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I'm cold and afraid of getting colder

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by thebrucelisa, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    Hi! I'm a clueless (about pellet stoves) woman who is extremely unhappy. My frustration stems from our brand new Pelpro that we bought from Aubuchon about three weeks ago. Our house is small, about 650 sq ft so we were sure it would warm us up. I had visions of actually enjoying being hot. See we were without a furnace for the last 2 1/2 winters and being warm just sounded so nice... Anyway, first my dh said it was because we needed a fresh air line for it so last week he bought one and installed it. Now he comes up with excuses like there are clinkers in it and opens it and cleans it out. He cleaned it tonight before he went out, about 6, it's now 9 and the temp has dropped in here from about 66 to 62. As the temp approaches 0 tonight I am not looking forward to waking in the morning. We put all our eggs in this basket, I can't afford it and space heaters too. It vents straight through the wall under a window (there is no place in our house more than 12" from a window). The curved end of our above ground pool is out there too, about 18"-24" away from the house. Did we do something wrong or just buy a pig in a poke and now have to live with it? Thanks so much for any words of wisdom!

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  2. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Greetings, welcome to the forum.
    I'm sure we'd all love to help, but I don't think we've got enough information to begin to speculate. Do you know what model Pelpro you have?
    You say you've been without a furnace for 2.5 winters...what did you heat with last year? Whatever that was...was it able to keep the temperatures above 66 on cold days and nights? Do you live in an older home, possibly with inadequate insulation? What is the configuration of the home (open concept?).

    650 square feet is not a large area to heat, but if your home is not holding the heat then you're going to have a hard time getting the temperatures in a comfortable range on cold nights.

    Once we've got some basic information about the home, and some more dteailed info on the stove we can begin to speculate on your situation. In the meantime, throw on some sweaters and wrap up in some blankets...it is getting chilly out there!
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Is it working and not sustaining the heat you would like? Or is it not running at all?
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    How many pellets are you burning in a 24 hour period?
    I have a feeling that the appliance is doing most of what it can do, and that the heat loss of your house is too great (in this weather) for the stove to keep up.

    In general I would never suggest for folks to use a Pellet stove for the sole source of heat in a northeast winter. A freestanding space heater is for backup and aux heating, recreational use and for being warmer in the area around the stove...and what happens if the power goes out? Hopefully you have a generator or battery backup?
  5. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    [what model Pelpro you have?
    It's a # Canadian Comfort Model # HHPP2BD

    You say you've been without a furnace for 2.5 winters...what did you heat with last year?
    Space heaters

    Whatever that was...was it able to keep the temperatures above 66 on cold days and nights?
    No

    Do you live in an older home, possibly with inadequate insulation?
    We've lived here over 20 years, we are mostly insulated now, definitely all the floors and ceilings and most of the walls.

    What is the configuration of the home (open concept?).
    The living room and dining room (where the stove is) are open to each other, the kitchen opens to the dining room and the bedroom has a door off the kitchen and the dining room. The bath is off the kitchen. We have a small fan to move air from the dining room into the kitchen. Since the stove is struggling to warm the house we have been keeping the bedroom doors closed. I also have a blanket up over the doorway to our enclosed porch.


    Once we've got some basic information about the home, and some more dteailed info on the stove we can begin to speculate on your situation.
    Thanks for any help!


    In the meantime, throw on some sweaters and wrap up in some blankets...it is getting chilly out there![/quote]
    God bless electric blankets!
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Something is not adding up. A moderately insulated 650 sq ft home can't be heated by a 50k btu heater? Either we are missing some important information or the stove is simply not set or working correctly. The stove should keep them toasty, even at 20 degrees outside. I am guessing that either the stove is not set to high heat, or not running right, or somewhere in the house there is still a large heat loss, perhaps the enclosed porch?

    Lisa what is the feed rate set to on the stove? What is the fan setting?
  7. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Yes, I suspect massive heat loss as well.
    Lisa, do you mintor the temperature of the porch at all? I'd be interested to see how cold it got on the porch last night. If it dropped to anything less than 30, then a blanket is not going to be able to hold back that cold. You are most likely heating the outdoors with your stove.
    Having said that, there are still a few basic questions about the pellet stove and how you're using it.
    1. What are the stove settings (are your unning it on full blast?)?
    2. How many pellets are you going through in a 24 hour day
    3. Does it at least "seem" like he stove is cranking out the heat when you are in front of it?

