

    Joshua
  3. rjlets

    rjlets Member

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    Loc:
    NW Conn.
    220 ton 50lb bags ...near West Springfield Ma
  4. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Thanks, seems reasonable. As for burning corn in a pellet stove, in some stoves you can mix it in varying ratios, like 40/60, 50/50, and so on, but in a stove NOT designed for it, it is a really bad idea.

    http://www.breckwell.com/manuals.asp?yr=1998

    Are you sure you have the right model number? I went to Breckwells web site to look up the manual on your stove, and it does not even list a p4000 in any year it ever manufactured stoves? Maybe I am missing something.

    Joshua
  5. rjlets

    rjlets Member

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    Loc:
    NW Conn.
    Yes it's the P4000, but they don't list it as that it's listed as the Vermont cast. The manual is not posted either, but I have the manual and have read through it a number of times, no mention of support for corn burning. Didn't hear back from their tech support yet......Send me a PM if you want the phone # of the supplier for corn. Thanks
  6. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Western Massachusetts
    Harman makes the pc45 as well...designed for corn use....
    As for burning corn, most maufacturer reps will tell you that you will invalidate any warrantee if you do so. Also, corn leaves a resinous residue when burning.....most corn stoves need to be cleaned AT LEAST once a week....many of our pellet customers cant seem to clean the stove all winter, so I shudder to think of what will happen with something that needs to be cleaned that often! Im also curious about vermin....wont corn bring in rats?
  7. rjlets

    rjlets Member

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    Loc:
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    Thanks, if it's that dirty burning i'll pass on the corn.

    Rob
  8. n3vhr

    n3vhr New Member

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    Dec 28, 2005
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    Hi,
    Don't have that model of breckwell stove, but have the Breckwell Big E. My manual says that I can burn a 50/50, wood pellet / corn mix. I e-mailed the manufacturer and they promptly replied that I can burn corn without voiding my warranty, however they reccomended a 2 (pellets) to 1(corn) mix.

    Started burning that mix last week and I am very happy with the results. Burns hotter. I do have to take a small clinker out daily, but I was doing that with just the pellets.

    Paying $138.00 per ton in 100lb bags at a local feed mill. We're storing the corn in 18 quart rubbermaid storage containers ( 100 lb bag fits perfectly in one container ). If I could store the corn in bulk, they would deliver at $105 / ton.

    By the way, got another ton of pellets today for $189/ton. My first 2 tons were at $120/ton. Should have gotten more at that price.

    Have A Great Day!!!
  9. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Loc:
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    RJ,

    It doesn't burn that dirty. It's just the sugar in the corn kernels melting together into a small mas called a clinker. Not a big deal.

    I am weighing corn vs. coal right now to decide what stove to buy.

    Corn-pros - clean to handle, VERY renewable energy, burns hot
    Corn-cons - clinker, must be stored in containers or bulk container to repel moisture and vermin

    Coal-pros - Easy storage(it can get wet, snowed on, whatever, it doesn't care), many different brands of stoves, proven fuel
    Coal-cons - Dirty(finings=coal dust), legality of burning in NJ (trying to determine if its legal to burn coal in NJ)

    The biggest thing to determine is SUPPLY. If you can get corn, coal, or pellets from a reputable dealer who will take care of you, advise you if necessary, deliver on time at the right price to the right place, then GO WITH IT!

    Joshua
  10. rjlets

    rjlets Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NW Conn.
    Thanks,

    I just heard back from Tech support at Breckwell. Here was the response for the others out there with Brechwell Stoves.

    Yes, you can burn corn in the unit, but not exclusively corn. We say to
    burn corn in the unit it must be as a mixture of corn and pellets, and that
    they mixture should not exceed 1/3 corn to 2/3 pellets when measured by
    weight. In addition, we recommend that you get corn with 12% or less
    moisture content and that you be aware you will need to clean the stove more
    frequently. This is because corn burns so much dirtier than pellets. You
    may also need to stir your burn pot more frequently than the currently
    recommended once daily.
  11. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    Nov 30, 2005
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    Corn is 7500 Btus per pound when you factor in the normal 12% moisture you must burn off. Many corn stove manufactures claim much higher Btu values but it isn't so.

