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How to Convince the Paranoid Wife the Pellet Stove Is Safe??

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MX2, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. MX2

    MX2 New Member

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    My paranoid wife who's afraid of everything is being ridiculous about leaving the pellet stove on when we're sleeping or going to work. I thought this was the whole idea of having one. Anyone else have this to deal with? Any advice on how to convince her its as safe as can possibly be? Also, if anyone has ever heard of a fire from a pellet stove incident, please post it here. I'm guessing the newer models have come a ways in safety features. I know my Accentra has a lot of them. Thank in advance. B-

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  2. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    My Accentra has run 24/7 during the cold months since 2005 with no issues at all. My wife and I feel that it is perfectly safe.
  3. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    Myself and my wife were nervous at first....but now no worries at all and it runs 24/7 in the cold.

    Yes there are instances where fires can happen. Proper installation, operation, and maintenance should make the chances of this happening very small.....plus there are built in safety features to minimize the chance as well.
    SteveB likes this.
  4. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Unlike a gas appliance it won't blowup. Smoke and CO detector close to stove and by bedroom. It's not made in China like those window units that have been problematic. I've lived with pellet stoves since 83 and was in a active Fire Dept of a major metro area and have only heard of two pellet stove related fires.
    SteveB likes this.
  5. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I think most people are concerned at first. That is normal. Try running it longer and longer until you are comfortable letting it go all night.
    Lousyweather and jlupi like this.
  6. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

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    The pellet stove is a heater just like a boiler or furnace. All of these types of equipment that use combustible fuels whether it be oil, natural gas, or pellets have been designed to be self contained and operate within specific parameters. Tell her that a pellet stove has limit switches and a fan to blow out exhaust just like a furnace does. They operate on thermostats just like a furnace. I doubt she's afraid of a furnace or a boiler. If the unit operates outside its designed parameters it is designed to shut itself off. Perfect example is the problem you just had with your auger motor. It was shorting out so a small $2 fuse prevented the stove from operating due to the abnormal symptoms it was receiving and rightly so.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  7. reallyte

    reallyte Member

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    People are often less afraid of a furnace because it is down stairs hidden away. I can see the concern but after understanding how most pellets stoves work, they are much safer than any furnace/boiler. As others have stated, proper installation and care make it extremely safe, just like any other combustion device (Tell her the car is much more dangerous because it is true).
  8. dlehneman

    dlehneman Member

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    Last year was our first year with a pellet stove. Took the basic precautions with building a hearth pad the correct size, vented according to recommendations and installed a CO2/ detector near the pellet stove and swapped out the old one near the bedroom. I got up at least once a night to check on it at first but soon got comfortable with it and the associated noises. I think it's one of the safest ways to heat as long as you follow basic safety guidelines and clean it on a regular basis.
    Augmister likes this.
  9. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Many of us went thru this. It will pass in due time. Be patient grasshopper!
    newbieinCT, SteveB and DexterDay like this.
  10. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    As others have mentioned, do it right and you will minimize your risk. We extended the base of our fireplace with a large piece of slab and installed a CO detector. Me, the lady and the dog sleep like babies.
    newbieinCT and Hitch like this.
  11. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    turn off your furance/boiler so she freezes at night..
  12. MountainSean

    MountainSean Credo Quia Absurdum

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    Show her your electric bill. (or propane or oil)
    bill3rail and jtakeman like this.
  13. MX2

    MX2 New Member

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    That's some funny sh#t right there. Might work to.....
  14. Markus38

    Markus38 New Member

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    My wife was worried at first also. She would tell turn off the stove during the night. After a few weeks, she started understanding and eventually trusting the stove. I also had all the thermostats in the house set low 58-65. After a few nights of it being really cold, she let me crank the stove day and night. We burned 6.5 tons the first year. She started loving he stove about mid January but still calls it my girlfriend.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest


    Yep... give it time... Then let her see your still wasting money on another fuel (more expensive to use) to heat the joint while your away or sleeping.

    More money saved using pellets and your warmer.