    As a frame of reference, i'm heating my home almost exclusively with 2 pellet stoves and I have gone through 3 bags of pellets in the last 24 hours (between the stoves). We're about 2000 square feet, pretty well insulated...but these temps have been brutal. I had my primary stove cranking on 3 all night last night and this morning our great room (not the stove room) was 59! On an ordinary night i'd have the stove on 1 all night and the great room would be 66 in the morning.
  8. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    I agree, the porch may be a large part of your problem. Bubble wrap sandwiched between two blankets or quilts does a pretty good job of blocking off an unheated room. Just make sure that whatever you use over the door extends all the way to the floor so that the cold air from that room isn't just pouring under into the space you're trying to heat.
  9. jed12674

    jed12674 Member

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    With the given information I would think there is something wrong with the stove. Unless its set at its lowest setting. She said they have 650 sq ft? That stove is rated for 15,000 to 50,000 btu or 800 to 2000 sq ft. Unless every window and door is wide open that stove should be cooking them out of the house. Need more info about the stove. What is it set at? Are the fans working and blowing heat out the vents? How does the flame look? Is it going straight up or look like its filling the fire box and going in all different directions?
  10. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    Lisa what is the feed rate set to on the stove? What is the fan setting?[/quote]

    We have it set at 4 (it only has 1-4) ant the fan is on high as well. We are using about 2 bags of pellets a day.
  11. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    [quote author="mkmh" date="1199382003"]Yes, I suspect massive heat loss as well.
    Lisa, do you mintor the temperature of the porch at all? I'd be interested to see how cold it got on the porch last night.

    The porch is actually a small (5X15) space we use a lot when it isn't cold out there, all my craft stuff is out there. I did stick a thermometer out there and when it was 62 in here it was 43 out there

    1. What are the stove settings (are your unning it on full blast?)?

    Yup,running full blast on 4 with the fan on high

    2. How many pellets are you going through in a 24 hour day

    About 2 bags

    3. Does it at least "seem" like he stove is cranking out the heat when you are in front of it?

    Well there is warm air coming out. I really have no pellet stove frame of reference but it certainly isn't anything like my mom's Russo wood stove in NY.
  12. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    The flame? Well the glass is pretty sooty right now but I seem to think I have seen both typs of flame. Not a good answer, could this be a clue to my problem? We cleaned it a couple of days ago. With the bedroom door shut and the porch door covered we are closer to 500 sq ft than the whole 650. We broke down and turned a space heater on last night in the kitchen to keep the pipes from freezing. Oh well,we shall survive...
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    According to the specs on that stove, it SHOULD be able to easily burn 5 to 6 pounds per hour of pellet on high.

    If you are burning two bags in 24 hours, you are burning about 3.5 lbs per hour. So you must simply ask the dealer, rep or factory....why can you not burn more pellets per hour?

    You have to burn more pellets to get more heat, and your stove is not doing that. You have it turned up all the way, and even giving them a little wiggle room, it should be able to burn 5 lbs per hour plus!
  14. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Something not right with that stove I'd guess...have
    no idea what so I can't offer anything but I'm reading
    the info and shaking my head.........

    650 sq ft home - pretty well insulated - 50k btu stove,
    burning two bags a day? Should be toasty warm in that little
    650 sq ft house.
  15. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Seems like maybe more heat than you want could be leaving the stove through the exhaust.......
    In addition, over cooling of your heat exchangers could be an issue having the distribution (convection) blower on high all the time...
    Just my $.01 ;-) (I'm getting more frugal in my old age won't give 2 cents anymore)
  16. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave!! Thank you so much!!! I said this to Bruce when he got home last night (11ish). It jarred his overextended brain and he remembered something about an adjustment. He did something to make it spit out more pellets and overnight it actually went up 10 degrees in the house despite the below 0 temps! I'm not convinced this is our only problem but I sure hope it is!!!
  17. thebrucelisa

    thebrucelisa New Member

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    We tried that last night and the stove got really hot really fast (but it was the same time he upped the pellet rate). We panicked it was too hot. We will try again when we turn the stove down a little. Right now we are trying to make it as warm as possible to thaw our bathroom pipes. And a penny is fine with me, penny candy is the best (and I'm old enough to remember it!).
  18. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Glad you are getting somewhere with that. I glanced at the manual and it looks like the Pelpro stoves, like my Harmon have a feed rate setting. Looks like the Pelpro also has a "fine tune" fuel feed setting, so that must be what Bruce did.
    So now you just ahve to come to terms with the fact that you may need to burn 3 bags of pellets on the coldest days to the tune of 15ish dollars. Not that bad, except that we're still talking about 650 square feet. So, I would think the next thing to do would be to look for ways to tighten up the home. 43 degrees on the porch does not sound too bad, but it may be that some of that nice pellet heat is escaping out there past the blanket to take the chill off...on the porch, but at the expense of the temperatures in the main living area.
    A few hundred for insulation/weatherstripping/door for porch might be money well spent before next winter.

