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question on pellet stove heating

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by tonto, Jul 20, 2008.

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  1. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    hi everyone,i have a 1600 sq ft cape,if the pellet stove is installed in the living room,what happens to the temp in the basement in the winter?do i still have to worry about pipes freezing?probably a stupid question but would like o know before i invest.
    thankyou

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    unless there is another heat source down there that will at least keep it above freezing. then yeah you should be concerned. what keeps them from freezing now? does your central heat keep the basement warm?
  3. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    stoveguy2esw-
    hi-thankyou for your reply.yes,currently our central heat is keeping the basement warm.i do realize that i will still have to run my furnace in the winter,i just hope its at a minimum.
  4. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    I assume you have forced hot water and not hot air. If so, make sure your piping on the outside walls has insulation on them with pipe wrap made for heat. As long as you are not talking about subzero cold for days at a time, you should be ok. On the real cold days I will run my heat for about 5 mins to get the water to circulate through the piping just in case. Is your hot water tank less in the boiler? Need a little more info on your setup to suggest the right steps to take. Finished basement? Insulated walls in the basement? etc etc etc....... Generally speaking you should be ok as long as you run the heat through the pipes once or twice a day.
  5. cristiansmom

    cristiansmom Member

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    I would like to know that too.. I have about the same size cape. Finished basement. Forced hot air with oil heat right now. Gas Hot water tank.. My basement walls are not insulated (that I know of).. What would I do to keep them from freezing. I plan on using my pellet as a secondary heat but hoping not to use too much oil... My pellet will be in my dining room on main living area space.. Do I just run the heat 1x a day on really cold day's.. What temp would they freeze at?? Thanks for any info...

    I only ask because my mom is freaking out that my pipes will freeze in the basement... I didn't even think about that when I bought my stove. It's being installed in 2 weeks...


    Debi
  6. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    My basement is naturally warm enough for stuff not to freeze even here in Maine where it will get 20 below. Naturally meaning no heat.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Most basements will serve as a "root cellar" and stay at 45 degrees or more (depends on your climate) even without heat.

    What you DO have to worry about are drafts (cracks around basement windows, doors, etc.) and pipes located right up against the outside wall....especially those against the wood framing - as opposed to those near the cement basement walls.

    In my experience, crawl spaces are much more likely to have frozen pipes.....again, due to the ventilation and pipes located near the sides. Most basements should stay warm enough by themselves.
  8. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    I assume you have forced hot water?? no sure what that is,sorry.to heat our hot water we use oil.unfinished basement and i can tell you that on a few occasions we had our pipes freeze,not to the point of where they burst,but to avoid this we had the sink in the basement just drip to prevent this from happening.
  9. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    Forced hot water is heat that radiates from ¾ “ pipe that runs along the baseboard throughout the house which connects to your oil fired boiler (or gas). Forces hot air heat is blown through duct work in which a hot and cold air return are placed in most rooms being heated. Most domestic water piping is run in the center of the house so that is not usually what you have to worry about freezing up unless it is a crawl space. It is the forced hot water piping that runs close along the outside walls that can freeze when it gets real cold. Some insulation around these pipes are an inexpensive security blanket.

    You can also wrap the domestic water piping to prevent freezing pipes. Another cheap fix.
  10. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    When my house was electric heat and the basement unfinished and unheated it never got below 40. Even when it was below zero for 2-3 days
    The sill plate lying on the foundation walls should be sealed and blanket insulation pieces cut to fit up over the foundation wall against the sill and between the floor joists . Obviously windows and their frames should be tight and not allowing cold air to come in.
    Any and all openings like water spigots, dryer vent , oil pipes ,etc should be sealed . I use the foam insulation that expands.
    Using an electric heater to help pipes freezing is almost always near futile , way too costly, and redundant.
    redundant.

    Back in the 60-70`s the electric company always recommended that we install at least one 5-6 KW electric heater hanging off a floor joist in a cellar to prevent pipes from freezing. Yeah, electric was reasonable then.

    Bottom line is that other than extenuating situations it`s better to spend the time and money making your unheated cellar more resistant to the cold elements rather than wasting heat to keep pipes from freezing.
    John
  11. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    thanks for the replies everyone.i guess i have some pipe wrapping to do before winter.i do know of 2 pipes on an outside wall which are not insulated.with that said,now im wondering if this whole pellet thing is the route to go,we have pets which stay down in the basement at night,and i know my wife woul be concerned about there well being,especially if the stove is going in on the 1st floor in the living room.
  12. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    An unheated cellar is not going to be a problem for the pets and you should not be discouraged from getting a pellet stove. The most pets need in a cellar is warm bedding to curl up in. Their metabolism / body heat will be sufficient to keep them warm even on the coldest night.
    I`d seriously consider insulating those 2 questionable pipes on the outside wall and maybe even install electric pipe heat tape along the length of them and use it on those sub zero days only. It`s a simple DIY install and being low wattage draw should prove to be reasonably efficient and not costly to operate.
    Good luck,
    John
  13. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    thanks john-
    that makes me feel better.now the hard part is getting something.i was waiting for a stove store to open up this morning,i was 2nd in line for the gates to open.there was a u-haul parked where the hot tubs were,i thought it was just a truck loaded with them having some sort of a fire sale or something.after the gates opened the u-haul pulls in,and the driver and his passenger get out and were walking in front of me.i overheard them say to the sales rep they were there to pick up their stove and 2 tons of pellets.i was looking at the lopi leyden but after looking at the harmans,wel.............. i think you know which one i would rather have.the question is this year or next year?talking to the wife about it and we are not sure if we should get something that is available now?or wait till next year.dont want to get something now and wish we had waited.decisions....decisions...........
  14. newf lover

    newf lover Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I am hoping a ton of people cancel their Harman orders and I will get mine sooner. I spent a lot of time researching pellet stoves, I just should have done it quicker. At this point, I don't want to settle for something else, even though I realize there are other good stoves out there. It's not something you replace every 2 or 3 years, so I want to be happy with it. I may regret that decision when I'm freezing my butt off this winter because I have the heat turned down so low, but oh well. I also have concerns about the quality of stoves these manufacturers are going to be pumping out. Hopefully the dealer will stand behind the product as I think he will, or better yet, I won't have any major problems. Good luck with your decision.
  15. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I lucked out finding a good used Harman at a bargain but truthfully would not hesitate for a moment to buy an Englander .
    Why be held hostage to a particular brand that simply is not available?
    From what I understand the Englanders heat as good as most other brands and even if they require a bit more maintenance they are still about $500 less than anything else that just isn`t available at this time.
    Look, between now and next year if you find the stove you really want is available just sell off the Englander .
    Just my take on it.
    John
  16. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    If any of you CT guys are interested, I'm going to sell my Englander 25-pdvc one of these days. I just have to get around to cleaning it and pulling it out of the basement. It's had little use, and works fine. I'm sure you could use it for a season or two and then flip it (probably at no loss) when your Harman comes in. Just an idea anyway...
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