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My New Years resolution comes true, thanks to Craigslist

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by 343amc, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    My New Years resolution is to make it easier to keep my house warm. I found the way to make my resolution come true on Craigslist.

    I think I have my work cut out for me....

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    That unit looks VERY FAMILIAR?? Congrats...

    How big is your house? Are you using existing HVAC or using as a Freestander? If using existing, how many registers and is the ducting insulated?

    That hopper extension may be something I buy. It's shy of 3 bags in stock form, which is plenty, but an extended hopper is on my list.

    Congrats. My house is 73* right now and I don't do a thing but add a bag a day (running on Level 1 with feed trim and air trim both at 5) and it keeps over 2,000 sq in the 70's. close to 76* when it auto cleans (on Premium pellet it's about every 10 hrs)

    Congrats again.

    There have been some upgrades to the pot, exhaust manifold, and controller. Matt Fitts (lead tech) at Fahrenheit is a pleasure to deal with or Mark Graham (owner and engineer). I have the newest controller version and the latest pot, sail switch (just inside intake on back/acts as the vacuum switch) and also the high flow exhaust manifold.

    The new sail switch opens like a door, to the side. The old one opens like a doggy door and pushes back, but it doesn't open all the way and restricts the air. That new sail switch and the high flow exhaust manifold really opened the furnace up and let it breathe properly.

    Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Nice to see another member step over to the dark side :) One suggestion, keep the freestanding unit you have for the shoulders. I just started using my Fahrenheit about a week ago. Above 25*-30* I use the Quadrafire, because the Fahrenheit can get it hot in here, in a hurry!!!
  3. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Thanks Dexter. It popped up last night and I emailed right away. It was only about 4 miles down the road from me. I picked it up for $1000. For that price, I'd be foolish not to have bought it. Even came with some (but not all) of the 4" venting I'll need. The original owner has an older farmhouse and upgraded to a Harman PF100. This unit has the updated control board and burnpot, along with all the original receipts and correspondence from Fahrenheit. The direct number for Matt Fitts was written on the front cover of the manual. Hopefully I don't need to call him, but its nice to know someone is there if needed. They build them in Holland, MI which is about 40 miles from my house, so if I ever get into a "parts pinch" I may have the option of making a factory run.

    My house is a bit over 1700 square foot on the main level, with a full basement (ranch style). My plan is to tie it into the ductwork. Our house has cathedral ceilings in the living room/kitchen area and heat tends to pool there while the back end of the house (bedrooms) are always a bit cooler. I'm hoping to do away with the fans and having the fan on the oil furnace cycle to move air around the house. Not having a noisy blower in the living room will be a plus too. My wife has her office in the basement and spends a lot of time down there this time of year, so that will hopefully warm up too and get rid of a couple electric heaters. The ductwork isn't insulated unfortunately, but the runs aren't terribly long, and one half of the basement is finished and insulated. The house originally had electric heat. There is electric resistance wire embedded in the plaster and each room had a thermostat. The electric heat had been abandoned when I bought the house, but the thermostats were still there, which I have since removed and plastered over. The house was retrofitted for oil heat at some point in the 70's, as best as I could tell by the date on the original oil furnace I replaced 10 years ago.

    There are two big obstacles that I have to get over. First is getting the beast into the basement. I see the rental of an appliance dolly and bribery of steak and beers to get some buddies to help with that task. Second is getting a hole in the foundation wall for the vent. As much as I'd like nothing more than to rip the oil furnace out, it has to stay and I'm not venting into the same flue. So, venting out the east side foundation wall it is, which is on the opposite side of prevailing winds. I haven't yet told my wife that one of the bushes by the side of the house will have to be sacrificed for this to happen. Gotta make room for the spark bucket. :) (sorry, couldn't resist)

    After that, its a couple backdraft dampers, a bit of ductwork, lots of band aids, some adult beverages and I should be good to go. It sounds so easy when I type it out like that, but I know I'm going to run into all sorts of things once I get into it. This house likes to remind me who's boss every time I start a project.

    So far I haven't done anything to it short of remove the hopper extension, vacuum out a huge pile of fines from the hopper, and start giving it a good cleanout. It seems like a pretty straightforward design, but it definitely needs a good cleaning.

    No plans to remove the pellet insert upstairs, yet, until I see how the furnace works out. I have a wood eater insert upstairs also, and that is definitely staying so I have heat during power outages (and an excuse to go play with my chainsaws from time to time).

    I'll start a new thread with pictures and install info once I get to the fun stuff.
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Congrats on the new addition. Keep us up-to-date on the progress.
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Back draft dampers are a must... And for $1,000 !!! You stole that thing bro!

    I paid $2,000 2 yrs ago for mine. Came with eome duct work, back draft dampers, and a lot of 3" vent!! I sold some of the 3" and gave the rest away. Because it specifically states the use of 4" venting. I got a Great Hearth.com discount from Eric at Kinsman stoves on the 4" Pellet vent Pro! :)

    I love mine. But my Fahrenheit is about 15'-20' away from my Wood eater (add yours to your Signature, you can.go both ways, it'so.k. ;)) so your mileage may vary. But I am heating 800 sq ft of my basement and 2,180 sq upstairs (cold air return is not hooked up, so that I can pull the Hot air from the wood stove) so altogether its about 3,000 sq and it has been on Level 1 for the last 4 days. The Quad t-stat is set at 69°-70°, so if l level 1 doesn't keep up or I dont reload the wood stove, then it will cycle on and run for about 30 minutes.

