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Fired by oil company 1 year after install

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by cpmken, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    620
    Loc:
    wisconsin
    Haven't bought any oil for 3 years now.

    House is warmer. Saving thousands a year.

    We don't heat our basement. It is an old fieldstone basement and doesn't freeze. We do keep heat tape on the kitchen water pipes but we had to do that before with the furnace anyway because they are in a crawl space.

    When we bought this house 17 years ago it was $25 a month on the budget plan for oil. The last time we put 100 gallons in our tank 3 years ago it cost $400 and we used 3/4 of it in one month.

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  2. Phoenix Hatchling

    Phoenix Hatchling Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    506
    Loc:
    New Fairfield, CT
    My company grumbled as well. I guess they don't like coming to out to add 75 gallons (largest delivery) and certainly not the 35 gallons last time. The way I see it they make up for it with the neighbors, who spend approximately 4200 per year!
  3. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire

    Insulation and air sealing.
  4. boo boo

    boo boo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
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    301
    Loc:
    So. NH
    Two weeks after I installed my stove I knew I was not going to use as much oil. I called them to cancel my auto delivery. They did ask why and I let them know I was using alternative heat. At that time I did not know it would be my main heat.
  5. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    North Of Canada
    Same thing happened to me, got 4 of them showing up at my door demanding to see the basement, they thought I had tapped into the line before the meter and was stealing gas. Mentioned something about shutting it off at the street and filing a police report if I didn't comply...
    VIBErator and moey like this.
  6. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
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    356
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Well they were not quite that aggressive, and actually when I explained that I started using my wood stove it was all good.
  7. Phoenix Hatchling

    Phoenix Hatchling Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
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    506
    Loc:
    New Fairfield, CT
    Our oil company actually now sells pellets as well.
    raybonz likes this.
  8. bill3rail

    bill3rail Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    504
    Loc:
    LI, NY
    Oil companies firing us is like a bartender firing a recovering alcoholic!

    We are making our lives better by getting off oil...

    Bill
  9. Redbarn

    Redbarn Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Correct. Insulation and air sealing.

    Our house was built in the early 1800's and its been a long hard slog over 3 years.
    But the oil use is like an annual report card on our progress.
    It is great to see the hard work in $
    Rastallama likes this.
  10. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    725
    Loc:
    Rumford, Maine
    Your story is very similar to ours!
    Oil was at $4.20/gal (2008) when we ordered the p61. 24 X 32 Cape
    Cut oil usage in half. You cut your usage by 2/3!!

    Enjoy!!
  11. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    3,989
    Loc:
    Southcoast, MA
    My propane company calls me every two years or so to tell me that they are "coming for the tanks". We dont own the propane tanks and there is a minimum 150 gal order each year. To date I think we have use 150 gal in four years. We only use it for cooking.
  12. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maine
    If they ever do you can always get tanks filled at tractor supply they have good rates for small amounts. ( At least around me )
  13. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    1,014
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    Upstate, NY
    Who ever told you is flat out WRONG. I have a heat pump HW heater (only use it in the summer when the heat it grabs is actually free) I cant detect it on my electric bill! I've said this before...I get my HW free during the summer. The electricity I use is offset by the electricity I don't use de-humidifying my basement. during heating season I use a HW maker on its own zone. I do believe using one of these during heating season could be counter productive as it robs heat from your structure.
    moey likes this.
  14. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    3,504
    Loc:
    SE Mass

    I did the same thing. I went with a two coil storage tank so I'm ready for solar panels to make DHW.
    Electric rates are high here so oil actually comes out cheaper than electric, especially with a 87/92% efficient burner.
    My burner is cold start so I can shut it off in the Summer ( what would happen if I get the panels on the roof ).
  15. cpmken

    cpmken Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    My stove is in our basement (lower level of raised ranch) which stays about 75... kitchen LR, DR Main Bath about 68... bedrooms about 63.
  16. cpmken

    cpmken Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
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    7
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Question - I like the ideas of switching to Electric for DHW... but with a pellet stove and electric hot water I would not have any central heat for my house. I go back and forth with the idea due to that reason. Right now my DHW is a tankless coil in my furnace. I have considered putting in a separate tankless coil. Just don't know what to do for "the next step".
  17. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    4,149
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    What do you have for an oil boiler now, how old is it, can it stand being turned off & left cold for extended periods of time, how often would backup heat actually be required, and what are other fuel choices for you? Natural gas? Any propane use already?
  18. cpmken

    cpmken Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
    No natural gas/propane. My furnace is about 40 years old so its probably already on borrowed time. When I lose power for an extended period of time the seals in the boiler shrink and my floor gets saturated.