    Also check out what I wrote about pellet vent pipe & corrosion from corn flue gasses.

    SMK
  12. warminwisco

    warminwisco New Member

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    Jan 8, 2006
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    Corn is dirtier by far than pellets but it is worth it, especially if you live were pellets are cheap, I pay 120 a ton. I get corn for 65 a ton and mix 70/30 in my PC45 and just get a good vacumn cleaner. People on this sight say they burn 50 50 in pellet stoves with no problema(iburncorn.com)
    If you want to burn straight corn you need to understand there are 2 types of stoves.
    Stirrers(which are dirtier but you do not have to handle every or 2 times a day suggest the Harman or countryside)

    and clinker stoves(cleaner and hot burning but if you do not remove the clinker one or two times a day, a sugary mass that unless broken up with a stirrer will dam up future flow of corn into the burnpot and put out your fire) that you manually remove the clinker with tongues or a fork such as the St. Croix. Check out iburncorn.com website for more info...much more info

    It is touchier though all around. Some people say you have to screen and clean the corn(mine comes pretty clean), if the mointure is not 15 percnet or below it will mold and not burn as hot and the exhaust on stirrer stoves are dirty and the stirrer loads up with starch and you have to use oyster shells. i do not use the stirrer on my PC45 and I clean it every week and dump the ash every 4-5 days. Have a ashcan outside the back door. Bixby may have the best of both worlds but it is new technology and 4 g's for just the stove. Suggest the St. Croix or Golden Grain for clinker stoves. Oh Ya then there are corn furnaces with guys running farm bins through the ground to their basement to 14 bushel (56 lbs)feeders for their furnace.

    I have been burning a corn stove in my house of 24oo sq ft with 45,000 btu stove. the fan runs just like a pellet stove(all day when it is cold) but I can use the thermostat on the stove and it cycles on and off as needed. The smell you need to get used to but the clinker stoves seem to smell less but I have never owned one. Smell is not bad running pellets and corn.
  13. Mike_D

    Mike_D New Member

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    Jan 9, 2006
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    I also have a Breckwell P4000. Just had it installed in early December and have run it 24/7 ever since. I'm glad to get information from someone else with on of these stoves. Let me know how buring the corn mix works out for you because pellets are becoming difficult to come by here in Pennsylvania and I was considering trying this myself.
    Do you use a thermostate to control your stove or do you have the remote control option?
    - Mike_D
  14. rjlets

    rjlets Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NW Conn.
    Hi Mike,

    I decided I'm not going to burn corn. I have been able to get pellets 20 bags at a time fromt the dealer I bought the stove from. I don't have a thermostat yet, I was considering adding one. I'm also burning the stove 24/7. I'm using manual mode and set it to 3 durning the day, I haven't used 4 yet no need to. At night I fill it up and burn it on 2. The top of the stove doesn't get too hot so I have some tile I put on top and have a small fan to help push the heat out. I also installed it 12/21/2005. So far I'm pretty happy with it, I don't think it burns as hot as other models but I liked the look of the stove. Are you using a thermostat? If so how's it working out.

    I shut down the stove every other day to vacuum it out.

    Rob
  15. Mike_D

    Mike_D New Member

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    Rob,
    Nice to talk with another Vermont Owner. I am using a cheap Lux thermostat mostly on the High-Low setting. I keep the regular programable thermostat for the central heat set to 60 except for a small bounce in the early morning to take the chill off the house. The pellet stove thermostat I set to about 62 for overnight ( and days) and 68 in the late afternoon and evening. It bounces back and forth between setting 1 and setting 3 depending on how cool it gets. In order to distribute the hot air, the central heating system's air circulation fan is running in the on/low position. Except for during the day when we are at work, this keeps the house around 68-70 all the time. I think the important factor for a successful thermostat intallation is placement of the stove thermostat on an inside wall, well away from the stove. I mounted mine in the hall outside of the family room with the stove. Works great except sometimes it gets too hot in the house when the weather is mild. I plan to experiment with the On/Off mode when it is warm. I scrape ash, stir the pot and clean the glass daily. Seems to require ash pan emptying once a week. I'm using about one bag a day. But I've got to get a better shop vac for cleaning.
    -Mike
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