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Observations of stupid things people do

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by smwilliamson, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I don't know why this surprises me so much but here it goes...

    Lady calls in. She just bought her house And there is a pellet stove in it. She cannot tell what kind it is, the previous owner didn't tell her how to use it...so it sat there for a while. She gets ahold of us and asks if we can come over and look it over and perhaps teach her how to use it, no problem, but we are booked out a week or so.

    So this morning we get a frantic call from her, she tried to use the stove this morning cause the power went out and she was cold....I know, I know....

    Soooooooo, I go over and I could t believe my eyes...it wasn't what you think...no power, smoke in the house. No no no,.....she was confused so she went with her gut instinct. She loaded the pellets in the hopper, added one FULL bottle of gel starter in the hopper too and then lit a match, closed the hopper lit and sat there anticipating the fire in the viewing glass. Sadly, it didn't work. She caused a bunch of damage and though I asked...she politely asked me not to take in pictures as she felt really stupid and embarrased.
    briansol and abrucerd like this.

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  2. Jm15

    Jm15 New Member

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    That's awesome. In a not so good way
    smoke show likes this.
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Oops.
  4. Jm15

    Jm15 New Member

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    I'm still laughing. This is why I love teaching. You never know, or could ever expect, what's going to happen next.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  5. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    Did she use the wrong gel?
    briansol, Joful, abrucerd and 2 others like this.
  6. Jm15

    Jm15 New Member

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    Ha. That must be it.
  7. Woody1911a1

    Woody1911a1 Feeling the Heat

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    we probably shouldn't go there . this is a family friendly forum after all . ;)
    mralias likes this.
  8. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    What, the stove didn't have gel injection?:)
  9. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    I found a stove hooked to pvc venting.
  10. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I saw a guy use flexible dryer venting in a living room up the fireplace flue
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    laugh if you want, he's right, folks just do not understand how things work anymore

    sad as it sounds i have read of people losing power and going out to the garage and starting the car to get warm then sleeping in it and never waking up due to CO poisoning.

    its sad but true. i can empathise with Scott's customer. no knowledge a bit of training from him but no manual to read on no experience.

    the "lesson" is this, a pellet stove is an assistance to heat which will save most a bunch of money, but it should NEVER be relied on as a sole heat source in a cold climate. in a climate which cold can be dangerous it is IMPERATIVE that an "un-powered" emergency heat source is a must a gas stove, kerosene heater, WOODSTOVE etc. needs to be available in case of power outage.
    i speak to folks contemplating a pellet insert a lot, one of my "must ask" questions is "what other form of heat does the house have" reason, a fireplace is a non powered emergency heat source. you can "camp out" in the living room in the event of a long term outage in a cold climate, may not be comfy or convenient, but it will keep you from freezing. i tend to recommend looking at a freestanding unit with a through the wall hookup if the house is total electric. if a source which doesn't need power is available its a different story.

    bottom line is, i do not want one of my customers to freeze because they cant run their pellet stove and have no other heat.
  12. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i can top that

    "back in the day" my boss used to go out to stores and be there for sales and such. once in Russellville Ar. at a sale they set up a stove (woodstove old smoke dragon of the day) to burn out in the parking lot. now a couple sections of singlewall would pull an old dragon so thats what they did, loaded it and fired it up.

    a fellow was there studying the thing mulling it over then went in and bought a stove and left with it.

    about 4 hours after he left the store manager came out and told my boss "you guys may want to get outta here" when my boss asked why, the store manager said remember the guy who was hanging out and went and bought a stove?, his house is on fire.

    turns out the guy bought the stove , took it home and set it up JUST LIKE THE DEMONSTRATION. you guessed it, chunked a couple sections of pipe in the top and loaded it up, lit it off and set the ceiling of his living room on fire from the exhaust vented up about afoot below the ceiling. no chimney at all.

