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Stove Maintenance cntd.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by richabot, Feb 19, 2008.

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  1. richabot

    richabot New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Stockton, CA
    In reading the maintenance information (and great pics!) provided by the moderator, I wish I had read and questioned more before buying.
    I’ve only had our Quadra-fire pellet stove insert for a couple of months.
    When working, it produced heat for our family room/kitchen.
    I’m trying to get it working again, and as I've checked other forums for leads, I come across questions in forums that I should have asked and information I should have been more aware of.
    I still like the idea of having a pellet stove, but those thinking of buying one should be aware of and discuss a few things with your local dealer.
    First, a pellet stove needs electricity to run. It’s not like a fireplace. Amazing how this bypasses some people.
    Second, my pellet stove did put out a bit of noise that we had to get used to. Unlike the central heat, there was a constant blower noise, kind of like having a window seat on a 747. We eventually got used to it; maybe we shouldn’t have put the stove in the family room, but that’s what we wanted heated.
    Third, you will be responsible for picking up and storing the bags of wood pellets. In California they run about $5.50 for a 40 lb. bag. Corn should be cheaper. On really cold days (for CA) we’ve gone through a full bag. This is cheaper if you buy (and transport and store) by the ton.
    Finally, you will be responsible for maintenance (and in my case, repair) of your pellet stove. This entails a fair amount of work. Be sure to review before buying all literature/DVDs that go over what you have to do to keep the stove running. Also be sure you have a written and signed document that details what you are responsible for and what your dealer will do for you. Pellet stoves are a big investment.
    As long as you go in with your eyes open (and mind well educated) you should be fine.
    RiChabot

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  2. pete324rocket

    pete324rocket Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    454
    Loc:
    albert county, new brunswick
    All of the things you say are true.Some of the points should be evident to a purchaser-for example the supply of fuel to keep it running seems straight-forward,yet the noise factor can be a surprise to some as well as the cleaning every 2 or three days may tend to get tedious.For those who enjoy wood heat but want less mess however,pellet stoves have become a clean viable alternative.I would question anyone who decides to use a pellet stove for their only source of heat.There have been a few examples of owners who have chosen this path,and,when their stove shuts down because it has triggered a high heat sensor,designed for safety and to protect burning someones house down,have blamed a stove because it did not perform a miracle for them.Maybe in a Southern climate but not in the middle of winter in a more Northern climate will a pellet stove be the only answer.This forum provides many good tips but like any advice,you have to use common sense.No doubt there are dealers who are mostly interested in seeing stoves go out the door,regardless of their practicability.I know I find lifting that bag of pellets into the hopper a real chore sometimes. Imagine how problematic it would be for an elderly person day in and day out.
  3. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Ohio
    You never get something for nothing!

    I do not find my Europa 75 to be any kind of disappointment. I read up on it, before buying, yet I find more that I did not know, as time passes. Still, all in all, it was a good move. My buy was mainly for back up use, that has changed now. Do not jump into this with both feet, there is a learning curve. Today, my gas company is less important in my life.

    As for the work load, this old back of mine has moved many tons in its work life. The added load from the pellet stove is minimal. Someday, I may have to modify. But, working smart is always better than working harder. Yes! I cheat, whenever possible!

    For those who want their sole heat source to be pellets, you better buy two stoves! Things can get chilly during downtime. Know what you want and what you need. Buying cheap is not always the answer.

    Jerry
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I'll hopefully be buying my first pellet stove, doing my own install in the next month. By time next winter rolls around I'll be ready. Pellets are plentiful and going for 170.00ton most of the time.....was on sale last week for 150.00ton. I'll be planning on using the furnace for backup.....but the propane company is going to wonder what happened that is for sure!

    It's important to read, study and study some more. I've been reading various sites, forums and anything on the web plus talking to dealers to get up to speed. Nevertheless I'm sure glad this place is here for my questions when the stove starts to get hot.
  5. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    899
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    Dont mean to sound redundant... but first and foremost....dealer, dealer and more dealer. MAKE sure you have a reputable source to service if you cant figure out the problem yourself. I am pretty handy in various house stuff...I researched getting a pellet stove for almost a year. I know several that have them. I burned wood for a long time. It was an easy choice for me to go to pellets. I have a relatively new furnace in my house...so now with the Pellet Stove I had installed...my furnace is my back up and my Pellet Stove is going 24/7. I have saved tremendous in the month and a half since I had it installed. And the warmth is awesome....the closest I can get to when I burned wood....without the mess! As for the labor in moving the pellets.....I may be 45....but I'm in great shape...also I have older sons that are very generous in helping out their Pop. I have absolutely no regrets in installing my Quadra~Fire Castille. Its doing all we expected and more. :)
  6. smg64ct

    smg64ct Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Pellet stoves are a lot of work. I heat my whole house with it. I don't have much of of choice, because I have electric heat. The one thing that saves me is that I have a well insulated house and a open floor plan. My stove runs 24/7 and has never overheated and shut down. I do clean the ash out of the burn pot daily.
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth

    To take 30 seconds a day to dump out your burn pot is a lot of work?
    Fill your stove with one or 2 clean bags of pellets every day
    and then 15 minutes once every week or two to clean out the ash in your pellet stove

    then once a year do a full cleaning service on your stove.
    that is not a lot of work compared to wood?


    They are a lot less work than wood!

    You have to Clean a wood stove every day
    You have to cut, Stack, Load, unload, stack
    Split, Spit again for kindling, Bring in house, Fill the dam stove every 2-6 hours
    clean up the mess on the hearth everyday
    Clean the carpet. Kill the bugs that come in from the wood.
    Save newspaper to start your fire.
  8. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    899
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    LOL...I agree Rod...lol. I burned wood for several years.....pellets are MUCH easier to handle. Takes me 10 min. a day.....and a little extra time once a week for extensive stuff.
  9. jamorris

    jamorris New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Ohio
    Try dumping the stove and just generating your own electricity. You'll be back to the pellet stove and happy as a lark! The P'nP mentality is what our major problem is. There is no Free Ride. You either pay the Moneymen, or use a little effort. Your own labor, especially as little as the pellet stoves need, is much cheaper than the grids.

    You're being a little excessive on daily maintenance, at least in my experience with a Dell-Point Europa and from what I have read on other pellet stoves.

    Jerry
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