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Pellet Stove in a Mobile Home

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by rt42, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. rt42

    rt42 New Member

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    Western MA
    Hello All,
    I just recently bought myself a mobile home. It has forced warm air electric heat. I really don't want to have to heat with that. So I have been looking into alternatives. I have been thinking about either a pellet or a coal stove. Went to a local dealer today and talked to them. After some research on the internets I have a few questions that I am hoping some people here can help me with. The first is storage. I do not have an outdoor shed or garage, so if I store outside it would be on the ground. According to the dealer it shouldn't be a problem as long as they are covered. From what I can tell that seems to be some what true. Does anybody have any real world experience with storing them outside not under any kind of protection? Or what if I stored them underneath the house on the cement pad? It does get wet under there and I am not sure what the snow what do either. If I put them on the pad then it would have to be just bags on the cement. There is no real room to get them off the ground and stack more then one bag. The other question is price. From what I can see 1 ton of hardwood pellets runs around $250ish. Now if I enter that into some cost comparisons per million BTU it comes out to be around $20. With a coal system it would be around $10 per million BTU. Do you have any opinions on this? Is the cost difference going to be really apparent? I think I am more concerned with the storage of pellets rather than the price but I am trying to think in the long term. Thanks for all of the help.

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  2. ARGlock

    ARGlock Feeling the Heat

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    You can store pellets on the wood pallet right outside in the weather IF you use the black heavy duty plastic bag they put over the pallet during transportation from the pellet factory. We've stored them right out in the weather for several months. Just make sure you don't have Cats that claw on the heavy plastic covers. You can always find a good heavy tarp to put over them too. Just have to make sure the pellets are not in the way of anything and probably behind the mobile home so not to look too unsightly sitting at the front door.

    My 2 cents worth.

    AR
  3. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    Check local codes and manufacturer to see if any model you're looking at is approved for mobile home install. Some coal and some pellet stoves are, some of each are not. As far as storing outdoors, a friend of mine burns coal and leaves it right outside without a tarp and has no problems. If I had to keep pellets outside, I'd double wrap, and make sure they're off the ground.
  4. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    "Check local codes and manufacturer to see if any model you’re looking at is approved for mobile home install."

    Ditto.......I think there are SOME States where it is ILLEGAL to run either a Pellet or Wood stove in a Mobile Home because of the type of construction involved.

    Then, even if it turns out to be "legal" in your State, there are some Insurance companies who won't insure your setup.

    -Soupy1957
  5. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  6. rt42

    rt42 New Member

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    Thanks for the help everyone. As far as code compliance it is okay provided that certain requirements are met. The three biggest being that it has to be lagged to the floor, it must be grounded to the metal chassis and it must have outside air brought in for combustion. Around where I live there is an abundance of cats and critters. Quite a few stray cats and skunks and squirrels and I think a woodchuck lives next door. How much of a problem are the likely to cause to outdoor pellets?

    This is true for hand fired models, they however are not approved for use in a mobile home. I do not know why but my theory is that they don't have provisions for outside air inlets. Coal stokers are allowed in mobile homes and they operate quite similarly to pellet stoves. They were the ones I am thinking about.

    Also hossthehermit, what is that in your avatar picture? I have been staring at it for quite some time trying to puzzle it out.
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I have stored pellets outdoors in my "pellet shed" (originally for my cordwood) for 3 years, and it is open on the front. Besides the mouse that slept between a couple of bags last winter (never chewed any), I haven't had anything try to claw, chew, or tear any of the bags.

    Attached Files:

  8. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    M&M demon clown mime
  9. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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  10. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    With the initial cost of the stove, installation, and pellet's it will take you many years to recoup, is it a newer airtight mobile home?, i'd give the electric a try and see how really high your electric bill is, remember with a pellet stove your home will be warm in the rooms near the stove and colder in the ones farest away, and using forced air it will be even heated.....you hope.
  11. rt42

    rt42 New Member

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    It is a 1991 mobile home, and I don't think it is too airtight. Especially if the summer is any indication. When I first bought it in April, we had a bit of a cold wave come through. It only got to be around 50 degrees or so all day long for a bout a week. I had the electric heat running just to make the place comfortable and it was quite expensive to do so. And that was when the temps weren't too bad. I am not sure how well it would keep up on the nights when it goes below freezing. I have also thought about using the blower on the furnace to push the air around a bit. Probably putting it on a timer so it runs regularly throught the day.
    Thanks soupy for that link. It helped to explain the reasons behind some of the rules.

    Now it makes sense. But it is still slightly creepy looking.
  12. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

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    All I'm saying is if you can afford to buy a stove you can afford the electric heat, I would Invest change your furnace over to Gas/Propane
  13. defield

    defield New Member

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    Rt42,

    I would not be happy thinking about the expense of using an electric furnace to heat a "not too tight", almost 20 year old, mobile home ( or any other type of dwelling).

    IMO Pellet-King has a good idea in suggesting that you investigate replacing the furnace with one that will burn a fuel other than electricity. ( oil, NG, or propane which is also expensive ) Do your due dilligence and talk with area heating companies as well as stove shops.

