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Help me spend Lowes giftcard: ESW 25-EP vs 10-CPM

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by GuitsBoy, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. becasunshine

    becasunshine Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    538
    Loc:
    Central Va
    Insulation is key. Others can and have said it better than me, but the heat output from a pellet stove is best described as "gentle," unlike the blast of heat coming out of a big honkin' wood stove. It's essential to hang on to those BTU's and really make them work for you.

    We installed our pellet stove with an Outside Air Kit (OAK) in 2008 (see signature.) We were told that our stove would "run us out of here." We spent that winter feeling cold and disappointed, and eyeing the stove and the pellets suspiciously. I will admit to having the memory and the mindset of the wood stove craze of the 1970's, during the Arab Oil Embargo, when family members' wood stoves would indeed run one out of the house with heat. It wasn't unusual to walk into someone's house in mid-January and find the wood stove rolling full blast and a window opened.

    Slowly, with the help of Hearth.com members, I got to know and learned to love our pellet stove. The heat is different. It puts out BTU's but you can't be wasteful of them, because there isn't a lot of excess when you are trying to heat a large space with it. Also, along a slightly different but connected flow chart of problem solving, we replaced the old and undersized central a/c unit. After a brutally hot summer in which the new, appropriately sized central a/c unit struggled to keep up, followed by a brutally cold winter in which the pellet stove struggled to keep up, we got serious about insulating our attic.

    The difference was noticeable and it registered, in plain numbers, on the digital HVAC thermometer in the center hallway of the house, on the day that the attic insulation was installed. That day. Within an hour or two of the installation. So yeah, there was our problem.

    We've since done additional things to help- it's now a game of inches and pennies on the dollar, but we've yet to see diminishing returns. Our house is brick and block with no wall insulation. Surprisingly, insulating our electrical outlets and switches with UL approved inserts made specifically for that purpose, plus child safety plugs in all sockets that we don't use continuously, made a noticeable difference as well. We insulated the outlets and switches on the outer walls first. It made such a difference that we spent this past Saturday insulating all of the outlets and switches on the interior walls as well. (I posted a thread about it on this forum.) My husband also went around the house with a can of spray insulation foam and plugged up the holes where our plumbing punctures a wall.

    As far as insulating electrical outlets and their prong openings, plus switches, it also makes a difference in new construction if the builder didn't install insulated fixtures. We have a new construction property to which we hope to retire in a few years. Winters at that location can be remarkable, with wind coming off of the nearby water with significant wind chill. The highest wind we've recorded at that location NOT associated with a storm system, just plain old winter wind, was over 60 mph, directly impacting the back of the house with no wind break. I've stood in the back rooms on windy days (albeit I've not been there for the 60 mph winds yet) and felt wind blowing into the room from the prong openings in the electrical sockets. Through the prong openings, mind you... To that point I'd blown off insulating electrical outlets/switches as small stuff, and wondered if it was worth the time or the money. That moment changed my mind, at least for that location. The difference there was so noticeable that we followed through for the fixtures on the exterior perimeter of the brick/block/no wall insulation bungalow in town. And that made such a difference that we've moved on to the fixtures on interior walls.

    NOW ALL ELECTRICAL SOCKETS AND SWITCHES WILL BE INSULATED.

    Yeah, I've gotten a little obsessive/compulsive about insulation since the feedback from doing it has been so direct, so immediate, so noticeable. :) I'm a bit like Pavlov's Human in the Insulation Aisle at the Big Box Home Improvement Store. :) SAVE ME A PENNY ON MY UTILITY BILLS AND I'M YOURS FOREVER. :)

    What were we talking about again? OH- big congrats on your new pellet stove!
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
    stayfitz and stoveguy2esw like this.

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  2. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
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    NW Ohio
    Good luck with the noisy auger. In my stove, the noise levels depend on the pellets. Certain pellets make more auger squeaking for some strange reason. What are you burning?

    I was burning Greenways, and have moved to Somersets for the cold snap. In between those two I tried out a bag of Easy Heat, and it was squeaky auger central. Holy crap. Now it's all quiet with the 'sets on board.
  3. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Lawn Guyland
    Still burning through the dozen bags of North American pellets I bought from Lowes along with the stove. I have read that they are re-labeled Curran hardwood, although these state that they are a hardwood softwood mix. My neighbor burns stove chow from HD, which I will probably try as well. I placed a couple of calls to local landscape suppliers who carry pellets, but nobody's called back yet.

