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High Pellet Usage

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rav221, Dec 24, 2005.

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  1. rav221

    rav221 New Member

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    This is the first year we have used our Englander 25PDVC (2001 Model) 24/7. I have been using about 70-80 lbs of pellets per 24 hour period with a stove feed setting of 3 (low-high). I contacted Englander about the usage and the tech said that it was too high and had me reprogram the board to a lower feed speed. This made little difference, except now I can't run the stove on 1 (low) or 2 (low-med) or the flame goes out and creates exhaust smoke. I now have to run the stove at 4 (med-low) to get the heat I need. I am still unsing 70-80 lbs of pellets a day. I contacted Englander a second time and got a different person, this person told me that running the stove at setting 4 would use 3lbs of pellets an hour, thus 72lbs in 24hrs.

    All of the people I know that have pellets stoves say that they only use 40-60lbs of pellets in 24hrs. on a medium setting. I have tried various permium pellets with little variation.

    Does this seem the norm? Has anyone else had the same problem with this stove?

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    How much house are you heating VS the other people you have talked to ?
  3. rav221

    rav221 New Member

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    We are keep the feed rate at 4 or 5 max. which is a medium setting, unless I used an external termostat which automatically changes the setting, square footage should not cause increased pellet usage (at a fixed setting). If I was turning the feed rate up, I would of course expect high usage.
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    That's not an uncommon amount. I use (depending on the day) 50-80 pounds in 24 hrs. The amount of pellets being used does not sound unreasonable. Correct me if I'm wrong but the PDV does not shut completely down and relight from a thermostat. Does the other people that you talked to have auto ignition and thermostat control? This will cause a large discrepency in the amount of pellets burned because the stove isn't burning alot of the time. Last year I ran my stove on low to med 24 hours a day with no thermostat. I was using around 100 pounds in 24 hours. Hooked the thermostat up and put the stove heat setting to high (5.5 lbs./hr.) and I am using far less. Also what is the overall efficiency of the Englander compared to that of the people you've talked to? That can make a difference as well. While almost all pellet stoves have 95%+ combustion efficiency the heat transfer efficiency can vary greatly affecting overall efficiency. I guess basically what I'm asking is are you comparing apples to apples.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How was the stove burning before the reprogramming? Was flame height correct? When was the last time the the baffle plate (above and behind the burn pot) was removed and the space behind it cleaned? Where do you live and how big is the house, how old, how well insulated and sealed?

    I go through approx. 1 bag / day (40#s) to keep an old farmhouse at 68 when it's 40 outside. If you are dealing with much lower temps, in a similar envelope, perhaps this is not too much consumption?
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    We have discussed here before how Pellet Stoves are often "oversold" in such a way that dealers and ads make it seem as if there is some magic involved. There is not....

    Burning 3 lbs of pellets each hour is 24,000 BTU input, so about 19,000 out - which is surely not a lot of heat....in fact, this is a very typical range for most wood and pellet stoves.....

    Pellets are just wood. Nothing more, nothing less. Burning 7 logs in one day that each weighed 10 pounds would not seem excessive, so neither should 70-80 lbs of pellets.

    A BTU is a BTU is a BTU is a BTU. Whether burned in the most expensive Harman or the least expensive Englander, it still takes approx the same amount of pellets to produce the same amount of heat.

    Comparing to what others say they use is difficult if not impossible.

    So, in summary, very normal use of 20K per hour seems fine.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Craig, not to question the teacher, but my Quad is specced at 40,000 btus output not input. It consumes 5.5 lbs/hr. Softwood pellets are closer to 8,500 btu/lb, (West Oreg. Wood product's Blazer's are rated 8,500-9,000 btus), so I am guessing Quadrafire is calculating at about 85% efficiency. I know that is in lab conditions, but I don't think I could heat my house with 19,000 btus/hr.
  8. Extendaboo

    Extendaboo Guest

    No prob, you are probably correct in the best of all possible worlds....

    I usually use 8,000 BTU for quick math, and somewhere about 75% for quick efficiency. When I am answering these questions, I don't even do any calcs, just quick in the head.....

    Years ago, real world tests found that pellet stoves were from 52 to 74%. They have surely improved them, but I would still guess that the everage efficiency is about 75% (that is quite good also).....A quad may be better than that because of the "full on always" method that Quads use (or used to use).....

    Never the less, the answer to the question remains somewhat the same. 2-4 lbs per hour or even more is not excessive use - expecially in climates where temps are often below 32 F.
  9. Extendaboo

    Extendaboo Guest

    OH, it ain't new years yet!

    When I had my store and we were trying to help out customers who were hearing about the magic of pellet stoves (like one ton = 2 cords, etc. etc), we had an ongoing joke about "nuclear" pellets....they would have to be to live up to some of the claims!

    One problem is that Pellet Stoves were largely invented and developed in the west. When it is 48 degrees and humid, it takes a heck of lot less heat to do ANY job. But take that stove to VT and put it in an old stone farmhouse - you better have 8 tons or more of Pellets and who the heck knows what that is going to do to the appliance....

    Pellets are a great technology. But math still applies. And, it appears from posts here that not all the problems have been solved. For instance, I would tell folks NEVER to buy a used pellet stove. If and when I change that tune, it means the stoves are more reliable! It would be nice to have Pellet stoves that can laast for 15+ years with relatively reasonable fixin....like $100 a year for parts and service.
  10. rav221

    rav221 New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I'll be returning my stove board to the original factory settings. Craig's post put things in a way even I could understand....
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