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My quadrafire 1200 re-anaysis

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Manfred Range, Nov 8, 2011.

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  1. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    I've read quite a bit of similar comments regarding my situation on other forums. It seems it is not an isolated issue to me. here it is:

    several of us quad 1200 have come to think that it takes a lot of time for the distribution fan to kick in and move the nice hot air into the room. several people indicated close to half an hour, and mine is about 15 minutes. It is related to the snap disc on the rt side of the stove near the bottom of the exchanger tubes, clearly visible upon opening the side door. (rt hand side while viewing the bay window front of stove).

    what seems strange is that it has been designed to kick in at about 140F and it takes a long time for that particular end of the stove to reach that temp. Meanwhile,...on the left side of the stove the temperature is piping hot.

    so,...I experimented a bit. I started the stove and waited till a warm glow was coming off the left outlet vent, about 5 minutes of flame action. Then I used a hair dryer to trick the snap disc into action. Bingo! off it went and the fan started distributing air.

    what happened next was the strange part. The rt hand side where the disc is situated, blew almost cool air while the left hand side blew out quite hot air already.

    firstly, why would it be so varied from side to side? ( by the way, my stove is exquisitely clean)

    secondly, could this not be a hazard if the left side got way too hot, while the right side slowly meandered up to 140F?

    thirdly, why harbor heat in the stove where it could only damage stuff, when it could be already heating the room?

    I proposed to myself to get a 100F snap disc and try that instead, but don't like the idea of modification, yet I reason that getting the heat out could only be safer. (right??). I decided to bounce it off of other quad 1200 users and maybe a qualified techie who may read this, before trying anything.

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    My stove is around the 15 minute mark also. To say it wastes a few pellets while heating up, is an o.k. statement. But upon shutdown, the stove continues.to run and extract heat, while no pellets are burning. So I call that a crapshoot. But also, because I run my stove majority of the time on its low setting (24/7) I dont have the stove constantly coming on and shutting off.

    As for the flow of air and heat through the tubes. If you look in the Ash clean-out port (bottom right hand side, nelow snap discs/ 4 screws remove the square plate) you will see that the left side heat exchange tubes are situated above a shelf/box which the combustion blower is in. The right side is a straight shot down. So the air is impeded by the box when it comes down the passage between the tubes. Instead of being sucked straight down and over like the right side. It is brought down where the air hits the shelf and must do around and down.

    That is my logic behind it anyways. Its all in the airflow. If its obstructed, it will go slower. If it goea slower, you get a better exchange rate. The better the exchange, the hotter your air.

    I have never had an overheating issue. But then again, I mostly use the Low setting and just keep the stove idling along. Only use Med when temps get to around 10* and lower and even then, I slide the feed plate closed some.

    Very interested in your experiment though. The Santa Fe and Castile owners here have done something similar. Getting lower set snap discs, moving them, tubeulators, wiring fan on highest setting (no matter the heat setting), etc...

    There are only about a half dozen 1200 users here. But in the last few weeks it seems there are that many more now.

    Just had another thought. The way the plenum for the convection fan is made will decrease the flow of air to the left side also. The fan is off-set to the right side of the stove and so the plenum that goes from the blower to the exchange tubes is longer on the left side. That will slow the flow, which in turn raises the temp due to a longer exchange time (the slower the air moves, the more heat it will pick up)

    Looking.foward to your thoughts .......
  3. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, all real good. I know my stove quite well and I know what you're talking about and it makes sense. Personally, I'd rather that all the heat and even room air, albeit cool, move on out and benefit the room. I, for the life of me can't see me jeopardizing the safety program in these 1200's by causing the fan to come on sooner (by using a 100Fsnap disc.) I haven't done it yet, but I think I will.

    another thing I did the first year (I've had it 4 yrs) is that I vented the flue up and through the old gas boiler and continued the flue to the chimney at the top of the boiler. I never had it inspected till the second year (ta ta,...I know!!!). The hot/warm water then went into the cold port of an electric boiler and voila! saved myself at least $300. per year on hot water cost. and, my teenagers didn't have a complaining Dad when they showered for 15 minutes instead of 7.

