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Does this seem right to you?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by CT Pellet, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    Torrington, CT
    Last month, right here in Torrington, CT, there was a house fire. Thank God, nobody was hurt.. Based upon what I read in the paper, the fire marshall determined that it was caused by the family's pellet stove. But how it happened (unless I am reading it wrong) seems impossible to me. It seems the fire marshall determined that the insulation (hearth pad I assume) below the stove was insufficient, and the heat from the bottom of the stove heated the pad so much that it ignited the wood floor underneath. It just seems that no pellet stove in the world radiates that much heat from the bottom of the stove. I am perplexed. Am I reading it incorrectly? Any opinions?
    Here is a link to the local newspaper article.

    http://www.registercitizen.com/articles/2013/02/01/news/doc510b0bdc8800a450820696.txt

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  2. lock&load

    lock&load Member

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    east windsor ct
    theres no way ,my stove and maybe yours has been running for 30 days ,and the hearth is not even warm ????!!!!!,would like to see pics of the stove before the fire
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    mepellet and smoke show like this.
  4. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

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    Plymouth CT
    Fire marshal bill is correct.. Masonry materials have potential to conduct heat to framing members, I'm sure there a ton of bad installes without "air gap" between substrate and finished trowel applied coverings...

    Torrington huh? Wondering if home owner install of clown that did mine...
    briansol likes this.
  5. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    If the stove was installed by a "professional", My thoughts are that his insurance should be liable for the damages!
  6. Thaddius Wenderoth

    Thaddius Wenderoth Feeling the Heat

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    Not a stove I would want! Harman or not.

    You would think that the most effecient mannor of getting the heat from the stove would be through convection and not radiant. If the stove is designed properly it should be blowing the air out as to not allow the frame to get that hot. If the stove is hot enough to do that I can only imagine the heat coming out of the stack.

    Of course we are assuming it was a negative draft and not possitivly fed. If positive fed the stack could have plugged while still allowing the pellets to burn and create an overfire situation where the protections were either bypassed or non-functioning.
  7. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    Torrington, CT
    Not looking to cast blame here and thank God everyone was unharmed. It just seemed really odd to me that the radiant heat could do this. Today, as in most days, I learned something from this forum. My stove could not possibly radiate that strongly, but I guess that some of them can!
  8. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    we also do not know if the unit was actually working "correctly"...who knows what number of factors can be stacked on top of each other to create very "abnormal" operating conditions.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No conducting of 'periments with snap switch jumpers and tools. They can get quite hot when one does that. Yet another reason we jump on the for testing only and then only for a short time when jumping out safeties, some people aren't particularly good at connecting the dots (in other words common sense has left the building just like Elvis).
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  10. CTguy9230

    CTguy9230 Feeling the Heat

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    i,m pretty good friends with a few guys on the dept....i'll try and see if i can find out what kind of stove it was
  11. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe it was just a 1 in a million fires but people are dumb. Never forget that. Could be improper install or maybe it caught the cat on fire and the cat spread it.

    I know a fire dude on a dept in a city of around 75-90k people. He once said that the easiest way to "get away with it" when talking about house fires is to just sit a gas can next to a fire. He said people are so dumb that they will just set flammable things (gas, carb-cleaner, etc..) near heat without a second thought. Have a workshop or garage with a heater and have spray paint, lawn mower gas etc.. just sitting around? Mostly (I said mostly) these are chaulked up to accidental house fires. The arsonists who get caught are the ones who try to get fancy.

    I'm not implying ANYTHING with the people in the article. Just saying that people are dumb and do dumb things all the time in regards to fire/heat.
  12. whlago