    I'd only need backup heat when we were away if the winter but that doesn't happen very often.

    I know I have to do something sometime in the near future...either:

    1) install new furnace for DHW/backup heat (and rarely use furnace due to pellet stove but have it as backup)
    2) Install electric or solar DHW, drain existing baseboard system and shut off furnace knowing if and when I turn it back on again it very well could not work. But I would have no central heat.. not a biggie in some ways but I know that if/when we ever sell I would have to probably install new furnace.
    3) Install indirect boiler for DHW off existing furnace. Wouldn't help with furnace but would provide cheaper DHW that having the whole thing run only for water
    4) ?

    We have tossed this back and forth so many times I honestly don't know which way to go. FWIW... I can pretty easily install my own electric DHW heater and I have connections that would allow me to get furnace/indirect boiler installed at a pretty nice discount. Like 1/2 price.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Should have asked one more question - how much room do you have on your electric panel?

    Anyway, since your boiler is old & likely on borrowed time (and your oil tank too?), and you don't use back up heat very often, and you have no gas options, I would get rid of the oil boiler and the oil tank and everything oil related, and replace it with a new electric hot water heater (or even better a heat pump water heater), and an electric boiler for backup heat. You will gain a ton of space and free up a chimney, and get rid of all the oil-related liabilities. That is very similar to what I did last year. I found a 2 year old electric boiler on Kijiji for $400 (with a circ pump), and new electric water heaters are not really that expensive. My new 80 gallon was less than $400. You will need assistance from an electrician, however.

    Don't put anything permanent & big in the place where the oil boiler is now, in case you want to put a new one back in at some point in the future. The way I looked at it was, my oil stuff (boiler & tank) needed replacing anyway, so it had to go - bottom line. Plus it was costing me money to keep running. What I put in was cheap & easy (relatively), saves money on operating costs, and does what I need. If (when) the time comes that I will need more frequent backup, or I can't or don't want to handle wood any more or as much, I will see what the choices are at that time. With the way technology is advancing, if I had replaced now with a new oil unit, that might have left me in a bad spot when that time did come because there might be better choices then.

    Might sound scary at first, throwing away the oil 'security blanket' - but once you cut the line it's all roses. ;)

    (EDIT: And I don't think I could possibly bring myself to get rid of a good working hot water system - nothing beats that for heat).
  20. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    pulaski ny
    now it is just a grossly oversized water heater and most likely short cyling like crazy. maybe a tankless or some sort of stand alone would help lower the his cost.
  21. altmartion

    altmartion Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    pulaski ny
    if he ever sells the house it needs central heat.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Electric boiler = central heat.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Philadelphia
    I got my "supplemental" oil usage down to 1000 gallons last year. !!! That was a 50% reduction over prior years, though.

    Of course, I ain't spending a dime on pellets. :cool:

    Insulation is a project we'll be tackling this winter, along with rebuilding and re-storming a half dozen windows each summer. I'm curious, what was your outlay for the HPWH? What size circuit does it require? We're really pushing the limits on our 200A service, and aren't entirely unhappy to continue running oil for DHW, as I figure it's not the worst thing in the world to keep the boiler in running shape with a little exercise.
  24. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    How big is your house? Maybe you could put in hydronic electric baseboard if your house is smaller. If you house is larger often a electric boiler while it sounds nice you violate electrical load requirements even if you have 200 amp service. Not good for resale in my opinion if you care about that. Id shy away from what may appear to be the cheapest solution. Get some quotes you may be surprised good and bad. We were in a similar bind with our central heat and ended up putting a geothermal system expensive to install but cheap to operate it ran about twice what a conventional system would be to install but I did a lot of the work myself.

    Dont do #3 dont feed the pig, it will die and then youll have nothing.
  25. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    947
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    Southern Maine
    I doubt your pushing the limits of your 200amp service your probably pushing the limits of your panel which may need a sub panel unless your operating multiple electric stoves. Electric hot water heaters typically are 4500w or 5500w ( 30 amps ) same as a HPWH. You have to size for worst case which is pure electric.

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