    Good luck, and I'm really glad you were able to get the stove working the way it should. It generally takes a little while to get them fully figured out.
  19. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    A word of advice, one wife to another, get the owners manual and read it yourself. LOL Men and directions just aren't a good combination. If your hubby is like mine he only reads the directions AFTER he's torn up whatever it was he was trying to fix. 8-/

    You are just as capable of learning to operate the stove as he is....probably more so since you'll likely actually follow the directions! ;-) :)

    Good luck!
  20. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    Hey now, I'm studying the guide to this quad classic bay everyday before I even install it :)
  21. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    Lisa
    Umm is there a window open?
    I don't think the outside air option is helping the problem
    it might be hurting the heating having to heat 0 degree air takes more that to heat 60 degree air.
    Just mu humble opinion.
    Can tell you a little trick about frozen water pipes though
    If you let just a little flow...you know an annoying drip that keeps you awake at night
    your pipes will never completly freeze
    think positive
    spring is coming soon
    there are robins eating worms in my yard
  22. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    I can't find my manual! Wife hid it away somewhere...

    Ageed that it sounds like a combination of problems, not the least of which is that porch!

    Stick with it! Hearth members are the best!

    Chris
  23. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    lisa and bruce,
    i have the cheap charlie hp 120 which is the step brother to your pelpro(built by the same company). i was expiriencing the same as you with 1100 square feet . i ended up calling tech support in canada and this is what i was told:

    on feed rate 1 you stove puts out 8000 btu

    on feed rate 2 it puts out 12-14000 btu

    on feed rate 3 it puts out 20000 btu

    on feed rate 4 it puts out 40000 btu or better.

    i told the man i spoke with the same problems you are having and he told me to run the stove on fr 4,but mine would not run there for more the 20 minutes and shut down the combustion blower. he then told me that either the f250 limit switch or the fan switch was bad , so i went to aubuchon and bought both for 35.00 and replaced them.since then the stove has put out much better heat although i had to turn the fine tune on feed rate 4 all the way up to get the stove to feed more pellets. in all, on a cold nite...0-20 degrees, i am averageing 2-3 bags of pellets a day. in my opinion this stove i extremely inefficient,as oppesed to the englander25 my neighbor has. they have run the stove all winter in their 200 sq ft home and kept the home at 75-80 deg. all winter and only 1-1/12 bags of pellets per day(cubex).


    just tyring to give you my personal experience with your stove...not at all trying to go against what others are trying to say. please call the tech support number in your owners manual and speak with them , they will help you out...its an 800 number.or you can pm me and i will give you my home number and help where i can.


    mike brown
  24. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

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    lisa and bruce,
    i have the cheap charlie hp 120 which is the step brother to your pelpro(built by the same company). i was expiriencing the same as you with 1100 square feet . i ended up calling tech support in canada and this is what i was told:

    on feed rate 1 you stove puts out 8000 btu

    on feed rate 2 it puts out 12-14000 btu

    on feed rate 3 it puts out 20000 btu

    on feed rate 4 it puts out 40000 btu or better.

    i told the man i spoke with the same problems you are having and he told me to run the stove on fr 4,but mine would not run there for more the 20 minutes and shut down the combustion blower. he then told me that either the h250 limit switch or the fan switch was bad , so i went to aubuchon and bought both for 35.00 and replaced them.since then the stove has put out much better heat although i had to turn the fine tune on feed rate 4 all the way up to get the stove to feed more pellets. in all, on a cold nite...0-20 degrees, i am averageing 2-3 bags of pellets a day, and am finally able to get the house to 70 deg. in my opinion this stove i extremely inefficient,as opposed to the englander25 my neighbor has. they have run the stove all winter in their 2000 sq ft home and kept the home at 75-80 deg.on the low setting all winter and only 1-1/12 bags of pellets per day(cubex).


    just trying to give you my personal experience with your stove...not at all trying to go against what others are trying to say. please call the tech support number in your owners manual and speak with them , they will help you out...its an 800 number.or you can pm me and i will give you my home number and help where i can.


    mike brown
  25. newpelletstove

    newpelletstove Member

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    mjbrown,

    just a note that you can go back in and edit your post (there should be an edit button at the bottom that appears for you and not for anyone else). If you need to make changes this will keep you from having to post a second post.
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