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Thermometer for pellet stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Roadstar, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Roadstar

    Roadstar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    Puyallup, WA
    Does anyone have any recommendations for a thermometer to use with a pellet insert? I want to see how warm the air entering the room from the convection blower is. Amazon has some thermometers for wood stoves but I don’t think they would work for what I want to test. I want to be able to test the difference in heat output with different pellets and also with different settings of the insert. Also I don’t think a wood stove thermometer is that accurate plus they go up to 800 degrees or more. No way my insert puts out that kind of heat.

    I bought three bags of Blazer pellets at Home Depot the other day just to see how they burned. They appear to be a clean burning pellet but I don’t think their heat output matches the Bear Mountain pellets I have been using. That’s a real bummer for me because a ton of Blazers bought from HD costs $204 and the Bear Mountains I get cost $325 a ton. So it’s one of those pay more, burn less or pay less, burn more scenarios.

    Thanks

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I use 2 magnetic stove thermometer's ($15 for one/$25 the other)and a digital wireless cooking thermometer. I have one magnetic thermo on the inside panel of each side of my stove.The magnetic kind on Med will go a little above 600 degrees in my Quad. The "Stove" itself does get hot. Your air temps wont be that hot. It is pretty good at taking a test temp for a bag of pellets. Not the greatest. But gets you in the ballpark. Burn a bag of Inferno's and a bag of "Fill in the blank/ur best brand", and you will notice a temp difference.
    But the wireless "Meat" thermometer ($30 at local Hardware)is the best for convection air temps. Make sure to mount or clip it so the end does not touch the inside of your Heat Exchange Tube. So it is only reading the "air temp". This is a great way for "Testing" pellets. Great results, very accurate. Best measurement tool I have, other than my hand and my Wife's feet. LOL
    The final way of testing is a Infared Gun ($35 at HD), I have mixed results with this thing. Works great for finding leaks in the house (drafty windows-doors), but on the stove the temp will vary greatly from one spot to just a 1/2" away. I use it to shoot the exhaust. Not very accurate at all. Tried marking a little spot in the upper corner of stove and it still will vary by 30 degrees in a matter of seconds. The magnetic stove thermo is a better judge than the IR gun IMHO. There are other ways of measuring. Many multi-meters have a heat measuring mode (Good ones). Also there is the "Thermocouple" itself. You can pick one up for pretty cheap. Probably a few others that are out there.

    Also those Blazer's would be a good shoulder season pellet. For that price a ton or 4 for next year/years to come.
  3. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,100
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello

    If you want to measure the wood pellet stove heat output accurately and on it’s highest setting, The ONLY one I can recommend is the $25.00 digital Cole-Palmer and also purchase the high temperature heat probe. Most thermometers do not measure up to 1500 degrees like this one! My Avalon Astoria on low is 250 and high is over 600 degrees F !! see pics below:

    See my post below
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/52626/

    See cole-palmer web site
    http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/product_view.asp?sku=8646003

    Large pic
    http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/large_image.asp?sku=8646003&img=86460_03 _05.jpg

    This meter has a 4-ft. ribbon micro-cable that allows you to place the probe within an area and close the door without affecting the probe or the door seal. Accurately monitor temperature within freezers, water baths, heating blocks, incubators, refrigerators, and other areas. The meter includes a fast-response type-K probe that can be used for general purpose applications. Users can also choose from a wide verity of probe sold separately for surface, liquid, air or semi-solid materials.
    What�s Included:
    one beaded-wire type K probe, NIST-traceable certificate, leatherette case, and one 9 V battery
    Specifications
    Temp range -58 to 1382�F
    Resolution 1�F
    Accuracy �2�F .75% between 32 to 932�F and �2�F 1% between 933 to 1382�F. Below 32 accuracies are: -4 � 8�F, -40�F � 8�F, and -58�F � 10�F
    Probe Thermocouple
    Display 4-digit LCD, 0.7� high
    Probe type Type-K
    Probe(s) included Yes
    Dimensions 2 3/4� W x 4 1/4�H x 3/4� (76 x 114 x 18mm).
    Power 9-Volt Alkaline battery (included)

    Good Luck
    Don

    Attached Files:

  4. flynfrfun

    flynfrfun Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Roadstar,
    Yep, there is no comparison from the Bear Mtn to the Blazers. I've stocked up on Blazers (2 ton) and a ton of Clean Burn. I'm hoping to score some Bear Mtns, but they are just not worth the $ at over $300/ton compared to the Blazers at $188/ton. That's almost DOUBLE the price! I tried two bags of Bear Mtns and they were so hot I had to turn my stove down a heat level. You can get the Bear Mtns for $285/ton at Sumner Animal Grub which is pretty close you you in Puyallup. I've been hearing good things about North Idaho Energy pellets also. Sumner Animal Grub also has them, but I haven't tried any to see for myself. Sounds like they might be in between the Bear Mtns and the Blazers in heat output. Personally, I'd like to get a ton of Bear Mtns to burn when we get those cold snaps in the winter, but otherwise the Blazers work OK for the moderate temps we get in the winter around here.

