Acquired a Pelpro PP60-B - Thoughts? Not sure what to make of it.

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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
All,

We ended up inheriting a new, never used, Pelpro PP60-B pellet stove. We've been working through a family members' estate and this was sitting never used and it made its way back home with us today. I'm not sure if we have all the parts, but we do have several bags and pipes - I'll dig through it when I get some time.

I've never used a pellet stove before. At the moment I am not even sure if we can use it just yet. It seems like it might be a good thing to use in a shop or garage, or a small cabin.

What thoughts can those more experienced with pellet heat offer on the unit?
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
876
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Throw up some photos, pellet stoves are cheaper to run than propane, that’s why a lot of us have one. Start reading and ask as many questions as you’d like…welcome to the forum!
Happy burning
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Thanks. I don't have any good pictures of it, we had it packed on a trailer with a bunch of other stuff when I got a couple pictures just to identify it and start digging up some info on it. I got it moved to our SUV a bit later and its still in there. Maybe when I get it back out I can get a few more pictures.

I looked at pellet fuel a bit last night and now I am really not sure what to make of this thing.

When I think of wood heat I think of cutting trees with a chain saw and splitting with an axe or hydraulic splitter. How do you process your own wood in to pellets? That brings in to question what does the "processing". It appears you need to start with fine material (sawdust, powder, etc), get it moist, heat it up, then press it through a die to get the "pellet" extrusion. That sounds like an incredibly energy inefficient process just to get fuel to burn in a stove!

The "mills" I've seen that process the pellets are either tractor PTO driven, engine driven, or large electric motor driven. That is if the material is already in a sawdust/powder form. And that doesn't include the mixer (like a cement mixer) required to stir up the material.

With all the energy in processing the pellets, it really doesn't make any sense to me. If the pellets were already processed that is one thing - but I'm sure they are sold. So that brings in to operational cost and how one could acquire enough pellet material to be a legitimate heat source. I could see running the stove for a few hours in a garage, but to run it around the clock for 3-4 months in the cold weather months - how does one acquire enough fuel to do that?

Has anyone figured out a conversion between heat output of a certain amount of wood vs pellets burned? I would be curious to try to convert that to fuel cost for a longer period of time.
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Just a quick calculation -

There is a wood products vendor around here that sells firewood at $88/ton.
A bag of Stove Chow wood pellets (100% wood) from Home Depot is $6/40lb.

Doing the math, stacking up 40lb bags of Stove Chow would add up to $300/ton. That is almost 3.5 times the price of the logs. The wildcard is how much room heat would be able to be extracted from the same weight of wood vs same weight of pellets? If you get 3.5 times more heat from the pellets then the cost would be a wash - and it would be a lot easier to store the more dense pellet fuel than log fuel.

However, that is still in the perspective of purchasing fuel. I can go cut my own wood so the costs there are fuel (transportation and saw), maintenance, and the time/effort of doing the processing.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,855
Eastern Ontario
I use both pellets and firewood
A pellet stove in the family room, poorly insulated (built-in 1936)
and a wood furnace in the main part of this old farmhouse.
Pellets bought by the ton. Delivered by the pallet load 1.5 tons per pallet
I buy 3 pallets a year every 4th year I don't have to buy any just use
left overs from years before
Firewood comes off my farm free to me except fule -oil and labour
A lot of work to get 5 cord cut split and stacked and try to stay 3 years ahead
I prefer wood for heat but enjoy the convenience of pellets also I can keep
a constant heat out of the stove 24/7 without having to continuously filling
the fire box ( getting up at 3 am to fill the firebox) So what is your question
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Pellets bought by the ton. Delivered by the pallet load 1.5 tons per pallet
I buy 3 pallets a year every 4th year I don't have to buy any just use
left overs from years before
.........
So what is your question
Being in Canada prices don't necessarily equate to USD (and with the fluidity of USD - it tanking - at the moment all bets are off on that for now anyway) - but what are you paying for a pallet of pellets? Sounds like 2x pallets gets you your 3 tons. How long does a ton or 1.5 tons last you?

As to "question" - I'm more or less just looking for input from others that are more familiar with all things "pellet stove" related. I've never looked in to them so this is a foreign language to me at the moment, but I'm learning.

As to the stove I have -here are some pictures. I got it unloaded and studied it for a good while today, just from the outside. I haven't pulled any panels off other than opening the pellet hopper and front glass doors.