    Today's stoves have just as many safety devices (some more, depending on the type and age of you unit) as there fossil fuel counterparts.
  16. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    If I leave the house I turn mine off... when I go to bed I turn it off..... I've had a few middle of the night wakeups due to my Quad running wild on the feed and over fed and smoked up the entire house... I sleep a lot better when it's off...
  17. MommyOf4

    MommyOf4 Feeling the Heat

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    I am a wife with 4 young girls and a husband. I was at first EXTREMELY nervous about leaving it on at night and while we were away. I would even wake up in the middle of the night to make sure no one died of carbon monoxide poisoning and there was no fire in our basement. After about a week in a half of doing so, I found that I was 1) way too tired to do anything, 2) being ridiculous, and 3) it was extremely safe.

    I hope this helps your wife. :)
  18. jeanine

    jeanine Member

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  19. jeanine

    jeanine Member

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    Tell your wife that the fire chief in our neck of the woods runs his day and night. :) It doesn't get any safer!!!
  20. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    If I could not get the Quad to work properly this biped would be giving it the boot.
    SteveB and Jack Morrissey like this.
  21. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Have you had it looked at? This isn't normal operation at all and is the exception rather than the norm.
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  22. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    This fear is one of the reasons why I got an insert over a free-standing unit elsewhere.

    The insert gave me piece of mind that if it ever caught fire, its where a fire should be.... in the fire place. lol

    going on 6 years later, it still hasn't caught on fire.... lol and I wish I had gotten a free-standing unit so that I could use my fireplace for a wood fire in the case of a power failure, etc.

    Just keep it clean, and install it to code and proper, and never skimp on anything safety related like a thimble or exhaust pipe, and you should be just fine.
  23. DuelburnJake

    DuelburnJake Member

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    Maybe introduce her to a few online resources about the use of wood heating like http://woodheat.org/? A proper install and inspection and you should be good to go. It took about 30 mins to convince my better half we were safe to go! (she had never been around wood/pellet stoves/heat before we bought our house) After showing her the safety features of our stove and some guide lines on line she was all set.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  24. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i have gotten up and went to work with my pellet stove up and running and my wife and child sleeping in their beds for years.

    full disclosure , i build pellet stoves for a living and have for just over 20 years. now i do not build the Harman stoves but as a competitor i will say that they are among the very best in the industry in making a quality safe to operate unit.

    as for reassurance , (and we should have them anyway) smoke and CO detectors are a MUST, regardless of what is being used for heating, no matter who built it or what it burns, if it makes a fire GET THEM, TEST THEM REGULARLY AND REPLACE THEM AT THE PRESCRIBED INTERVAL. this is insurance against somthing which could happen with any heating appliance even a central furnace.
    SteveB, briansol and CTBossfan like this.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest


    Sounds like the stove did a Hot restart. Quads need time (even after they fully shut down) to cool. If the thermocouple still is hotter than 200° (it sits on a Thick Cast pot that keeps a lot of heat) then when it goes to restart, the auger doesn't wait for ignition to start feeding more pellets. After the initial 60 sec auger dump, the stove thinks its lit and just keeps feeding more to the pot. This makes for a smokey start and also a HUGE flame for several minutes until it burns down.

    Normal operation: stat calls for heat
    Combustion blower starts and auger feeds 60 sec worth of fuel into pot and ignitor comes on. Fuel is ignited. Thermocouple recognizes the fire (200°) and auger starts to feed again.

    Hot start: stat calls for heat (not long after stove last shut down), combustion blower starts and auger feeds 60 sec of fuel into pot and ignitor comes on. Immediately after the 60 auger feed. The auger goes right into dumping how ever many seconds worth (based on your heat setting) and you wind up with a very full pot before ignition. Smokes like crazy because the pelletstthay are trying to ignite are under a deep pile of pellets.

    What type of stat do you have? What type of swing are you using? And is the feed gate set properly? Those would be the 1st 3 questions I'd have to solve the issue.

    If the stove is starting up less than 30 min after shut down? Did it really need to shut down at all? Maybe run a lower heat setting than what you run now?
    Bioburner and stoveguy2esw like this.

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