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first 3 months of owning a USED pellet stove...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by kenstogie, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    411
    Loc:
    Albany (ish)
    What I have learned in the first 3 months of owning a USED pellet stove

    So I got this thing (Englander 25 PDVC) after hearing a couple things A-Heat costs less and B-everyone (except one person) loved there pellet stove. I got it for free basically so I knew there’d be some maintenance and repair work that had to be done.

    -Clean your exhaust pipe, yea after every ton, maybe sooner. I figured that Englander said clean your exhaust after every ton because they meant every 2 tons figuring people would actually wait that long. Well there was no BS on Englander’s part….. really after every ton. On my stove if I don’t the E-1 code starts popping up. Even if you look at it and it seems AOK clean it anyway. Take the brush and go from as close to the exhaust fan all the way to the ending. Then get the Leaf Blower/Vac and start suckin. Don’t have one?? Get one they are only $50 and clean a lot better than just a brush.

    -Critters may like your exhaust pipe. I put a screen on mine to prevent them but it was to fine of a screen and clogged up. SOooo I took it off. Use something like as big as you can but not so big a squirrel can get it there and they are pretty determined. Did I mention that you had to clean your exhaust?

    -Different pellets really do make a different amount of heat. No really they do. A pellet is not a pellet but there are pellets that are pellets.

    -I clearly would have given up on my pellet stove if I hadn’t found these forums… .well probably I would have... but you never know because I am pretty stubborn.

    -I still have no idea what “fines” are. I got them when I was speeding on I-90 once toward Buffalo but am pretty sure that’s not the same thing.

    -who ever said “owning a pellet stove is NOT a spectator sport” is sooooo right. It does take some effort, but you are rewarded with a cool spot to sit in front of a fire and get heat that doesn’t make you smell like a camp fire. And for some reason watching the pellets drop is mesmerizing.

    -my stove is relatively simple to replace stuff on (THANK GOD!) but a little mechanical ability is pretty helpful.

    -a shop vac or something similiar is pretty much necessary.

    -burning pellets is a lot like a car..... in that you need the right fuel to air ratio. I don’t think a pellet stove is quite as particular but it’s key to getting the thing to work correctly. Black coating on the glass usually means it’s running to “rich” Which pretty much means to much fuel or not enough air. Which is the same thing, sort of.

    -Carting around a ton of pellets it’s damn handy to have a p/u but a gF with a big SUV works too.

    -Big Box stores can have NO IDEA what kind of pellets they have.... soooo look around. IF you get a pallet or two load them right then and there.... if at all possible because they’ll give you the crappy North Americans if you don’t pay attention. HD and Lowes give us military types 10% off, nice J

    -it’s nice not to have ever had the Oil truck stop by this year, though you’ll need a back heat source for those required unexpected fixes to your pellet stove.

    -that yellow Craftsman nut driver (5/16 I think) is the most handy tool for fixing my pellet stove.

    -the crud that collects on the end of the bottom auger tube and auger needs to be scraped at least once a week maybe twice and oh yea…. Wear gloves while doing it.

    I am sure I have learned other stuff, but that's all I got for now.....



    343amc, SteveB, raybonz and 5 others like this.

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  2. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Jan 11, 2010
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    915
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Yes they are usually dumb founded when you ask what they carry and how they burn. Thank you for your service and welcome.
  3. Joe and Kelly Tomeno

    Joe and Kelly Tomeno Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    103
    Loc:
    NY
    When I first got my used Harman..I watched it all the time...the flames mesmerized me.....You will find that once it breaks down you will learn volumes more about the stove and yourself..I sure did!!
    PoolGuyinCT and Mr. Spock like this.
  4. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

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    Jan 2, 2013
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    Loc:
    East Hampton, NY
    North Americans are crap but that is what Lowes is selling in my area of Long Island. I was able to get Somersets which I thought were pretty good, especially for the price, went back a week later and was told they were not reordering them this year
  5. Jason Knapp

    Jason Knapp Member

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    Dec 11, 2012
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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    This got me laughing!! Too funny. Fines are the crap at the bottom of the pellet bag, kind of the dust that you don't want. It seems like the PDVC doesn't care about fines, but my 25EP does.
  6. Joe and Kelly Tomeno

    Joe and Kelly Tomeno Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
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    Loc:
    NY
    I used to think.."hey lets get everything out of the pellet bag...." Until I cleaned the box under the auger....keep the pellet...dump the dust (fines).
  7. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Albany (ish)
    That's where I am at but wonder if the fines cause the crud that collects on the auger tube where it meets the firebox.
  8. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Eaton Township, Ohio
    You learn a lot better than me...In 2 years of burning, the only thing that I have figured out for sure is...Pellet burners love to drink beer and bust balls!!;)
    slvrblkk likes this.
  9. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Just like at my job.....
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  10. festerw

    festerw Member

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    Loc:
    Cambridge Springs, PA
    McMaster-Carr #1289K17 Aerosol Graphite - clean the tube as best as you can then give it a good coating. Doesn't prevent it but sure makes it a lot easier to clean.
    kenstogie likes this.
  11. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    NIce will do, it makes it noisy (whining/howling) and it's as pain to chip away so I am hoping this'll do the trick. THANKS
  12. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Albany (ish)
    True, some of like to brew it too...usually while drinking it of course.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Naw, that is a good old charcoal making operation that is taking place there, fines wouldn't last long enough. Even drop feeders produce it in the burn pot usually when burning on other than low. The lower level of pellets gets covered and the oxygen level drops causing charcoal to be formed instead of the pellet burning completely.

    Under a very high firing rate a unit like a boiler or pellet furnace can even get the charcoal lit off as well causing burn pot bubbles and other deformations. Just like a forge can. Most augers and burn pots are not up to snuff for withstanding such heat.
  14. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Put down the brews and pay more attention :p.
    Eatonpcat and heat seeker like this.

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