20211028_145209.jpg


These are the pipe parts I have. If I am correct the parts are for a horizontal vent pipe. The only catch to that theory is that the clean out T couldn't be used - there is no way to run horizontally from that straight off the back of the stove without another 90deg bend - and there are no bend sections of pipe in what I have, only the 36" straight and a few adapter pieces.

20211028_144047.jpg


Does the coil of insulation go with this "kit" at all? I wasn't sure if it was an insulation wrap for the fresh air intake pipe (I believe that is what the pipe is below)?
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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
This is somewhat off topic - but this is the inside of the clean out T fitting.

Does anyone know what the sealant is they use inside the pipe? It is almost like silicon or RTV, but I can't imagine anything being able to hold up to the temperatures inside a stove pipe?!
20211028_144330.jpg
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I'm not ever gonna comment on this one....._g
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Where I would start is dig through all the stuff and find the owners manual and start by reading it. You can obtain all the venting you need at www.ventingpipe.com/selkirk I use Simpson Duravent Pro myself and they don't interchange and you have Hencho Mexico Selkirk so stick with it.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
If you really want to make your own pellets, I have an extruder for sale. I believe you'll get over that pretty quick though
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
No, it's not. A Pellet extruder squeezes the ground up biomass through a plate with holes in it and they come out the bottom and it has a device that cuts them off into useable lengths. They ain't cheap either and require some serious power to work correctly. Mine has a 7.5 horse 3 phase motor on it.

Kind of like what a meat grinder does when grinding meat into hamburger. Same principle applies but instead of a screw pushing the meat through the plate, rollers push the material through a much larger plate, hence the term extrusion. Commercial pellet mills use the same type of machinery but much, much larger. I think I paid around 2500 for mine a long time ago. Buskirk in Indiana (if they are still around) sells them but I got mine direct from China through Oreintal trading.
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,258
Upstate NY
This is somewhat off topic - but this is the inside of the clean out T fitting.

Does anyone know what the sealant is they use inside the pipe? It is almost like silicon or RTV, but I can't imagine anything being able to hold up to the temperatures inside a stove pipe?! View attachment 284255
You can seal those pipes together with high temperature RTV sealant that is good to 600 degrees or so, certainly enough for this application.

I would say this is the best place to start.


Go ahead and check that manual out, and see if that helps answer your questions.

You are right in your previous posts that firewood you harvest yourself is cheaper for the heat, but the pellets are about ease of use for the most part. Usually cheaper than oil or propane, but they arent something you are going to make yourself when first starting. The pellet stove gives you good control and the ability to (sorta) modulate your heat output.

As sidecarflip mentioned, you need to use one brand/model of vent piping all the way throughout the system. They do not interchange with each other.
 
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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
Mine has a 7.5 horse 3 phase motor on it.
That is what I started looking at - ways to press pellets and I noticed how much power the mechanisms required. Residential locations don't have 3-phase power and to go to a phase converter large enough to power that size of motor would draw so much power off single phase the electric bill would be astronomical to run it. 7.5hp might be around the top end of 240v motors you can find that run on single phase. However, a 3-phase motor's efficiency over single-phase is night and day = single-phase would use a lot more kwh for the same HP.

I don't know how anyone can numerically justify pellets over logs. The perspective I say that with is overall energy consumption. A pellet stove may numerically be "more efficient" than a wood stove, from the stand point of converting more of the biomass in to heat. However, that is leaving out the energy consumed to create the compressed biomass. You need both heat and pressure to get the pellets. That takes energy. Then the raw material you use to mix together to make the biomass that the pellets are made out of - sawdust, ground grains, what have you. Sawdust and cornmeal, for example, don't grow in those forms - it takes energy to grind them in to those forms.

On the contrary, I can go to the woods, cut down a tree, cut coins out of the trunk and limbs, split them with an axe, and toss them in a stove. The input energy is from gas for the saw and food to give me energy to swing the axe and move the logs. Aside from that, there is no "energy" input to the logs (gas isn't burned and I don't have to touch it) to let it season and dry - thats a natural process (yeah, there is energy there, but it is always there - not added to accelerate - unless the logs are run through a kiln to dry).

