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wood pellet or gas?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by TheSmith, Dec 15, 2007.

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  1. TheSmith

    TheSmith New Member

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    we now have 1 stove in the basement (pellet) wich heats the majority of the home better than I expected.upstairs in the living room I have a old heatilator style firplace original to the home wich was built back in the 40's.I have always used this on the weekends and sometimes during the evenings during the weekday to throw a little warmth into the room.it works fairly well and has come in handy during power outages, but it uses alot of wood compared to a insert or wood stove.I am looking into a insert for it and have a few scenarios.
    I can do a wood insert but to line the chimney with 6" stainless flue they will have to cut some of the heatilator out with a torch and do some masonry work so the pipe fits.I was also told that a inserts rated heat output is with the blower on, and in a power outage the heat output basicly gets cut in half with no blower.
    A pellet insert would fit great with no cutting and I could do it myself, and it would be alot cheaper, but im still faced with the no power no heat issue, unless I purchase a small generator.I dont think a pellet stove would draw alot of amps so maybe a smaller inexpensive generator would do the trick.
    Ive also looked at gas, but was told they basicly work the same as a wood insert and there output with out the blower is cut in half.
    Im leaning toward the pellet insert but would like some feedback from insert users, do you run a generator etc.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    That statement "cut in 1/2" is wrong, IMHO.

    It is very different for various units.

    What type of gas do you have? LP or Natural. In general, a gas unit works 100% fine without power. A Pellet unit does need electric - we can give some hints on that. But if you have NG, the price (of fuel) is likely to be the same as the price of pellets, so when you add the "works fine in power failure with no backupo electric" to the equation, it comes out well.

    Also, you do have a couple of choices in the wood arena. If the Heatilator is in good shape, you can install something like the Wilkening Ultragrate (no liner required), which puts out a lot of heat. Certainly not as efficient as a EPA stove, but if you are going to burn a few hours a day as you say, this could be a good solution. Headed down the heat scale, there is stuff like the "Fireplace Radiator" - basically Heat Grates that do a decent job - especially when combined with a decent set of glass doors.
  3. TheSmith

    TheSmith New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    maine
    I currently only have LP for my cook stove.If NG is the same price as pellets I could be sold!Im curious abouth the Wilkening Ultragrate, and I have seen a few of the fireplace grates online but was sceptical about them making much of a difference.
  4. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    NG cost less to heat than pellets
    BUT IM NO EXPERT ON NG
    the closest NG gas line to me is 75 miles down the hill to the valley.
    No matter what ELK says it is no big deal to cut out heatOlattor for a Wood insert
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/oldinsert.jpg
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/cutheatalator.jpg
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/insertliner.jpg
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/lineroutchimney.jpg
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/avlaon45.jpg

    we do it all the time.
    I did one personally just last Friday
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Good looking job, Rod.....

    I guess you do mave to make certain of the construction behind that metal rear I have seen some without very thick masonry enclosures, although if the ss was insulated it would probably take care of that.

    . What are using, a plasma torch?
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    what kinda insulation is that in the cutout??????
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Every Heatolator I have cut has 10-12" concrete block behind it and on the extererior of the home sticking OUTSIDE with no wood framing around the back

    That is just a normal Torch.
    I bough a 110V plasma with built in Air but it just did not have enough power to cut the first Layer of steel
    So now my wife uses it to make stuff with.

    The trick is to cut the Tubes with a Sawsaw. get them out of the way.
    Then cut in sections the back one piece at a time with a OA torch.
  8. TheSmith

    TheSmith New Member

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    I found a few places online that sell the wilkening fireplace grate, they look just like a insert.The price is a little steep though.There are several NG suppliers in my area so getting it wouldnt be a problem.
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    ???
    The wilkening is a wood unit!

    And Natural Gas is usually only available from ONE utility. Please explain...I'm confused.
  10. TheSmith

    TheSmith New Member

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    Loc:
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    I was just explaining that NG is readily available to me ,so depending on price it may be a good option for me. I know the wilkining is a wood unit.My post now looks consfusing after I read it lol.
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