1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Sizing stove through oil usage.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jslinger, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Hey this isn't about dealers good, bad, beautiful, or ugly. It is about heating a house.

    But since someone brought up the topic the OP needs to check out the dealer and their staff as much if not more than the stove if that is who is going to be doing all of the work on the stove.

    All dealers are not equal to the task.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    The fact that he is a salesperson, and didn't try to get to spend more money, gave me more confidence in their recommendation. Although, maybe he could tell I wanted to go with they P43, and thought he may lose me all together if he said it wasn't big enough.
  3. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Not all dealers are unworthy. We have a few that hang here and have their chit together. One is named lousyweather and I wouldn't mind hearing what he has to say. Yep, I'm dragin him into this muck with us! :p

    Ldoubleu wha ya say? How high(sqft) with a P43 or how low(sqft) with a P61a would ya go?
  4. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I will gladly take all the input I can get.
    Thank you.
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Edit: Bum must be still sleepin, I sent him a PM(aka wake up call)! Geez what a lazy? ::-) :p ;)
  6. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    337
    Loc:
    West Tennessee
    Don't forget to check the fed energy tax credits that were extended to see if the stove qualifies.
  7. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    Loc:
    Lewis County, New York (upstate)
    One thing to keep in mind about now relegating your oil boiler to back-up and domestic hot water usage only. Depending upon your baseboard and piping set-up, layout, etc., you'll need to run your oil burner to keep your lines from freezing, especially on really cold days or when you have a number of very cold days consecutively. I went through this late last week. There's a number of ways you can avoid this potentially costly mess. The easiest being to simply make sure you run the boiler a few times throughout the day and night no matter how much heat your pellet stove will provide. If you have a programmable t-stat running the boiler at present, just set it to run several times per day whenever it gets really cold outside to the point where your hot water lines could freeze if not circulating. Obviously doing this will cost you some oil, but it's certainly cheaper than replacing piping throughout your house.

    I wish now that my house came equipped with a forced air furnace instead of the baseboard hot water it had when I bought it. It would make my life much easier as I'd never have to worry about freezing pipes when running the pellet stove too much. Ah, the joys of home ownership....;)
  8. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    When the temps were down to -10*, the house was at 55*. We keep three rooms on the second floor closed at all times, with no heat on. I put a thermometer on the baseboard to see how cold it would get, and it never got below 45*. It seems like there should be antifreeze in those pipes, to prevent exactly what you are referring to.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Be very careful about putting anything in a heating systems water, it can end up in all the wrong places like in your glass of water or down your well etc ...
  10. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,743
    Loc:
    central ct
    Don't forget that you will be going from multiple outlets of heat (vents) to 1. by the time it reaches the other end of the house, it will be cooler.
    And, nearly ALL of us keep our houses warmer now with the stove than the did on oil. I'd say an average of 4 degrees. And we still save money.
  11. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    Loc:
    Lewis County, New York (upstate)
    Believe it or not I do have anti-freeze in my pipes. However, I discovered that at one point in the line there was just enough of a gap in the pipe insulation at a point that was directly above my cellar window. I believe there was just enough of a draft that hit this part of the pipe directly and was cold enough to freeze that section, despite the anti-freeze within it. Keep in mind that where I live we had several nights in a row where the temps. where nearly -25 degrees not counting the wind chill. I suspect this one little exposed section of pipe got hit too hard and for too long with -30 to -35 degree below zero wind.

    Now I'm going to consider installing what is called a circulation control on my t-stat for the boiler. It basically circulates the boiler hot water at preset times of the day and night in order to prevent freezing. You basically just turn this control on when the weather gets cold, otherwise you just leave it turned off. I've read in a few chat rooms that some plumbers suggest this type of control over putting anti-freeze in your boiler. There's also a thread on this site discussing it as well.
  12. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I actually just rechecked our oil bill. The last time we filled up was October 4th. The meter currently read just under 1/3 of a 275 gallon tank. Staying on the safe side, we have used around 205 gallons. That is an average of 1.7 gallons per day. I am however, leaning toward the P61A. I was just worried it would be in maintenance burn a lot. I didn't want to lose efficiency by using too big of a stove, that never gets near its peak output. But it seems as though most people don't think that will be an issue.
  13. boo boo

    boo boo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    302
    Loc:
    So. NH
    If thats what you want go for it. Keep reading these threads because these experienced guys here are amazing when it comes to stoves, pellets and repairs. I have learned allot from reading threads here.
  14. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    807
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    He may not have pushed you because the P43 has plenty to keep your house at 55. Sounds like your freezing yourself :)
  15. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    Loc:
    Lewis County, New York (upstate)
    As a new P61 A owner myself, I thoroughly support your decision. :cool:

