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Owning a Pellet stove.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Snowy Rivers, Jan 8, 2011.

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  1. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    why I love my pellet boiler:
    -fill it once a week (11 bags or so), brush the HX tubes once a week.
    -scoop the ash roughly once a month, deep clean at the end of the season, test the water once a year, heats my whole house and hot water, it is also the space heater in the bathroom.
    almost as easy as oil, without the constant hassle of a pellet stove or wood stove or boiler. In the years I have had my OPB my wife has had to go out and do anything to it maybe 5 times, she has not lifted one bag of pellets yet, or had to disassemble anything at all.

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  2. countk

    countk Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    276
    Loc:
    Cape Ann, MA
    Ditto Gio!

    You forgot shoveling all the snow and ice of the woodpile and freezing your arse off! Burned wood for 20 years and there is no way I would ever go back. Don't get me wrong, if I was young again, I suppose it might be worth it to scrounge up free wood and get the exercise. But at this point in life, I'm content in carrying up the 40lb. bags from the basement! Enough exercise for me.
  3. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,642
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    Common sense is a comodity that is in very short supply these days.

    It seems that the finer points of broad spectrum thinking went away during the late 70's and the trend towards "Its someone elses Problem or fault" came into play.

    Example.

    Last winter, we had an unexpected snow fall in December that came just at rush hour/commute time.

    I headed home with the 4x4 Suburban and got to an area that ahs some steep switchbacks, and low and behold, there is a little late model crossover SUV in the ditch "STUCK"

    I inquired of the driver if he was OK? he assured me that he was unhurt, then started rambling about it not being fair, as his car had traction control and antilock brakes.

    Maybe I was a tad crass but I started laughing wildly at the comments.

    I asked him what had happened, he replied that he was coming down the grade (about 6%) into the tight switchback and the vehicle had suddenly swapped ends and landed in the ditch, without any effort on his part getting it to crawl out of its resting place.

    He rambled on that the computer must have failed as the traction control should take care of this situation.

    Hell, the thing has two wheels that are barely touching the ground and the other two are in the ditch with the frame resting on the edge of the roadway.

    I laugh some more, he is not amused.

    I then decided to explain it to him, that the traction control will not do squat in this condition and that his first mistake was driving waaaaaaaaaaay too fast.

    I get more of the computer/ anitlock/control gibberish tossed at me. MORE LAUGHTER

    I finally decided that communications with this clown was simply not possible, at least not to the point that it would do any good.

    Bottom line is that when Ma gravity get ahold of the rig coming down the hill and the coefficient of friction is none existant between the rubber and the road, Ma gravity wins. Nuff said.

    This hapless soul has been playing too many video games and watching too many TV commercials that show these fancy cars tooling through the snow like they were on a dry street in July.

    NO common sense is the Key here.

    No amount of electronic gadgetry is/can going to make up for and remedy the lack of adhession between the driving wheels and the road surface.

    I learned to drive on snow and ice in a 1955 Chevy coup with a 3 speed on the column and a 6 cylinder under the hood.

    I learned some basic principles really quick. Dad took me to a huge parking lot with nothing to hit and turned me loose.

    The term he used was, "Pitch it and gas it"

    To this day, I abhore the electronic gizmos on the cars, it just makes my job of driving in the snow/ice 10 times harder.
    Having to figure out how to defeat all the inputs from the computer, all the while trying to keep the Hurtling beast doing what I want it to do can be a monumental task.


    Too much electronics and not enough computing on the part of the driver.

    Yesssss a total lack of common sense.


    Kids have grown up a fairytale world where anything is possible on a computer graphics display, AHHHHHHHHH sorry kids, Ma gravity and other laws of nature are still alive and well when you walk outside.


    The Pellet stove makes ashes when you burn fuel, the beast is going to need some hands put to the thing once in a while to keep it going.

    Just too much emphasis is placed on electronic wizardry and not enough on thinking on the part of the Human.

    Unless this process changes to some extent in the coming times, folks are doomed to have troubles that thay have no idea how to cope with.

    I hate to be such a sinic, but this is what I see and it literally scares the heck out of me.



    Things that I see as simple and straightforward, have become seriously complex to far too many.


    And the SAGA continues.

