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How do you Start a Pellet Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by charlotte, Mar 8, 2007.

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  1. charlotte

    charlotte New Member

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    I'm thinking of getting a pellet stove for the house we're building. I went to the local store and they showed me two stoves for my size house, the Harman Pellet Pro 38 and the P61A. (They only sell Harman pellet stoves.) It seems like the difference is the controls for the 38 are simpler, it doesn't have quite as much BTUs, and it doesn't have automatic ignition.

    My house will be about 1400 sq ft and pretty well insulated, so I don't think I'll need a really powerful stove, but I'm worried about not having automatic ignition. The salesman said something about soaking a couple cups of pellets in diesel fuel to start it with. Is this a normal thing to do?

    So how do you start a pellet stove if you don't have automatic ignition? Is pretty easy, or is it worth an extra thousand to get the P61?

    Thanks a lot,
    Charlotte

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Colorado Mountains
    they sell starter chips and gel that would be better for your stove the deisel.
  3. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Most of the folks who manually start their stoves (stoves without autoignittion) use starter gel. Another difference in the P61a versus the P38 is the fact that the p61a is thermostatically controlled, whereas the p38 isnt, but can be made to do so. There is a middle option as well...the P61.....thermostatically controlled, but not autoigniting....its the stove I own.
  4. restorer

    restorer New Member

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    Charlotte:
    First, welcome to the Hearth. Second, in case you are not aware of starter gel, it's a thick form of alcohol thinner than jello. You place a hand full of pellets in the burn pot, squirt 3-4 tablespoons of gel on the pellets, add a few more pellets to the top and set the pile off with a match. Usually takes 5-10 minutes to fire hot enough for the automatic controls to take over. It's my opinion they stove smokes less when using the gel than the auto-igniters.

    The advantage to a manual igniter is a little less money up front and the fact you don't have to spend the extra time cleaning and costs of replacing the parts periodically. If you run 24/7 you only need to do this once, and after you shut down to clean. It is also one less thing that can go wrong with your stove.
  5. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    You should see if there is a Quadrafire dealer near you. They have 4 different stoves, all with automatic ignition and I believe they all come with thermostat wall controls. You can also upgrade them to programmable thermostats or thermostatic remote controls.

    http://www.quadrafire.com/products/stoves/pelletStoves.asp

    Use their dealer locator to find one nearby.

    Another cool thing you can do with the quadrafire units is get an insert (instead of a free standing stove) and install it right into a wall during new construction similar to a zero clearance wood or gas unit. Really depends on the style you want, the free standing stove look or the space saving of having it built right into the wall. Other brands might offer this as well with the inserts but I only work with quadrafire.
  6. Fire

    Fire Member

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    Loc:
    NYC
    For that size home, look at the Harman Advance.
  7. cogger

    cogger New Member

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    Oct 10, 2006
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    Plumbers tourch........ Better than that overpriced gel strerno crap in a bottle
  8. mgambuzza

    mgambuzza Member

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    Loc:
    Syracuse, NY
    I have an uninsulated basement - 1300sq ft and just installed a P61A - a literal heat monster! I have had a couple of other stoves that could never keep up - but keep in mind I'm talking about a home built in 1910 with NO insulation. last night it was sub zero in Syracuse, and the P61 kept the basement at 74 (the setting that I chose on Room temp mode) and was consistent! The previous stove that I had that had a rating of 40K BTU in this type of weather couldn't keep up and the basement would only maintain temperatures between 61 - 64 degrees at its maximum output. If you buy a P61 - I'm sure you wouldn't ever complain of not enough heat in an insulated house.

    Regarding startup fuels for the P38 model - besides Starter Jel - I used Trioxane tablets for my Thelin Parlor Pellet stove with no auto ignition. These tablets came three in a box - which I broke in thirds to light the initial fire. I found them in a local Army - Navy store for $.50 a box! I spent $5 in October, and I still have 4 boxes left from the season! These worked super as I dropped a portion into the burn pot - lit it with a extended lighter, and voila - turn on pellet stove and it was roaring.

    Good luck on search - make sure dealer is reputable and has great service record - important for maintenance in future!
  9. charlotte

    charlotte New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
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    Thanks for all your advise.

    I think I'll get the 38 and pick up some of the gel starter. It sounds a little safer than diesel fuel.

    Charlotte
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