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Santa Fe vs Heatilator PS50

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by cody, Mar 1, 2011.

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  1. cody

    cody New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Pasadena, MD
    I have decided to install a pellet stove in the unfinished basement of our 1,600sf ranch style home. The basement is two large rooms; we don't live in the basement. I was leaning towards the PS50 until a sales person told me the burn rate is 5.8lbs/hr and is fixed. The only adjustment is to fan speed. He recommended the Quadra-Fire Santa Fe because the feed rate can be adjusted and will burn 50% corn. The total price for the Santa Fe is 2-3 hundred more which is no big deal. In my research on the internet the PS50 seems to get good reviews. The Santa Fe has numerous negative reviews. I know they are made by the same company and share some parts with Quadra-Fire. Questions: Is the fixed feed rate on the PS50 a real or imagined problem? How does the Santa Fe rate as a stove? As the stove is in the basement we don't need an eye pleasing stove, just one that works. Are there any other stoves worth considering?

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  2. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I am on my second season with my Sante Fe and it's a good stove BUT it is only rated at 30,000 btu's. With you putting ANY stove in an unfinished basement, you're going to suck up a lot of btu's into the cement floor and walls before any heat even gets a chance to go upstairs. Don't forget that lbs/hr = btu output given that all the stoves are about the same efficiency. If you are looking for more btu's then you have to expect to feed more lbs/hr into the beast. It's just a law of Physics. The little Sante Fe is just not going to hack it. You're going to want a larger stove and that means more lbs/hr. With any of these stoves, they do turn on and off or high/low so your feed rate will NOT be the advertised rate.

    You have a ranch style home so you don't have to worry about getting heat up to the second floor. My suggestion is to rethink putting the stove in the main floor. The Sante Fe is on the low end of the price curve so you evidently are looking to cut corners. My second suggestion then would be to look on Craigslist for used stoves that are a little fancier, if that is what is keeping you from moving the stove into your living space. IMHO, the Sante Fe is not a bad looking stove. It's just not as fancy as the $3000+ ones.

    Your third possibility is to invest in insulating the basement walls before installing the stove.

    What do you heat with now? Being in Maryland, you are close enough to Pa and W. Va. to have access to coal. I believe with the energy crisis being fabricated around the world, there will be a renewed cry for utilizing our internal energy sources of which coal is #1.

    http://www.readingstove.com/

    You just can't argue with these statistics >>> http://www.readingstove.com/support_chart.html#pellets
  3. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    Your salesman has no idea what he is talking about. The PS50 and the santa Fe have the exact same controls except the ps-50 is a larger unit. Search my posts.

    Eric
  4. Como

    Como Minister of Fire

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    You can look at the manuals online.

    The PS35 would be comparable to the Santa Fe.

    The comparable to the PS50 is the Classic Bay. Where I am there is quite a price difference, YMMV. The Classic Bay is a fair big physically bigger.
  5. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I own a CB 1200 and have also seen the PS 50 at Kinsman stoves. Both are almost the same in BTU's. But the Heatilator wins hands down on pricing. The little Santa Fe is a nice stove, don't get me wrong. I was looking into buying one for my basement. But I believe it would be to small, for what you are trying to heat. I also 2nd putting the stove upstairs where you will be needing the heat most. These are save heaters. Some have good luck heating from the basement. But even most of those are finished. Keep us posted on your decision.
  6. cody

    cody New Member

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    Let me clarify a couple of things. The basement has some finishing, it’s just not that nice and we don’t hang out in the basement. I do have an office in the basement, which is one of the reasons why I want to put the stove down there. I also know that heat rises and will help with the upstairs heating. We currently heat the main level with oil and a propane insert.

    Tjnamtiw I did not consider coal but will look at it.

    Eric I read you posts before I posted and have reread them. Does the PS50 have an adjustable pellet feed? The sales info for the PS50 indicates a 5.8 lb/hr feed. The info for the Santa Fe gives a range 1.5 to 4 lbs/hr. Does the possible lack of an adjustable pellet feed for the PS50 mean anything? It seems like without this adjustment the stove would be putting out maximum heat whether you need it or not.

    It looks like the Santa Fe is out. The PS50 was my first choice, the only thing the slowed me down was the adjustable pellet feed, if it has one or it does not matter it make my choice easy.

    Thanks for everyone’s help
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The Heatilator is as adustable as the Santa Fe. It may/may not have a fan adjustment. Has 3 different heat settings. Does not just feed at one rate. My Quad is the same way (3 heat levels) and has a fan adjustment for Hi/Low. for 6 total levels of adjustment. (Eric will have to tell you if it has the fan option) On Low heat, High Fan, with the fuel rod (feed plate) wide open, I heat over 2,000 sq ft to 75 degrees, running the stove 24/7. After seeing Eric's Heatilator, with ash higher than the burn pot, I was sold, knew that it was a good product. I have never let my stove go over a week without cleaning. But to know that it could (possibly) burn as long as the Heatilator, made me feel that I had a good stove at home. The Heatilator carries all the same components as a Quad, without the cost. It does not use a standard "tube" style heat exchange method, which for cleaning purposes should make the unit much easier to clean.
    As for the heat rising. If you are not heating the entire basement, and some of it is finished... It should be plausable that you could heat your entire home with it. The key to getting the most out of it, while saving the most, is to get the air moving. The stove will create natural convection, but will take more persuading to get it upstairs. With the thoughtful placement of a couple fans, or what some members here have done is, actually "duct" some of your heat the upstairs portion of your home. Don2222 and J-takeman are just a couple that have done this. Good Luck, and would love to see pics of the install.
  8. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Thanks DexterDay.

    Yes the Heatilator runs the exact same as the Santa Fe or the Classic Bay. Low, medium, and high which controls the auger speed and distribution blower speed. The thermostat turns the unit on or off. A programmable tstat can be added but will not change low, med, or high. That is done by a rocker switch on the rear of the Heatilator.

    If you are in the basement all the time put the stove there. If you live upstairs, that is where the stove should be. If not you will be posting something to the effect of "How do I move the heat upstairs" in a month or so. Yes sometimes it does work but.......

    I hope this answered your question.
    Eric
  9. cody

    cody New Member

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    Loc:
    Pasadena, MD
    Thanks to all who replied! I think I will pick up a PS50 today. I looked at coal but nodoby sells it without driving 100 miles.

    My next question. To vent the stove I need to cut a hole in the concrete block/brick foundation. What type of thimble do you recommend? In past wood stove installations I filled the block with cement and installed ceramic pipe. I plan on using 4 inch pipe for the install to insure proper draft.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Too bad about the coal, but welcome to the wonderful world of pellet pigs! I'm sure you'll enjoy your PS50.
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