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Would you run your pellet stove on a non-inverter generator?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by BIGISLANDHIKERS, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

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    If you do run your stove on a non-inverter gen, what precautions should be taken? Would a surge pretector be enough?

    Thanks
    BIH

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    definately contact manufacturer or dealer first, the control board you save may be your own!!!!

    if the board is analog it wouldnt be an issue but if triac'd digital with a digital prom it may not work right

    you might be able to use a UPS i suspect they would output pure sine wave which most digital boards need to operate properly
  3. m159267

    m159267 Member

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    Agree w/ stoveguy. However my personal opinion is no way. Last year while my non-inverter 3000w generator was running I plugged in a shop lite (incandescent bulb) and watched the bulb pulsate brighter / dimmer about every second. I value my P38 too much to provide it that kind of current. This year prior to the big storm (which one you ask) I bit the bullet and bought a Honda EU2000i. I swear the stove smiled when I walked past it carrying the Honda.... :) I looked in to a UPS/gen combo but I never became comfortable with that setup as our power outages can extend into days.
  4. velotocht

    velotocht New Member

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    I've run my Whitfield insert on a cheap generator (non-invertor). The electronics ran fine but the fans made a lot of noise and seemded to run slower even on high setting. Ran if for a few hours - but the house was getting cold.

    I then unhooked the pellet stove and wired the oil furnace up to the generator. This ran much better on the noisy voltage signal from the generator. The furnace also had the capacity to heat the whole house quicker than the pellet stove. So now, in power outages, I run the furnace and idle the pellet stove.

    RonB
  5. Turbo-Quad

    Turbo-Quad New Member

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    Its the fans that take the brunt of the pulsating.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Most generators should be fine as long as you have verified they are within voltage and frequency specifications.

    Have a good voltage regulator on them and are large enough to handle everything attached and still be at less than 80% of rated capacity.

    The real problems with generators start when they are over taxed, cannot hold specifications, or were never properly setup (this includes checking that new toy out, mine was overvoltage and frequency when it arrived).

    The manufacturer did not provide any information on how to adjust the idle set point. They had call help line, at least the unit had meters on it for both voltage and frequency.
  7. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

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    The directions of the gen I was looking at states that that the owner should put a UPS in between the generator and any sensitive equipment. Would this help?


    I see that Champion has come out with a 2000w inverter gen. I can get it at our sams club for $499. It runs on gas, but I really would like one that runs on propane.
  8. velotocht

    velotocht New Member

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    BigIsleHiker:
    A 2Kw inverter-generator is an option -but likely overkill unless you want to run some other power-sensative electronics. Your pellet stove, excluding the ~400W ignitor, only draws about 3 to 400 watt power. So a 1Kw invertor generator should run the pellet stove without issue.

    Another option - by a cheap 3 to 5 Kw generator (~200 to 400$) and feed a 120 to 12 VDC battery charger (~$20) with it. Then use the battery charger to charge a 12 VDC marine battery (~$50 to 75 ... Walmart) and connect a 12 VDC 1Kw invertor (50+$)to the invertor. Then plug the pellet stove and other sensitive electronics into the invertor. Depending on what you buy, the price could be cheaper, same-as, or more expensive than a 2KW inverter generator but look at what you get: Upto 5Kw power - to run electric lights, toaster, microwave, coffee pot, beer fridge from the noisy generator; You get 12 VDC at about 500 Amp*Hrs energy storage in the battery (so you can shut the generator off once in a while); and nice clean power at 1Kw for your sensitive electronics.

    For the later option, it also help if you like to tinker with stuff a bit too!

    Take care
    RonB
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I don't have a pellet stove, but I did buy a couple of generators lately.
    The first one, an 800w HF unit, ran the boiler, but the circ. pumps made funny sounds and the wood insert fan ran slow.
    The second one, a 3500w Champion, is way more capable, like running the refrigerator as well, and the pumps sound normal and the insert fan runs normal.
    Interestingly, the only thing that doesn't seem to work is the washing machine electronics - beeps and flashes non-sensically.

    Too bad you can't really try the things first.
  10. AVIVIII

    AVIVIII New Member

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    I have and will continue to do so.

    Between the generator (cheapo Generac 5500) and the stove, I have a gentran switch, whole house surge protector, an outlet surge protector and a 750w UPS. Its over kill. A GOOD surge protector and a UPS should be fine. The 5500 watts take care of the boiler, fridge and well pump along with the pellet stove with no problem.

    If you were looking to plug the stove directly into the genny, I would definitely get an inverter generator. Check out Generac, you can have an 800w or a 2000w for about half of a comparable Honda.
  11. Bank

    Bank Feeling the Heat

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    I have a Generac 8000W generator that includes a manual 10 switch gentran panel. Are we saying it's OK to run the pellet stove from the regular outlet because the Gentran switch protects my sensitive stuff, i.e flat screen TV, computer and pellet stove?
  12. lmjr

    lmjr Member

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    No, you need the other components as well.
  13. Bank

    Bank Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks MOS...I didn;t read that enough.. I had a feeling the Gentran switch wasn't enough..

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