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Next years primary heat won't be from pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by samdweezel05, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. samdweezel05

    samdweezel05 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
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    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Wife and I bought this house in December of last year (2011). I installed a Heatilator P-35 on December 22nd of the same year. We used 2 tons of pellets from December 22nd until we quit heating the house in late April (had less than half of a bag left in the hopper). We live as far north and east as you can go in New York before you either in Canada or Vermont. It gets cold here. So your asking yourself why I would want to stop using pellets since it cost me less than $430 to heat the house for the coldest part of the heating season? Well, if it weren't for my wife being home all the time and being around to keep an eye on the pellet stove, the thing wouldn't have worked at all. We probably have the reset button just about worn out on the thing. Here are the list of things it has done....

    1. Exhaust fan will start and it will never drop pellets
    2. Exhaust fan will start, it will drop pellets and never light (didn't even heat the igniter)
    3. Exhaust fan will start, it will drop pellets, light and then not drop any more pellets.
    4. Exhaust fan will start, it will drop pellets, light, drop pellets a couple of time and then stop dropping pellets.

    This goes on and on. It might go a day or two working correctly and then we will wake up at 4am and realize the house is cold. You don't have to use the reset button if you don't want to. You can turn the thermostat down below actual room temp and them back up to desired room temp and the stove will click and come to life. I have tested the T-stat and wire with a very high tech paper clip to jump the terminals on the back of the stove to make sure it wasn't t-stat or wire related. Either way, next year will be a wood stove for primary heat, pellet stove for backup and the fuel oil as a backup for the less than reliable backup. Here is next years heat supply in the making.

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  2. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear about the lemon. Where is the dealer-manufacture support?
  3. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

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    Aug 3, 2012
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    268
    Loc:
    Central PA
    Shame you had to cut down a live tree for firewood. I would be wililing to bet that some of the regulars here can troubleshoot your pellet stove and get it working properly. On a positive note i love the smell of a woodstove.
  4. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    South of Boston MA
    Why don't you buy a better stove? I would think that somewhere in the world there is somebody that had just as much trouble with an oil or gas furnace.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Standish, ME
    Well let's see did you adjust your fuel gate on that re-shelled quad when you first started burning (flame height adjustment done on high burn) and for every fuel change (different pellet).

    That is the most common reason for what you are describing.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yeah. Sounds like the thermocouple may not have been touching the ceramic cover and there may have been a vacuum leak?

    As for the Live tree. I burn wood and pellets. I try to avoid live trees at all cost. There are to many dead ones out there :(

    What type of tree was that? Is that a Big White Oak? Only ask because it will still be wet next year. My Oak is almost 2 yrs old and still has a pretty high moisture content.

    Most wood will season in a year. But Oak takes about 3 yrs (dont believe me. Go tell the guys in the Wood Shed Forum that your gonna burn Oak after 1 year! !!! Better hang on to your seat! ;)) If your gonna burn wood. Its best to get 2-3 years ahead. To always ensure your burning good seasoned wood.

    Thats a nice saw. Is that a 460? I have one. Prob the best Firewood saw on the Market! As far as power to weight.

    Wood and Pellets both have there benefits. I wont tell you to not heat with wood. But I will suggest that you look at the pellet stove. There is something wrong.

    What wood stove do you intend on purchasing?


    2012-10-09_17-51-51_800.jpg skid1.jpg skid2.jpg 2012-08-08_20-36-00_538.jpg
    SteveB and smoke show like this.
  7. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Was in a similar situation 2 summers ago. Sold pellet stove, Cut up some big potential house killer oaks I still haven't burned and won't this year - Too wet still.
    Cut, split, and stack (C/S/S) some Black Locust, and you will have High BTU wood ready to go next year.Soft maple (not sugar) and standing dead ash will also be ready quick.
    Check out the woodshed for some other species that will get you outta the gate without creosoting up your new flue liner (if needed) or making your new EPA stove run inefficiently. Speaking from recent experience, there's a lot more to it than just throwing in a woodstove and chopping some stuff up!:)
    (by the way - SWEET SAW!!)
    Good luck, these guys will help ya out tons,
    OB
  8. Fish On

    Fish On Feeling the Heat

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    The other Cape..
    Was there a Burl on that tree? looks like 2. wish I could have got my hands on them..

    Sorry to hear about your stove, but at least u will be warm!
  9. DirtyDave

    DirtyDave Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    western wa
    Research is and should be the formost item prior to purchasing. Hope your next endeavor turns out better.
  10. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Too bad about the pellet experience. Many here will make fun of the Harman stoves, but the reason I went with this stove was that I don't have to baby sit the unit; I just don't have the time for that at this point in my life. No need to play with damper settings, feed settings etc. Quite frankly, I would probably over-think it for the first 2 years anyway. Now, I just make sure its clean on it runs. Also the former tax credit was the final piece to afford it.

    Again sorry to hear about your experience with this stove. Good luck with wood !
    will711 likes this.
  11. gbreda

    gbreda Minister of Fire

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    Hey Dexter, I know you stack your pellets straight, but I never saw so many wood stacks that you could snap a chalk line on :)
  12. The Ds

    The Ds Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Western PA, USA
    x2 definitely afflicted! :)
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    That fella really likes playin with his wood. ;em Me thinks he needs a hobby! Fishin might work? You can crank your handle and fondle your rod all at the same time! ::-)

    Sorry couldn't resist! I'm ;sick ya know!
    will711, gbreda and DexterDay like this.
  14. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Ill sweeten the deal....give you 300 for the stove.
    bill3rail likes this.
  15. bill3rail

    bill3rail Minister of Fire

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    LI, NY
    I installed an england stove about 10 days after you, and had zero problems with mine. Glad I did not install a nightmare.