    whlago Feeling the Heat

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    Probably just a mistake...but the article starts off saying it was a wood stove. When quoting the fire marshal later on, it is referred to twice as a pellet stove. CTguy will get to the bottom of that one I imagine.
  13. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Yup very possible. Many of the harman p series stoves required a thermal protection rating. The ash pan area and below get quite hot. A forum member had moved his stove and hearth board which was on vinyl flooring and the flooring was discolored. I read their thread and that made me look at what my dealer sold me. To my surprise I had an ember protection board (no r rating). I called my dealer up and they had no idea of the thermal rating requirement. I had them replace the ember protection board with a thermal one rated for the requirement listed in the stove manual. No additional cost to me.
  14. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    There are stoves that do get quite hot and required a thermal protection board. All based on stove design. All stoves are not the same as yours.
  15. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    Ya know, I am still confused. There is an artical in another local paper that says the fire started in a wall, not the floor. This I can understand. I called the fire marshall today and ordered a copy of the investigative report. The case is closed and I will be picking up a report tomorrow. Two local papers, both had access to the report if they chose to get it, and two entirely different stories. Screw it, I will read it myself.
    http://www.rep-am.com/articles/2013/01/30/news/local/700597.prt
  16. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Id be interested to see what you find out. I figure the requirement for a thermal pad is there for a reason and seeing the other forum members floor discoloring made it more real.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    CT Pellet,

    My bet is the fire marshal's quoted statement or a highly detailed equivalent from the first article will be what is in that report.

    mepellet,

    You did the correct thing in regards to your stove and hearth pad situation.
  18. mikesj

    mikesj Member

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    Western MD
    I am the above mentioned other member and I can attest to the fact that the bottom of a p61 can get pretty freakin' hot.

    When i bought my stove, I bought a hearth pad from my local dealer. A couple of years later I pulled my stove and was not pleased to find the vinyl beneath the pad discolored from the heat of the stove. I went back to my manual which called for a minimum covering of sheet metal under the stove. Needless to say, my house wouldn't be here if I had gone with the minimum protection listed in the manual.
    I complained to the dealer and returned the hearth pad- which had scorch marks underneath it- and he was gracious enough to give me a $50 credit towards a new one listed for thermal protection.

    I'm pretty sure the Harman manual now specifies that thermal protection is required.
  19. lock&load

    lock&load Member

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    east windsor ct
    wow sorry i mispoke,my p-43 does not get that hot, thru iam going to keep a eye on it now
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    P 61 manual page 5 hearth pad or floor protection must provide a minimum protection of 0.84k .
  21. mikesj

    mikesj Member

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    My manual states, "The minimum floor protector material is 24 gauge sheet metal." on page 6. I bought my stove in 2005, so I'm sure it has been updated.

    Smokey- I'm also a homebrewer and chicken farmer. 7 hens and 3 mean as hell roosters:)
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You have a different stove than a P61. Requirements are stove specific, for example if the maker reduces the height of the firebox from the base the protection required can change and in some cases drastically, this is one reason you aren't supposed to modify the stoves.

    Why in the world do you keep 3 mean as hell roosters? Most folks that I know would have had those for dinner long, long ago. I don't keep roosters at all. I don't want the neighbors mad at me so when the only one of the birds I raised decided to show his colors he went to freezer camp (too bad as he was a Jersey Giant). I'm thinking of adding 6 Australorps http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/Australorp-B14.aspx this spring. I have a currently empty coop big enough for 6 grown heavy pullets.

    As for the home brewing, that's the best home improvement project there is ;).
    Thaddius Wenderoth likes this.
  23. CTguy9230

    CTguy9230 Feeling the Heat

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    Probably just a mistake...but the article starts off saying it was a wood stove

    that was a quote from a family friend the article said...farther down in the story the FM stated it was a pellet stove
    i havent had a chance to call my buddy to see if he knows anything about it but i,m sure the FM's report that CTpellet is getting
    will have the make and model of the stove in it
  24. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Articles in the paper or even on the news I only believe some of it! As most of it is made up BS or mis-informed reporters making their own conclusions. Read between the lines is the general rule. A reporter probably doesn't know the difference from a pellet stove to a wood eater.

    The fire marshals report would be a better source. Hopefully CT will post some of the details.
    briansol likes this.
  25. Dollabill

    Dollabill New Member

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    I would say being a retired FireFighter it is possible and just goes to show you even pellet stoves require proper installation ! mine sits on a slab of Granite ! it is funny (Not really ) What radiant heat has caused plenty of fires and Ive seen many fire fires due to A. Poor installations B. Just plan stupid people C. People on the edge that are little means and have little choice in the purchase of a stove and the install ! Its sad in our great country this happens And Like CT I say thank GOD noone was hurt !

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