    If a furnace replacement is just too expensive, I would go with a pellet stove installed by a shop that has done mobile home installs and is familiar with local code and insurance requirements.

    Don't store the pellets under the home. If they have to be outside, please follow the above advice on keeping them off the ground and wrapped in the heavy shipping plastic and an additional tarp.

    And, good luck and let us know your final decision.

    Ranger
  14. Havlat24

    Havlat24 New Member

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    Why not under the home..... When I lived in Yellowknife, we seen Mobile Homes that were installed on big steel support systems, and then skirted in... like 10 feet off the ground because of the permafrost.... other than having to bend over to grab them I see no problem with putting them undernearth the mobile home... he said it was on concrete.
  15. defield

    defield New Member

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    Havlat24,

    I did not mean to imply that no one should ever store pellets under a mobile home, I was just responding to what was written in the original post and only the sentences which appear in quotes below.

    " Or what if I stored them underneath the house on the cement pad? It does get wet under there and I am not sure what the snow what do either. If I put them on the pad then it would have to be just bags on the cement. There is no real room to get them off the ground and stack more then one bag."

    Bags of pellets directly placed on a cement pad that "does get wet" , I would suggest, is not ideal storage.

    Cheers,

    Ranger
  16. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    I own a 30 year old Mobil home my self and having used my pellet stove last winter was great, even though oil was the same price. I store pellets in my shed and move a weeks worth at a time which is about 12 bags on to my deck under a car port. Now a pellet stove is a big investment, you could also spend the same on a new oil/gas furnace, stay away form Millers they suck, spend the money on a Thermopride, they are the only two who makers for a Mobil home last I knew. Get two to three estimates before committing to the install. Plus if you go away for a while you don't have to worry about running the electric heat. If you still go for a pellet stove, have a shed made to hold three to four tons, or if you can find somebody to set it up you can use a auger delivery system and have a storage box out side for bulk pellets. one other thing in order to have even heating you are going to need some fans placed to move the air around. They are simular to the computer fans used in PCs.
  17. rt42

    rt42 New Member

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    That was my concern. I believe I read somewhere that pellet bags have perforations in them to allow them to breathe. Logically I would assume that if they are on concrete directly that they would soak up moisture if it was there. That would not be good. And there is not much height underneath them to get them up off the ground.
    Hoverfly, thanks for the suggestions. Would running the blower on the furnace to move the air around work? Or would it be more economical just to put in some corner fans to move the heat around? There is duct work down the center of the house that reaches all of the rooms. I was thinking putting the blower on a timer so it runs every hour or whatever and move the air around that way.
  18. Meneillys

    Meneillys Feeling the Heat

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    I have a 14'x70' 1995 single wide and a Quad Castile stove that I use to heat the entire house. I have a propane furnace and after paying close to 4 grand in propane bills for heating 3 years ago I purchased my stove and 4 tons of pellets for about the same and was happy that I had bags left over. The stove is at one end of the house and bedroom at the other and I had a 5 degree difference from one end of the home to the other. I installed a 10" duct fan in a nice looking wood box to move the air down the hall way and the place stays nice and comfy at 72-75 all winter. I did run the furnace for about 15 in the morning during the really cold spells to help the water pipes under the place. I find that turning it on then taking a shower and shutting it off before leave worked good. I have not had any problems in the 2 winters with pipes freezing while running the pellet stove. Good luck and happy heating!
  19. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    My personal opinion is if it were me I'd never even consider a pellet or a coal stove in a mobile home, due to the nature of their construction, and after seeing one in my area that literally melted and was nothing but a charred pile in less than 30 minutes my opinion is they are not pellet stove worthy just from how they are made.

    I would invest that money into a nice efficient natural gas furnace if you have gas in your area, the natural gas price is cheap, and in some areas using the gas furnace is cheaper than buying pellets. What you will spend on a stove, plus about 4 ton of pellets will easily pay for a new furnace.


    If you do put in a stove, as was mentioned you might want to get in touch with your insurance company and see if they will even insure a mobile home with a pellet stove, many companys wont.


    And if you still want to put one in, good luck, and most of all practice fire safety, get a couple of extiguishers and keep them close at hand and make sure there are no combustables anywhere near your stove.

    Good luck,
  20. rt42

    rt42 New Member

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    I wish there was Natural Gas at my house. Unfortunately they never made it this far and to get a line to my house would be cost prohibitive. Fortunately my insurance company is letting me put one in. All they need is the inspection report when it is done. I am still looking around at dealers, still not sure what I am going to put in just yet. Still kinda tossing it up between coal and pellet. Maybe one of these days I will make up my mind. :) Thanks again everyone for all the help. It so nice to see friendly people out on the Internet.
  21. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  22. teetah222

    teetah222 Feeling the Heat

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    lol Ya know, I've been thinking of asking and now I know the answer... :)

    As far as putting a pellet stove in the MH and safety, I'd say it is just as safe as a gas stove... As long as it's properly installed. Needs a decent hearth and proper clearances and venting.

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