    I have only used Premium pellet setting, because it is the longest between auto clean (pot change).

    The pot change is the Best and worst thing about this unit. Its awesome because you can run it for 2 months and only add pellets. Its the bad because if your house is "At temp" and no call for heat is needed, and its goes into a pot change, the house temp will rise about 4° (YMMV) because the unit goes into High Fire for about 40 minutes. First 10-15 min is level 5 to heat up the Clinker/Ash, then the top burn plate comes out, next 10 minutes a new fire is established on the plate, then it auto cleans twice (back of pot goes back and forth twice), then new fire drops and stays at level 5 to build a good bed and stabilize.

    Here is the end of the auto clean (burn plate out and pellets burning)


    And this is level 3 burning with my High flow upgrades (flame is nice an d active with damper about 2/3 open.
    343amc likes this.
  6. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Went out to inventory the stash of venting that came with it as I didn't look at it that closely. The elbows looked odd to me. Sure enough, type B elbows. Guess I get to buy an elbow or two once I figure out what I'll need.

    Any opinions on SPX Pellet Vent? That's the brand of venting that came with the furnace (minus the Hart and Cooley type B elbows). I have a cleanout tee, 3 inch section that connects to the exhaust outlet and a couple 2 foot sections, all 4 inch except for the 3 inch section that connects the cleanout tee to the exhaust outlet. I used Selkirk for my insert years ago. I don't want to mix and match different manufacturers pipe though.
  7. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Cool videos Dexter. Thanks for sharing. That's making me want to get it installed sooner rather than later. Especially since its 24 outside and snowing...
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Wow, You stole it!
    343amc likes this.
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    No prob. And like I said, any questions. Dont hesitate to ask.

    Also, Eric from Kinsman is a dealer for these and is well versed in them. My closest dealer is selling his last 2. One is a demo (about $2k and one brand new $3k). Thats still a good deal.

    But compared to your $1k.... :)


    As for venting, never heard of it? Maybe start a thread with the name in the title?

    2012-12-10_20-00-47_521.jpg
    343amc likes this.
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Oh and 3 guys with an appliance dolly. Using 2 extra straps (watch exhaust and Intake port) with two guys up top, we used 2 6' (4" nylon straps) straps and choked them onto the handles. Allowed the 2 guys to almost stay at the top of the steps, and one guy under it, to guide it down. Worked like a charm.
  11. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Nice looking room. That makes the side of the basement that my unit will be installed in look shameful. I can't quite make out what is in the bottle though. :rolleyes:
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Great lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale! Mmmmmmmm

    That is one side of my basement. Its kinda split in half, with a Pool room/Bar on the other end (opposite of woodstove).

    My Goal has been to finish and insulate that side, but having more BTU's than i can shake a stick t? I dont really need to :)

    Looking forward to your install pics, and your thoughts. Have you fired it up yet? And tinkered?

    I bought mine in Feb a couple years ago and waited till Sept last year to install it.. So this is my 2nd season and I love it more and more everyday. :)
  13. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Nice choice of beverage. :)

    I haven't fired it up, but it was tempting. Pretty darn cold in the attached garage today. The pole barn has heat, but I put the Fahrenheit in the attached garage so I wouldn't have to try to get the unit the extra 100 feet or so to the house when install time comes. I pulled off the extended hopper, removed the leftover pellets and vacuumed out the pile of fines. I pulled the burn pot and cleaned that, removed the baffles and cleaned the heat exchanger tubes (that cleanout rod is pretty slick) and gave it a quick vacuuming. I'll do a better job before I fire it up, but my fingers were getting pretty cold after that amount of time. I want to clean the convection blower (a few furballs are in there) and do a better job cleaning the burn pot/firebox. I'll do that this weekend as its supposed to warm up a bit.

    I was downstairs figuring out where its going to sit and what venting pieces I'm going to need to pick up. I'm going to use your idea and put the unit up on blocks. My basement flooded about 7 years back and I had 4" of water down there. That's what happens when there is 2 feet of snow on the ground, it hits 60 degrees and starts raining. Pump couldn't keep up and the rest is history. It hasn't happened since, and I hope it doesn't happen again.

    Worst part about this is I've been off work on vacation for the past two weeks. I probably could have had this all done during that time, but its back to the grind tomorrow.
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Mine is on blocks for that same reason... Also, I LOVE your Avatar!

    There is a channel (exhaust path) that runs the width of the stove. Remove the 2 side clean out plates (actually only need to remove the left side (when facing furnace) and remove the square cleanout plate with 4 holes)

    Get a long brush and clean that. And maybe remove the combustion blower and clean the vanes?
  15. 343amc

    343amc Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    376
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Thanks for the extra tips. I've read the manual a couple times. It's a bit tattered so I'll print a fresh copy at work tomorrow.

    I'll change my avatar again after I get it burning. :)
  16. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The PDF is free online. Or PM your email, and I can send it to you.

    I have a warm and fuzzy feeling inside!! I'm excited for you ;em
  17. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,906
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    That pellet furnace looks fantastic. Looks like it will put out some serious heat.
    I'm betting that there are some more innovations that will result in these heating systems becoming more user friendly. Rural area here have no hope of ever having access to natural gas. Propane is as costly, if not more so, than oil. Here in Maine, we have the oldest population in the nation. We really have a huge market for a lower cost option to home heating. I'm thinking that these pellet furnaces will be one of them.
    DexterDay and 343amc like this.

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