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Pellet Stove questions

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by peterpski666, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. peterpski666

    peterpski666 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    Hi, just my first post but I cant seem to find an answer on this great site.

    We have on deposit a Lopi Leyden freestanding stove which has a 4" output. We have a corner of my 1700 sf house main floor to put the stove. I want to do a standard straight out through the wall, then T up 5' to a vent, pretty standard stuff. My question is on the pipe itself. I have priced via the Internet the pipe, which is standard for Selkirk and Metalbestos brands, and they both run about $325-400 for materials. Is there a difference in qualities of pipe for either brand?. The only detrimental I could find was that the duravent (Selkirk) may have some issues with joint leakage on the elbows. I dont want to buy junk to vent my $3600 stove. The selkirk seems to be the "kit" offered by Lowes/Home Depot, and the vent looks a little odd, like a snorkel. Our dealer quoted us $500 materials and $550 labor, but it looks pretty easy as an installation other than lugging a 400 pound stove into the house. Anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?

    As part of the install, we have a southern facing for our vent where we pick up westerly crosswinds. We have a oil burner direct vent on that same side 5' away from our proposed pellet vent which had issues last year with blowback into the house on windy days. The direct vent is about 3' off the ground and the pellet vent about 8'. Would a windbreak fence help or harm this further?

    Also, I bought 4 tons of pellets (at $285 a ton plus $40 delivery). In a typical season, Ive been told that for similar sized houses in Maine, people have used from 3-4 tons. One of the heat use calculators based on oil use compared to potential pellet use puts me at 8 tons, as we used about 600 gallons of oil last year. I dont want to freeze in February, whats a good gauge of reality here? We kept the house at 67, its well insulated and a newer home.

    Lastly, I plan to use my oil burner as backup heat to the pellets, but a neighbor said I should keep it cycling at temperature to keep my basement heating pipes from freezing. My basement to main floor is uninsulated, with PEX tubing, and my hotwater supply is currently off the boiler into a hw holding tank, hoping to swap that to electric soon as well. What mix of heating do you do to keep everything thawed out and running?


    Thanks for helping out the new guy!

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  2. battyice

    battyice New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY
    Hello firestarter, a good guide is that 1 ton of pellets will give you the same btu content as 115 gallons of fuel oil; depending on the type and quality of the pellets. If you know the btu content per ton of your pellets, divide that number by 138690. This calculation doesn't take the different appliance efficiencies into consideration, but it is a good starting point. You mention that you currently get hot water from the oil boiler, do you know how much fuel is used for hot water during the summer months? If you can figure that out you will know how much fuel it takes to heat the house and use that figure for your pellet estimation.

    As for the basement, do you know how cold it gets without any additional heat in the winter? My basement has 8" uninsulated concrete walls and 6 old single pane windows, it will get down to about 48 degrees F with no additional heat. I think you would be fine by leaving the boiler off, you could always set up an electric space heater on a thermostat for extra insurance. I recently switched to electric hot water as well, I have an 80 gallon whirpool water heater that monitors our water usage and adjusts the temperature setpoint accordingly, our electric bill is very reasonable in my opinion and I have yet to run out of hot water.
  3. MButkus

    MButkus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Loc:
    Jersey
    My Whitfield exhause goes straight out the back. 4 feet and an outdoor rain cap. Been that way since '93 ?
    Exhaust problems, zero. cleaning time, 2 min every week or two. Pipe and wall cap cost $60, installation - me in about an hour.
    Not that's 1993 pricing.
  4. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,990
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    actually the kit offered at depot/lowes is simpson duravent , selkirk metalbestos is a totally different brand, both are quality pipe , i used simpson with no issues in my install
  5. peterpski666

    peterpski666 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    Thanks for the info! I mixed my pipe manufacturers up a bit there but you got me squared away.
    Just a bit concerned about adding one more thing in my cellar, its starting to look like a mad scientists lab down there with all my water treatment, heating, cooling, vacuuming, etc...
  6. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    southern maine
    Black Dog did your dealer give you any indication of a delivery date for that stove? I really liked that and have actually opted to purchase the Avalon Arbor whihc is basically the twin.

    I am planning to do most of the piping internally, I am hoping that internal piping will keep the vent pipe warmer and will draft better.

    You sound like you are on the right track.

    Good luck.
  7. peterpski666

    peterpski666 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    I do municipal property inspections and see a ton of installs/stoves and asked what people owned and thought was the best over the last year. They were similar in "best" as Harmon and Quad, with Quad a close second only because of the feed system. We felt really comfortable with Woodmans in East Wakefield, NH after talking to the owner, and he sold us on the Lopi as a alternative to the XXV we couldnt get. He had some coming in September. (10 stoves, 2 in brown) My wife liked the cast iron look, and its a rugged stove from appearances. The Quad units were either too much or not enough for our house BTU wise. Honestly, most of the stoves in the average house I see are the box store Breckwells, people use more of those who dont need frills I guess.

    Edit: Also, the Harmons have a better warranty than the sister company Quads, and Lopi has one comparable to Harmon.
  8. cimbo190

    cimbo190 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    southern maine
    Good to hear on target deilvery date and the feedback.

    Best of luck.
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