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My Wiseway non electric stove experience

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by mikelcan, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. mikelcan

    mikelcan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Oly Pen, Wa
    Hi,

    I had stated that I would do a post once I had some experience with my Wiseway stove.

    First some background on my situation. My house is an 1950's ranch with average insulation for its age. The windows are primarily aluminum framed single pane sliding windows. The exception is the living room and kitchen where the windows are double pane aluminum non opening windows. I plan on adding insulation to the attic (blown fiberglass) next month. The house has electric baseboard heating in all rooms. We live on the Olympic Peninsula in WA state which has a moderate cool climate and great electric rates at 6.5 cents per Kwh. Last year with the baseboard we kept my office (I work from home) and living room on a low setting turning them up when we were in those rooms. So really only one baseboard unit was on at a time. My wife would also turn on the one in her craft area when in use.

    In looking for a stove we wanted something to back up the electricity during an outage as well as adding to our comfort level without costing more. I know that in some areas of the country just replacing electricity with pellets is enough. Since we are conservative in our electric usage we only added 150 a month for Feb last year to our summer cost. We only have a window AC for one bedroom so the summer cost is what I am using as a baseline. At 200 a ton for pellets we need to have a bag last 1.5 days to meet that goal.

    Stove installation was done by the dealer. It was the first one he installed in a house. Likewise it was the first one the inspector saw. The stove was installed with an OAK, which is actually required here in my county so I had no choice on that. The installer used 3 inch duravent pellet pipe with two 45 degree elbows in the attic to gain clearance from the rafter. The ceiling joist and rafter did not line completely up with where we positioned the stove. Total chimney height from the stove to cap is 15 feet (3 - 5 ft sections, 2 45 elbows, cap, stove adapter, ceiling box, roof flashing). The stove was installed on a modular hearth that provides ember protection and meets the clearances from the manual.

    Now for the stove review.

    The first thing to note about this stove is it behaves more like a wood stove than a pellet stove. It seems obvious to state that since there is no auger feeding pellets, no combustion motor, no thermostat, etc the stove behaves like a wood stove where draft is important. I follow the lighting procedure from the manual that is to use a propane torch, let it run for a minute or so with no pellets to get a draft going, then add pellets and let the torch continue until the temp hits 300 degrees on the flue thermometer at which time I remove the torch and put the burn chamber door on.

    At first (I made some adjustments noted later) if I left the stove on high (air damper closed) it would reach max temperature of + 700 degrees on the flue thermometer in about 20 minutes. If I opened the air damper putting the stove on low when it was at 300 degrees the stove rose to 450 in 20 minutes. On low it would slowly climb to 600 degrees after 2 - 3 hours. The pellet usage on high or low was 11 - 14 hours a bag. I felt this was a bit high and posted on the Wiseway forum and received guidance on either using a barometric damper or ordering the low heat basket. At this time I have not done either, although I think I will order the basket.

    What I did do however was to make an unrecommended adjustment to my current basket. I found some old threads on that forum that mentioned that the basket should have 5/16 gaps in it. When I measured mine one was at 3/8ths the other two were a loose 5/16ths. So I tightened my gaps up to 5/16ths and have been pleased with the results. First I noticed that on high the stove will climb to 550 in 20 minutes and only reaches 650 after a couple of hours. On low the stove stabilizes around 400 degrees. I can adjust the air so that I can maintain 450, 500, 550. This is why I stated the stove performs more like a traditional wood stove and not a pellet stove. The usage seems to be about 2 pounds per hour on low and 3.5 on high now. Since I was not planning on burning 24x7 I believe that I can meet my stretching a bag over a day and a half.

    I did include a picture since I am aware of the internet adage that without pictures it did not happen.

    Attached Files:

    dw06, UMainah, h2ochild and 1 other person like this.

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  2. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the first hand report...
  3. stayfitz

    stayfitz Member

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    Very cool stove! Glad to hear you're getting things dialed in. Keep us posted.
  4. Tedinski

    Tedinski Member

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    Do you have an approximate exhaust temperature? Without a more traditional heat exchanger and fan, I wonder how much heat is exiting via the flue.
  5. mikelcan

    mikelcan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Oly Pen, Wa
    The temperature I listed is the flue temperature at the top of the stove. The thermometer is a probe thermometer built into the stove, not just a magnetic thermometer. I do not have a way to measure the temperature farther up the chimney since it is a double wall pipe from the stove top to the cap. I have not yet used my IR thermometer to measure the stove itself. I will have to dig it out of the tool chest one day. I might even climb on the roof to get an exit temperature or two one day.

    Mike

  6. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I'd love to see a hybrid stove someday.
    briansol likes this.
  7. The Grintch

    The Grintch Member

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    So it's a hybrid, convience of pellets but no electricity and potential mechanical failures.

    So how does it heat? Do you see this as a viable heat source?