    That sucks that you had a bad first year from the stove!
    If it was new, the manufacturer should be helping you out to get it resolved. You are also here with the pros for some wisdom that the manufacturer may not know about, which is good.
    Nice saw and enjoy that wood stove!

    Bill
  16. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    And one of my posts got deleted because I made fun of Detroit!

    Funny stuff JT!:cool:
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  17. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Boulder, CO
    In that second picture one of the pieces of wood appears to be 18 3/4", you might want to look into that...
    ;)
    SmokeyTheBear and DexterDay like this.
  18. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    Northern Maryland
    I can picture dexter out there with a gps and laser level making sure that stack is lined up perfectly from every angle Lmao! Sorry Dexter:p back to the regular scheduled program.
  19. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    West Tennessee
    Vacuum problem. Had the same issues with Heatilator cab50.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    You have left out the reversing sometimes stopped auger motor capacitor or lack there of issue.
  21. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Nice saw, I don't blame you , less problems with a wood stove. Though mine has never had a misfire.
  22. Augmister

    Augmister Minister of Fire

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    With only 3 posts since the beginning of the year, why didn't he ask the "Pellet Mensas" here about the problem? Just no excuse for stubbornness with the great "body of pellet knowledge" on this site. And good luck with that wet oak!
    St_Earl likes this.
  23. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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  24. samdweezel05

    samdweezel05 Member

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    Upstate NY
    I need to appologise for my post. It was done out of frustration and I gave so little background info that it made me sound like a 7 year old that didn't get what they wanted for Christmas. I won't go through and quote posts but I will try to give some better info. We researched pellet stoves in general for about a year before deciding on the one we have. I read on this forum as well as others and decided that if the Heatilator was nothing more than a Quad in different skin then it would be the best choice for us with the budget we had to work with. My parents have a Quad and love it. We have received good response from the service department as far as general help goes but they have failed to figure out why the stove does what it does. They have been here 6 time total. If some one here has some information about what I can do to make it work as it should I would love to hear it. Flame height is adjusted perfectly. I have a single hash mark on the fuel rod and several hash marks inside the hopper next to the fuel rod so I have a reference of what I have done when I adjust it. I have used only one kind of pellet as I didn't see what good it would do to change pellets mid season when trying to diagnose a functionality issue.

    As for the living trees.....they were scheduled to be taken down to make room for a mining operation that we started here at work. There are 2 more just like them that I have to take down. It's better I get it for fire wood instead of the mining company taking them down with a 345 CAT and throwing them on a burn pile. I have 10+ face cords of white oak, 7 face cords of ash (removed from my parents building lot when they built there house), 10 face cords of sugar maple (removed to make room for a road here at work), 2 face cords of Elm (taken from a tree in a tree row between 2 fields that were turned into one field) and countless amount of red maple (no reason to cut it other than for firewood), cut and split for next year. I may not be a pellet stove master but growing up burning wood and spending the last 15 years burning wood outside of living with mom and dad has given me at least a little experience in that department. I have never paid for wood. I have cut every bit of it myself. The saw pictured is just a Stihl 440 with a 32" bar. It also wears a 20" bar for limbing, bucking and it even does some milling with both bars. The 075AV come out when things get serious.


    This one I will quote. Did you know that there are places outside the internet to ask questions and try to solve your problems? There is a crap load of info and people on here that are invaluable but the same thing exists here in the real world where I can have a conversation face to face with some one that might very well know just as much as some one on here. Now your going to say "If there advice is so good, how come your pellet stove still doesn't work?" Well, maybe some day it will. It's like going to an automotive forum and asking why your car is making a clicking sound in the left rear of the car. Some times the problem needs to be seen and heard first hand, otherwise your taking shots in the dark.

    I hope that I have not offended any of you with my original post or this one.
    will711 likes this.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Sometimes trees must be takin before there time. Its understandable. That is a good enough reason..

    As for wood. You sound ready!! As for Saws!! Holy Chit!! The 440 is no slouch. The 075 AV! ! A MONSTER!!

    I would like to see you do some troubleshooting on the Heatilator though. Depending on the Quad your parents have, it may have the EXACT same parts. A single leaking gasket will cause a vacuum issue. Which will show its ugly face in many ways.
    It can cause misfires in many ways (burn pot bypass = low ignitor air, low vacuum, lower air for burn). So checking the door gasket and ash pan gasket is paramount.

    Also, the feed gate may be adjusted perfectly. But that is to ensure you don't overfire the stove on High heat setting. If you can get away with burning on Medium, then just open that damn gate all the way and forget about it! I have "Hash" marks too. But they are for when I run 24/7 (stove never shuts down). I drop the feed and only run on Low. Which leads me to another question? Have you ever tried a Low or Med heat setting and setting the stat to "On" or turning it up so the stove never shuts down?

    Anyways. Not offended at all. We are all here for a reason. Just want to make sure you at least look at the stove yourself. Do a few small checks on the gaskets, ignitor placement, and Open the feed gate all the way and run on Med or run on Low and just let it run longer (runs longer, but a lower setting burns less pellets, so its almost a wash!)...

    Happy burning..... :)

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