    As far as the graphite goes, I sprayed the bejeebus out of the auger last night, as well as a coffee can worth of pellets, and it bought me a couple of hours. The squeaks returned in full force from the hours of 1 am to 4:30 am, despite my repeatedly spraying pellets with graphite in a coffee can. Spraying directly into the hopper results in a large musroom cloud, so I wont be doing that again. :)

    Any other less invasive suggestions before I pull the auger out and grind it down a bit for clearance?
  4. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    Lol....someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed....

    Harman's have their fair share of issues....do a search on this forum and I am sure you will find plenty......just sayin
  5. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

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    Loc:
    Lawn Guyland
    If you search "auger squeak" you get a 5 to 1 ratio of Harman threads to ESW threads. Go ahead, give it a try.
  6. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    BOOM! lol Open mouth, insert foot.... ;)
  7. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Like I said....not like me to say something like that and that's why I apologized first....deleted post.
    Sorry GuitsBoy.
  8. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

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    Lawn Guyland
    No need to apologize, in advance or otherwise. But my experience searching for solutions to auger squeak has show this is NOT a "you get what you pay for" situation. Higher end stoves are just as susceptible to the noise. We are all entitled to hold our own convictions.
  9. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    You shouldn't have an auger squeak in a brand new stove....and to consider tearing it apart to solve it after running for just a few hours just plain sucks.
    slvrblkk and IHATEPROPANE like this.
  10. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Luckily your stove is easy to work on. You might be able to just pull the auger and polish it up with some emory cloth and take a look into the auger flyte and see if anything is going on in there.
  11. stayfitz

    stayfitz Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Reno, NV
    Looks good! Sorry about the auger squeak!
  12. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    NW Ohio
    Try some different pellets before you tear things apart. In my stove, North Americans, Easy Heat, and Eco Flame pellets all made a terrible racket. For whatever reason, when I switched to different pellets it went away. North Americans are a terrible pellet in most stoves. Try something different first.

    I actually have an un-opened container of graphite because of that situation. Never had to use it after I switched pellets. It's probably a bur or something that will need ground down, but try the easy fixes first!
  13. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

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    Lawn Guyland
    Its really not that big a deal for me to tear it down, or so it seems. Judging by the sound, I don't think its a burr so much as a rubbing. It happens for 2 or 3 cycles once every revolution of the auger, so I suspect something is a little oblong, and as the heat gets to it, it begins to bind inside the bore. Id love to fix the root of the issue rather than cover it up by changing pellets, but perhaps ill try a different brand first. Unfortunately pellets are not as popular here as they are in other parts of the country, so selection and availability is somewhat limited.

    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. Ill post up my progress. Aside from the noise, the stove has been great.
  14. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

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    Happy Thanksgiving every.

    Just wanted to post that I have been able to subdue 90% of the squeaking by running the blower a little higher. Seems that the squeak is far more prevalent when the stove is hot, and by simply keeping the blower speed a few clicks above the heat range, I can effectively keep the stove cooler. I haven't tried any different brand pellets yet, but I hope to pick some up this week.
  15. titanracer

    titanracer Member

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    South Central PA., Newville
    Make sure you plug into a surge protector. It will save your electronics if something were to happen.
  16. GuitsBoy

    GuitsBoy New Member

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    Just an update:

    99% of the auger squeak has been eliminated by using hardwood pellets instead of hardwood/softwood blend, and by playing with the room blower speed to bleed off excess heat. Seems once the stove got really hot the auger may have been expanding in its bore causing the noise. And certainly the extra pitch from a softwood blend wasnt helping matters.

    Thanks for your help!
    mithesaint likes this.
  17. koda038

    koda038 New Member

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    I had an auger squeak after it ran a while. I found it was carbon built up at the bottom of the end. I was able to figure it out by watching the location of the auger when the noise was created.
  18. dlavigne7324

    dlavigne7324 Member

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    Neither of them !! You get what u pay for .. Get a Harmen !! Save the gift cards for the pellets
  19. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Really???
  20. dlavigne7324

    dlavigne7324 Member

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    Just my 2 cents !!
  21. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    At least spell it correctly. ;)
  22. dlavigne7324

    dlavigne7324 Member

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    Looking at your pic of your stove looks like u need a up grade .. You could probably sell your stove for scrape metal .. Is it spelled correctly ??
  23. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Harmen must be a Chinese knockoff.....I've only ever heard of Harman......

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