    true story
    briansol and tjnamtiw like this.
  13. dhall28

    dhall28 New Member

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    I think the worse I ever came across was a lady who had what must have been her contractor put in her pellet stove when they built the room. They used the right pipe but ran the pipe no wall thimble or anything right through the drywall and then up through the middle of the 2x4 wall and out the roof...i'm glad she had issues with the stove and we came out to look at it before she burnt her house down.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Mike, (or anyone), would you be able to explain this? I don't get it.
  15. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    sure, imagine you live in a northern tier state where weather can get dangerously cold in winter. now a pellet stove requires electricity, a fireplace does not, so by installing an insert you effectively remove the fireplace from its designed use. now losing power if you have a woodstove (or fireplace) you have a source of heat that doesnt need power. so a freestanding install where the fireplace does not contain the stove you could still use it in a long term power outage for emergency heat while using a freestanding pellet stove which would be in a different location for heat during power on time.

    so if your "primary" heat source needs electricity to operate and you have a fireplace which does not, its prudent to not intall an insert into a fireplace in this case as you remove an emergency heat source from being used.

    now if your "primary heat functions without electricity then you arent limited by this and an insert allows you to use the fireplace for a more efficient source during "normal" times when power isnt an issue
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I understand your reasoning.
  17. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    no prob.

    i believe in having options. to me taking away an option is a bad thing, hence my line of questioning on the insert thing
  18. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    ;) Then you better ship the right gasket next time!!
  19. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I have pictures posted on here somewhere about a woman with foam insulation sprayed all around an attic install...that would be dumb contractor which is a whole different animal...but it didn't stop there on that installation. the stove was installed in the upstairs hall way, second floor, she lived in Concord MA and the historic district wouldn't let her put a pellet vent out the front of the house or have it visible from the street...so they vented up through the ceiling then traversed the entire houe to the rear outside wall. here was the EVL using 3" vent....T, 9 feet vertical, 45 into another 45 into another 45 kinda turned into an 22 elbow then 26 feet horizontal to the outside air...all of this buried in foam insulation. There are pics on here of that one somewhere. Again dumb contractor. And that clam didn't pay me either to fix it...so I reported her to the fire and building dept.
  20. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Ah got another dumb one...this wasn't my customer but a buddy of mine...he called me over to see the damage so I got to see that.

    Guy in town couldn't get the stove to light and figured it wasn't getting enough air and modified a small computer fan behind the air intake to "pump" in air ,he had been working the stove this way with some success for a while ....but one day.... he turns it on and the thing starts feeding and feeding and feeding finally starts smoking and flaring up but will not light. the thing is smoking so bad that the entire room is somewhat filling with smoke so he shuts off the stove to let it cool down so he can open the door and clear out the burn pot......but he doesn't kill the power to the small fan behind and then goes off outside and get distracted with something else....and then he hears this huge bang from inside the house and then the sound of broken glass for like a minute.

    Well the stove finally ignited and it blew the door of the stove off and sent it flying across the room about 20 feet smashing a glass hutch full of porcelain figures and such. All of the pellets also were blown from the hopper and were everywhere all over the living room. There was like a dusting of fine ash on every single inch of the room. They guy was so proud of the explosion he actually didn't clean it up cause he wanted his wife to see it and left it like that.......that was probably the dumbest part of the whole thing. He was certain it was the pellets and said he would never buy them again...another one I walked away from shaking my head.
  21. slvrblkk

    slvrblkk Minister of Fire

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    Moral of these stories.................you can't fix stupid ;)
    sinnian and Bob Sorjanen like this.
  22. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    My faith in humanity just died a little reading the stuff on here.:eek:
    SmokeyTheBear, slvrblkk and jgrz0610 like this.
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Humanity on whole is only average so don't go expecting great things and you won't be so disappointed.
  24. PoolGuyinCT

    PoolGuyinCT Feeling the Heat

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    I had a lady a few years ago, add some pool chemicals per direction "... Add product around pool perimeter.."

    She placed the product on the patio around the pool.
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    This one is a sure winner for the Darwin Award! OMG!

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