    My heating cost for the old gas furnace (63--very old) was about $1500. for all year and that included the line cost. Now I spend about $700 for pellets and I buy them via my sawmill, cheaper--$162 plus international border duty of $8. I know others can't get that kind of deal, but I've saved thousands already, and by now my stove and boiler are paid for and the rest is profit. Too bad the inspector told me to change it to protocol. He did comment though, all legalism aside, that it worked real well and safe in his opinion, just not liked by the government and ins.

    can you imagine &00; and minus the 300 how cheap is cheap!! you can't even justify splitting wood for that.

    it seems your area is warmer than ours, as we spend about 3 months hovering at 27 F average winter mayve reaching abit higher during the day. my stove is on high everything and one bag a day. The house is a comfortable 73F and the stove works most of the time with a flame slightly out of the pot.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I hear ya on the money saved. We were at almost $4,000 a yr on LP. Now down around $800-$900.for.pellets. Our winter isnt to warm. Living in/near the snowbelt of Ohio. We get our fair share of snow and I am not sure of the average winter temp. But it gets cold..

    Seeing how your mind works and having the same stove as me, you are a welcomed addition to the Forum.

    I too will be going into season 4. Although at the end of this season, I plan to sell the Quad and replace it woth a more adjustable multi fuel unit with an agitator in the burn pot. The Quad is nice, but very simple and almost zero user input, other than the feed plate. Also having an agitaor to assist in the cleaning of the pot (if I wanted to go longer between cleanings) would be a welcomed function. Forum member imacman burned 59 bags straight last year, without openinb the soor to even clean the glass. Filled the hopper on his Englander 10-CPM and just burned.

    Anyways. Look forward to your input, along with your experiences from tour stove. Likes/Dislikes.
  5. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    While I don't have a 1200, I have two Quads the 'suffer' from the same seemingly illogical design in the heat exchange department. My Snap disk #1 was situated low on the right side of my stove and took a long time to turn out. As soon as it turned on, it was blowing very hot air, meaning that waste heat was going up the flue until the convection fan turned on. At the advice of a fellow member, I took my surface temperature probe and looked around on the side for the hottest area, which in my case was at the very top of the side close to the outlet of the tubes. I purchased an adjustable snap disk and mounted it there. Now the fan comes on much sooner and stays on after the fire goes out and extracts every bit of heat. This was done on my Castile. The Sante Fe already has the snap disk at the top>> Go figure!!!
  6. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    Adjustable snap disc?? that DOES INTEREST ME! where, how, how much? If I ever get mortgage-free I will most certainly heat water the way I tried the first year. It worked flawlessly. that is,...till the authorities found out. I'm also trying to invent a small pellet stove that works on a pellet injection idea to situate under a truck and a water jacket would keep the coolant warm-near hot and the "waste" heat be sent into the cab via an exchanger to keep it cozy as well. perhaps programmable to kick in at 5 am and when one goes to his 7 am appointment,...voila the truck is nice and warm---drive and go in 20 below C. !! sounds like fun to me. My brain thinks like that!

    I'm getting old though so if someone else provided it for me, just as well.

    BTW, I measured the flue temp at 225f before going through the water heater, and it went down to 205f while the water heated up, but returned to 225f once the water reached 160f. I call that absolutely free water heat!!!

    What does CPM in the 10CPM stand for?

    Emerson and Frost had similar philosophies. I love the poetry of Frost, and call me odd but I write and love poetry. Frost is a phenomenal poet. and his "the road not taken"--you can look it up on google--is one of his best and very famous ones. Yes,...I like to think laterally, and have never had much money, but make up for it with ideas.

    I'm happy to have met you both, Dexter and tjm. let's keep in touch. I've got tons of ideas.
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Not exactly sure what the CPM stands for? (Scratching head) If I had to guess it would be Corn/Pellet/Multi-Fuel.. But I have no clue. I just know that I love to tinker and extract the very last ounce of efficiency out of anything and it sounds like you are a Man of the same kind...

    Very nice meeting you here. Yes, It sounds like you have some great ideas. Looking forward to upcoming threads of yours.

    Member tjnamtiw is a great guy also. Helped me obtain some info and manuals I needed a couple weeks ago. I didnt want to mention his name , when I spoke of the Santa Fe and Castile owners. That Mod'ed there stoves. Dont want to throw someone on point. If I am not mistaken, Grainger.com sells the adjustable snap discs.. Not sure which one. Do a search on "adjustable snap discs" and the last thread should come up. The search function is nice here.
  8. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    So I came home from work and the first thing I did was hair blow heat the snap disc into action, 'cause it had clinkered up on me and the house was a bit cool. I don't mind this little bit of tinkering. Hardly worth mentioning, plus if I didn't do that I'd be there anyway just to check up on things. 'sides I love to look at that flame through the bay window.