So even if you have a pellet mill/press and "roll your own pellets" - the amount of energy you are consuming - electricity or fuel for an engine or tractor - would most likely make running a pellet stove as a legitimate heat source quite expensive. You may gain some energy independence if you have a large supply of diesel or gas, but you certainly are not energy independent. Even using a chainsaw to cut trees up isn't energy independent. However, it is a lot less energy dependent than what goes in to making pellets - and a blower fan on a log stove likely uses a heck of a lot less electricity than running a pellet stove - and you can get heat powered fans to stick on the top of a a stove that don't use any electricity at all to move the air.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
The Stirling motor fans don't move much air, more of a gimmick that anything else and an expensive one as well.

Far as logs, not everyone has access to a woodlot. I have wood but I prefer not to cut it and in my scenario I get almost free corn so it makes good sense for me to burn that. problem is, most biomass stoves are incapable of burning corn, they are wood pellet stoves only. Mine isn't it's a true multifuel stove. Even the control board has a corn only setting. I still mix the corn with wood pellets in a 3 to 1 ratio because running straight corn produces heavy clinkers.

For me, wood is nothing but a chore. I cut up storm damage, get a big pile of it and roast it.

I have 220 3 phase in my shop, 200 amp service but interestingly, my main compressor is single phase 7.5 horse capacitor start capacitor run and inrush amperage on it is 31 amps according to my clamp meter and running amperage is 10-12 depending on head load.

You can run a rotary converter and they in reality are pretty economical as the convertor motor is only running at a no load until the the 3rd phase leg is called for, then the convertor motor delivers that appropriate amperage but there is no inrush amperage because at start up, the convertor motor isn't loaded.
 
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Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
202
Indiana
I wouldn’t make pellets. I buy them. $4 for a 40lb bag. A bag lasts about 24hs in the winter for me. I am in the country and it is a lot cheaper than propane.

So, yes, you can heat with a wood burner and you can get wood from your trees. If that is what u want do that. I prefer to not
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
I wouldn’t make pellets. I buy them. $4 for a 40lb bag. A bag lasts about 24hs in the winter for me.
What climate are you in? Where?

Where do you source pellets?

I've heard of some buying pellets in bulk up to 1.5 ton pallets at a time. I would imagine buying in bulk is cheaper per lb. Your $4/40lb is $2 cheaper than Home Depot's Stove Chow 40lb bags.
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
202
Indiana
What climate are you in? Where?

Where do you source pellets?

I've heard of some buying pellets in bulk up to 1.5 ton pallets at a time. I would imagine buying in bulk is cheaper per lb. Your $4/40lb is $2 cheaper than Home Depot's Stove Chow 40lb bags.
Northern Indiana about 45 minutes from Michigan. The $4 price is the current price at Menards. I keep an eye out for sales and then buy in bulk. Some places have pre-order sales where you can buy a couple or tons before they are even in stock at a discounted price.

If i was at home 24/7 or homesteading I would do the math on making my own…..but I don’t think the math would pan out. Or maybe grow corn and burn it in a multi-fuel stove. I work 40-50 hours a week, so my time at home is worth spending the $$ to buy pellets. I think 99% or pellet stove owner buy theirs.

I guess the big question is “What are you looking for?”. Why did you get the stove in the first place? Are you wanting a different or cheaper heat source? Did you just end up with us by default because it was there? What’s your goal with this?
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Good questions and I paid 200 bucks for 50 bags x 2 pallets at TSC just north of Toledo, Michigan hardwood, Holland, Michigan. All I use pellets for is to mitigate corn klinkers, however, right now I'm on straight pellets at least until it gets colder. Then I'll mix. Already have 4 30 gallon plastic trash cans on a skid, filled with mix. Pick them up with my forklift and put them on the back deck and bucket them into the stove as needed.
 

FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
I guess the big question is “What are you looking for?”. Why did you get the stove in the first place? Are you wanting a different or cheaper heat source? Did you just end up with us by default because it was there? What’s your goal with this?
Title of the thread. I'm working my way through trying to make sense of it.

We inherited the stove so there was no goal to acquiring it, we just were the ones that ended up with it. At the moment we're storing it. I am not sure if we'll hook it up this season, but it was never even started to be installed other than parts acquired for it (pictures in the thread of what we got with it).

After digging through things - if I can find a deal on pellets I wouldn't mind putting it together and running it just to play around with it, but I am not sure if its worth the effort even still.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Northern Indiana about 45 minutes from Michigan. The $4 price is the current price at Menards. I keep an eye out for sales and then buy in bulk. Some places have pre-order sales where you can buy a couple or tons before they are even in stock at a discounted price.

