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Manually lighting a pellet stove , again?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MCPO, May 21, 2008.

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  1. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    OK, I would well imagine this subject has been beaten to death over the forum`s existance so one more person`s experience shouldn`t hurt much.
    I tried everything suggested and experimented with wood shavings , waxed sawdust chips , gelled alcohol , and the propane torch.
    Everything worked for me but the wood shavings. The push button propane torch works but is as much work as anything else and not my favorite method. I needed to torch the pellets for at least 60 seconds . I think the 30 seconds I read about was simply just another exaggeration.
    What did work quite well was scrapings (shave em with a jack knife) from those 1"square waxed sawdust (?) firestarter material from Walmart mixed in with the pellets. A little effort but works every time.
    Personally I found the best and quickest method and probably still the most receommended method for good reasons to be the gelled alcohol in the pint/qt squeeze bottle but only when mixed into a cup of pellets.
    However some places are intent on ripping you off at $12-$16 a bottle and that makes the cost obvious when manually lighting your stove on a daily basis during these cool evenings and mornings when you want to take the chill off and burn for an hour or two..
    I ordered (on line) 4 bottles from Aubuchon hardware @ $6.49 each. shipping was $7 but the shipping doesn`t increase much with larger orders.
    I also had a couple of large cans of sterno that I mixed with equal amounts of 91% polypropanol to create what appears to be a very close match to the stuff in the bottle and works equally well but to me the whole point is making pellet burning effort the easiest and cheapest way possible.
    In summary , as long as I can buy the squeeze bottles at $6.49 (16 oz) I`ll use that method.
    John

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  2. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Ok Pook. So you use Kerosene huh?
    The Manufacturers probably won`t recommend it for safety reasons but I don`t see a great danger in it myself. It`s not explosive .
    I`ve disposed of small amounts 6-10 oz of dirty #2 fuel oil on wood logs and then thrown them into the wood stove fire in the garage. They just ignite quickly without a flash and burn furiously for a while.
    Maybe you have something there after all?
    John
  3. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Throwing it on hot or burning embers might not be good but from a definite cold start using an ounce of kerosene would be reasonably safe and should work as good as anything else.
    However the possibility of human error always exists so the manufacturers have to be specific in their attempt to protect themselves from liability.
    John
  4. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    wax and sawdust bricks for lighting woodstoves , you can get em in our local grocery store for about a buck and a half for a pack of 3. put em in a bag and hit with a hammer to break em up , one starter block should be good for a dozen or more lightings. i would think a palmfull of these crushed up starter medium would be all you need, turn the unit on with door open , most stoves will not feed when door is open but exhaust blower will run , light the starter and give it time to get going, ease door shut , fire should be established pretty well by the time the pellets arrive. tried and true method ive used for our older manual start units for years
  5. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Actually I had good luck and could be content with this method too and at the cost you quoted , it sounds like a very good alternative to the gel.
    John
  6. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Get that mix steaming and then go out and it fumes up to light again and make a mini explosion you might not like. I doubt it would hurt you unless your kisser was too close and even then probably just eyelashes and some hair. Sure stinks though. Why go to all the headache when a nice simple push button turbotorch will do the deed in 10 to 15 seconds. No fuss no muss and you get way more than a season from one two dollar tank. It's so simple.
  7. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Not quite accurate, at least in my experience with a torch.
    I did purchase one and although it worked OK I think your 10-15 second light is a gross exaggeration. I`ve had to hold it much longer . Could be the pellets maybe?
    I spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with most popular methods and I found the wax sawdust and gelled alcohol methods to work the best for me.
    We all eventually work out and develop our own preferences for whatever reasons.
    John
  8. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    You could try a bottle of mapp gas instead of propane, it burns a lot hotter than propane.
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