    We laugh about it at my mill where i work, because I'm a trimmer, and I need pellets. we sell our sawdust to a pellet mill across the line in Idaho. So I take my trim ends, turn them into firewood of the same size, organize the pallet and sell it to 3 customers on a steady basis. I then go to the bank, get a draft, pay the pellet mill, and voila I get pellets returned to me in an empty sawdust truck. if I just let it all go into the conveyor, it would end up as pellets anyway, just not MY PELLETS! To be fair I pay my mill owner the sawdust price he would have gotten from my salvage. Everybody is happy. (well the pellet mill isn't aware that they miss out on a ton of sawdust, as it never gets that far.) call it: mill-owner-prerogative-to-do-what-he-wishes-with-the-sawdust. He blesses me! It's like a little raise for me, without him actually paying me more! wierd economics, isn't it? ;-P
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest


    Sounds like a good deal to me!!! Are they good burning pellets? Who is the Manufacturer?

    Thats a good "raise" in my book! :)
  10. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    I kinda think so. North Idaho Energy is the maker. they use 60 % fir, and 40% spf (spruce/pine/"balsam" 'fir'). I visited the plant and had a tour and was very impressed with the integrity of the operation.

    easterners often argue that one should not use resinous woods, but, when used properly, and fired real hot, as in a pellet stove, they are very good. Hardwoods are very good too, don't get me wrong. I think they have a bit more ash, but don't quote me on that.

    They chide me at work, laughingly saying I am not making much money, but I argue back and say, well, maybe, but look who has pellets and fuel all taken care of (outside normal mill income!!). and i try not to laugh back when the sweat away at chopping wood, sometimes 5-6 chords for their winter fuel.
  11. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    I figure Quad engineers spent a lot of time sorting this out, I am not going to try to second guess them.
    I think my stove works just fine.
  12. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    All in all,...for 99% of it, I'd agree. fine stove. I'd buy one again, ...Just,...that I'm an O.C.D. perfectionist. if that makes any sense?$%$^&&*. and,...If I was an engineer on their team, I'd have strong opinions to steer the group.

    FOR INSTANCE,... why not extend the 1200's auger and sealed tube about three inches further out the back and have a sealed compartment under the auger for all the fines to collect in for a two to three week period.
    Then simply clean out. Or, have a vacuum hookup socket in the collection box one quick ffffftttt and done. (on-the-fly) call me a "re-inventer of the wheel!" :roll:
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Or a High/Low function so the stove never fully shuts down. Or all the settings being selected by the user (5 heat and 5 fan would be nice/little smaller increments/ so its not just Hot/Super Hot/Holy $hit Big Flame)

    An Air Damper, a sealed OAK, a solid Screw and Cylinder style auger, and the list goes on. Great stove. Great to learn and understand the full fundamentals of pellet burning. But my Next Stove will have full user input and adjustments. I am a Tinkerer too. So I need settings and knobs, dials, switches, and things of this nature.

    I want to be in charge. 3 settings is minimal. And the fan feature isnt a great one either. Should have been 3 settings for fan (at least) and should have been same as heat settings (High, Med, and Low) So you can have Full on Convection blower and have heat setting on Low (where I like it).
  14. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    Sealed OAK ?? not sure if that is an acronym, or what. But I like the solid flight auger too. and,...extend it out the back a bit for the same function as my last post.

    Yeah,..they can get a scary flame sometimes, huh? !! Like you I like to be in control too. My old (usually) vehicles need all the instrument, and manual control stuff and the list goes on. I had a radiator by pass on my 73 Impala, because in our icy winters in Northern Alberta we used to use cardboard in front of the rad. My idea worked real well and had a throttle type control that opened/closed the valve or half opened it whatever I needed,...it kept me rad water very nice and hot and heated up in 5 minutes instead of 15. Oh, and I completely removed the fan during the 0 F or colder weather, which could go on for a month or two. The minute I opened the valve to full rad use you could see the gage drop just having the air rush through on the highway.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Sealed OAK... Outside Air Kit. The Quads design just goes under the footprint of the stove (the base) and then goes up an envelope midway, which can be seen when the doors are open. This air then comes in the back of where the ignitor is (open the little cover on the front of the stove, there is a slit in the back) the air comes up that channel and into the ignitor area and through the burn pot. The hole for the thermocouple also lets air into the Firebox. I have sealed that hole, along with all the joints for the OAK, and the base of the stove.

    I do love this stove. But I am still looking forward to its more High Tech, Adjustable, and Truly Multi fuel friendly replacement. Served its purpose. I have taken meticulous care of it and has many extra parts I have on the shelf (actually in a cabinet by the stove).
  16. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    “Proud member of the Pellet Pig Club†OINK OINK!!
    “You pellet pigs should be ashaimed of yourselvesâ€-eernest4-Grand Poobah-Pellet Pig Club

    Ok, it just begs the question. what is the club thing?