    You've gotten spoiled burning Bear Mtns. The best pellet that I know of, but they sure are not giving them away!
    Flynfrfun
  5. arnash

    arnash New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    229
    Loc:
    land of giant redwoods, No.Calif
    Near the southern Oregon border Bear Mountains sell at Ace Hardware for $5.00 a bag ($250 per ton) while a bag of Blazers at HD was $5.69 a few months ago. I think the price is related to how far they have to ship them. Bear Mountain pellets are really hot, I don't have the nerve to run my stove with them with the auger speed at maximum, They heat the stove up to a scary degree, -humongous flame. But I don't have experience with anything other than 1 bag of blazers. If i could buy Blazers for $204 per ton I'd jump on it, -20% cheaper.
  6. Roadstar

    Roadstar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    Puyallup, WA
    filnfrfun:

    I’ve heard about Sumner Animal Grub from someone on this forum before, perhaps it was you. I know exactly where it is. I plan on heading over there in the near future to check them out. I have also heard about North Idaho Energy pellets although I can’t remember if it was good or bad. I’ll probably pick up a few bags of them when I get over to Sumner.

    Years ago when I first purchased my insert (~1995) I heard people talk about Clean Burn pellets but could never find any. I finally did locate some so I stocked up. I honestly can’t remember how they burned but they were clean, low ash. I blame them for tearing up my auger. I haven’t used them since. Lately I have been hearing bad rumblings about them. I think they had a quality control issue at one time, perhaps they still do. When I used them they were a larger diameter than the rest of the pellets I was used to, plus they were long. That put too much stress on the auger. The Bear Mountain pellets are a quarter of an inch in diameter and work fine. Someone recently wrote on this forum that the pellets had salt in them because the logs used to make them float down Puget Sound to the mill where they are processed. I would love to support the local business that makes them (Manke Lubber) but I’m not willing to destroy my insert to do so.

    Thanks for the input.
  7. Roadstar

    Roadstar Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    Puyallup, WA
    arnash:

    A bag of Blazers at my local HD runs $3.74. I notice they also advertise Bayou premium pellets. I don’t know much about them but I imagine they are on par with the Blazers.

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...llets&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    The size of the flame between the Bear Mountain and the Blazers one was of the things I noticed first when I started burning the Blazers. I really couldn’t believe there would be that much difference. I think I would rather burn the more expensive Bear Mountain pellets that the cheaper Blazer pellets. Like I mentioned above; pay more, burn less or pay less, burn more. My guess is the cost difference would probably be a wash. I average about 4.5 tons a year as it is now. That’s for about 8 months on average up here in the rainy country.

    Thanks
  8. flynfrfun

    flynfrfun Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Yeah, the Cleanburns still are bigger dia. and longer. My Enviro auger doesn't have any problem with them though. They seem to burn just a hair hotter than the Blazers, but less ash. This is my first year with a pellet stove, but I've been seeing Cleanburns all over the place. They are easy to find. I plan on getting a few bags of North Idaho Energy pellets soon to see what I think.
    Flynfrfun
  9. flynfrfun

    flynfrfun Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Roadstar,
    I'm no expert, but I have heard that you actually burn more Bear Mtn pellets compared to Blazers because the Bear Mtns are smaller pellets, so more (by weight) pellets gets dropped into the pot in each shot. This may be why the flame is bigger and more heat output. I'm not really sure though. It's possible you may actually find a bag of Bear Mtns. lasts less time than a bag of Blazers.
    Flynfrfun
  10. CJ-SR4ever

    CJ-SR4ever New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    259
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    I also use a magnetic thermometer from time to time. Got it at my local home depot, Works like a charm. Also just wanna say congrats on the M55 insert. Wish I had a fireplace because I would buy one. I love the looks and the operation. A friend of mine has one. Beautiful machine!
  11. flynfrfun

    flynfrfun Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    I bought my M55 sight unseen other than the pics I was able to see on Enviro's website. I knew it had the same internal workings as the M55 freestanding steel version. But, when I got it and first unwrapped it, I was amazed at how nice looking it is. The iron castings are flawless!

    You know they have a freestanding cast iron version right?

    I'll have to try to find that magnetic thermometer from HD. I would like to compare the different brands of pellets myself. Also, it would help optimize the draft setting if I could compare the heat coming from the stove to different draft settings. Don't want to have all the heat going out the exhaust!
    Flynfrfun

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