    Shovels more shells into the stove

    Snowy
  4. FordMastertech

    FordMastertech Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    260
    Loc:
    Burlington CT
    Back on the common sense thing. Do you know how many customers stop in and complain there low tire pressure light is on. When we ask did you check your tire pressures they say, we have to do that, we never had to do that on the old car we traded in.
  5. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    402
    Loc:
    Hartland,Me.
    this summer, i had 4 ton of pellets delivered to my house. first thing saturday morning, i got my 15 yr old daughter up at 7 am (usually sleeps 'til 10-11), took her to breakfast, and said "well girl, now we got work to do before it gets hot."

    when we got home, we started in moving the pellets to the old woodshed...not far, about 50 ft. halfway through the first ton, she sits down and says " boy dad, this is hard work." i looked at her and said " we could go back to burning wood..you know, cut it , split it, stack it to dry, then move it to the woodshed, re-stack it, then bring in wood every nite, or i can do this alone, and move your room to the garage...it's going to keep your butt warm too you know."

    after the second ton was put away, we called it quits for the day...too hot for the ol' man.

    the next day(sunday), i was going to let her sleep in for a bit, so i did my dump run, went for groceries for the week, and stopped at my dads to check on him and have a coffe with him. when i returned home...appox 10 am, i find my daughter, and her girlfriend who spent the nite, putting away pellets. they had already moved a tone and was halfway through the last ton. i asked what they wanted,lol. and my daughter says " nothing dad, i thought about what you said yesterday, and you're right...you work hard everyday to make a home for me, you are both mom and dad, and when you get home at nite, you cook and clean, and put up with me. so i figured i would finish this for you and my friend wanted to help."

    now, when i get home from work, she has already brought in 2 bags of pellets( one for the nite,another for morning), she has the dishes done up, and a fresh pot of coffee waiting for me. whatta kid! the other nite, she wanted me to show her how to clean the stove....i said "babe, thanx for the offer, but dad will do that part, you are being a great help already."

    i am a single dad. i adopted my daughter as a single parent when she was born, and went through another bogus divorce last year. i tried hard to find someone as a mother figure for her, but now she says i am all the mother she needs. quite a young woman.

    she has the do dads, the electronic toys, cell phone and laptop...it used to be that those took no.1 priority...things sure are different now.
  6. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,092
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    my kids helped with moving the pellets into the bunker, my son can move one bag at a time with his wagon, my 8 yr old daughter was moving 3 with the garden cart, she weighs about half of that.
  7. mpcm

    mpcm Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Sandown, NH
    I agree that the stoves are getting complicated, probably in an unnecessary way... but I'd like to offer my complaints, as perhaps one of this younger generation. I'm going to be 29 shortly, I knew the world before computers and cell phones, but just barely. I also make my living working with technology and writing software. There are a lot of us that straddle these worlds.

    Today's pellet stoves do not go far enough and most house hold devices fall horribly flat in terms of being a better device with the addition of electronics. While they have electronic boards, they are little but replacements for inexpensive and usually reliable mechanical parts. If manufacturers are going to add electronics, they should do so in a way that adds real value, and that means data...

    If my stove has a electronic board, it should have a logging mechanism, and it should be able to share both the live data of sensors and the in the past. It should know how long it has been running, what the temperature and feed rates are, the height of the pellets left in the hopper, etc. Maybe it even lets me remotely interact with some of the settings, but perhaps not. But the data is what lets these things be tracked, checked, and kept efficient and reliable with minimal work by the owner. I don't want to guess that my stove feels warmer, I should know, or at least it should know...

    Without data there is simply too much trust that things are working correctly, or efficiently. While I understand the argument that stoves are getting overly complicated, I'd suggest that the issue is more that the developers are dragging their feet and leaving us in this middle ground. Out of the mire on the other side is where the value of the added complexity exists.
    ctjames likes this.
  8. rehabbingisgreen

    rehabbingisgreen New Member

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    Loc:
    Missouri
    Sounds like you did a good job dad!
  9. twojrts

    twojrts Feeling the Heat

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    Jan 17, 2010
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    291
    Loc:
    Bear. DE
    Not only "did" he do a great job, he is Doing a great job and has a Good Girl to show for it.

    Keep up the good work, Dad. I know you are very proud of her!!
  10. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,642
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    Way to go Dad

    Just read these posts and I am smiling after seeing how this 17 YO young lady is/has learned some valuable lessons.

    Great job, indeed.

    As far as the complexity goes. The greatest reason that the pellet stove have become burdened with electronics is simple.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$ as in the process of installing proprietary control boards places big $$$ in the manufs pockets

    The boards are designed here by the stove company and then made over seas with cheap labor.

    I designed and built a completely new controller for my Whitfield Advantage II using off the shelf parts.

    Made a new panel, installed a Master switch that turns on the main power, starts the fans and sends power to the Timers.

    A Burner switch allows the auger to be shut off so the fire can burn out.

    A main power on light (Green)
    An Orange light that shows power to the timer feed circuit (auger)
    A Red light that comes on every time the auger is feeding
    A main power fuse that will blow if the system overloads
    A momentary button to activate the startup timer.

    Uses the original high temp safeties as well as the low temp snap switch
    Has an added vacuum switch that will stop the fuel feed if the exhaust fan stops or the door is opened. (Taped into the drop tube above the firepot)
    Triac control for the room air fan. (Casablanca fan controller)

    Simple, heavy duty and inexpensive to build and maintain.

    Here is a piccy of the timers


    Snowy

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