If i was at home 24/7 or homesteading I would do the math on making my own…..but I don’t think the math would pan out. Or maybe grow corn and burn it in a multi-fuel stove. I work 40-50 hours a week, so my time at home is worth spending the $$ to buy pellets. I think 99% or pellet stove owner buy theirs.

I guess the big question is “What are you looking for?”. Why did you get the stove in the first place? Are you wanting a different or cheaper heat source? Did you just end up with us by default because it was there? What’s your goal with this?
I'm a little leery about buying pellets at Menards, at least the Menards in Toledo where we shop. A few years back I ran short on pellets (my own fault) and I had heard they had pellets so I cruised down to find they had them outside, bags in disarray with some leaking out soggy pellets. Took me almost an entire skid to find 20 dry bags and they burned like crap with a ton of ash (was before I went the corn route) . Don't remember the brand but I never went there again for pellets. We buy quite a bit of stuff from Menards, but never again in pellets.... and if I remember right, the price sucked too.

I believe for the most part all of us, least the regulars on here are, shall I say 'frugal' and that is why we do what we do. My wife calls it cheap, guess that works too, I can very well afford to heat this farmhouse with propane, no matter what it costs, cost is not even a consideration with me, but I like the 'hands on' aspect of biomass and I'm doing my part to help the environment because using bio mass for heat is considered carbon neutral and I spew enough visible particulates into the air as neither of my farm tractors are emissions compliant and neither is my diesel pickup truck or my Big International Eagle with a 3406 so everytime I work them they blow off particulates into the air. Not into that rolling coal crap but if I get down on them (and I do), they smoke. My dad always said, if there is no smoke, then there is no fire and no fire means no power produced.
 
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FlyFish'n

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
62
OH
@SidecarFlip - good stuff. I don't live/work on a farm, so I don't have all the big equipment around, but I worked in the ag industry for about 8 years and was over-the-road in a semi for a bit. I've had 2 diesel pickups of my own - a 6.4L powerstroke and the current one is a 6.7L powerstroke. Some years before I ran a 6.0L powerstroke for work over-the-road (as bad of a rap as they get, I never had any issues with it aside from it being a PITA to start when cold in the winter). My current one went down a couple weeks ago with a blown high pressure pump (the grenade of death for a number of these engines). Just shy of 175k miles, all original to me (only miles on the title are from my test drive). I just got out to the dealer this afternoon and went through a few things after the initial tear-down and evaluation. I was prepared to load it up and haul it home to park it for a while, but it is looking like we're going to get it right back on the road.

I do like my trucks and equipment also - some day I hope to have an off-grid homestead. That thought isn't necessarily for the environmental aspect, rather energy independence. I can't really articulate that thought and be "politically correct", though I assume you know what I mean. I do like alternative energy, from a hobby stand-point, and I have dreamed of making my own wind turbines (look up www.otherpower.org for some examples - that group is based, I believe, out of Colorado - they implement a lot of Hugh Piggot's designs). With the combination of solar and wind power it is conceivable to have a robust off-grid set up. Though, I am not sure how easy it would be to get enough electricity to run AC during the summer. Maybe some form of geothermal would be more appropriate so as to drop the electrical requirement. An alternative power system designed to produce usual power requirements in low production periods would produce an enormous amount of surplus power in peak periods (specifically with wind power) - so if AC was needed and it was windy that probably wouldn't be a concern on the energy demand, but if power production is down and AC is needed that would be a hard row to hoe on alternative energy.

I picked up a 15kw generator this season. I have a smaller 2600w or so rotary as well. Both of those I converted to natural gas and propane. Since we have natural gas piped in it only makes sense to use it. However, we have options if we loose natural gas also. My main generator is actually a Honda EU2200i inverter. It only runs gasoline. I've been tempted to convert it to natural gas and propane also, but the gen is so efficient on fuel I am having a hard time justifying it. All of them (and our outboard boat motors) use the Johnson/Evinrude style 2 prong fuel ports. That makes it easy to swap tanks around. I have 2x 12gal's and 2x 6gal's that use that connector, and a few other cans and tanks for north of 50 gallons. I suppose if I put all the tanks together I might have enough to hold around 65-ish gallons, but never have that much. If we lost natural gas and had, say, 40 gallons that would get us power for all the essentials on the EU2200i for a good couple of weeks or so. Fuel consumption is around .14 gallons per hour with a light load - on Gasonline. Compare that to 1.5 gallons per hour (gasoline) on the 15kw unit (Honda GX690 engine).