    Seriously though, it's a good choice and I don't worry about mine being in peak output too little of the time. I have an 1800 sq. ft. ranch and so far it's been great.
  16. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,463
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Exactly our point. Now the stove has ya hooked on these toasy temps. Then you get a cold snaffu and she just can't keep it as warm as you wanna be. Thats when the name calling starts. Think I heard at least one member(hint) call theirs a bucket a bolts or something.
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Does your house have a HRV ?

    When was it built?

    BTW My bucket of parts stove works just fine on shoulder pellets all the way down to -18::F :p.
  18. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    We keep the house at 65* when we are home. We keep it at 55* while sleeping, and at work. I would never live in 55* unless I had to. Although, sometimes when I come home, and the fiance has been there all day, she never turned the heat up.
    I don't think our house has an HRV, and it's 11 years old.
  19. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,743
    Loc:
    central ct
    I used to do that too. now my place is 68 and 63 at night. sometimes it sees 70. it's like crack :X
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    What are the price differences between a 38+, 43, and a 61?

    What we are looking at is trying to figure out what happens when and not what is currently happening.

    A fairly straight forward way of figuring out what you might need would be to take the original heating system design figures (maximum firing rate and the uses heat the house, hot water, outside winter swimming pool heating, etc ) and remove part of the capacity to arrive at just the heat the house figure design point. This would be considering comfortable temperatures not hey the ground burger stuff needs to be kept cold temperatures. You are already sending out signals of I'm sick of being cold and yet what information did you use?

    You understand it is no skin off our noses if things are undersized, we might hear a bit of grumbling in the audience (we do hear that anyway) but hey we will be toasty.

    In case you are wondering how the 38+ got in there it is because it can almost reach the point where it and the 43 are neck and neck.

    My unit is a 45KBtu (nominal rating 50KBtu) unit and replaced a heating system that was eating 600 Gallons a year in oil for space heating but no way was it ever being run with the t-stat settings you are using, the boss lady would have planted me 6 foot plus straight down. Arthritis be damned, she would have even dug the hole herself.
  21. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I am tired of being chilly. I assume you are commenting on the fact that I used information from a situation that left me cold. However, I can only use the information I have. I can't use information for keeping my house warmer than I actually did.
    I just wanted info from people with experience, to add to the recommendation the dealer provided.
    I have started a few private conversations with some members who previously considered the two options I am considering. It seems as though I am getting a 50/50 split of people who say, the P43 would be big enough, and others who say to go for P61A.
    I actuality, money isn't that much of an issue. We are just rather frugal. And the price between the 43 and 61 would buy a fair amount of pellets.
    But I after all of the input I have received, I am leaning toward the P61A.
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Well you do have more information than what you think you do and that is the firing rate on your boiler. That should be the sized rate for your heating system considering heat, hot water, and a safety factor to handle record cold.
  23. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I guess I am unclear what the firing rate is. The only information I can readily see on my boiler, is the max btu output.
  24. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,092
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Your burner on the boiler has a nozzle and a rate of fuel flow through that gives the firing rate.

    It is generally stated in terms of gallons per hour.

    Which from knowing the BTU content of #2 fuel oil will give you the actual firing rate in terms of BTU/hr which should be less than or equal to the boilers maximum firing rate on its makers plate.

    Talk to your oil burner technician.

    We should be able to get a handle on things a bit better than we have currently.
  25. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Harman owners, correct me if I am wrong, but the 43 and 61a will heat almost exactly the same (ESP and room probe) if in the same house and the same temps. The difference will come when the 43 is at its limits and the 61a can stretch its legs a little more. If the heat load doesn't need the heat, they will burn about the same. (Well, up to 43,000 BTU :). After that,.if you need more heat, the 61 will give it)

    Otherwise the maintenance burn would be the same and fuel usage will match one another (unless its COLD and the 61a needs to burn more pellets). The stove will slowly ramp up and get room to temp.

    All that said, I am considering replacing my Quad with a P-43 :) I am heating 2,180 sq (Ranch). Love my Quad, but want more options from the stove. Quad has Zero options. It heats like the Sun.... But lacks the bells and whistles :(

Share This Page