    Why did you choose this over a pellet or wood stove?
  8. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I'd love to see one that requires power to get going, but once it's on, it's self contained... maybe it boils water to turn a steam auger... lol I don't know. but it seems like once its on, there's energy there that can be used to continue to make more energy.
  9. mikelcan

    mikelcan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Oly Pen, Wa
    It heats fine. This week the lows have been low 40's and highs in the mid 50's. I have run the stove for a few hours in the morning and some evenings. It will bring the temperature in that room quickly and I have started to play with fans blowing toward that room to distribute the heat. In four hours I can bring the temperature in my office from the 58 - 60 range to 68 - 70 range. My office is off the hallway that you see in the picture. I have only done one burn over 6 hours. I think that is how I am going to run the stove anyways. Light it in the morning bring house up to temp shut it down. Relight if needed in the evening, shut it down at bed time and repeat. We like the temp in the house to b 68 - 70 any hotter and my wife complains, cooler and I complain.

    I do see it as a viable heat source but at the same time I do not see this as fitting every ones needs. A lot of people would not like to manually start the stove every time and would not like the inability to set a thermostat and walk away.

    As to why I chose this over other products. First I ruled out a wood stove since I do not have time to cut,split,stack, etc firewood nor do I have a lot trees to cut down. That meant buying wood and that is not usually a pleasant situation. Most sellers think a pick up truck = a cord of wood, that seasoned is cut and split in summer burn in winter, etc. That got me looking at pellet stoves to begin with last year. But we had a half day power outage and I realized that most pellet stoves required electricity which was my primary heat method and I would be cold both ways. I know that battery backups can be installed along with generators but was not sold on that method. This summer I was at the county fair and happened across this stove in one of the spa/fireplace/bbq/sauna tents. I liked the "industrial" look and then found out it was non electric. So I did a little bit of research and decided to give it a try.

    Someone else asked about a pellet stove that was "self generating". In my research I did see a university design challenge where someone designed a stove that used a combination of battery power and heat generator to power the dc auger and a combustion fan. Today I could not find that link. The challenge was design only and I never found where one was successfully built.

    Mike

    briansol likes this.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info. Somebody asks every year about that stove and now we have a member using one with real life results.
  11. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for posting such an extensive first hand experience.
  12. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I would like something that would have a radiant mode ( no power ) and one that is like most pellet stoves currently. It doesnt even have to put out the same btu's just something that could save you when the power is out. Its a pain to deal with a generator during a long term power outage. Of course to meet the requirements of one Im sure you sacrifice with the other.
  13. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    If your electric rates truly are 6.5 KW/hr ( total bill/Kilowatts used) its cheaper to run electricity then pellets. Maybe you left off a delivery fee of some sort though. Something to keep in mind if your running it a lot.
  14. The Grintch

    The Grintch Member

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    It seems like it's the best of both worlds. Pellet fed but with no electricity or moving parts.

    Best of luck with your new toy!
  15. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Lowes has a energy comparison chart. If your paying more than 280 a ton for pellets then electricity may be cheaper at 6cent per kill. I payed 188. per ton for premiums this season.
  16. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I guess its a little higher then I thought a quick plug in of numbers on this chart puts it at about $250 for 6.5c kw/hr. Everyone tilts numbers to favor their argument including me :)

    www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls

    This is a neat chart as it lets you really fiddle with numbers.
  17. Victorian Stove

    Victorian Stove New Member

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    Having had a wiseway pellet stove, I am sorry to say I was not impressed. Most of the reviews I see are from dealers selling them and this is the first real year they have been out in the general public.
    It is new and will need refining, hopefully someday this will happen.
  18. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the review and the pic...Keep us posted. Makes sense to have a pellet stove that needs no electricity and no moving parts...with threat of power outages here, power surges (last one fried the meter), etc...
  19. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    At least if the meter is fried the power company cant say there was no problem!
  20. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    What was your experience like with it?
  21. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Exactly what happened...deny until I drew my "Ace" card...Again this Wiseway stove makes sense...
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  22. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Had issue with power at our home and they sent teams several times and stated that everything was ok that must be in home. Thing is we have power outside of the home and was having problems. Went to check fence for the horse and saw the trees less than 50ft. from the transformer touching the lines. Took pictures and made a visit. Two days latter crew was trimming the trees and no more power issues for three weeks now. To think I wouldn't have needed close to a grand of UPS's.
  23. Victorian Stove

    Victorian Stove New Member

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    The 2nd hopper would smolder and on one unit I sold, a fire made it into the main storage hopper. We tried everything and couldn't get this to work properly or safely. I sold 8 of them and 4 had this problem. Three were not installed yet and the customers returned them for a refund. Just food for thought, do more research and remember, all of the reviews I see are from dealers, hummmm. I had one in my showroom burning and several times it had a hopper fire, or as Wiseway calls it "Burn Back"' We removed it and no longer sell them. There is nothing to prevent the pellet hoppers to catch on fire/smolder. Needs to go back to the drawing board, approach carefully.
    RockyMtnHigh and briansol like this.
  24. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    hee hee "Burn Back" if you have to rename a understood term thats a bit troubling..
  25. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Wow. These sound like serious fire hazards. I though the stove was UL listed. No? Did you talk to them directly about the burn back? What was their response?

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