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What is the most maintenence free stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by LuvMyPellets, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. LuvMyPellets

    LuvMyPellets Member

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    I apologize for what may seem a loaded question for my first post. I assure you I am seeking information. I have a St Croix Afton Bay that is now in it's 5th season. I consider it easily paid for and to be honest other than it being what I consider a high maintenance filthy mess maker(LOL) that I am cleaning way too much I think it is a great stove. My mother in law got a Harman P38 now in it's 4th season and as she is 76 I do all the maintenance. That stove is unreal for burning clean. Rarely do much of anything but clean the glass and empty the pot. It does however seem to burn more pellets than my stove and I don't like the convoluted way you have to go about hooking a thermostat to it. I was in a local store last week and checked out the Lopi AGP. They swear it had been burning for 3 days and there was not even a wisp of smoke on the glass and the interior of it was remarkably clean. What are your suggestions.

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  2. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

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    I have the afton bay and think it is a breeze to clean and work on.

    truely it depends on the pellets I burn. the wood fiber pellets we are burning now are horrible- tons of ash and dirty window, but the Jeds and whatever other kind I have in my sig (can't remember off hand) burn so clean we could easily only clean once a month.

    I still do weekly cleaning anyway because a clean stove is a happy stove!
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    A wood stove, nothing but the stove to burn through, no electronic or rotating devices to jam, burn out, go flaky, or otherwise get in the way.
  4. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    This is my third year on this forum and judging by the numbers of questions presented here I think I can safely say that NO pellet stove is even close to maintenance free! Murphy builds all the stoves and his law will eventually catch up to you. :) If you stick around, you will see that even routine cleanings can get you into trouble if you don't follow the instructions or try to take short cuts. Not wanting to scare you off but go into this endeavor knowing that you WILL invest some time in keeping your stove running in top notch condition. Smokey's right that a wood stove is as close to maintenance free as possible. With a pellet stove, you have a computer controlled system running multiple motors, monitoring multiple sensors, in most cases turning on a heater to self ignite the pellets and some form of thermostatic system or temperature stabilization system. This is where Murphy comes in and the fine folks here try to talk you through troubleshooting the problem. Good luck.
    PJPellet likes this.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well there is that Wiseway which is a non automated pellet burner.
  6. LuvMyPellets

    LuvMyPellets Member

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    A wood stove! No! Too much work. Been there and done that. Stung by yellow jackets cutting wood is one of my better memories of one. Thanks for the answers so far. I agree on the pellets. Last year I had Lignetics-really good. The year before I had O'Malley-really good. This year as last I got pellets at Tractor supply. I got home and unwrapped the pallets and realized I had 2 different brands. The first is Old Dominion-these are horrible and are the dirtiest crap I have ever burned despite the fact the bag states they are a premium hardwood pellet.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Not in maintenance, a wood stove is a cinch in the maintaining it department.

    Notice handling the wood has nothing to do with maintaining the stove.

    It isn't the stove that breaks down when handling the wood it is the wetware that does.
  8. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Have you considered that your stove is out of 'tune'? if its dirty and getting the glass filthy, your air isn't right. i'm using cheaper pellets and can still see through my glass after a week of burning.

    when not in tune, its black in 3 hours.

    play with your air.
  9. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I think even that has a daily routine that is required. I watched the vid and it has an ash pan and burn chamber that will need tending to. I believe the gentleman said daily maintenance.. Looked very simple and quick to do.

    I like my Omega. I only tend to it once a week as far as cleaning goes(could go far longer-I made it past 30 days but broke down and cleaned it more for fear of heat loss). No daily stuff even with iffy pellets. Usually needs pellet filling every 3 days(every other in the cold spells). I can still see fire after a full weeks burning. Usually just starting to get dark up toward the top of the glass. Best unit I have owned! Besides adding fuel I can say it goes for weeks literally untouched. If I could only get it to fill itself!

    There are a few that I though would be limited or least amount during a burn week. Harmans bottom feeder. Quads Mt V. Englanders 10 cpm. Sherwoods self cleaners to name only a few! The bottom feeders in general fro the non self cleaners. But I don't have first hand knowledge of how far you can push them. imacmans 10 cpm has the record for longest untouched(besides filling) burn of 59 bags.

    A tidy stove will be the most efficient, So keeping it clean has some payback. Even if its just piece of mind knowing its clean!
  10. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    But the Wiseway isn't going to spit motor parts and electronic guts at you.

    If the cleaning is the problem I suggest a nice gas stove.

    ETA: And it isn't going to need air pump resuscitation either.
  11. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    X2 on the Wiseway. Maybe Mr. Wisener makes it look easy but I doubt those procedures would ever be considered difficult by even the greenest greenhorn. Get an approved ash can and you're off.

    Put a couple of those silent 5" fans behind there and yer off.

    Plus they're exceptionally cool looking IMO. Definitely a conversation piece. Price seems very attractive as well.
  12. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    If your priority is maintenance free, go with natural gas. Pellet stoves require good continual maintenance. Granted some are more demanding than others, but they all have a need for continual cleaning and some tinkering.
    By the way, I love my Mt Vernon.
  13. doghouse

    doghouse Member

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    The most maintenence free stove is the one you never use.
  14. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    My Afton Bay is a breeze to maintain. I run about 4 tons a year through mine. I do the Leaf Blower Trick about every ton, not much comes out though.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    The AGP, Euromax/Eco-65, Harman, Mt.Vernon, or any stove with an agitator.

    The M-55 Steel is one of my Favorites. Cheaper than the M-55 cast and the Steel model has a larger hopper and ash pan.

    My Quad Classic Bay has not had a cleaning yet this year. Only pulled the pot dump twice. Have yet to clean the exchangers. Going on about 14 bags (not much, but this is since the Sept). Pretty efficient in my opinion.

    Lots of good stoves out there. But they all need cleaned.
  16. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    I have a hunch you have a dirty stove that needs a through cleaning... that's why it is so filthy...
    DexterDay likes this.
  17. LuvMyPellets

    LuvMyPellets Member

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    Nope it is not dirty. Been cleaning it regularly- which is a minimum of once a week full shutdown cleaning(lately every 5 days) and the summers major clean(removing the exhaust blower etc). My point is the thing is just dirty in comparison to the Harman I maintain for my mother in law. I do like it and am glad I bought it. It puts out a lot of heat, relatively quiet and other than one time the auger was not moving pellets due to dust I have had no problems at all with it.
  18. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    My Quad is easy to maintain ... once a week I do a deep cleaning.. takes about 45 minutes ... scrape the pot everyday ..takes about 20 seconds...set it and forget it...
  19. LuvMyPellets

    LuvMyPellets Member

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    A picture of the door! Thorough cleaning the day before yesterday. Smutpot.jpg
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Looks to be what I think is lack of a good air wash. Even a good one will still get dirty in places, Don't see many that keep the whole glass area clear. Dirty glass seems to bug many.

    My stove is pretty good at keeping a large area clear to view the fire. It has run since the begining of the season and I haven't opened the door to clean anything. All that I have done is dumped in fuel and pulled the scraper rod. 16 bags so far.See attached picture. 16 bags.jpg Maybe some others can post picks of the glass and how long it has run so you can see the variance between some of the models!
    DexterDay likes this.
  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Here is my Classic Bay around a half ton (end of last season). And a pic of my pot after 2 weeks of burning and not touching (not dumping). These were taken today.

    2012-04-16_20-05-29_550.jpg 2012-11-18_19-54-32_862.jpg 2012-11-18_19-54-09_909.jpg
    jtakeman likes this.
  22. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Harman p61 without igniter burning any softwood.
  23. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

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