With gas heat we can run the whole house on a small generator. The EU2200i is actually a stronger generator than the rotary 2600w, but doesn't run NG. So if we lost electrical power the 2600w rotary would be the one to use (and we have - it was my only generator for about 4 years, only gasoline - natural gas/propane conversion was new this season). If we lost natural gas and electricity then we can run the whole house on the EU2200i. When I say "whole house" - I mean essentials while being energy conscious in that we can meet our energy requirements - refrigerators, fans, lights, some consumer electronics, ham radio, and - furnace fan. We can't run the microwave unless it is the only load, but at that point we can cook on propane or one of my backpacking stoves - white gas or isobutane.

Heating is the next thing to square away. If we lost electricity and natural gas we don't have the generator power to run electric space heaters. We have enough generator power with the 15kw unit - from an electrical output perspective. It will run the central AC and electric clothes dryer (2 highest loads we have). Its the fuel consumption - where are we going to get the gasoline to supply 1.5+ gallons per hour to it in a long-term outage? We can't even get through 2 days with it if I stocked up every tank and can we have with gas. So thats where wood heat comes in. That is a different topic than the pellet stove deal here, and something I am trying to untangle. That isn't a question of environmental stewardship, rather energy independence. If the "switch is turned off" (think "politics") or "the supply is forced off" (think storm and down power lines and uprooted gas lines) - how to we keep on keepin' on? With generator power we're good on electricity for a good couple weeks or more. We have wooded property to harvest wood from, so if we don't have enough here already split theres plenty more not too far away. That reminds me - I needed hard wood blocks for working on my truck a several years ago so I cut a large maple down. I need to get back over there and coin it + split it. That would get us a good month or more of heat I'd think.

As far as pellets go - I would be curious if there are any wood products vendors around that make them from their sawdust. There is such a place I know of that sells split firewood by the ton. They do cabinetry and other furniture as their main business so I am sure they have a lot of sawdust they create. It might be worth a call to them to see if they make pellets also, or sell sawdust to a vendor that does mill pellets?
 

Clarkbug

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2010
1,258
Upstate NY
@SidecarFlip
As far as pellets go - I would be curious if there are any wood products vendors around that make them from their sawdust. There is such a place I know of that sells split firewood by the ton. They do cabinetry and other furniture as their main business so I am sure they have a lot of sawdust they create. It might be worth a call to them to see if they make pellets also, or sell sawdust to a vendor that does mill pellets?
Depending on the local mill, they can be made from sawdust or flooring scraps. Seems that most of them are a wood byproduct. So there might be someone nearby you that is recycling what would otherwise be a waste product, or would be otherwise burned as part of the process anyway.
 
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Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
202
Indiana
I'm a little leery about buying pellets at Menards, at least the Menards in Toledo where we shop. A few years back I ran short on pellets (my own fault) and I had heard they had pellets so I cruised down to find they had them outside, bags in disarray with some leaking out soggy pellets. Took me almost an entire skid to find 20 dry bags and they burned like crap with a ton of ash (was before I went the corn route) . Don't remember the brand but I never went there again for pellets. We buy quite a bit of stuff from Menards, but never again in pellets.... and if I remember right, the price sucked too.

I believe for the most part all of us, least the regulars on here are, shall I say 'frugal' and that is why we do what we do. My wife calls it cheap, guess that works too, I can very well afford to heat this farmhouse with propane, no matter what it costs, cost is not even a consideration with me, but I like the 'hands on' aspect of biomass and I'm doing my part to help the environment because using bio mass for heat is considered carbon neutral and I spew enough visible particulates into the air as neither of my farm tractors are emissions compliant and neither is my diesel pickup truck or my Big International Eagle with a 3406 so everytime I work them they blow off particulates into the air. Not into that rolling coal crap but if I get down on them (and I do), they smoke. My dad always said, if there is no smoke, then there is no fire and no fire means no power produced.
I agree you have to be careful when buying from larg box stores a lot of time. I always check out the stock before purchasing. Biggest issue I have found is that they change brands throughout the season as supply changes. As far as storage, the Menards I go to here has done a good job at keeping them dry. They usually store them in their board barn with the shipping plastic over them plus’s wrapped in shrink wrap.

$4 a bag is about the cheapest I have found around here. We’re you able to source any cheaper?