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Is A Pellet Insert Harder To Maintain Than A Freestanding Stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by velvetfoot, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Does it have to be pulled out, or something to do a full cleaning (whatever that might be)?

    I'm just thinking about the future when I'm even weaker than I am now. :)

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  2. imacman

    imacman Guest

    In general it is more difficult, just for the reason you mentioned. Access to the blowers and auger motor(s) are always through the sides or rear, so to do a proper full cleaning the unit has to be pulled out.
  3. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I have two inserts as you see in my sig. They DON'T have to be pulled out for regular weekly or monthly cleaning unless you burn a couple of tons during that period. Otherwise, you have to pull them out at the end of the season to disconnect the flue pipe and run a brush up or down it. Also, at that time you would pull the combustion blower and convection blower to give them a good cleaning and be ready for next year. This is for Quads. I'm sure others will chime in for their brands that might require something else.
    For my Quads, it's a grunt and bear it kinda thing. I'm pushing 70 but still able to do it. Some brands have rigs to let you literally roll them out on attachable rails. I wish I had known about that at the time. Good luck on your search.
  4. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

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    The older I get, the harder it is for me to pull the insert out of the fireplace. This, along with the limited hopper size, are the two big drawbacks of an insert IMHO. I do think they look better than a free standing unit though.
  5. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    My Harman P35i has a 62lb hopper and is set in a cage so it "rolls" out for service and cleaning. I will never own an insert that does not have this feature! The Accentra is also available as an insert with this. I'm not sure about the hopper size.
  6. Tim_M

    Tim_M Member

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    Another consideration when pulling out an insert is disconnecting (and then re-connecting) the exhaust pipe, which can be a real challenge due to restricted access and limited/no visibility.
  7. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the unit. There is no need to disconnect my Harman exhaust. The insert just slides out (with effort) then slides back in and re-sets itself against the exhaust 'manifold'.
  8. DemonGT

    DemonGT Member

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    if i remove the insert shroud and stove side panels on my stove i can get to all the motors with out pulling it out.

    but i would think a FS stove would be much easier to maintain for sure.
  9. jdege

    jdege Member

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    I pull my Harman insert out once per ton to clean the fine box, a little heavy but manageable. The annual cleaning is done by a tech, I pay for a professional to clean my furnace once a year and the pellet stove deserves nothing less. As for hopper size I believe it holds 60+ pounds so no issue there.

    Love my insert but my in laws have freestanding stoves and those are nice to. IMO
  10. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    yes....an insert generally is *somewhat* more labor intensive to clean than a freestander
  11. sandpipe

    sandpipe Member

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    The Harman Invincible insert has access to the distribution blower through the bottom of pulled out unit. When my blower was replaced last year I put car jackstands underneath the stove because the repairman was nervous about sliding his head underneath the minimally supported 354lb stove.

    It is quite a workout sliding it in and out of the hearth. I muscle it out incrementally from side to side and it gets easier after it's out several inches. Likewise, when pushing it back in those last few inches are the toughest.
  12. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Mine is easily pulled out, but that being said, I believe a free standing stove would be much less of a PIA to service. I also wish I had a bigger Hopper!!
  13. jim3854

    jim3854 Member

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    I have a freestanding stove in the same room as my fireplace . Its nice to be able to use both.
  14. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

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    I have the same stove. It takes more effort to slide in/out with each cleaning. It's a combination of me getting older and the flat gasketing that sits on top of the frame 'slides' are pretty much gone, so there is much more friction. I either gotta replace those, or hit the frame with a wire brush and then some fluid film, or get back to the gym.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  15. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

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    I never thought pulling my castile insert was a major pain in the azz.

    Oddly, it did get much more difficult when I saw my buddies free standing castile
    tjnamtiw likes this.

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