    By outside air, would that be out of the house air vs in the house air?
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well it involves first frost, number of tons of pellets, how they were transported to your home, and a number of factors lead to bonus stars.

    Once you have asked for membership and your credentials have been verified and (this is the most important part or so I've been told) remitted your dues to the club treasurer (imacman) for laundering via purchase of essential club consumables stored in the refrigerator at Eric's stove shop. The approval of your membership will be forthcoming from a member in good standing and thus you earn your Oinks.
  18. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    I assume that means a trip to the stove shop (specifically,..Erics) and purchase of some innocuous cool liquid, and clinking, and consuming in appropriate place. Am I getting warmer? ( oh yeah,...not warmer from pellet, just on the trail of the idea! :)

    We have a stove shop up the Kootenay Lake at a place called Grey Creek, and They sell pretty much all the handy cottage convenience stuff. Trouble is it is NOT Erics. :-/
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Please note my use of the weasel words so I've been told inside the parentheses.

    I've never been to Ohio, flown over ages ago but that is all.

    You have to ask and then you'll get grilled about your pig habits, remember being a Pellet Pig is frowned upon by some folks, as they believe that our habits are or were responsible for the great pellet shortages, the last one of which was in 2008 supposedly.

    The admonishment by our Grand Poobah in our signatures is actually showing our disdain for that admonishment and our commitment to increase our ranks.
  20. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Hi guys,
    I've now modified both of my stoves to have the fan on High no matter what the Heat setting. B-Mod, I believe, suggested the way to do this last winter. It really makes a difference especially on Low heat. I always felt that the fan output on Low was about as strong as a good fart so to have it actually blowing warm air across the room now on low is a blessing. All you need is to get 110 v to the snap disk #1 rather than the variable voltage.
    Yep, I got my adjustable snap disk from Grainger, again thanks to a lead from B-Mod. We just posted that link about two weeks ago so a search should turn that one up real quick.
  21. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Can't argue with you on that one. It's just that some of us have this insatiable desire to tinker. %-P Why not squeeze an extra 20 degrees of heat out of the tubes if we can do it easily without butchering the stove? Are we voiding the warranty? Perhaps but in reality, we are actually helping the stove to stay cooler by extracting more heat from the same amount of fuel. Less heat - less stress. They sure do work well, as you said, without messing with them but .................... we just HAVE to mess with them!
  22. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The Classic Bay has a 2 speed Switch for the Convection Blower. Which helps a little. But when it on Low heat-High fan, its still not the same volume of air on High heat-High Fan.

    I am highly interested in this... Where are you getting your 110v from in the stove? I know Castiles and Santa Fe's are a little different but it gives me a general idea. Can PM me if you would like.
  23. Manfred Range

    Manfred Range Member

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    For our climate (south British Columbia), and my house size, and the stove size, about the correct size to do the trick, the high settings stay on always, and the only fiddling I do is with the feed slide in the pellet box, other than like my "like-minded-comrades-above" SQUEEZING OF HEAT FROM THOSE TUBES!!

    Do I love my old fashioned 1200 quad bay window? of course! As was aptly said above it works well.

    We've never run into pellet shortages, but our mill in North Idaho sometimes thinks it'll happen. They very much covet our mills supply of sawdust, especially the fir sawdust! The fact that it is already dried is real impressive to them. They could easily twin the pelleting section but the supply has to also be there. They also make the logs, and actually, most of the sawdust goes into logs. Big big market, apparently. Me?....I prefer pellets. Way less labor. (I think,...I could be wrong)
  24. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Now mine are inserts but on the Castile, I unplugged the 110 line coming off of the snap disk 3 and put a T in there so that I could branch off and back to snap disk 1. I located which side of snap disk 1 was the normally hot side, removed and taped up that plug and replaced it with the branch line. On the Sante Fe insert, the snap disk 3 is about impossible to get to so I took a different tack. On the control box base, there is a two pronged 110 volt outlet normally for a powered wireless thermostat. According to the schematic, it is wired directly in down stream of the power feed and BEFORE the fuse. I plugged a line into that socket, put an in-line fuse holder in the hot leg (only leg used), inserted a two amp fuse (blower uses 1.2 amps) and again connected it to the normally hot side of the snap switch 1.

    Make sense?
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Perfect sense... Thank you.

    You verify the "hot side" with the stove off, correct? Even with the stove off one leg on Snap disc 1 always has power. So check that, then the rest is as follows above.
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